Written by: J.P.G.

{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 can't 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!}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Edited By: Kent

Edited By: "Daddy" Rick

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

Chapter 25

Judge Harold walked into his office a little later than he normally does. He got stuck dealing with a couple of things on the first floor as he made his way to his chambers. When he walked in his secretary handed him his daily schedule and a cup of coffee. Harold quickly opened up his schedule to make sure the case that he's been thinking about ever since Saturday was scheduled. When he saw that it was, he tossed the schedule onto the desk and sat down.


He turned around in his seat and looked out the window thinking about what he was going to do in the case concerning Bill Carnes. When he met with the young man over the weekend he saw a very different person than he saw in his courtroom earlier in the week. He saw a kid that was remorseful and hurting; a kid that might not have done what he did if he didn't have a lousy upbringing.


One part of Harold, his heart, wants to give this kid a second chance. He saw in this kid's emotions and body language a kid that wouldn't throw away a second chance. However, that all depends on whether or not his mother actually takes on the responsibility that she should have years ago and pulls him out of that house.


Then there's another part of him wants to strictly follow the law. This kid that he is feeling sorry for now because of his upbringing almost killed a fellow student because of the hatred he has for gays. If he takes a chance on Bill and he's wrong, it will reflect badly on him and the new court Governor Lopez created for him.


Before he was able to make a decision, his bailiff walked in and informed him it was time to hear the first case. He turned around in his chair and thanked the bailiff as he got up and walked over to the door. Before exiting out of his chambers, he put on his robe.


As the bailiff brought the court into session, Harold walked in and took a look around the courtroom. In the jury box were fifteen inmates from the County jail waiting, and another five cases that the charged individual got bail. The only ones that were missing were Bill and his friends. Bill's mother and father were already in the courtroom, sitting far apart.


Knowing that his time is restricted, Harold quickly took his seat and brought up the first case. He started knocking them out of the way one by one, not really spending more than five minutes per case. Almost all of them were plea bargains, and those that weren't were hearings about bail reduction or revocation.


When Harold was wrapping up the cases from the County jail, the side door of the courtroom opened and several sheriffs walked in. Right behind them were Bill and his friends, followed by several more deputies. The deputies guided the inmates to the far side of the jury box and had them sit down before un-cuffing their wrists from the chain around their waists. Once they freed the inmate's hands, they did the same thing with the shackles around the ankles, leaving them with only the handcuffs on their wrists and shackles on their feet.


Harold returned his attention back to the case he was hearing, but his mind wasn't completely focused. One of the defense attorneys actually called him on it, which he regretted afterwards. No judge likes to be embarrassed in their own courtroom by anyone. When this attorney did embarrass the judge, he got ruled against on every motion. Harold did make sure when he did rule against him, there wasn't a thing the defense attorney could hang his hat on to appeal his ruling. Simply put, every judge hates their rulings to be overturned, Harold is no exception.


Once the final case was done from the County jail, Harold cleared the courtroom. The only ones he allowed to stay were those that were involved in the case that was before him. It took awhile for the bailiffs to clear the courtroom, but once they did, Harold got down to business. He called Bill first since he was the ringleader of the whole thing.


Before the bailiff could even finish calling out the case, Bill's defense attorney made a motion for a continuance, which was denied. He followed up that motion with a bail reduction, and again he was denied. A little frustrated, Bill's defense attorney didn't give up. He made a motion to have his client moved from where he is currently being held to the County jail. Without meaning to, Harold laughed it off and denied the motion.


"There is no way I would ever consider moving your client from detention facility to the County jail. With that said do you have any other motions you want me to hear?" The defense attorneys shook his head. "Good then we can actually get down to the real business of your client's case."


Harold looked over at the prosecutor. "Have there been any attempts to plea bargain this case out?" The district attorney shook her head. "Why hasn't there been at least a plea bargain presented to this inmate? My docket is so overloaded now that I don't even have time to get to my second courtroom and hear cases there."


"I'm sorry Sir I thought that you wouldn't ever sign off on any kind of plea bargain dealing with this case." The prosecutor looked up at Harold with a confused look. "If you want me to negotiate to plea this out, I have no problem with that. Just like you, my caseload is so overwhelming I don't even have time to have lunch."


Harold looked down at the files on his desk and glanced through them once more before he said another word. He wanted to make sure that the decision he was leaning towards could be supported by the law. There was so much going through his mind at that moment, he was trying to get out of the fog and do what's right not only by the law, but for the kids as well.


"I have a lot of reservations about this case. I don't even know where to start. One thing I do know is I believe in rehabilitation. These young boys made a mistake because of what they were taught at home. They were taught to hate and that is exactly what they did on the day in question.


Mr. Carnes, you were the ringleader to this entire thing. Before I pass any judgment on you, I would like you to take a step back and allow me to deal with your three cohorts." Hesitantly, Bill did what the judge asked him to do. He and his attorney walked back to the defense table and sat down while his friends stepped forward.


"Gentlemen, you spent several days as guests in the detention facility created for gang members. The reason I sent you there was to send a loud and clear message that if you are found guilty of the crime you are charged with, that is where you're going to go. As you saw in the last several days you have no rights and quality of life. Your life belongs to the guards at that facility for every second of every day. My question to you is that what you want?"


One at a time each stepped forward and said no. "I truly believe that you three did what you did because you were following your designated leader. What concerns me is that, if I do what I would like to do here, you will find another misguided student to follow. I am concerned that you all are followers, not leaders and that worries me deeply."


Looking into the eyes of the three young teenage boys standing before him, Harold could see they are scared out of their minds. He also could see that these kids are not in a gang and they don't belong in a facility created for gang members. He is well aware that if he sentenced them to that facility, he would be doing them more harm than good.


"I am pretty sure your attorneys won't object to the plea bargain I am offering. However, before you all say yes, you will need to talk it over with your attorneys. The prosecutor must sign off on it as well. If either two parties object to this plea bargain, it goes away and I will leave it up to the parties to come up with one. If the two parties are unable to come to an agreement, your cases will go to the jury."


Harold didn't get any reaction from the defendants, their attorneys or the prosecutor. "Here is what I propose to do with this case. You all broke the law and need to be held accountable, but the punishment must fit the crime. At the same time the punishment that is handed down must take in to consideration your ages.


So here is what I feel you three deserve. Ten years in prison, but I will suspend your prison time to five years of probation with a monitor. On top of the five years of monitored probation, you must do each five hundred community service hours at our County Hospital in the AIDS wing. You must get over the hatred you have for a certain element of citizens of this country and the only way I know how to get that accomplished is by you working alongside of them."


The judge was about to let the three young teenagers step aside to speak with their attorneys when he saw a couple things he had forgotten. "Just a moment gentlemen, there are still a couple more items that I had forgotten. Whatever hospital costs that the Haynes family couldn't cover will be your responsibility. If there is an amount out there that their insurance won't cover, that amount will be divided equally among you all. On top of that, you will be responsible for court costs and probation fees of no more than thirty dollars a month.


Why don't you three gentlemen walk back over to the jury box and discuss this with your attorneys. I will give you fifteen minutes to make a decision to either accept the plea bargain or take your chances with a jury. I want you all to keep in mind that the people of this city are fed up with this kind of behavior from our youth. A jury will have the right to sentence you all the way up to twenty-five years in prison."


Harold wanted to say more, but decided he said enough. He allowed the three young teenagers to go off to the jury box and speak it over with their attorneys. When they walked away, Harold asked for Bill in his attorney to step forward. He still was unsure of what he was going to do with this individual since his father is the main problem.


"You, young man, I am still very baffled about. I believe you can be rehabilitated, but if I send you back to the very house that taught you this hatred, it would defeat the purpose. The house has an individual residing there that believes in what he has taught you. Unless I get you away from this individual, you are going to end up behind bars for the rest of your life."


"Your honor, you have no right to be speaking the way you are speaking about me. Either you give my son the same plea bargain you are giving his friends, or you make them all stand trial." Chief Carnes stepped forward speaking out turn.


"Chief Carnes you have not yet learned your lesson about my courtroom procedures. If you interrupt me one more time I will find you in contempt of court and this time you will be spending seven days at my facility. Have I made myself clear Sir?" Hesitantly Chief Carnes took several steps back, refusing to look at Harold, but he was nodding his head.


"Let the record show that defendant's father, Mr. Shane Carnes, nodded his head in agreement to the question I asked." Harold said as he looked over to the court reporter. "This is a prime example of what I'm saying. You have been taught all your life that you are above the law because of who your father is. Let me make this very clear, you are not above the law nor is your father. In fact, no one is above the law and no matter who they are, President of the United States all away down to you and me.


Still, I agree with your father to a point. It wouldn't be fair for me to offer a deal to your co-defendants and not one to you. However, you were the ring leader and because you were the one that instigated the entire thing, your sentence should be stiffer. The only question this court has before it right now is how severe your sentence should be. I have given this issue a lot of thought and have taken your age into consideration.


Young Mr. Carnes if you choose to take a plea from this court, this is how your plea will work." Mrs. Carnes was sitting there on pins and needles. She kept praying that her talk with the judge helped her son out, but the way he is talking she fears the worst. Even Bill stood there trembling waiting for the judge to hand down a lay out for him to serve time.


"The plea bargain, if you choose to take it, will sentence you to twenty years in prison, but the prison time will be suspended to probation for ten years. You will also have to wear a monitor around your ankle until you get off of probation. I also believe leaving you in the home of your father will be counterproductive. So while you are on probation you will be serving your time at the new halfway house, The Joey Alvarez Shelter."


Mrs. Carnes took in a breath of relief when she heard that her son wasn't going to spend any more time behind bars if he accepts the plea bargain. Her husband, Mr. Carnes didn't like the plea and was showing it on his face. Just as he was about to object to the plea, one of the defense attorneys held him down, which didn't make him any happier.


"You will also have to do eight hundred hours of community service. You will do your hours at The Joey Alvarez Shelter and the AIDS wing at our County Hospital. You will also be paying restitution to Aaron Haynes." Once again Harold was about to let them go to discuss the plea bargain when he remembered about the other fines. "Hold on, you will also pay court costs and probation fees that won't exceed over forty dollars a month on top of your restitution and community service hours.


Mr. Carnes, you and your attorney go on over to the defense table and take fifteen minutes to discuss what is being offered to you. If you choose to take this plea, you must go on the record and elocute to what you did to Aaron Haynes. You're not pleading guilty. As long as you do your probation, none of this will ever be on your record and you will never see the inside of a prison again."


As Bill and his attorney walked over to the defense table, the first three that Judge Evans spoke to were called back up with their attorneys. Judge Evans didn't say a word when they first walked up. He just looked at them to read their facial expressions. After getting what he wanted from their facial expressions he looked over to the prosecutor to see if she was going to bite.


"Gentlemen I am going to have my bailiff call you one by one. First we will start with you Mr. Tyler McCloud, and then were going to move to you Mr. Matthew Coronado and at the end it will be you Mr. Pablo Carrasco. While I am talking to you each individually, the others will step back and wait to be called."


Not objecting to the way Harold wanted things done, Matthew and Pablo stepped back with their attorneys, leaving Tyler with his in front of the judge. One at a time each went in front of the judge and accepted the plea bargain. The prosecutor didn't object and signed off on them as each of the boys pleaded out. Once they got on the roll, the pleas didn't take more than twenty minutes.


The minute Pablo did accepted the plea, Judge Evans looked over at Bill and called him and his attorney forward. Just like he did when he recalled Tyler, Matthew and Pablo, Harold just looked at Bill. He got what he wanted out of his facial expression. He was for sure that Bill was going to accept the plea bargain.


As the three before him, Bill stepped forward and put in words what his part was in the beating of Aaron Haynes. As they walked the court through the events of that day, many that were in the courtroom were sick to their stomachs. Even Harold started to rethink about the plea bargain he was offering. By the time the young Carnes finished talking Harold was ready to alter the plea bargain so Bill would serve some time behind bars. However, his gut was telling him to stay with his original decision and he did.


"What you did to Aaron Haynes is sickening and plainly unbelievable. I knew there was hate out there for the homosexual community, but I didn't know it was this bad. You and your three friends lured this young man to an isolated part of your high school and proceeded to beat him half to death. I truly believe if the custodian had not come around when he did, you four would have killed this young man.


Because you were stopped, you were charged with a lesser charge. I can guarantee you if the prisons in this state weren't at their capacity and if you killed this young man, you would have been spending the next twenty-five years of your life behind bars. Due to those circumstances and my belief that you can be rehabilitated, I am going to continue to support the plea bargain that was offered to you.


However, I can't make this any clearer than I am making it right now. If you mess up in anyway with your probation, I don't care how big or small the mess up is I will revoke you. If that day ever comes Mr. Carnes, you will be serving every minute of every day of the twenty year sentence. Do I make myself clear on this point?"


Bill stepped forward and with a clear voice answered yes to the judge. Hesitantly, Judge Evans turned to the prosecutor and asked if she objected to the plea bargain. She stepped forward and just like the other three said no. With that answer, Harold ruled on the case and gave Bill the plea bargain that was offered. As he was signing his probation paperwork, Harold made it very clear that this is the only chance he was going to get.


Meanwhile, back at Austin high school, Joey and his group had just gone to all their teachers to sign off on their transfer. After they got their grades and turned in all their books to the book room, they made their way out to the student parking lot. As soon as everyone arrived, they headed back to the hotel. They figured since it was almost lunchtime, it will be worthless to go to El Paso high school and start classes there.


The rest of the day the gang sat around the hotel doing nothing but watching television. By the time Jacob and his group arrived at the hotel, Joey and Caleb made their way up to their penthouse to turn in for the night. The next morning they got up like they normally do and got ready for school. After getting dressed, they made their way down to the restaurant.


On the way down they ran into Helen who asked them to not go in so early. At first when she made that request, both Caleb and Joey were confused. Then she explained her reasoning behind it and once she did it made sense to the two boys.


All they would be doing when they get there in the morning is sitting around waiting for first period to begin. The principal and his staff wouldn't be in their offices until then because they would be out on the grounds making sure everything was going smoothly. Joey surely didn't want to be sitting there twiddling his thumbs for an hour or so.


Seeing that the request made sense, Joey walked over to the phone and called the other guys that weren't staying at the hotel, but were transferring from Austin high to El Paso high to let them know about the change in time. When Joey got hold of all the guys and they understood what was going on, he joined Caleb and the others in the restaurant for breakfast.


Before Joey and his group finished their first serving, Jacob and his group got up and headed out. Joey couldn't help but stare at the way his former boyfriend was acting with his new boyfriend. He saw these two were very close and didn't want to be apart from each other. Dewayne walked Jacob out holding his hand and when they reached the truck, they held each other in their arms to what seemed to be eternity, but was only a few minutes. They kissed each other and then went their separate ways.


As Joey was looking at those two, Caleb was looking at Joey. The one thing he feared about moving to El Paso was coming true. Joey wouldn't be able to help himself when it comes to his ex-boyfriend. Caleb knows that Joey didn't want to break up with his ex, but he did to make his mother and uncle happy. Because of that, he knows that no matter what these two say out loud to everyone else, inside they believe something totally different.


Through the corner of Joey's eye he saw Caleb looking at him. The expression on his face of hurt almost killed Joey. He turned around and grabbed Caleb's hand and walked back to the restaurant to finish eating. Neither of the two spoke of the incident. Caleb pushed it to the back of his mind hoping that his imagination was getting away from him. That's all he can hope for because if his imagination was right, he will be losing his very first boyfriend that he loves with all his heart.


It wasn't long after Jacob and his group left that Joey gathered everyone and headed out the door. He had several extra stops to make before heading to school. Once he picked up everybody, the mood in the truck was between nervousness and happiness. They were all happy that they were getting away from that school, but at the same time they were nervous about starting over in another school for the third time since they were released from that camp.


All the way to the West side of town, no one said a word. They were wrapped in their own thoughts thinking about all the changes they have gone through the last couple months. When Joey took the exit of Schuster and got across Mesa St., he couldn't believe what was going on. There was a huge line down to this school of vehicles in idle positions. It took almost twenty minutes to go four blocks, and another fifteen minutes to find a parking space.


When Joey finally found a parking space, everyone got out of the truck and just stood there looking at huge school before them. They thought that Austin High school was huge, but now they see they were wrong because El Paso High is incredibly larger. Joey just looked at his group and started to laugh because of their facial expressions.


"You guys it may look big, because it is big, but once you get used to it, it won't seem so bad." All at once everyone looked at Joey as if he was out of his mind, which made Joey laugh even more. "Come on you guys, let's go on in and get registered to start our classes."


It took a few minutes for the others to snap out of it, but once they did they ran to catch up with Joey. When they got into the main building they just stared up and down the hallways. As they passed the classrooms, they looked in and saw that they were pretty good size. Every so often Joey had to stop to call out for them to follow him.


When they reached the principal's office, the secretaries looked up as they walked in. Together they approached the counter, but allowed Joey to do all the talking. Once Joey explained who they were and why they were there, the head secretary asked them to take a seat. As they turned to make their way to seats, the secretary picked up the phone and informed Principal Michaels about what was going on.


A few minutes later, Principal Michaels made his way to Joey and his group. He greeted them and asked them to follow him into the conference room. Nervously everyone got up and followed the older gentlemen to the conference room. They didn't take their seat right away when they walked in. After the second time Michaels asked them to take a seat, they did.


"I know why you guys are here, but there is a problem. Principal Haynes transferred you all out before clearing it with the school district." Joey and the others started to fear the worst. "That doesn't mean that you guys can't attend this school. All it means is that we have to wait for the school district to sign off of your transfer. This normally takes several weeks, but because your transfers involve special circumstances, I am getting it pushed through today.


That means you guys need to go back home for today. Tomorrow morning you come back here at the same time and we should be ready to register you. The days that you are missing won't go against your attendance. I will make sure you get excused absences and they won't take away from your allotted time to miss each semester."


No one said a word. They just stared at Principal Michaels. Seeing that none of the kids had any questions, Michaels apologized once again and asked them to come back tomorrow morning as he walked toward the conference room door. When he opened it, Joey got up, followed by the others. As they walked out they thanked Principal Michaels for everything.


Not really wanting to go back to the hotel because he had to explain to Helen what was going on, Joey asked the others if they wanted to go somewhere else as they walked to the truck. Since they aren't familiar with El Paso they left it up to Joey. He got into the truck and started to think about where he could take the guys to show them a good time.


As he drove out of the parking lot, he was wracking his brain trying to figure out where he could take the guys that would be open at this time. He looked at the clock on the dashboard and saw that it was barely a little after eight thirty. The place that he decided on wouldn't be open this early. Even the malls wouldn't be open at this time.


Reluctantly he informed everyone that everything was closed and wouldn't open for at least another hour and a half. They all sighed because they knew that they were heading back to the hotel. Once they were there they knew that they weren't going to go anywhere else for the rest of the day. It wasn't because Joey, Caleb or the rest of them would get lazy and not want to go, it would be Helen that would keep them at the hotel.


The minute they got back to the hotel and walked in, Helen greeted them with a worried look on her face. She immediately thought the worst but after Joey and Caleb explained what happened, she relaxed a little. She was angry that they were unable to start school, but at the same time she felt good that they weren't going to be held out of school any more than just the one day.


Joey and the others made their way to their rooms thinking that's what they were going to do for the rest of the day. However, Joey went down the hall knocking on everyone's door two hours later. They all walked out to the hallway wondering what was going on. Once everyone was together, Joey told them what he'd come up with.


"We have this place here called Putt Putt Golf and Games. Hold on before I continue let me make sure the place is still open." Joey looked over at his old friends from Austin high school to get the answer. "Is the place still open you guys?" All four of the guys nodded their heads at the same time. "Good than let me tell you guys all about it."


Joey went into detail about the small golf course on Montana St. He explained that the last time he was there was on his birthday and how much fun he had from the go carts to miniature golf, there was a lot to do. The group was hanging on every word Joey was saying. So when he was finished and threw out the question if they wanted to go, they all in one way or another said yes before making their way back to their rooms to get their jackets.


Five minutes later they were all back in the hallway making their way to the elevator. When the door opened, Joey and Caleb were standing there with their jackets, holding hands. All the way down and out to the truck, the guys asked Joey, Sam, Thomas, Adrian and Juan question after question about what they can do there.


It dawned on them when they were pulling out of the parking lot that they didn't have any money. When they told Joey their concern, Joey snapped back at them. "If you needed money I would have told you guys that you needed it. Since I didn't, it means you don't have to worry about it. So stop worrying about money because everything is on me."


Feeling that he might have come on strong, Joey changed the subject quickly back to the party Jacob threw for him at the place they were going. A couple times he looked over to see how Caleb was taking him talking about the past and he liked what he saw. Not only Caleb was immersed in the story, but he had a big smile on his face.


When they pulled in, it wasn't hard to find a parking spot since they were one of the first to arrive. Also it's a weekday and they normally don't have much business at this time. They quickly got down and ran almost to the entrance of the miniature golf course. When they got to the ticket counter, Joey paid for the entrance fees and everything else they needed to get access to every ride, game and everything else that place has to offer.


As they were making their way to get their golf clubs and balls, Joey stopped them and handed them each some spending money. He made it clear that this money was for them to have fun and not to buy any food. When they got hungry to come to him and he will give them money for the food or drinks they wanted to buy.


At first, the guys didn't want to take Joey's money. He had already paid for their entrance fees and an all-day pass that allows them to pretty much do what they want. However, Joey wasn't going to take no for an answer. When the money was pushed back, he pushed it back to them and asked them to take it so he felt comfortable that they had everything they needed.


After going back and forth a couple times, Joey won out. The guys took the money, thanked him and continued on their way to get their golf clubs and balls. Once they were all set, they broke into teams and competed to see who would win. They played golf almost two hours before going over to the snack bar to grab something to eat.


When their stomachs were filled, they went for the go carts and stayed there riding for awhile before returning to their miniature golf tournament. They got so into their tournament that they didn't realize it was getting late. When they saw the place getting busy they knew it was time for them to go.


All the way home they talked about how much fun they had. Several times they thanked Joey for taking them there, but each time they did Joey brushed it off. Before getting to the hotel, Joey had to drop off Thomas and the guys. Going house to house, he dropped them off. As they got out of the truck, they confirmed the time they were going to get picked up in the morning.


Adrian was the last to be dropped off and then they headed to the hotel. Helen and Harold were there to greet them as soon as they walked in to the lobby. They asked for Joey and Caleb to stay back while the others were given permission to go up to get ready for dinner. The guys looked back at Joey and Caleb and felt bad that they might be in trouble.


"When your mother called me this morning and told me what had happened at your new school, I was upset. You know me when it comes to education. I don't care that these days are not going to affect your attendance. That is the least of our problems. By you missing two days now, you are losing out on actual classroom learning. You guys have already missed almost a week when you transferred out of Alamogordo high and now here you are missing two days again."


Caleb knew better to open his mouth when his father is like the way he is right now. However, Joey didn't know him and did open his mouth. "What is going on at school right now is not mine, Caleb or the guys' fault. Principal Haynes screwed up and because of that screw up we lost a day at school. Principal Michaels is working with us and is pushing the transfers through a lot faster than they normally take."


"I don't care what happened here and who was at fault. All I care about is that you guys get an education and not run the streets doing whatever you want to do when you should be in school. Instead of going out and doing whatever you were doing, you guys should have stayed here and done whatever you could as far as school work."


Joey has never seen Harold like this before. He is throwing out demands that are impossible to do since they no longer have school books. Even if they had their school books, each school and teacher run underneath a different schedule, even though they shouldn't, but they do.


"Sir I really don't see what we could have done differently here today. We officially transferred out of Austin high yesterday and we returned our books. Having done that, there was no way we could have done school work instead of getting out to relax." Joey looked into Harold's eyes to see if he was getting through to him.


"All we did is go out and relax and have fun for the day. These guys have gone through a lot in the last couple months. You don't need me to go over what we went through in that camp we were at. I'm not using that place as an excuse to get away with things, but come on, that place ripped the soul out of every one of us that were in there.


That aside for now and look at what happened when we got here. From the very first moment we walked into that school the Principal and the majority of his staff was gunning for us. We thought that we left that behind, but we quickly found out how wrong we were. The hatred we had to endure day after day can take a toll on anyone.


So I figured since we weren't going to be able to attend school today, I was going to use it to unwind the guys. They had a lot of fun and for the first time forgot about all the crap they have been through. I wish you were there with us today so you could have seen how happy everyone was playing miniature golf, video games and riding go carts. I know for sure I needed this break from reality and I am pretty sure the others needed it as well."


Harold was about to say something when Helen interrupted him. "You know what Joey, I agree that you guys needed to unwind and have fun. I am glad that you were able to take them to a place where it was safe for everyone to do that. Now that you have done that, you guys need to concentrate on your schooling. So starting tomorrow you won't miss another day of school and you will drown yourselves in your studies, okay?"


At the same time Joey and Caleb agreed with Helen. Not liking to be interrupted, Harold accepted Helen's solution and let it go at that. They got up from where they were sitting and went to get ready for dinner. As they rode the elevator to their 'houses,' Joey and Caleb wouldn't stop talking about the fun they had. Harold and Helen stood there listening and were happy that they actually did have as much fun as they did.


Neither Joey nor Caleb told the other guys about the conversation they had with their parents. They figured that they got the brunt of the anger and they were able to get them to realize that a day like today was needed in their lives. So much has occurred over the last several months and none of them have just been able to relax and have fun.


After dinner, Fran and Allen snuck off to be by themselves. Since the move they haven't had a chance to spend much time which other. On top of that they haven't discussed the situation they are in as far as being brother and sister in the adopted world. They know what they were doing is not wrong, but others that may be looking in and judging them might think otherwise.


Not wanting to get too serious, Fran opened up the topic they have been dancing around since Harold spoke to them about it. "I don't want to lose you and especially over something so stupid. We have changed the way we are being around each other ever since Harold talked to us on the adoption. I don't think it is right. We shouldn't have to break up because of the adoption."


Allen pulled Fran into him and kissed her on the forehead. "Do you think I want to lose you either? Come on, you're the first girl I met that was able to see past me being deaf. The minute a girl showed interest in me in the past and found out I was deaf, they high tailed it and never spoke to me again. Being deaf isn't my fault and there is nothing I can do about it. But this thing with the adoption we can do something about it."


Fran looked at her lovable, gorgeous boyfriend and wondered what he has come up with to allow them to continue dating. "If Harold and Helen believe that we should break up because they adopted both of us, I say screw that. I will go to them and tell them that I would like them to not adopt me so that we can continue to date."


Not liking what Allen came up with at all Fran stood up and made it clear. "If you go to them and tell them that you don't want them to be your parents anymore, you will go back to Alamogordo. It would be worse that way than the way we are right now." Fran put her knees between Allen's legs and grabbed his hands. "No don't do that, there has to be another way of fixing this. Let's think about it some more, but let's not do that."


"You know as well as I do that there is no way that Harold and Helen are going to let us stay together as long as we are their adopted kids. The only way I see us getting out of this is by me going to them and asking them to not adopt me. There is really no other solution to this and I know you know that, but don't really want to hear the truth."


"It is not that I don't want to hear the truth. I do and I do agree with what you are saying. There's no way we will be able to continue to date as long as we are adopted by Helen and Harold. Still I believe there is another way out of this." Fran got up and started pacing up and down the hallway, trying to figure out what they could do instead of what Allen suggested.


Just as she got to the end of the hallway, light bulbs started going off. She quickly turned around and ran to Allen and took his hands. "I have a better way out of this than you going to the Evans and asking them to not adopt you. Instead I go to them and ask them not to adopt me." Allen quickly let go of Fran's hands and tried to get up, but Fran held him down.


"Wait, don't say no to my idea and storm off angry. By me going to the Evans and asking them to not adopt me would be better than you because I won't be sent back to Alamogordo. My brother is an emancipated adult and has an ability to support me independently. He meets all the requirements to be an adoptive parent and I am sure he will have no problem doing it."


Hearing a sensible plan, he agrees that she has a better solution to their problem. The only problem he sees now is will the Evans goes along with it. They love the idea of adopting both of them and now one of them is going to ask them to give up the rights they were given just a few short weeks ago.


They sat there and discussed other options to their problem, but they kept coming back to Fran going to her brother and asking him to adopt her. After an hour of going back and forth on the same subject, they agreed that Fran had the better solution. Reluctantly, Allen gave in so they could stop talking about a subject that was bugging the hell out of him.


Once he agreed with Fran, Allen changed the subject to the new school. "Now tell me how different this new school is going to be to the old school we were just attending. By the looks of it that school is huge. Do we have more time between classes? Or are our classes on the same floor? I know I'm going to have a hard time getting around such a huge school like this because I have never been to a school this size."


Fran cracked up laughing at her boyfriend's facial expressions. "I am so sorry but you should see yourself in the mirror right now. Even with the way you are scrunching your face up you are still damn gorgeous! All I want to do is throw you on the floor and make out with you." Allen started to turn all shades of red and then he started to laugh as he imagined Fran actually doing what she said she wanted to do to him.


"I can't answer your question because I have never been inside El Paso high school." Fran spoke between giggles, which made it hard for Allen to understand what she was saying. "Joey, Jacob and their friends were the only ones that ever attended the school. But I figure that they will make it easy for everyone to get from class to class. If they didn't they would have been on the students getting tardy slips."


Both of them were still laughing when the elevator door opened. They got up from the floor where they were sitting and made their way to the elevator, passing Gary and Cody. Gary looked at Fran and Allen as they passed each other and wondered what they were up to seeing that they were laughing and turning red in the face. Having other matters to deal with, he let it go, but made a mental note to find out what was going on.


Gary turned his attention back to Cody and walked with him into his room. Cody just moments ago walked up to Gary and asked to speak privately with him about something that has been weighing heavily on his mind. Gary tried to get him to open up downstairs, but Cody refused. He wanted to speak with him, but in private with no one else in earshot of their conversation. Therefore, they decided to head up to his room where he was comfortable talking.


"Okay Cody we are here in your room as you wanted, so what's going on?" Gary spoke in a low soothing voice as he sat in the chair next to the bed.


Cody sat on his bed, not making eye contact to Gary. He just looked around the room trying to figure out if this is the right thing for him to do. Ever since he overheard the police talking about Jacob, he has been wanting to talk to somebody about it, but never got a chance before he went and talked with Jacob. Now he's trying to figure out if you did the right thing by going to a guy that he doesn't even know.


"Um I did something the other day that I don't know if I did the right thing." Young Cody started to say, but not making eye contact to Gary. "I heard someone talking about another person one day and then I went and told the person that was being talked about what was said, but I think I might have been wrong there. I mean, I don't know the person I went to."


Gary was listening very closely to what Cody was saying, reading between the lines so he didn't have to ask him a lot of questions. No matter how much he tried to read between the lines, the young Cody wasn't giving him much to go on. Hesitantly, Gary moved over next to Cody and had him look up so where he could see his eyes.


"Cody without you giving me more information on this thing you think you didn't do right, I can't help you. I promise that I won't tell another soul what we speak about. All I want to do is try and help you through whatever is bothering you."


"Um...the day the police came here and made all that noise, I was stuck outside in front of the hotel. I tried not to look in, but the noise was getting louder, so I peeked in." Cody started to tremble. "I am so sorry for doing that! I know it was wrong, but the noise was getting really loud. Then I saw the police people taking out their guns and pointing them to the guys that moved in here. I was so afraid when I saw that."


"There is no reason for you to be beating yourself up for this, no reason. What happened here that day was no one's fault except the police that came here. Sometimes even the good people do bad things. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the police do what's right and that is why we tell you to listen to them. So stop beating yourself over it, okay?"


Gary pushed his hand playfully through Cody's hair, messing it up. He did that to try and get him to relax. "Now tell me what you heard while you were standing out there and who you told. That way I can help you. Okay?"


At first when Cody looked up at Gary, he didn't have a smile on his face, but slowly a smile crept up. "I heard the boss police guy telling other police guys things about Jacob and his grandfather." Cody went on and told Gary what he overheard being discussed. As he sat there explaining in detail, Gary listened, but couldn't believe this poor young kid has had to deal with knowing all this and not talking to anyone about it.


"I couldn't make up my mind what to do about this. Then I remembered what my father taught me. He told me to always tell the truth no matter if you think it might hurt someone. So I went to Jacob and told him what I heard. He didn't get mad at me, but I think he is going to go to the main police guy and get into a fight with him."


Finally Gray understood what was scaring Cody so much. "What you did was absolutely right. You had to go and tell Jacob what you heard being said about him and his family. However, from now on you come to me about things like this. In fact, you come to me whenever anything is bothering you. Together we will work it out. Okay?"


With a big smile on his face, Cody nodded his head. Gary stayed with Cody a little longer to make sure he was okay. He didn't want him starting a new school with anything weighing on his mind. As they sat there talking, he felt more confident that Cody was okay. In that small amount of time he spent with the young kid, he learned a lot more about him than he has since Cody came to the shelter several weeks ago.


The next morning, Joey and the guys didn't do the same thing they did the day before. They got up at their normal time they used to when they went to school at Austin. Once they were showered and dressed, they went down to join the others for breakfast. Soon after they finished eating, they headed out to the parking lot. After discussing who was going with whom, they all got into the trucks and drove off toward school.


The only thing they did the same as far as routine from the morning before was going and picking up Thomas and the other three. Once they had everyone, they made their way to El Paso High. When they got there and found a parking spot, everyone got out and once again just stood there looking at the huge building before them.


After talking a few minutes outside, Joey led them to the cafeteria. Several times they had to stop and wait on Aaron due to his cast and other injuries he still hurting from. Once they got their breakfast, they looked around for Jacob and the guys. When they found them, they walked over to their table and sat down.


Every so often, Aaron felt as if everyone in the cafeteria was looking at him. He would look up once in a while to see if that was going on, but when he did no one was looking. The third time he did look up and scanned the room, he did catch someone looking at him. He quickly looked down at his tray and pretended that he didn't see the guy looking at him.


A few minutes later, Aaron looked back up and once again saw the same kid looking back at him. To make sure that this kid was looking at him, Aaron looked to his right, his left and then turned around to see maybe the kid that was looking at him was looking at somebody else. When he saw that no one else was looking in the direction of that kid, Aaron turned his attention back to him to see what he was looking at.


He could tell by the look on the kid's face that he wasn't out to do him any harm. If anyone would to have asked him how he knew that the kid wasn't going to do him harm, he wouldn't be able to put in words. It was just the way he was looking and the way he was sitting there.


Not to make the other kid uncomfortable, Aaron turned away and looked back down to his tray. Every so often he would look back up and find the kid still staring at him. It was getting on his nerves because he had no idea what the kid was actually looking at. His mind went to the worst and thought that the kid was staring at him because of the casts, cuts and bruises.


Thankfully Joey and the others got up to go to the principal's office. Ignoring the kid that was staring at him, Aaron got up and followed the others out the door. After tossing their garbage and putting the trays where they belong, they walked up the stairs.


When they reached Principal Michael's office, the secretaries had them take a seat because the Principal was still out doing his rounds. As they sat there waiting, the first bell of the day went off. The halls got crowded with students that were talking to each other as they headed to their lockers. The guys would look out the window to see if there was much of a difference between them and the other students. Seeing that there wasn't, they were able to relax a little bit more.


As the halls cleared up and the final bell rang, Principal Michaels walked in with several students. He didn't see Joey and the others when he first walked in because his mind was on the students he brought in. As they walked up to the counter, Principal Michaels told his secretary's to give each of the students two days of detention.


When he turned around to go to his office he saw the group. He stopped in his tracks and waved Joey and the others over to him. Quickly they stood up and walked over, but before they were able to get to the Principal, he had started walking towards the conference room they were in the day before. The moment they walked in, Principal Michaels asked them to take a seat. This time they didn't have to be asked twice.


While they were settling in, Principal Michaels closed the door. "Thank you guys for being so prompt this morning. Once again let me apologize for all the mix-ups dealing with your transfers to this school. It took a lot of work and a lot of time, but I got everything straightened out yesterday. Before I send you to the registrar's office, I would like to go over a few things."


Principal Michaels walked to the head of the table, but didn't sit down. "I know you guys have gone through a lot between the last two schools you have attended. I do keep up with the news and I know who each and every one of you is. Things have been very difficult for you guys and you have hoped by moving here things would get better and they didn't.


I can't promise you that you won't have problems here, because that would be an empty promise. Just like every other school out there, we have kids here that hate kids like you. I hope those kids would keep their hatred to themselves, but I have already seen it coming out. They haven't gotten anywhere near the assault that one of you went through, but we have had our problems." Principal Michaels looked at Aaron as he said the last part.


"Also let me tell you guys about the security around this school and why we have it. I know all you guys know about Jacob Hernandez, so there is no need for me to go into detail there. I also know that you guys know about the Governor's sons attending this school. These two families are why we have such intense security around here.


Now with that said, let me tell you what to expect while you are attending this school. You will have the peace of mind that you are attending the most secure school in this city, state and I can say in this nation. After what happened here in the last couple days, the shooting and all, the security has gotten a lot stricter. Due to the security being so tight, you guys will be safe.


As far as your classes and daily routine at this school, it will be pretty much the same like it was at Austin high school. This school as you can see is a lot bigger, but you will have enough time to get to your classes as long as you don't play around or go to your lockers every time the bell rings." Principal Michaels pulled out the chair and sat down.


"It won't take any time at all to learn and adjust to this school. If you have any problems, I don't care how small or big they are, come to me. My door is always open and I will always take time to help all of my students. So if you run into any problems with any of the other students here come and talk to me and I will take care of that student. Do you all have any questions for me?" Principal Michaels looked around the table.


Seeing that they didn't have any questions, Michaels stood up and walked them down to the registrar's office. When they walked in, the Principal went behind the counter and explained to his staff what they need to do for the students he came in with. Once he was done with them, he walked back around and wished Joey and his group good luck on their first day.


It didn't take long for them to get their schedules. As soon as they all got them, they were directed to go to the book room to get their books and then report to the first class. While walking down to the book room, Joey tried his best to field any and all questions the guys had. By the time they reached the book room, the guys and Fran felt better about their new school.


Unlike the registrar's office, the book room clerk took longer. By the time they got their books, the bell had rung. So they didn't get lost in the crowd, Joey held back his sister and the others until the final bell rang. When there weren't so many students in the hallway, Joey walked each of his friends, Caleb and Fran to their lockers. After throwing their books in and only keeping the ones they needed for their remaining morning classes, they followed Joey to their second period, not saying a word.


Pretty much all morning long was the same routine for the group. When they walked in to their classes, they handed their teachers their registration information. As soon as the teachers got the information he or she needed from the paperwork, they would show them where their desks were at. There was one huge difference between this school and Austin. None of the students teased them or made sly remarks about them being gay.


By the time lunch rolled around, they were exhausted going up and down the flights of stairs. So as soon as they got their meals, they went directly to the table where Jacob and his group were sitting. Immediately they got into the conversation that was going on at the table and never once felt out of place like they were filling at their former high school.


About fifteen minutes into the conversation, Aaron felt someone looking at him again. He looked up, but this time he didn't scan the cafeteria. Instead, he looked directly to the table where that kid who was looking at him in the morning was sitting at. Just as he thought, it was the same kid staring at him as if they were the only two in the cafeteria. It started to really give Aaron the creeps. He didn't know if he should tell the others on what was going on.


Not wanting to cause problems on their first day, Aaron ignored the kid that was staring at him. He turned his attention back to the conversation and tried to keep his mind in it. However, no matter how hard he tried to do that, he felt that kid looking at him. Every so often he would glance over through the corner of his eye to make sure it wasn't just his imagination getting away from him. Each time he did glance over he saw it wasn't his imagination.


When Jacob got up to leave, Aaron thought the rest of them were going to follow, but they didn't. A few minutes after Jacob left, Chase and the others got up. Joey and his group followed them out the door to the Stadium. As they made their way, everyone that hasn't been out to the Stadium was stunned by the sheer size of the thing.


Tom and David were the first to see their faces and cracked up laughing. The others turned to see what those two were laughing at and didn't get the joke. By the time Tom and David stopped laughing Joey and his friends didn't have the same stunned, confused looks on their faces. So without that, Tom and David couldn't point out to the others what they found funny.


The rest of the lunch hour they sat out there talking about the ghost stories. Even Joey got into the stories since he has heard them all before. Some of the guys believed the ghost stories, and some didn't. Those that did believe the stories got teased. When the bell rang, those that were being teased couldn't wait to get out of there.


On the way into the school, those that were teasing the others made sure that their teasing wasn't taken to heart. When they were assured that they were okay, they changed the subject to how they were doing on their first day. One by one Joey and his friends gave a short answer to that question. When they were done, David and the guys told them to relax and just go with the flow because things will get a lot easier.


Right before Aaron made it to his locker, he felt someone patting him on his shoulder. He turned around expecting to find one of the guys from the shelter, but got a big surprise. It was the kid that was staring at him from across the cafeteria. He didn't know whether or not to go running for some help or stay there. Before he could answer his own question, the kid extended his hand.


"Hello, I am sorry for freaking you out all day. When I saw you the first time this morning, I wanted to meet you. My name is...."






{Hello everyone and welcome back to another exciting chapter of `Regrets and Heartaches'. I know it has been a while since the last chapter has been posted. But as you all know that I spent a lot of time with `Shadow of My Father' to catch it up with all the other stories timelines. Now that I have done that, I'm going to try to get back on a more normal schedule.


With that said, let's get to the summation of this chapter. I picked up right where I left off of in chapter twenty four, but not right away. I first went and dealt with the pending court cases before Harold. If you guys can remember from the last couple of chapters, there was a scheduled court hearing between Harold and those that harmed Aaron Haynes.


I know some of you may not agree with how I dealt with that, but I think I found a right balance to get it done. To those who don't live in Texas or a state that has a high population in prisons, you wouldn't know that the court systems put a lot of the people that broke the law for the very first time on probation because the prisons are overcrowded. It works in some cases, and in others it doesn't. I truly hope that these four individuals have seen the error of their ways and take their probation seriously and appreciate second chance that was given to them.


That plot took a lot of this chapter. The only reason for that is because I felt I needed to really explain why I did what I did. Each of these kids did what they did because of their upbringings. Harold saw that and ruled the right way. Three of the four got lesser time because they didn't start the whole thing. The one that did start the whole thing, not only got more time, but wasn't allowed to go home. Instead he was sentenced to a halfway house. I would like to hear what you guys think about this whole entire plot.


From there we returned back to Joey and gang at Austin high school. I agree with what Joey did staying home that day. By the time they got everything they needed, it would've been pointless to try and register at El Paso High. Plus after finding out the next day that Principal Haynes messed up on their transfer, they would've wasted gas and time going to El Paso high Tuesday afternoon.


The next day after finding out that they had to wait another day, I am glad that Joey took the guys out to unwind. As it was said several times in this chapter, they hadn't had a chance to do that. After being released from the camp, they went straight to school. Then from transferring from Alamogordo High School to Austin High School, they really didn't have a break. A few days they had off they used to unpack their stuff.


When Joey and the others returned to the hotel later that evening, I understood where Harold was coming from. He didn't want these guys to miss too much school and by the looks of it they were. I also liked the way Joey handled the entire thing. Being that he is so young, we would have half expect that he would have gone off, but he didn't.


We got to see a little of Fran and Allen in this chapter. It has been awhile since we last all these two. They talk with each other about a very important topic that's affecting them. I like the solution they came up with. I know without a doubt when Fran goes to her brother and tells him what she wants, he won't turn her away. The only thing I see with this whole thing that might go wrong is how Harold and Helen will take the news. What do you guys think?


If you guys are keeping up with all of my stories, you will know what Cody was talking about. I feel sorry for this little man because of everything he has gone through and still is going through. He is going to be a major character in this story in the future. So stick around and come back and see what I have planned for him.


It is good that Principal Michaels was able to take care of Joey and the others. When they went back to school on Thursday, they were able to start classes. They are going to see a lot of differences between this school and the other schools they have attended. The biggest difference they are going to see is that they are more accepted there, which will help them out a lot.


Finally the ending of this chapter! I know it's another cliffhanger, but it is a doozy of a one. I can guarantee none of you will ever figure out who it is that patted Aaron on the shoulder and started talking to him. But go ahead and throw out your guesses. Let's see if any of you can prove me wrong. I will leave you with a little hint on this cliffhanger. If you guys go and look at the new story pages, you will find your answer there.


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

I don't want to say too much more and spoil the future chapters to come, so I won't. I warn you though! Don't 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!}


I'm glad to have another chapter of this story before us. I have been afraid that poor Jacob, our author, was running himself ragged with so many stories to write in a timely fashion. He and I have talked about eventually merging this story into the basic `JFHW' original story. I think that will make sense I and when it happens.

I liked Fran's idea for solving the adoption problem so that she and Allen can be together in a relationship that no one can claim to be incestuous. I also liked how the Judge was able to follow sound legal precedent in Texas and give the goal of rehabilitation a chance for all 4 boys who did the vicious attack. My own view is that I would rather be found lacking by following a plan that can lead to positive lives in the future than a plan that history tells us is almost always results in negative outcomes.

Please take the time to let Jacob (and even me) hear from you. We both donate our time to this story and your feedback, ideas, and suggestions are our pay! Best wishes!

Editor Kent D. (SW Ohio area)

Kent@jacobmillertex.com and Jacob@jacobmillertex.com



Greetings one and all! Jacob requested that I take on the final editing of this story along with doing, as I have since early on, with his other three stories. After making our esteemed author beg and grovel a bit, I agreed.

I joined Jacob, as I said, early on in his writing career nearly two years ago. (My, how time flies when you're working your butt off!) I picked up editing for him with "Jacob Finding His Way" at Chapter 8. I had to take a few months off here recently when my life just got too crazy to be able to do a good job. I came back to my work with the three other sagas and now will put some final spit and polish on "Regrets..." as well. Kent does a great job and makes my task easier for sure! With Jacob's chapters running a bit over 12,000 words, some errors will sneak though even with two people editing.

I hope my work will contribute to a smooth and enjoyable read for all of you.

Since I am new to this story line, I'm not going to have a lot to say in my "corner" until I get more familiar with the plots and characters. Once I do, watch out!

Echoing Kent's thoughts, all of us on the team really enjoy and appreciate hearing from all of you. The only "pay" any of us get is hearing from each of you.

Until Next Time,

"Daddy" Rick