What A Gas! 3: We Are Family

by tim the story guy

Before I start, I want to let everyone know why I will never buy anything from an auction service like E-Bay or U-Bid again. I attempted to buy a monitor on E-Bay, to replace the big clunky 17” CRT that I was using. The monitor never arrived, and it took well over a month to get my money back on that deal. I am still using the big clunky 17” CRT. My computer was purchased from U-Bid. It did not come with a back up disc for the operating system, and I was unable to make one because it did not have a writer drive. Something happened to corrupt the copy of Windows 2000 that has been locked into this computer by the seller, and I am currently unable to start the computer in anything other than safe mode. Naturally the seller has absolutely no technical support either, or they would be selling in a more legitimate venue. Since I cannot get online that way, this chapter will not be posted until I can buy a new computer at Wal Mart. At least I will get a good computer there at a fair price, although it will still be costly due to my financial situation. The paperweight I am writing this on will be a $150 lesson in life. I have also learned my lesson with McAfee. This is the second time in the past few months that malicious code has made it into their updates. The first time McAfee did warn me in time to run a removal tool to remove the update they had issued. This time there was no warning at all. I will never use McAfee again, or recommend it to anyone else (unless they really piss me off).

This story is © 2007 by tim, and is protected by copyright law. Please do not copy to distribute, or post this story to other sites without the author's permission. This is a fictional story. Any similarities to actual people or events are purely coincidental. This story contains sexual situations between teen males (but occasionally between females, or males and females). If this subject offends you, or you should not be reading this type of story, you assume all responsibility for continuing. Please send all comments to: timthestoryguy@yahoo.com. Also, please visit my site at: www.timthestoryguy.com. Please visit and bookmark my site, as my updates are always posted there first. While you're there, visit my hosted authors page for stories by Jason Finigan and Josh. I now have mailing lists for all of my stories. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for any of my stories, please send me an e-mail telling me which story you would like to be added to the mailing list for. Also, if you are interested in my Presidential campaign, don't forget to check my Campaign 2008 page on my web site occasionally. Thanks, and enjoy the story.

Stories on Nifty by tim the story guy:
A Christmas Promise - in the adult/youth section (Posted 12/18/06)
Doctor Bechtel - in the adult/youth section (Last update 01/12/07)
Never Too Old, Never Too Youngin the adult/youth section (Last update 08/19/07)
Physical Attraction - in the adult/youth section (Last update 01/19/07)
Training Day - in the adult/youth section (Completed 09/17/04)
What A Gas! 1, 2, & 3 - in the adult/youth section (Last update 08/11/07)
Interplanetary Incidentin the sci-fi/fantasy section (Last update 08/20/07)
Orgasmia 1 & 2 - in the sci-fi/fantasy section (Last update 08/26/07)
Sweet Sixteen - in the sci-fi/fantasy section (Book 1 finished 01/14/07. Story will continue with Sweet Sixteen 2: Seventeen and Beyond.)
Time To Go (special preview) - in the sci-fi/fantasy section (Preview completed 08/28/06. I have added Chapter 3 to the preview because I feel that it's a much better chapter to finish the preview with. The entire book is still available, and info can be found on my web site.)
Allen 1, 2, 3, & 4 - in the high school section (Last update 09/01/07)
City Mouse, Country Mouse 1 & 2 - in the high school and rural sections (Last update 08/14/07)
Fate - in the high school section (Last update 02/06/07)
No One Else 1, 2, & 3 - in the high school section (Last update 09/06/07)
Starting Over 1, 2, & 3 - in the high school section (Completed 07/31/07. Story merged with No One Else.)
The Masks We Wearin the high school section (NEW STORY First posting 08/20/08)

What A Gas! 3: We Are Family

by tim

Chapter 8

From the last chapter:

Bart shook Jamal's hand as he replied, “My name is Bart, and it doesn't bother me at all that you're gay. It's nice to meet you Jamal. You seem like a pretty nice guy.”

Damn Mitch, you said most of the guys here are gay?!” asked Jamal.

Yeah, but not Bart.” laughed Mitch.

Even so, I may still have to come visit here a lot, even if we can't get through to Robby.” said Jamal. “Robby, I'm really sorry that we got caught. I'm really sorry about what the past year has been like for you. I know you've gone through a lot of shit, and it really hurt sometimes. If I could make it stop hurting, I'd love to, even if you don't still want to be my friend. I hope you do though.”

Mitch and Bart could clearly see that Robby was now having a hard time keeping up his tough guy act. Then Robby laid face down on his bed, and began to cry harder than anyone they had heard before.

Oh God Robby, I'm so sorry!” said Jamal, as he went to sit on the bed next to Robby. “Mitch, could you and Bart give us some time alone?”

Are you sure Jamal?” asked Mitch.

I came out to my mom and dad about a month after Robby disappeared.” replied Jamal. “They could see that his disappearance was bothering me, so there was no use trying to hide it. They said that they'll always love me, and if being gay made me happy, then they were happy too. Then they suggested I take karate to learn to defend myself against people who weren't as loving and open-minded as they were.”

Then why were you running from Eric?” asked Mitch.

The first thing they teach you in karate is to avoid a fight any way possible.” replied Jamal. “I'll be fine alone here with my friend.”

Jamal waited for Robby to stop crying on his own, which took some time. Once Robby did stop crying, Jamal said, “I'm so sorry Robby. I wanted something so bad from you that I never considered the consequences. I hope that someday you'll forgive me.”

The past year has hurt so much Jamal!” replied Robby emotionally.

You have to believe me that I never meant for us to get caught Robby.” said Jamal. “Your dad told everyone you ran away, and left the area as far as he knew. If I had known your dad kicked you out, and you were still around here, I wouldn't have stopped until I had found you. I wouldn't have cared if you didn't want to be anything more than friends either Robby. Why didn't you come to me? I would have found some way to help.”

I was scared.” replied Robby. “My dad kicked me out because he thought I was gay. I knew he would tell everyone that I was gay. I couldn't face everyone, with them thinking I was gay.”

God Robby, do you really think it's that bad?” asked Jamal. “I came out, and it hasn't been anywhere near as bad as you make it out to be. Sure there are jerks out there, but there's no changing the fact that they're jerks, and you don't want to be around them anyway. Besides, if anyone wants to get violent with me, and I can't get away from them, I can always lay some smackdown on their ass!”

You don't get it though Jamal, I'm not gay!” replied Robby.

And I told you that it doesn't matter.” said Jamal. “I want to be your friend no matter whether you're straight or gay!”

The only problem is that you know me better than friends should.” said Robby. “You had my cock in your mouth dude!”

I might have to call for a shovel now, it's getting a little deep in here!” laughed Jamal. “Listen Robby, how many gay boys do you think have ever talked a friend into letting them suck their cock, whether the friend is straight or gay? Just about every friend I have that's gay has done that, and it doesn't mean as much as you make it out to mean. Gay boys love sucking their friends cocks. I should know, remember, I'm gay.”

Maybe you can make light of it because you didn't have to do it to survive.” said Robby. “Even though I didn't want to do it, I had to let men put their nasty cocks in my mouth just to make money to survive.”

I wish you hadn't had to go through that Robby.” said Jamal. “You're right, I can't even imagine what that must be like. There was a time I recall though that you didn't mind doing it. I wasn't the only one with a cock in my mouth that night, and I think I would have been able to tell if you hated sucking me.”

I was just a kid then.” said Robby. “I didn't know any better. I had to grow up really fast when my dad kicked me out though.”

Like I said, I wish you hadn't had to go through that Robby.” said Jamal. “Your dad was completely wrong Robby. What he did was against the law, and he forced you to have to skip the best part of growing up. I can't stand thinking of the hell you went through over the past year, and it really fucked you up. That wasn't real though Robby. Most kids never have to go through anything like that. You have a chance to have something real here though Robby, if you don't let your dad screw that up too.”

What do you mean by that?” asked Robby.

Even though he was a complete asshole, and even though he was completely wrong for what he did, you're still letting him into your head.” replied Jamal. “You're using the past year to justify his attitude, and his attitude is so wrong that it doesn't deserve to be defended by anyone, especially not by you. Anyone will tell you that he was wrong Robby, but you have to be willing to accept that. I hope you do too. The Robby I knew was so nice that I wanted to be his friend no matter what. I still do if you'll let me.”

I need a smoke dude.” said Robby.

Oh man, don't tell me you took up that nasty habit!” replied Jamal.

I kinda couldn't help it.” said Robby. “It just happened.”

Well, it doesn't make any difference to me.” said Jamal. “I still want to be your friend again.”

We'll have to go outside.” said Robby. “Mitch doesn't want any of the kids who smoke to do it in the house. We'll have to see if Bart will go too. I've been getting my smokes from him since I came here.”

Robby and Jamal left the room, and Robby asked Bart if they could go outside for a smoke. Bart agreed, although he was a little hesitant about it. As Bart and Robby took their first drag, Jamal stood back enough so that the smoke wouldn't bother him.

After a few quiet moments, Robby said, “I really screwed up Bart. I lost the respect of everyone here because I didn't want to give up living a nightmare.”

It was rough out there for all of us Robby.” replied Bart. “Until tonight though, any of us would have done anything we could to help you.”

Yeah, Jamal told me how bad I fucked up tonight.” said Robby. “I hope it's not too late to turn around though.”

That's going to be up to you Robby.” said Bart. “I've said my peace with you, and I'm not going to throw it in your face anymore, but there are a lot of kids here who want Mitch to find someplace else for you.”

I can't say that I blame them.” said Robby, taking a deep drag off his cigarette. “Ash didn't do anything to me. I brushed against him, then saw a way to use that to justify my own fears. I really need to apologize to him.”

And it might not hurt if you did it in front of all of the kids here.” said Bart. “You have the right to be who you want to be Robby, and no one here will try to take that away from you. You don't have the right to take that right away from others though. If you don't accept that though, you may not be here much longer.”

I don't want that to happen.” said Robby. “After all, this is real, isn't it?”

You bet your ass it's real!” smiled Bart. “I'm straight Robby, and I went through the same thing you did out there. I had to sell myself to survive, and I hated it. Now that I'm here though, I never have to live that again. I have a nice girlfriend here, and I'm not going to relive the past over and over. You don't have to live in the past either Robby. You have your whole future ahead of you, and it can be a nice one if you'll let the past go.”

I'll try as hard as I can Bart.” replied Robby, as he finished his smoke.

And I'll be here as much as I can to help, if you'll let me be your friend again Robby.” said Jamal.

I missed my best friend.” smiled Robby. “I'm just glad you're still willing to be my friend.”

Of course I'm still willing to be your friend!” replied Jamal, as he wrapped Robby in a hug.

When Ash came back from the hospital, everyone wanted to see how he was doing. Ash went to the rec room with his nose bandaged, and everyone followed him. Mitch went on alert when Jamal, Bart, and Robby entered the rec room. Then Robby made his way to Ash.

Get away from me Robby!” said Ash, going on the defensive.

I don't blame you for feeling that way Ash.” said Robby, so everyone could hear him. “You didn't do anything to me, and I was being a complete asshole, just like my father. I don't want to be like him though Ash. I'm really sorry for what I did to you. You don't deserve to be treated like that by anyone. If you want to pay me back for that in front of everyone here, then go ahead. I deserve it, and I won't fight back.”

First of all Robby, I love this home, and I respect the rules of this home.” replied Ash. “For me to hit you back, even though you're willing to let me, would be violating the rules of this home. Second of all, Mitch and my family here saved Denton's life when he tried to end it. I could never thank them enough for that, and they'll have my respect for the rest of my life. Deliberately breaking the rules here would let them down, and I respect them too much to even consider it. I really wish you could feel the same way about this home that everyone else here does. That's what makes everyone here a family, and judging by the way you act, you could really use that!”

You're right Ash, and I really want to try harder to get along here.” said Robby. “Would you please consider accepting my apology? I promise that nothing like this will ever happen again. I've made everyone here hate me now, and it's going to be hard to get everyone to change their minds about that. I really want to try though.”

I'll give you another chance Robby, but there are going to be a few conditions to that.” replied Ash. “If you EVER treat anyone else here the way you treated me, I'll know you didn't really mean any of this. Also, I don't ever want to hear you think that one of us is trying to do anything with you. You don't seem to understand that most of the boys here have been forced into doing things to survive. We don't have to live like that anymore though, and no one here is ever going to try to force you into doing things you don't want to do. You're not the only one who's had it rough Robby, so get off the damn cross. Most of us have been through hell and back, and most of us will do anything we can to help each other get over it. If you don't want to be a part of that, you may as well tell Mitch to find you someplace else now. I can guarantee you'll never get another chance like this home though, so you better start thinking about that.”

Ash's speech to Robby was making Mitch very proud of the kids in his home. It made Mitch feel even better when Robby gave Ash a hug, and said, “Everything you said was right Ash. I promise I'll try to live up to what you're asking, and not disappoint you or the other kids here.”

Mitch knew that Jamal had gotten through to Robby, so he made his way over to Jamal and gave the boy a hug. “Thank you so much for getting through to him Jamal.” said Mitch. “He wouldn't have a chance of making it here if you hadn't, and I hate to think where he would have ended up. I have a feeling you've made quite a few friends here tonight, and you're welcome here any time. Now, since it's getting pretty late, and it is a Monday night, why don't you call home and see if you can stay here. If your parents let you, I can take you to school in the morning.”

Okay, but where will I sleep if they say yes?” asked Jamal.

We still have a completely empty room, or Brian here is in a room by himself.” replied Mitch. “You can sleep by yourself, or bunk with Brian for tonight.”

Jamal laughed when he looked over and saw the eager look on Brian's face. “Okay, I guess it wouldn't hurt to bunk with Brian tonight!” snickered Jamal.

Jamal called home and got permission to stay from his parents, but they did want to speak with Mitch first. They were concerned that Robby had disappeared for so long, and things might not be the same between the two boys anymore. Mitch convinced them that Jamal was the only person who could help Robby recover from living on the streets for the past year though. Once Mitch had spoke to Jamal's parents, it was time for the kids to get ready for bed.

Mitch went to the supply room, and got a towel, shorts, and a t-shirt for Jamal. Then he told Jamal that he could wash his clothes for him that night, and leave them on the dresser in Brian's room when they were finished. That way Jamal would have clean clothes for school the next day. Jamal immediately emptied his pockets, and stripped right in front of Mitch and Brian as Brian watched in fascination. Jamal snickered, then wrapped the towel around his waist and asked Brian to show him to the showers. Mitch smiled as he left the two boys in Brian's room, as Brian was excitedly preparing for his shower.

Once showers were finished, and Brian and Jamal were back in Brian's room, Jamal stripped again to get ready for bed. Brian was once again watching Jamal intently, so Jamal said, “I hope this doesn't make you uncomfortable Brian. I never could sleep with any clothes on though. It feels so good to sleep naked.”

It doesn't make me uncomfortable at all!” replied Brian, who then realized that he had just been busted over staring at Jamal's cock. “I didn't mean to stare Jamal. It's just that I love looking at guys cocks, and you have a really big one for kids our age. Mitch calls it penis worship.”

I can understand that completely!” smiled Jamal. “I think the male penis is the most beautiful part of the human body. You have a very nice looking average size one yourself Brian.”

Do you really think so?” asked Brian, after stripping off his clothes and holding his dick up to look at it.

Absolutely!” replied Jamal. “Would you like to lay in my bed with me, and look at mine a little closer?”

Sure!” replied Brian excitedly.

The two boys laid on the bed together, and Brian immediately took Jamal's cock in his hand as he looked at it. As Brian played with Jamal's cock, and rubbed it gently, he began to look at it appreciatively.

Brian, can you turn around so I can look at your dick too?” asked Jamal.

Brian immediately turned in the opposite direction of Jamal, and slid down so that Jamal's cock was right in his face as he played with it. Then Brian felt Jamal playing with his dick as well. A few moments later, Brian felt the most wonderful feeling in the world. Then he looked down to see his dick sliding back and forth past Jamal's lips. Brian looked back at Jamal's cock in his hand, then opened his mouth. Brian focused on Jamal's huge dark cock, as he watched it slide past his lips. Jamal moaned around Brian's dick, as he felt Brian take as much of his into his mouth as he could. The two boys moaned softly in pleasure, as they passionately made love to each other. Brian had never felt anyone suck his dick like Jamal was doing, which made him suck Jamal's cock eagerly.

When Jamal felt Brian's dick throbbing inside his mouth, he backed off briefly and said, “I love the taste of cum Brian! Please cum in my mouth so I can taste you!”

Then Jamal went back to work on Brian's dick, and Brian began moaning louder. Soon Jamal was eagerly swallowing Brian's cum, as Brian kept making love to Jamal's cock. A few moments after Brian had finished cumming, Jamal began to moan louder. Brian had to swallow as fast as he could to keep up with Jamal's orgasm, but he did manage. Later on when Mitch popped back in to drop off Jamal's clean clothes, he smiled as he saw Jamal and Brian sound asleep in an embrace.

After Mitch and Brian returned from taking Jamal to school the next morning, Melanie met Mitch as he came in and said, “I really want Jamal to work with me on Robby. There is such an incredible difference in Robby's attitude this morning!”

Oh boy, that might be a problem.” replied Mitch, who then sent Brian to his office to play on his computer. Once Brian was gone, Mitch continued, “I had to stop in on Brian and Jamal last night, to return Jamal's clean clothes. They were sound asleep in an embrace, and I'm sure the two boys made love.”

I think you're reading too much into it Mitch!” laughed Melanie. “If Brian and Jamal are in love, I think that's great. I really don't think Robby is gay anyway. I think what happened was that Robby had a little youthful curiosity, and he and Jamal got caught. After that, and after his father kicked him out, Robby felt very guilty about what he had been caught doing. Then what he went through in order to survive only reinforced the attitude that he had done something wrong. Seeing Jamal last night though, and hearing how things have been going for Jamal may have made Robby realize that he's been wrong about that. Robby is very close now to realizing that his father was horribly wrong in his beliefs, and how he handled things. If Robby's father had been willing to accept that Robby was only curious, and that he actually might not be gay, things could have turned out much better. I'm sure that Jamal can help with that, and we can turn Robby around.”

Whew!” sighed Mitch. “I'm glad to hear that! We certainly don't need to worry about jealousy being thrown into the mix.”

I wouldn't worry.” replied Melanie. “I think that Robby will be happy for both of them as he accepts how wrong his father was, and how wrong his feelings have been since being kicked out.”

Well then, I guess I'll have to invite Jamal and his parents here tonight, to talk this over.” said Mitch. “I'm glad that Justin talked me into giving Robby another chance, and that we ran into Jamal last night. I think Robby is worth helping, and things might turn out okay for him. Besides, I could never stand the thought of not doing everything possible to help him.”

Robby then walked in hugged Mitch as he said, “Thank you so much Mitch. I've never meant anything more than this, that I promise I won't disappoint you. No one has ever believed in me as much as you, except Jamal of course.”

How much did you hear?” asked Mitch, as he returned Robby's hug.

I heard from the part where you are going to invite my friend and his parents over tonight.” replied Robby. “I think I need to see them too. They have to know that even though I'm straight, and Jamal is gay, that we're friends and they'll never have anything to worry about from me. The fact that Jamal knows karate and could kick my butt doesn't even have anything to do with it either!” Then Robby let a snicker escape after the last sentence.

That's so good to hear Robby.” smiled Mitch. “I meant it when I said that I think things will work out okay for you, and I'll help with that in any way I can. You never did anything wrong before having to leave home Robby, and you deserved more of a chance than your father gave you. I'll make sure you get that chance now though, if you can accept us as your family.”

I promise I will from now on Mitch.” smiled Robby.

When Mitch called Jamal's parents to invite them over, they told Mitch they would be happy to visit. They would however have to wait until Jamal's soccer practice was over. When Mitch's soccer kids got home that evening, they were in a good mood.

Mike was really nervous about about me trying my move after having my nose broken last night.” said Ash. “He was afraid it would mess up my equilibrium.”

You should have seen my baby though!” said Denton. “He pulled it off like it was a piece of cake! Our first game Saturday is going to be so much fun! Tyler has been working with Theo quite a bit too. Mike said it's going to be tough deciding who should play.”

Well, there are five players plus the goaltender, aren't there?” asked Mitch. “Lucas, have you or Rudi either one thought of goaltending?”

Actually Mike has had me working on that position all week.” replied Lucas. “He said I'm a good all around player, which means I have a good eye for the ball. He said that should help as a goaltender.”

Plus if Lucas does that, it'll help set the rest of the team easier.” said Rudi. “It'll leave me and Theo as guards, Tyler as the center, and Denton and Ash as the forwards. I can't wait to see the look on the other team's faces the first time Ash does his backflip, and kicks one into their goal!”

What time is the game on Saturday?” asked Mitch. “The younger kids have a youth league game at eleven, and I promised Miguel that I'd be there to watch it.”

Our game isn't until three, so that should give you plenty of time to make it there.” replied Denton.

At that time, Jamal and his parents showed up. “Hi Mister Gordon, I'm Jamal's father Rasheed, and this is his mother Dianah.”

Welcome to our home Mister and Missus Stevens.” replied Mitch, as he shook Rasheed's hand. “Wait a minute! Rasheed Stevens? Are you the same Rasheed Stevens who used to play pro football here in town before the team moved?”

Guilty as charged.” laughed Rasheed. “I was hoping my son would follow in my footsteps, but he seems to be much better suited to play soccer.”

Yes, I have five boys here who play soccer.” said Mitch. “Come on in. I would introduce you to all of the kids here, but it would probably take more time than we have tonight.”

Yes, you do have a lot of boys and girls running around here!” laughed Dianah. “You either love children very much, or you're trying to kill yourself.”

I'd like to think it's my love of helping children who really need it!” laughed Mitch. “Anyway, dinner should be ready soon. Come on and I'll show you to the dining hall.”

At Mitch's table besides himself was Justin and Robby on one side of him, Jamal's parents on the other side, Jamal next to his parents, and Brian next to Jamal. As dinner was winding down, Mitch decided it was time to say what he wanted.

Rasheed and Dianah, I wanted you to visit us tonight because I'd like to see Jamal around here quite a bit.” said Mitch. “Jamal has worked miracles with Robby over here, who at one point last night looked like he might not be here much longer. Robby didn't have it nearly as well when his father caught him and Jamal, as Jamal had it when he came out to you. I think Robby needs his friend Jamal around often, so that he can see that what happened to start this wasn't bad. It was a normal part of growing up for most boys, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

It's funny how things work out sometimes.” replied Rasheed. “Here I am, a former macho football player, who you would think would have freaked out over finding out his son is gay. My wife and I love Jamal though, and we didn't want this to be as hard on him as it is on some kids in his position. Then you have Robby, who was caught with Jamal by his father. From everything I've heard, there's not even any reason to think that Robby is gay. I think it was a matter of boyhood curiosity. To be honest with everyone here, I even went through that myself when I was a boy. Robby was treated by his father the same way some other boys are who are gay, when he most likely isn't even gay. We were relieved to hear that you had been found and taken in Robby. Our son missed your friendship very much. If you had been caught at our house, things would have turned out so much differently. I have no problem with Jamal visiting here as often as he wants, since it looks like he might have made a few other friends last night. I also want your kids to feel welcome to visit our home too though Mitch, especially Robby. We want Robby to see that things should not have gone the way they did, and we want him to be happy again.”

And I want you to know that even though there have been a few incidents here, Jamal has helped me quite a bit already.” said Robby. “I was really mad at how things went, but I was taking that out on the wrong people. I should be mad, but only at my father. What he did to me was wrong. Mitch and the kids here are trying to help me though, and Jamal helped me to realize that last night. I won't take my anger out on anyone here anymore.”

It sounds like you may have had to grow up fast on the streets Robby, but now it sounds like you're starting to mature.” said Dianah. “I hope yours and Jamal's friendship picks back up where it left off.”

Thanks ma'am.” replied Robby. “Now Jamal, did you find a boyfriend here last night?”

Jamal choked a bit on his drink, and Robby laughed. “I hope you're not upset Robby.” said Brian.

Why should I be Brian?” asked Robby. “I'm not gay, but my friend is, and he needs a nice boyfriend. I can tell you though that you're a lucky guy Brian! If I had been gay, I'd have to think Jamal is hot myself!”

After everyone laughed, Justin said, “So Jamal, you play soccer too huh? What school do you go to?”

Brentwood High.” replied Jamal.

Oh oh!” exclaimed Justin. “Don't tell our soccer table over there that! You're their opponent Saturday. They say they have a few surprises for your team.”

As long as none of them are undercover midget professionals, we should be okay.” laughed Jamal.

Actually, I think a few of them might be.” snickered Justin.

Isn't it great that Robby is settling down now? I can't wait for the big soccer game though. That one is going to be fun. lol. Please send all comments to: timthestoryguy@yahoo.com. Also, don't forget to visit me at: www.timthestoryguy.com. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you again at the big game in Chapter 9.