Written by: J.P.G.

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

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

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

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Trevor

Edited By: "Daddy" Rick

Edited By: Trevor

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

Chapter 21


"Then we have a long morning ahead of us since your government refuses to compromise and Governor Lopez won't budge. You gentlemen are breaking the agreement between our two governments dealing with felons escaping over the border. This agreement has been on the books for a while now, yet you don't appear to care. Instead you'd rather tear apart valuable relationships between your country and the governors in the border states."

"We aren't wrecking the relationships between us and the border state governors. It's the Governor of this border state." Mr. Flores, the president of Mexico's right hand man, like the Texas Chief-of-Staff, said as he moved to get more comfortable in his seat. "We thought by getting one of our own in office that relations were going to improve. How wrong we were on that assumption!"

Al laughed hearing the defeat in Mr. Flores voice. "You weren't the only ones wrong on figuring where this Governor was going to stand. His own party thought that they had a puppet, but they were wrong on that as well. This man governs for the people that put him in office! Correct that: He governs for all citizens in this state no matter if they voted for him or not.

With all of you realizing this Governor isn't a pushover or a puppet I say we get down to business here." Al pulled out several sheets of paper from one of the folders that were in front of him. "Your president has to appear to be the one winning on he will lose his power to govern. Those in your political arena would eat him alive along with those that seem bent to take over the government all together. Am I correct?"

"Let's assume for the sake of discussion you are correct. What do you suggest we do in order to resolve this standoff?" Mr. Flores looked over at those that came with him before continuing. "My President won't hand over these two individuals to your Governor, more so after what he has done in his state and in convincing the other governors to follow him."

Al looked over the sheets he had pulled out. Mr. Flores and the others tried to see what Al was looking at, but couldn't. He was holding whatever was on the paperwork close to his chest and not letting on what he had. Even his facial expression didn't change as he read the paperwork, which got the representatives from Mexico worried.

"I know for a fact that the two individuals in question haven't been released." Finally after a few minutes of silence Al spoke. "That tells me a couple of things. First, you know what we have been saying is true. If you had released them, they would have gotten lost in your country.

You are holding onto them as bargaining chips. There is no way your country can continue much longer with the way things are right now between you and the border states. At the same time, as you said, your president, has to appear to be winning. Governor Lopez doesn't want to weaken anyone if he can help it over this mess.

Therefore, here is what I recommend we do to fix this." Mr. Flores moved to the edge of his seat to hear every word Al is going to say. "Allow several Texas Rangers to go over to where you are holding these two. They will go unarmed and in civilian clothes so no one will know who they are.

Once they are there, they offer both of these individuals a chance to come back to the United States of their own free will. If they decide against that, we hand them over to your system to prosecute. I can promise you when they hear that they are going to get prosecuted either way, they would rather be prosecuted here in the states."

"Even if I could get my president to agree to that Mr. Serna, why do you think they will come over here to be prosecuted instead of being tried in Mexico?"

"Come on, do I really have to answer that?" Al got up from his desk and walked around to sit in the last seat that wasn't being used. "First, you have to prosecute them, not just say you are going to do it. Make it clear to them that you will do it in order for this bluff to work. If you do that, they will volunteer to come back to the US because they know they will be found guilty and sentenced to prison time. No American, or anyone from your country for that matter, wants to serve a day in one your prisons."

"Oh you think the fear of doing time in our prisons is going to get them to volunteer to give up their claim?" Al nodded his head. "I admit our prisons are not up to your prison standards, but that doesn't mean they are bad. Plus they will have a better chance of acquittal in our courts because the people in our country are angry with your Governor and will do whatever they can to stick it to him."

What Mr. Flores was saying about Beth and Dominic getting off if they are tried in their courts didn't faze Al at all. He knows right now the people of Mexico are angry with the Governor, but they don't want to get further on the bad side of this man either. He isn't afraid to do what it takes to make sure things are done right.

Leaning over, Al started to speak in a low, but assertive voice. "Look, you and I know that both of the men we have the pleasure of serving won't back down. Both of them went to their voters and told them what they are going to do. That results in it being up to us to find a way of getting this done so both of these men look strong."

Go along with what I am recommending." Mr. Flores looked at Al as if the older man was out of his mind, and Al picked up on that. "Come on now, we both know that we can get this done by working the back channels. Leave our leaders out of this whole thing so they can stand in front of the cameras and say they stood fast and didn't bend with a straight face when these two individuals volunteer to come back to the US."

Mr. Flores turned to the others he walked in with and started speaking to them in Spanish. Little did he or they know that Al speaks Spanish fluently. He understood every word they were saying, which was putting a smile on his face. They agreed the best way out of the standoff is what he is recommending, but they don't want to appear too eager going along with it. They feel they are on higher ground than the Governor of Texas. Due to that, they want to see what else they can get.

"Let's even say I can sell this to my President, I need more to get it done." Mr. Flores opened his brief case and handed Al a file. "Inside that file are several things you will need to get before we even allow your Texas Rangers across the border. Once you get these items done, we then can come back to knock out the final details on how we are going to get your men in and out of my jail."

Al glanced over the papers in the file before closing it. "You must be out of your mind if you think I am going to even consider taking this to Governor Lopez." Al got up from his seat and walked back around his desk. "We won't give your country one red cent to turn over the wanted felons. Along with that, we won't release any one from our prisons until they serve their time, and that includes the one that tried to kill the Governor's son, but was so stupid he missed and got his boyfriend."

"Everything in that folder must get done in order..."

"In order to do what Mr. Flores?" Al interrupted. "Begin talks about what I put on the table here? I know your leader and how he keeps his promises. There is no way I will even consider doing any of this for anything. That includes the two wanted felons that escaped into your country. They broke the law in this country and must stand trial for what they did.

This is what we are going to do. I will forget about this list of demands. I will pretend that you never gave them to me. In return, you will head back to your country and talk with your president. I don't care what you have to do, but you will sell him on this idea because if you don't, things will get a lot worse for you and your people."

"How can they get a lot worse? Right now you have raised the tariffs to the highest level your Governor could. On top of that, we have the backing of your president and congress. They will make sure it is more expensive for your Governor to run this state with the tariffs as high as they are and not bending to our request."

Al couldn't help but laugh at what Mr. Flores just said. Little did Mr. Flores know, Al spoke with the leaders up in Washington, from the president's chief-of-staff to the leaders in both houses. They assured Al that not only they won't speak out against Governor Lopez on this matter and that they will come out in support of the Governor.

"Listen and listen carefully gentlemen. Threaten all you want, but at the end of the day, you have nothing to bargain with. You will do what I just told you to do and go back and sell this idea to your president. If you don't, Governor Lopez is prepared to tighten the screws even tighter on your country.

First he hasn't raised the tariffs to the highest he is allowed by law. He will do that if you guys don't allow us to talk with Beth and Dominic. Second, he will press even harder to make sure every citizen from your country who owns a business here in Texas is going to find it hard to operate. Finally, he will take it to the people. When it hits the press what is going on, it will go national. Once that happens and the people of this country hear what you guys are doing, they won't take a vacation in your country.

The decision is yours to make; make the right one." Al wasn't yelling, but he wasn't talking in the low voice that he was talking in when he was sitting on the other side of his desk. "Let's be honest here and put everything out there. It is you and I who make these hard decisions, not our leaders. Use the back channels as we always do in order to solve problems that our leaders cannot show weakness on. What do you say?"

Mr. Flores just sat there trying to figure out what he could come back with, but nothing came to mind. Reluctantly he accepted Al's proposal to use the back channels to solve the problem that is in front of them right now. Once they agreed on the date and time for the selected Texas Rangers to go to Mexico, Mr. Flores and the others that came with him got up to leave.

"To show you how serious we are about making these issues go away." Mr. Flores began to explain as he shook Al's hand. "We are going to turn over Mr. Dominic Alvarez to your police force within the next forty eight hours. That is our way of extending the olive branch and getting things moving even faster to end this standoff."

"Governor Lopez would take that gesture as a positive move in the right direction. Neither he nor the people of this state wanted this standoff, but were left with no other choice but to get in front of it. By you and your government taking the first step like this, I don't see this standoff lasting for much longer."

Mr. Flores agreed with Al as he walked out of the office. Al didn't walk his guests out. He had a desk full of work and not enough time in the day to get it done. Once they were out of view, he turned around and walked back into his office. As soon as he sat down, his secretary walked in and they got to work.

Meanwhile back in El Paso, Josh and the others were heading to their third period when Al was wrapping up his meeting. It was a slow start, but after first period, second period went faster. Josh hoped that third would even go faster than the one before. That way he could go to lunch and find out what was going on with Chris.

During breakfast, Chris returned to the group in a very quiet mood. No one except Josh knew that meant he was hurting, which means things weren't going well between his friend and Jacob's. There was no doubt in Josh's mind that whatever was getting started between Chris and Ethan was falling apart.

Every so often he would glance over to Chris to see if he was off of base. However, each time he looked over at Chris, he became more certain that his original assumption was right. One of his best friends was hurting and he has no idea yet how to help him through the hurt. All he can do is talk to Chris and find out what happened. He might have a better understanding and find a way to help his friend.

Because Josh wanted third period to go by fast, it dragged on. The teacher seemed more boring than ever, which made things worse. At one point, Josh was going to get up and ask to go to the restroom. His plan was when he walked passed Chris's desk on his way to the front he would drop a note.

But, his plans went out the window when the teacher popped a quiz on the class. He tried to hurry up and finish the quiz, but every time he looked over at Chris, he saw his friend staring out the window. Even if he could get permission to go to the restroom, Chris wouldn't be allowed to go since he wasn't working on his quiz.

Reluctantly Josh sat back and took his time with the remainder of the quiz. When he finished, he went back over the first part and boy was he thankful that he did. Almost half of the first questions were answered wrong. With that many being wrong, he would have flunked his quiz and been in trouble with his father; a position that neither he nor his brothers ever want to be in!

Once he checked and rechecked his work, he got up and handed in his quiz. Although he was the first to finish, he wasn't the first to turn it in. Since he took the time to check his work, three other students finished first. Normally that would have bothered Josh since he likes to be the first to hand in the quiz, but today he didn't care.

He made his way back to his seat and sat down. Patiently he waited for the bell, which seemed like eternity. He looked up at the clock on the wall several times and thought that the second hand had stopped working. After shaking his head a couple of times, he realized it was just his mind playing tricks on him.

When the bell finally rang, he gathered his stuff as he got up and walked over to Chris. Chris was in his own little world, so he didn't notice Josh walking towards him. It took Josh patting him on the shoulder to bring him back to reality. Trying to put on an act, he smiled up at Josh, but Josh saw right through the facade.

"Hey man, how's it going?" Josh was very careful with what he was saying. "I saw you talking with Jacob and Ethan this morning, but you came back to the table a lot sooner than you normally do. Did something go wrong between you and Ethan?"

Chris looked straight into Josh's eyes and shook his head. Although he was saying no, his body language was saying yes. Josh decided not to push his luck and let it go. He figured that once Chris is ready to talk about what happened he would. All he could hope for is when that does happen it's him that Chris goes to.

They both walked out of the third period class and quickly made their way to the cafeteria without stopping at lockers. By the time they reached the lunchroom, the line was already hanging out the door. Chris saw Ethan towards the beginning of the line and wanted to go and talk to him, but he held back since he was with Josh.

After the third time looking in Ethan's direction, Josh caught on. "There is no need for you to stand with me if you want to go and be with Ethan." Chris tried to object, but Josh stopped him. "Go on, go over there and try to fix whatever's going on between you and him. I'd rather see you happy than sad."

Before Chris could object again, Josh pushed him out of line. He looked at Josh with a half grin and then headed to Ethan. Josh looked on and tried to decipher what was being said, but he was too far back in the line. Finally, he just gave up and started to go over the songs he had chosen for his next CD.

To his surprise, the line didn't take as long as it usually does. Before he knew it, he was getting his food and heading toward the guys. When he got to the table, he was surprised to see Chris heading in his direction. The look on his face was a look of defeat, which made him feel even worse than he felt before encouraging his friend to talk with the guy he likes.

So he didn't embarrass Chris, he didn't ask what happened in front of everybody else. Instead, he joined into the conversation biding his time. When they finished eating and headed out to the Stadium, Josh took that as his opportunity to try to get Chris to open up to him. He knew it wasn't going to be an easy task because of the way he was reacting at the end of the third period.

At first, Josh didn't approach the subject with Chris or pull him off to the side. They walked over with the others and continued to be involved in the conversation that was going on. Every so often Josh would look up and see that Chris was really not into the conversation. About ten minutes before the bell was to ring, Josh made his way towards Chris as slowly as he could.

When he reached his friend, in a whisper, he asked the same questions he asked before. This time he got a different reaction from Chris. Instead of putting on an act, he broke down and started to cry. The others stopped talking and just looked at Josh and Chris wondering what in the world was going on.

Seeing that they got the attention of everybody else and not meaning to, Josh pulled Chris to the side. "I know you're going through hell right now and there isn't a thing I or anyone for that matter can tell you that will make you feel better. All I can say is that I'm here and I will listen to whatever you have to say."

Chris wiped the tears from his face as he looked into Josh's eyes. "I think I really screwed up my chances with Ethan! I mean I tried to do something that I knew he wasn't ready for, but I did it anyway." Chris barely able to talk through the lump in his throat!

"Whatever it is can't be unfixable. All you have to do is go back to Ethan and apologize for whatever you asked him to do. The way you have described him, he is an understanding person. Go over to him and apologize. Don't let a whole bunch of time go by before you try to remedy the situation."

"Don't you want to know what I asked him to do before asking me to go over and apologize to him?" Josh nodded his head. "I asked him to come out and boy he didn't like that. He isn't out like you and me, which I felt would've made a relationship with him kind of hard. Everyone knows that I'm gay and if he's seen with me, they will assume that he is as well."

Josh couldn't believe that Chris actually asked another to come out of the closet. Not after everything, they had gone through when they came out. It was hard for them. Because of that, they made a promise to each other to never ask anyone to come out when they aren't ready.

"I don't know where to even begin on what you did." Josh started pacing back and forth, as he gathered his thoughts. "Come on, you know the hell we went through when we came out. Your dad almost killed you and my mother? Well let's not even start that conversation again. We both went through a lot and luckily, we came out the other side alive and sane. I think we were able to do that because of our friends and family.

What you have told me about Ethan he is new here and just starting to make friends. Yes, he's making friends with a group that is in the majority gay, but he went into that group with everybody thinking he's straight. Add to that where he grew up, a farm boy. In those kinds of families, you can't be gay. If you are, just like the Hispanics and very religious families, you will be disowned."

"I know, damn do I know! I didn't mean to push him into a corner on something he's not ready for. All I was trying to do was make it his choice to come out instead of being forced to because of rumors around school. You know as well as I do, rumors take a life of their own and there is really no way to stop them once they get started."

Chris took a deep breath before continuing. "On top of that, I don't think, no scratch that; I know I'm not his type. He didn't say it in so many words, but I got the jist of it. I really like him, but I'm not going to try and date a person that can't and won't return the same feelings."

Josh looked over to the group, looking for Angel. Once he found him, he looked back at Chris. "I know this is probably way too soon, but let me ask you what about Angel? I know at first I really didn't give him a chance, but these last couple days I have gotten to know him and he's a really nice guy."

"Just like Ethan, I don't have the same feelings I had for Angel when I first met him. All his back and forth pretty much wore me out. I know he needs someone that is strong and right now I know that isn't me. There is no way I can be the kind of boyfriend he needs right now. Mainly, because he's still in the closet, just like Ethan! I went through hell to be out of the closet. There's no way I'm going to go back in for anyone. The next guy I fall for, I'm going to make sure he's out."

Not able to counter what Chris said Josh just nodded. They talked a few more minutes before rejoining the others. When they returned, no one brought up Chris breaking down. They continued with the conversation they were having and brought Josh and Chris into it.

The remaining minutes of lunch, Josh made sure that Chris was okay. When he saw him smiling and actually laughing at a joke that Eric said, he knew their talk actually did the trick. He still felt bad for his friend on having such bad luck finding someone to date, let alone a significant other. At the same time, he knows that if Chris stands by what he just said, there's no way he is going to get hurt the next time around.

Unlike the morning, the rest of the day went by fast. The only period that Josh did wish to drag on was fourth, but that period seemed to be the one that went by the fastest. Before heading to the SUV, Josh checked in once more with Chris. When he saw him joking around with a couple of his fellow swim team members, he knew there wasn't anything for him to worry about.

The evening was no different from any other evening during the school year. As soon as Josh got home, he and Cesar did their homework before sitting in front of the TV. Shortly after they sat down, Daniel Jr. and Carlos walked in from football practice. They just tossed their stuff at the door of the theater room and plopped themselves down in the front seats. Josh half expected them to ask for the remote, but they didn't.

The next couple of days of school flew by fast. When Jacob walked up to him after school on Thursday and asked him to help out with his campaign, Josh was more than happy to do so. They discussed what he could bring to the table to help. They decided on a small rally during lunch tomorrow at the Stadium.

The reason for that is because the other students that are running for the student council president have been running around making an issue of Jacob being gay. They have no other leg to stand on because the student body no longer believes in their ability to represent them. So, they decided to go along the old political way of throwing mud when you are down and can't get the voters to pay attention to you.

To make matters worse, one of their fellow jocks and his friends were the ones that were involved in the rape of the new kid. Arturo Medina is no longer in the running for student Council since he's fighting to stay out of jail. Plus he's no longer attending El Paso High School. Now the race is down to three people including Jacob.

As Josh was concluding his meeting with Jacob, Isaac was heading out to meet up with Troy. Even though they have been seeing each other every night since Saturday, Isaac still hasn't brought him back to the house to meet the family. He knows the family has figured out that he is involved with someone, but out of respect to him, they haven't asked any questions about where he's going and what he's doing.

This evening, just like every other evening, Isaac and Troy were planning to stay in and watch a movie. They both work and by the time the evening rolls around they are tired and all they want to do is relax with the one they love.

When Isaac arrived at Troy's house, he just walked in. He found Troy in the kitchen finishing up dinner. Not wanting to disturb his man hard at work, Isaac turned around to head to the living room. However, before he was able to make it two feet from the kitchen door, Troy called him back.

"You don't even come in and say good evening?" Troy started laughing as he threw the dishtowel he had in his hand on the counter and began walking towards Isaac. "Come here and give me a proper hello." The two men wrapped their arms around each other and kissed before letting each other go.

"It looked like you were hard at work when I walked in, so I didn't want to disturb you." Isaac said in a low voice as he picked up the dishtowel Troy tossed on the counter and tossed it at him. "Point me the direction you want me to go and I'll help you out as much as I can. Keep in mind I don't really know how to cook. So I advise you if you don't want to be ordering in, don't give me anything to do with the stove."

"Trust me after the first date we had with you cooking, I learned my lesson. I will never again allow you to get in front of my stove or any stove for that matter." Troy opened up the refrigerator, pulling out several potatoes, placing them on the counter. "Why don't you get started peeling these potatoes while I work on the main course?"

Isaac didn't object to peeling potatoes of course. With a little bit of help he was able to provide Troy; they were eating within the hour. After enjoying a great meal and great company, they got up to clean up the kitchen and the dining room together. Once they were done, they headed to the living room to watch the movie Isaac brought.

While Isaac and Troy were putting their feet up, Eric and Bernice were coming to the end of their shift. It took a lot for Eric to ignore the advances that his co-worker was making on his girlfriend. At times, Eric wanted to walk up to the guy and just start hitting him. However, if he did, he knew that he wouldn't be able to stop once he got started. So that he didn't get fired or go to jail, Eric ignored the guy.

The co-worker that was making the advances on Bernice saw that Eric was struggling, so he decided to see how far he could take it. Whenever he had a chance to get away from the kitchen he headed over to Bernice. At first he just patted her on the shoulder, but as the night wore on, he got more aggressive. They got to the point that no matter what Bernice said or did, he didn't stop.

Finally, about half an hour before their shift ended, Bernice had enough. When the co-worker walked up to her and pinched her on the butt, she turned around and started slapping him. It took the duty manager and several other workers to pull her off the guy that was making unwanted advances.

When they finally separated them, the manager tried to get to the bottom of what was going on. Little did Bernice know, the manager and the guy that she slapped weren't only good friends but they also shared an apartment. So no matter what she said, the manager refused to see the truth and believed what his friend said over her.

"I don't care if one of our co-workers pinched your butt or called you a name, it does not give you the right to do what you did. If he was making unwanted advances, you should've come to me so I could have taken care of it. Since you took matters into your own hands and assaulted another employee, you are fired. Collect your personal belongings and leave the premises."

Bernice couldn't believe that she was getting fired. She knew she did wrong by slapping him, but he was wrong for doing what he was doing and should have been at least fired along with her. She could tell this manager isn't even going to reprimand him for what he's done.

"He has been making advances on me since I started working here. It started with just flirting, but for the last few days, it has gotten worse. He's now coming up to me touching my shoulders, hair, breasts and my butt." Bernice looked to the door to see the very guy she was talking about. "I know you have seen it and have ignored it, which opens you up for a lawsuit."

The manager didn't even try to hide his laughter. He sat there and laughed in Bernice' face without a care in the world. "I would like to see you try to sue me or the company. If you had that kind of money you wouldn't be working here. So instead of throwing out empty threats, why don't you get up and get out of my office?"

Bernice did what she was asked. She got up from her seat and started walking towards the door. When she walked out of the office, she turned back around when she heard her name. It was no surprise to her to see the two guys sitting their talking about her as if she wasn't there. The more she listened, the angrier she got.

"You're right, I don't have the money to hire an attorney and sue the pants off this company. That doesn't mean that I don't have friends that do have the means and the connections to get things done. Among those friends I can call upon is the son of our current Governor. We are very close friends and the Governor and my uncle are very close friends as well. My uncle married the Governor and his new wife."

The manager quickly stood up and walked over to Bernice. "Hold on, I might have jumped the gun on your termination. Let's sit down and talk about what happened to you." The manager moved to the side to let Bernice in, but she didn't budge.

"Now you are willing to listen to me when I threw out who I know? I don't think so! You made your decision to terminate me and I am going to make sure that's the last decision you ever make as a manager in this store. When I get finished here, not only will I have my job back, but you and your friend here will be out."

Bernice didn't wait for the manager to respond. She turned and walked over to the time clock and punched out. Before leaving the restaurant, she went into the break room and grabbed her personal items as she was told. As she was closing her locker, the manager walked in and tried again to get her to talk to him.

This time Eric stepped in and told the manager where he could stick it. The manager was stunned that Eric was so openly verbal since he could still fire him. However, he didn't respond to Eric and just let the couple walked out. As soon as they were out of his restaurant, he returned to his office and phoned the store manager.

The whole way home, Bernice told Eric what happened in the office. When she was done, she had to hold on to him. He was flaming hot and wanted to get off the bus and head back to the restaurant to defend her honor. She tried to settle him down, but he was getting angrier by the minute. When they finally reached their stop, she pulled him off the bus and forced him to walk her home.

By the time they reached her house, Eric had settled down. He kissed her goodnight and waited for her to walk in and shut the door before leaving. She watched him through the crack of her curtains. She wanted to make sure he wasn't going to head to the bus stop on Mesa Street. When she saw him turn down the side street that led to his house, she was relieved. She closed the curtains and walked over to the living room to deliver the bad news that she was fired to Father Gomez.

The next morning on their way to school, Bernice and Eric both agreed to not let the others know about what happened. They figured with the threat alone on who they knew would be enough to get her job back and the other two at least transferred to another store. They didn't care what happened to them as long as they are no longer working the shift that they are scheduled to work.

As they sat there eating breakfast, Josh explained what he and Jacob were planning to do at lunchtime. The only problem he was having was choosing the song he was going to sing. So, they went around the table and threw out songs they thought would be appropriate for the event.

When Angel threw out `We're Not Going to Take it', by Twisted Sister, everyone was stunned. They never thought that Josh would even think about singing a rock song, let alone that kind of rock song. It is a song that basically throws out there that enough is enough and it's time for a change. That's exactly what Jacob needs right now!

The table got very quiet and every eye was on Josh as he thought about the song Angel suggested for him to sing. When a smile crept across his face, they knew he liked the idea. He turned to Angel and thanked him for the song choice as he got up and ran out on the cafeteria with Cesar on his tail.

He quickly made his way to the old auditorium on the fourth floor. When he got there, he wasn't surprised to find Mr. Franklin already behind his desk. As he walked in Mr. Franklin got up and greeted him and Cesar with a big smile on his face.

"Mr. Franklin I was wondering if by any chance you have the sheet music to the Twisted Sister's song "We're Not Going to Take it"?" Mr. Franklin smiled at Josh as he walked over to his filing cabinet where he keeps all his sheet music. "I'm going to help Jacob out today at lunch and sing that song for him."

"Yes, I do have the music to Twisted Sister's song `We're Not Gonna Take it'." Mr. Franklin started laughing as he pulled out a copy of the song Josh was asking for. "I think your choice of music is just perfect for helping out your friend Jacob win the student council presidency. It is sending a clear message to the other two that the old ways of doing things is no longer going to be on the cards for the future."

Josh took the sheet of music from Mr. Franklin as he thanked him. "No thanks needed Josh. Just do me a favor and make sure you give the students a show they will never forget." Josh smiled back at Mr. Franklin as he nodded his head. "I will make sure to get you some back up to actually play the music to the song okay?"

"Really you would do that for me Mr. Franklin?"

"Yes I would do that for my lead soloist. You have a voice there is no doubt about that, but that kind of song you're going to be singing needs to have the music to put it over the top. So I'll make sure you have that at the beginning of lunch today."

Once again, Josh thanked Mr. Franklin before he and Cesar left the auditorium. All through first and second period, Josh memorized the song. During third he made sure he had every verse down. He didn't want to stand out there in the Stadium in front of the majority of his fellow students holding the sheet music.

His first and second period teachers didn't give him any hassle for not paying attention in class. However his third period teacher did. When she caught him the first time working on the song, she asked him to put it away. The second time she asked him to put it away again, but with more of a commanding voice. When she caught him the third time, she took the sheet music and put it in her drawer.

Therefore, when the bell rang, Josh had to stay after class to get his music back. At first, his teacher was refusing, but after he explained why he was working on them, she understood and handed them back. As he walked out of the class, she asked him when they were going to perform and he told her.

By the time he got to the lunchroom, the line once again was hanging out the door. As he stood there with the other students, the only thing he could think of is him not letting Jacob down. He kept glancing down at the sheet music, but realized that the more he tried to practice, the more he forgot the lyrics. When he reached the pile of trays, he surrendered to the notion that if he didn't know the entire song yet, he wouldn't get it down with the remainder of the time that was left.


As soon as he joined his friends at the table, they all started asking him if he had already memorized the song. When they saw they weren't helping, they changed their tactics. They started to pump Josh up, instead of making him nervous. It didn't take long for Josh to unwind and get to being his old self. As they finished eating, they talked about how much they liked the song that Angel suggested. They kept going back and forth on that as they made their way out to the Stadium.

They made their way to the bottom of the stairs and stopped to wait for Jacob. When Jacob walked out, he right away saw Josh standing at the bottom of the staircase waiting for him. He walked down and joined him and starting to go over their plan. As they talked, they made their way to where the microphone was set up by Zach. Zach greeted both Josh and Jacob as he handed Josh the microphone. Josh hit the tip of the microphone a couple of times not only to get the students attention, but also to try to quiet them down.

"Hello! Many of you know who I am. For those that don't know, my name is Joshua Lopez, and yes I am the son of the Governor. I was on the swim team and currently part of Los Tigres. And this piece of news shouldn't be a shocker to anyone, I am gay just like Jacob here. A gay student athlete that doesn't complain that the sport I'm in is too hard or I'm afraid I'm going to break a nail like some of the students running against my friend here said we gay students would say if we joined a team. They are flat out lying to you guys and I think you all know that down deep inside yourselves.

I'm not the only gay student involved in our school sports and none of us has ever complained about what we do. There were at one time two gay students on the football team. One of which broke several of our school records. At the same time, Jacob here was on our track and field team this year. He broke several records before his leg was broken.

The reason I am saying this is because of the lies that are being spread about my friend in the last couple of days. The students that are running against him for student body president truly don't know how to run for the position. Instead of running on what they are going to do, they decided to run a dirty campaign of slander. They are hoping that you guys are as stupid as they are and listen to and buy into their lies. I know many of you, and them, and I know you won't fall for these kinds of tactics.

I will be voting for Jacob for student body president and I hope you guys will as well. I'm not doing it because he is gay, but because he is the best person for the job. Under him a lot will get done. Every program will be funded without us having to go door-to-door selling chocolates. I am honored to stand by my friend's side and introduce him here today. Please give it up for my friend, and the next student council president, Jacob Hernandez!" Everyone started to clap as Josh handed Jacob the microphone.

Josh stepped to the side and started looking around. As he looked into his fellow students eyes, he saw their willingness to hear Jacob out. Seeing that in their faces, he knew Jacob actually had a real chance of winning. Never before would the students here at this high school have ever given a gay student a chance to talk to them like this, more so on the topic of running for one of the highest positions in the student Council.

The students that were standing in the stadium took a few minutes to quiet down. Until they did, Jacob couldn't start talking. Josh felt bad, but at the same time, he didn't. With them as lively as they are, they are actually listening. They are actually ready to hear Jacob, which means they don't see a gay guy asking for their vote. No, they see a guy that can actually make changes that everyone can benefit from.

The students finally quieted down enough that Jacob was able to begin. "In the last couple of days the students that are running against me for student council president decided to run a campaign of slander. A campaign I won't run because we all must stay above that in our student elections. We must show that we are better than the politicians that we are expected look up to. We have to show them we won't get down and get dirty. Instead, we will run a clean campaign on the topics and issues that touch us all.

You already heard what I'm going to do if you elect me as your next student council president, so I won't bore you going over the same things. What I am going to say here today is going to be very simple. We regular students, the nerds, the non-popular groups, students that are not involved in school sports or part of the popular crowd must band together. We can elect our own to the offices of the student council and class presidents. Those positions aren't exclusive to the popular students or the in crowd.

We can no longer stay on the sidelines and hope that our friend at our side does what you really want to do. If we keep putting that off to our fellow students or to the next class, we'll never get anywhere in this school. Who knows what tomorrow will bring us, but today we know we have a chance to change things for the better. Change things for every student, not just for the groups I keep naming.

So get off the sidelines! Stop sitting on that fence! Let's band together to make a better tomorrow for our school! Stop letting the jocks and popular kids tell you who you should vote for and how you should be. It's our time to run things. Let's show them we're not intimidated by them and take the positions we can by election. Vote for the person you truly believe will do what is right for every student on Election Day; not for the same ole same ole that doesn't do a thing for every student in this school."

Mr. Franklin was true to his word. As Jacob handed the microphone over to Josh, their fellow students started to applaud. The band that plays the music for Los Tigres walked out and started to play `We're Not Gonna Take it', by Twisted Sister. That got the students yelling even more. Josh pulled Jacob over to him as he started to sing. It didn't take long for entire stadium to join in with Josh.

Principal Michaels made his way down to where Josh and Jacob were. He wasn't there to stop them, but to ensure that the students know that he gave permission for this speech not like the ones that have been going on in the cafeteria the last couple of days. As he watched, the students really get into the song Josh was singing, Principal Michaels hoped Jacob would win the election because if he did, things will actually happen next year.

Once the song came to an end, the students started to chant both Jacob and Josh's names at the same time. Josh looked around and couldn't believe how well accepted his and Jacob's speeches were. Just a week ago they had a rally here almost at the same time about all the gay bashing going on, and now here they are, two gay students, asking for their vote. Not only do they seem to be thinking about it, but also they look like they might even put Jacob into the office he is seeking. What a big turnaround in such a small time.

Josh was brought out of his thoughts when Cesar pulled on him to walk towards the entrance that he is supposed to use. As he walked over to the door to the side of the staircase, he looked back to see Jacob standing there with a confused look on his face. He stopped and walked back over to him to see what was going on.

"It isn't anything against you Jacob, it's just security protocol that has been put in place since, well, you know." Jacob nodded his head. "Ever since that day, we have been entering in through the private entrance down below that normally teachers and faculty are only allowed to use. You should think about using that entrance as well Jacob."

"Not to sound rude or anything but why? I mean I don't have any reason to be using that door. My father isn't like yours, or anyone in my family for that matter." Jacob looked over at his friends to make sure that they hadn't left without him.

"Come on Jacob, put aside who your grandfather is, you need security because of who you are and what you have. There are people out there that would do anything for a fast buck. You are a walking teller machine that they can at any time come up and pull money out of by simply kidnapping you and it's easy." Josh looked into Jacob's eyes to make sure he wasn't over stepping the line. When he saw he wasn't offending his friend, he continued what he wanted to say.

"What I mean is look at what happened to me, or would have happened to me last year if I didn't have security around me." Jacob tried to figure out what Josh was hinting at, but couldn't put his finger on it. "You know Jacob, my mother trying to kidnap me. She showed how vulnerable we are here at school. That church group got very close to me."

"I remember now!" Jacob beat himself up for not remembering something that huge that happened. "Your mother really wanted to put you in that place? I often wondered why she didn't remember that you had security and there was no way they would have succeeded." Jacob scratched his head playfully as he chuckled.

"Anyway my friend, you take care and thank you for your help here today." Jacob extended his hand, and Josh shook it. "If it's not too much of an imposition, I would like it if you can keep helping on this election. With your help, those over grown jocks won't be elected. What do you say? Are you in on helping me taking them down?"

"You don't even have to ask me! Count me in!" Josh and Jacob high-fived each other over their heads. "I know I'm a jock to a point, but I don't act or talk the way they did. Simply put, I don't like what they have been saying about you. It hits way too close to home and they must go down for their narrow mindedness."

Jacob thanked Josh and promised to meet with him over the weekend before heading up the stairs. Josh turned around and walked back to Cesar. They grabbed each other's hand and held them as they rejoined their friends to walk into the building. When they walked into the main hallway, they didn't let go of each other's hands. A few of the students did look at them, but for the most part, no one cared.

The second Josh walked into fourth period his fellow Los Tigres started asking him about his performance at lunch. They have gotten used to hearing him singing country music and when he sang a rock song, it knocked them out of their shoes. They asked him if he was going to start singing rock, and his answer didn't surprise them.

"To tell you the truth guys, I am more comfortable with country than in the rock. That doesn't mean that I won't sing more upbeat country rock songs. Just look at my first CD and you know that I don't shy away from stepping out to that type of music. So when we have a chance to sing it here, I'll do it because the bottom line is, I want to win every competition we sing in."

Josh's answer made everyone happy. They thought that Mr. Franklin was going to move their club more into the country arena since that is the area their soloist sings the strongest. Now hearing from the man himself that he isn't afraid of and is willing to sing rock, they feel a lot better. They are not going to become a club that sings nothing but country, dresses in Wranglers and cowboy boots.

It took a little longer for the teachers of fourth period to get their classes under control. Once they did, they went right into their lesson plans. Josh and Los Tigres continued to get ready for their next competition. Although it is two weeks away, Mr. Franklin didn't want to be unprepared or rushed to get his team ready to perform.

Because they were so into what they were doing, they didn't know that the hour was flying by. When the bell rang, it threw them all off. Mr. Franklin wanted to say a couple words before letting his class go, but couldn't. He excused them as the students rushed off the stage to gather their books. They all rushed out in order to make it to their next class in time.

The remaining two periods Josh had exams. He prepared for them, but when he opened his test, he was lost at first. His mind wasn't on them. Instead his mind was still out on the field with what he did with Jacob. It took Russ, his head of security to bring his attention both times back to what he was supposed to be doing. Once he started concentrating on the test, he flew through it as if he was given the answers.

While Josh was completing his final exam of the day, Ivan, Josh's manager, was about to call it a day when his phone started ringing. At first, he was going to ignore it, but something in his gut told him he should do that. He placed his briefcase back down on his desk and picked up the receiver.

"Hello, this is Ivan Lancaster, how may I help you?" There was a few seconds of dead air, but a voice that Ivan didn't want to hear came on the line. "Ivan, this Mr. Forbes and I have you on speaker phone so Mr. Barlow and Cooke can hear this conversation. I have some bad news that I know you don't want to hear."

Ivan sat back down in his seat preparing for the worst. "As you know I've been trying to get Josh on the Grand Ol Opry, but they have turned us down. I wanted this to happen so he can be recognized as a true country artist. With them turning us down, I don't think country music is willing to accept Josh into their family."

"Let me make this as clear as I can. We don't need the country music establishment to accept Josh into the family. The fans that bought his first CD have done that already. In time, those that are in charge down there at the Grand ol Opry will see that. When that happens they will be coming to us asking, no scratch that, begging us to have Josh perform on their stage.

In the meantime, let's schedule Josh into venues that suit him better. The Grand Ol Opry isn't the venue for him. He not truly established; he's still a teenager. Because of his age he needs to continue to perform in huge arenas so the youth of this nation can buy tickets to a show that they can enjoy."

"Mr. Lancaster I think you are missing what Mr. Forbes thinking about what he's trying to do here. Josh is a country singer. That's where he wants to be at and if he wants to continue in that area, he needs to go to Nashville where country music was born. That way he can catch the eye of the big shots in that segment of the industry."

Ivan knows that these guys he's talking to are a lot smarter than they are acting. They have been in the business many years now and they know that what they are saying isn't anything but bullshit. All Josh needs to do is get in front of a microphone and do what he loves to do. Everything else will fall into place.

"Mr. Barlow, I understood what Mr. Forbes was trying to get across. What you don't understand is what I am trying to say. Josh is sixteen years old. He has the voice of an older man, but a body of a handsome teenage boy that the girls are falling in love with. We need to take advantage of that and get him out to arenas so these young girls can see him live and go gaga over him."

For the next fifteen minutes, Ivan went back and forth with Forbes, Barlow and Cooke on where to take Josh's spring break tour. When he realized he wasn't getting through to the three executives, he stopped trying. He wasn't giving in to their wants and he wasn't willing to waste any more time talking to guys that refuse to see the facts and reality right before their eyes.

"Gentlemen, no matter what I say here, you have your minds made up and set on what you want to do with my client. However, that's not your choice; it's mine. I have spoken with Josh about a spring break tour and he has told me exactly what he wants and that's what I am conveying to you guys. I don't care if you like it or not, it is what our client wants to happen."

"The specific client is just a kid that can't think past his last sexual encounter. It is up to us, the adults, to provide guidance. You may not like it Ivan, but that is what we're going to do. So, you are going to have to sell this to your client. If he refuses to go along, he is in breach of contract and we will execute the clauses of that breach."

Ivan wanted to reach into the phone and strangle all three of the executives. They don't realize if they throw down the gauntlet, Josh will pick it up and throw it right back at them. At the end of the day, the loser will be the record label, not Josh.

"The only thing I can say about all this is that we have been through this once before. When it was all said and done, you guys lost. Don't threaten my client again! If you do it once more, you will lose him. I can assure you every record label out there will be willing to snatch Josh up and pay out his contract with you guys.

Let's take a breath here and rethink what we are asking of this particular client. Let's get another venue in Nashville that suits him better and makes you guys happy as well. Not only can I sell that to our client and I will be more than willing to do so."

Once again there wasn't anything but silence on the line. At first, Ivan thought that Mr. Forbes had hung up. Then he heard them whispering and knew that they were talking over what he had just suggested. It took them a few minutes to come to an agreement, but until they did, they kept Ivan waiting.

"Even if we would to go along with your suggestion Mr. Lancaster, there is nowhere else in Nashville for Josh to sing. At least not the way you are describing the venues. There aren't any large arenas that haven't been booked yet. The only other place we could think of for Josh to perform in Nashville is out of the city limits in a field somewhere." Ivan could hear everyone in Forbes office laughing.

"You may think it's funny, but you guys actually are on to something!" Putting down his receiver, Ivan went to his Rolodex. As he searched for the card that he was looking for, Mr. Forbes and the other two executives were asking what he meant by that. Ivan ignored their questions and kept looking for the card.

He found the card he was looking for. He placed Mr. Forbes call on hold and went to line two. Less than a minute later he heard a friendly voice come over the line. "Hello Dolly, this is Ivan! I hope I didn't reach you at a bad time."

"Sweetie! You can never get me at a bad time. How are you doing?" Ivan immediately started to explain to Dolly Parton what is going on. Every so often she would interrupt him with sighs and comments of disbelief. When he finished, she stayed quiet for a few minutes. He figured that she was letting everything sink in that he just told her about the executives he is dealing with.

"Are they still on the line with you?" Ivan answered her yes. "Add me to the conference call so I can talk to them." Ivan had no idea what she was going to say, but knowing her it was going to be good for his client. Without asking her to tell him first what was on her mind, he joined the two calls.

"Messrs. Forbes, Barlow and Cooke I have Dolly Parton on the line with us." Right away, the three executives started to grovel. Dolly didn't allow it to go on for too long. She quickly put an end to the groveling and told them that she has been brought up to date on what was going on.

"Gentlemen, I agree with Ivan about your plans. I won't repeat what he said, but let me make it clear I echo his feelings on the whole thing. Josh needs to stay true to himself and that isn't performing on that stage right now. However, there is another place he can perform in Nashville that you guys haven't even thought of."

Dolly explained her idea in detail. As she explained what she was thinking about, the executives loved everything she was saying. By the time they were done with the phone call, they had agreed on everything. The gentlemen thanked her and left the phone call. Ivan stayed on the line with her for a few more minutes, but reluctantly let the call go since he needed to get out of the office.

By the time Ivan walked out of his office, Josh and Cesar had already made it home from school. When they walked inside, they didn't smell the normal aromas in the air. They looked at each other as they headed to the kitchen to find out why they didn't smell dinner being cooked.

They didn't find Isabella, their grandmother or mother. Josh started to freak out when he didn't see his mother in the kitchen. The first thoughts that went through his mind was that something happened to the twins. He turned around and quickly ran up the stairs to make sure his imagination wasn't getting away from him.

Just as he reached the twins' room, his mother was walking out. He stopped a couple feet before the door and bent down with his hands on his knees trying to catch his breath. Barbara looked down at Josh and saw the worry in his face. Since she knew what he was thinking, she decided to not embarrass him and ask why he was out of breath.

"I let Isabella off for the night so she could have plenty of time to get ready for her date. You and Cesar get cleaned up because we are going out for dinner. Be ready within twenty minutes." Barbara leaned down and kissed Josh on the forehead before heading back into the twins' room to finish getting them ready.

With help from Cesar, Josh was able to make it to their room. He sat on the bed and didn't move until he completely caught his breath and his heart stopped beating a mile a minute. Once that happened, he got back up and joined his boyfriend in the bathroom to do as he was asked by his mother.

A few minutes later, they made their way downstairs to join their brothers. It wasn't long after that, Barbara walked down with the twins in her arms. Brandon and Carlos met her at the foot of the stairs to take their little brother and sister.

"I want us to have an actual meal, not just fast food. So with that in mind, where do you boys want to go out and eat?" Right away everyone started talking all at once. Because they were going back and forth on where to eat, it took them longer to decide where to eat than Barbara thought it should. Seeing them going back and forth, she can see why her husband normally doesn't let their sons decide where they are going to eat.

"Okay then, it is decided we are going to eat at Taco Tote. So grab your jackets and head out to the limousine while I grab the diaper bag."

With smiles on their faces, the Lopez boys grabbed their jackets and headed out to the car. Out of all of them, Josh was the most excited. He has wanted to see his best friends at their job. At the same time, he wanted to see the guy that has been causing a lot of problems for his friends. As they made their way to the restaurant, Josh decided if he has a chance, he would try and talk some common sense into the guy that is trying to break up a very loving relationship that his friends have.



{Welcome back one and all to another exciting chapter of "Shadow of My Father". By the time this chapter is posted, it will only be eight days behind the other stories. That's a lot better than a year and a half like it was a couple months ago! Now that we pretty much have the chapters on the same timeline, you will only get one chapter of each story a week once I get back to my writing schedule.

With that said let's get on with the summation of this chapter. Toward the middle the chapter there was a repeat of a plot line that happened in the earlier chapters of "Jacob Finding His Way". For those who remember that plot line let me say forgive me for the repeat. But sometimes it is good that there is a repeat so an older plot comes back up that you as the reader may have forgotten. There are very few more plots out there that will get repeated in this story.

Now let me get back to the beginning of the chapter. It picked right up where I left off on the chapter before with the conversation between Al and the representatives from Mexico. It looked at first that nothing was going to get done, but Al was able to move his counterparts in his direction.

As you all know in `Regrets and Heartaches', Dominic has already been turned over. The only question that was out there is how that came about. That question was answered in this chapter. I think we were going to find out about Beth and her future in this chapter before we read it in `Regrets' where she comes from. However, once they are dealt with as far as extradition, their storylines will be re-picked up in `Regrets'.

Another storyline that was started in one of my other stories is Chris and Ethan. Once again if you guys are keeping up with all of my stories you already knew that Chris and Ethan weren't going to make it. With that said, I wonder who Chris is going to end up with. He said in this chapter that he doesn't have the same feelings he once had for Angel, but how many of you believe that? Again though, you guys know me and how evil I am. I might throw in a wrench or two to spice up that plot line.

Back to the major plot line that was repeated in this story. We knew it was coming because I reminded you about it in the last chapter. The election is just around the corner. I wonder with Josh's help, will Jacob win the election or will the students at El Paso High School retreat to the old same old thing and elect one of the jocks.

I love the fact that Josh isn't afraid to get out of his comfort zone when it comes down to singing. I hope he is true to his word and stays in country music, but at the same time once in a while throw in a rock song. After all, he is only sixteen years old.

I almost skipped a plot explosion. Bernice; this poor girl didn't deserve what happened to her at her job. I hope not only she gets her job back, but the two guys in question are fired. Not transferred, but fired from the restaurant. I believe that's the only way the store manager can get the message across to his other workers that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

This chapter actually had two mini cliffhangers. The first cliffhanger was the ending of the conversation between Dolly, Ivan and the three executives. What did she suggest for them to do? Here is a hint for those who are young and don't really know country music: There is somewhere else in Nashville that suits Josh a lot better that Dolly could help him to perform at.

And now the final cliffhanger in this chapter! We all know what Josh is going to see when he gets to the restaurant. The only question out there is how will he deal with it? Will he go off? Will he step back and not say a word? Will Barbara get in there and do something? I can take this plot into so many avenues. So if you guys want to know what happened at the restaurant, come on back.

So much going on in this story and not enough paper to write it all on! I know if I forgot anything in my writer's corner about this chapter, Trevor or Rick will take care of it in their corners. There are still a lot of open plots out there that I haven't even touched on, and many more new plots are to come. I hope that you all didn't forget about any of those plots, and if you did, well then it will be a lot of fun when they come back up again. So hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, the ride is just beginning!

I could stay here 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 jacob@jacobmillertex.com, Thanks!}


First of all, are these record company guys for real? Well there not really just a figment of Jacobs fertile imagination, But people like this do exist out there especially when it comes to country music, I've met executives like these guys who should have been put out to pasture years ago, who think the stars of country music are Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

I'm old enough (dammit) to know just the place Dolly Parton as in mind and it's a great venue.

Poor Bernice just made up with Eric and now she's fired all because of one, well two sleaze bags. I have a feeling that Josh might have something to say about this when they get to Taco Tote for dinner.

At last, we have the student council elections coming up. It was only natural I suppose that one gay guy would help another gay friend out, and hopefully with Josh's help Jacob has tipped the scales in his favor in the voting, or has he?

Isaac and Troy get a small mention in this chapter and I wonder how long it will be before Isaac takes his boyfriend home to meet the family. I don't know what he's worried about I'm sure everyone will make his boyfriend feel very welcomed and make him one of the family. Al's a shrewd cookie when it comes to dealing with the Mexicans and I'm sure they (The Mexicans) still don't realize that he got them to do exactly what he wanted them to do.

Anyway I won't rant on much more otherwise `Daddy' Rick instead of talking into his pillow will be crying into it because there will be nothing left to say. So sit back and enjoy all our writing because, folks, you ain't read nothin yet!

Don't forget to let us know how we're doing won't you?

Hugs Trevor



The plot twist with Bernice and her job is going to be interesting. I'm sure the developments are going to be intriguing and laced with drama. I have a glimmer of an idea who it will be that is going to speak up and if I'm right, it will be more than just a bit of a surprise. I hope that Eric will keep his hands clean and let others do the nasty parts.

I really feel for Chris. He just can't get himself out from under a perpetual rain cloud hanging over his head. What is he doing wrong? He's a sweet guy, pretty together and not hard on the eye at all. I hope that he gets a plan together before life and people beat him down.

Al is quite the statesman albeit not fit for elective office. He's right where his talents are being best applied; behind the scenes, working the back channels. Rich was very good in his position, but I sense that Al's tenacity and insight into people is going to really distinguish his work for the Governor.

Jacob and Josh teaming up has to have the popular kids and the jocks biting their nails! They must be scared to death with the way that these two gay boys have, in just a few minutes, redirected the energy and focus of the campaign for the school offices. Once again, I'm so thankful for the concept of fiction in that these events just aren't of the real world. It's just nice to slip into Jacob's "reality" for a bit where the facts of real life are suspended for a bit. I like to do my `reading' before bed time. Things like the mini-rally in the stadium after lunch makes for sweet dreams.

Speaking of bedtime, it's now nearly 11:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. comes around so fast. With that I will sign off for now wishing each of you all the best in life.

Until Next Time,

"Daddy" Rick