{Regrets and Heartaches is pure fiction. As I am writing this story, I am above the age of 21. If you want a story with lots of sex, look elsewhere. This is a love story. Seeing as it is a love story, sex is in there, but it's in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

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

This story cannot be distributed in anyway, shape or form without my expressed consent. I will like to give a shout out to a reader that has helped me with ideas where the story is, thank you!}

Written by J.P.G.

Chapter 15

"Thank you Jacob I really need a friend right now, Things are going on..."

"Hold on for a minute Joey I need to go and tell Jeremy that I am on the phone. Give me a few minutes and I will be right back."

While Jacob went to talk to Jeremy, Joey started to think to himself that this might not have been a good idea. They are barely talking as it is and here he is calling him up as if they are still together. Jacob could be cruel and tell him to go to Caleb but then Joey thought that the Jacob he knows would never do that.

"Sorry about that Joey, like I said I needed to let Jeremy and Alex's little brothers know that I am on the phone. I try to spend time with Jeremy every evening after school. The poor guy is stuck in the house all day with out any friends his age."

"I understand that Jacob, and again thank you for talking with me. I just really need a friend that I can trust that will not judge me." Joey stopped talking for a few seconds trying to figure out the easiest way to get into the conversation he called Jacob about.

"You know about my past and what had happened to me the summer before high school. I thought I was over that, but when my mom and uncle did what they did to me, all those memories came back on top of the memories of that horrible place."

"What happened to you the summer before our freshman year was horrible. To be completely honest with you I do not know how you were able to deal with what had happened to you. I knew it was hard because you didn't tell me anything about it when we first met. Now on top of that you have to deal with the memories of the place you were just at. Even my worst enemy, I don't wish what you went through on them."

"The problem I am  having right now is the fact that I'm not able to sleep at night anymore. At first, it wasn't causing me problems, but now it's getting to the point where I'm falling asleep at work. To make matters worse, the nightmares, I am having all the time now. It got so bad yesterday that I actually wet my pants.

Jacob, I seriously do not know what to do anymore. I am so afraid to close my eyes because the images of those three days in that place keep coming back. It's like I am reliving every moment over and over again. My doctor wants to send me to a therapist, but I told him no because it's going to be on my permanent record. I am so lost right now, I don't even know if I'm coming or going."

"Eventually Joey, you will need professional help. I know that is weird hearing that coming from me. Being that I am the worst person as far as asking for help. You need to be able to sit down and talk out your dreams. Until you are ready and comfortable enough to speak with a therapist, you know I am here for you. So why don't we start off with you telling me about the dreams you're having."

Joey started telling Jacob about the nightmare he has had for the last couple of days. How he didn't fight back when the guy or guys came up behind him and kidnapped him. He couldn't believe how easily it was for them to take him that way. If only he would have fought back he might not have landed up in that place.

Trying to explain to Joey that there was really nothing he could have done to stop them from kidnapping him, Jacob reminded Joey about him trying to get free when he woke up and how they stopped the van and hit him over and over again. If he would've fought them in the school parking lot he would've ended up beaten then like he did when he tried to get free. There was really nothing he could have done to stop those guys from kidnapping him. So he needs to stop kicking himself for that.

As the conversation went on Jacob explained to Joey how he handled his nightmares. First he told Joey that no medicine in the world will be able to get rid of the nightmares. Only talking with people he can trust and will listen to him is this way. Jacob went on explaining to Joey that he needs to stop keeping it from other people, and mainly Caleb. They are now together, and in order for their relationship to get stronger, they need to be able to talk to each other when something is bothering one another.

"I hope that talking about our new boyfriends doesn't make you feel uncomfortable Jacob. That is the last thing I wanted to do after everything that I have done to you. And I know you are right about talking to Caleb about this stuff. With his and your help, I really do believe I can work through this to get stronger."

They talked for about another thirty minutes about the nightmares before making a schedule. Until Joey stops having the nightmares, they decided to speak with each other three times a week after. Since Joey is no longer living in his own home, they decided that Jacob will make the call. That way Caleb's parents don't end up with a huge long distance phone bill.

After hanging up the phone with Jacob Joey just sat in the living room thinking about how his life has changed so much in the last several months. Every change that has happened in his life is because of choices he knows that he has made previously. In order for his future to change for the better, Joey knows that he needs to stop being so hardheaded and ask for help when he needs it.

Before heading off to bed, Joey went upstairs to speak with Helen and Harold. When he reached the top of the staircase he leaned against the wall thinking to himself that he has never before run out of breath climbing a set of stairs. Until now and that is telling him that the minute the cast is off his leg he needs to start exercising. Even if he isn't going to join the football team next year, he cannot get lazy and fat.

As soon as he got his breath Joey headed down the hall to Helen's and Harold's room. After knocking a few times Joey waited for them to invite him in. It didn't take long to hear Harold yell out to come in. Joey cracked the door enough for his head could fit in in order for them to see that he is the one that's knocking on the door. Harold looked up from the bed and waved Joey in.

Helen walked out of the bathroom and joined Harold on the bed. They just looked at Joey as he paced back and forth trying to get his thoughts together on the best way to start the conversation. He is about to tell Helen that he plans to quit after giving her a promise when she hired him that he wouldn't do that to her.

"Until a couple days ago, I didn't know that Caleb basically work part time before I started working. The only reason he is working all these hours right now is because he wants to be with me. Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to use Caleb as an excuse for what I'm about to do. In fact, I should not have mentioned this part as my opener.

Let me start over and tell you what I am honestly here to tell you. For several days now I have been thinking about this. After going back to school today, I realized that I don't have the strength to do everything I would like to do. I feel really bad on coming in here and doing this to you, after promising you I wouldn't do this Helen."

"Before you go any further Joey, why don't you and Caleb come and see me in my office tomorrow. I don't like the idea of my son working all the hours he has been working and still going to school. I had planned to talk with him to cut back on his hours for weeks now. Hopefully you can help me talk some sense into him to dial back on the hours."

"Ma'am I had planned to give you my two week notice. Not to ask you to cut back on my hours, but I agree with you about Caleb. From what I can gather from Caleb, the reason he started working is to save up for a trip he and his friends are taking during spring break. If that's the case, then he doesn't need to work forty hours a week.

With that said, I don't plan to be one of those boyfriends telling his significant other what he can and cannot do. I don't want him working at all to be honest with you and I have told him that much. In fact, I have told him that he should quit and I will give him whatever money he needs for the trip and spending money, but he wouldn't take that offer. Maybe he will at least settle on working fewer hours than he is right now."

Harold knows that Joey would take care of his son, but not spoil him. Paying for a trip that he's not even invited to go on is not right in Harold's mind. If his son does not wake up and see what he has   soon, Harold fears that his son will probably lose one of the best things that has happened to him in his life.

Having done what he came up here to do; Joey thanked Helen and Harold, bid them good night and headed back down to his and Caleb's room. When he walked in he found Caleb already under the covers. Joey quickly   undressed and joined Caleb under the covers.

They lay awake for several more hours and Joey told Caleb what had happened to him that summer before his freshman year. Caleb did not say a word the entire time, while Joey told him about another part of his life that he doesn't ever want to relive. On top of being kidnapped, tortured and what had happened to Joey that summer, Caleb is not surprised now that Joey is having all these nightmares.

The only thing Caleb could do is pull Joey into him and hold him tight. There is not a thing he could say to Joey to make him feel better since he has not gone through anything near what he has already gone through. The best thing he can do is keep his mouth shut, so that he doesn't say the wrong thing to make things worse.

When Joey and Caleb walked into the cafeteria fewer eyes were on them than the day before. Still that didn't stop the others looking at them and talking as if Joey didn't know that they are talking about him. Joey made up his mind yesterday that he isn't going to let this bother him anymore. If they are simpleminded back woods people that cannot stop gossiping, there is nothing Joey can do to stop them.

Before Joey could sit down, Ivan, Kurt and Lonnie started talking all at once. It got to the point that Joey had to tell them to stop and only one speaks at a time. Even after Joey said that all three of them started talking all at once again! This time Caleb stopped them Caleb chose Kurt to talk on behalf of the others.

"The coach asked us to speak with Joey and see if he would come down to his office after breakfast and speak with him. He is starting to put together the next year's football team and asked if we could get Joey to join. We told him that we don't know,  he asked if we could get Joey to come down to speak with him today. So what about it Joey, will you go and see the coach this morning?"

Joey just looked at the guys and couldn't believe the coach actually is asking to speak with him. Just last night he was thinking about being out of shape and maybe joining the football team next year. Now here he is being asked to go down and speak with the head coach of the school's football team.

"Guys to be completely honest with you I do not know if I'm going to play football next year. I went through hell this last year, and I don't plan to try to repeat that again. It took me weeks to get the team to even look at me, much less respect me  seeingI am gay. I do not want to go through all that   again here."

"Before making a decision Joey, why don't you at least give the coach a chance to talk with you? If either of you guys don't like what each of you had to say to each other, all you guy's have to do is say thank you but no thank you. I will not sit here and lie to you that it's going to be easy joining the team for your senior year. Not after all of us have been a part of this team since our freshman year and you might actually take one of our spots."

Agreeing with what Ivan said Joey figured there is nothing to lose on talking with the coach. At least he will know if the coach would want him on the team or not. Plus he will know if this is a team he wants to be part of. To go through all the hard work to get the respect of his fellow teammates it is going to take a lot out of Joey and he wants to make sure it is worth going through that hell again.

As soon as they finished eating, Lonnie and the guys lead the way to the football coach's office. Ivan stepped forward, knocked on the door and told the coach that Joey is here. The coach got up from his desk as Joey and the guys walked in. After saying hello to the guys, the coach introduced himself to Joey.

"Why don't you guys let Joey and me to talk in private for a few minutes? Once he is done, he will meet you guys in the hallway."

Knowing their coach the way they do, they knew that wasn't a question, it was a request. They walked out, leaving Joey alone in the office with the coach. As Joey closed the door, the coach sat behind his desk as he pointed Joey to a chair. Once they got comfortable, the coach started to speak.

"Before asking to speak with you Joey, I spoke with your former coach. He had nothing but good things to say about you. In fact he would do anything to get you back. That tells me a lot about a person when a coach would do anything to get a player back. He also sent me video of your games without me even asking him to.

When I sat down to watch them, I thought maybe it would have a few highlights of you, but boy was I surprised on what I saw. You can play some football. With what I saw on the tapes, most of the wins your team had were because of your ability to break free and get the ball into the end zone or the yards that were needed to get the first down.

I will not lie to you, I am weak in the position that you play. If you join the team, I can guarantee you the starting position. I also need to tell you that I have never had a gay student on my team. At least an open gay student that is. Some of the other players might not take to you right away. I want to be upfront with you from the beginning so you know what you are getting into if you choose to join the team."

"Thank you for being upfront with me. I worked very hard to earn the respect of the team I was on and that wasn't an easy task. Just like you, I want to be upfront as well. I don't want to go through that again my senior year. I believe it is going to be worse here with what I have seen since I have been back.  There is no way I will get those that hate people like me to give me a chance."

"You might be right on that Joey, but again people do surprise you. No one will ever know unless someone actually tries it. I bet you that you were the first open gay person on your football team over there at Newman High School." Joey shook his head. "You worked hard and got the respect of your fellow team members because you earned it. That is the same way here. You will get their respect because you have earned it."

Joey thought about what the coach just said quickly. He is right about how he got the respect from his last team. He earned it on the field and once he did that, they forgot or let go of the fact that he is gay. But once again Joey thought that he doesn't want to go through all that again, not his senior year.

"Look even if you were not gay, you would have a hard time coming in as a senior on this team. Most of these guys have been together since their freshman year. You are an outsider coming in. To make matters worse for them you are better than anyone I have that plays  your position  . Think about that as you weigh the idea of joining."

"I agree with you on that. Why don't we do this first, let's see what my leg looks like when the cast comes off.  Also I don't have all my eyesight back yet. The doctor thinks it will come back, but he doesn't know. So this conversation might be for nothing if my leg doesn't heal right or my eyesight doesn't come completely back."

The coach agreed with Joey. As Joey got up to leave, the coach asked him the minute he gets the cast off and he hears about his eyesight, to come and see him. Even if he decides on not joining the team! That way he will know to look else where for another student to play that position. Joey agreed as he shook the coach's hand and walked out.

The coach watched Joey as he left and couldn't stop hoping that Joey will be good health wise and he will decide to join the team. If he could get him on the team, he will have his first winning season in five years. Already the team he has for next year is going to be hard to beat, but with Joey it will make it a sure thing. For sure they will win the majority, if not all of their games next year--enough to get into the playoffs and go all the way!

Joey found Caleb and the other guys standing at the end of the hall. Before Joey could say a word, Lonnie started asking how the meeting went, joined in by the other two. Joey waited for them all to stop talking so where he could answer the many questions they threw at him all at once.

The first item Joey explained to them is the warning the coach gave him that he is going to have to earn the respect from the other guys. That is one of the things Joey said that he doesn't want to go through again. He had enough of that the first time around. Being gay in a sport that normally looks down at gays, makes it even harder! Then him coming in and right away he has a chance to take a starting position. For sure that will anger some.

"Look Joey I am not going to lie to you, there are some on the team that will never come around to accepting you. Still they want to win and they will accept you over time if that means we have a chance to win. The bottom line here is next year is our last chance to win state. After that, many of the guys are not going to do much more with their lives. That includes me. I already know after I graduate I am going to work for my dad."

"Lonnie I see where you are coming from, but I cannot be part of a team that will accept me only because I can give the team more of a chance to win. Once we are off the field, they don't even give me the time of day. No I do not want that and I don't think any of you would if the shoe were on the other foot."

The guys thought on what Joey just said. Each of them in their own way agreed on what Joey just said. Basically none of them want to be part of a group, team, club or what ever that doesn't want to accept them as they are and only uses them to get what they want and once they get it, they toss them to the side of the road like a piece of trash.

Throughout the day, it got better for Joey. Less and less of his fellow students starred at him and talked about him as he walked by. When he went to lunch, most of the students kept talking to who ever they were talking to at their table when Joey passed by. It didn't take but another thing to happen to another person for the students to stop talking about Joey, after his coming back that first day.

During ROTC, Joey sat down with the current battalion commander and she walked him through the duties of the position. This is something the out going battalion commander does with the incoming battalion commander once they are informed who is taking their spot for the falling year. This has been a tradition this battalion has had for over a decade now.

To say that Joey is surprised is an under statement. He thought that he had lost out on getting that position the moment he got kidnapped. If he was still attending Newman High and this was Major Moore's unit, he would have already looked for another and had him replaced the minute he was gone. But not here, they waited and when Joey came back, he came back to everything being the same.

Just like the day before, as Joey drove out of the school parking lot, he froze where he was parked at that faithful day. When the others students started honking at him again, it dawned on Joey that he probably would never get over the haunting that parking spot gives him. From now on he needs to find a new parking spot away from this one so that he doesn't even pass by it.

All the way to work, Joey couldn't stop thinking to himself that it was weird the parking spot where he was taken from is haunting him so much. When he got jumped at Austin High, he was able to walk in that area afterwards without freezing up the way he is freezing when he passes the parking spot. What is so different that is making him act the way he is acting? It's not like it is going to happen again, Joey keeps telling himself.

As soon as they drove up to work, Joey and Caleb clocked in and walked up to Helen's office as she requested. They had to wait for her because she wasn't there when they first arrived. Caleb started to get nervous that the day shift might get mad with him and Joey if they don't show up in time, but Joey kept calming him down.

After they waited another fifteen minutes, Joey pulled Caleb down the hall. Its a few minutes before the shift is to leave and they are to take over. Since they have no idea where Helen is, Joey doesn't want to get the night manager angry with them. Already the manager despises him and Caleb because he feels they get away with a lot more than the other workers due to the fact that they are the sons of the store manager.

A few minutes after taking over the video store, Helen walked in out of breath; apologizing to both Joey and Caleb. Neither of the boys is angry with Helen, they just didn't want to get into trouble with the nightshift manager.

"Okay we can talk here since Tuesdays are as slow as Mondays. If a customer comes in, we stop talking until the customer leaves. That way they don't hear what we are talking about." Helen sat down on a stool behind the counter.

"I really don't know what is going on here. Joey told me that you wanted to talk with us as soon as we got to work today. I didn't ask why, I just said okay. What ever it is, you need to tell us that way we can say our piece."

"Caleb, I talked with Helen last night and informed her what I told you earlier in the day. I want to quit working and concentrate on school. I don't plan to not help with bills around the house. It's just I don't need to work right now since Al is investing my money again. I can live off the earnings of the investments Al does for me."

Caleb reacted, "I thought it was just talk on what we were doing yesterday. I didn't know you were serious. If I knew that, I would have talked with you more about it instead of leaving you in the living room like I did. Right now I have no plans on quitting my job or allow you to give me money like some kind of housewife."

Both Helen and Joey were surprised on how Caleb is taking the news. In Joey's mind it wasn't as if he sprung this on him. He did talk to him first before going to Helen. When Caleb walked away, Joey thought that he had said his piece on the subject. Since he didn't object, he thought it was a green light. The only thing Joey thought was left in the air was Caleb quitting and now that has been answered.

"Helen, could we go up to your office and speak? We already know where Caleb stands, but I still want to deal with what we discussed lat night concerning my employment."

Not needing to be asked twice, Helen agreed. They walked up to her office, leaving Caleb by himself to run the video department. Normally Joey is split between the video department and somewhere else in the store on Monday's, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It isn't busy enough to keep two employees in the department on the first three days of the week, but at the same time Helen wants to give both of them their hours.

"Before making a rash decision that you cannot take back, why don't you think about moving to part time work. Come in only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. That way you have a little spending money in your pocket to do what ever." Joey looked at Helen with a confused look on his face. "I know you don't need the money, but you and Caleb work so well together I don't want to break you two apart."

Joey thought about it for a few minutes. "Okay, move me to part time hours after this week. I don't want to put you in a bad spot trying to find someone to fill my shifts. Just so you know I am not doing this so much for Caleb, but more for you. I promised you the day you hired me that I will not quit on you. I am a man of my word. You took a chance on me, its just right I don't destroy the trust I have built with you."

Helen smiled at Joey and agreed to switch him to part time, starting next week. As Joey left, he thanked her for everything. She looked at him as he left and couldn't believe how lucky her son is. She is going to move Joey to part time on the schedule, as promised, but not on his paperwork. Helen is going to keep Joey full time and list the reason he is only working part time hours right now is because of doctor's orders.

When Joey walked back into the video department, it is as empty as it was when he left. He thought to himself as he made his way to the counter on how much he hates the beginning of the week. It is so slow, the hours just drag on. At first he didn't mind it, but now he does. In order to past the time, Joey brings his homework to do.

For the first hour, Caleb kept himself busy on the floor. He even started dusting the shelves where he doesn't have to talk with Joey. While Joey was up in Helen's office, Caleb thought about the way he acted after Joey told him what he did. The more he ran that conversation over and over in his mind, the more he sees he was wrong.

Once he ran out of work to do on the floor, Caleb walked up to the counter. To his surprise, Joey didn't talk about what had happened. Instead Joey wanted Caleb's opinion about joining the football team. Joey told Caleb in detail the conversation he had with the coach so he could have all the facts to give an opinion.

"The decision is yours to make Joey. You know what you went through the first time when you joined the football team in your last high school. What I can tell you it isn't going to be much easier here. But I can promise you that you will have me and my friends behind you. With what I understand you didn't have that when you first joined your last football team. No matter what, I will always have your back."

"Thank you and that will weigh a lot in my decision. You are right about the fact that I didn't have anyone on the team when I joined. The other gay guy on the team was too scared to come out. When he finally did, I already paved the road."

In between customers, Joey and Caleb talked about the football team. Joey saw that there are some differences between to two teams, but nothing major. Joey also realizes also if he joins he will be the only out gay player. Yes Caleb is out, but only to his friends. Joey doesn't see Caleb coming out to the entire football team.

The shift dragged on, but when it finally ended, Joey and Caleb couldn't wait to go home. Once the manager counted their registers, locked up the video department, Joey and Caleb clocked out and almost ran out of the store. When they got in the truck, they sat almost on each others laps until the truck warmed up. Even when the truck warmed up, Joey kept his arms around Caleb, holding him until they got home.

When they walked into the door, Fran handed Joey the phone with Jacob on the other end. While Helen prepared dinner for Joey and Caleb, Joey spoke with Jacob. Although it was a lot shorter call then the night before, Joey felt good when he hung up. Something about Jacob's voice or the way he says things always soothes Joey. Keeps him from going crazy with the things that are bothering him in his life!

After dinner, Joey and Caleb went to their room instead of watching television. They already had done their homework at work, but the others in the house don't know that. Even if they did, they know that they have been together already several times. But this evening Joey and Caleb just cuddled with each other.

They talked, but nothing serious. A lot was said the night before between them. They didn't want another heavy night like that, not in a row. All they wanted with each other is to be with each other. Feel each other's breath, their warmth on each other's skin and them just being there holding one another.

The next morning when Harold arrived at the court house, he saw several state trooper cars in the parking lot. Normally that isn't weird, but these are state trooper cars from the state of Texas. Normally if a police officer from another state is in a court house in a state that the state trooper isn't from, it is to either drop someone off or pick someone up. If they are here at the courthouse, it means they are here to pick someone up. If they were here to drop someone off, they would be at the county jail.

The minute Harold walked into the building, he was proven wrong. Four state troopers walked up to Harold and asked to speak with him in his chambers. Not giving him any more information, they followed Harold.

Like always, Harold is the first one in so he had to turn on all the lights, put on the coffee before sitting down with the state troopers. Once he got his coffee, a cup for each state trooper, Harold directed them into his chambers. Instead of sitting behind his desk, Harold sat down in a chair and the troopers sat in the other chairs or couch.

"Your honor we were directed by our captain to speak with you directly once we got into town. We have been waiting for you for a couple of hours and are glad that you come in early." The trooper drank some of his coffee.

"Now the reason we came down here is to let you know about a break through Governor Lopez and his staff has gotten. The Mexico president has taken a positive step to end the stand off. He agreed to turn over Dominic Alvarez to us late last night. Once he was handed over we came straight here."

"You mean Dominic Alvarez is being booked in our county jail?"

"No sir he is about twenty minutes away. Just in case the press got wind of what was going on, we used three different state trooper cars to confuse the press. The other state troopers are coming straight to the court house where Mr. Alvarez can get in front of a judge and get the warrant executed on him and bail set."

"Trust me when I say this guy isn't going to get bail." Harold picked up the phone and called in another judge before he continued talking with the state troopers. "I cannot have Mr. Alvarez in front of me since I am too close to this case. So I made sure there is a judge available to greet him--a judge who is aware of what is going on and will not allow this guy to get bail again."

Noticing that the state troopers didn't like what they heard, Harold got up and walked behind his desk. Just as the state trooper that let Harold know the news was about to say something, Harold got on the phone. He woke up Detective Benson and told him to get down here as soon as he can after giving him the news.

Once he got off the phone. Harold called over the state troopers. "By the looks of it, you guys don't like what is going on down here. Either you don't like what the guy is being arrested for or that it looks like the deck is stacked up against him. Let me tell you no matter what I think of this guy, he will get a fair trial. So let's head on down to the courtroom where he will be going to and get him an attorney for the proceedings."

Harold directed the troopers to the private elevator as they headed to the other courtroom. As soon as they got off the elevator, Harold went in and did as he said he was going to do and that is get Dominic an attorney. Luck would have it; the attorney that got Dominic's other case was in the courtroom and agreed to keep him as a client.

After getting the attorney for Dominic, Harold flagged the state troopers down. They headed out to the front of the courtroom. When they walked out, they couldn't believe that the news has traveled to the local news. Every local channel has already set up in front of the building hoping to get video of Dominic being walked into the court house. They were reporting that both of the fugitives are being turned over this morning. Just as Harold started to walk over to correct them, he saw the state trooper car arriving.

They waited to pull Dominic out of the car for local police to show up. Once they showed up, they pushed the press and the crowd that gathered to see the fugitives being handed over back behind an invisible line. The Texas State Troopers helped Dominic out of the car and walked him into the court house.

Detective Benson walked in right behind them, ready to take custody of Dominic, but the state troopers refused. They will not hand over the fugitive until a judge shows them the arrest warrant. That angered Detective Benson and Harold, but they agreed.

All the way to the courtroom, Dominic didn't stop smiling. Neither Harold nor Detective Benson could figure out why he is smiling. Harold thought it must be an inside joke between him and the state troopers, but what ever it is, the smile will be gone shortly. He will be theirs and this time they will not let him get away.

The press got off the public elevator and ran into the courtroom just as Dominic walked off the private elevator. Harold saw the press down the hall so he directed the state troopers to the private halls that only court staff and judges use. Although he wants the city to see that one of the two has been turned over, he also doesn't want to give Dominic or his defense attorney anything to use to over turn a verdict.

When they arrived at the side entrance of the courtroom, Dominic's attorney asked to speak with him in private. Detective Benson and the state troopers walked to a conference room and made sure it was clear before letting the two talk in private. Before letting the attorney go in, they made him empty his pockets and leave his briefcase on the desk outside of the conference room.

Mean while the judge set down the ground rules for the press. He made it clear to them if they interrupt the proceedings, they will be removed from the courtroom. For now he will allow the press in the court proceedings, but no one else that is not directly involved in the case, like family and police.

A few minutes later, Dominic and his attorney walked into the courtroom. The press started taking pictures as Dominic sat down at the defense table. Before settling in, the judge called the courtroom into session. The bailiff read off the charges and then the judge asked the state troopers to hand over custody of the prisoner. After handing over custody, the state troopers were directed to take a seat.

"You are a very hard man to get Mr. Alvarez. Has your attorney informed you what you are being charged with? And has he told you why you are before me today?"

Dominic stood up before speaking. "Yes your honor my attorney has explained everything to me."

"Let's start with the first warrant of revoking you bail that was given to you when you were arrested for abusing the minor child Joey Alvarez. I here by revoke your bail and reset it at one million dollars, cash or bond."

"Your honor, can't my client explain to the court why he did what he did?"

"No your client cannot! When he was given the bail he was told not to leave the city of Alamogordo. Not only did he leave the city, the state but he ran clear across the border to Mexico, causing an international up roar. There is no way I am going to give your client another chance to take off across the border again.

Let's move on to the other charges before this court against your client. As my bailiff reads off the charge, Mr. Alvarez I need you to say either guilty or not guilty. Once you plea I will set your bail for each charge."

"Your honor we waive the reading, but not the rights. My client pleads not guilty to each and every one of the charges. I am asking this court to set bail low enough that my client could afford to make bail. He has the right to help with his defense and being locked up hinders him from doing that. As well he is not a threat to the community and will hand over his passport to the court to ensure that he will appear before you in the future."

"Nice try counselor, he can help with his defense behind bars like so many other defendants do. For each charge I am remanding your client without bail. He has shown this court that he is willing to run when he thinks things are not going good for him. Like I said before there is no way I am going to give your client another chance to run for the border where he can get across without a passport."

"Your honor, remanding my client on these charges when normally a defendant is given bail on the same charge is wrong. Bail, that the defendant can afford to make, is what I am asking your honor to reconsider and be fair with my client."

"I am being fair with your client. If he didn't already jump bail I would have given him ROR on these charges as I normally do with cases like these. But since you client was out on ROR and jumped his bail. I cannot give him ROR again. You client has shown this court that he cannot be given bail."

The judge ordered Dominic to be taken into custody and booked at the county jail. Harold noticed when he was being handcuffed, the smile that he had on his face when they were on the elevator is gone. Now Harold cannot help but smile that Dominic has nothing to smile about anymore. He is now going to be locked away and not going to be given another chance to flee the country.

As they walked to Harold's chambers, Detective Benson and he talked. They feel good that they got one of the two, but they want both of them. Now they fear Governor Lopez will stop leaning on the Mexican government since they handed over one of the fugitives. If he does that, both of them know that they will never get their hands on Beth.

Before Detective Benson left, Harold promised him that he will make a few calls and find out what is going on as far as Beth. If Governor Lopez is going to end the stand off to save face, both of them want to know. That way they could look at other avenues to get Beth out of Mexico and in front of a judge.

Joey heard the news about Dominic being handed over on his way to school. He couldn't believe this is happening to him. After going through two rough days, it is going to start all over again. Just when it seemed the other students are starting to move on, now shit is about to hit the fan again. For sure they will eat Joey alive when he arrives at school.

Just as Joey thought, as he walked down the hall, every student stopped what they were doing and looked at him. And just like before they started whispering to their friends as they saw Joey pass them. There is no doubt in Joey's mind on what or who they are whispering about, him and his uncle being brought back.

Trying his best, Joey put on a happy face as if none of this is bothering him. Underneath is another story. Joey has no idea how he is going to be able to handle the kids here in this school talking about him. It is more difficult because they had started moving on and now they are back talking about him and pointing at him as he passes them.

To make the moment a little better, Joey saw Angelo and several other guys from the foster home standing at the entrance of the cafeteria. With a big smile, Joey walked up and shook their hands. Now he has his owns friends, not Caleb's, to hang out with.

"What the hell is wrong with these guys here? They are acting as if they never saw or heard of someone being arrested before. What they need is a reality check. Someone needs to yell out to them that they need to mind their own fucking business. They need to look at their own lives, because I can promise you they have skeletons in their closets."

Joey laughed as he hit Angelo on the back. "You are a sight for sore eyes. Boy am I glad to see you guys. When I need friends in my corner, here you are. Just like at that place, you are saving me once again.  Thank you and I hope you will join Caleb and me at our table."

"Of course we will! Hell you and Caleb are the only ones we know here. There is no way we are going to sit somewhere else when we have you guys to hang out with. Plus by the looks of it you need me to straighten up some of these kids. If they don't stop starring, I am going to knock a few of them around to make them stop."

Angelo said it loud enough for the students in ear shot to hear and they did. They quickly turned away from Joey and the others and either started eating or talking to their friends. If they are talking about Joey, he doesn't know and doesn't care. All he cares about is for them to stop starring at him as he walks by.

The minute they walked up to the table, Lonnie and the guys introduced themselves. Angelo and the guys from the foster home greeted Lonnie and his friends with a hand shake and their names. By the time the introductions were done, their breakfast was cold and Joey teased everyone about it.

Caleb and his friends talked amongst themselves, leaving Joey and the guys from the foster home to talk. So Joey took this opportunity to see how everything is going. Making sure they had everything they need from food, to school supplies all the way to school clothes. Each of them said they have everything they need, but if they think of something they will make sure to let Joey know.

Once business was done, Joey asked to see their schedules. Joey had hoped they had classes together, but they don't. Not one class and that surprised Joey because this school is a smaller than Newman High. Since the school is smaller, Joey thought that they didn't have that many teachers to teach the same class, but it wasn't the case.

"Hey Joey have you thought about joining the football team?" Ivan tossed a grape at Joey. "We talked with several guys on the team yesterday about you and they are excited that coach asked you to come out for try outs. They heard about you, from us of course, and they want you on the team."

"I have thought about it, but I still haven't made up my mind. Like I told the coach yesterday we need to see what my leg looks like when the cast comes off in a couple of weeks. Plus I need to see if I can see!" Joey pointed at his eyes, causing the others to laugh. "Right now I got some of my eyesight back, but not all of it."

That started everyone to put in their two cents in about Joey going out for the football team. Even Angelo told Joey that he should try out and then asked if he could as well. Lonnie promised Angelo to check in on that for him and returned to trying to talk Joey into coming out for try outs.

"I tried to move the subject away from you, but it looked like these guys really want an answer!" Angelo leaned over and whispered in Joey's ear.

When Angelo leaned over to whisper in Joey's ear, Caleb caught it, but got the wrong idea. For the first time in his and Joey's relationship, he is jealous. Here is a cute, gay guy leaning in and making his boyfriend laugh. A laugh that he normally gets from Joey when ever he says something to Joey that makes him feels good.

The bell rang right when Caleb was about to say something. Instead he let it go and decided to talk with Joey   in private later. If this kid Angelo makes him feel good, it is a problem, Caleb thought. A problem that needs to be taken care of immediately before it gets out of control.

If only Caleb knew what Jacob went through as those two dated? It would give Caleb more reason to think Joey could be taken easier than he thinks. Hopefully Joey not only leaned from the past but is a man of his word. He stated that he has learned from his mistakes and will not commit to the same mistakes again.

On the way to the class, Joey noticed that Caleb was either thinking about something or was angry. Either way he decided not to ask. Just in case Caleb is angry, he doesn't want a scene in the middle of the hall. Not with his fellow students already looking at him, Joey knows he cannot afford anything else to go wrong.

Impatiently Harold waited for his calls to be returned from the governor's office. He doesn't care who calls him back, just as long as someone does. He wants and needs to know what the status of Beth is. He is happy that Governor Lopez got Dominic turned over, but he wants the most evil of the two.

In the middle of his thoughts, the phone started to ring, causing Harold to jump from his seat. He fumbled with the phone as he picked it up from the desk. He ended up dropping the phone on the floor. Trying to get control of his nerves, Harold picked the receiver up from the ground, sat down on his sit and answered it.

"Your honor, this is Mr. Anderson, the state attorney general of Texas. I understand you have been trying to reach someone here about questions concerning Beth Alvarez, am I correct sir?" Mr. Anderson voice came across a little angry.

"Yes I called to see what the situation with Beth Alvarez is. Don't get me wrong, we wouldn't have Dominic Alvarez without the help from Governor Lopez and his office. I just want to know if he made some kind of deal to get Dominic into our custody like not asking for Beth Alvarez and easing up on his stance."

"Not a problem, I believe I can answer your questions." Harold could hear papers being moved around on the other end of the phone. "Governor Lopez didn't make any deal with the Mexican government or President on getting Dominic Alvarez into your custody. They called us up and informed us that they are going to turn him over. We had no idea that was in the making, but we didn't reject it either.

Our thoughts on them turning Mr. Alvarez over are for one that he isn't a citizen of Mexico, unlike Beth. Secondly they are trying to smooth the rough relationship between them and the Border States. We honestly believe that they are hoping that this will soften our resolve, but it has done the opposite."

"So what you are telling me is that you guys are still asking for the Mexican government to turn Beth over to us."

"Yes and we have no plans to change our course of action. To many times in the past, the Mexican government has pushed the Border States around. Either by threats or using the federal government to threaten to pull federal dollars from our states! After showing the other border stats how to make up the loss of federal dollars, they are standing on our side.

The Mexican government is now feeling the pinch and it is only going to get worse. We still haven't even executed everything that we plan to make the government of Mexico to see they need to turn over Beth Alvarez. When we put the full plan into action, they will fold and in return they will hand over Beth. Until that happens, we have no plans what so ever on easing up on Mexico."

"That is all I needed to know Mr. Anderson. To be honest with you I was thinking the worst of this governor. Truly he is a different politician, a politician that is a man of his word. Please thank him for us and let him know if there is anything he needs from us, just call. I promise it will get done."

"Not a problem and if you have any questions just give me a call." Mr. Anderson gave Harold his private extension and home number. "We are hoping to end this soon, but again,   we are in it for the long haul. You take care and remember that if you need anything, just call me up."

Harold thanked Mr. Anderson again before hanging up with him. He got up from his desk thinking how wrong he was about the governor of Texas. After this call, he will never again think the way he thought of the governor. Just like he told his kids weeks ago, this guy is putting his career on the line and that is something that cannot be taken lightly.

Right when the lunch bell rang, Alan ran to Fran's locker to try and catch her before she headed to the cafeteria. Just as he reached Fran's locker, she was shutting the door and spinning her combination lock. She looked down at Alan as he put his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath. Trying not to laugh, Fran helped Alan to the wall.

"Why in the world did you run across the campus? You know that we always meet in the cafeteria for lunch. What ever you have to say, it could have waited until you saw me either in the line or at the table."

"That's it right there; I didn't want you to get your lunch. A couple of guys invited me and you to eat off campus. We need to hurry to meet them at their car in order to have a ride. That is if you want to eat off campus."

"You know how much I dislike eating the food here at school. Now with that said, neither of us has the money to go out to eat." Alan started to shake his head no when Fran grabbed his chin. "We have the little bit of lunch money we are given each day, but it isn't enough to eat off campus. I don't want a dollar meal because it will not fill me up, sorry but I don't want to be starving by fifth period."

"Okay we better get going to the cafeteria before the line gets too long. I just thought it was good to have a change once in a while. Plus we were invited by people outside the circle of friends that involve your brother and Caleb."

"I love you Alan and I see where you are coming from. We do need to make our own friends and we will--just not at the cost of you and me going hungry." Alan grabbed Fran's hand as they waited in line to get their lunch.

Although Alan and Fran don't sit with Joey and his group at school, Alan feels that the only friends they have are Joey's. He wants to get his own group of friends so he and Fran are not always sitting alone during lunch and breakfast. He would like to able to go and hang off   campus during lunch or just hang after school or during the weekends.

Fran could see that Alan isn't too happy not having friends. But he needs to understand that they are both new at this school. Neither of them has made friends, but they will. It will just take time. And when they do get their group of friends, they will be true friends.

When Joey and Caleb reached the cafeteria, Lonnie and the guys asked to speak with Caleb alone. Joey didn't argue with the guys, he headed into the cafeteria, leaving Caleb alone with Lonnie. Joey never liked to be controlled, so he isn't about to control Caleb's every move. If Caleb's friends want to talk with Caleb alone, Joey knows there is nothing to worry about.

As Joey walked into the cafeteria, Caleb followed the guys to the bathroom. When they walked in, Ivan leaned against the door while Lonnie and Kurt checked the stalls. Once they made sure that there was no one else in the bathroom, they started speaking.

"You know we have accepted the fact that you and Joey are a couple. It took a lot to do so, but we did." Lonnie walked up to Caleb. "Now there are five other guys sitting at our table that are gay. We don't want to be known as the table where gay guys come and hang out at. People might get the wrong idea about me, Ivan and Kurt."

"You know what, I don't care what people think about me or the friends I choose to hang out with, neither should you. You guys are not gay, so that should be enough to keep others from thinking that you are. If you guys are not comfortable with yourselves, then it isn't those that are sitting at the table, it is yourselves."

"Bullshit and you know what you just said is bullshit Caleb. We are comfortable in our own skin, but just look at what is going on right now. Everyone that attends this school looks at Joey and talks about him as he walks pass them. On top of that five other guys that are gay, that were in that place are now part of our group of friends. We will defend Joey, but now with these guys it makes it even harder."

"If you guys really want Joey on the team, prove it to him. Accept those guys as our friends to start out with. Then you need to get the rest of the football team to come in defense of Joey. If the other students here see that the football team is behind Joey, they will stop fucking with Joey. If you do these two things, I can assure that Joey will join the team like we all want him to."

Not needing to talk it over with the other two, Lonnie agreed with Caleb. They will accept the guys as their friends and get the football team to show their support for Joey. With that it should stop the other students once and for all on talking and looking at Joey. At the same time it might move Joey to say yes to join the team

As they left the bathroom and headed to the cafeteria, Caleb made Lonnie, Kurt and Ivan promise to not ever tell Joey what they talked about. They agreed without hesitation with Caleb as they grabbed their lunch. When they reached their table, they joined into the conversation that Joey and the others are in.

All through lunch Caleb kept wondering when Joey is going to confront him about what got discussed between him and the other guys, but Joey never did. That surprised Caleb because if it was him he would have asked. Since Joey never did ask, Caleb felt even worse that the conversation even had happened.

When fifth period rolled around, Joey couldn't wait for the school day to end. Put aside that everyone is looking and talking about him, he is just dead on his feet. Feeling the way he is feeling, Joey regrets pushing his doctor to let him get back to his normal schedule. He is now thinking that maybe he should have taken a little more time at home before coming back to school, work and now putting up the foster home.

As soon as roll call was taken, the company commander ordered the platoon sergeants to take their platoons to the range to start marksmanship training. Just as Joey got up to follow the class into the range, Colonel Chandler called him over. Instead of going into his office, Colonel Chandler asked Joey to walk with him.

"My battalion commander told me this morning that you seem to be somewhere else except here. I know that you are trying to get used to coming back to school and putting what had happened to you here behind you. If that happened to me, I don't know if I could ever return to the place I was taken from. You are a better man than I am because not only have you come back here; you are kicking this places butt.

Next year I have plans for you Joey. You came to us when we needed a battalion commander for next year. What ever you do, don't give up now. I know that is easier than said, but I am saying it anyways."

While Colonel Chandler spoke to Joey, he also told Joey the history of the battalion. How much tradition is in it and that every battalion commander must carry on that tradition. At one point Colonel Chandler opened a huge book that lies in the back of the room. Joey has seen it, but never opened it because he feared that if he did he would get into trouble.

The book had pictures of every battalion commander, his staff, the officers and then the companies. Just like Newman High School, it tells a story. As Joey looked at the pictures he understood exactly what the colonel was saying. The tradition of this battalion is passed down from one graduating class to the other.

"Joey next year this battalion is going to be yours to run. Since you came late to the party, I need you to spend as much time as you can with the out going battalion commander. Then you and I will sit down and pick your battalion staff." Joey looked at Colonel Chandler stunned on what he just said.

"Don't forget you will be going up for brigade staff next year. If you get a position on brigade staff, you need to have someone with whom you are comfortable to take over your position. Because of that, I have my incoming battalion commander sit with me and help pick his/her battalion staff."

Right then so many things started flooding into Joey's mind. Things that Jacob put together and helped implement in the last couple of years. Not wanting to steal from Jacob, Joey told Colonel Chandler about the ideas and who originally came up with them. Ideas that he saw that worked at Newman and are not in effect here.

"You see that is why I choose you to be the battalion commander, for ideas like that. Plus you didn't take credit for the ideas, which you could have. Instead you told me the idea and also told me who came up with the ideas. That young man over there at Newman High is a very smart and not afraid to point out where the system is flawed."

For the rest of the period, Joey took Colonel Chandler step by step on how things were put in at his old battalion. Explaining that it takes time, it cannot happen over night. Colonel Chandler agreed with Joey, but wanted Joey to start working on several of the ideas. He wants to see if some of them could be put into place before the end of the year.

During sixth period, Joey couldn't stop writing about each program that he saw Jacob put together. Just when he thought he had them all down, another one popped into his mind. He would finish writing that one down and once again another one. Right before the bell rang, Joey made himself a note to talk with Jacob about this tonight in their phone call.

Although it was another slow day again at work, Joey kept himself busy with his homework. When he finished up with his homework, he went back to the list to see if he forgot anything. Each time he looked at the list, he saw a mistake or remembered something that Jacob said that would have made the program better.

Joey really wanted to show Caleb what he is working on, but he thought Caleb might not understand what he is talking about since he isn't in ROTC. The last hour of shift, Caleb proved him wrong. Yes Caleb had no idea what Joey was talking about, but he did listen and help him come up with easier ways to do things in some of the programs.

All the way home they talked about what Joey is working on. Caleb really got into it. By the time they drove up to the house, they stayed in the truck talking about the ideas. It took Alan to run out and tell Joey that he has a phone call to get them out of the truck and into the house. Even then, Caleb stayed with Joey as he discussed the ideas with Jacob.

Both Joey and Caleb were surprised that not only was Jacob not mad that Joey presented his ideas to another school, but he helped Joey out. He explained where there were flaws in the programs and how they fixed those flaws. Jacob didn't want Joey to go through the headaches trying to fix things when he had already done that.

By the time Joey got off the phone with Jacob, he had a blue print on how to get things moving on each of the programs. Between Jacob and Caleb, he got what took Jacob almost two years to get done, done in one night. What the biggest surprise of the night was how Jacob and Caleb got along as they talked. They threw ideas out and they both came up with solutions. It felt like all three of them have known each other for years.

For the first time in a long time when Joey and Caleb crawled into bed, Joey couldn't wait to go to school tomorrow. He finally has something to look forward to and take his mind off of what is going on at school. As his head hit the pillow, Joey was out like a light. He didn't wake up once through the night until morning. This was the first night that Joey slept through since he was taken.



{I hope you enjoyed this chapter as much as I did writing it. It only covered several days, but a lot happened in those days. More and more in each of my stories I am trying to bring in every character in every chapter. Even if it is only for a little bit, I will try to get all the characters in. That way you will know they are there and something is going on.

I picked up where the last chapter left off on, the phone call to Jacob. Now in Jacob Finding His Way chapter sixty-two the same phone call was written in that chapter. It was just written in Jacob's point of view. I spent a little more time with the call in this chapter than I did in Jacob's, but I know you are reading both stories.

Anyways let's talk a little bit about what is going on in Joey's life. He has a big problem with these nightmares. I agree with Jacob, he needs professional help. At the same time I am glad that Jacob didn't turn his back on Joey. I hope in time Joey realizes that he needs help and goes and get the help he needs before the nightmares take over his life.

While this is going on, Joey made a big decision concerning his job. He knows he is being pulled too thin and something had to give. I am glad he decided to cut back, but he ended up not doing what he wanted to do, that is quit. Instead he cut his hours back to part time. That really will not help when he gets fully back to school.

The football team is really going after Joey to join the team. Even the coach had a sit down with Joey trying to talk him into joining the team. A blind mouse can see where Joey is coming from when he says he doesn't want to go through what he went through in his last school. He has no problem earning respect as a new guy, but he knows the team will not accept him because he is gay.

Let's hope that Joey makes it through the days until the other students move on and stop talking and looking at him as he passes them at school. Eventually they will, but the stress it is putting on Joey is a lot. To be honest with you I think if any of us could go through what Joey is going through. We would tell them to mind their own fucking business. But Joey is a lot better than that and he will let them tire their selves out.

Colonel Chandler has big plans for Joey in the coming year. Even more now since Joey told him about all the programs that were created at his old school. I am glad that both Caleb and Jacob were able to work with Joey on this. I am also glad that this gives Joey something to finally look forward to.

We saw a little bit of Fran and Alan in this chapter. Alan has it right, but Fran does as well. They are both new at the school and it will take time for them to get their own group of friends. Don't forget Joey's group of friends is there because of Caleb. If he never became friends and then boyfriends to Caleb, Joey would not have the group of friends that he has now, at least the football players.

In this chapter we also saw Angelo and several other boys from the foster home start school. I hope Joey and them become really good friends in the chapters to come. I also hope Lonnie and the other two don't get any ideas. We know about the conversation that was held in private that Joey doesn't know about. It is starting to look like Lonnie and the other two are not as accepting as they have shown about gays.

Finally let's talk a little bit about Dominic. I know there have been several chapters since we have heard about Dominic and Beth. I am glad that Dominic got turned over and that Governor Lopez isn't pulling back until Beth is turned over.  I hope that they get the justice they deserve and the only way that will happen is if their luck runs out. Up until now they have been lucky. That is the only logical explanation to how Beth and Dominic have gotten away with what they have gotten away with.

There is so much going on in this saga. I can keep writing, but I won't. You guys are going to need to tune in to the next chapter to see what is going on. More plots are going to open and old ones will be closed. This story, like my others, will keep you on your toes. Don't miss what is coming up in the chapters to come.

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 last section of this chapter was powerful in that it gave us a major hint as to the "nightmare" problem's solution.  Joey had just had a very busy and fulfilling day with his mind being used extensively.   This involved him interacting constructively with others---adults and peers.  Then came a full night of uninterrupted   sleep!

Can Joey benefit from meeting with a good therapist?  My answer is "Absolutely" and I hope he moves in this direction soon.  While I have been told that I am an excellent scholar, teacher, and leader, I am proud that I have sought a therapist's help to enable me to be a better spouse and that has resulted in 48+ years of marriage.

Seeking/wanting help is the key element here and Joey must want such support!  All couples regardless of age or gender combo who seek to have a positive and meaningful relationship need to work on their communications with each other.  Such a 'duo-counseling' program might well enable Caleb to be even more effective in helping Joey to move forward in resolving his own issues.

But yet we must remember that Joey is just a teenager and has almost a decade more of growth---especially to that part of the brain that helps us make good decisions.

I am glad he does have some strong support systems in place.

My fears center around the kinds of events that just seem to pop up out of nowhere with the potential for major problem making.  Can he really turn his shelter dream into reality?  Will he mother and uncle resurface to create trouble?  Harold is a judge, but just how much power does he have? Joey and Caleb seem to have a solid relationship that is growing, but both are young and have not had a strong emotional foundation so essential for a good 'partnership'.

I have the feeling that major changes may be in the works for our characters in this story.  I am anxious to receive the next chapter so that I can answer at least some of my questions posed above.  Stay tuned, and PLEASE EMAIL OUR AUTHOR so that he benefits from your reactions/predictions/perceptions!!!!

--Kent D. (sw Ohio area)