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 the 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 22


The drive down to Taco Tote was twenty-five short minutes in the evening traffic. When they arrived, they walked in together and got in line with the other families that had just arrived. Josh kept looking around for Eric and Bernice. When he didn't see them, he started to think that he might have misunderstood his friends when they told him they were working tonight.

As he and his family got closer to the order window, he tried to look into the kitchen every time the door opened. When he didn't see either of his friends, he gave up and looked at the menu. Just as he made his choice, he heard the cashier greet him asking for his order. He placed it, grabbed his cup and made his way to the fountain drink machine.

After gathering all the stuff he and Cesar were going to need to eat, he looked for a table. A family of ten had just finished and got up when Josh started looking. Quickly he made his way to that table and took it before any other family was able to get it. As he sat down, his brothers and Cesar joined him. Shortly after they sat down, Barbara and Rose walked up with a twin in each of their arms. Josh noticed his mother and grandmother looking for something and at first; he had no idea what it was. It then dawned on him what they were looking for and got up along with Cesar to go and get the high chairs.

While they were getting the twins chairs, their order number was called. Daniel Jr., Carlos and Brandon got up and went for the food. When they got back Josh and Cesar walked up with the chairs and were busy helping their mother and grandmother on getting the twins into their seats. Abraham and Victoria were making it difficult for them.

It took a few tries, but they finally got the twins to sit down. Barbara moved one of the chairs close to her and Rose moved the other one close to her so they could keep an eye on the twins while they ate. Josh and Cesar took their seats and started to dig in. Josh couldn't stop looking for Eric and Bernice, and when he didn't find them, he turned and asked Cesar if he had heard wrong when he asked if they were working tonight.

"You didn't ask if they were working tonight Josh. They told you that they were when you invited them to come down and do homework with us." Cesar turned around and looked for them, but just like Josh he didn't see them anywhere. "Huh, I don't know what is up here. They should be here according to Eric and they should be working out here, not in back."

"I know, but I haven't seen them since we walked in." Josh flagged over the teenager that was wiping down the table next to theirs. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but I was wondering if Eric and Bernice are working to tonight."

The kid looked at Josh as if he was out of his mind. "No sir they no longer work here!" Josh was taken aback hearing the news, but came back right away asking when was their last day. "I really can't say, but I can get a manager who could answer your questions if you want."

Josh nodded his head and thanked the worker as he left. A few minutes later, the manager that had fired Bernice walked up and introduced himself. "I understand you were asking about two of our former employees, Bernice and Eric is that right?" Josh nodded. "All I can say is that they no longer work here. If you want any more information than that, you will need to contact them. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

The way the manager spoke to Josh, neither Barbara nor Rose liked it. "Sir, my son was talking to you politely, so you will return the same courtesy." Barbara spoke up, getting the managers attention. When he looked over at her, he took a double take, recognizing her. He turned, looked at Josh a little closer and placed him as well.

"I'm sorry! I had no idea who you were. Please let me get you guys whatever else you want on the house." The manager started around the table shaking hands with everyone. "I mean anything you want, just let me know and I will get it out here immediately."

"Right now we don't need anything, and if we did, we would get it ourselves." Rose responded in the tone the manager was talking to Josh in. "What you can do for us is tell my grandson what happened to his friends. He was told they were working tonight and he wanted to say hi."

"Yes ma'am they were scheduled to work to night, but they were let go yesterday." Josh dropped his plastic fork to his plate. "There was a misunderstanding yesterday, but instead of working it out, they walked out. The store manager was briefed on it this afternoon and was planning to call them in for a sit-down over the weekend."

"What was the misunderstanding about; the guy that was hitting on Bernice?" The manager turned and looked at Josh, hearing the contempt in his voice. "Yes I am aware of what one of your other workers here was doing. They tried everything to get him to stop, but he kept going as if he knew that he was not going to be fired."

"Sir, we are investigating all complaints and if we find that the complaints that were lodged against this employee have merit, he will no longer be working here. Until that happens, our hands are tied." The assistant manager spoke in a voice that only Josh and those at his table were able to hear him. That told Josh that the manager was hiding something.

He was about to reply, but Barbara beat him to the punch. "You know what young man, you go back there and get the store manager for us. I want to speak with him and find out what is going on here because I know we aren't getting the truth from you. So go on back there and get your boss so we can get to the bottom of this whole thing."

Frustrated, but not ready to throw in the towel, the manager tried to talk Barbara out of wanting to talk to the store manager. "Ma'am it is against the law for us to give you information about an employee that works here or had worked here. We can't even give the information you are asking to their parents. I know who you are, but please understand I am following the law."

"I know the law, I'm not dumb. You have already broken the law by telling us that Eric and Bernice were fired yesterday, so don't give me that crap. Go back there and get your manager out here. If you don't, I will get up and go back there myself looking for him."

"Hold on ma'am, I'll be right back." The assistant manager walked back to the kitchen, trying to think of a way out of this. When he got to Gilbert Jackson's office, he was no closer to a solution then he was when he left the Lopez family. He softly knocked on the door and waited for Mr. Jackson to invite him in.

"Sir there is customers out there asking to speak with you."

Gilbert looked up from his paperwork. "I have to get home to my wife, can't you handle it?" His second in command shook his head. "This is your shift. You should be able to handle the customers that need to speak with a manager. Go on out there and tell them that I had left for the day already. If they don't want to speak with you, they can call or come by tomorrow in the morning."

"As you know sir, I would never come back here and ask you this, but these customers are different." Gilbert was bothered on the way his assistant manager was acting, and he didn't try to hide it. "Sir, it's the Governor's family asking for you! They came in to eat and asking for Eric and Bernice. When they didn't get the answers they wanted, they demanded to speak with you."

"Damn it! I warned you and your buddy if this came about what I was going to do. You told me that those two were blowing nothing but hot air up our asses. Now we can see that they weren't." Gilbert got up from his desk and walked out of the office. "I promise you if this mess you have created me turns to shit, you and your friend over there will be out on your asses. There is no way I am going to lose my job for a guy that can't keep his hands off the females here."

"I promise you the complaints about him touching Bernice are all made up. He has..."

"Don't give me that bullshit. This isn't the first complaint on that matter lodged against him. I should have fired him the first time, but you promised me that girl was wrong. Now here we are again with another female employee lodging the same complaint against him. One I can let go with your word, but now here we are with two. I wonder how many others are out there that you have been able to take care of."

The assistant manager tried to pretend he was stunned, but Gilbert wasn't buying it. He walked out of the kitchen and waited for his assistant manager to show him the table where the first family of Texas was sitting. When he walked up, he was surprised to see Eric and Bernice sitting there. He looked over at his assistant manager with daggers in his eyes. He wanted to kill him for putting him in this spot, but turned his attention to the matter at hand.

"I am sorry for taking so long getting out here. My name is Gilbert Jackson and I am the store manager of Taco Tote. I understand you wanted to speak with me about these two." Gilbert pointed to Eric and Bernice. "There is not much information I can give you. If you want to know why they are no longer working here, you will need to ask them."

"Trust me I knew you were going to say that and that is why I called them over." Josh spoke with a commanding voice. "While you guys were back there, more than likely getting your stories straight, we were out here finding out what happened yesterday and let me tell you, boy, are you guys in the wrong."

"Young man I don't appreciate being talked down to. I have a lot more experience than you, so you need to give me the respect that I deserve."

"You do have more experience than my son, but you aren't acting like you do. Even if half of what these two were telling us is true, that man and the co-worker that was sexually harassing this young lady should be fired, not them." Barbara looked at the assistant manager. "You sir know what you did yesterday was wrong by your action when you went after Bernice and tried to talk her back. That alone tells me that you know what she was saying has some truth to it, or you wouldn't have tried to take back your termination."

"Ma'am this is neither the place nor time to discuss this. If any of my employees are at wrong here, they will be dealt with. If you want to talk further about this, come back in the morning anytime throughout the week and I will be more than happy to sit down with you. But make sure if you do, bring these two along with you because I can't speak about them unless they are present." Gilbert once again looked over at Bernice and Eric.

"If I come back here, it will be with an attorney. What happened here is bad; I don't even know where to begin." Barbara got up and started to get the twins out of their chairs when Gilbert walked over to her. "Mr. Jackson you aren't going to admit what your employees did to this young lady was wrong out of fear of getting sued, but you know it was wrong. Do what's right here and hire back Bernice and Eric, terminate the employee that was harassing her and this manager for letting it happen."

"If I do that, will it end this whole thing?" Barbara answered yes. "I'm not saying that I'm going to do that, but I will think about it." Gilbert walked over to Eric and Bernice. "Call me first thing in the morning and I will let you know what my decision is. I promise I will make the right one after looking into everything that happened here yesterday."

No one gave Mr. Jackson and his assistant manager the time of day. They gathered their coats and headed out the door. Once they were out of the restaurant, Mr. Jackson pulled his assistant manager to the back. He was angry as hell and wanted to make it clear to his second in command that shit flows downhill.

"First, you must suspend the other employee involved in this thing immediately. It should have happened yesterday, but again I gave you free rein with your shift, not anymore." The assistant manager just nodded his head to Mr. Jackson's request. "By not following procedure we have a big mess on our hands and I really don't see any way out of it without heads rolling.

Second, I am going to offer Bernice and Eric their jobs back with an added bonus. I am going to pay them for all their lost hours. That won't stop them suing if that is what they decide to do, but at least it will look good when it goes to court. We look bad right now and no matter how much we try to do to clean this up; we'll never come out of this looking like the good guys.

Finally, you will stay away from Bernice and Eric if they choose to come back. If I hear one complaint or rumor that you are giving those kids a hard time, you're out of here. This mess is so huge I'm not even safe from it since I allowed it to happen and not fix it the minute I was informed about the whole thing."

"Sir, I don't have any problem with anything you've laid out, but we need not give those two everything. If we do that, they will know they own us and can do whatever they want. That's how the other employee involved got to this point. We took the word of a female employee that he sexually harassed her and fired him. Then we found out that she was lying and we had to go back to him and give a lot up so as not to be sued. Now he thinks that he has us by our short hairs, and Eric and Bernice will think the same if we make the same mistake twice."

"Yes, we were wrong on how we handled bringing that guy back and I don't plan to do the same thing with these two. However, we allowed it to get to this point. The first time he tested the boundaries, we should have shut him down. Since we didn't, we are where we are today. He more than likely will no longer be working here when the dust settles from all this."

"Again I think we are going about this all wrong. I say we leave things the way they are; wait, and see what they do. I think they were blowing hot air and..."

"No sir I'm not going to play the waiting game. The young lady told you yesterday who she knew and you didn't believe her, at least that is what you told me today. But here, we are seeing that she was telling the truth. She knows the Governor and his family! They were in my restaurant today making it clear they aren't going to leave this alone. There is no way I am going to lose my job because the Governor makes a simple call to my boss."

Mr. Jackson looked at his young assistant manager and could tell he didn't get it. A screw up as big as they made is unfixable, but they can try to minimize it. They can go to the two that didn't deserve what they got and offer what they can to see where everything goes. If it works out, they saved their jobs and possibly a big lawsuit.

Meanwhile back in the parking lot, Josh, Cesar, Eric, Bernice and the rest of the Lopez family were getting into the limousine. As soon as the door shut, Bernice tried to explain why they lied to Josh, but nothing came out right. She was stumbling all over her words. When she tried to correct what she was saying, she made it worse. Finally, Eric stopped her and he tried to fix it.

"What Bernice is trying to say is that we didn't want you to know what happened. We wanted to try and fix it ourselves because it was our mess to fix." Eric reached over and grabbed Bernice's hand before continuing. "You have helped us out of a lot of jams, but there is going to come a day when you won't be around to help us. We need to start learning how to deal with our own messes if we are ever going to become something."

"Look, I understand what you guys are saying, and I'll never do anything that makes you two uncomfortable. Just let me say this, what happened to you here was wrong and I know those two idiots back there know it. When we got there tonight and I didn't see either of you, I got worried. Then when I asked if you guys were working and the answers I was getting was nothing but lies, I got mad. That's why I called you guys and asked you both to come down. They were bad mouthing you and you guys needed the chance to defend yourselves."

"Exactly, Josh is right." Barbara interrupted. "I have dealt with plenty of people in my life like your two bosses. They will be calling you and offering your jobs back in the next day or so." Both Eric and Bernice looked at Barbara with lost puppy dog looks on their faces. "That is what you want, correct?" At the same time they nodded. "Good then because that is what is going to happen, trust me."

Just then, there car was coming to a stop in front of Bernice's house. As Eric and Bernice were getting out of the car, they said their goodbyes and thanked everyone. The Lopez family didn't drive off until Barbara saw Bernice and Eric walk into the house and shut the door. Once she saw that, she told the driver to head home. The rest of the ride no one said a word. They just stared out the window thinking about things that were going on in their lives.

Daniel Jr. couldn't believe that his high school years were almost over. In just three months, he is going to graduate and be off to college. Nights like these he won't be part of anymore and he knows he is going to miss them a lot. He loves being with his family.

Carlos was thinking about his junior prom. His brother Daniel went on for days about his junior prom and Carlos couldn't wait for his. He wanted to have as much fun as his brother did, if not more. He has every minute of that day planned from beginning to the end.

Little Brandon was thinking about his new girlfriend. He wanted to bring her by to meet his family, but she kept putting it off. There is no doubt in his mind why she doesn't want to meet them and whenever he brings it up. She always changes the subject. As he sat there thinking, he decided that he is going to do whatever he has to do to make her see that his family is no different than hers or anyone else's for that matter.

Josh and Cesar, well, they were thinking about each other and what they wanted to do to each other as soon as they got home. Each time they turned and looked at one another, they knew what the other was thinking. They would laugh or tighten their grip each time they caught the other thinking the same thing they were thinking before turning away from each other.

However, their plans wouldn't come to be because as soon as they walked into the house, the phone was ringing off the hook. The boys knew the call wasn't for them, so they headed upstairs with the twins. Barbara went to answer it and when she heard Daniel's voice, she started to worry since she had already spoken with him earlier that day.

"Barbara I'm sorry for calling so late, but I need to speak with Josh if he hasn't gone to bed yet." Barbara told her husband that they had just come in and he is still awake. "Good, please can you call him down so I can speak with him for a few minutes? In know he's going to think when you tell him I want to talk with him that he's in trouble. Let him know that he isn't and not to worry."

"Rose is going up to get him right now." Barbara spoke in a worried voice. Even though her husband made it clear that Josh was not in trouble, she knew different. She heard in his voice concern, and normally that isn't good. "Can you tell me what is going on so I can be prepared for Josh's reaction after getting off the phone with you?"

Since Daniel Sr. and Barbara got married he hasn't kept a secret from her, and he was not about to start now. He told her why he was calling as quickly as he could. When he was done, Barbara felt a lot better. Just as she was about to console her husband, Josh walked in with Cesar right behind him. She smiled at him as she handed him to receiver.

"Hello dad, how are you?" Josh spoke in a soft voice that Daniel Sr. was barely able to hear.

"Son, I'm doing well, how about yourself?" Once again, Josh spoke in a soft voice when he said he was well. "Good, I need a big favor from you. I am about to send my gay rights bill to the floor of the state house, but before I do I want to go out and talk with the religious right of my party. I need them to understand I'm not going to try to legislate how they should worship, but how the laws of this state will change and why they should get behind it.

What I need from you, if you can do it for me is to come down and join me tomorrow evening and sing a song. You have a way of getting through to people with that voice of yours. I'm hoping those I can't get through to with my speech, you get with your way of telling a story in your singing. You've got the power and I need that right now to get support for this bill."

The expression on Josh's face changed from scared to confident almost immediately after his father asked him for a favor. He wasn't ordered to help him, he was asked! This is something he never thought his father would ever do. Now that he has, he feels like he actually has accomplished something very early in his life; his father coming to him to help out.

"Dad of course I'll come and help you whenever you need me to. Anytime I can spend with you would be awesome because I'm planning to do what you're doing right now after I get out of school. Just tell me where and how I'm going to get there and I'll be there."

"I will send down the plane for you, Cesar and the rest of the family. The pilot will know where to go once you guys get on board. Just relax and think about what song you want to sing to help me out." Daniel went on in detail what he plans to say tomorrow evening so Josh could choose the right song to follow him.

When he was done, he asked to speak with Barbara before thanking his son and wishing him a goodnight. Barbara got back on the phone and was told what time they needed to be at the airport and where they were going. Once they went over the details of the trip, they said their goodnights and hung up the phone. By then, Josh and Cesar had already headed upstairs.

She turned off the lights in the study and made her way upstairs. Before turning in for the night, she checked on the twins and the rest of the boys. When she got close to Josh and Cesar's door, she heard them talking, so didn't look in. She wanted to hear what they were talking about, but knew it wasn't right. Out of respect for the boys, she went to her room.

Josh and Cesar were going back and forth, on what he was going to sing. They wanted to have the song chosen before going to bed because they both knew Josh needed the time on the plane ride to memorize it, which wasn't a whole lot of time. Within in an hour, they had the song choices down to three, but they were three they couldn't put aside. Both of them wanted those three songs. They knew they are in for a long night.

After Barbara changed into her nightgown and was crawling into bed, she realized that she hadn't told the other boys about the trip. She quickly got up and made her way out of hers and Daniel's room. The first room from theirs was Daniel Jr.'s, then it was Carlos's and the last was Brandon's. All the boys were awake when she knocked and were excited about the trip when she told them they were going up to see their father for the day.

Just as she walked out of Brandon's room, Isaac was coming up the stairs. He looked at her with a puzzled look on his face. "Is everything okay with Brandon?" The puzzle look changed to a worried look. "I know in the past he couldn't sleep alone in his room, is that happening again?"

"No, no, nothing like that is going on. Daniel called this evening when we got back from Taco Tote, oh by the way, where were you?" Barbara looked at Isaac to see his facial expression, but it didn't change from what it was and he didn't answer the question. "The reason I am asking is because you promised the boys that you were going to join us, but you never showed."

Barbara didn't break eye contact, but didn't get a reaction from him. "Anyway, like I was saying, Brandon is okay. Daniel called this evening and needed to talk with Josh. He asked for Josh's help tomorrow, and of course Josh said yes. He so much wants to be like his father, there is nothing he wouldn't do for him. So when he was asked to help out, he immediately said yes."

"What is it that Daniel needs help with that he couldn't call on me?" Barbara explained what her husband needed. When she finished, Isaac felt a little foolish with his reaction. He can't sing and that's what he needs from Josh, a singer. The more he thought of it, the more it made sense to him. It was a wise choice because the way Josh is able to get through to his audience when he sings to them. No matter what song he sings, the audience feels his emotions.

"Since he is going to send the plane down, why don't we all go? I need to talk with my brother about a thing or two and there won't be a better time than tomorrow to do it."

Barbara looked at Isaac trying to figure out what he was up to. Unable to read his face, she agreed with him as she bid him goodnight. They both made their way to their rooms, not saying another word to each other. Once Barbara got into hers, she went straight to bed. However, she slept restlessly the whole night wondering what was going on with Isaac.

When the alarm sounded the next morning, Barbara got up and got ready for the day. When she was done, she headed out knocking on the boys doors as she made her way down to the kitchen. The hardest of the boys were Josh, but Cesar did get up when she knocked and promised that he will take care of Josh. With that, she checked in with the twins before going down to start breakfast.

As breakfast was being put on the table, the boys started to walk in one at a time, with Josh and Cesar being the last to join them at the table. While they ate, Josh's brothers asked what he was going to sing. When Josh answered them that he had no idea, they didn't believe him. It took Cesar repeating what Josh said for them to move on.

Every minute that passed Josh couldn't nail down a song, everyone around him got anxious. On their way to the airport, they tried to help Josh, but not meaning to they were doing more harm than good. By the time they walked onto the aircraft, they stopped trying to help. They let Josh alone so he could relax and be able to make up his mind.

Meanwhile, Immanuel arrived at Father Gomez's house and was knocking on the door. As always, Father Gomez answered the door with a friendly handshake. After their normal greetings, Father Gomez invited Immanuel in and let him go to Patrick's room. He thanked the Father as he made his way down the long hallway to the end where his boyfriend's room was.

As he raised his hand to knock, the door opened, spooking him. Seeing that he had scared Immanuel, Patrick started laughing, almost dropping to the floor. Playfully Immanuel walked in and pushed his boyfriend to the floor pretending to fight with him. After rolling around on the floor for a few minutes, they gave up and lay there on their backs looking up at the ceiling.

"You know we haven't really done anything in the last couple of weeks." Immanuel turned to look at Patrick as he spoke. "I want to do something today that involves only you and me, nobody else, but, I don't know what. Since you grew up in this town and more than likely know everything we can do, I'll let you decide."

Patrick turned and made eye contact with Immanuel. "We pretty much have done everything that we are able to do. There is nothing else that comes to mind that we haven't done yet." Patrick reached over and wrapped his right arm around Immanuel. "Why don't we just stay in and watch television together? I love being with you. There is no reason for us to go out anywhere."

Leaning in, Patrick gave his boyfriend a quick kiss on the lips before jumping to his feet. As soon as he was on his feet, he helped Immanuel off the floor. They walked together to the bed and sat down. For the first couple of minutes, neither said a word! They sat there looking into each other's eyes as they have done so many other times in the past.

"I love being with you Patrick, but I want to go out and do things. We are too young to be sitting at home doing nothing. That is for people Father Gomez's age, not us. So let's get off our butts and do something today, okay?"

Seeing that Immanuel wasn't going to take no for an answer, Patrick started thinking where they could go. Every place he thought of, they have been. Some of the places were fun enough to go again, but those places take money that they don't have. After a few minutes of thinking, Patrick came up with a perfect place.

"Why don't we take a hike today up to Sierra de Cristo Rey? I've never been up there, but I hear it's nice. Plus it will get us out of the house for most of the day, so what do you say?" Patrick started to poke Immanuel on his side.

"Well I really don't have the right shoes on." Both of them looked down at Immanuel's feet and saw that he was wearing sandals. "Although many have walked that mountain in these kinds of shoes, I don't. If you want to go, I am cool with it. We just need to stop at my house on the way so I can change shoes and clothes."

Having no problem with that, Patrick and Immanuel agreed on what they were going to do. A hike won't cost them money that they don't have at and they will be together having fun. As they headed out, Patrick checked in with Father Gomez, who was delighted to hear where they were going.

Back on the plane with Josh, Cesar and the Lopez family, Josh was sitting apart from everyone else as he was trying to make up his mind on what to sing. Halfway into the flight, he was between two songs. Finally, after another ten minutes going back and forth, he made up his mind which of the two he was going to sing.

Once he did, he put away the sheet music of the other two songs and started to memorize the song he decided to sing. When the plane touched down in Brownsville, Texas, Josh started to worry a little about performing since he really didn't have a lot of time to prepare. Then when he reminded himself why he was doing this, he stopped worrying. His father needed him to help out, and that, that alone is enough for him to do what is needed to be ready.

It was no surprise that when they got off the plane there was a limousine already on the tarmac waiting for them. Since they didn't bring any luggage, they were able to leave once everyone was in the car. The only thing they were surprised about is that they beat their father to his own speech at least they thought so.

The ride from the airport to South Padre Island was a familiar one. However, the last time they were here they were helping the President out on his re-election. Now it is their father who is here to speak with the citizens of this city. The only difference, which is a big one, the Governor is going to speak to regular citizens, the voters, unlike the President who spoke with donors and a few regular citizens when he was here.

As they drove along the long bridge that connected Brownsville to South Padre Island, the boys pointed out the places they visited. Isaac even got into the conversation since he was with them the last time they were here. Once they were across, they knew exactly where they were going seeing where the crowd was.

When they got through the crowd, they saw another limousine like the one they were in. The only difference in the two was that the one that was already there had the governor's seal of on the doors. When they saw that, they knew their father was already there. They couldn't wait to see him, so as soon as the car came to a complete stop, they jumped out.

The minute they saw the cameras, they stopped, straightened up and walked towards the tent where they were directed to go. Daniel Jr. and Carlos didn't want to be seen looking like little kids running up to their father. They have a reputation to protect, and the quickest way to destroy that is by everyone and their mother seeing them act like little kids.

Barbara, Rose and Isaac walked behind the boys with the twins. When they reached the tent, the boys held the flaps open and let them in first. Once they stepped in, Josh, Cesar and their brothers followed. At first, they didn't see their father anywhere. A little frustrated, they took a seat where they were directed to and waited quietly.

Josh thoughts weren't quiet! No his thoughts were all over the place. He kept thinking of the song and wondered if he picked the right one. The more he thought about his choice, the more he questioned himself. It took Cesar to pull him out of his thoughts and make it clear that he had picked the right song. Daniel Jr., Carlos and Brandon heard them talking and immediately asked which song he'd decided on.

Before Josh could answer their question, their father walked into the tent. They quickly got up and gave their father a hug when he walked up to them. "I would like to know the song you have chosen too, Josh." Daniel Sr. asked as he pulled Josh into a hug. "I know it is going to be a good one, but I would like to see if I can frame my speech around it."

Pulling out the sheet music from his back pocket, Josh then handed it to his father. Daniel Sr. unfolded it and looked at it for a couple of seconds. After scanning it over once, he looked at his son and smiled. He tried to brush his hand through Josh's hair, but Josh had just had a haircut, the way he likes it, short.

Laughing, Daniel Sr. went back looking at the song. "Josh this is a great choice! I love it! Those who I don't get with my speech will surely come around with your song." Daniel handed the sheets of music back to Josh. "I really hope that I didn't put you on a spot with the late notice and everything son. I have an uphill battle with this and I need all the help I can get."

"Don't worry dad, I'm okay. Just tell me when you need me on and I'll be ready." Daniel smiled at his son as he started going through the program. He and the family were going to be introduced taking their seats while a couple of local politicians spoke. Once they have talked, he will be introduced to make his speech. When he is done, he will introduce Josh. Without a need to be asked, Josh agreed.

Before they could go into any more detail on how the event was going to unfold, the Governor got called away. The boys sat back down and looked at Josh for the answer to their question. Josh just looked back at his brothers with an evil grin on his face. After a few minutes of staring each other down, Josh caved and told them what the song was. When they heard, they agreed with Cesar and their father that he had picked just the right song.

They knew Josh needed what little time is left to do to be ready for his performance they stopped bothering him and sat back quietly in their seats. Josh leaned forward looking at his music sheets, trying to take it in. As he went over it, he realized the tempo wasn't going to work for him. He quickly jotted down some notes and that was when he realized that he hadn't asked if he had a band to back him up.

He jumped up from his seat and walked over to who appeared to be in charge of the event. When he asked them if they knew about the band, the guy just shrugged his shoulders and pushed him off to another guy. One after another kept pushing Josh off to another and finally when Josh was about to give up, his manager walked in.

"Josh I've been looking all over the place for you." Ivan walked up to him out of breath. "I need you to follow me outside to the stage to meet a couple of guys. This last week or so, I've been putting together your band, but I need you to approve them since it's going to be your band."

Breathing in a sigh of relief, Josh nodded his head and walked out with Ivan. As they walked to the stage, Ivan explained that Josh doesn't have to keep these guys. However, he asked him to at least keep these guys to play back up for him today and see how they do. If they work out, he has his band. If they don't work out, they'll keep searching.

Josh didn't have a chance to ask any questions because by the time Ivan was done explaining, they'd reached the backstage area where the band was. He thought when Ivan informed him that he had put together his band, he would have gotten old guys, but boy was he wrong. Looking at them, he couldn't believe that they were so young! Not his age, but in their early twenties at the oldest.

"Josh I would like you to meet those that are going to back you up today." Ivan looked to his right and pointed to a guy holding a guitar case. "This guy is your bass player, Redd, to his right is Oscar, your drummer, while this young man is Harley, lead guitarist, on keyboard is Huntley and your back-up singers are Rooney, Veronica and Alonzo. Guys, this is Josh."

One at a time they stepped forward shaking Josh's hand. They pretty much all said the same thing that he didn't need any introduction because they all knew who he was. After the introductions were made, they walked onto the stage to set up their equipment. Josh stayed back for a few minutes to talk with Ivan, and then when he joined the band on stage, he gave them the sheet music of the song he was going to sing.

While the first speakers were talking on the other side of the curtain, Josh and the band went over the set up. They didn't need a lot of explanation on how Josh sang because on their way up to South Padre Island, they watched several videos of Josh. By doing so, they saw how he sang and what tempo he was most comfortable with.

Josh left the band to finish setting up to go and sit with his family. He wanted to be there to hear what his father had to say to those who didn't want this law to be passed. They want things to stay as is. For these people if there was going to be change, the change they would like to see happen is all homosexuals rounded up and tossed off the highest cliff possible.

Just as he made it to his seat, his father was being introduced. The audience gave their Governor a warm welcome when he stepped on the stage, which surprised many in the press and the Lopez family. They know why the Governor is here. He wants to talk about a subject that isn't near and dear to their hearts.

While the audience was applauding, the Governor was looking around for a chair. He didn't want the audience to feel he is talking down at them. The only way that was possible in his mind is by sitting almost at their level and talk with them as equals, not as someone that thinks he knows all the answers to all their problems, because he doesn't. After a few minutes looking, one of his security agents came up with a stool for him to sit on.

Once he was settled, he looked out at the audience. "Good afternoon, everyone! Thank you very much for hosting my family and me here today! I know whenever I come into town, it slows everything down, and for that I am sorry. I promise when I leave this afternoon, I will try to get out of town with the least headaches for you all as possible." Everyone in the audience cracked up laughing, which told the Governor he had a good crowd in front of him.

"I'm here to talk with you all about a very important matter for my family and myself. Before you all jump up from your seats and start yelling or chanting what you are armed with and yell, give me a few minutes to talk uninterrupted. I know if you do that, you will come to see what I am about to unveil in our state houses is the right thing."

The Governor looked over at Josh. "As you all know one of my sons is gay. If you didn't know that and you met him for the first time, you would think that he is no different than your kids. Thinking that would be right. None of the individuals that are like my son are any different from you, yet society has made them out to be evil.

My son struggled with who he was for many years before coming out to his family. My late ex-wife and I taught him that being gay is a sin. On top of that, everyone around him spoke ill of those that are gay. All he knew was that what he was feeling was wrong and he was sick, which was wrong and he knows that now. He has come to terms with who he is after many bumps along the way.

He has had to put up with those that hate him for who he loves, but not for who he is. Whenever he runs into those haters, which is almost every day, they throw things at him and call him names. Ladies and gentlemen, look at my son and tell me if he deserves that. Look at this sixteen-year-old and his boyfriend and tell me that they deserve being spit upon, called all the ugly names in the dictionary, and some made up. Tell me if these two and all those like them should be treated like second class citizens; or worse" The audience was quiet.

"My son was on the swim team at his high school and broke many records. While on that team, he never looked at another guy in the locker room the wrong way. He knew who they were and respected them just as they respected him. He never once crossed the line that many in the religious communities and those that believe the same thing go out and say gay guys and women do whenever they are around the same sex. I'm not saying there aren't a few bad apples in the barrel, because there are, like in any community, but ninety nine percent of this society are law abiding citizens who just want to live their life like the rest of us.

They deserve to live their lives like the rest of us. With the same rights and privileges we all have." Someone in the middle of the audience yelled out that it is a sin and the Bible is very clear on that, which grabbed the Governor's attention. "You are right sir, to a point. According to some beliefs, being homosexual is a sin, but I believe that we aren't interpreting the Bible correctly.

The Bible states that all men and women are created equal and in the Lord's image. If we are to take the Bible word by word, then why did God make my son and all those like him the way they are? They didn't wake up one day and decide I want to live a life of sin so I am going to lay down with someone who is the same sex. No sir, they had no choice in the matter, just like they had no choice what family they were born into, what color their skin is or the color of their eyes."

The Governor got up from the stool and walked down to the second to last step. "Since we are on the subject, what is a sin and what isn't a sin? Let's dig a little more. If we were to live by the Bible as it is written, many of us, if not all, are sinning right now. We all are wearing clothes that have more than one material that is a sin according to the Apostle Paul's writings. Many of our young teenage girls have sex before they even get out of high school, which is a sin. If we go by what the Bible says, we are to take that young lady to her father and the father has to stone her to death. Our jails are full of thieves, but according to the Bible, we are supposed to chop off their hands for stealing.

We don't execute those parts of the Bible, which if you really think about it, we should if you want to live strictly by what the Bible says. Our society has changed so much since the Bible was written and because of that, the church had to change with it. Still that doesn't give those that preach the gospel the right to pick and choose what parts of the Bible should be thrown out and what part of the Bible should stay in." The audience was intently hanging onto every word.

"Ladies and gentlemen I didn't come before you here today to preach that those who believe that a person that lives by the teachings of the Bible is wrong. No, I don't have that right. At the same time, those that live by those teachings don't have the right to tell others that are law abiding citizens they are wrong with the way they are living because of who they love.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you about a new law, about to be put on the floor of our legislature and ask you for your support for that law. It won't affect in any way the way things are being ran in your church. The only ones that have the right to change the practices of the church are those in leadership positions for example, the Pope, as leader of the Catholic Church.

I am here to tell you about a new law, a law of man, for the state of Texas. A law that so many citizens of this state still think is a dream. They will go to ends of the earth if it would make a difference to get the same rights that we all have by the law of this state. They struggle every day to be treated equally, which isn't right.

It is high time that those that are trying to stop what is there, to realize that they can't stop it. They can't wish a society away. They can't ignore a society and think it will no longer exist. No, they need to come to terms that this society is here no matter how much they hate it and they deserve the same rights the rest of us take for granted every day.

My fellow Texans, my new law, The Stan Dudley Gay Rights Bill, gives equal rights under the law to all citizens of this state irrespective of their sexual identity." The Governor went on to tell the audience before him and those at home watching him exactly what this bill does. He didn't leave one thing out. Once he went through the bill, he had killed all lies that have been said about his new bill. The whole time while he was speaking, the audience sat there listening to him without interruption. Whenever one tried to say something, the person beside them, behind them or in front of them shut them up before they could get more than a couple of words out.

"As you can see, this proposed law won't change anything dealing with the church. All it does is change the law of the state. It is written in the Bible that we must first follow man's law, then God's law. If any of God's laws are broken, the person that breaks His laws will be judged the day he or she passes from this world if they don't ask for forgiveness. As long as the person asks for forgiveness and it is given, they will go to Heaven because God gave his only Son for our sins. That says something about the man upstairs if I say so myself."

The Governor looked over at his son Josh, which was his queue to get ready because he is almost done with his speech. Josh got up and made his way backstage as the Governor wrapped up his speech by asking the audience for their support for the bill. It didn't take much for him to get them on their feet chanting `yes' whenever he asked if they will support the Stan Dudley Gay Rights Bill. The chants went on for over five minutes before the Governor was able to get control.

"My fellow Texans, I have a big treat for you here today. Backstage my son is getting set to perform a song for you that will sum up what I have sat here talking to you all about. Please give me son and his band a warm welcome." The Governor started to applaud as he made his way off the stage to his seat.

The curtains slowly opened, to reveal, Josh standing in the middle of the stage with a white windbreaker, black t-shirt and jeans. The audience jumped to their feet and started to applaud as the band started to play. Josh walked to the front of the stage where his father had been and looked out to the audience.

You know a dream is like a river ever changing as it flows
And a dreamer's just a vessel that must follow where it goes.
Trying to learn from what's behind you and never knowing what's in store
makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.

And I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.
Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky.
I'll never reach my destination if I never try
So I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.


At this point Josh started to feel the song. As he got more into the song, the audience felt his emotions. He didn't remain in the middle of the stage, he started walking all over. Every few steps, he would stop, look out at the audience, sing a few words, and then move on. By the time he got from one side to the other, the audience was on their feet singing along.

Too many times we stand aside and let the water slip away.
To what we put off 'til tomorrow has now become today.
So don't you sit upon the shore lines and say you're satisfied.
Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides


(Chorus joins in) Yes I will sail my vessel `til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the wind these waters are my sky

I'll never reach my destination if I never try

So I will sail my vessel `til the river runs dry


When Josh's backup singers joined in, everyone in the audience was on their feet. Josh reached out to the sky with his right arm and looked straight into the camera as he sang the line that started `like a bird upon the wind'. Those that were watching at home and those that were in person looking into Josh's eyes, they could feel what Josh was feeling.

Those that weren't completely sold on the Governor's bill started to fold. For the first time there is a face on what they hate, and that face they could not hate. No matter how hard they tried to hate Josh, they couldn't. They started to feel for him. They started to believe that Josh and all those like him deserve the same thing they have.


There's bound to be rough waters

And I know I'll take some falls

With the good Lord as my captain

I can make it through them all


Josh made his way back to the middle of the stage. He placed his microphone on its stand and when his backup singers once more started to sing along with him, he again looked into the camera. This time he stretched out both of his arms as he started to sing the verse that started with `like a bird upon the wind'. It was taking all of his strength to keep control of his emotions. He knew if he didn't reach those that his father was unable to, he would have failed. Not just himself, but everyone that is like him, who is leaning on him to help get them the rights they have been fighting for.

No matter how hard he tried to hide his emotions, the audience there and at home saw it. Because they saw all of Josh's emotions, they started to feel them. They started to tear up. It was like Josh was reaching into their soul and making them see the hell he had gone through in his life so far and what they saw and felt, they didn't like it at all.


(Chorus joins in) Yes I will sail my vessel `til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the rind these waters are my sky

I'll never reach my destination if I never try

So I will sail my vessel `til the river runs dry

Yes, I will sail my vessel `til the river runs dry


As the band played on, the audience started to chant the song. Josh put out the microphone as they sang and went around the stage. The audience followed him as they kept singing even though the song was coming to an end. As the final notes were being played, Josh made his way back to the middle of the stage, placed the microphone back on the stand and just stood there looking out to all those that were on their feet chanting for more.

Josh looked over at his father to see what he should do, but he could see in his father's face a look of confusion. The Governor didn't expect this to happen, so he and those that put his speech together didn't have a plan in place. Josh turned and looked at his band to see what they thought, but again he saw looks of confusion.

The audience didn't want to leave or Josh to stop singing. They kept chanting `one more, one more' over and over again. Finally, Josh caved in after eight minutes of nonstop chanting and walked over to his band. He asked them if they knew the song `Long Black Train', luckily they did. When they started to play, the audience quieted down, but it didn't last long.

Huntley, Josh's keyboard player not only surprised Josh, but the audience as well. He had a lot of sound effects and one of them was the sound of a train. He started to play that sound effect that got the audience to wonder what was going on. Then Redd the bass player started and a few seconds later Harley joined in followed by the rest of the band. Josh didn't miss his queue. He leaned into the microphone and started to sing in his low, heavy voice.

The audience just stood there swaying back and forth to the music. They were mesmerized by the way Josh was able to hit the low notes. He made it look so easy singing the way he was, which very few have been able to do so early in their singing career.

Josh was really enjoying himself on the stage. This was the other song he wanted to sing, but decided against it because he felt it didn't convey the message he and his father wanted to put out there. Yes, it is a little religious to a point, but at the same time, it got people on their feet singing, unlike many faith-based songs that can put a person to sleep.

The other reason Josh went against the song was because of the verses. It talked about sins and how all you have to do is ask for forgiveness for that sin. He didn't want to send a message to those out in the audience and at home that his life is a sin and he needs to ask for forgiveness, because it isn't and he doesn't plan to ask forgiveness.

Putting these thoughts out of his mind, Josh got into the song. When he started to sing there is victory in the Lord, the audience started to sway their arms in the air, singing along. Not wanting to single anyone out with the lyrics of the song, Josh tried not to look at any one for a long period of time. He would look around the audience, then into the camera and then back out to the audience again as he moved around the stage.

The second time Josh started to sing `victory in the Lord'; he walked off the stage and walked down the aisles. That almost gave the Governor and security a heart attack! The people there didn't do or say anything that was rude, they either sang along with Josh as he passed them or reached out to shake his hand. Josh slapped as many hands as he could as he went down and back up the aisles as the band played.

Right on cue, as if they practiced it, Josh got back on stage when it was time for him to start singing again. He put his microphone on the stand and started to belt out the final parts of the song. The audience was really getting into the song. They made their way out of their seats into the aisles and started to dance as they moved closer and closer to the stage.

Josh didn't move from the middle of the stage, nor did his band. Security and local police surrounded the stage, the Governor and his family to make sure they weren't in harm's way, but realized it wasn't needed. They just wanted to get closer to the guy that is belting out a song that is bringing out the emotions of everyone, all good.

As the band slowed down and then stopped all together, the audience thought the song was over. They looked up at Josh and saw he was looking down at them. With no music backing him up, he sang the last word of the song in that low voice of his, getting the crowd all riled up.

When he was done, they were chanting once again for more, but Josh didn't have any more songs ready. This was the first time he and the band played together, so they don't know Josh's songs. They just can't start playing them for the audience there and those at home. Feeling bad, Josh kept saying thank you for the warm welcome as his family walked onto the stage.

Thinking about it, Cesar held back on grabbing for Josh's hand. The more he looked out to the audience and saw how they were, the more he thought about his decision. Hesitantly, he reached out and like many times before and after a performance, Cesar grabbed his boyfriend's hand.

Josh turned, looked at him, but didn't let go. He looked back out to the audience and started to bow. The audience saw the two young men holding hands on the stage, but it didn't bother them. They were enjoying themselves and didn't want to destroy the moment saying or doing something stupid that they can never take back.

The only thing Josh and Cesar didn't do like they have done in the past is hug. They held back on that out of respect of those that are respecting them. They are accepting them holding hands, but they didn't want to push it and hug or kiss. If it explodes, it would destroy everything they did here today. Getting the very far right of Republican Party, what some call the religious right to back their Governor in his new bill he is about to put before the legislature.

Since the crowd didn't want to leave just yet, the Lopez Family and their guests stood there on the stage. After a while of just standing there, Josh walked over to the edge of the stage and started to shake hands of those that were reaching out. The Governor saw that and saw they weren't doing anything bad, so, he joined his son. A few minutes later, the rest of the Lopez family were there, including Cesar, the twins and even the band.

After shaking as many hands as they could in thirty minutes, the Governor thanked the audience for everything again as he and his family made their way to the back of the stage and off. The audience tried to get to the Governor and his family, but security was too tight. Since they couldn't get past the security, they stopped at the rope line and yelled out either the Governor's name or Josh's as they walked passed. They turned and waved at those that were yelling, which got them to yell even more.

Trying to keep true to his word to not cause a gridlock when he leaves, the Governor didn't stay long in the tent. He and his family made their way out to the limousine with the Governor's seal on it and got in. As they pulled out onto the road, they couldn't move that fast. Those that were there to hear the speech and see Josh sing broke through. They wanted to see Josh and the Governor one last time before they headed off.

Josh wanted to roll down the window wave, but he knew better. The further they pulled away from where they were on the beach; those that were out there weren't so accepting. A few of them had signs saying awful things that Josh and Cesar ignored. Others actually ran up to the limousine and spat at the windows where they thought Josh was sitting.

When they reached the long bridge that they had to go over to get to Brownsville, the motorcade was able to get up to the speed limit. As they got further and further away from the beach, the Governor, Barbara and even Rose breathed a sigh of relief. They were thinking almost the same thing, thankful that nothing went wrong, which made them look up and thank the man above.

It wasn't quiet at all on the way to the airport. The boys were all talking at once and even the twins were wide-awake making noises. Daniel Sr. and Barbara looked at them wondering if in their own way they were joining their older brothers' conversations. With big smiles across their faces, they relaxed and sat back enjoying the lively conversations around them.

As soon as they arrived at the airport, they made their way onto the plane that was already on the tarmac waiting for them. Once everyone was on board, the plane taxied onto the run way and in minutes was in the air heading back to El Paso. Josh was wondering if his father was going to stay the night or will they be saying their goodbyes at the airport the moment they get there.

While Josh sat there trying to figure out if his father was going to go home for the night with them or not, Isaac chose to take this chance to talk with his brother. He got up from his seat and walked over to Daniel Sr. and Barbara. They were talking about the twins when he walked up, so he was going to leave them alone when his younger brother looked up and asked him to sit.


"I didn't mean to interrupt you guys, but there is something I think I should let you know." Isaac whispered as he sat down.


"Don't you ever think you are an interruption to me or anyone in the family!" Daniel Sr. leaned forward as his brother settled in his seat. "You uprooted your life for me when I needed you the most. So whenever you need to talk with me for whatever reason, you just go for it."


Isaac felt a little more at ease about deciding to talk to his brother about the issue that has been weighing heavily on his mind for the last couple of weeks. He and Troy had a long talk the night before about where they were at in their relationship. The one thing that kept sticking out like a sore thumb is that fact that neither of them had introduced the other to their family. They wanted to correct that. Both of them knew Isaac's family was going to be the harder of the two.


"I am pretty sure you already know Danny that I am seeing someone right now." Daniel nodded. "Well it's getting very serious and I really want this relationship to work. So, I want to bring him around the house one day soon so you and the rest of the family can meet him. He is a great guy and has passed all the background checks."


"It would be an honor to meet this guy." Daniel looked over to his wife before looking back to Isaac. "You never need to ask to bring someone around the house and more so a person that you feel so strongly about. Bring him by whenever it's possible. I hope that it is this weekend." Daniel punched his brother in the shoulder playfully like they used to when they were kids.


"If it is at all possible, can he come over tomorrow? That is if you are going to be at the house."


"I'm not going back to Austin until late Monday, so if you want to bring him by tomorrow, I'm sure we can put a dinner together." Making sure it was okay with Barbara. Daniel Sr. looked over to his wife and got his answer. "Just make sure to warn him that there are young kids in the house that will probably be all over him with questions."


Isaac laughed as he nodded his head. "I have already warned him on that. Not only did it not scare him, but he's looking forward to meeting all of my nephews, niece and the rest of the family." Isaac went on to tell his brother and sister in law how he met Troy. When Daniel heard that Father Gomez was playing matchmaker, it set off some bells. He now knows who he can go to on something he has been thinking about.


"I think Father Gomez is ahead of his time." Barbara spoke up for the first time. "I mean he is the only priest I have met that not only doesn't have a problem with gay couples, but he accepts them in his church. If the day would ever come when the church allows gay marriage, I really believe he will be the first priest to perform a gay marriage in his church."


Daniel and Isaac agreed with Barbara before the subject went back to the dinner. Daniel wanted to make sure that Troy wasn't allergic to anything or disliked certain foods. Once they got through the details of the dinner, Isaac thanked his brother for everything as he got up to leave them to pick up where they were when he came over.


As he sat back down in his seat, Isaac looked out the window and saw the lights of the city of El Paso. He started to think how things have ended up. He is now in a house with his nephews that he never thought would come about because of Martha's hate. Her hate actually brought him back to his family, but also he now has a guy in his life that he hopes will be his life partner.






{Welcome back everyone I really hope you enjoyed this installment of `Shadow of My Father'. I know it didn't cover a lot of time, but we are now getting into some major plots that are laying the foundation for future plots in this story. We all know by reading the first chapter of this story that Daniel Sr. makes it all the way to the presidency, but we don't know is how that happened. Well here is one of the things he did to get there.


In order to not give away to much more of this plot for future chapters, I am going to shut my mouth and move on to what this corner is all about, the summation of this chapter. I didn't have you guys wait too long to find out what the outcome of the managers at Taco Tote, the restaurant where Bernice was fired from.


That plot took a little more of this chapter than I planned and I still didn't feel I touched all the bases I wanted to with it. I wanted to write about how Eric and Bernice got to the restaurant, but I didn't want this chapter to be nothing but that one plot. So, I'm going to leave it to your imagination to connect how they reacted when Josh called them at home. We know that Barbara sent the car for them, so that part doesn't need to be answered.


Anyway I am rambling, so let me get back to business. I think Josh, Barbara and the rest of the clan handled themselves just fine. The ones that didn't were the assistant manager and Mr. Jackson. I really do think this is not the end of it, but the sad thing is that the wrong people are going to get the short end of the stick. Mr. Jackson is not going to take the fall for this, which he should since he was aware of what was going on. However, that old saying, shit goes downhill, comes into play here. That means the little people are going to get their walking papers.


It was a surprise for Josh to get asked for help by his father. He didn't make his father ask over and over again, which I respect this guy for. He jumped at the chance and I think he did a great job the next day. We also found out in this conversation what Josh really wants to do. He told his father he wants to follow in his footsteps. So what about the singing? Well I think we will get the answer to that in the chapters to come.


The speech Daniel Sr. gave was the right one for those he was trying to reach. To those that think I got too preachy in this chapter or religious, I'm sorry. I rarely put religion in my chapters because I will always anger someone with what I say. So I hope I found the right mix and didn't offend anyone. I will try and stay away from it in the future chapters, but you need to keep in mind this plot is going to involve religion because of the topic.


Daniel touched on all the right things when he spoke. When one of the audience members jumped up and yelled what he did, it backfired on him. The Governor took that and turned it in his favor to tell people you can't select what part of the Bible you want to follow and what part of the Bible you don't. Plus a lot more, we all read it so there is no need to go over it.


The show; there is really nothing I can say about it. It was great and Josh did what he was asked to do by his father. The song choice did the job. It got the people on their feet and to stop thinking ugly things about gays. The only question out there is how long will this change last. Once the Governor leaves, they will return to their church. Trust me they will be preached at, that what the Governor said was wrong. If at the end of the day the Governor could keep the support of ten percent of the religious right, he was successful.


Finally the ending of the chapter, Isaac! We all knew about Isaac and Troy, but Isaac's family didn't. I am glad he decided to ask if he could bring Troy over to meet the family. Mainly because this guy is going to be a major part of Isaac life, at least for the near future that is! I know Troy is going to be accepted into the Lopez family with arms wide open.


One last thing I need to do before I let you go, the legal stuff. Garth Brooks originally sang the first song in this chapter, he co-wrote the song, but I didn't use his version. I used the one recorded by the tenth season American Idol winner Scotty McCreery. He has an awesome voice and was finally happy that I was able to use one of his songs in my story. Finally the other song in this story, "Long Black Train', was by Josh Turner.


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 will take care of it in his. There are still a lot of open plots out there that I have not 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!}



When I did the first reading of this chapter, I sent an e-mail to Jacob congratulating him on a great chapter and telling him he should have been a politician or a preacher.

If I wasn't on our side of the fence, he would have convinced me to vote in favor right away, his argument was so convincing.

Now back to the story, I'm not sure if Josh should continue with his singing career or go into politics, he will I'm sure do well at either of them, what do you think? His manager Ivan did a good job picking his backing band and I hope that works out well. Mind you, musicians are a strange breed in a world of their own. Believe me I found that out from personal experience.

If I was Eric and Bernice I would wait for the store manager to apologize and offer them their jobs back, after sacking the other guy, then tell him to stick the job up his ass.

I have a pretty good idea who Daniel is going to talk to Father Gomez about, but I won't say anything right now otherwise Jacob will change is mind LOL.

Isaac and Troy would both be feeling nervous right now. Can you remember taking your first date home to meet mom and dad?

I say again a brilliant chapter with a strong message even if it is being preached to the already converted.

Please let us know if you agree or not because we love hearing from you.




"Daddy" Rick's Soap Box:


Jacob did an excellent job on the speech. It was the right mix. It was accurately targeted and focused. It was masterful the way he was able to point up some of the foibles of organized religion without actually calling church leadership on the carpet or being contentious.

Three years after the Stonewall Riots in New York City, in 1972, a book came out. "The Lord Is My Shepherd And He Knows I'm Gay" by the Reverend Troy D. Perry. It is a book that I highly recommend. Had Jacob had this book as a reference, the Governor's speech would have been MUCH more lengthy! Get this book. It is a very insightful look into `our' history and the still ongoing intolerance of religious fundamentalists. It's not a big book, but each page is awesome. Warning: Have Kleenex handy when reading.

Jacob, I want to know more of the details of Troy and Isaac's romance! There has to be some wonderful moments there and I am not wanting to fill in the blanks with my own imagination!

We already know that Josh isn't to be taken lightly when he comes across an injustice. We also know that Barbara is a strong woman. We have seen her handle Daniel Sr. when he has slipped off the path. Here we saw her jump all over the Taco Tote managers and I strongly suspect that there are more fireworks coming on that situation before it will come to resolution. Those managers were DOA when they walked up the table at the restaurant. They had just not fallen down yet.

I thought I was going to have a `continuity issue' with Josh's singing at the Governor's speech. I was wondering what his backup was going to be. He didn't have time to get an accompaniment tape or CD. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when Ivan showed up with a scratch band complete with backup singers! It will be interesting to see how the band and Josh meld over time.

In reality, today is Thanksgiving as I edited the chapter and wrote this column. I want to wish each and every one of you all the best and I hope that you have lots to be thankful for, as I do. One of the things I'm thankful for is the wonderful friendships I've made being a part of the JPG team.

Until Next Time,

"Daddy" Rick