Written by: J.P.G.

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

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

This story cannot be distributed in anyway, shape or form without authors' express written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Trevor

Edited By: Ed

Edited By: Jack

Edited By: Trevor

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


Chapter 22

Harold sat a little longer with Principal's Haynes and Michaels. The conversation at first when Bill and his friends left, was about the suspension that was handed down and how it was going to be handled from that point on. For Haynes protection, he agreed to step away from the dealings of the five students in question and Michaels was going to handle it. Once that was settled, they moved on to Aaron.

"Look you can get these five kids out of here, but this school has a history of gay bashing. There is no way you will be able to get the kids here to stop thinking the way they do about gay students. For their safety and the sake of your school, you need to transfer out Aaron and the boys that just started coming here."

Haynes looked at Harold as if he was out of his mind. "If I do that, I am sending a message that the hate has won. At the same time, I'm saying as well that I can't control my students, which means I should not be in this seat. I can't do that Harold, I just can't. Some way or another I need to find a way to get the students to start thinking different than they have been taught to think about gay people."

"My dear friend, I understand where you're coming from, but I have to agree with Harold on this point. None of us principals wants to give into the students and the wrong they are doing, but transferring out the students in question is not doing that. What it is doing is saving them from the hatred and more than likely the beating that your son got. You need to do this for their safety right now.

Then once you have them in another school, you can work on the thinking that your students have towards the gay community. That though my friend will not change overnight since this is generations in the making. It is going to take generations to get the change to take effect, and then I am afraid you and I will no longer be in the position we are in. Another group of educators will be, and hopefully they will carry the torch."

"So you are saying I should surrender to the hate and let it win?" Haynes got up and walked to the window as he always does to think when things are at its worse. "Even if I fold there, the school district will not agree to let it happen. For one, they will not bus students to another school when there is a school closer to that student. In other words, the money, they won't spend that for something like this."

"As far as Joey and those from the shelter, transportation is not a problem. Joey has a driver's license and is already driving the whole group to school. It really doesn't matter at this point what school they attend, just as long as they are safe."

Haynes turned and looked at Harold. No one spoke a word for a few minutes, which made the situation very uncomfortable. Both Harold and Michaels knew they were asking a lot from Haynes, and it might not happen. At the same time they figured if there was ever a chance to get him to see this was the only solution, it's now, the day after the hate towards gays hit him at home.

"Okay let us say for argument sake I agree and the school board agrees to let this happen since Joey can deal with the rides. What should we do when another student comes up and says he or she is gay and wants to transfer out of here, but has no way on getting to another school. What do I tell that student that it can't be done since he or she doesn't have a way to get to another school. That is not fair to that student and we know that."

"We take it case by case. Make it very clear to each student that wants the transfer that they have to have their own means of transportation. If they don't, their transfer will be denied." Michaels all of sudden stopped talking, which got Harold and Haynes wondering why.

"I have just thought about something on how to deal with that. Give me a week or two to talk with the person I need to talk with before telling you guys what my thoughts are. Until then, we do as I said, take it on a case-by-case basis and make it clear we don't offer transportation at this moment. The students and their parents will have to understand that."

"Fine for the mean time we go by what you said Michaels, but there is another question lingering out there. What school do we offer to transfer the student to? There is no way the school district will open up a school just for gay teens. There is more than likely a lot of gay teens in each school that we are not aware of, but not enough to fill a school to justify the expense not only for a new school, but the security that comes with it."

"I have thought about that and I suggest that we make El Paso High the school for these students. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to make my high school just for gay teens, but we already have the security in place to handle their safety. Plus I already have a group of openly gay students and the rest of my student body, or at least the majority of them, have no problem with having gay classmates.

At the same time I agree with you that there is no way there are a lot of students out there that are gay. Even if those that are in hiding come out, the number of them might pass a hundred. That is far less than the size of my student body here that is over two thousand. We have already created a safe haven for these students, so let us offer that to them all."

Haynes walked back to his seat and sat back down. "Okay, I will go ahead and offer the transfer to Joey, your son Harold and the rest of the students from your shelter. Now as far as any other student here that wants the transfer because he or she is gay must provide their own transportation. I don't think any will come out of the wood work any time soon, so until then we will get the rules and procedures in place for these transfers.

At the same time, I will take the heat with the school board. After all I think they will cut me a lot of slack since my own son was hurt, almost killed by hatred within the student body. They wouldn't like it hitting the news that they are denying procedures and solutions on keeping those students that are gay safe."

"Good I like how things are going as far as this situation is concerned. The only question I have my friend is what about your son? I know you want him close to you so you can watch over him, but I really don't think that school right now is the best place for him. You can't keep an eye on him all the time, and the times that you are unable to are normally the times when things go wrong, like yesterday."

Principal Haynes leaned back in his seat thinking about what his friend just said. He knows that he is right, but at the same time doesn't want to let his son out of his sight once he is out of the hospital. At least here, he can use his power to keep him safe, but again at the same time that has not worked so far. Bill and his friends did not care a rat's ass who his father is. They still tried to kill his son. That left him questioning how many other kids here at this school think that way and don't care.

"While this is not my spot to talk, I do agree with Principal Michaels on your son. I know you feel that you can protect your son here at this school. Sadly though, you can't do that since you can't be tied to his waist all day long. You love your son and that I can see it in your eyes and the way you talk about him. If you love him as much as I think you do, you need to do what is best for him. That is letting him go to a different school."

"Can you assure me that my son will be okay at your school? I can't go through another night like last night, a parent is not supposed to outlive their kids and I have no plans to do that. So again can you ensure me that my son is going to be safe at your school?"

"Look I can't tell you one hundred percent that your son will be safe here, no one can make that promise to you. What I can say is that your son will be a lot safer at my school than he will be at yours. Your security pales compared to what I've got and on top of that, your son will have a group of kids just like him that he can be friends with. Not be afraid of who he is as well when he is around them."

It took a little more selling on both Harold and Michaels' part to get Haynes to agree that his son would be safer at El Paso high school, than he is at Austin. Once he finally agreed to that, he agreed that Aaron will be attending El Paso High School with Joey and the others if they decide it best to transfer schools.

The only thing left was to discuss transportation for Aaron. Principal Haynes is a single parent and has to be at his school at six in the morning. That would not be fair to Aaron on getting him to El Paso high school even earlier than that. After much debating, they all agreed it was an easy fix if Joey agreed to transfer out. If he did agree to transfer, he will go and pick up Aaron on his way to school.

Once that was settled, Michaels left the conversation and shortly after that, Harold left. He had forgotten about his wife and didn't remember about her until he saw her waiting for him. As soon as he walked up to her, he apologized and then started to explain what had happened in the office. As soon as he finished, Helen had a whole lot of questions.

All the way to hotel Harold fielded the questions and tried to answer them as clearly as possible. There were a few questions he really didn't have an answer to, but tried to answer them anyway. By the time they got home, Helen had all her questions answered and Harold was on his way to work to start what was going to be a very long day.

Back at school, rumors had already started floating around about what happened the day before after school. The only problem was, at first no one knew who was beaten up and who did the beating. All they knew is that it happened and they wanted to talk about it.

At first, Joey and Caleb ignored the gossip machine. They knew how it felt being the ones being gossiped about. But, at the same time, they were glad that the students found something else to gossip about than them. They never wanted that kind of thing to happen in order to not be talked about, but they knew that only something like that was going to get the entire student body moved off of them and onto something else.

By lunch, the detail of what happened at school got a lot clearer. Names were actually put in and that got things rolling again. The first names that were talked about were wrong. The only reason those names were thrown out there was because those students were not at school, but it didn't take long before the names were thrown out.

Then it happened, Aaron's name was mentioned, and that grabbed Joey and Caleb's attention. They looked over to the table where he normally sits at, and not only they didn't find him there, but the entire group was gone. The more and more they thought about it, the more they thought that the students got it right this time.

"Hey Sam, Thomas, you have been here since your freshman year, is what they are saying possible? Did those guys that tried to fight me and Caleb our first day actually go as far as they are saying and almost kill Aaron?"

Sam swallowed the piece of sandwich he had in his mouth before answering Joey. "To tell you the truth man, I don't put anything past those guys. If they even suspected that Aaron was gay, yes they might have done what the others are saying they did. Now the only thing I think what they are saying is wrong is that Aaron is the principals son. There is no way those guys are that stupid to touch the principal's son."

"I hate to disagree with you since I am the one asking the question, but I think they are stupid enough to touch Aaron. When Caleb and I were in the principal's office this morning, before doing anything else, Principal Haynes asked his secretary to get Bill and his friends from their classes immediately."

"That really doesn't mean anything. If the principal called for them, it could be a number of things that he needed to talk to them about."

"I don't think so Sam, I really don't. It is not only the way he sounded, but also, what he told his secretary of how he wanted them brought to the office. It was not a simple hall pass like normal. No, he ordered his secretary to send school security guards to their classrooms to get them and bring them to the office. Why would he do it that way if all he wanted to do is talk with them about something simple?"

Sam didn't have an answer to that. The more Joey explained how the principal acted and his tone, the more he believed the rumor to be true. Not only did Aaron's so-called friends turn on him, they almost killed him. Something he knows his friends would never do to each other no matter what happens between them.

They talked about what they knew and at the end; they agreed that is had to be Aaron. As far as who did it, it was obvious, but that wasn't their concern. What was their concern was Aaron and how was he doing. If they would believe the rumor, he is at the brink of death right now, which is hard to believe.

"What we should do is try and find out where Aaron lives and go down there after school to check up on him. If he isn't there or isn't allowed to come to the door that is when we should be worried. For now we don't listen to the rumors because most of the time they are not true or really taken out of context of what really happened."

Everyone agreed with Joey before returning to their original conversation, football. Although the season is over, they are all excited that next year with Joey and Caleb on their team, they have a real good chance on going all the way to state. If that happens, it would be the first time any team from this school had accomplished it.

As soon as the bell rang, Joey, Caleb and the others got up from their table and made their way out of the cafeteria. On their way to their lockers, Joey could not help but think how everything has changed since they have moved to El Paso. He knew things were going to change, but nowhere near, what did change.

He felt bad first that he and Caleb could not even hold hands in school for the fear of some asshole coming up to them and causing them trouble. They can't kiss, even in the restroom like they did at their old high school. Finally, they couldn't even share lockers because it is not right in the view of the staff at this school.

After they got their books and things they needed for class, Joey pulled Caleb into the restroom. "I know things are bad right now here at school, but give it time, it will get better. It took me being thrown into that camp to get the students and teachers at our old high school to accept who we were and let us be. Hopefully it will not take something like that to happen in order for the people here to accept us."

"If what we are hearing is true, something that bad did happen already. By the looks of it, it has not changed the thinking of anyone around here. In fact, it looks like it got them united behind those that beat Aaron up, instead of what is right." Caleb looked over to the mirrors, sighed and back at Joey. "What I don't understand is why we just didn't go to El Paso high where Jacob and your other friends are going. At least over there they have been accepted and we don't have to fight to be true to ourselves."

"I already told you why we couldn't go to El Paso High. There is..." Caleb interrupted Joey. "Yeah, yeah you told me that it was because Jacob's grandfather told you not to attend. Have you once even thought about asking Jacob what he thought? I know Jacob's grandfather's word is it, but really it should not be in this situation."

"No it shouldn't, but it is. Come on if I did what I did to Jacob to you, and then moved back to town, would you want me to attend the same high school. I don't think so. I hurt Jacob far too much, which he didn't deserve. I don't want to cause him any more hurt because we can't seem to get people to like us."

"Well I think you are doing him a disservice by not asking him. The time I met him, Dewayne and your other friends, he seemed to be moving on, putting the past in the past. He, like you, is in love with someone else now and it is not just high school crush crap. Both of you are madly in love with another, which means you've both moved on."

"I agree with everything you've said, but let's try and make this work for us. We got over a hurdle this morning with Principal Haynes, that is a good step in the right direction. If we could win him over, there is no telling who we can win over. Give this school a chance and if in a couple of weeks if things haven't changed, I will talk to Jacob."

That put a smile on Caleb's face. Just as he was about to respond, the first warning bell rang, causing everyone that had not gotten to their class yet, to hurry. He and Joey rushed out of the restroom, down the hall and barely made it into their fourth period class as the final bell sounded. As they made their way to their seats, all the students' eyes were on them, which made them feel out of place.

Meanwhile, Harold worked through lunch trying to catch up his schedule. Just as he had caught up, his courtroom doors swung open, and several officers came walking in, dragging two young boys. Right behind the officers was another guy that Harold recognized as the chief-of-police.

He waited for the officers to walk up to the bench and explain why they came crashing through his doors interrupting his court proceedings. "Gentlemen first of all, there are no firearms allowed in my courtroom. I don't care who in the hell you think you are, you will not enter my courtroom with those weapons on your side."

Harold looked over at his bailiff. "Brody come on over here and disarm these gentlemen would you please." Brody nodded as he followed the judge's request. When he reached out to the first officer's weapon, the officer jerked away. That did not make Harold happy and he knew he had to make it clear that he is the one running things.

"Sir if you refuse to hand over your weapon once more, I will have you jailed. You will join those that you have put away and I am sure they would like a few minutes with you back there. So why don't we stop playing this game and you disarm yourself. I promise you that your weapon is going to be put away somewhere safe that no one can get to it."

Reluctantly, the officer pulled the weapon out of his holster and handed it to the bailiff. The other officers had their weapons in their hands when Brody got to them. The only other one that tried to put up a fight on being disarmed was Chief Carnes, but after being found in contempt by Harold and fined one thousand dollars, he handed his weapon over to Brody with a stern warning that nothing better happen to his firearm.

"Okay now that we got that out of the way, let us move on to why you interrupted my court in the fashion that you did?"

"These two gentlemen were arrested for beating up my son and forcing him to say lies about something he did not do." Chief Carnes spoke, as his officers stood back. "Since it was more than one person in the group, we were told the case has to come before you since you are now the judge that deals with gangs. These two do not belong to a gang, but they jumped my son in a group and that is why we are before you today.

Not only am I presenting these guys to be charged and given bail, but I am asking this court to make these two turn over the tape they recorded to us. If it has what they say it has, we will file the evidence and then move forward from that. If it doesn't, the recording will go where all false evidence goes, the trash bin."

Harold asked for the arrest warrants that were issued. One of the officers that was holding one of the Hayne's boys walked up and handed the warrants to Harold. As Harold looked them over, he right away saw the names. He looked up from his desk to the two young boys and saw their father in them.

"Young men why don't you step forward, so you can hear what you are being charged with, among other things." As both of the Haynes boys walked forward, their father came through the door. "Chief Carnes here says you have a recording that you made of his son admitting to something. According to the chief-of-police, you forced his son to say things that he really didn't do. First let me ask you, do you have this recording?" The Haynes boys both at the same time nodded their heads.

"Okay then I would like this courtroom cleared. The only ones that are allowed to stay are those that are part of this case. All the rest of you please step out into the hallway and once I deal with this matter, I will call you back in."

Those that were waiting for their turn to be in front of the judge moaned as they got up and left. The inmates that were brought from the county jail were escorted out of the courtroom to a holding cell in the back. No one said anything until the courtroom was cleared. Even then, they waited for Harold to speak first.

"First Chief Carnes you need to step back from my bench. In fact, you go and sit in the gallery. You should have no part in these proceedings since it involves your son." Chief Carnes tried to stay, but was not allowed to. He was escorted to the prosecution table and was told to stay there if he didn't want to be found in contempt of court again.

"Now that we have the parties that shouldn't be involved in this out of the way, we can get down to business." Harold looked over at Haynes boys. "I am not going to ask you to hand over the tape to the police, but I am going to ask you to hand over that tape to this court. If there is anything there that does incriminate the chief-of-police's son, I will issue an arrest warrant for him and let the court system figure out what is what."

Both the Haynes boys looked to their father and nodded their heads. Principal Haynes got up from his seat and walked over to the bailiff, pulling out the tape from his pocket. Harold did not like seeing that he had it, but couldn't do anything about it now. What is done is done; Harold kept telling himself to calm himself down.

Once Brody got it, he walked over to Harold and handed it to him. "Thank you Brody. Let us see what is on this tape before we go any further."

"I object your honor to this." Chief Carnes jumped out of his seat. "You need to understand what is on that tape is not the truth. Yes, it is my son's voice, but he was forced to say those things out of fear of his life. Those two hoodlums forced the confession out of him as they were beating him."

"First let me tell you the next time you get up from that seat, not only will I fine you another thousand dollars, but I will throw you in jail for twenty four hours. So sit your butt right back down in that seat if you don't want me to follow through on my promises." Throwing Harold a dirty look, Carnes sat back down.

"This tape can do as much damage to these two young men as it can to your son. If what you say is true, we will hear them beating your son on this tape. That is all this court is going to need to find them guilty for what they did and I will sentence them accordingly. At the same time, we will see if the confession was fed to your son. If he said it without anything being fed to him, your son will be arrested and brought before me as well."

Harold put the tape in the tape player and pushed play. The entire courtroom was silent as they listened to the tape. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that was hearing the tape that the chief-of-police's son was not forced to say anything. Everything he said was done on his own free will and as clear as a bell.

At the same time they were able to hear the Haynes boys either hitting the chief-of-police son or kicking him. Either way, they are guilty of assault and that does not bode well for them either. Once the tape finished playing, Harold played it again to make sure he didn't miss anything that was said or done.

"Now that I have listened to the tape, there is not a question in this court's mind that your son spoke of his own free will. What I mean is that what he said is what he did, not being fed to him to say. Therefore, I am issuing arrest warrants for your son and his friends that were involved in the brutal attack on Aaron Haynes. If I find out you try and supersede the warrants in anyway, you will be brought in front me sir. Let me tell you if that happens, you will not like it, trust me."

Chief Carnes tried to stop Harold from issuing out the arrest warrant for his son, but Harold refused to hear him out. "Chief Carnes you will be held here in this courtroom while your officers go and pick up your son. I can't allow you to try and race home to get your son and send him somewhere that this court can't get to him."

"Your honor you are not allowed to do that."

"Not only am I allowed to do it, I am doing it. If you refuse to sit down on your own, you will be put in handcuffs, taken back to the holding tank. The decision is yours on how this is all going to unfold, so what is it going to be?"

The chief looked around the courtroom and saw all the exits guarded by bailiffs that were not under his command. Seeing that there was no way he was going to be able to get out of the courtroom and to his son, he gave in and sat down. Once he took his seat, Harold turned his attention to the Haynes boys.

"Mr. Haynes, why don't you come up here and join your boys while I continue these proceedings?" Principal Haynes got up from his seat and walked over to his oldest son's side. "You have a right to an attorney, which I am pretty sure you are aware of that. At the same time, you can forgo that and represent yourselves here today."

The Haynes boys looked at their father for guidance. As they looked at him, he looked at Harold trying to get a read on where he was going with all this, but got nothing. Harold has a very good poker face and wasn't giving anything away. Hesitantly, he waived his son's rights to an attorney and allowed Harold to continue.

"Scott and Cory Haynes you are being charged with assault and battery, one count each, how do you plea?" Once again, they looked at their father for guidance. It didn't take a genius to figure out what Harold wanted, guilty. "Since you are pleading guilty to these charges, I am going to go ahead and move to sentencing.

Before I do that, I must make it very clear that there is never a time that a regular citizen should take the law into his or her own hands. No matter what they think they are doing is right, they should never do it. Two wrongs don't make a right and you two young men should know that at you age.

With that said, since you are pleading guilty and I am accepting your plea, I am sentencing you to five years." The Haynes' were stunned on what they just heard. Principal Haynes could not believe it the most. He thought after this morning he had a friend in Harold, but now he can see that he does not.

"But I am going to defer the sentence to one year of deferred probation and one hundred hours each of community service. What that means is that as long as you boys keep your noses clean and report to your probation officer when told, you will be off probation in a year and nothing will be on your record, including the arrest."

Principal Haynes didn't know what to do, smile or not. He has never heard of deferred probation in his life. All he knows is that his sons still have to serve one year, but he doesn't know how they have to serve it. Then when he heard Chief Carnes object to the sentence, he knew what Harold handed down was the best he could under the circumstances that was before him.

"You two young men step to the side and see probation so you can get out of here and be at your brother's side." Harold looked over at Brody. "Why don't you go out there and let those that were asked to leave the courtroom know they can come back in. We need to finish what is on our schedule. Even if it means we work late into the evening."

Principal Haynes couldn't be any more happier than he is right now. Not only are those that are responsible for almost killing his son being arrested as he stands there, his two older sons are not going to jail. They did get very close to being locked up, but thankfully, they went in front of a man that he just made a friend that day.

As they finished up with probation, the Haynes headed out of the courtroom, but Harold called them back. "If the police or anyone with the city causes you guy's problems, let me know or dial 911 and make a report. Don't take matters into your own hands because that will get you revoked from your probation and sent up to do your five years. I don't want to ever have to hand out that sentence to you boys, okay?"

Scott and Cory both shook their heads and thanked Harold before leaving. Principle Haynes mouthed thank you to Harold as well before turning and joining his boys. As they walked out of the courtroom, Harold turned his attention to the cases before him. He saw he had many cases to get through and not a lot of time to do them in.

Meanwhile back at Austin High, the final bell sounded, excusing the students for the day. Joey and Caleb quickly got what they need before heading to the truck. They knew the guys were going to be waiting for them to go to Aaron's house. Even though they don't know Aaron really well, they are still worried about what they have been hearing.

When they reached the truck, the guys were already there. With his remote, Joey unlocked the doors to the truck a couple feet away. Cody and Gary heard the doors unlock so they got in, followed by the others. By the time Joey and Caleb reached the truck, everyone had already gotten in.

All the way to Aaron's house, they talked about how the story changed throughout the afternoon. By the time the day was over, Bill and his guys not only beat up Aaron, but they actually killed him. They were caught trying to get rid of the body in the dumpsters in the back of the school by a janitor. Even though they were caught red handed, they got away with it since who is Bill's father.

"Who is Bill's father by the way?" Joey asked as he looked at the guys through his rear view mirror. "Do any of you know who Bill's father is?"

"What I heard from several students his father is the chief-of-police, but I kind of not believe that." Shane said as he looked at the guys shaking their heads in agreement to what he just said. "If that was true, his father is the chief-of-police, why are they living on this side of town? They should be living on the rich side of town, not with the common people that actually work for a living."

That got everyone laughing. "I agree with you Shane, but I am thinking the last part of the rumor might be true. That explains a lot about Bill if his father is the chief-of-police. He thinks because of whom his father is, he can get away with anything and that might be true, but I don't think murder."

Just then, they drove up to Aaron's house, and Joey got down. The others stayed in the truck figuring if they all got down, it might scare Aaron if the rumors are not true. They watched as Joey walked up to the front door and knocked. A minute or so later, Joey knocked again and waited, but there was no answer. After trying it the third time and not getting an answer, Joey gave up and returned to the truck.

"Well guys no one is home. That means some part of the rumor that is going around the school might be right, but not all of it. I don't think the part of Bill and his friends killing Aaron are true. If any of it is, it is the part they beat him up and that is all. His father has power here in this city, but not enough to keep his son from getting arrested when his son actually breaks the law."

Joey climbed back into the truck not getting a response on what he just said. He started it, pulled away from the curve slowly, and made his way to Piedras St. to get to the freeway. No one said a word; they just thought about what if the rumor was right.

They were brought out of their thoughts when they passed Hamilton St. Several police cruisers were not allowing anyone to get through, blocking off the road. Joey didn't think much about it until he saw who they were putting in the back of one of the cruisers, one of the guys that hung around with Bill. His parents were right behind the officer yelling at them that they are arresting the wrong person.

"You see Joey, you see, the rumors have to be right." Cody spoke up as he pressed his finger against the window. "They wouldn't arrest a person for just beating up a person. That they would leave to the principal to deal with. No they are arresting him because the rumor is actually true and they killed Aaron."

"Stop saying that everyone, just stop!" Deejay yelled out. "It seems that you guys want it to be true so we can be part of those that are talking about it. Even if it is, it isn't right to be talking about it. We didn't like it when everyone was talking about us, so let's not do the same thing to Aaron. Let's wait until we know everything."

"Even then, we don't become those that we hate. Like Deejay just said, we didn't like the finger pointing and the whispering behind our backs, so let's not start doing it. If the rumor is true, which I hope it isn't, we should try and help Aaron and his family. We all know what Aaron is going through, because we have been there."

Everyone sat back in their seat and stayed quiet. The memories of the camp came flooding through, making them all shake. They would all rather cut off one of their arms or legs instead of remembering their time in the camp. That was one of the worse times of their lives, they would like to forget, and never be reminded of again.

The rest of the ride back to the hotel, none of them said a word. As soon as Joey put his truck into park he shut off the engine, everyone got down, running in. Joey stayed out front for a few minutes and watched as the construction crew was putting up the sign of his shelter. That got him thinking of all the good he can do to help kids just like him not have to go through what he and his friends went through.

After the construction crew got the first part of the sign up, Joey smiled and walked into the hotel. He joined Caleb in the restaurant to eat their normal afternoon snack before heading up to do their homework. Just as they were leaving the restaurant, Helen walked in and asked to speak with them.

Joey and Caleb knew by her tone that whatever she has to talk about is not good for them. They retook their seats and listened to Helen as she told them what happened earlier. As they listened to her recount of the story, they could not believe that the rumors were actually true, to a point. Aaron wasn't killed, but he was almost killed by those damn idiots and their hatred for gays.

The more detail Helen gave about the beating, the angrier Joey got. It brought back flashes of the beatings he got at the camp and it made him shake. Caleb felt Joey shaking and he reached over and grabbed his hand to try to console him. The more Helen went on, the more Joey shook. Finally, Helen saw it and stopped going into detail about what had happened to Aaron the day before.

"Look boys, there is really nothing any of us can do at this point. He is being taken care of at the hospital and hopefully when he gets out, he won't have to see those boys again. The question that I have for you is something I have not even discussed yet. So I need you two to somehow put what I said in the back of your mind for now and listen to the next thing I have to say really closely. I know it's going to be hard, but try."

Just as Helen said, it was hard for both Joey and Caleb to just stop thinking about what had happened to Aaron. If things continue to get worse at the school, one of them could be next. Heck it could have been one of them being jumped the day before not Aaron. The only reason they got their hands on the kid is because he was alone and he trusted them due to the fact Aaron thought they were his friends.

"After your dad handled the situation with those kids that hurt the principal son, he talked to the principal about your safety. He feared that if the kids at the school didn't fear beating up the principal's kid, then what would stop them from coming after any of you."

"I tell you what will stop them, us!" Joey slammed his fist against the table. "I went through this hatred once already and there is no way I am going to go through it again. No one, I mean no one will ever do what happened to me in that camp again. So I would like to see them try to put their hands on me and they will see what it means to mess with a real man. What they did is not what real men do. It was what sissies do."

"Yeah exactly mom, they are nothing but cowards because they ganged up on him as a group. If they tried to hurt him by themselves, they would have failed and they knew that and that is why they did it as a group. If they try to mess with any of us, they will have to deal with all of us. Trust me no one wants to deal with all of us."

"Boys you are going somewhere I never thought you would go." Helen looked right into her son's eyes. "I never brought you up Caleb to settle your problems with violence. I tried to teach you the best way to deal with your problems are by talking it out first. If that didn't work, walk away. Turn your back and just walk away from the person trying to get you to raise your fist. Violence is not the way to settle anything."

"Come on mom; tell that to Bill and his gang. From the first moment, we walked onto that campus they have been after us. The teachers are no help because most of them agree with those guys. Because of all that, there is no way we can just turn the other cheek and walk away. Not if we ever want to hold our head up high at that school."

Helen sighed as she looked at the boys. She knew where they were coming from and understood their frustration. Not only are they fighting bullies their own age, but their teachers have been no help as well. She knows if they continue going to that school, they are going to land up having no other choice one-day but to raise their fists.

"Okay I see what you boys are saying, but now hear me out. You father and the principal came to an agreement on how to deal with those at your school that are exactly like those boys that have been giving you problems. Principal Haynes knows that he is not going to be able to change the thinking at that school towards you boys over night. He also cannot suspend the entire student body for thinking the way they think. Not as long as they don't react on their thoughts that is. If that happens, that student is gone.

So, this is what they came up with. Principal Haynes is offering you boys the choice to either stay at his school or transfer out. Now keep in mind if you decide not to transfer out, he cannot keep you guys safe. That is a promise he knows he cannot keep.

At the same time you boys cannot be together all of the time. Just like what happened to Aaron, can happen to any of you. They caught him alone and that is when they hurt the poor kid. You know as well as I do there will be times that you boys will be alone, either in the restroom, between classes or something else dealing with school. That is when they are going to strike and hurt you boys."

"Let's say we decide to transfer out like chickens, what school is willing to take us and can that school keep us any safer than Austin can?"

"That is a good question and was discussed between your father, Principal Haynes and the principal from El Paso High School. They all agreed that the best school for you boys is El Paso since the student body there has no problems going to school with gay students. There are a few that have the backward thinking, but those students are far less than at Austin right now. Plus you have your friends there Joey that..."

"That I made a deal with that I was not going to attend El Paso High School." Joey interrupted angrily. "I really wish I was in that meeting so I could have stopped it right there. I promised Jacob's grandfather that I would not attend the same high school that Jacob is attending and that promise I plan to keep."

"Now Joey, Jacob's grandfather can't tell you where you can and can't go to school. If you are in danger at this school and the only school you are safe at is El Paso High School, I don't see Jacob's grandfather holding you to that promise. Go to him if you want out of respect for all he has done and tell him what is going on. I am sure at the end of that conversation he will not hold you to that promise you made."

"I do know about that right now. Al is very busy and the last time I talked with Jacob he's not even in town. He is in Austin dealing with a few things for the governor and will not be back for at least three more weeks. Until he comes back and I talk to him, we are going to have to stick it out at Austin High School. Who knows, maybe things will get a lot better now that Bill and his gang are gone."

"That is something I'm not willing to find out Joey." Caleb for the first time raised his voice to Joey. "If you want to wait around to get permission to live your life for your ex's grandfather, go right ahead, but I'm not. I didn't make that promise and I would never have made that promise. We are being offered a chance to get out of that hell hole and I plan to take it and I am pretty sure the other guys will as well."

"Fine you take it, but you are doing it without me." Joey got up from the table and walked out of the kitchen, surprising both Helen and Caleb. As he headed to the elevator, he saw two guys that he has never seen before sitting in the lobby. He turned around and went over to see who and what they wanted.

"Hello can I help you gentleman." Both guys got up from their chairs and extended their hands for Joey to shake. Joey polity shook both of their hangs and asked again, who they were and what they wanted. "I am not trying to be rude here, but who are you guys and who do you need to speak to?"

"You sir, Joey Alvarez," one of the guys said as he looked down at his little tablet. "My name is Julian Ludwig and this is my partner Diego Cross." The names started to sound off alarm bells to Joey. "You called us a couple of days ago to see if we could locate someone in Mexico and bring that person back to the states."

"Yes I remember, but you told me on that call that you would not be able to do it because of the person I am asking you to locate and bring back. Something about she is too much in the news right now and what you do is not exactly legal. I figured on how that conversation ended, you guys were not interested on doing the job for me."

"We discussed it some more after speaking with you and decided that we can take on the case if you want us to." Joey pointed to the chairs for his guest to sit down. "The person you want us to locate is all over the news right now, but that can work to our advantage to a point. She is probably thinking right now that no one will come in and forcefully remove her from Mexico and bring her to the states."

"And you two are willing to do that?" Joey asked as he took his seat.

"We have people that do it. We don't do that part of the job. What we do is locate the person, follow that person around for a while to get their schedule down, make a plan and then hand it off to the people that extract them. Once they get our plans, they execute them as we put it together and within twenty four to forty eight hours that person is back in the states facing justice for what they were running away from."

"You know what I don't understand about all this is why doesn't the government do this. Obviously, it can be done and they have well trained people to get it done. Why is it that they don't do this when the government in question is not obeying the agreement they made with our government."

"First of all, the federal government hasn't even gotten involved in this case, and probably never will. They are the ones that have those well-trained men and woman, not the governor of Texas. Now the governor of Texas is doing much more than any governor would have ever done to get the person in question back. He just doesn't have that kind of man power to use, but if he did, there is no question he would use it."

"Let's say you guys go ahead on this, how long will it be before I see results? It has been way too long already that my mother has not seen her day in court for what she did to me. She needs to be brought back to the states one way or another so I can rest a little bit easier knowing that she is behind bars, not lurking out there somewhere."

"We never put a time frame on a job. There is too much that can go wrong and will go wrong if we have a mandate to meet. All I can say is that we can get your mother over here a lot faster than the government trying to work it out. There is way too much red tape and political posturing going on to make things run fast."

Joey leaned back and thought about what he is about to do. On one hand, he can get his mother back here, and be done with the nightmare. On the other hand, it is against the law on what he is about to adventure into. There will always be that question out there how did she land up on the front steps of the police station wrapped up and a bow on top.

"With your visit here tonight am I to take it that you guys are going to take the case?" At the same time both Ludwig and Cross nodded their heads. "Okay let's do it this way. Locate her and put a plan together to get her out of Mexico. Once you have all that come back to me and let me know. At that point I will decide if we go any further."

"That isn't how we do things Mr. Alvarez. Once you hire us, you never see us again. The only communication you will ever have with us from this day forward is paying us when the job is done and that is all." Mr. Cross leaned forward in his seat, trying to make sure that Joey understood there is no other option on doing this except theirs.

"I am sorry Mr. Cross and Ludwig, it is either going to have to be done the way I want it done, or we don't do business together." Joey matched Mr. Cross's glare. "The reason I want it done this way is so I have a chance to call it off if I think that it is best that my mother stays where she is at. There is no guarantee once she is here that she will be convicted. There is no way I want her in my life or my sisters."

"Fine you are the one paying the bills, but let me make this clear to you right here and now. No matter if you decide to go through with it or not on bringing your mother over, you will owe the same amount of money. There is no paying a portion of it because you got cold feet. The entire bill will be due when you make the call on your mother."

"The bill I have no problem with. What I have a problem with is my ability to sleep. If I bring her over and the courts, screw it all up. She will be back in my life and my sisters life, and that is what I don't want at the end the day. If keeping her running from the law for the rest of her life gets that for me, so be it."

Joey talked a little more with Ludwig and Cross to nail out the final details before walking them to the door. Once they were gone, Joey could not stop asking himself what he is doing is right. He doesn't want to break the law, but at the same time he does not want to keep looking over his shoulder to see if his mother is watching him.

While Joey was talking with his guest, Helen and Caleb were in the restaurant talking about what had just happened between them and Joey. Caleb was a little worried about Joey walking out the way he did because the last time he did that, they didn't talk for days. He doesn't want that, especially right now with everything going on.

"Mom I know I am not wrong here this time, it is Joey. He has to understand that he can't keep that promise he made to Jacob's grandfather because when it was made, neither of them knew what kind of school Austin was. I am pretty sure if that man is told all this, he will not force Joey to follow through with his promise."

"Honey you are right and wrong at the same time. Joey needs to talk to Mr. Serna before he goes against the promise he made. One reason for that is because, the place we are living was given to him by the very man you seem not to like. If it were not for Mr. Serna, we would be still looking for a place to live."

Helen grabbed her son's hand. "You got a lot from your father, good and bad. One of the bad things you got from your father is the thinking that things must be your way or the highway. That doesn't work in relationships and the sooner you figure that out, the better you and Joey will be. The fights you guys have will more than likely disappear."

"Come on mom I give as much as Joey does. Us being here is proof of that."

"No son you are wrong on that. Us being here is proof that Joey is willing to give, not you because we are the ones that had to move, remember." Caleb shook his head. "It had to be hard for him to return here to El Paso where he hurt so many, but he did. He did it out of love for you. Don't ever forget that he did that."

"You are right on that mom, but that is then and we are talking about now and what is going on in our lives right now. Joey can't forget that it is not just him in this relationship and at that school. Not only am I threatened every day, but also everyone at this shelter is. He needs to think of that above all else while making the decision to transfer."

"I am pretty sure that is on his mind and it is making it even harder for him to stick to the promise he made to Mr. Serna. However, you can't speak the way you are speaking and ask what you are asking if you are not willing to live by what you are saying. Still to this day, you have not fixed the problem that caused you and Joey to get into that huge fight back home before we left. Until you are willing to live by what you are preaching, don't preach it. It isn't right and I didn't raise you to be the person you are being about that."

Caleb did not have anything to come back at his mother with because she was right. Joey and he still have not dealt with the issue that got them fighting back home. Just like the times before, they put the topic on the back burner because they didn't want to argue about it. That is not fair to Joey and he needs to correct that immediately.

Caleb got up from his seat, kissed his mother before heading to the lobby. When he got to a phone, he looked around to make sure there was no one around. Once he was sure that no one was in the lobby, he sat down, picked up the phone and dialed the number to his friend's house in Alamogordo. A few rings later, he was talking with his best friend.

While the boys were dealing with their own demons, Harold was trying to get through his cases. As they got to the last case for the day, the doors to his courtroom swung open and one by one, Bill and his friends were brought in. Chief Carnes got up from his seat and walked over to his son to make sure he was okay.

He didn't have a chance to talk to his son before Harold ordered everyone to take their seats and be quiet. He completed the last case that was on his docket before turning his attention to the five kids he saw this morning at Austin High School. The look on their faces was a lot different from the look they had in the morning when they were all high and mighty thinking that they were untouchable.

"Why don't all five of you come up here at once?" The five boys got up and walked closer to the bench. Chief Carnes joined his son and was determined not to be forced to leave his side. "I warned you boys this morning what would happen if you appear before me, but you didn't believe me. In fact, you believed that I was full of crap and you guys were untouchable, but here we are."

"Your honor I was unaware that you had spoken to my son this morning. Since you have prior knowledge of this case, you must step down from the case and hand it over to another judge so these five young men could get a fair trial."

"I hear you Chief Carnes and I deny that request. I was brought in this morning to a case that was mine to make sure laws were not being broken. Not only was I protecting the rights of the school, the school district, but these five young men as well. Nothing that happened this morning is cause for me to excuse myself from this case and I have the recording of the entire meeting on file to prove that.

Now that we have gotten that part out of the way, let's move onto what we are going to do with these young men. This morning I gave you a chance to come clean and I would have been easy on you, but none of you did. I warned you if proof came up that proved that you boys were the ones that tried to kill Aaron Haynes. I would throw the book at you. Did you think I was playing with you?"

None of the five guys said a word. "Young Carnes you were very vocal this morning when we met for the first time, where is that tongue this evening. Did you lose it somewhere from the school, to your house and here?" Bill looked up and shook his head. "It looks like you have because you are not mouthing off that you are untouchable."

"I never said any such thing and you..." Chief Carnes slapped his son across the back of his head to shut him up. "I am sorry your honor about the way my son has spoken to you. I hope you don't hold that against him in this hearing and give him and his friends here the same treatment that you gave the principals sons this afternoon."

"These five gentlemen are being charged with several charges, among them are Class A felonies. The seriousness of these charges does not give me much wiggle room to work with, unlike the Haynes boys from earlier. On top of that, the Haynes boys told me the truth from the moment they walked in here, unlike these five gentlemen."

Harold looked over at the five boys. "We need to get through this procedure so where we all can go home for the evening. My bailiff is going to read off your name, then what you are being charged with. As he finished each charge, you say either guilty or not guilty. Do you understand what I am saying so far?"

Before the boys could says yes, the doors swung open again. Everyone looked over at the doors to see five men walking in. "Your honor please forgive us for our tardiness. We were just hired as these boys' attorneys and had to rush down here with little time to prepare." The attorneys walked up to the five boys and spoke with them before speaking again to Harold.

"In order to move things along, we agreed to let me talk on behalf of all our clients. We waive the reading and enter in a not guilty to all counts. I move that these five young boys are released to the custody of their parents. They have never broken the law, going to high school at this time and their parents will make sure they appear for all court dates."

"First you need to get your facts straight. Your clients are not going to school because this morning they were suspended."

"I know that sir, but that is something I am going to get fixed tomorrow during the meeting I have with the school board."

"At this moment your clients are not attending school, which means there is time in the day that they are free to do whatever they want to without anyone knowing. On top of that, the type of charges they are being charged with, attempted murder is the highest. I can't in good conscious release your clients knowing what they have already done and they didn't think twice about doing it."

"Your honor you have to set bail for our clients and since it is their first offense, you should follow the protocol that all judges follow."

"First you do not come in this court and tell me what I should do. This is my courtroom, not yours. Second, I am not your normal judge in this county. I was handpicked by the governor to the only judge seat in this district that is a lifetime appointment. That means I do not have to worry about what people think. All I have to worry about is executing the law as it is written.

Your clients are remanded to the custody of the city of El Paso. They will be transferred to the detention center on the outskirts of town where all inmates are kept that are in gangs. They will remain there until either I grant bail or they are found not guilty by a jury of their pears." Harold looked over to his bailiffs. "Take custody of these five individuals and get them on the evening transport to the detention center."

"Your honor at least put them with the other juveniles. Don't send them to the gang prison. They are not affiliated with any gangs. In fact they are very good kids, with straight A's at school and are on the school basketball, football and baseball teams."

"In the courts view they are a gang since they were together when they allegedly tried to kill one of their fellow classmates. By the way, the charges stand with them allegedly committing the crime as a group of more than one, they are a gang. In return, all gangs are sent to the new dentition facility. My hands are tied in this area, sorry."

Bills attorney mumbled under his breath before speaking out loud. "At least set another hearing tomorrow at this time so I can bring to you that these students have been reinstated as students at Austin High School." Harold looked down at his docket for tomorrow before answering.

"Sorry my docket is full tomorrow, can't do that. My next opening is Tuesday next week at ten in the morning. I will see you and your clients then." Harold looked over at his bailiffs and waved them off. They took the five boys and escorted them to the back with the others that are waiting for the evening transport.

Chief Carnes did not like how Harold was treating his son and he made it very clear. Harold ignored it at first, but as the chief got louder and more vocal, Harold could not ignore it anymore. He remanded the chief to the custody of the county for twenty-four hours and fined him another one thousand dollars.

As soon as Chief Carnes was taken down the tunnel to the county jail, he was released. None of the officers wanted to lock up the chief-of-police, even though a judge ordered it. They marked him as being processed in and being taken to a separate holding tank, but they didn't. They instead walked the chief-of-police out the front door.

As he sat there in his car, he watched the van carrying his son pull out and head down Overland Street. He couldn't believe he couldn't save his son from going to jail. Even though it is going to be only for a couple of days, he is still going to jail. A place that will eat his son and his friends up alive in that short period of time.

He swore to himself right there and then that he was going to bring down this judge if that is the last thing he was going to do as chief-of-police. No one does this to his family and gets away with it, no matter who they are. The judge just made an enemy out of a person that everyone would rather have as a friend in this city.



{Welcome back one and all to another exciting chapter of "Regrets and Heartaches". I hope you enjoyed this chapter and it unfolded the way you thought it would. There is so much now going on in this story, I have a hard time finding a quitting point. I truly hope you guys feel the way I do about this story, it finally has its own life.

The chapter picked up with the three guys talking in Principal Hayne's office. It took a lot of back and forth to get Haynes to agree that best thing for Joey, his group and everyone like them is a transfer out of Austin. I understand why Haynes was unwilling to agree to that. It makes it look like he has lost complete control of his school, and that is something no principal wants.

Then after they got him to agree to offer the transfer to Joey and them, it took Michaels and Harold a little more time to get him to come around to do the same thing for his son. Come on he could not protect him before, what made Haynes think it was going to be different when his son returned to school. I am glad he folded on that as well.

All of us remember from high school how our classmates loved to gossip. In the real world that has not changed much as well. No matter where you are in life, there are always those that like to gossip. They seem to get off on it, just like the kids here at Austin High School do.

They didn't know what happened the day before, but that did not stop them from talking about it. I am glad that Joey and his group took the high road and stayed away from the gossip machine. I wonder if they were not the gossip before this, would they have joined in. I guess we will never know the answer to that question.

Harold is one mean son-of-bitch. If I ever get in trouble with the law, I don't want to land up in front of a judge like Harold. He is a man of his word. Before I go there, let me talk about the first hearing he had with the Haynes boys. First they got arrested really quickly, but what did we suspect since the kid they beat up is the son of the chief-of-police. That title did not help Bill later in the chapter.

Back to this hearing Harold had. He was fair and I like how he ruled dealing with the Haynes boys. I know for those that know the law really well this is not how the procedure goes, but I wanted to get that over with because the plot with Bill and his five friends are going to take a lot of time and court talk. I did not want to repeat the same thing with two trials. With that said, I don't think the Hayne's boys will screw up their probation.

Let's talk a little bit about the two things that happened at the hotel when Joey and Caleb got there. First, the chat with Helen about the transfer to El Paso High School. I see where Joey is coming from and I am glad through his talk with his mother, Caleb sees it too as well. Joey made a promise he plans to keep. It is just right that he talks with Al about attending El Paso High since it was Al that he promised not to attend that school.

I don't agree with Joey getting upset and leaving the room. He wants to be treated like an adult; he needs to start acting like an adult. At least by him doing that, something good came out of it. The call Caleb made to his friends, I wonder what was said. For the answer to that and many other questions, you will have to wait until the next chapter.

The other thing that happened that might have surprised you guys are the guests Joey met in the lobby. I know you have been wondering what has been going on with that plot, Beth, and we got a little peak on it. Let me warn you guys once again not to think that is how that plot is going to unfold. I might take it down an entirely different direction.

Finally the end of the chapter, what did you guys think about it? Did you think Harold was unjust by sending those five kids to the gang prison? Was he unjust sentencing Chief Carnes to a day in jail for being angry on losing his son? Was he unjust by fining the chief two thousand dollars? This plot has a long life, so stick around and see how it unfolds in the chapters to come.

One last thing you guys don't forget about all the other open plots and characters out there. This story is about a week behind Jacob and Alex's. We are approaching the weekend that Jacob and the guys coming down to help Joey and his group settle in. We still have everything that happened that weekend. On top of that there are the Beth and Dominic plots still open. As well as the dating situation between Fran and Allen and much, much more still to cover. So come on back and see how all that unfolds.

There is so much going on in this saga. I can keep writing, but I will not. 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 will not. 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!}


Well, another different chapter to what some of you might have expected. While Jacob didn't stick strictly to court protocol. He is the author so he can more or less do what he likes, and I for one don't want to get bogged down with too much court stuff.

Once again, Joey acted like a spoilt little kid. He wants to be an adult yet when he looks like he is losing an argument he storms out and sulks, and as always it is his boyfriend who cops the brunt of it. How true that song title "You always hurt the one you love" is in this case. These two guys love each other dearly yet have problems being honest with each other.

I am not sure if Joey is on the right track-hiring mercenaries to bring his mother to justice, and as Jacob pointed out this could backfire on him. I know I'm picking on Joey a lot in these notes, but he is also not thinking of the welfare of those kids he brought to El Paso either. He saved them and they are relying on him to look after them and keep them safe, which will not happen at Austin high.

Keep reading all the stories so you do not miss a thing.

Hugs Trevor