{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 is 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 17

Hi, this is Editor Ed. Let us visit an area of confusion you will have at the beginning of this chapter. Joey's story is a little behind Jacobs right now. When we left Jacob's story last he had spent the day with his house friends helping Joey get the hotel ready. Now this chapter has Joey and his boys going back to Alamogordo, New Mexico. If you missed it, they were only visiting the weekend at the hotel while Harold decided if he would take the Judge job in El Paso. Then they needed to go back and pack up and move to the hotel.

So remember it is the weekend and they are only visiting the hotel and then back home to pack for the move. This will take chapter 17, 18, and 19 to be caught up with Jacob's story. These three chapters will be posted in the next week before we go back to the famous cliffhanger with Jacob. Yes, I know, but I can tell you it is worth the wait.

Alex's story is the same way as Judge Harold has already had a trial in El Paso. It will all work out by the first of next week. Now as they say, on with the show. Thank you.


Joey and Caleb went up to the penthouse two when they returned from eating. They sat alone in the living room talking about the move. Caleb asked Joey a lot of questions, and Joey tried to answer them all. However, Joey did not have answers for some questions. All he was able to tell Caleb is that they will find out together.

The boys were brought out of their little world when they heard a light thump on the wall between the two pent houses. Joey walked over to the wall and placed his ear on the wall to try to hear what was being said. He could hear someone talking on the other side, but it was too muffled and low for him to make out anything that was being said.

He walked over to Caleb and pulled him off the covered couch. They walked out of the penthouse, down one floor and over to the other elevator and back up to pent house one. Right when the door opened, they were greeted by Harold and Helen. Not asking any questions, Joey and Caleb followed Caleb's parents into the living room.

"Helen and I were discussing a few things while you boys were next door. We want to run this by you guys and see what you think." They did not say anything, they just looked at Harold. "I take your silence as you want to hear what Helen and I have been discussing. It is very simple really.

You two have the rest of this year and next year living at home. Joey, you have already been living on your own for a few years now. What we have to propose to you is that we do not knock down the walls between the two penthouses. You Joey, and my son, get your own penthouse to yourselves. When ever our daughter comes up to visit, she stays in one of the empty rooms in your penthouse, but other than that, you two have the place to yourselves.

We have Fran and Alan in our penthouse since they are under age. Each of them will get a room for themselves." Harold looked at his son and Joey and saw a look of confusement in their faces. As he got up from the seat he was seating in, he looked over to Helen for help.

"You guys look confused. Maybe I can explain it a little better than your father did. We want to give you guys the freedom you should have, but with the security that if anything happens we are right next door, not blocks away. You will have dinner with the family every day, and breakfast before going to school, but other than that, you two will get privacy that almost all senior high school students do not have."

"I believe Caleb and I understand what you two are saying." Joey looked over to Caleb for acknowledgement that he agrees on what he just said. "See, Caleb understands as well." Caleb was shaking his head. "We have no problem with the ground rules you are setting. I would like to add one more rule and that your key cards also can access our room if you guys need to come over for any reason."

"That sounds fine with us." Helen grabbed a hold of Harold's hand and pulled him back down to the couch. "Unless an emergency comes up, we will not enter your penthouse."

"I like to add one thing to what Helen just said. We will not enter your penthouse for any reason unless there is an emergency or we see that you two are not coming home when you should or have a lot of people over. Also this doesn't give you guys the freedom to have sex parties or any kind of major party." Both Joey and Caleb looked at Harold as if he was talking out of his butt.

Although they both wanted to say something, but they kept their mouths shut. Helen could see what her husband said bothered them and was going to talk with him about later in private. For now, she will show a united front with the boys.

Thirty minutes later, Joey and Caleb made their way down to the first floor. They started to explore the lobby of the hotel. They walked into the restaurant and found everything covered with sheets, just like the penthouses. Figuring that they are not going to use any of this on this trip, they did not bother to uncover the furniture. They did though make sure that the appliances in the kitchen were working.

As they walked out of the kitchen, they ran into a few of the guys from the shelter. They were looking for something to eat. Joey could not believe that they were already hungry. He told them that there was nothing in the kitchen to eat so they will go and get a few things from the grocery store to carry them over until they leave tomorrow.

Before they could walk out the door, Angelo, Ray, Deejay, Shane, and Edmund asked if they could go. Joey did not see why not. They jumped into the truck and headed to the nearest grocery store, which was Furr's. It did not take them long to get stuff to munch on through the evening and items for breakfast in the morning.

When they got back to the hotel, Gary walked out and helped them unload the groceries. As soon as they put everything they bought away, everyone gathered in the lobby. Since Harold called for the meeting, he and Helen were the only ones that knew what the meeting was about. Joey and Caleb both hoped it was not going to be an embarrassing meeting as the private one they just had with them.

Little did they know, while they were at the grocery store, Harold and Helen made all of the them their own key card for the elevator. The key cards restrict each of them to the floors in which they are allowed to be on since the hotel is big and there are too many floors that are empty, Harold did not want them getting lost or locked up anywhere.

"Okay Helen is handing out your key cards to you. With these key cards, you do not need to find Joey or any of the adults to open the elevators for you. Just swipe your keycard at the elevator and you are good to go. One thing though, these key cards only give you access to the floors you have permission to be on. So do not try and push a button to a floor that you know you are not suppose to be on because the elevator will not open up for you."

Helen rejoined her husband once she handed the last key card out. "Also these key cards open your rooms. Since you guys went up and picked the rooms you wanted, we have assigned the door lock that is on the door of the room you chose to your key card. You guys can change rooms at anytime, but there has to be a good reason why you want to."

Angelo stood up and asked the first question. "I thought you guys were going to switch out the door locks to regular door knobs. By the sounds of it, you have done a one eighty and are going to let us have locks on our door, am I right?"

Both Harold and Helen looked over at Gary and Janet, and Gary stood up. "We have discussed the door locks on your doors and came to the conclusion we need to trust you guys. First, you deserve privacy. Second, you haven't shown us that we cannot trust you guys. If that happens, we will relook at the door lock issue again. Finally, we want to be fair. The adults get to have locks on their doors, why shouldn't you."

"I would like to also make clear that Helen. Gary, Janet, and I have access to your rooms by master cards that are locked away in the safe. We can and will go in your rooms if we think there is something that shouldn't be going on. Again, do not get what I just said the wrong way.

We are not going to go into your room whenever we want to. The only time we will go into your rooms is if we feel something is not right. Beyond that, we will never enter into your rooms and that is a promise from us to you guys."

The other ones asked questions of Harold and the other adults to clarify what they believe warrant them to go into their rooms. Once they got that clarification, they dropped the subject. They had no problem with what Harold, Helen, Gary and Janet considers behavior that will warrant them to go into their rooms.

Once they got through that hump, Harold went on to explain a couple more things. He told them that each floor would have a regular laundry room for them to wash their laundry. In return, they would not have any need to use the big industrial laundry machines in the basement. He also went over a few other rules that were not clarified in their first meeting and needed to be.

Once Harold and Helen went through their checklist of topics they wanted to talk to them about, they opened the floor for discussion. No one really had anything to say, so they broke up the meeting. Joey headed over to the pay phone and ordered pizzas for dinner before joining Caleb, Alan and his sister.

The following morning went by way too fast as Helen and Harold drove around to find the Albertsons that Helen is going to work at before going downtown. Since it is Sunday, the courthouse was closed. Harold knew that, he just wanted to see how far it was from the hotel and where it was. As far as the parking and everything like that is concerned, he will figure that out during his first days at his new job.

There was also a need for Harold to go looking for the new gang dentition facility; he already knows where it is. The questions he has about that part of the job he will ask tomorrow when he accepts the position. He is sure that he will be spending some time down at the facility, but how much he does not know.

Joey met with Al for several hours in the morning. They first took care of the paperwork of the hotel by transferring ownership from Al and Jacob to Joey's foundation. When they got that out of the way, they talked about how they could fill the empty rooms in the hotel and some how to get paid for giving out room and board.

"Joey I have an idea to fill almost all of the empty rooms in your hotel." Joey looked at Al with an anxious look on his face. "Who are the hardest kids to place into foster care Joey?" Joey shrugged his shoulders. "Teenagers are the hardest kids to place into a foster home or get adopted. People that go out to adopt a kid, they want either a baby or a young kid around three or four. When a kid that is about to start high school, he can end up getting lost in the system and end worse off than a kid that is adopted.

I am thinking that we set up your shelter with the state that will allow them to place kids from the age of thirteen all the way to right before they turn eighteen. If the kid is already eighteen, he is considered an adult and cannot be placed anywhere against his or her will, but the ages I just said would work out for you and the shelter."

"I see what you are saying and I agree. The only problem with that is I will have to hire more than just the two staff members I have on payroll right now to take care of all the new teenagers we will get. Plus there are other items to consider." Joey went down a long list of items, and Al answered every one of his concerns.

"One last thing, the name of the shelter cannot be the name we agreed on. The shelter will not be only gay teens; it is going to be a mixture. So maybe we should name it some thing simple that everyone can get behind. Something like, Shelter for El Paso Teens, simple and to the point of what the shelter is all about."

Al did not like the name at all. It should hold Joey's name because it was Joey's idea. To not put his name on the shelter is not giving him the credit he deserves. That alone is a dishonor and Joey is not seeing that. One way or another, Al is going to make him see it.

"Joey you need to have your name on the shelter and let me tell you why. Those kids that are already living in the shelter are getting a chance to a regular life that they would not have had without you doing what you are doing. That is just the beginning because there are going to be hundreds upon hundreds more kids that are going to have a chance of a regular life because of your idea. You need to get credit and that is why your name needs to be part of the shelters name, it is that simple."

One thing Joey learned when he was with Jacob was do not argue with Al. When he has his mind set on something, it is best to just go with it. He knows what he is doing and the proof is in the pudding. Just look at what he has done as far as the investments he has made for him and Jacob. That is all Joey needs for proof that he knows what he is doing.

"Okay I will agree with you on that. The new name now should be The Joey Alvarez Shelter for El Paso Youth, what do you think?"

"I like it, I really do. It is general, but not too general. It covers what your shelter is doing, which is giving a helping hand to the youth of this city. I will work on getting the sign made and put up at the hotel. Also by the time you guys are back, I will have in place everything you need to open your doors, or should I say my attorneys will."

Joey thanked Al several times before they parted ways. When he got back to the hotel, Caleb had already packed their bags for the trip back home which Joey thought was weird. He explained to Caleb that they should leave what they brought here unless they need it to get through the next week. Caleb agreed with him and they both took their suitcases back up to their penthouse.

By the time they got back down to the lobby, everyone was waiting for them. Joey saw that they had also brought down their luggage they came with. He could not help but chuckle as he made his way to the group. He explained to them that they are coming back up next weekend and should be staying after that. Just as he told Caleb, he told them unless they really need the clothes, there is no need to take it back with them.

The answer Joey got from the guys made him feel like scum. The only clothes they had are what they have in their bags, something Joey did not know. He apologized to them and promised that once the move is done they will go to Wal-Mart and get more clothes and everything else they need and do not have.

The trip back to Alamogordo didn't drag on for Joey this time since no one fell asleep. They stayed up talking with Joey, which kept him awake. As well, most of the trip back the sun was up. Only the last couple of hours of the drive were done in the dark.

When they walked into the house, Joey and Harold were both dead on their feet. They were both glad that they did not have any luggage to take down and unpack. All they want to do is take a nice warm shower and go to bed. Both of them know that they are squeezing a lot in the next week. They have no idea if they are going to be able to get everything they want done.

The next morning Harold was the first up and the first out the door. He walked into his chambers before any of his staff did. The reason for that was that Harold wanted to look at his schedule and see if he could move things around in order to bring forward the cases of the parents that put their children in that brain washing camp.

Just as he got into his schedule, the phone rang. Normally Harold does not answer the phone, but the voice inside of him was saying pick up the phone, so he did. The woman on the other end asked him to hold for the governor after confirming who he was. It did not take more than a couple minutes before Governor King got on the line.

"Good morning you Honor, I hope you had a pleasant weekend." Harold responded with greetings and answered yes to the pleasant weekend question. "Good, I am glad to hear that you did. As promised, I gave you the weekend to think about the job that Governor Lopez is offering you. He needs an answer in an hour, so I need it now so I can give it to him when he calls me."

"Governor King, thank you for giving me the weekend to talk it over with my family. After much debating, we decided I should take the job in El Paso. We made a trip down there over the weekend and got a few things squared away to begin the move."

"Good to hear that and I will let Governor Lopez know that he has his judge. Now you know after I give him your answer, he wants you to start as soon as possible. I will let him know that you can start a week from today, does that work for you?"

"Um, I believe I can get it to work for me. The only question I have for you is all the pending cases on my schedule. I would like to finish any pending cases that are currently in front of me and as well the cases of the parents that were arrested that put their children in that brain washing camp."

"I understand you want to rule on those parents, but realistically you know that will be impossible with you accepting this new job. Even if I can get you a couple more weeks, it is not enough time for those cases. They are going to drag on for months, if not longer and you need to be up in El Paso in your new courtroom.

Who ever I appoint to serve out the remainder of your term will be told that he or she needs to take these cases seriously. By Wednesday at the latest I will have your seat filled and you can talk to who ever it is about you concerns." The governor stopped talking for a few second, leaving nothing but dead air. "Or you can hand over these cases to someone else you trust will do them justice, that I will leave up to you."

The governor and Harold talked for a few more minutes before the governor had to go. Before getting off the line, the governor thanked Harold for his service to the state of New Mexico and wished all the best of luck in his new job in El Paso. Harold thanked him and hung up.

While Harold was at work, Joey and Caleb were barely waking up and pulling themselves out of bed. After taking a shower and getting ready for school, Joey went over his plans with Caleb about what he is going to do this week. Since Caleb is not in the same boat as Joey, he could not follow suit with him.

Joey explained to Caleb that he plans to make Wednesday his last day of school. That way he could do what needs to be done to close off the two houses he owns here. The main worry he has is what furniture he is going to take and what furniture he was going to sell. Not only personal furniture, but also all the new furniture he had just bought for the guys to use at the center.

"As far as the furniture you had in your house before it was turned into the shelter, you should take to El Paso. I love the furniture that was in your house more than the furniture that is in the penthouse. That furniture is too "hotel-like". I want to feel and make our penthouse our home. By keeping the furniture that is in the penthouse right now, it will always feel like we are living in a hotel."

Joey could not agree more with Caleb on that subject. "Okay I will pack everything that was in my house on the U-Haul and take it with us. I am going to do the same thing with the new furniture I bought for the guys at the shelter. I spent money of the foundation on that furniture it needs to be used for the foundation."

"Now about school, are you sure you want to make Wednesday your last day?" Joey shook his head as he combed his hair at the dresser mirror. "That means you will be missing Thursday, Friday and maybe some of the following week to unpack in El Paso. Do not you think that is a lot of school to be missing?"

"I do not plan to miss anymore school than just this Thursday and Friday. We should have enough time to unpack the U-Hauls on Saturday when we get to El Paso. Then we have the rest of Saturday and Sunday to unpack what we need to start school on Monday next week. The other stuff we do not need in a big hurry because we have the entire lobby of the hotel to store everything until we have a chance to move it to the right rooms in the hotel. That is the great thing about moving into the hotel."

As Joey explained what he meant by storing the furniture and everything else they do not really need right off the bat, Caleb saw where he was going, the main concern right now is getting everything to El Paso, and then after that, they will deal with moving things around. Right now, the penthouses and every room in the hotel have furniture. They have to clear out the rooms in the hotel that they going to replace their furniture with first. Then after that, they can start to clear out the lobby.

"Plus I already spoke with your mom and made sure you understood that I am no longer going to go into work. I need all the time I can get after school to pack up the house and get things ready for the move. There is no way I can ask the guys to pack up my house when it is not their stuff. That is just not right."

Caleb understood why Joey told his mother that he had to quit and did not question Joey. When they walked into the kitchen, Caleb asked his mother if he would leave her in a bind if he quits working to help Joey. Helen had suspected that Caleb was going to quit once he heard that Joey had so she covered her bases by scheduling another employee for the video department just in case.

"Hon I have no problem with you quitting as long as you help on getting ready for the move. I do not want you to quit and spend every minute of the remaining week with your friends since we have a lot of work to be done. I know this move is going to be hard on you because you are going to have to leave behind your friends that you have known since you were small."

Helen looked over at Joey. "Now you young man how are going to deal with moving all of your stuff. What I mean is that you have a lot more stuff now than you did when you moved down here. I understand that you and you mother rented a U-Haul in order to move everything, but I don't think even the biggest U-Haul out there is big enough."

"That is true and that is why I am going to rent two of the largest U-Hauls out there. The only problem I have are drivers. Gary and Janet are going to be driving their own vehicles to El Paso. You and Harold will be driving in your cars. No one else has a driver license to help as far as the driving. So that leaves me short two drivers."

Helen sat down at the table to see if she could help Joey and Caleb come up with a solution to their problem. They came up with renting two towing units to attach to the back of the U-Hauls. On one of the towing units, Joey will put his truck and on the other towing unit, Helen will put her car. That frees them up to drive the U-Hauls.

"As you can see when we put our minds together we can come up with a solution to any problem we are facing." Helen laughed as she pushed the paper they were writing on over to Joey. "Now that we solved that problem, we need to get to work. I will be getting as many boxes as I can from work for us to pack things in, but I do not think I will get enough. So either you guys will need to go to other stores and get boxes or we buy them."

Caleb told his mother that he and Joey would go to other grocery stores to get more boxes before Joey could offer to buy them. In order not to get into a long, drawn out conversation with Caleb, Joey agreed. They need to get to school and if he opens that can of worms, they will never get out of the kitchen.

As Joey and Caleb walked to the front door, Joey told Helen that they could put their stuff they are taking to El Paso in the trucks he rents. After all, they are not going to take their furniture, so it will be mostly boxes. There should be enough room in the trucks for their boxes and then some.

When they got to school, Joey and Caleb grabbed their breakfast and joined Lonnie and the guys. Caleb asked Joey not to talk about the move just yet in front of them. He wants to speak with them in private to let them know that his dad decided to take the job offer. It is just that he doesn't want to tell them as if their friendships were nothing.

The only problem with that plan was that neither Caleb nor Joey had talked with Alan and Fran, so when Alan blurted out that they are going to move, it stunned Caleb's friends. Before Alan finished talking, they dropped their forks on their plates and just starred at Caleb. Caleb could see anger and hurt in their faces.

"What Caleb, were you not going to tell us that you were moving? When were you going tell as, or were you going to?"

"Ivan, guy, I was going to tell you, just not like this. I wanted to tell you all in private before first period, but Alan here let the cat out of the bag. My dad decided to take the job and we are now in turbo mode on getting everything for the move and then doing the move. All week we are going to be packing and getting things done for the move.

"So when are you going to move? Also when is your last day of school?" Lonnie looked over to Joey and gave him an ugly look. And one last question, since you are moving, what is going to happen with our planned trip during spring break? I figure that is now called off since you are no longer going to be living here."

"Not necessarily called off. Although Caleb will be living in El Paso, he can still go with you guys on the trip you have planned. I will even bring him over here the day before you guys are supposed to leave on the trip."

Kurt snapped back at Joey with anger and hate in his voice. "No one was talking to you Joey. Ever since you came into Caleb's life, things have gone to hell. He no longer hangs with us like he use to. Now he and his family are moving to El Paso where you are originally from. That really sounds fishy to me, it really does. I don't think there is a job offer. I think you guys are doing the move because of Joey's crazy mother."

Joey looked over to Caleb to see if he would jump in to defend him, but Caleb did not. Since Caleb is not willing to stand up to his friends and tell them that they are wrong, Joey doesn't want to be around those that are blaming him for the change in their friend, so he got up and left. Caleb did try to stop him, but not with a lot of effort.

After throwing out his uneaten food, Joey headed over to the ROTC classroom. Out of respect of everything that the instructors have done for him, he wanted to tell them in person about the move. He just did not want to tell them this soon but he would rather face their angry stares than the hateful and anger stares of Caleb's friends.

As soon as Joey walked into the ROTC classroom, he headed straight over to Colonel Chandler's office. He knocked and waited to be invited in. Colonel Chandler waived Joey in as he got off the phone. Every step Joey made closer to Colonel Chandler's desk, he got more and more nervous.

"The young man I had hoped to see this morning." Colonel Chandler walked around his desk and sat in the seat next to Joey. "I was just on the phone with the DAI and he gave the green light to all the changes you recommended. Now all we have to do is implement them. That I will leave up to you since you have done it before."

Joey cleared his throat, but the lump in the middle would not go away. "Sir I have a bit of bad news to tell you. I would like to start out by saying I did not plan this, it just happened. There is really nothing I can do to change what is happening."

"Okay you have my attention more now than you did. What is going on Joey? You look like you are going to tell me that you ran over my cat something." Colonel Chandler chuckled, but it was a fake chuckle, trying to lighten the mood.

"Sir the family I live with is going to move and to all places they are going to move to El Paso. Harold, my boyfriend's dad, was offered a judge seat in El Paso that he doesn't have to run for every four years. It is a lifetime appointment. The governor of Texas called the governor of New Mexico and specifically asked for Harold. He told us about the job offer late last week, but it was not for sure he was going to take until Saturday.

Since he has accepted the job, he has been asked to report to work in El Paso as soon as humanly possible. That means he will report to work on Monday of next week, leaving this week to pack and do the move. I am sorry, but I am going to move with them."

"I am a little confused here, forgive me, but do not you have your own house here? What I understand you moved into Caleb's house in order to help as you healed. You kept your house and always had planned to move back into it. By the judge accepting the new position it just rushes your time line to move back on your own."

"You're right as far as me owning my own home to a point. When I moved into Caleb's house, I had always planned on moving back on to my own. That changed when I talked with Harold about my sister and Alan. He and Helen are going to adopt my sister and in return, we all would live in their house. It was easy that way.

Since we decided on that, I went ahead and donated my house to the charity I started up to create a shelter here in Alamogordo for gay teens. That fell apart because my house is in a historical district here, but the house is no longer mine, it belongs to the charity. It will be sold and the proceeds of the sale will be put back into the charity.

As you can see, I do not have a home to live in so I have no other choice but to move back to El Paso with Caleb and his family. This time though I am making sure I do not end up in the same position I am in now on not having a fall back. With what I have gone through already, I should have never done what I had done, but who knew that Harold was going to be offered a position he could not walk away from.

In addition, Caleb is moving to El Paso. I already lost one boyfriend I thought I was going to be with for the rest of my life, I do not want to lose another. No matter how hard headed and at times stupid he is, I love him. He reminds me of when I first got with Jacob. All the crap I pulled on Jacob, I am getting pulled on me by Caleb, but again I love him."

Colonel Chandler got up from the seat and walked over to his filing cabinet. "When is your last day going to be with us Joey?" Joey said one word, Wednesday. "Okay why don't you turn in your uniform and anything else we issued you tomorrow? I know tomorrow is uniform day, but do not worry about being in uniform because we need to clear. I am pretty sure right now everyone in your house is running around as if there is no tomorrow due to the move."

"Yes sir, it is a little crazy at the house right now. I haven't even stopped by the shelter yet to see how things are running down there. It has to be even worse because the house was barely getting set up and now we are moving it. Plus none of the guys from the shelter showed up for breakfast, so I don't even know if they are here at school."

"Sounds like you have your hands full Joey. I really am glad I had the opportunity to meet you even though it was for a short period. You showed me that things I had not even thought of to put in affect here, for that, thank you. So do not worry about your rank, you will stay at the rank I promoted you to."

Joey could not believe that Colonel Chandler is actually going to keep him at the new rank. He thought for sure he was going to be demoted back to Major since he is going to move to another school district. The promotion was for him to run Colonel Chandlers battalion, not another SAI'S battalion.

"Thank you sir for that, you do not have to do it though. I will understand if you put me back to the Major rank and leave it to what ever school I attend to promote me or not. I know you wanted me to run your battalion and help implement the new procedures. For that I am truly sorry that I am leaving you and not following through on everything."

Colonel Chandler explained to Joey that he is not leaving him in the lurch; instead, he is leaving them with a lot more than what they had when Joey first came. The detailed instructions binders that Joey put together will help get the programs going and Colonel Chandler thanked him for getting them done as quickly as he did.

Before heading to his locker, Joey gave Colonel Chandler Jacob's number in El Paso. Just in case when they start implementing the programs and if they run into a problem, he can call Joey for help. Hopefully they won't, but just in case if they do.

When Joey turned the corner to the hall where his locker is at, he found Caleb waiting for him. He did not want to make a big deal on what happened earlier in the cafeteria dealing with Caleb's friends. After all, he only has to deal with them for three more days. After that, they are out of his life for good, so there is no need in Joey's mind to harp on it.

"I am sorry for not backing you up at the table. You need to understand that none of them blames you for us moving, or how things have changed since you moved here. They just said those things out of anger and hurt. We always thought we were..."

"Caleb there is no need to explain anything to me. I know your routine changed a lot when I came into your life, so they were telling the truth. I should have been more mindful of the friendship you have with those guys. The kind of friendship you have with Ronnie and the guys is very rare, it reminds me of the friendship I have with David and the others that live in Jacob's house.

So let's just drop it and move on." Joey shut his locker and pulled Caleb into him. "Heck if you would ever hear the crap I did to Jacob while we were together, you would think that who ever is telling you the story is lying. We all learn from what we do wrong. Trust me when I say that I will make mistakes with us in the future. When I do, just be there for me."

Caleb agreed and asked Joey for the same thing. Once Joey did agree, they dropped the subject. Joey told Caleb what had happened between him and Colonel Chandler when he left the cafeteria. Caleb was even happier than Joey when he heard that Joey was not going to be demoted. He actually hugged Joey in the hall, something they haven't done at school for fear of what the other students might do or say.

As Harold's morning session started, he rushed through the pleadings in order to have time to talk with several of his fellow judges. He knows that no matter who the governor appoints to finish the rest of his term on the bench, they will not take seriously the cases dealing with the parents that put their kids in that place. Who ever gets the seat he is leaving will be too busy trying to make a name for him/herself. These cases can only be taken up by judges like him that have already made a name for themselves.

Once he finished his last case, Harold quickly dropped off his robe in his chambers and ran up to Glenn's courtroom. When he walked in, he found Glen still in session, so he waited. It was not long after Harold walked in that Glenn saw him and called his last case. Just like Harold, he disposed of the proceedings quickly.

Judge Glenn said, "Good morning there Harold, I was wondering when you were going to stop by." Glenn asked his secretary to make sure he is not disturbed on his way into his chambers. "I have heard through the grape vine here that you are leaving us in a week. Please tell me that is not true. I believe you and I have created a very good working relationship."

"We have Glenn, but I have been offered a position and it would be dumb of me to turn down. Before accepting it, my family and I had discussed it in length." Harold went into detail what the offer is and what he will be doing. He told Glenn when he was leaving and everything dealing with the set up in El Paso.

"I agree with you my old friend; it would have been stupid to pass up that position. If I were in your shoes, I would not have passed it up either. Now you do not have to worry about how you are ruling since you no longer have to run for your judge seat. By the sounds of the new pilot program in Texas, it will only succeed with an appointed judge, not an elected one. Simply put, an elected judge would be too concerned about getting his or her seat back come election time."

"That is very true Glenn. This court is going to deal with the worst of the worst. If you have to worry about getting elected every four years, the judge might let certain people go when they should be locked up or the opposite."

"I do not follow you on the last part Harold. What do you mean when you say the opposite of letting criminals go?"

"I am a judge that rules on what is the law at the time. No matter what my personal thoughts are about the law, I follow it. Trust me when I say there are many laws on the books in this state and other states that really do not make sense. To give you an example I do not believe in one-punishment fits all defendants when they break the same law. Though I do not believe in that, I will follow the law that has been passed.

With that said there are times a judge can look at the defendant and give that defendant a second chance if the judge sees it was a one-time mistake. I have had plenty of those kinds of defendants in front of me and I have given them a second chance." Harold kept moving around Glenn's lumpy chair. "You know every time I am in your chambers and I sit here, I tell you that you need to get new furniture."

Glenn started to laugh. "Since you are leaving I will tell you why I do not get new furniture. If the DA or defense attorneys know that my furniture is very uncomfortable to sit in, they will not prolong chamber meetings. You know as I do that lawyers love to hear themselves talk. I do not have time for that in my court room."

"Let me get down to business on why I am here. As you know, I had all the parents that put their kids in that camp arrested and already arraigned. I wanted to stick around and rule on the cases, but that is impossible now. The only other person I know will do justice with these cases is you and that is not blowing smoke up your butt. Can I transfer those cases to your docket, instead of letting who ever takes over my court room rule on them."

"Surely, I do not see why not. I will make sure to rule on the cases to the letter of the law. If they are guilty, they will be found guilty and punished to the fullest extent of the law."

Harold promised to have the files transferred to his office by the end of the day. They talked a little more in private before heading down to get something to eat. As they got onto one of the private elevators, they ran into several other judges and court staff. Before the elevator door closed, they started to drill Harold about his new job and how he got it.

Joey was not surprised that Lonnie or the other guys did not even apologize to him about what they said during breakfast. Just as they ignored him, Joey did the same thing to them. Out of respect to Caleb, Joey did not say a word when he guys pulled Caleb off with them. He figured they should spend as much time together as they can this week because who knows when they are going to see each other again.

While Caleb was with his fiends, Joey headed to the attendance office. He figured since he has this free time he should use it to get the paperwork going for him and his sister to transfer out of the school. They cannot afford to leave anything to the last minute. Whenever he gets into a rush, something slips through the cracks.

Just as he finished up in the attendance office, the bell rang. On his way to his locker, Caleb was not anywhere to be seen this time. Joey waited as long as he could for him, but he had to leave in order to get to class on time. A little worried, Joey closed the locker door and went running down the hall to class.

The afternoon flew by fast, something Joey really did not want to happen. As soon as the final bell rang, Joey got what he needed to do his homework before going to his truck. He waited for Caleb and a little less than five minutes later Caleb walked up to the truck. Instead of going to the passenger side of the truck, he walked and knocked on the driver's side window for Joey to roll down.

"I have a big favor to ask you Joey." Joey did not say a word; he just starred at Caleb as he gathered his words. "I know this is asking a lot of you, but can you not go home right away. The guys invited me to hang with them for a couple of hours and I really want to since this is my last week here and all. Just give me a couple of hours and then come and pick me up here so we get home together."

Trying not to sound mad or petty, Joey spoke softly. "I am going to go to the shelter from here. I do not know how long I am going to be down there, but I am sure it is going to be a few hours, so why don't you go over to the shelter once you are done hanging with the guys. That way I am not looking at my watch every five minutes."

Caleb smiled and thanked Joey as he started to walk away. Before Caleb got ten feet away from the truck, Joey yelled for him to come back. When Caleb walked back to the truck, Joey made it clear to him that he is not going to wait all night for him at the shelter. Once he is done there, he will head home no matter if he is with him or not. That took the smile off Caleb's face faster than it went on.

"Why are you being this way Joey? Now I have to be constantly looking at my watch to make sure I get to the shelter in a couple of hours. What happens if we run into traffic or I lose all track of time? You need to understand this is the last week I am going to see the friends I grew up with. I am leaving here for you, so you can at least give me this time."

"You are not leaving here for me and do not ever put that on my shoulders, NEVER! You and your family are moving because of the job offer your father got." Joey stopped talking in order to settle down. "You have been listening to your friends and allowed them to influence you. Not once did I come to you or your family and ask you all to move to El Paso. So do not you ever say that shit again to me, you hear me."

Caleb shook his head. "I will make it easy for you so you do not have to be looking at your watch every five minutes. Do not go to the shelter once you and your asshole friends are done hanging out, just go home. When you walk in your house tell your mom and dad I decided to stay the night at my house, which I am."

Joey started his truck and threw it into reverse. "If you are feel that you are being made to do something you do not want to do, talk with your parents. Tell them you do not want to move to El Paso. Maybe Harold could talk with the governor and say never mind so you can stay here with your friends, or maybe you can stay with your sister and your family here. Either way, make sure you are moving because you want to, no other reason."

When Joey backed out, he speeded out of the parking lot, leaving Caleb in a cloud of dust. His friends walked over and tried to tell him not to let Joey get to him, he was just jealous, but Caleb knew better. Right at that moment, everything he did throughout the day was being played in his mind as if someone placed play on a VCR. He saw how much of an ass he has been with Joey and could not believe he took it.

In order not to take out his anger on the wrong person, Joey drove around until he settled down. He felt bad because he went back on the promise he made Caleb earlier in the morning at their locker. Joey tried everything he could to keep his temper in check, but when Caleb said what he said, he could not hold back. There is no doubt in Joey's mind that Caleb knows what he said is not true, but nonetheless he said it.

Once Joey settled down, he headed over to his house to see how things were going. When he walked in, he found that much of the house is already packed up. The guys were in the kitchen eating what looked to be Subway. They stopped eating when Joey walked into the kitchen. He asked them to continue eating as he walked over to Janet.

"Before you say anything, I know why you are here. We tried to say no, but the courts made us take him in." Joey had no idea what Janet was talking about. When he started to look around, he spotted a new face at the table.

"Don't the courts know that this halfway house is pretty much closed? What are we suppose to do with the new kid. We cannot take him with us to El Paso, so that means he will need to be placed somewhere by Friday. Is that what they are asking of you and Gary, to house him until Friday?"

"Asking me questions I really do not have answers for. You are the one that went down and had the paperwork done in order to move the shelter to El Paso. By the looks of it, you haven't shut us down here. The reason I say that is the courts permanently placed the new resident with us. Once again there was nothing Gary or I was able to do to stop it."

Janet told Joey who the new kid was, which surprised him. His name is Cody Williamsons, the bank manager's son where Joey banks. The kid was locked up in the same camp he was. To make matters worse, Cody's parents refused to take Cody back once the camp closed. Since then he has been bouncing around in the system, until now.

Right when Joey was going to ask to see the paperwork on Cody, Gary walked up with it. Joey thanked Gary as he took the paperwork and walked out of the kitchen. He headed to the living room in order to read the paperwork in private. It was not that he did not trust the other boys in the shelter, it was that he was still thinking about the fight he just had with Caleb. He did not want to be talking with someone and not really listening.

So instead, Joey read the file on Cody. As he reached the end, he saw that the courts had transferred Cody over to Texas just like other guys. That told Joey that they know the shelter is closed, they just wanted to get rid of the last kid left over from the camp. At least Joey hopes it is the last kid remaining out there in the cold from the camp.

He read the last couple of pages few times to make sure he was reading it right, which he was. After he was confident that Cody was transferred to El Paso, he closed the file. He just sat in the living room starring at nothing particular. Since he was lost in his own thoughts, he did not hear Janet and Gary walk in.

"Joey, hey Joey, earth to Joey." By the forth time Gary said Joey's name, Joey snapped out of it. "Good to see you back on planet earth. We are sorry that we sprung our new guest on you the way we did, but it happened the same way to us this morning. The social worker showed up here this morning with him. She did not even bother to step inside. All she did is hand us his file, his bag and him before high tailing it out of here."

"No problem, I was just worried about having something else to do this week." Joey handed Gary the file back. "I need you to compare the last three pages of the file to the pages we got the other day from the courts. Make sure I am reading it correctly. If I am, the courts here already transferred Cody over to El Paso with the other guys."

Gary opened the file to the last three pages to see what Joey was talking about. When he got the file from the social worker, he did not really look at it. He tried to talk the social worker on taking Cody back without Cody seeing or hearing him, which was hard since Cody refused to walk into the house until he was sure he was not going anywhere.

"By the way you guys, why weren't the guys in school today? We cannot afford to do anything to have this state or the state of Texas pull our licenses. That could happen if you guys do not make sure the kids in this shelter are going to school like they are suppose to." Joey kept looking back and forth from Gary to Janet.

"We called the school this morning to let them know about the move. They explained to us since they barely started classes, there is no need for them to do another week. They will not even bother to give us transcripts for the boys here since they haven't attended their school for six weeks in a row yet."

"Okay I understand that. Let's make sure we get that in writing from the school that they will not give the guys grades since they hadn't completed six weeks yet." Joey looked over to Janet. "Have you decided yet if you are going or not? I am not trying to rush you, but I would like to have an answer in the next couple of days."

"When we got back last night, I talked with my sister on the phone and then again this afternoon. Judge Evans asked her to go with him as his secretary and she accepted the offer. Now that she is going, I am going as well. So count me in, I am going to be around for years, at least until I retire or you let me go for some reason."

"I have no plans to let either of you go. In fact, you two are going to be in charge of running the shelter. If everything works out the way I think it will, every room in the hotel will be filled soon. In return, you guys are going to have to hire a staff according to the law of Texas as far as how many adults we need to every kid. I think it somewhere around ten kids to one adult, but I am not for sure.

Anyways you two will find that out, hire the new staff, and be in charge of that staff. Plus you will be in charge of everything else in the shelter from the restaurant to making sure the residents have what they need." Both Gary and Janet had a look of confusion on their faces when Joey said the last thing. "The guys clothes, school supplies and anything that they need to live and go to school, that spending will need to get approval from me or the person I put in charge of the money for the shelter, but do not worry about having to jump through hoops to get the money. As long as you bring back a receipt on what you spent the money on, there will be no problem."

For the next several hours, Joey, Janet, and Gary went over how the shelter should be run. They pretty much agreed on every topic, and those they did not, they found middle ground that worked for everyone. When it was all said and done, they had a shelter set up that gave the residents their freedoms, but at the same time had rules as any home does with under age teens going to school.

Since Joey owns the houses, he did not ask permission to sleep over. His furniture was not moved out of his bedroom so that made it a lot easier. As well, no one took his room out of respect to him in case he did stay a night, so when Joey did not leave, no one asked him why, they went on with their normal routine.

Joey on the other hand went out to the storage room and started to go through the boxes to see what he is not going to take. Ten before nine, he headed over to his other house to find most of the new furniture that was bought still wrapped in plastic in the living room. Since that furniture was never set up, it will make it a lot easier to load onto the truck come Thursday, Joey thought to himself as he walked around the bottom floor.

"Gary and I took advantage of the boys since they were home today. We pretty much have the shelter all packed up and ready to go. For the next few days we are going to be eating off of paper plates and drinking from plastic cups so we do not have a lot of dishes to pack at the last moment. So you do not have to worry about the shelter, it is all under control."

"I know you guys have things under control here. It's just I am getting more nervous as the moving day gets closer and closer." Joey walked over to the front door. "Maybe you and the boys can go down to help Janet pack their house up. She is pretty much packing up the entire house all by herself since Harold is working and we are at school."

"I do not see why we cannot go down tomorrow and the next day to give her a helping hand. Even with the guys help, there was a lot of work to pack up this house, so I can imagine what Helen is going through right now. I have a question Joey, when are you going to rent the trucks? The only reason I am asking that is when we can help drive them down here and then to the judge's house."

Joey explained to Janet that he is going to rent the trucks on Wednesday morning so they have all of Wednesday and Thursday to load them. He then went on to explain that he wants to get on the road early Friday morning. The reason for that is he believes the trip going to El Paso this time is going to be long since they are taking a lot more vehicles and towing vehicles behind huge U-Haul trucks.

After answering all of Janet's questions, Joey headed back over to his house. He took a quick shower and went to bed, but he could not fall to sleep. All night long he tossed and turned. When he finally did doze off, it was a restless sleep, so when the alarm clock went off, he was more tired then he was when he went to bed the night before.

Pulling himself out of bed, Joey got ready for school. He discovered that he had left some of his clothes at his house. It was done by accident since he was not the one that moved his stuff over to Caleb's house, it was his sister. She must have been in a hurry or figured that he did not need all his clothes since she left some of them here.

Once he was finished getting ready, he headed out. Not wanting to wake up anyone in the house, Joey did not have breakfast. Instead, he went through the drive thru of McDonalds on his way to school and grabbed himself a breakfast deluxe and a large orange juice.

When he got to school, he did not go to the cafeteria; he stayed in his truck and ate his breakfast. Just as he finished eating, he heard the bell ringing. He tossed all the trash in the bag he got with his food in and headed in. As he walked through the double doors of the main entrance, Joey tossed his bag in the trashcan there.

He was not surprised to see Caleb waiting for him at his locker. The minute Caleb saw Joey, he straighten up and met him halfway. When he reached Joey he apologized repeatedly to him, but Joey did not accept his apologies. Because Joey ignored him, Caleb started to tear up. He was already shaking when he started talking with Joey, barely holding it together, but Joey not talking to him caused him to fall apart.

Joey closed their locker, but did not move. "Until we move I think it is best that I do not join you with your friends in the cafeteria. They bring the worst out of you. They bring a person out of you that I do not know and do not want to know. I love you so much! I will do anything to keep us together, even if that means giving you the rest of this week to be with your friends and not able to see you. I'd rather lose you for a week than for good."

Not letting Caleb say a word, Joey walked away. Caleb just stood there with tears rolling down his cheeks as Joey walked down the hall. He knew he screwed up yesterday, but he did not think he screwed up this bad. They have been through worse, so he did not think this little fight would have done what it did, separate them for a week, if not for good.

All through his morning classes, Caleb's head was in the clouds. He could not think straight. The only thing that he was able to think about is Joey, and what he can do to fix what he did wrong. Apologizing did not work, so what else can he do to show Joey that he made a mistake and will not do it again.

When he joined his friends at lunch, they saw that he was not himself. At first, they ignored it since they got what they wanted, Joey gone, but after while they see that Caleb was happy with Joey gone. In fact, they have never seen Caleb this unhappy.

"Caleb give it time and Joey will forgive you. Once you move to El Paso, things will get better for you guys. He will be back around his friends and will forget all about what happened here. You two..." Ivan was interrupted by Lonnie before he could finish.

"Who cares about Joey? You now see how he truly is, a person that runs away from a problem instead of facing it head on. If you ask me, it is good that you see that now before you made the mistake and moved to El Paso. Now you can stay here with your sister and us. Let Joey go back to his friends who will probably not even show you any respect like we have shown Joey when he got here and look..."

Caleb slammed his fist against the table, shutting Lonnie up. "Fuck, I should have never allowed my relationship with Joey to get this point. You guys haven't showed Joey any respect. Yeah you asked him to join the football team, but the only reason you did that is that you wanted to win, not because you wanted him part of the team. Other than that, you guys have done everything you could to make Joey look like the bad person here, but he is not the one, the bad people here are you guys.

Hell, when Joey's friends came to town when he was in the hospital, they accepted me as if I was part of their group since the beginning. They fucking did not even know me and they treated me with more respect than you guys have ever shown Joey. So you are wrong about them Lonnie and stop talking shit when you do not even know the people."

Caleb pushed his tray into Lonnie's as he got up from the table. Lonnie and the others went running after Caleb, but Caleb would not listen to them. He finally realized that he has allowed his friends to influence his relationship with Joey. The influence was not positive, it was nothing but hate to separate him and Joey, and the only thing he could think of that made them do that is to try to make him be like he was, or thought he was.

Looking everywhere he knew Joey hung out at in the school, Caleb did not find him. After checking the ROTC classrooms, he went out to the parking to lot to see if Joey had left for lunch, but he did not. Caleb found Joey's truck in the same parking spot where he always parks at, but no Joey. He leaned against the truck going over where he went to see if he missed a room or a place where he and Joey hung out at, but he did not.

He started to slide down the side of the truck and did not stop until his butt hit the ground. Once he sat down, Caleb started to pick up the little pebbles from the ground and started throwing them to the grassy area. He did not even bother to look up when he saw three shadows on the pavement because he knew who they were.

"We truly are sorry for how we have treated Joey." Caleb looked up, but could not see who was talking because the sun was shining in his eyes. Even though he could not see, he knew it was Kurt. "Ever since he started to come to this school, so many things have changed. Heck, we did not even know our best friend was gay. You came out to your parents and family, but not to us and not until you started going out with the new kid."

"The reason I never came out to your guys is because I knew how you were going to react to the news. Look how you are treating Joey and that should be proof enough. I thought you guys were going to treat me the same way. The only reason you guys are not is because of our long friendship. But if we did not have that, you guys would torment me to the point that I would have to transfer out of this school."

"That is untrue and you know that Caleb. Put aside what has been happening between Joey and us we haven't treated anyone with that kind of disrespect you just described. To say other wise is completely wrong and hurtful."

"Come on Lonnie, you know what you just said is nothing but a load of bull crap. None of us knows or knew anyone that is gay until Joey moved into town. I have known for a very long time that I am gay, but I could not go to you guys. The things you all said in the past whenever we watched a movie with an actor playing a gay part, or whenever we passed someone in a store or the mall that acted gay, you guys said hateful things. Didn't you guys ever wonder why I never got into the banter? There is no way I was going to bash someone over the head for being what I am, gay!"

Caleb's three friends just stood there looking down at Caleb. They know every word that he just said is true. It ripped right through them and now they know why one of their best friends could not trust them enough to tell them that he is gay. Simply put it is because of all the hateful things that they said not knowing that they were hurting someone close to them. Not once did they ever think twice on what they were saying.

"The things we said wouldn't have been said if we knew about you. Come on Caleb you know us better than that. We will never say anything that will hurt a person that we care a lot for." Ivan looked at Lonnie and Kurt for them to agree with him, which they did. "All of us are more than just friends, we are more like brothers."

"If that is true you guys wouldn't have tried to put a wedge between Joey and me." Caleb got up from the ground and brushed himself off. "You would have accepted Joey because of our friendship being more than just friends, but to tell you the truth, the blame is all mind, not yours. I should not have ever allowed you to do what you did. Because I did that, I hurt my relationship with Joey, not you guys."

Caleb and his friends talked for a few minutes before he excused himself to go and find Joey. He went back to the cafeteria, but no luck, he did not find Joey there. Not about to give up, Caleb went looking in every bathroom in every hall in the school. As he reached the main hall, he saw Joey walking away from him.

Not wanting to make a scene, Caleb started to walk fast, almost jogging after Joey. Once he reached Joey, he turned Joey around. He opened his mouth to speak, but Caleb put several fingers over it and pulled him into the nearest bathroom to them.

"I need you to let me talk before you say a word." Caleb locked the bathroom door as he spoke and looked under the stalls to make sure there was no one else in the bathroom. Once he was sure he and Joey were alone, he walked back over to Joey and pushed him gently against the wall. "I love you Joey and there is no way I am going to let you go without a fight. I have been a complete jerk, not only for the last couple of days, but since you have met my friends. I promise you..."


I have a home page for you to see what the characters look like or what the places look like. If you want to walk in their shoes, please go to: http://jacobmillertex.com/


{Welcome back to Regrets and Heartaches, I hope you are enjoying this story as much as I am writing it. As I wrote out this chapter, I got several emails from readers that has written me that they will not read this story because how it ended with Joey and Jacob. I would like to say to those that are reading this story that after our breakup, we did become very good friends, and that is rare. He is a good guy and I do wish him all the best on what ever he does in his life.

Now let's get going on the summation of the chapter. In the last chapter, I threw in a very big curve ball. The relocation of the story will bring life back into it, just as I did with Beneath the Mask. Whenever I do not know much about a subject or a place, it is hard for me to write about it. So that is why this story started to drag on because I do not know anything about the city where Joey moved to except he actually in real life moved there.

The curve ball opened up many new plots and is letting me close off some old ones. The chapter picked up where I left off in chapter sixteen, in El Paso. A lot was discussed and done dealing with the transfer of ownership, to the jobs as far as Harold and Helen, and how things are going to run in the new shelter.

I really hope Gary and Janet are not making a mistake on letting the door locks stay on the doors. I understand why they are doing it, but these are teenagers. Remember back to when you were a teenager and you will see what I am talking about. I hope that these guys will respect the rules of the shelter so they do not lose that right with the locks.

Joey met with Al before leaving El Paso, which I liked. They talked about filling up the hotel with other teenagers, and how they plan to do that. I like Al's idea and it can work. Al seems to always have a solution to any problem that comes up. This solution will help Joey not only to fill up the rooms, but help pay the day-to-day operations of the place.

When everyone went back to either work or school they started delivering the bad news. First let us look at Harold; he accepted the job first thing Monday morning. He was told he needs to report to work in El Paso the following Monday. That really puts him in a bind because of the time restraints. He also wanted to rule on the cases dealing with the parents that put their kids in that brainwashing camp, but cannot.

I wish the ROTC instructors at this school were at El Paso High, because Colonel Chandler is very cool. He was dealt a blow in his next year's battalion staff, but did not go all crazy on Joey. He did not demote him but let him keep his rank and wished him luck. I am glad Joey gave him Jacobs number so he could reach him in case anything comes up with the changes Joey was about to put into effect.

I like the fact that Harold was able to choose on what to do with the cases he wanted to rule on. He decided to hand them over to a person that he knows will rule on them the way he would have. I can see where he is coming from as far as the new judge wanting to make a name for him or herself once they get there. They need to run for that seat again when Harold's term is over, so they will not take chances that Harold would since they are just starting out.

The issue with Caleb and Joey has been there in the background. Neither of them really dealt with it as it was coming up repeatedly from the vacation Caleb hasn't invited Joey on, to the way Lonnie and the other two treat Joey some times. It shouldn't have been a surprise that it came to the point it did in this chapter.

I do not blame how Joey reacted, but he was worse at times to Jacob than Caleb is being with him. At least Caleb is not cheating on him or in a bathroom with another guy to name a few things Joey did to Jacob, but yet Jacob forgave him right away. I hope Joey remembers that and does the same thing for Caleb. After all, Caleb is new at this whole dating thing, unlike Joey and Jacob.

I know the cliffhanger sucks, but I had to end that chapter there because if I did not, it would have gone on for several more pages. That scene is going to be a very emotional one for the both of them. They both are going to see the wrong they are both doing and hopefully they patch things up. After all, if they do not, it is going to be a very cold penthouse when they move to El Paso.

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. Do not 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 jacob@jacobmillertex.com Thanks!}


This has been a powerful chapter with many significant decisions being made and interpersonal situations/relationships being faced much more directly than ever before! I enjoy such "active" writing and reading. Caleb has learned that several of his' friends' seem to have wanted to be his "keeper" rather than a caring and compassionate friend.

Judge Harold had to make a major career decision for himself, which was even more difficult because his family and others were much involved. He also had his own judicial philosophy that was at stake, as he wanted to be sure that the parents who sent their boys to the "camp" were forced to face the Court for their actions.

A new character joined the story family in a significant way. It will be interesting to see how he integrates and how the others respond to him. Sometimes the "new kid" has a very hard time "fitting-in" as those who were, themselves, once shunned, turn around and shun another. I want to follow this 'strand' of our story.

Joey and Jacob have some interactions with each other over the life of this story, but now they will be around each other much more of the time. Will they be able to handle this? How will their own 'partners' react to J and J having to be with each other more? This could be a very painful time for all involved and/or a time of growing and maturing--perhaps both!

Will we ever learn about Uncle Dominic and his trial? What about Joey's mother and her still being in Mexico? Caleb's plans for spring vacation with his friends has never been shared with Joey? Why not? Will this `fit hit the shan' at sometime?

I want to know how Judge Harold is able to adapt to his new position and responsibilities. What impact will he be able to have on behalf of abused youth? Can he function effectively having to learn the laws and procedures of a new state?

Finally, we have the siblings of Joey and Caleb who futures are also being disrupted by this move. Will they adjust? Will they succeed in their own lives and loves?

Stay tuned.

Please contact our author to share your answers to such questions as those I have posed above. He does read our emails and gives our views solid consideration. Best wishes! --Kent D. (sw Ohio area)