Written by J.P.G.

{Jacob Finding His Way is partly fictional. As I am writing this story, I am above the age of 21. If you want a story with lots of sex, look elsewhere. This is a love story. Seeing as it is a love story, sex is in there, but it's in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

Any similarity to any real events, names, or life events is purely accidental. If you are underage, (according to your state laws, a minor), if this literature is offensive to you or to anyone around your viewing area, or it is illegal for you to view such content where you are reading it,  stop reading the story.

This story can't be distributed in any way, shape or form without the author's expressed written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Daddy Rick

Chapter 63

When the boys drove up to Ethan's house to drop him off from work, they saw Ethan's father walking down the street. None of them asked Ethan why his father is walking because they already know that Ethan's family right now is struggling to stay afloat. They don't have a car. Most families today have at least one car to get around in.

Ethan and his brothers got down from the SUV, thanking Alex for the ride. As the guys drove off, Ethan and his brother walked over and meet their dad halfway between him and the house. They walked into the house together talking about their day. After talking a few minutes with his father, Ethan headed over to the den to do his homework.

Since Ethan is one of the youngest of the family, he didn't get a room. The rooms in the house were so small, even doubling up in them was cramped. Ethan shares the den with several of his brothers. They take turns sleeping on the couch and when it isn't his turn to sleep on the couch, he sleeps on the floor, which he is used to already.

Turning on the lamp in the corner of the den, Ethan slid down on the floor as he pulled his bag towards him. Pulling out his books he started working on homework. Just as he finished his English homework, his father walked in. Ethan looked up to see his father sit down in the chair, not saying a word. He went back to his homework, but having his father sitting there looking at him as he does his homework is making Ethan nervous.

Once he finished his homework, Ethan got up to clean up for dinner. When he reached the door, his father called him back. Ethan knew that this was coming because his father has never watched him do his homework before. The minute his father walked in, Ethan knew that his father wanted to speak with him about something.

Slowly Ethan walked over to his father and didn't sit down until his father asked him to. A few seconds passed before Ethan's father asked him to sit down so they could talk a little before dinner. Ethan backed up towards the couch wondering what his father needs to talk with him about. Although he really wants to know what all this is about, he is nervous about finding out at the same time.

"Son I need to talk with you about a couple of things. Let me start by asking what you have told your friends about our family? You know where I stand about our private business. What happens inside the walls of this house must stay within the walls of this house and not advertised to the entire neighborhood.

Don't get me wrong son, none of us would be working if it wasn't for your friends. But what is worrying me is the fact that they have been giving you a lot of stuff. We are not a charity case for your rich friends to be feeling sorry for. Everything this family has is because we have worked for it. Nothing I have has ever been given to me. Do you understand what I am trying to say here son?"

"Yes dad I do understand. My friends are not looking at us as a charity case. When Jacob gave me the clothes, he told me either I can take them or the clothes are going to go to Good Will.  The clothes fit me and those that didn't, my brothers are using. I asked Jacob if he is trying to treat me like you say a charity case and he said `no'. He put as plainly as you can put it; these clothes are either going to go to Good Will or I can take them. So I chose to take them and get some use out of them."

"You are not broadcasting our financial problems to your friends are you?"

"No dad. I would never do that. The only thing I have told them is what you have told others yourself. Other than that I have not told them about anything. They haven't asked me anything either. You have taught us to never broadcast our private business to anyone outside of the immediate family."

Ethan felt very uncomfortable with this conversation. Never before has his father questioned him about what he has said to his friends. Although things are a lot different here than they were back home, but he has adjusted! One of the things he doesn't do here that he did back home is bring his friends home. Ethan just doesn't want anyone to see the house and then start asking questions or talking behind his back about the way he lives.

"Okay son I just needed to clear that up." Ethan's father moved to the edge of his chair, making Ethan even more uncomfortable. "Way before we moved, your mother and I have noticed that something has been bothering you. We just can't figure out what it is. Since we have moved here it seems it has gotten worse.

Ethan, you know you can come to me and your mother about anything. No matter what it is or what is going on in your life, your mother and I will never stop loving you. You are our son and we love you. So don't be afraid to talk with us about anything that might be weighing you down. Okay?"

"Dad, I know that you and mom care for all of us and want the best for us. You two are right that something is weighing on my mind that I need to talk with you about it. I just don't know how to get the conversation going dad." Just then Ethan's mother walked in letting them know dinner is ready.

Ethan looked over to his mom and back to his father a got the feeling that this isn't the time to let them know that he is gay. Thinking on his feet, Ethan told his father that he is thinking about joining the football team. That confused his dad because that shouldn't have been hard to tell him or his mother.

As they headed over to eat dinner, Ethan's father told him that he has no problem with him joining the football team. If he does he will make time to go and watch him play next year. For the first time in a long time Ethan and his father joked with each other. To Ethan it seemed the more he does things that his father did, it brings him closer to him.

After having the talk with Andy Jr., Chase thought a lot about what was recommended for him to do. He decided to talk with Patricia first before doing anything else. He has seen the result when a girl gets hurt after learning that the guy she has been going out with broke up with her because he might be gay. Everyone at school has heard how Elizabeth acted when she found out that Josh is gay. That is something that Chase doesn't want to happen to him; a girl wanting to kill him because of what he is going through.

Chase went to the study to use the phone because that phone has a separate number all together than the rest of the house. He doesn't want anyone picking up the phone and over hearing what he is talking with Patricia about. Chase is willing to talk with Patricia about it and Andy Jr., but he isn't ready for the entire house to know. Not yet, anyway.

He locked the door and sat down behind the desk. Taking in several breathes, Chase picked up the phone and dialed Patricia's number. After a few rings, Patricia's mother answered and called Patricia to the phone. At first Chase and Patricia made small talk. They really haven't gone out on a serious date yet. Neither of them counts the pool party as a date.

Finally after fifteen minutes of small talk, Patricia surprised Chase. "I know you didn't call me to talk about the weather. You are dancing around whatever you called to talk to me about with all this small talk. Are you going to break up with me? If you are, I would prefer you to do it in person, not over the phone!"

"Oh no Patricia you have this call all wrong. I am calling you to talk with you about something serious, but not to break up with you. Before I get to what I need to talk with you about, I needed to see how you were. You know, in a good mood or bad mood. Now I can see you are in a good mood, so here it goes."

Chase went into detail about what has been on his mind the last couple of weeks. Just like he told Andy Jr., Chase told Patricia. He explained the feelings that he has been getting dealing with the new guy Ethan, and all the other thoughts! He included what Andy Jr. recommended for him to do so that he doesn't ever have doubts and end up living an unhappy life. At first Patricia didn't say a word, then she broke the silence.

"Chase I knew there was something going on in the back of you head when we sat at the pool the first time and we really spent time together. I couldn't put it together, but now I see it is serious. I agree with Andy about dealing with those feelings head on. If you don't, no matter what you do in your life, you will always be looking back and regretting not ever acting on those feelings. I don't want to have a boyfriend hating himself.

Seriously I think you have those feelings because you live in a house with several gay couples. With that said I am willing to test that theory. I want to be with you Chase and if that means letting you figure out your identity, I will wait. No matter how long it takes I will be here for you. So don't worry about that.

What I am getting to Chase is that we should stay together as boyfriend and girlfriend while you find a guy willing to let you work through the feelings. If you find that you are gay, we can split as friends. If you find that you are bi, we can sit down at that point and discuss what do from there. If you find out that you are straight, we can just move on."

Blown off his feet with what Patricia said, Chase didn't know how to respond. He seriously thought that Patricia was going to yell at him and than hang up the phone. Instead she not only understood where he is coming from but she is willing to stand by him as he figures himself out! That is something very rare to find in anyone, even more so, a girl.

"I really don't know what to say Patricia. When I picked up the phone to call you, I thought you would have yelled at me, but you did the opposite of that. I want you to know that I want to be completely honest with you. It doesn't matter what the issue is, I will always tell you the truth and that you can count on."

"That is what I like about you Chase, your honesty. Linda was a fool to leave you and I will tell all my friends that. As far as what we talked about we will keep it between us. The only time anyone will be told this information is when you tell them. You don't need to worry about what we ever talk about spreading around the school."

They talked for another ten minutes before Patricia's mother made her hang up. After saying their goodbyes, blowing each other kisses over the phone, they hung up. Chase got up and headed to his room. When he walked out, he walked passed Al. He thought that Al was going to say something, but he didn't. Al just wished him a goodnight and headed up to his room to bed.

Dewayne wrapped his arms around Jacob and pulled him into him as close as he could. Half asleep, Jacob turned and kissed Dewayne on his lips before turning back and falling to sleep.  Dewayne couldn't fall asleep due to what he and Jacob talked about earlier in the evening. He knew that Jacob went through a lot already, but nothing near what he found out. One thing is for is that he won't repeat what Joey did to him.

The next morning when the guys picked up Ethan, Chase whispered to him that he would like to talk with him before class. Ethan nodded his head in agreement before joining in the conversation. At no point did Ethan give a second thought to why Chase needs to talk with him. Certainly he didn't imagine Chase is going to come out to him.

As soon as they arrived at school, Patricia and her friends were waiting for Chase at the entrance to the cafeteria. Already getting used to Patricia being around, everyone said hello or good morning as they passed them. When they got to the table, they barely had enough space to fit everyone. If they make one more friend, they are going to have to take over another table in the cafeteria Jacob thought.

Quickly the conversation turned to Jacob running for a position on student council. As planned, Alex and Matt started the conversation and the others jumped in. Jacob noticed the change of heart many had. Just yesterday many of them were against the idea of him running for student council, but today everyone is in agreement that he should.

"You guys need to tell me what is going on here because yesterday many of you didn't like the idea when I told you about it. Now today, you are pushing me to run. After giving it some thought, I agree with what you guys said yesterday. What are the chances of me winning senior class president? I can tell you; no chance in hell! There is no way the student body is going to vote for an openly gay person to any position."

"There is where you are wrong Jacob!" Alex took a breath and continued. "You might not win senior class president, but student body president is a totally different story. Senior class president is a popularity contest and you're right they won't elect an openly gay person to that position. They normally elect jocks anyway. But student body president is a totally different story. There is where the work is at and the power."

"I never thought about that Alex. To tell you the truth I really never thought about running for any office here at school. My hands are already full with ROTC and next year is going to be worse. I am expected to go before the brigade board and take the brigade commander slot. I really don't know if I will have the time to do both."

"If I am not mistaken, didn't you run track and still keep up with ROTC this year?" Jacob nodded his head. "Being student council president isn't as much time consuming as running track was. At the most you will be giving up two maybe three afternoons to it. Where in track you gave every afternoon, morning and Saturday to the program."

Everyone took their turn trying to talk Jacob into running for student council president. At the end Jacob said he will think about it. For now he is content on what is on his plate for next year. Alex wasn't too happy with the decision but let it be. He figured that he has still enough time to talk Jacob into running.

When everyone started to talk in their little groups, Chase turned to Ethan and asked if he'd mind talking with him in the hall. Ethan didn't, so they headed out. Before leaving, Chase kissed Patricia on the lips. She whispered to Chase good luck and slapped him on his butt as he walked away. Chase couldn't help looking back and blowing her a kiss.

David and Tom are in their own little world so they didn't notice that Chase and Ethan had left. For the last couple of days, really ever since the Jr. Sun Bowl, David has been trying to talk Tom out of playing football next year! It isn't that he doesn't want Tom playing the game. It is just he has been having this scary dream for weeks, even before Tom played in the Jr. Sun Bowl. David is glad that the dream didn't come true in that game.

Although the dream didn't come true in that game, it could next year. David has never believed in dreams coming true, but when it comes down to the guy he loves he doesn't want to take any chances. The dreams have been about Tom going out on the field and not walking back to the side lines.

Still no matter how he asks or how many times he asks, Tom isn't willing to even think about David's request. Part of it is David's fault because David isn't telling Tom why he wants him to quit. David feels if he tells Tom the true reason, Tom might think that he's crazy in believing that dreams come true. That is what he thought when others in his family told them that their dreams had come true.

"I don't know any other way to say this then to just tell you straight out David. Next year is my last chance to play the game that I really love. We have a real good chance to go all the way. If we do go all the way, there is going to be scouts there from all the colleges. That's my only chance of getting a full ride for college and I am not going to miss out on that. So please just drop the subject of me quitting the team."

"For now since it is the off season I will drop it. That doesn't mean when it gets closer to the next season I am going to stay quiet. As I've said I love it when you play, it's just I have been getting these weird feelings. I don't want you to get hurt on that field on a maybe."

"It's more than just a maybe and you need to believe in me David as do in you. You also need to stop worrying so much. We have been through a lot and there is no way anything else will go wrong, knock on wood." Tom hit his knuckles a couple of times on the table. "So let's just drop the subject and talk about something else like helping Jacob here not only run for office, but win."

They did change the subject, but in David's mind he still is thinking about what he and Tom were talking about. He decided for now he will drop the subject for now. Between now and then, he hopes that his dreams will change and he will have nothing to worry about.

Mean while Chase and Ethan walked outside not saying a word to each other. They didn't stop until they were far away from everyone. Chase doesn't want what they are about to talk about overheard by anyone. Should someone overhear, more than likely by the end of first period it would be around the school. Gossip at this school spreads faster than wildfire and more so if it is a juicy piece of gossip.

Once Chase felt they were far enough from anyone over hearing them, he stopped and turned to face Ethan. Ethan didn't say a word; he just looked at Chase confused. He knows that he has nothing to fear from Chase. Even if Chase did bring him out here to beat him up, Ethan knows he can take him on.

"Um, to be completely honest with you I don't know how to start this conversation. So bear with me as I stumble along to get to what I need to say." Chase swallowed the huge lump in his throat. "I don't know if you know about Josh and his friends. Chris was Josh's first boyfriend and we became friends with them. Even after those two broke up, we stayed friends with both of them. They made it easy for everyone when they were able to put their past behind them and become friends.

What I am getting to is that the other day Chris and I were talking. He accidently blurted out something he didn't mean to say." Right then and there Ethan started to freak out. He didn't need Chase to finish what he is saying because he knows what Chase is going to say the biggest secret he has been keeping from everyone.

"Chris told me that you and he might be going out as in dating." Chase noticed Ethan freaking out, about to take a run for it. "Don't worry Ethan! He hasn't told this out to anyone else except me. He didn't say it straight out, I put it together. When I put it together, Chris begged me not to say a word to anyone."

"If you were able to pick it up when he talked to you, anyone can. I thought he was better than that, but I see I was wrong. Please Chase what ever you do don't tell anyone. If you brought me out here to tell me that I need to tell the group or leave the group, I will leave the group. I am not ready to tell anyone about what you found out."

"You have me all wrong Ethan. I would never say something like that especially with the group of friends we have here. What I think we have four gay couples." Chase started counting on his fingers those that are gay in the group. "Yeah we have four gay couples in our group. That means of all the groups that you could have chosen to be part of, this is the right one for you.

Whenever you are ready to come out, trust me the guys won't care." Chase leaned against the fence trying to figure out a way to get the conversation going where he wants it to. "Look at me I am over here preaching when I am not willing to take my own advice. Just let me say what I came out here to say and then you can tell me what you think. That way I know where you stand."

"Not a problem, go ahead and I'll listen." Ethan leaned against the fence next to Chase.

"You and I are not much different from each other Ethan. I am hiding something from the group as well. I really don't know what is going on with me right now. I talked with Jacob's brother and then I talked with Patricia last night about this. Both of them pretty much said the same thing."

Chase went on to tell Ethan everything, not leaving one thing out. Ethan knows that Chase had a girlfriend and that she got pregnant, but they lost the baby. He also knows that they broke up before she lost the baby. What he didn't know is that Chase is having the feelings that he is having about other guys, or just him according to Chase. The other thing that surprised Ethan is what Patricia told Chase yesterday.

When Chase finished, it was dead quiet between them. They could actually hear the leaves being blown around on the street. Ethan is thinking about what Chase just said and how to respond to it. Chase is hoping that he did the right thing on coming out to Ethan. He hasn't even told his best friend what is going on with him.

"Just like you I am afraid of what I am feeling. Don't get me wrong Chase, I know I am gay. I have known that for years now. But just like you, I have been going out with girls ever since all my other friends got girlfriends. It is what I was taught and I am not about to anger my father over the way I am.

The only reason I was willing to go out with Chris is because Jacob fixed us up." Chase looked at Ethan with a surprised look on his face. "Yeah I have told Jacob about me and he promised not to say a word. Before he even mentioned me to Chris, he came to me for permission to do so. That is something I will never forget.

At the same time, I am not angry with Chris for what he did otherwise we wouldn't be here talking. Don't get me wrong, I am going to talk with him and make sure it doesn't happen again. When I do I won't come straight out and let him know that I know he accidently told you. Some way I will let him know he has to be able to keep my secret. I will figure out what I am going to say before I talk with him.

So we are on the same page let me make clear here that I am gay. If I do get serious with a guy, it will be with a guy I plan to date. Not a guy that is trying to find out if he is confused. I really like you Chase!" Chase looked at him with a half cocked smile. "Yes in that way I like you, but I am not going to be here whenever you get an itch for a guy. Before we go any further I need to know where you stand."

Chase moved away from the fence and walked in front of Ethan. Not saying a word, Chase looked Ethan up and down. He can't stop looking at this guy simply because the guy is so awesome. If he is bi or gay, Ethan is a perfect guy for him to be with. But before he even goes there, Chase needs to answer several questions to himself.

"Ethan the day I came out here and found you, I didn't help you because I had the hots for you. I helped you because you needed a friend. After that I started falling for you. I can't explain it because I thought of myself as straight. Never before have I ever looked at a guy in the way I you. And it wasn't because I picked up that you are gay. Heck I don't got that thing called gaydar.

Anyways I don't know where I stand right now. I know for sure I like you the way I like Patricia and I want to see where it goes. Both of us don't want to let anyone know about us right now. So why don't we see if we work without the others knowing. If we do, I am will be willing to come out if you want to.

The mean time I can help you get a girlfriend that is as understanding as Patricia or you can date Chris, but not get serious with him. Really Ethan the decision is yours to make, not mine. If you are willing to date me in secret until we figure out where we stand, then let's do it. Again this is your decision to make because I am asking a lot of you."

Chase and Ethan talked until the bell and as they walked back into the building. They came to an agreement to date in secret and see where it leads. In the open Chase will go out with Patricia and Ethan will stay single. At least that is what the others are going to think because Ethan will be going out with Chris secretly as well. Ethan did warn Chase if he and Chris click before Chase figures where he stands, he will stop going out with him and make it official with Chris. Not really wanting to, Chase agreed.

Andy Sr. was asked by Ana to arrive at five to learn to open the store. She explained that the store manager normally is always the opening manager. Rarely does the store manager works evenings or close the store. The only time that happens if there is a problem in those shifts. Andy understood and showed up at ten before five.

A few minutes later Ana drove up and parked next to Andy's truck. They walked into the store together, followed by the opening crew. Before showing Andy what is done on the floor, she showed him everything including the paperwork and what the store manager needs to check the minute they walk in the store.

The very first thing they have to make sure of is the night deposit is in the safe. They counted the safe and make sure the amount of money that should be in there is there from the drawers to petty cash to the change. After counting the safe, she took Andy around the store to make sure nothing happened overnight, like a break in.

The last thing the opening manager is supposed to do before six is make sure the opening crew is right on schedule. She explained that sometimes the closing crew forgets to clean a grill, or throw out the trash or something else that will knock the opening crew off their schedule. This morning nothing like that happened because they are right on schedule.

As Ana trained Andy she couldn't believe how fast he is picking everything up. Andy is taking notes but whenever she asks him a question he answers it without looking at his notes.  She knows for sure now that she picked the right person to take over the store she worked so hard to straighten out.

If Andy keeps this up, she can be out of the store in less than two weeks. Of course she will check in on him as much as she can, but after what she has seen today she doesn't think that she will have to. Except for unforeseeable events, Andy will keep this store running smoothly without any problems for her to deal with.

Right at six, Ana opened the door and let the regulars in. As she made her way around the counter, the store supervisor Tad Allen, walked in and demanded to speak with her. He didn't wait to get to the office when he started talking to her. He started talking with her as they walked through the kitchen and that didn't make Ana happy.

When they did get in the office, Tad started raising his voice. The main thing he is angry with is that Ana promoted and started training a new manager without clearing the promotion with him. He thinks that Andy got promoted to shift manager, not store manager. That means he or the other supervisors don't know yet that she has been promoted and is now above them.

"Why are you done yelling and throwing a little tantrum like a little five year old, Tad?"

That did it, Tad got even louder. "You know what? I didn't like the idea that you were brought in from the outside to run this store. We have plenty of assistant managers in our stores that are ready to become store managers. I took it because I had no other choice. That teenage owner made it clear to me I had no choice in the matter, but I have a choice on what I am about to do here.

Ana, due to your disrespect here and not informing me about wanting to promote someone to manager, you are terminated. Hand over your keys to the store and I will walk you to the back door for you to leave. If you make a scene I will have no other choice than to call the police to have you escorted off the property."

Ana stood there looking at the store supervisor thinking to herself how much she is enjoying this. From day one she couldn't stand this guy. Most, if not all of the problems in this store were created because of his leadership. He enacted many of the inane policies that they fought on a daily basis. He lost every battle, like he will lose this one.

"You don't have the authority to terminate me, Tad. Mr. Serna promoted me yesterday to Assistant Vice President of Operations. That means the only ones that have the authority to terminate me are the two owners, not you! So, I strongly recommend that you just settle down and listen VERY carefully to what I am about to tell you.

Since I have been here I have found that you have enacted several policies that not only break company rules, but the law as well. When I approached you about these policies, you told me you are god here; no one else. Well I am here to tell you that you are now a fallen god. There is no way I can keep you on with what I know about you.

You are the one that is terminated for breaking company policies and the law. You are to show up at the main office to turn in any company keys and sign your termination paperwork within forty eight hours. You are to leave through the back door and if you make a scene I will call the police to have you removed."

Not wanting to believe Ana, Tad picked up the phone and called the main office. Ana stood back and allowed him to hear it for himself that she is now above him. When the phone was answered he demanded to speak with one of the owners. The secretary must have connected him to Al, because she knows that Jacob is in school.

After explaining what was going on to whomever he is talking to, he hung up the phone pretty quickly, less than thirty seconds, in fact. He pulled out all the keys he has to the three stores he is in charge of and handed them to Ana. Not saying another word, he walked out of the office and straight out the back door of the store.

Ana walked out to see the entire staff and a few customers watching Tad walking out the back door. She went over to secure the door after he walked out before walking up front. On her way she told the employees to get back to their stations and mind their own business. Feeling a bit shaken over the ordeal but Ana knew it had to be done. He was going to be her first termination, but not the last.

Tom sat in first period trying to figure out why David kept trying to talk him into quitting the football team. When they met, David loved the idea of dating a football player. That hadn't changed until quite recently. At times when they had sex, David wanted Tom to wear his football uniform, pads and all, for David to take off. David would tell Tom time and time again how he gets so horned up whenever he sees Tom in uniform.

When the bell rang, Tom went looking for Chase in hopes that maybe David had told him something about why he is asking him to quit football. When he found Chase and asked him, Chase was surprised with the question. That told Tom that Chase had no idea that David is asking him to quit.

Tom moved on to Jacob and got the same reaction. He knows that David doesn't talk a lot with Alex, Matt and their friends. So if Jacob and Chase didn't know David was doing this, there is no way those guys would know. The only person that might know is Tony, but Tom needs to get to class before he's late. For now he will have to let it go and ask Tony whenever David isn't around to hear him asking.

Andy Jr. finished his P.T. and headed home to shower and change before reporting in for his first day of work on the base. He doesn't know where he has been assigned to, but hopes it is in a cool office. During the summer here in El Paso Andy knows it gets too hot to be working outside. Even during the winter the weather can be ugly. Not snow, but El Paso gets nasty winds that pick up the sand and blows it right into your face.

As he drove up to the house he recognized a car parked on the street. Andy didn't see anyone in the car as he got out of his. Just as he turned to walk to door, he saw Norma and her brother Hector walking over to him. He couldn't believe that they are actually here at his brother's house after telling her not to come down here.

Quickly Andy walked over to them and asked them to walk with him to their car. On the way he asked Norma if anyone answered the door. She answered that his grandmother did. That really didn't sit well with Andy because now she is going to go and call his grandfather and tell him that Norma was at the house. In return he is going to have to explain to his grandfather and Jacob, more than likely, why she was here at house.

"Norma I told you not to come to this house. You know that my family despises you, Hector and his friends for the way you acted towards Jacob. Why in the world did you come anyway? You had to know that I wasn't here because my car wasn't in the driveway."

"I wanted to see you Andy." Norma went to kiss Andy, but Andy moved. "You have been back for days and you haven't even stopped by to say hello. I thought we have worked through the past and are ready to give our relationship another chance.

As far as my brother I brought him down for protection. Like you said, your family really doesn't like me. Put aside your family, Jacob's friends are the ones I am really afraid of. After what they did to Hector and his friends you can't blame me. They will hit first and ask questions later and you know that Andy."

"We talked while I was in basic training, but you are somewhere where I'm not. My family means everything to me and I won't allow anyone to ever come between us again like you did. We are long ways off from being a couple; we are not even what you would call close friends. It is going to take more than just talking on the phone to overcome what we have in the past.

I am not saying this to hurt you, but I need to make it as clear as I can. You can't come to this house. It isn't my house. It belongs to the guy you hate with every bone in your body. Until you make amends with him, you can't come here. That stands even if you and I are able to put the past in the past. So we are clear here, if you don't make amends with my brother, we won't go anywhere."

Norma stood there looking at Andy stunned by what he just said and not so much with what he said but how he said it. Never before has Andy ever put his foot down with her. She has been the one that normally tells him what to do. It looks like the army has done some good for Andy. It gave him a backbone to finally stand up for himself and his family.

Hector was ready to knock the crap out of Andy because the way he is talking with his sister. He doesn't care that Andy is right or not, in his mind talks nobody to his sister this way. But he decided not to after sizing Andy up. He left a smaller guy and came back a lot larger guy. There is no doubt in Hector's mind that Andy can take him on and beat the crap out of him.

"I just thought after our calls we have put the past in the past. It sounded like you had forgiven me and willing to give us another chance. No matter what you think of me and my word, I do mean what I promised. I will try and take your brother as he is and respect him because he is your brother. Seeing how much your family means to you, I am willing to do that for you."

"That is it right there Norma. That is what I have been trying to tell you about the way you think. You are not willing to accept my brother for who he is because you are ready to change. The only reason you are saying what you are saying is so we can get married. If that ever happens, you will go back to hating my brother and trying to break me apart from my family like you did before.

No Norma you are going to have to actually change your way of thinking if you and I even have a chance to go out for coffee. I love you Norma, but I love my family even more. They have been here no matter what I have done to them. So until you are able to accept my brother, there is no need for us to be talking."

With that said; Andy walked away not giving Norma or Hector a chance to reply. There is no way he is willing to even think about going out with Norma again if she isn't willing to change, Andy thought. If he does he will lose those he loves the most; his family. No wife is worth losing his family over and that includes Norma.

When lunch rolled around, Jacob got stopped on his way to the cafeteria by the same group that stopped him the day before. At first Jacob tried to dodge them, but they kept up with Jacob. Right before Jacob reached the cafeteria, he gave trying to ignore them. He can see no matter what he tries to do, they won't leave him alone until they get his answer about running for office next year.

"I know we are starting to become a bother, but we need to know if you decided to run for office or not." They joined Jacob in the line to get lunch. "Look we asked around and you are well known by the majority of the students here. They like you and will vote for you if you do run. Let me tell you that this is rare because they normally vote for jocks.

Please understand why we are pushing so hard for you to run. For the first time we ordinary students can actually get the higher offices away from the jocks. If we do that, things will actually be done for the student body. Jacob, you are the right person to run and you won't just sit there doing nothing. You will actually do things for this school."

"Look, I gave it a lot of thought since you asked me yesterday. As far as running for senior class president there is no way I would beat whatever jock is running for that office and you guys know it. That position is given to the most popular student. A student that is gay and out of the closet, a nerd and only has ROTC as a success won't beat the jock.

Now I am looking at student council president. That I am willing to run for and I know I have a really good chance on getting it. In that position I can get a lot more done than in the senior class president position. The class presidents are basically just puppet positions. The real power is in student council and student council president. Why don't we try and take that position back?"

The two students that have been asking Jacob to run looked at each other and smiled. They can see where Jacob is coming from. They should go after a position they have a better chance on winning. Senior class president would be great, but as Jacob said they will lose. Now as far as student council president they could have a real shot at that position. Like Jacob said, that there is where the real power is.

"You are telling us that you are willing to run for student council president for next year?" Jacob nodded his head affirmatively. "We can help you win the position. Leave it up to us to put together your campaign and get it kicked off.  All we need you to do is be ready to do the speeches and tell us what your platform is going to be."

Before Jacob cold say another word, the two students slapped each other on the back and walked off with smiles on their faces. Jacob could hear them talking about how they plan to put the campaign together. It made Jacob happy to see the two excited about something. Although Jacob doesn't really know them, it still makes him happy.

The very first thing Jacob told the guys is that he decided to run for student council president. That got the entire table talking. Alex and Matt started talking outside the group because they now have to put together their campaign for Matt to run for student council. The other guys pledged their support and promised to bring others to vote for Jacob on Election Day.

Jacob thought if the guys help bring others to vote for him, he does really have a chance to win. Tom alone can help bring the jock vote over. Jacob figures Tom won't bring all the jocks over, but enough to cut into the chances of the jock that decides to run for the position to win. If he cuts into the jock vote, Jacob feels even better on his chances.

Through the corner of his eye, someone caught Jacob's attention as he sat there talking with the guys. He looked over to the far table in the corner to see a kid dressed in complete black sitting alone. Although Jacob could only see the kids back, he can swear he recognizes the kid, but thought to himself it couldn't be.

He moved over to Chase and asked him to look over to the guy that is sitting alone. Chase took a fast glance and then quickly turned his head and looked again. Just like Jacob he thought to himself it couldn't be. There has to be several other kids out there like the guy both he and Jacob met their freshman year in high school at Jacob's old apartments. The chances of this kid being the same one are very slim.

"Do you think it is that kid that lived next door to you when you lived on the central side of town? We can only see his back right now. Anyone that dresses in complete black could look like that guy. Actually anyone that dresses in complete black you can't tell apart from one another." Chase whispered into Jacob's ear.

"I agree with you, but I can swear it is my old neighbor. Damn I can't remember his name if my life depended on it." Jacob started snapping his fingers trying to remember the name. "David, David was the guy's name that lived next door to me. I thought he was a junior back then, but I could be mistaken. I didn't want to get to know the guy that well because of the fact he believes in the devil."

Chase looked over at the guy again to make sure it is who Jacob thinks he is. Just as he turned to agree with Jacob, Jacob had gotten up and started his way over to the table. Chase right away got up and ran over to Jacob. If it is the kid they think he is, Chase wants to make sure he isn't any crazier than he was when they met him.

As they walked up to the table, the kid didn't even turn around. Jacob cleared his throat as he tapped the kid on his shoulder. The minute he turned and faced Jacob and Chase, they knew for sure it is David sitting there before them. He hasn't changed a bit except he looks a little scarier than he looked when they first met him.

"I don't know if you recognize me or not, but my name is Jacob." Jacob extended his hand to David. "You and I were neighbors a couple years ago at the Jackson Apartments. I know we didn't talk much when were neighbors, but we did talk."

"Anyone that attends Austin High knows who you are Jacob. You are the kid that got shot by a gangster and then became friends with the guy that shot you." David shook his hand as he pointed to the bench for Jacob and Chase to sit. "In case you don't remember my name, I am David and even if you weren't shot I would have remembered you. You were one of the very few neighbors that actually gave me the time of day."

"Well to be honest with you at first you caught my attention with all black and stuff. Then when we talked you caught my attention even more. I never met a real live devil worshiper in my life. What brings you here to Newman? I thought you were a junior when I was a freshman."

"I don't know who gave you that information about me. You and I are the same age. The only reason you don't know that is because I never attended classes when you went to school at Austin. In fact I was behind almost a year so my mom made me go to summer school to catch up to where I should be."

David looked around before he continued. "Where is that friend of yours? The one kid that lived across the street, that seemed to be glued to your side wherever you went?" Jacob looked at David with a confused look in his face. "You know the one that got beaten up the summer before school because he is a fag."

Chase looked over at Jacob and could tell that Jacob wanted to slug David for the remark he just made. Somehow Jacob kept his composure as he gathered his thoughts. He thought that everyone had found out that he and Joey are gay and became a couple. Now that David asked that specific question, Jacob knows not everyone knows about him.

"His name is Joey and you won't see him around because he just recently moved. He and I were more than just friends, David. He and I were boyfriends. How did you put it? That fag, well that makes me a fag as well. I loved that guy and he loved me. We didn't make as a couple but that doesn't mean I'll allow anyone to talk bad about him."

"Wait a minute Jacob I didn't mean anything bad about what I just said. He was cool with me when we hung. So I never cared that he is a gay nor do I care that you are gay either. I am sorry if it came off the way it did. Some of my good friends are gay and I will defend them to the ends of the earth."

Jacob lightened up after hearing that David has gay friends. Both of them apologized to each other and quickly moved away from the subject. Once they got over that hump, Jacob learned that David and his family just moved to this side of town. They are now living in some apartments on Vaquero St. That is a couple buildings down from the apartments that he lived in when they moved to this side of town.

When the bell rang, Jacob invited David to sit with them whenever he finds himself in the cafeteria. As they walked out Jacob pointed to the table where they always sit and David took him up on his offer. Once they walked into the hallway, David went one direction, Chase went another and Jacob went yet another.

Dewayne waited for Tony to arrive at the office so they could head out and visit some more stores. They still haven't even visited half of the stores they own and that is starting to bother Dewayne. He gets out of the office for a couple hours during the day to visit stores, but that isn't enough time. Most of the day he is stuck in the office learning all the paperwork and how to run the actual company and then he goes over it with Tony that evening, again not leaving anytime to visit stores like he wants to.

As soon as Tony walked in, Dewayne pulled him into the elevator. Tony had hoped to work in the office this evening, not go out to stores. Visiting stores isn't something Tony really likes. He likes to work in the office, the complete opposite of Dewayne, but neither of them is telling the other what they like and don't like.

By eight, Dewayne called it a night and headed home. Nothing big happened as they visited the stores, not like their first time out. By now everyone that works in the stores knows who their new owners are. After hearing what had happened to one of the store managers, none of the employees wants to make the same mistake. So the store manager posted the description of the new store owners for all their employees to see.

While visiting the stores, the biggest things that Dewayne and Tony have seen happening is all the stores are having problems with gas runs. That is one of the main things Dewayne has been trying to work on. The amount of money they are losing due to gas runs is costing them dearly. To make matters worse it is getting worse month after month, not better. It seems to Dewayne like the employees are letting it happen.

To back Dewayne's thinking just days before he and Joe were sitting in their car in the parking lot of one of stores. Joe went into the store to play as if he is a customer while Dewayne stayed in the car to see how long it takes a customer to be taken care of. That is when they found out that they had a huge problem on their hands.

Several friends of the cashier on duty walked into the store. They went around the store and gathered soft drinks, chips and candy. The cashier didn't ring one thing up! They stood there talking for a few minutes, causing paying customers to wait longer than normal. When they walked out the cashier opened the pump and gave his friends free gas.

As all this was happening, Joe saw the whole thing as he stood in line to pay for his fountain drink. Not saying a word to the employee, Joe walked out and told Dewayne what he witnessed. Dewayne couldn't believe it and it took Joe to calm him down. Once Dewayne calmed down they went in, fired the employee on the spot and put the manager on the register until his next employee came on duty.

The very next day they had the manager come down to the office. They demoted him and sent him to another store like they did to the other manager. He was sitting on his butt in his office while his employee was, in essence, robbing the store. Both Joe and Dewayne believed that he should have seen this and because he didn't he deserved the demotion.

When they walked into the house, they headed to the kitchen to eat. They heard the guys talking as soon as they walked in and knew that they were sitting down eating dinner. As soon as Dewayne finished eating he headed up to his and Jacob's room to spend time with Jacob. If it wasn't the company on his mind it was Jacob.

Dewayne found Jacob laying in bed when he walked into the room. "Hey there soldier boy! How was your day at school?" Jacob looked over at Dewayne with a huge grin across his face. "It must have been tiring since you haven't changed out of your uniform yet. Have you decided yet on what you are going to do as far as running for office?"

Jacob pulled Dewayne onto the bed with him. As Dewayne sat on the edge of the bed, Jacob sat up and pulled Dewayne between his legs. Still not answering Dewayne's questions, Jacob started to rub Dewayne's shoulders and made his way down to Dewayne' chest, causing Dewayne to relax even more.

Once Dewayne fell against Jacob, he told Dewayne what he had decided on as far as running for student council president. After he explained how that will work, Jacob told Dewayne about the guy he had ran into at school. When Jacob said the two words devil worshiper, Dewayne sat straight up on the edge of the bed.

Pulling Dewayne back to him, Jacob told Dewayne how he had met David and he is not a threat. Jacob believes that David believes in the devil, but he isn't going to come out and hurt anyone. In fact Jacob thinks that David is more afraid of everyone than everyone is afraid of him. He gets that from David because ever time he sees David he is alone.

The next couple of days dragged on for everyone. By Friday morning everyone couldn't wait for the weekend. Although most of them have to work the weekend, they are happy they don't have to go to school. Their minds are being stuffed with so much information they think their heads are going to explode.

During third period on Wednesday Jacob got called to the nurse's office. When he walked in the nurse informed him that Dr. Whitmore called and told her to pass a message to him. Dr. Whitmore needs to see him after school for the follow up that was scheduled on Friday. He had to reschedule the follow up because he is going to be going out of town for two weeks. Jacob thanked the nurse and went back to class.

As soon as the bell rang, Jacob headed to Dr. Whitmore's office. The minute he walked in, the secretary sent him right back to exam room `A'. Just as he walked in, Dr. Whitmore came in through the other door. They did their greetings and talked about what has been going on in their lives since they saw each other last.

While they talked, Dr. Whitmore looked at Jacob's stitches. To no surprise to Dr. Whitmore, Jacob is healing on schedule. As he started to remove them, he gave Jacob the dos and don'ts for the next couple of days. Although he doesn't have the stitches anymore, he still has to be as careful as far as the wound.

After the stitches got removed, Jacob thanked Dr. Whitmore and told him to be careful on his vacation. On his way out he thanked the secretary. Jacob can't even imagine where he would be right now if Dr. Whitmore didn't take an interest him when he was down and out. One thing is for sure in Jacob's mind is that he might not be alive today without Dr. Whitmore. Because of him taking Jacob on free of charge, he is here today.

Virginia did tell Al about Norma's visit to the house and how Andy showed up and talked with Norma and her brother as they walked to their car. Al decided not to talk with Andy about it because he wants to trust Andy. Hopefully Andy learned from the past and won't make the same mistakes again. If he does, Al will do everything he can to make sure that no one in the family gets hurt this time.

Norma did try to talk with Andy a couple of times on Wednesday and a couple more times on Thursday. She went as far as waiting for Andy to get home. That didn't go over well with Andy at all. He warned her Tuesday not to come to Jacob's house until she has made amends with Jacob. To this point she hasn't even tried to talk with Jacob because if she had, Jacob would have told Andy.

Wednesday evening Andy started to really regret ever calling Norma when he was doing basic training. He was lonely and needed to talk with someone and that someone he chose was Norma. Now the way she is hovering around him he wished he never picked up the phone. So he put his foot down that evening and told Norma not to come around until she does what she has been asked to do. She wasn't happy, but got the message.

Gloria and Andy Sr. settled into their new home. They only ate dinner once with the family that first week. Other than that one time, they ate their meals in their own home. It wasn't that they didn't want to spend time with the family. Gloria wasn't use to such a loud dinner table. She figured over time she will adjust to it and they will be eating all their meals with the family.

Additionally, Andy gets home so tired all he wants to do is relax. He never thought running a store was so much work until now and he hasn't even learned half of it yet. Ana keeps telling him that he is going great, but he fears that he is going to make a mistake to cause her to think twice about promoting him. The one thing keeping Andy Sr. going is that he wants to prove to Al that he is trustworthy and dependable for his daughter.

Marie had Greg over every evening after school, which didn't sit well with Gloria. It's not because of what she and Greg did in the past together, but because Marie and Greg are together alone in the house for several hours. Still trying to show everyone that she is changing, Gloria kept her mouth shut. She left it to Andy to make it clear to Greg that there is not going to be any funny business in the house while they are alone.

Respecting Gloria and Andy, Greg didn't go any further than just kissing Marie. They did their homework together. As soon as they finished they cuddled with each other in front of the TV until it was time for Greg to leave. Sometimes they went down to the game room and played with the game systems with Lorenzo and Ismail.

Now to Tom's surprise, David did stop asking him to drop out of football. That confused Tom even more since David was working so hard on trying to talk him into dropping out for several weeks now. One thing Tom has learned about David is that he doesn't give up that easily. David has something planned and Tom now wants to know what it is.

To make matters worse for Tom he never found out why David has been pushing him so hard to drop out of football. He did get a chance to talk with everyone, including Alex and Matt. None of them knows why David wants that. They all know that David has been asking, but again they didn't know why. Tom gave up because he knew eventually, very soon, he will find out.

After their talk on Tuesday, Chase and Ethan really hadn't done much. Although Chase was spending all his time with Patricia, he was only thinking about Ethan. Ethan was the same way with Chris. The only difference is that Chris and Ethan are just friends right now and Chase and Patricia are actually a couple.

Ethan is getting scared because he is now thinking that he might be hurting himself with the deal he made with Chase on Tuesday. He made it clear to Chase that if he and Chris clicked, he will go out with Chris. The only problem with that is the fact he isn't giving Chris a chance since Chase is always on his mind. That isn't fair to Chris and Ethan knows that. At the same time Ethan feels real bad because it looks like Chris is starting to fall for him. He asked Chris not to do right up front, due to the fact he is not out.

Although Jacob invited David to hang out with him and his friends, David only stopped by once. Jacob introduced David to everyone, but didn't mention David's belief in the devil. That is David's decision to tell the others if he chooses to, not his. Plus Jacob doesn't think some of them will take to kindly hearing that David believes in the devil.

After David met the guys and girls, he didn't come back. At first Jacob thought that maybe David got spooked or didn't like to be around so many people, but he learned he was wrong. He found out that David didn't show up for school on Thursday and so far this morning Jacob hasn't seen David anywhere.

Just as Jacob got up to go looking for David, Ethan asked to speak with him. Jacob had no problem with it as long as Ethan can walk and talk at the same time as they look for David. Jacob is really worried that maybe David has fallen to the cruelty of the students here because he doesn't fit in. David doesn't fit in anywhere or any group in high school or the outside world really.

Both Ethan and Jacob excused themselves from the table and headed out of the cafeteria. Once they walked into the hallway, Ethan started to whisper to Jacob. He whispered so low that Jacob needed to ask him to talk a little louder so he could hear what Ethan is talking about. That caused Ethan to turn all shades of red, but he started over.

"Jacob, you and Chase have been friends for a very long time, right?" Jacob nodded his head, but had a confused look on his face. He has no idea why Ethan is asking. "Is he a person of his word? What I mean if he says something, does he follow through? Or is he the type of person that just says things that he thinks the other person he is talking to wants to hear?  I know I am throwing a lot of questions at you."

"I really don't want to get in detail about our friendship because we won't make it to any of our classes. Briefly, Chase and I have known each other since our freshman year. He is the first person I met in high school and since then we haven't be apart. I was new to the neighborhood and he took me under his wing.

So to your questions, Chase is a man of his word. No, he doesn't say things to people because he feels that is what the person wants to hear. Chase does care about people's feelings and that is why he doesn't lie to them. He will tell you the truth, but not bluntly. If he told you something he will follow through with it, trust me."

Ethan smiled after hearing what Jacob said. "I don't know what is going on between you two. Until you guys are ready to tell me, I will steer clear of it. If it is what I think it is, be careful. A heart is hard to put back together once it's broken. I had my heart broken and I thought I was going to die. I don't wish that feeling on my worst enemy.

Also I hope what I am thinking is right and it happens. I want to see you and my best friend happy. If you have the patience, work with him. If you want things to happen over night, move on because all you are doing is setting yourself up for hurt. Just look at yourself right now. You are not out to your family and very few friends."

Ethan knew that Jacob could catch on right away on what he was saying no matter how he tried to conceal it. At the same time Jacob just confirmed that Chase was the first person Jacob was thinking about to introduce to him, but something happened. Jacob probably caught on to the fact that Chase is fighting with himself about his sexually, but Chase hasn't told Jacob anything yet. Hopefully Chase will at least trust his best friend Jacob and let him know what he is going through.

Ethan got pulled out of thought when Jacob started to run towards the dug out. He looked over to see what Jacob saw and started running to. As he ran behind Jacob he can see why he ran on the track and field team, the boy can run! It didn't take long for Jacob to get to the dug out and when he did, he started throwing guys to the ground.



{Welcome back to another fun filled chapter of "Jacob Finding His Way". This chapter had so much going on, you as a reader don't know if you are coming or going. At times I had to go back and read what I wrote in order to not get lost. I touched on many plots, with many characters this time.

What is going on with David? Why is he trying so hard to talk Tom out of being part of the football team next year? He gave us a little hint, but that hint created more questions for us. What is he dreaming that has David so scared? All I can say is you need to keep reading to find out what's going on in David's mind.

Poor Ethan he is crushing really hard for Chase. Just when he thinks he can get over Chase, Chase pulls him back in. At the beginning of the chapter Chase talks with him and lets him know what he is feeling. At the same time he asked something huge of Ethan, something I think he had no right to ask, but Ethan agreed. Someone here is going to get hurt no matter where the road goes.

Patricia is being really cool about the whole thing. If Chase finds out that he is gay, not bi or straight, she will be the one that is going to get hurt. I know she says she won't and she will stay friends with Chase if he finds out that he likes guys. But how can she say that when she has said herself that she has always liked Chase. Now she has the guy that she has wanted, it will be very hard for to let him go.

The other person in this triangle is Chris. Ethan made it clear to Chase if he and Chris click; he will go out with Chris. At the same time later in the story Ethan realized he isn't being fair to Chris because he is always thinking about Chase. To make matters even worse Ethan is seeing Chris falling for him. Although Ethan warned Chris at the beginning not to, it's happening. If Ethan can't give Chris the respect and try to see if there can be something between them, he needs to let Chris go before Chris falls even more for him so Chris can move on with the least hurt possible.

An oldie from the past came back into the story. Those that can remember David from the past know what he is. He wasn't in much of the story, but when he appeared he did catch many of you reader's attention. Well he is back and not going anywhere anytime soon. He brings a different plot in the story that I am going to enjoy writing about.

Jacob finally decided to run for student council president off of your emails. A lot of you guys responded to where I should take this plot. Every one of you wanted me to have him run, but divided between senior class president and student council president. I decided to have him run for student council president because of the things he can do there.

Jacob has backing and it looks really good for him to win. He has a great group of friends that is nicely rounded. They can help him get votes in areas that a nerd normally doesn't get votes from; the jocks and the in crowd. It is going to be a long campaign for Jacob, but in the end, no matter what happens, he will be able to stand tall.

Gloria seems to be trying really hard to change. She handed over the talk with Greg to Andy because she knows that she has too much baggage there. Baby steps are all that anyone can ask of anyone when they are changing. I really do believe she is going to change, but it is going to take a lot of highs and lows before she gets there.

Learning to run the store is taking a lot out of Andy Sr.. Then to top it off on his first day he saw that Ana got pushed in the corner. She had to fire the supervisor because of what he did in the past. When Andy saw that, he saw that he can't make mistakes. Ana isn't a person you want to disappoint.

Andy Jr. and Norma, what is going on there? He should not have ever talked with her and now he is seeing that. Do you guys think these two are going to get back together? If so, will the family accept them as a couple? Forget all that for now. Will Norma make amends with Jacob like Andy is insisting?  If she does, will she mean it? I fear that she is two faced and will do whatever she can to get what she wants. Once she gets Andy, she will do every thing in her power to pull Andy away from his family.

I opened so many plots in this chapter I think I skipped some of them in this summation. Don't worry if I did that, they will continue in the chapters to come. My editor will let me know either when we talk or in his Editors Corner. Talking about my editor, I would like to send out thanks to him. Daddy Rick has been my editor and friend now for over a year. Thank you Rick for coming aboard, working as hard as you do and putting up with my hard headedness. I truly hope we have many more years of working together on these stories. This last year has been lots of fun and thank you for that.

As always I can go on and on about the open plots in the story! If I do that, I can actually write several more chapters. There are so many plots that can take a turn at anytime. You might think it is going to go one way, but is lands up going another. Do not miss out on anything, or you will be kicking yourself for it.

There is a so much to answer in the chapters to come. Stick around and keep reading the future chapters, and enjoy! Please email me and let me know how I am doing at jacobmillertex@aol.com, Thanks!}


This sure was a busy chapter!

Ok, just what did Jacob get into at the dugout? Our author is back at it with the cliffhangers. Grrr.

I honestly thought Norma was an issue of the past. I audibly groaned when her character jumped out of the screen at me.

Andy Jr. has been doing the right thing and he just doesn't deserve to have the type of grief Norma brings in his life. Yeah, he screwed up by talking to her. He lead with his heart <or is that `hard'?> and talked to her while in basic training. Now she thinks her talons have a grip on him. I sense that Andy has grown in strength and resolve. He is more centered. He's already demonstrated he's got more spine where Norma is concerned. My money is on Andy Jr. making it and finding a woman that deserves him. He's going to end up being a truly solid guy and the right lady will come into his life. He's not going to fall for Norma's manipulations.

The Chase, Patricia, Chris, Ethan quadrangle is going to get messy. Someone is going to get hurt. Everyone in the situation is trying to act responsibly, with caring and concern for the others, but when the truths emerge, there's going to be heartbreak. It's inevitable.

Ok, we, as readers, are going to have a lot of fun keeping the two David characters distinct in our minds. We have David of David and Tom and we have David the former neighbor and devil worshipper.  Ok, get your score cards out and keep track!

Tony and Dewayne sure have a challenge on their hands with the C-stores! With the sheer number of stores with multiple employees, they are going to need a series of operations supervisors to monitor and stop the losses. Too bad they don't have the current day technology that would help in better control. I'm sure that when they consult with Al, they will come up with a plan. With the apparent volume of losses, they can well afford to staff up with operational supervisors. I hope the stress of running the business nearly on his own won't end up stressing Dewayne to a breaking point.

Andy Sr. sure has his plate full! He's on a steep learning curve becoming a competent manager of a store and he has Gloria to keep on track.  There is also the juggling act keeping an eye on Marie and Greg.

It was great that Jacob got his stitches out. I'm betting he's stoked to get in that fantastic pool with his friends Dewayne. It will be interesting to see in "Beneath The Mask" how Alex is faring getting healed up from the surgery.

Jacob seems to have a lot of backing for his run for student council president. I just hope he's not taking on more than he can reasonably handle adding that job to his other commitments.

Like Jacob, I could go on for many more paragraphs, but I'll spare you that. I have one final thought:

Jacob and I realized just recently that we have been working together for over a year now.  It's been an honor and privilege to be a part of Jacob's work. We end up in vid-chat conversations that last hours discussing and collaborating on the stories I'm involved in. Sometimes the "conversations" become passionate!  Translated, we are both pretty alpha personalities and when we don't agree, it gets real interesting.  If you think his stories are interesting, if you were to know him as I do, you can easily see where the stories come from. Jacob is quite a character in his own right.

Over the past year, although Jacob and I have never met in the flesh, I feel I have gained a life-long friend. I suppose one of these days I'll take the eight hour drive from Dallas to El Paso and see if he is actually for real or just a figment of my computer's imagination.

Until next time,

"Daddy" Rick