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's in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

Any similarity to any real events, names, or life events is purely accidental. If you are underage, (according to your state laws 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 the author's expressed written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Ed

Chapter 53

Not to upset their father, the boys told them that everything went good for their first day on the job. Governor Lopez knows his kids and knows that they are holding back, but decided not to press them any further. If anything isn't right, he trusts Lloyd to put a stop to it before it gets anywhere close to out of hand.

When the boys headed up to get ready for work the next day, the Governor pulled Lloyd into his personal office in the residence. Although he decided during dinner not to press the boys, that didn't mean that he wasn't going to press the head of security for the boys.

The minute Lloyd was summoned by the Governor he knew why. He knew he had to answer the Governor's questions, but at the same time he didn't want to give up too much information. By doing so he knows he will lose the trust the boys have in him. That trust a security detail needs to have with those he or she is guarding or they won't be able to guard the person to the fullest if the person doesn't trust them.

"Lloyd I need to know honestly what happened with the kids today." The Governor shut the door as he walked in. "I know my kids and they are keeping something from me. I need to know if what they are keeping from is something I need to worry about not only as a father, but as the Governor!"

"Governor Lopez I promise you if something comes up that you need to know I will inform you immediately. For now there isn't a thing to worry about that your sons can't handle." The Governor looked at Lloyd with a questioning look. "There are several reasons why I said that sir.

First you did a great job raising them. They know what they need to do in every situation they are in. If a problem comes up, they know how to handle things just like their father. These boys, including Cesar and Patrick, aren't dumb. They hold their tongues when it is appropriate and they speak their mind when that is what's right.

The other reason I said what I said is trust. If I come over here and speak with you every time something pops up in them.

You didn't want that when your sons' lives, they won't trust me. The teams and I can't do the job if your kids don't trust us. They will hide things from us in fear that we will come running to you and report on you first became Governor. At least that is what Jonathan has told me through our talks." The Governor nodded his head in agreement. "You told Jonathan that you didn't want him or his staff to report to you everything that is going on in your kids' lives. You only want the important stuff that might result in harm to them, you or the family. That is what I plan to do; obey your request you made to Jonathan."

"Lloyd that's fair and I respect that. I forgot all about the talk I had with Jonathan when I first hired him as the head of security for Josh. He is a very smart guy and that is why I felt bad removing him from his position. The guy tried so hard to walk that thin line, but because of Elizabeth, he fell off the line."

"Jonathan is going to be a great security agent once he learns everything of the job. He is to green right now. I truly believe when he does learn everything, he will be better than me. So much so I am glad you kept him on so if I retire or move on, I would be comfortable leaving everything in his hands."

The Governor and Lloyd talked for a few more minutes before Lloyd left. The Governor started on the work he brought home form the office like he always does. The boys had already taken their showers and set everything out that they needed for the next day of work. After they got ready, one by one they made their way to watch TV. But that didn't last long because they were all dozing off in front of the TV within an hour.


The next three weeks seem to be a blur to the boys. They fell into a routine pretty quickly. Unlike going to school, the boy's lives went from just lazing around and playing sports to work. Their days became wake up, go to work, come home, have dinner, shower, watch an hour or so of TV and then to bed like an old person.

When they returned to work the second day the foreman was surprised to see them. He actually had a team standing by just in case they didn't show back up. He kept doing that everyday their first week, which was making the boys angier and angier until Josh finally had enough of it. On Friday he demanded to speak with the foreman and once again the foreman thought Josh wanted to talk to him to inform him that they are quitting. He found out very quickly how far off base he was.

"Mr. Owens with all do respect, you are an asshole!" The foreman looked at Josh as if he wanted to slap him across the face. "You think we are spoiled rotten kids that were born with a silver spoon in our mouths. How far you are from the truth on that! We aren't what you think we are and we have proven that to you this week.

None of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouths. My father is a blue collar working man. His choice of work was the military, but it is as equally hard if not harder than the work you do. There were days my father walked into the office and knew he might not make it home that evening. He put his life on the line so you could have the right to misjudge people like me, my brothers and friends. Instead showing my father contempt, you should actually be thanking him for what he did for you and this country."

Mr. Owens lowered his head as Josh told him what his father did every day before he was the Governor. He knew Governor Lopez was in the military and he also knew that he was wounded on the battlefield. But he didn't know that he stayed on the battlefield many times when he could have had a plain ticket home.

"We are no where near being rich sir. Just recently my father has been able to do a little more for his family like build us a new house. If he could have stayed in the house we have right now, he would have. But he has no other choice than to build a new house in order to shield his family from people either equally like you or worse."

That got Mr. Owens attention. He didn't want to ever come off as a threat to the first family of Texas. All he was doing is going off of the lessons he has learned in the past. Politicians' kids and rich kids come down and want to look like they care, but when they see how much they have to work, they high tail it out to the nearest spa. He got burnt to many times in the past with kids like Josh, his brothers and friends. So when he saw he had them as a crew, he thought history was going to repeat itself.

"We are here to stay sir and there isn't a thing you can do to change that. So you better stop bringing in a crew every morning to replace us because you are wasting their time. They could be working on another house that needs to be rebuilt instead of coming down here and being sent home the minute we arrive."

"I won't have another work crew show up again." Mr. Owens spoke up. "All of you have proven that you are here to complete the job. That is very rare to find in politicians' kids, but again the Governor we have is a rare breed. Why shouldn't his kids be as rare as he is?" Mr. Owens extended his hand and Josh took it.

"I am glad that we had this talk Josh. The rumors about you are right on." Now it was Josh's turn to look at Mr. Owens with an inquisitive look on his face. "What I mean is that you are just like your father. You guys speak your mind when you see something going on that shouldn't be. Don't lose that because it will get you places, Josh."

Nothing more needed to be spoken between them. Josh joined up with his brothers, Cesar and Patrick. On their ride home, they didn't bother to ask Josh what he and Mr. Owens talked about; they knew. They knew because how Mr. Owens talked with them as they were wishing each other goodbye. He actually said he will see them on Monday, which surprised them.


While the kids were working, the Governor and Father Gomez were doing everything they could to make sure that Patrick's parents didn't get their hands on him. Since the Governor couldn't get away from Austin, Father Gomez appeared in court. Finally by Thursday, they made a decision regarding who should be Patrick's foster parents.

Although Governor Lopez wanted to take Patrick in, he knew he couldn't. It's not because who Patrick was, but because he already had a house full of kids. It was a lot simpler than that. Patrick would be better off in another house, but not any house. A house with a family that understands what he has gone through and still going through right now! That is why he felt Father Gomez was the best place for Patrick.

Before asking Father Gomez if he would be Patrick's foster parent the Governor sat down with Patrick and discussed it. He wanted Patrick to have a say in where he is going since Patrick is almost an adult; just a few years off. Plus he wanted to make sure Patrick was comfortable with whoever would be his foster parents.

Patrick had no problem with Father Gomez being his foster father. In fact he loved the idea. He gets along really well with the father and Bernice and doesn't see that changing in any way. The only thing he did ask is to still be in Austin with Josh for the rest of the summer, which the Governor had no problem with.

Once he got Patrick's decision, the Governor informed Father Gomez. Father Gomez went to court and filed the proper paperwork to become Patrick's foster parent. He was granted it until he went in front of the judge assigned the case. The father knew he was going to get custody full time because there is no way a judge is going to put Patrick back into that house with parents that abuse him.

Patrick's parents were successful getting bail and did everything they could to try and stop Father Gomez on getting their son. They even tried to go to the local TV channels and get them to do a story on how the Governor and a local priest are conspiring together to take away their son. They painted themselves out as the victims, and at first the news channels were falling for their story hook, line and sinker.

They all thought that they finally had something on their squeaky-clean Governor. He finally slipped and has been caught using the power of his office for all the wrong reason, like every politician does. They didn't think though it would have happened so fast.

Then they got back the results of their investigation. Not only were Patrick's parents not the victims here, they were the ones doing wrong. After reading the complete report, they couldn't believe that they even were let out of jail on bond. They almost ran with a story that would have killed them once the truth came out.

When they informed Patrick's parents of their findings, they got angry. They actually threatened to sue each television station when they didn't get their way. So they promised to run the story in order to stay out of court, but they are going to run the truth. When Patrick's parents were told that, they stopped their threats, but it was too late.

That Friday evening the story aired on every local channel, which helped the Governor and Father Gomez. But at the same time it had it casualties. Since the story was in detail on what was going on in Patrick's home between him and his parents, he immediately became the topic that everyone was talking about. That means when he and his friends return to school, he will be the topic that every student is talking about.

Soon after it aired, Father Gomez reached out to the Governor. They decided the best thing for Patrick now is for him to stay in Austin. If he were to return to El Paso, it would set back his therapy months. Everyone wherever he would go will be pointing to him and making him very uncomfortable. Neither the Governor nor Father Gomez wanted that.

So when Monday did roll around, only Barbara and Isaac headed back to El Paso, leaving Patrick in Austin. Barbara and Isaac were returning to El Paso for several reasons, one of which one was to make sure Patrick wasn't alone on his plane ride back. The other reasons were to check on the progress of the house and start going through everything at the old house.

The Governor is leaving the decision making in Barbara's hands dealing with how the new house is set up. Everything from the furniture to what appliances and dishes are in the kitchen will be all up to Barbara. If she decides that nothing from the old house is going to go, the Governor is fine with that. The only thing he asked of Barbara is to stay within a budget.

Isaac returned with Barbara to also see where things were at as far as the building of the new house. The only difference between him and her, he won't be returning with her on Thursday. The Governor and he decided that someone from the immediate family needs to be there when things start to get moved into the new house.

The boys wanted to be with their father when he took Barbara to the airport, but they had to work. They said their goodbyes to their step mother and uncle as they headed out. When they arrived at the job site, the foreman was true to his word. He didn't bring another crew like he did all week last week, It was only him and the three other workers that wok along side Josh and others there. Seeing that the foreman was true to his word, it put Josh, his brother, Cesar and Patrick at ease.

As they worked through the day, Josh noticed more and more the houses around him. He understands that Habitat for Humanity just doesn't have the work force or the money to rebuild every house on a block, but this block and several blocks over need it. It didn't make sense to Josh to build a nice house in the middle of all the rundown homes.

He didn't ask Mr. Owens why they did this building this because he knew the answer. At the same time he thought it made more sense to rebuild entire community at once than to build a house here and there in each community. The more Josh thought of it, the more he wanted to help out this community, but he asked himself how.

Then the light bulb went off in his head, a concert on the block. Nothing huge that will run more money to get off the ground than they actually bring in. Something small, but at the same time something they can bring in enough money to do what Josh wants. The other challenge he knows he has is getting performers to give their time for free.

He doesn't know anyone that will sell tickets. He barely knows George Strait and he doesn't feel right to call him right off the bat asking him for a favor. He doesn't know for sure if George was being nice to him because he is the Governor's son or because he was just giving him respect that he gives any person he performs with. Then he answered his own concern. If George was just being nice to him for the reasons he had already thought of, and then why did he give him a signed guitar and his number.

Before dinner that evening, Josh threw caution to the wind and called the number George Strait gave him. George didn't answer the phone, a lady that sounded like she could be his wife. Waiting for only a few minutes, George got on the line. When Josh heard George's voice, he froze. He thought the number wasn't his real number, but it is.

"Um, sir, um, this, um..."

"Is this the young man I performed with several weeks ago, Josh Lopez, the Governor of Texas' son?" Josh answered yes. "It is good to hear from you Josh. To be completely honest with you I thought that you threw my card away. What can I do for a rising star in country music? At least I hope you are going to go into country music."

"Um, I, um, really haven't decided what type of music I am going to sing yet. I am leaning more to, um, you know, um, country music. It is something I, um, like, um, to sing more of. I would like to thank you again for the guitar you gave me. I still can't believe you gave me one of your guitars."

"I never give out something like that to a performer I first meet. In fact I don't give my guitars away to anyone I haven't known for years. But something about you says you are going places, where, who knows. Maybe you do, but again maybe you don't. Who knows? You are still too young to have your mind made up on what you want to do with your life."

"I think I know what I want to do but it does change every so often to something different, but it always goes back to the original thing." Josh went quiet for a few seconds. "Sir I know you really don't know me and I understand if you say no to what I am going to ask you. Its just you are the only one I really know in the entertainment industry that will bring in a huge audience."

"Don't worry about asking me anything Josh. If I can't do it or won't do it I will tell you straight out. I am not the type of guy that beats around the bush, leading people on."

Before asking George what he called him to ask for, he told him what he was doing along side his brothers, Cesar and Patrick. He went into detail about how the neighborhood looks and how much more he wants to help. As he explained everything to George, he knew he was listening because he was asking questions.

"Josh let me say this first, what you, your brothers and friends are doing is great. More and more in this country I have seen our youth get lazier and lazier. It seems they want everything given to them instead of working for it. You don't see too often people giving their free time up the way you guys are doing to help others.

With that said I am more than happy to give you my time for a concert. You just let me know the day and I will be there. As long as it is within the next month because after that I am back on the road! It is impossible for me to change concert dates since they are sold out once the tickets go on sale most of the time."

"Thank you sir I really appreciate you giving me some of your time. It will be within the next couple of weeks I am sure of that. Our job should be done by the end of next week and I would like to try and have this concert that weekend. After that we are going with my father on the second half around Texas with the President."

"Just call me a couple of days before so I have enough time getting my band together. As soon as I get off the phone with you Josh I am going to call the members and let them know that we are going to do a benefit concert in the next two weeks. That way they don't plan anything with their family that they can't get away from."

Before getting off the phone with George, Josh got a few pointer from him how to do he benefit concert. He understands why he wanted to do it alike a block party, but there is no control there. He got him to see that if they do it like a block party, too many people will get into the concert without paying. Even though he didn't like the idea, he agreed with George it is best to do in a stadium.

That means he has to talk with his father and soon. That way his father can help him out on either getting a stadium at a very low rental cost or free, which Josh is hoping for the latter. That way all the money that is made in ticket sales will go into a fund that will help out Habitat for Humanity build more homes for people that need it.

After getting off the phone with George, he headed over to his father's office in the residence. Knowing time is against him, he has to get the location taken care of within the next couple of days so they can then inform the public of the concert in order to sell the tickets. It wouldn't work if they get everything in place, but only a couple of days of promoting the concert. He knows that that isn't enough time to sell out every seat or at least enough of the seats that this concert would be a success.

Knocking a couple of times on the door, Josh heard his father ask him to come in. When he walked in, his father looked up from his desk and smiled. He put down his pen and closed the file he was working. He walked over to his father's desk and sat down in one of the seats in front of the desk.

"Josh you are awfully quiet, which means whatever is on your mind is important. So why don't you just come on out with it."

The same thing he told George, he told his father, almost word by word. Just like George, his father asked him questions as he explained what he would like to do. The only thing this time he had an ace in his pocket, George Strait. When he told his father that he already had George Strait giving his time for the benefit concert, Daniel smiled.

"It sounds like you have thought of everything son. I agree with George that a block party sounds good but isn't the right format for the show. If you were giving the show for free, then do the block party, but you aren't. So you do need to get a stadium, preferably a large one. That way you can raise a lot more money in ticket sales."

Daniel got up from his desk and walked around rubbing his chin. "I believe I can get you that stadium." Josh looked up at his father with a concern look on his face. "I know that look Josh. Don't worry, leave it up to me and you will have a stadium to hold your concert by mid week. Now you have to think of lining up at least two more performers to get people's attention. George will sell out your concert, but people like to get a lot for their dollar. In your case dealing with this concert, you need more than just one performer."

"Dad you know I don't know anyone else that I can ask to give their time up like I did with Mr. Strait. I was very hesitant on even asking him since I only met him once."

"George is a great man and a man of his word. He has taken a liking to you, but he isn't the only one." Daniel reached over to his rolodex on his desk. "You are forgetting another performer that has also taken a liking to you. You performed with her as well for my wedding. You should give her a call and see if she is available for your concert."

Daniel Sr. handed his son a paper with Dolly Parton's phone number on it. Josh did forget all about her. It wasn't that she is an easy person to forget about, it was just they didn't talk like he and George Strait did. But his father is right, again! When they talked after they performed together, she did tell Josh to call her if he needed anything.

"Why don't you use my office to make this call while I go and fix a snack?" Daniel got up and started walking to the door. "While I am out, do you want me to get you a soda or something for the kitchen?" Josh nodded his head no. "Okay then, make your call and let me know what she told you. Okay?" Once gain Josh nodded his head.

After his father left the office, Josh picked up the phone and dialed the number his father gave him. Several rings later Dolly Patron's voice came over the line. Josh lost the ability to talk for a few seconds, causing Dolly to say hello several more times. By the third or fourth time that Dolly said hello, Josh lost count, Josh spoke.

"I don't know if you remember me, um, but you and I performed for my father and step mother on their wedding night. My name is Josh Lopez, one of the sons of the Governor of Texas." Josh stuttered as he spoke with the famous Dolly Patron.

"Of course honey I remember you. Anyone that meets you can't forget you! What can I do for you this evening?" Dolly answered in chipper voice.

For the third time he explained to Dolly what he wants to do. Each time he talks with someone else about the benefit concert, he has more pieces to the puzzled put together. Dolly, just like his father and George, asked Josh questions as he went through his plans for the concert. He was able to answer every question she asked.

Not only did she say yes, but she promised Josh that she will get her dear friend Kenny Roger's to perform as well. That made Josh's evening compete. He now has three mega stars giving their time for free! There is no way once the public sees who is in concert that the stadium won't be sold out.

When his father returned, he told him the good news. "There you go son now you have a concert that people will pay good money for. You can get at least twenty to twenty five dollars for the nose bleed seats and more for the closer seats to the stage. Boy are you going to make a lot of money for your Habitat for Humanity!"

Daniel took a bite of his sandwich. "I know I keep saying this to you, but you keep doing things that make me a very proud father. I am very proud of you Josh. You have grown up so fast in the last year. Just don't grow up too fast. There is plenty of time to be an adult and you are going to get there faster than you realize." Josh got up to leave his father's office when his father called out to him.

"Maybe if I go for another term you can help me get the money I would need to run for this office." Josh turned and with a big grin on his face he said yes. "Good Josh now I know I will have enough money in the war chest if I run again." Daniel looked down to his desk, but remembered one last thing.

"Son, maybe you should think about having a concert like this every year for a charity. Since you are doing it for Habitat for Humanity this year, you might be tied into doing it for them every year, which I am sure they would be very thankful. There is no doubt that they will accept any donations that they can get. Building a house isn't cheap."

"I was thinking the same thing dad. Not to get out of helping building house, but to help them also on getting more funding. Maybe at the concerts we put up booths for people to sign up to also volunteer their time to build a house. Habitat for Humanity needs funds, but they need bodies to build the houses, people that will give their time without wanting to get paid or anything for that matter in return."

Daniel agreed with his son and thanked him for volunteering on helping to raise funds for his reelection if he runs for another four years. Josh left his father's office feeling like he accomplished a lot, which he had. He went over everything he did as he made his way to his room. He realized that he pretty much has what he needs to pull off this concert. The only things left to do are easy and won't take that much time to get done.

The several days, he worked during the day with his brothers, Cesar and Patrick on the house and in the evening he worked on the concert. By Wednesday he had everyone helping him out on the concert. They rushed home to the mansion to make calls Wednesday evening to local stations to see if they would broadcast the benefit concert to the public, which they all said yes without any hesitation.


In the mean time back in El Paso, Barbara and Isaac arrived late Monday afternoon and went straight to the old house to drop off their luggage. Once they unloaded everything they brought with them from Austin, they headed to the new house. As they drove up to what used to be an empty lot, they couldn't believe the amount of work that has already been done.

Although it doesn't look like the drawings of the house when it is done, it is getting there. The foundation has been completely laid down and the frame of the house is up. Some of the walls are already up as well. Barbara knew that the construction company promised Daniel Sr. that they will have the house done by the time the kids return from summer break, but by the looks of it they may be done sooner than that.

She walked around the house, trying not to get into the construction workers way. As she started walking to the back of the house, Jonathan ran up to her. He apologized for not being at the airport when they arrived. Something had come up at the site that needed his attention. Barbara told him that he could make it up to her if he would walk her through what has been done with the house.

"Well ma'am as you can see a lot of work has been done already. Basically they are at the easy parts now. The plumbing, gas and electric wires and pipes have been run and ready to go. The foundation is down and the entire basement of the house is done. You can't see it from here because you need to go in where the stairs are that lead down to the basement rooms. But I wouldn't go down there right now since it is empty.

Now they are putting up the walls. Once they get the walls up they are going to work their way down. So that means the rooms upstairs will be done before the rooms downstairs are done. When all that is done, they are going to work on the outside walls, the grounds and then turn her on to see if it all came together right."

"By the amount of work they have gotten done, they must be working long hours and the weekend." Barbara walked into the house and down the stairs that lead into the basement area. "Don't get me wrong John, I love it that they are this far, but are they doing the job right. If they are rushing it, they might miss things."

"That was my worry as well. Watch out ma'am..." Jonathan guided Barbara away from the wet paint. "Then I talked with the owner of the construction company he told me he has two crews working on this job. The next worry I had is if the second crew was clear to work on the house. I called up Lloyd and Lloyd had cleared them, but forgot to tell me about doubling the personal."

"I guess that happens when there are several hands in the cookie jar, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing sometimes. But let me say things are working out very well here. I never expected that the house was going to be this far in the building stages when I decided to come in. I thought foundation yes, but nothing like this."

Barbara looked around the rooms in the basement. She sees what Jonathan was saying about nothing being moved in yet, but she can imagine what he rooms will look like once the furniture has been moved in. So far with what she can see it is exactly what they want for their basement rooms to be.

She and John made their way back up and out of the house. When they got back to the front of the house they found Isaac talking with the foreman of the work crews. They walked over to see what the conversation was all about.

Isaac was worried about the same thing that Barbara was, but instead of going to John on his concerns, he went to the foreman. The poor foreman looked confused on why Isaac is angry with how fast the house is going up. When he stopped talking, the foreman asked Isaac if he had a problem with the speed they were working.

"It isn't that I have a problem with the speed, it is just if you go to fast you might miss things that you shouldn't. This is going to be the house in which the Governor of Texas and his family are going to live in. They shouldn't have to worry about things like the house falling apart in a couple of years. That is exactly what will happen if you guys go too fast on getting the house up."

Jonathan apologized to the foreman and asked Isaac if he could speak with him in private. Isaac agreed and walked off with Jonathan. When they returned, Isaac apologized as well to the foreman. Just like Barbara he had no idea that there were two crews working on the house. Now of course Isaac didn't admit to the foreman that he was out of the loop as far as who is working and who isn't.

Once the confusion about the work crews was settled, they both took one last look around before heading home. They rested the rest of the day. The next morning Barbara got up bright and early, seven or so, and started going through the house. She started to throw things that they aren't going to take to the new house in a box for Goodwill. The things that were not good at all, she tossed in trash bags.

By the time Isaac got up, Barbara had already finished with the living room and most of the kitchen. She was in the den looking at all the family photos when Isaac walked in. She really had no idea which ones Daniel would want to hang up in the new house and which ones he would like to put into a photo album.

This part she feared the most because if she would to pick the wrong pictures to put in the photo albums, it might upset Daniel even though he told her over and over again that decorating the new house will be all up to her! That included which family photos are going up on the wall and which ones aren't.

"Barbara it looks like you are thinking too much into all this." Isaac spoke for the first time causing her to jump. "Sorry I didn't mean to startle you." He walked over to his sister in law and put his hand on her shoulder. "My brother gave this duty to you because he wants you to make the new house you guy's house. If that includes getting rid of every picture that Martha is in it, I know he won't mind."

"He might not mind, but I will Isaac. I am not kidding myself when it comes to Daniel and his life before me. He had one and that included Martha. I have said this time in and time again I am not here to replace her. She is the boys' mother and that will never change. I want her pictures around so the boys could remember their mom during the time they were a happy family. By the looks of some of these photos, they were."

Isaac walked over to the wall and pulled down an old family portrait. Anyone looking at the picture could tell it is old just by the ages of the boys. Daniel Jr. couldn't be more than fourteen in the picture, which means the other boys were at least a year younger than him down the line. That means that if this was the last family photo taking that shows them happy. They have been living unhappy together for several years.

"The boys look very handsome in that picture. In fact they are turning out to be very handsome boys, just like their father. They are lady and men killers." Barbara took the photo that Isaac was holding. "This is what I want the boys to remember. Their mother was not always the way she has been in the last year." He looked at her as if she was going out of her mind.

"I know that sounds weird and more so coming from me, the second wife. Don't forget I have known Daniel for many years. In that time period I did meet Martha several times. I never thought she could be the woman she became. She was always nice and courteous. But again she never said more than two words to me at a time."

"That is the woman I know. From day one she was a bitch to me. Excuse my language, but that is what she was. She always had hate in her heart and showed me how hateful she could be. I know Daniel tried to tell her to lay off me and leave things alone, but he and her just got together when she forbid me to come around. That is the woman I know and always will remember no matter if she lives or dies."

Isaac took down from the wall a picture of just Martha and threw it to the ground. The glass shattered all over the floor as it bounced several times. Barbara just looked at Isaac as he walked out of the den. Once he was out of site, Barbara bent down and picked up the picture as gently as she could, but it didn't matter. The glass from the frame had already ripped through picture.

By mid afternoon Barbara had the den done. She felt she found the right balance on the pictures. Isaac returned to the den shortly after he threw the picture on the ground and cleaned up all the broken glass, but didn't look to see if the picture was damaged. That is the only picture from the wall that won't make the trip to the new house.

Most of Wednesday Barbara worked on the rest of the rooms on the first floor. She spoke with the boys before coming up here and they agreed that they will pack their own rooms. It wasn't because they were hiding anything. It was just isn't fair to her to be packing up their room when they should be the ones doing the work.

The only time she got a break from packing was when Father Gomez stopped by. They sat in the kitchen talking about Patrick and how things are going to work out once summer is over. For now everything is easy since the kids are out of school, but that will end in a couple months. Neither of them wants to make things harder for him than they already are.

"There is no doubt in my mind father, Patrick still needs to be going to therapy and Daniel agrees with me. He already lined up a therapist for Patrick up in Austin, but we need to think about here. There is no way when the boys return that he will be okay if he stops therapy. In fact I think that is when he will need it the most."

"Mrs. Lopez I agree with you on that one hundred percent. That is why I have spoken with his old therapist and he agreed to keep treating Patrick. The only difference this time around is going to be where they meet. That has to be changed since his parents will figure out that he is seeing the same therapist."

"So where did you guys agree on as far as where they are going to hold their sessions. It has to be somewhere Patrick is comfortable."

"Again Mrs. Lopez..." Barbara interrupted Father Gomez and asked him to call her Barbara. "Sorry I know you keep asking me to call you by your first name, it's just a little hard for me to do that with anyone, but I will try. So where was I, oh yeah, you are right again and that is why we decided on my house."

Barbara had concerns about that since anyone can walk in and hear what they are talking about. If Patrick gets the same feeling, he might not open up to his therapist. Father Gomez saw the flaw in having the sessions in his house and came up with another idea; the church. He has a private office in his church that he uses for his members to talk with him in private. No one can walk by and hear what is being said in that office.

Once they got that out of the way, they moved on to sleeping arrangements. The father put Barbara's concerns to rest when he explained that the rectory the church provides him as a home has several unused bedroom suites complete with private bathrooms. The rectory is a stately older home that was built for the church by a wealthy family that felt that those that were called to serve the church should live comfortably. Father Gomez finished by stating that providing a nice rectory has long been a tradition in the Roman Catholic Church in America.

"Well father I think everything is going to be a lot better for Patrick when he returns to El Paso this time around. The only thing I see that we have to do is keep a watchful eye out for his parents. They are going to try everything they can to get him back."

"I am not afraid of that when Patrick is around Josh due to all the security, but whenever he isn't around Josh is when I am going to be worried. Those are the times that we have to be vigilant. Just like you are thinking, I am thinking the same thing. His parents will do anything they can to get their son back."

They talked a little longer about Patrick and his parents before Father Gomez had to go. She walked him to the door and thanked him for coming down. They agreed to meet a couple more times before she returns to Austin to take care of anything else that they might think of. They agreed due to the fact they are uprooting a fifteen year old life from what he's gotten used to as his routine.


The rest of the week flew by fast for Josh. By the time Saturday rolled around, he had everything in place for the benefit concert. There are three mega stars, the stadium where it's going to be held, vendors to sell food and drinks and advertisement. Things just fell in place when he got George Strait. Josh couldn't be any happier.

When Josh got the vendors to come on board, he was able to talk them into donating half of the money they are going to make selling their stuff to Habitat for Humanity. At first Josh wasn't going to ask for that, but when he talked with Coke and they offered, he decided to ask all vendors for the same commitment. Not one had to be talked into doing it. They all agreed the minute he asked.


On the other side of his charity work, the house that he, his brothers, Cesar and Patrick are working on is going well. They are ahead of schedule. Unlike back home they only have one work crew, but the work is going fast. If they stay on track, the project might actually get done Wednesday or Thursday, instead of Friday.

Although they hated waking up early in the morning on their summer vacation, all the boys were feeling bad that their house was almost done. After the talk Josh had with Mr. Owens, the days at the site were fun. Even Mr. Owens played around sometime with the boys. When he jumped into the fun, it made all the tension between them disappear.

Josh noticed a change in Patrick in the last two weeks. He started to open up again and be the guy Josh knew and really liked being around. Josh knows Patrick has gone through a lot and didn't want to push him. At the same time he knows if Patrick is allowed to dwell on his thoughts he will eat himself alive with anger, hate and sadness. That's something no teenager should go through and he knew that already at a very young age.

By walking a thin line, he was able to get Patrick to open up. It was never about the beatings at the hands of his parents or the death of Frank. He stayed far from those subjects. Instead he got him to talk about the new guy he met and what he would like to see come from their friendship. Josh got Patrick to be himself. He was once again the out going, funny, joker kind of guy he is known to be.

Patrick's new therapist liked seeing how fast he was moving along. He knew it wasn't his work that got him to loosen up and finally start talking about the demons that are haunting him. No, he knew it was Josh and all of his friends here in Austin and in El Paso that is getting the work done. He totally believes friendships and a loving family are the best medicine for a person in his place.

The therapist in Austin and the therapist in El Paso kept in touch almost daily. They received permission from Father Gomez to share their files they have on Patrick with each other. That way when he returns to El Paso, his therapist there won't have to play catch up. The same holds with the therapist in Austin since Patrick will more than likely be going back and forth between the two cities.

All in all things in Josh's life were just falling into place. On the personal side of Josh's life, his relationship with Cesar was getting stronger by the day. They haven't been making love with each other every day, even though they've really wanted to. It's just by the time they get home from the site, they are too tired. So instead of love making, they cuddle with each other until they fall asleep in each others arms.

No matter who wakes up first, the person waits in bed for the other one to wake up. They try to steal as much intimate time with each other as they can through out the day. That includes taking their showers together and sneaking off for about fifteen minutes during their one hour lunch break at work to make out.

Their relationship has evolved to the point that they are able to finish each other's sentences and order each other's meals when they go out. They even can tell what the other is feeling or thinking by the look on each other's face. Plain and simple they are madly in love with each other and everyone sees it.

After breakfast on Saturday, the boys went to the mall to spend their allowance. It didn't take the long to realize that they can get a lot more bang for their buck if they go to Wal-Mart and spend their money. So they hung out at the mall for a couple of hours before going to Wal-Mart to spend some of their allowance.

Like they have done before, each of them pitched in equal amount of their allowance to buy the video games for their system. This time it was a little less for each of them, since Patrick actually pitched in a share from his allowance that Daniel Sr. gave him. None of them asked him to pitch in his money, but he wouldn't take no for an answer.

During breakfast that morning when Daniel Sr. was handing out the allowances, Patrick didn't expect to get anything. The weekend before when he got an allowance from Daniel Sr. he thought it was one time deal. So when he was handed an allowance again, he was surprised. He can't remember the last time that he has been treated as good as he is being treated by Josh's family.

When everyone left the dining area, Patrick went back to try and give back the allowance to Daniel Sr., but he refused to take it. He asked why he was being nice, which got Daniel upset. He simply put it to him that he is part of the family and every one of his sons get allowance on Saturday, sometimes Sunday, if they didn't get in trouble.

It didn't surprise him when Daniel Sr. said that. He already did feel like part of the family way before he came up here. That is the main reason when things fell apart with his parents he chose to come here instead of any of his other friends. He knew that he was going to be treated with respect and accepted no matter what happened.

Since Patrick was pitching in on the games, the boys were able to buy one extra game if they wanted to. As they looked through the games, none of them found one they liked. In fact the one they decided to buy is one they put back the week before.


Instead of buying another game, they bought several movies they have wanted to see. When they got home, they put on one of the movies they bought instead of playing the new game. When Daniel Sr. walked by, he couldn't believe what he was seeing. His kids were watching TV, talking and just having fun spending time with each other.

Daniel Sr. pulled Josh aside after dinner that evening. "I have a question about the concert son." He was little confused on his fathers tone. He didn't sound mad, maybe a little concerned, but not completely. The tone of his voice he has never heard his father speak in. "You have all these great stars coming in to sing in concert you put together, but I haven't heard you talk about singing. Are you going to sing that night?"

"Dad people aren't going to pay a dollar to see me in concert! I want to raise money to help build more houses next year. For me to do that I need to stay off the stage and let the three mega stars that are coming to be on stage. Those are the ones the people are buying the tickets want to see perform."

"Don't sell yourself short Josh, don't you ever sell yourself short!" This tone Josh is hearing he knows is anger. "You should know by now that you can be on the stage with those performers. You are as good as any of them, if not better!"

"Come on dad I am not even close to their level. They sing for a living where I am still a high school student and just barely that." Josh chuckled. "Like I told you the other night I want to try and do a concert like this every year. If the performers think I am doing it to get my name in lights, they might not volunteer their talent. Without their talent, I won't have a concert. I want to do what I can to help out people that need help."

"I know you want to help out people Josh. That heart of yours I truly believe is way too big for your chest, but I wouldn't want you any other way. It's just that I like seeing you happy and when you sing you look very happy on a stage. Somehow are able to spread the happiness you are feeling with everyone that is watching. You are able to make the audience feel what you are feeling when you sing, which is hard to do.

So don't keep saying that no one will spend a dollar to see you, because you are wrong. It is your decision if you want to perform or not, but I would love to see you up there on that stage where you belong. I am pretty sure George, Dolly and even Kenny would agree with me on that. They wouldn't mind sharing the spotlight with you that night or any other night for that matter. Just do me a favor and think about it please."

"I promise dad I will think about it." Josh walked over to his dad and hugged him. "You know dad I really do love you very much. No matter what I do or become I know you will always be there for me. That is one of many things I learned this year. Thank you for being there for me dad and helping me be who I am."

"Josh there isn't anything any of you kids can do that will ever make me turn my back on you guys. I know I haven't always been there for you guys in past. I put my job first, but that will never happen again. You guys are my world and nothing will ever get in the way of me being the father I should be." Daniel placed his hand under Josh's chin and moved his face up to his eye level.

"Don't you ever be ashamed of who you are. Never look down when someone is talking with you, and that includes me. You are going to do a lot in your life Josh. There is no reason for you to ever look down and hide this handsome face of yours. You got your looks; well all my sons got their looks, from me." That lightened the mood and got both of them laughing. "You get on out of here and join your boyfriend and brothers. Just think about what we talked about you performing, okay?"

Josh promised his dad that he will think about performing as he left. The guys waited for Josh to join them before they started the second movie they had bought. The rest of the evening he spent cuddled up to Cesar watching TV with him, his brothers and Patrick.

All day Sunday everyone just lazed around. They didn't even bother to change into jeans since they never went outside and Barbara wasn't there. They ran around in their sweatpants, a t-shirt and socks. That's something they haven't been able to do since they got there. They didn't want to disrespect Barbara by not getting out of their sleepwear.

As the day wore on, the boys started to get ready for work the next day. When they got home on Friday they threw their tools and work boots in the corner of their rooms. Now they are going through their work belt and making sure everything is where it should be on the belt. Once they had their tools in order, one at a time, except for Josh and Cesar hit the shower before sitting back in front of the TV where they spent the rest of the evening.

When Josh headed up to bed, he felt someone behind him. Every time he turned around to see if there was anyone, there wasn't. By the time he reached his and Cesar's room, he was freaking out. He is now being haunted by the story he told Patrick the first night he was here, the noises and someone or thing haunting the place.

Josh tried to calm his nerves down before joining Cesar in bed, but Cesar knew something wasn't just right with his boyfriend. The look on Josh's face gave him away. He knew he wasn't going to get any answers from him if he didn't say something first. So he didn't ask him anything. Instead he pulled Josh as close as he could to him to make him feel safe when he crawled into bed.

Just as Josh dozed off to sleep, he was woken up by someone or something touching his right leg. He looked over at the foot of his bed and was barely able to see his and Cesar's feet under the covers with the light coming in from the crack in the curtains. He looked over to Cesar to see if he was awake and was the one that touched him, but he wasn't.

Not wanting to come off like an actor in a bad horror film, he didn't wake up Cesar. He moved onto his side and pulled the covers over his head. No matter how hard he tried to fall sleep, he couldn't. After thirty or so minutes trying, Josh gave up and crawled out bed. He didn't want Cesar to wake up and find him hiding under the blankets from the shadow coming in from their bedroom window.

He walked out of their room to try and get himself tired enough to fall asleep. His imagination is getting away from him with the thoughts of the place being haunted. No matter what he did he couldn't ignore the thoughts that were going through his mind. He turned around and ran back into the room as fast as he could.

The minute he got into the room, he closed the door and jumped into bed. This time he woke up Cesar. Half a sleep Cesar asked him if he was okay. Josh didn't answer him. He just got under the blankets and cuddled up as close as he could to his boy friend. It didn't take Cesar long to fall back sleep. Josh on the other hand didn't fall asleep for another hour. Once he did, he was out until the alarm clock went off the next morning.


Barbara spent the rest of the week and the weekend organizing everything to be moved. She knows that she won't return back to El Paso until she returns with the boys. By then the new house will be done and they will be moved in, hopefully. So this is the only chance she has to get things the way she wants them.

Even though Isaac is staying for the rest of the summer, it doesn't help Barbara. He is only staying to supervise the move and make sure everything is going to get done on schedule. The only packing he will be doing is his room. The rest of the house he is staying away from since it isn't his stuff.

When Saturday arrived, Barbara double checked that she completed everything on her check list. Once she confirmed that she finished everything that Daniel and she discussed, she felt more at ease to leave on Monday. She really misses Daniel and the boys and can't wait to get back to them.

On Sunday Barbara decided to go to church at Father Gomez's church. With a lot of pleading, she got Isaac to go with her. When they arrived at the church, they were treated like a king and queen. People moved to make room for them to sit in the front row. Everyone in one way or another said hi to them. It really made both of them feel out of place yet welcome.

Thankfully Father Gomez started the service and didn't point them out, which made them more comfortable. By the time the service was over, everyone in the church stopped looking at Isaac and Barbara as if they were lepers or something.

Bernice pulled Barbara to the side to introduce Immanuel to her and Isaac. Right off the bat Barbara liked him. Isaac on the other hand was waiting to get to know the new guy before deciding if he liked him or not. But as far as first impressions go, Immanuel made a very good one on him and his sister in law.

"When you meet the Governor, young man, be on your toes like you are right now." Isaac spoke right as Barbara was about to talk. "He is very picky on who he let's hang around his kids now. With the events of the past, he has learned his lesson throwing caution to the wind. He really gets involved in who are his sons' friends." Isaac grinned an evil grin at Immanuel and then started to laugh.

"You almost had me there sir. I know the Governor is going to really look at me when he first meets me, but I am not afraid of that. All I want to do is hang around with Patrick and if passing the Governor's muster is what I have to do, I say bring it on."

"That is the attitude Immanuel, very good. Now don't you feel foolish on what you said to this young man Isaac?" Barbara looked over at her bother in law. "My husband isn't as bad as his brother is making him out to be. Yes he is stricter now when it comes down to new faces around his sons, but you have to know the whole story. So much has happened in the past year and my husband has no choice but to be wary regarding his sons."

"Ma'am I have been able to piece together everything that has happened around Patrick and his friends. Most of it is by reading the news articles in the past newspapers since Bernice here won't give me any details." He bumped against Bernice with his shoulder, causing her to lose her balance.

"Well I feel and believe that it isn't my place to say anything even if it is just confirming what is written in news articles or on TV." Bernice pushed him back and laughed as he struggled to stay on his feet. "It is up to Josh and Patrick to confirm things that have to deal with them, and knowing them the way I do they will in good time."

"You're right on that Bernice, Josh or Patrick won't shy away from any question that is asked." Barbara extended her hand to Immanuel. "It was great to meet you and please don't be a stranger to the house when the boys are back in town. By then you should be cleared by security."

"Mrs. Lopez please wait, I wanted to talk with you about another thing." Bernice pleaded with Barbara and Isaac. "Thank you I will make this quick. I was wondering how Patrick is doing. I really miss him and still very worried about him. The last time I saw him, well just let me say that isn't the last thing anyone should remember about someone they love. I know he is safe with you guys and I am glad that he went up there, but..."

"There is no need for you to explain your concerns to me. If I was in your shoes and saw what you saw, I would be wondering the same things you are." Barbara pulled Bernice to her and hugged her. "Patrick is doing to great. He is returning to his old self, which is a miracle in itself with everything he has gone through. No one, no matter their age, should ever go through what he went through at the hands of his parents."

"Thank you for telling me that. Now I can rest a little better at night. Can you do me a favor when you return to Austin?" Barbara nodded her head. "Can you tell Patrick for Immanuel and me that we miss him and can't wait to see him again? Things aren't the same here without him. Please tell him that and tell Josh and Cesar that I miss them too."

Barbara promised to pass the message on to the boys first thing when she gets back. This time when she extended her hand for Immanuel to shake, Bernice didn't ask her to stay. After shaking hands with him, Barbara hugged Bernice and told her to take care of herself, while Isaac shook Immanuel's hand and told him he had nothing to worry about.


The week went by faster than Josh wanted. Before he knew it, it was Wednesday already. He couldn't stop thinking about the message that Barbara passed on to him from Bernice. It made him feel homesick being in Austin without his friends around, leading him to ask his father if his friends could come up for a week at the end of the summer.

The Governor understood where his son was coming from, but had to say no. There was just not enough room to put up that many people for that long a period of time. Plus they will be getting set to start the move to the new house and so many other things. After his father explained why he said no, Josh understood and thanked him for considering his request.

Thursday was their last day working. In fact they finished the last part of the house by noon so Mr. Owens let the entire crew go home early. He thanked them for their hard work and hoped to work with them again next year if they volunteer. This time when he talked he didn't have any malice in his voice. Mr. Owens was sincere and he showed it.

Josh didn't mind getting off early, in fact none of the boys did. Once they got home, they changed and went to a public pool to swim. When they returned home, Barbara was putting dinner on the table. Knowing the routine, they quickly went up to their rooms, changed, washed up and got right back to the dinner table.

The next day Josh spent the morning making sure that everything was still on track for the concert the next day. He couldn't believe that the day he has been planning for weeks is already here. When he first put his plan into motion, the concert day seemed so far away, but the Saturday has arrived. Now he is going through his check list to make sure that nothing has fallen through the cracks.

Once he talked with all the vendors and got confirmation that everything was going along as planned, Josh was able to relax a little more. He thought of calling George, Dolly and Kenny to confirm with them, but decided against it. They gave their word and that is all he needed. Plus they were more excited than he was when he called them up to inform them that the stadium was sold out. Josh loved hearing their excitement over the news.

The rest of the day Josh lazed around the house. He went with his brothers, Cesar and Patrick to the pool in the afternoon to get his mind off of what is coming. He didn't think about the concert again until he was sitting with Cesar in front of the TV after dinner. For some reason he started to go through check list in his mind as if his mind is trying to tell him that he missed something when he went through the list in the morning.

Once he went through the list several times, he knew he didn't miss anything. Just like the other night, his mind is just getting away from him. He looked over to Cesar, pulled his boyfriends arm around his neck and turned his attention to the movie. With help from Cesar, he didn't think about the concert again the rest of evening. Even when they went to bed, Cesar made sure to keep Josh from thinking by a little love making.


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/



{Hey everyone welcome back to another filled chapter of Shadow of My Father. This chapter covered almost a month in time, three weeks to be precise. In case you don't know or have forgotten, I am trying to catch up this story with my other three. For several reasons, but main reason I am doing this is so plots here aren't given away in my other stories.

Let's talk a little about the chapter. At the beginning of the chapter we saw that the Governor got haunted by his words. He pulled Lloyd in to find out what his kids aren't telling him. I liked it when Lloyd told the Governor that he won't come running to him every time he hears or sees something. He is following the Governor's request given to Jonathan way back when he first got elected. I bet you guys that you thought I had forgotten some of the little things. Now you see I don't, LOL!

I agree with Lloyd when he told the Governor that he would lose the trust from his sons if he does going running to him on everything. Again Lloyd was right when he also told the Governor that without the respect and trust from the boys, it will make his job even harder than it is already. I also liked it when the Governor agreed and let the subject drop.

The talk finally came in this chapter. How many of you knew it was going to be Josh to be the one to pull Mr. Owens to the side and give him a piece of his mind? It was between Josh, Carlos and Daniel Jr., but in the end Josh was the best suited for the job.

With that said the foreman saw a side of Josh he didn't realize was there. When it was all said and done, the foreman saw the error of his ways and started treating the boy's right. It is sad people act the way the foreman does, but I really don't blame him for how he acted after finding out why he acting the way he did. What he said is true about rich kids and politicians' kids. They had everything handed to them their entire life, so why work?

As my editor said in his corner in the last chapter he has no idea what is in the next chapter of each story. He edits as you guys read. What I mean is that he edits the chapters as they cone in, he doesn't read ahead. We do talk about plots, but it is general talk. Rick has no idea how the final product looks until he gets the chapter and starts editing it.

The reason I said that is because of one of the plots that unfolded in this chapter, the one about Patrick and who is going to be his legal guardian was Rick's idea. It shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone when you read that Father Gomez is going to be Patrick's foster parent. He is the right person for Patrick since he can give Patrick the time he needs. There is going to be a lot going on in this plot, so stick around and see how it unfolds.

The house looks like it is going to be ready on time. They put two work crews on the job to make sure they meet the deadline. I liked it when Barbara and Isaac returned to El Paso to check up on things. Barbara really is a down to earth person. A person that really knows her place and what to expect from her new family!

The scene in the den with pictures shows us how both she and Isaac think. I don't blame the way Isaac feels toward Martha. Heck if I was in his shoes and got the same treatment he got from her, I would be feeling the same way. Wait a minute I have been treated that way and feel that way about the person that treated me wrong. A lot of what I write comes out of my life so I hope you guys are enjoying it.

What is going on with the feelings Josh is getting about the mansion. He teased Patrick about the ghost the first night Patrick arrived, but that was the first time we heard about it since Josh's stay when his father was sworn in. I wonder if that old mansion is haunted. After all the mansion was fired bombed and rebuilt recently, but that doesn't matter. If there is a ghost or ghosts that haunt that place, I don't think they would have gone anywhere when the mansion burned. At least that is what I think since I don't know anything about ghosts because I don't believe in them.

The concert is here and I know you guys might be angry with me on leaving the chapter off the day before the concert. I just want to do the concert justice and knew I couldn't since the chapter was already long when I got to the plot. So I am sorry to say you guys are going to have to wait another week to see what George Strait, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers sing. Plus you guys are going to have to wait and see if Josh is going to sing. I have a surprise there for you guys, so check back next week and see.

I know once again I might not have touched on every plot in this chapter. The house is done so the boys have the rest of the summer to themselves. We saw a little bit of Bernice, Immanuel and Father Gomez in this chapter. We still haven't seen the other guys, but they will make an appearance before the summer is over. So buckle up everyone because I am about to put the story on super speed and move it along to the new year and hopefully really soon on the same time line as the other stories.

I could go on all day long, with all the open plots already in this story, but 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 jacobmillertex@aol.com, Thanks!}

I'm delighted to see Patrick coming back to his usual self; the delightful guy he was before the horrid events of the night he lost Frank. I think we all realize that Patrick is a long way from being healed deep down, but at least he's able to be able to savor life again and find himself enjoying life. There was a time he doubted he could ever do that again and I wondered if he'd make it.

I am hopeful that Fr. Gomez being Patrick's foster parent will net some good results for Patrick. Both Fr. Gomez and Bernice truly and deeply care for Patrick and I am hopeful that they will be more therapeutic than the therapist in helping Patrick back to being fully healed emotionally and mentally.

Immanuel seems to be a solid and quality guy. He wasn't the least bit intimidated when Isaac tested his character. He also appears to be very intelligent in that he sized up the situation with Isaac and came back with a wonderfully crafted response. He is certainly fast on his feet in a potentially touchy situation. He makes a very good first impression. I hope that we'll see him become a real influence in the story. He could be a great politician with as fast as he is! I sense that he and Josh could become not only good friends but compatriots in dealing with the `political' side of life.

Unlike JPG, I do believe in what people commonly call ghosts. I have had personal experience with a couple of `spirits'. I will find it very interesting to see how Josh's `ghost' manifests itself.

Barbara has really gained my complete admiration. She is a warm and caring spirit with tons of love in her heart to give. She is without any hint of insecurity and openly and freely acknowledges her reality as a second wife and stepmother. Her balance in her role is flawless. I do wonder how she's feeling now that she's pregnant. She doesn't seem to have slowed down a bit. I'd like to know a bit more about the workings of her relationship with Daniel Sr. I sense and see the effects she has on all around her, but I am curious about some of the interactions in the marriage.

Isaac sure holds deep animosity toward Martha. It's probably good that he was able to vent some of the anger he harbors and that it didn't adversely affect his standing with Barbara. I think that it would be good for him to have a good friend to talk to about his feelings and get all the `trash' taken out.

Josh once again shows his drive to serve the world he lives in. His volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity was only going to serve one family and for him, that was just not adequate. Now he has organized a benefit mega concert event to raise funds for the most deserving and worthwhile charitable organization. I am anxious for the next chapter to arrive to `experience' the concert and see if Josh will perform as his dad has suggested. I anticipate that George and Dolly will see to it that he does.

Until next time,

"Daddy" Rick