The Boys Of Summer
copyright 2001-2003 Eric Draven
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This story is intended for readers over the age of 18. The story contains scenes depicting sexual acts between males. Some scenes depict sexual acts between men and teen aged boys. If this type of material is offensive to you, or if it is illegal in your state or country, please do not read further. If you are under 18, then you know what to do.
This story also contains scenes depicting unsafe sexual practice, however, this story in no way promotes unsafe sexual contact. Always use a condom to protect both yourself, and the one that you love. This story also contains scenes depicting drug use. I in no way promote drug use.
All other disclaimers apply.
Comments are always welcome. Click my name under the title of this story to email me. FLAMES WILL BE IGNORED, BLOCKED, AND BANNED.
The Boys Of Summer
The Cast of Characters So Far:
Robby: a 15 year old boy who, until recently, had been carrying on a sexual affair with his football coach. The Runaway.
Rick: a 15 year old boy who lives across the street from Robby's parents.
Jason And Daniel: 17 year old orphaned twins.
Luca: a man who owns a motel and takes pity on the twins from time to time for a price.
Kevin: a trick that is infatuated with Jason.
Nathan: a street hustler.
Roy: Luca's nephew. Luca has no idea that Roy is gay, but finds out when he pays for a night with Nathan.
Where Chapter 8 Left Off . . .
"I just don't want to do that," said Daniel, making Luca and Robby both look at him strangely.
"And just why not?" asked Luca. "You didn't seem to be too upset when your dick was in my ass last night."
"That was different," said Daniel. "That was just the two of us."
"Daniel, what's wrong with you?" demanded Luca. "Spit it out, boy."
"I don't want to have sex with both of you at the same time," said Daniel. "Sex with either of you separately is fine, but we need to set a few ground rules."
"Like what?" asked Robby.
Rick had calmed down and was now with his trick for the evening as were Nathan and Jason. Now, Luca had suggested that the three of them have sex while they waited for the others to come back, and Daniel was having no part of it. Robby thought he understood where Daniel was coming from until he'd said what he'd said about ground rules.
"Well, like there are certain things that I will do with Luca that I'll only do with Luca," he said. "And there are certain things that I'll do with Robby that I'll only do with Robby."
"And what if I decide to have sex with Robby alone?" asked Luca, causing both boys to look at him.
"I'm not so sure that I like the idea of that, either," said Daniel.
"Wait a minute there," said Robby, shocking Luca. "Its alright for you to have sex with both of us, but we can't have sex with each other? That's stupid, Daniel."
"I didn't say it made sense," replied Daniel. "I just said I didn't like it."
"Well, you'd better get used to it," said Luca. "That kid has a killer dick, and I want more of it."
"Well see, that's just it," said Daniel. "I don't think I want to share that dick with anyone."
"Hey guys," said Robby, blushing. "It is my dick."
"Wait," said Daniel. "Hear me out."
"Shoot, kid," said Luca, folding his arms.
"Well, with Luca, I want to be a top all the time from now on," said Daniel. "With Robby, I want to be a bottom all the time from now on."
"So you're saying that you won't let me fuck you anymore?" asked Luca, not liking the sound of things.
"That's where Robby comes in," said Daniel, glancing from Luca to Robby. "That is, if he agrees to it."
"What?" asked Robby.
"You are usually a bottom, right?" he asked.
"Well, you were the first guy I ever fucked," said Robby. "So, I guess that's true."
"And you like being a bottom, right?" he asked.
"Yes," said Robby, slowly. He was starting to see where this was going.
"Well, then if you and Luca have to have sex, then you can bottom for him," said Daniel. "That way all three of us are getting fucked, and all three of us are fucking someone."
They were all silent for a few minutes. Daniel silently pleaded with both of them to accept his terms. He supposed that if they didn't, he could move into a room and start turning tricks again. He'd be hurt, but at least he would have stood his ground for once in his life. He hoped that Robby would go for it more than Luca. He only wanted Robby to fuck him now. He didn't know how to tell Luca, but he only loved him. He was in love with Robby. He was positive of this. He wished that he could just have Robby to himself, but he didn't know how to do that with Luca in the picture.
"It sounds agreeable to me," said Luca, and both of them turned to look at Robby.
"I suppose I can go for that," said Robby finally.
When Robby finally got back to his room, he was more confused about how he felt about Daniel than ever. He thought he loved him, but after what had gone on in Luca's room tonight, he wasn't sure how he felt about him. It was obvious that Daniel had strong feelings for both him and Luca. He wasn't so sure how he felt about that. Every time he said something about it, Daniel reminded him that he still loved Bill.
Well, Bill wasn't in Chicago. Daniel was. Daniel refused to talk to Robby about Bill unless he was reminding him of how he thought that Robby felt about him. Robby hadn't been given the chance to tell Daniel that he didn't love Bill that way anymore. Hell, he'd only realized it tonight when Daniel had come up with his "ground rules" in Luca's room. He'd discovered that he hated the fact that he had to share Daniel with Luca. When he'd thought about how unfair that was, he realized that he wasn't in love with Bill. Bill had been a very wonderful part of Robby's life, but that was over now. Besides, what he'd felt for Bill was just puppy love. This was different. He was certain of this. He just had to tell Daniel how he really felt.
He got up off of the bed and walked out of the room. He had to talk to Daniel. It couldn't wait. He wasn't so sure that he should just knock on Luca's door and ask if he and Daniel could talk alone, but when he got there, he saw that everyone was there. The other boys had returned from their tricks, and Luca was giving them their money. He walked into the room and sat down beside Daniel.
"Aren't you going to get your money, Robby?" asked Nathan when Robby didn't walk up to the counter.
"I already paid Robby and Daniel," said Luca. "They were done first."
"Can I talk to you alone for a little while?" Robby said to Daniel softly.
"Sure," said Daniel, looking concerned.
He followed Robby out of the room. He caught Luca's raised eyebrows as he followed Robby out, but he had no idea what to say to Luca. He didn't know what Robby wanted. He hoped that he wasn't going to tell him that it was over for them. That would kill him.
"I am going to say something, and I don't want you to interrupt me until I'm finished," said Robby once the two of them were sitting by the pool.
"Alright," said Daniel slowly.
"First of all, I don't like your ground rules one little bit," he said. "I'll go along with them, because its what you want, but I don't like them. You keep telling me that I am being unfair when I say that I want you all to myself, because you say that I love Bill. Well, if you'd ever ask me how I feel, you'd know that I do not love Bill that way anymore. Daniel, I love you. I really love you, and its killing me to share you with Luca."
They were both silent for a few minutes. Robby was waiting for Daniel's response, and Daniel was blown away by what Robby had to say. He loved him? He'd actually said it. Daniel couldn't believe it. Robby had said that he loved him. It took a few minutes for him to come back down to Earth after that. Then he thought about Luca, and his heart sank. Luca would never let them be together all alone. There was no way on Earth that Luca would allow him and Robby to live there if they decided that they were in love and wanted to exclusive. He'd demand that both of them start turning tricks, and that was something that Daniel refused to do ever again.
"Robby," he said with a sigh. "You have no idea how happy I am to hear you say that to me. But Luca won't let us be together like that. You know he won't. The only reason that he's letting us be together at all is because we are both with him, too."
"We have to tell him how we feel, Daniel," said Robby. "I can't just pretend to be happy with the way things are."
"We can tell him, but if he doesn't go for it, what then?" he asked.
"You said that you'll be eighteen in a few weeks," said Robby. "Then you can get a real job, Daniel. You won't need Luca."
"What about you, Robby?" he asked. "How would I take care of you?"
Robby looked at his feet. Daniel was right. There was no way that Daniel was going to be able to get a job that paid him well enough to take care of both of them, and no one was going to hire Robby without checking his background. They'd see that he'd run away, and then he'd be sent home.
"What do we do then?" asked Robby.
"We can talk to Luca," he said. "But if he says that he doesn't like what we have to say, then we have to keep things the way they are."
"I'm not having sex with Luca," said Robby. "And if you do, then I can't be with you, Daniel."
He'd laid it on the line before he'd really thought about what he was saying. Once it was out of his mouth, he realized that he was serious, but it still scared the shit out of him. What if Daniel wouldn't go along with him? What if Luca made it hell for them? What would happen then?
"What are you saying, Robby?" asked Daniel. The look in his eyes was ripping Robby apart.
"I'm saying that if he doesn't go for it, I'm still not having sex with him," said Robby. "And if you continue to have sex with Luca, then I'm not having sex with you."
"And I guess I have no choice but to accept that," said Daniel as he stood up and walked away.
Robby started to cry as soon as Daniel was away from him. He didn't know what to do now. Had Daniel just said it was over for them? Had he really just said that? If that's what he'd meant by what he'd said, the Robby wasn't staying in Chicago. He'd go back home and face his parents. He couldn't stay in Chicago if he couldn't be with Daniel.
He got up and walked back to his room. He didn't know what to do. He wasn't really ready to talk to Rick, but he couldn't sit there by the pool all night long. His room was the only place that he go to. He decided that he would just lock himself in the bathroom and stay there for the rest of the night. But when he got to the room, Rick was already in the bathroom. He could hear the shower running.
He sat on the end of his bed and started to cry again. He couldn't believe that Daniel had walked away from him like that. He wished that he'd at least tried to talk to Luca. Who knew what Luca would say unless they talked to him about it. He was almost ready to go downstairs and fight for Daniel, but Daniel had apparently made his decision. That's what hurt so much. He hadn't even tried. He heard someone knock on the door, and he hurriedly wiped his eyes. He wasn't going to let any of them see him cry. He took a quick look in the mirror on the wall and decided that there wasn't that could be done about his red eyes. When he opened the door, he was surprised to see Luca on the other side of it.
"I think you need to come to the office for a little chat, Robby," said Luca before he walked away. Why was everyone walking away from him tonight?
He got off the bed and followed Luca out of the room and down the stairs to his office. Once he got there, he saw Daniel sitting in a chair, and he wanted to turn around and walk back out. Instead, he sat across the room from Daniel and refused to even look at him. If Luca had brought him down there for Daniel to tell him it was over, then he wasn't going to look at him.
"I told him," said Daniel quietly.
"What?" asked Robby.
"He told me that the two of you want to be exclusive," said Luca. "He says that neither of you will be having sex with anyone other than each other from now on."
"And what do you say about it?" asked Daniel.
"Well, I can't say that I'm not upset about it," said Luca. "But I can't say that I'm surprised by it, either. I've seen the way you two look at each other."
"If you want me to leave, Luca, just say so," said Robby quietly.
"No one is going anywhere," said Luca, sitting down between the two boys.
"Daniel says that you'll both continue to work on the cleaning crew," said Luca. "That's good, because one of you has to pay for the room that the two of you will be living in. The other will work for money to spend for the two of you."
"You mean you're going to let us stay?" asked Daniel.
"Did you really think that I would just throw you out in the street again, Daniel?" said Luca. "That really pisses me off. I thought you boys understood that I care about you."
"That's why we thought you'd throw us out," said Robby.
"Oh, I'll admit that it was the first thing that crossed my mind," said Luca. "But then I thought about how much you two really seem to love each other. I mean Daniel was willing to sacrifice his relationship with his brother to have you. You were willing to have sex with me just to keep Daniel."
"You do realize that we won't be turning tricks," said Daniel.
"Yes, I realize that," snapped Luca. "Don't push me kid. I could still throw you both out."
* * *
Nathan and Jason sat in a booth at the diner waiting for their food. Both boys were too charged up to just sit in their room. It was still only nine o'clock, and they wanted to get away from the hotel for a little while. So, they had walked to the diner to get something to eat.
"Are you really ok with Daniel and Robby?" asked Nathan. He'd been wanting to ask since Jason took Daniel off to talk earlier.
"I don't like it," he said. "But Robby wasn't exactly mine. I can't really keep being an ass just because they both like each other."
"Did you hear what Daniel was telling Luca when we walked by the office?" asked Nathan.
"I heard him," he replied. "He said they love each other and want to be exclusive."
"What do you think about that?" asked Nathan.
"I think that if Luca doesn't agree to it, we'll be moving out," said Jason.
"You mean that Daniel and Robby will move out," said Nathan. "What if they don't want to take you with them?"
Jason hadn't thought about that. Daniel had been telling Luca that he and Robby wanted to be alone. Did that mean that if Luca threw them out that Daniel would leave him behind to be with Robby? He hoped not. Life with Luca without Daniel would most likely be unbearable. He didn't want to think about that. Luckily, they were interrupted by a very attractive guy. He walked over to their table.
"Excuse me," he said, smiling at them. He smiled more at Nathan than he did at Jason. "I was wondering if you guys knew where The Paradise Motel is."
"Two blocks down the street," said Nathan, not taking his eyes off of the guy.
The guy was tall. Jason thought he was taller than him. He had chestnut brown hair and hazel eyes. Something about him reminded Jason of Luca, but he couldn't put his finger on it. The guy wasn't built like Luca, and he didn't really look like Luca, either. Still, something about him reminded him of Luca.
"Thanks, guys," he said. "I was thinking about grabbing a cheeseburger before I head over to the motel. Mind if I sit with you?"
"Sure," said Nathan to Jason's surprise. He couldn't believe that he'd invited a total stranger to sit with them.
"My name's Roy," said the stranger.
"I'm Nathan," replied Nathan. "This is Jason."
"Nice to meet you guys," said Roy. "Food any good here?"
"Its great," said Nathan. "When they finally serve it."
As if on cue, the waitress returned with their orders. She quickly took Roy's order and was off again. Jason didn't waist any time. He dug into his food and kept his eyes away from Roy. It was clear that Nathan thought the guy was hot, but he wasn't really Jason's type.
"So what are you looking for Paradise for?" asked Nathan.
"Just got off the bus, and I need a cheep place to stay for a few days," chuckled Roy. "I was referred to Paradise by a friend."
"Where'd you come from?" asked Nathan.
"California," said Roy. It was then that Jason noticed the bag at Roy's feet.
"You rode a bus from California to Chicago?" asked Jason, finally saying something to the guy.
"Sure did," said Roy. "Cheapest way to travel."
"Yes, and the worst," replied Jason.
Just then, Jason's pager went off. He looked at the number on it and noticed that it was Kevin. He excused himself to use the phone and walked away. That left Roy and Nathan alone to talk. Nathan was thrilled to have a little time alone with Roy. He thought Roy was the hottest thing he'd seen in a long time.
"Your friend doesn't seem to like me," said Roy when Jason was far enough away from the table.
"He'll be alright," said Nathan, glancing in Jason's direction. "So what brings you to Chicago?"
"Summer," said Roy. "My family lives here. I've been going to college in California."
"Really?" asked Nathan.
"Yup," said Roy, smiling at Nathan.
"So why don't you just go stay with your family?" asked Nathan.
Roy was about to answer when Jason came back to the table. He sort of glared at Roy for a minute and then leaned over and whispered something into Nathan's ear. Nathan smiled at him and they both began to eat. Nathan continued to ask Roy questions between bites of his cheeseburger.
Roy was completely captivated by Nathan. The kid was gorgeous. He couldn't keep his eyes off of him. He just wished he could tell if the kid was gay. He wanted to ask him, but it wasn't the sort of thing that you just ask someone. He might have asked him if his friend hadn't come back to the table so soon. But all to soon, his food came, and after he ate it, he couldn't think of a logical reason to stay and chat. So, he excused himself and headed for the motel.
"We should probably get back, too," said Jason after Roy was gone.
"We have to wait for a little bit," said Nathan, staring after Roy.
"Why?" he asked impatiently.
"Because, stupid, we're not supposed to let people know that we live there," said Nathan. "I'm thinking that Luca will tell Roy there are no vacancies and that will be that."
"What if he doesn't?" asked Jason.
"I'm sure he will," said Nathan, dismissively. "He can't run the 'business' with guests in the motel."
* * *
Robby was so happy. Luca had agreed to let them live together in one room and work to pay for it. He'd said that they could be exclusive, and they didn't have to worry about him throwing them out. He was now on his way to his room to have a talk with Rick. He had just wanted to get his stuff and head over to the new room, but Daniel insisted that he talk to Rick before coming to the room. He said he was going to talk to Jason about it all, so he wouldn't be there for a while, either. Robby had finally agreed, but nothing could have prepared him for what he found when he walked into the room.
Rick was laying curled into a fetal position in the middle of his bed sobbing. He had the sheets wadded up around him, but Robby could clearly see that Rick was naked, and judging from the wet sheets, he'd either wet the bed, or he hadn't bothered to dry himself off after his shower. Robby walked over and sat on the bed beside him.
"Rick," he said, and Rick uncoiled as fast as a snake and was in Robby's arms.
"Robby, it was so awful," he sobbed against Robby's shoulder. "I feel so filthy."
"Rick, calm down," said Robby. He didn't know the right words to say to Rick. He couldn't draw any from experience, because he hadn't done anything.
"Robby, I can't do this," he said. "I did tonight, and I hate myself for it."
"Calm down," said Robby, unconsciously beginning to rock back and forth with Rick in his arms. "It will be ok."
"That's easy for you to say," said Rick. "I don't know how you can be so comfortable with this."
"Rick, what happened tonight?" asked Robby.
"He told me that I had to suck his dick," said Rick. "I'd never sucked a dick in my life. He was big, and he kept shoving it into my throat. Then he wanted me to fuck him. I did it, but the only way I could keep my dick up was to think about you."
"You got paid for it," said Robby.
"I don't want the money, Robby," cried Rick. "I just feel like shit now."
Robby kissed the top of his head and continued to rock him. He didn't know what to say to him about this. He had no idea what Rick was going through. Well, he had some idea of the shame that he was feeling. After all, he'd felt shame after Rick had fucked him that night. He'd felt more shame after his father had tried to force himself on him.
"Everything's going to be all right," said Robby. "You'll be ok, Rick. I promise you will."
"But how do I stop feeling so dirty?" he cried. "How do I stop feeling like this?"
"I don't really know the answer to that, Rick," said Robby. "I'm still trying to figure that one out for myself."
It was an honest reply. He was still trying to figure out how not to feel so used after what had happened the night he'd run away. He just couldn't tell Rick that. He was feeling bad enough. The last thing he needed to know was that he was the reason that Robby felt like he did.
"Will you just hold me," asked Rick, looking up into Robby's eyes. "Please, just lay here with me tonight and hold me."
Robby had to think fast on that one. He was supposed to talk to Rick and then get his stuff. He was supposed to be in his new room tonight. How was he going to tell Rick about that? He couldn't just blurt it out. He had to think of something fast. He couldn't think with Rick staring at him, though.
"I'll hold you until you go to sleep," he said finally. "After that, I have to leave."
"Leave?" cried Rick. Robby could tell that he was near panic. "Where are you going?"
"I have a new room," said Robby, trying to think of a way to break all of this to Rick gently. He hated seeing Rick like this.
"New room?" asked Rick. "Why? Do you hate me that much, Robby?"
"Oh, no!" cried Robby. "Rick, I don't hate you! You have to believe that. I really don't hate you. But you also have to realize that you and I were never going to be anything more than friends, Rick. Even before what happened between us. All I ever wanted to be was your friend."
"Why are you moving out of the room?" he asked.
"I'm moving in with Daniel," said Robby before he could stop himself.
"Daniel lives with Luca," replied Rick. He'd stopped crying, but he hadn't let go of Robby.
"Not as of tonight, he doesn't," said Robby. "I suppose I should just tell you. There is no easy way to do it."
"Tell me what?" he asked. "Robby, what's going on?"
"Daniel and I are together now, Rick," said Robby.
That made Rick let go of him. In fact, he scooted as far away from Robby as he could without falling off the other side of the bed. He'd stopped crying, but after hearing about Robby and Daniel, tears were coursing down his face again. Robby hated himself for causing him pain.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"I think you know what I mean, Rick," said Robby carefully. "We love each other."
"Robby, I have loved you since the first time I saw you," said Rick. "All I ever wanted was for you to love me back."
"Rick, you have to understand that I was never going to be anything more than your friend," said Robby. "What happened between us isn't the reason for that. I never wanted to be more than your friend. I'm not doing any of this to hurt you."
"But can't you try to love me, Robby?" sobbed Rick. "I know I did a horrible thing to you, but can't you try?"
"Rick, there was never going to be anything between us," said Robby. "We were only going to be friends. I love Daniel, and I want to be with him.
"Then get out," cried Rick. "Go on!"
* * *
Roy Bridgeton couldn't believe what his uncle was doing. He'd come to the motel intending to check in and visit with the only family that he had left, but when he saw what was going on there, he decided to stay somewhere else. At least, he thought, for the time being. It seemed that Uncle Luca was running a brothel. That wasn't what shocked Roy. What shocked Roy was that it was not only a male brothel, but every one of the guys were under age. Roy couldn't believe that Luca would put himself in such a position. At first he was repulsed. It wasn't the fact that they young guys were gay. Roy had known that he was gay since before he even knew what it meant. No, he wasn't upset about the fact that his uncle was running a homosexual male brothel out of the motel. What he was upset about was that Nathan was one of his "boys."
Roy had met Nathan and one of the other boys at the diner when he'd first come into town. He'd struck up a conversation with them in the hopes that he might be able to get to know Nathan a bit better. He'd seen him the second he'd walked in the door, and Roy couldn't believe how sexy the boy was. He knew that Nathan couldn't have been more than 17, but that didn't stop him from wanting, more than anything in the world, to at least talk to him. The legal age of concent in Illinois was 17, so if anything sexual happened between Nathan and himself, Roy would have nothing to worry about.
But how was he going to get to talk to Nathan now without Luca or his mother finding out? He had no idea how to answer that question, but he knew that he had to at least talk to Nathan. He couldn't get the boy out of his head. His mind had been burned with the memory of every ounce of that boy. He would settle for nothing less than sitting down and having a private conversation with him and finding out what kind of person he really was. He just had to formulate a plan.
* * *
"Daniel and Robby are now officially lovers," said Jason as he walked into the room that he and Nathan shared. He sat down on the bed and took his shoes off, throwing them close to the door. His sockes were next.
"I wonder what Rick thinks about that," said Nathan. "I heard what he said earlier about being in love with Robby."
"I don't know what Rick thinks about it," said Jason, taking off his shirt. "I haven't seen him since Luca paid us."
"Maybe one of us should go check on him," said Nathan.
"That would have to be you, dude," said Jason. "I want to take a nice hot shower."
With that, he got up and walked into the bathroom. Nathan heard the shower running only a minute later.
* * *
Robby looked at the bathroom door as he heard the shower stop. He was sitting in the room that Luca had given him and Daniel. He was still upset about Rick, but when Luca handed him his key and told him that Daniel was waiting for him in the room, he couldn't help feeling a little excited. Now, he sat on the bed (there was only one bed in the room), and he couldn't shake his nerves. He was nervous, but he didn't know why.
He thought about it while he waited for Daniel to come out of the bathroom. Daniel had done exactly what Robby had wanted him to do. He'd told Luca that they wanted to be exclusive. Robby was thrilled about that, but he couldn't help wondering just what that conversation had done to Daniel. Daniel loved Luca. He'd said so himself. How was Daniel going to get over Luca? Then there was paying for the room and the food that they would need. Sure, they were both still on the cleaning crew, and it had been said that one of them would work for the room, and the other would pay for their "personl" things, but was that really a possibility? Could they do that?
"Hey," said Daniel, smiling at him from the bathroom doorway. He was wearing only a towel, and his hair was still wet. He looked so sexy that Robby had to fight the urge to spring off the bed and attack him.
"Hey," he said, finding that he was, at the moment, glued to his spot.
They two said nothing to each other after that. Daniel could see that Robby was not in the best of moods. He wondered just how the talk between him and Rick had gone. Evidently, it hadn't gone very well by the look in Robby's eyes. He looked worn down and almost defeted. It was hard, but Daniel silently calmed himself and talked himself out of going over to Rick's room and beating the life right out of him.
When he heard the shower start, he sat down on the bed and used the towel that had been wrapped around his waist to try and dry his hair. He thought about Rick for a few minutes. He'd talked to Rick, and knowing that Daniel hated him, Rick had opened up somewhat to Daniel. He'd told him how deep his feelings were for Robby. He'd even told him exactly what had happened the night that Robby had run away from home.
Rick had told him that he'd spied on Robby and Bill having sex, and after seeing that, he knew that Robby was gay. He'd said he just had to have him after that. He devised a plan to try and get Robby to like him, but nothing he tried worked. Then one day, he decided that if he could get Robby to like him, he'd at least make Robby have sex with him. He'd said he knew it was wrong, but he couldn't stop himself. He'd wanted Robby for so long, and when he finally found out that it was at least possible for him to have him, he couldn't stop what he did.
Daniel couldn't condone what Rick had done, and he would never forgive him for hurting Robby. However, he'd decided, after hearing all of it, that he would respect Robby's wishes and let it go. He'd try to at least be friendlier to Rick for Robby's sake. He wasn't sure that he could really do it, but he was going to try.
* * *