Joey hummed "All I Want for Christmas is …You" as he stood on the doorstep. It had been playing over the crappy speakers in his white Corolla as he drove over. It was a catchy tune. He always put the radio on the Christmas music station when he was alone in his car. Of course, he switched it to rock or pop if someone was in the car with him. Joey loved all kinds of music, even classical, but no one besides himself knew that. He loved the freedom of being sixteen and having a car to drive, no matter how old and crappy it was. It was freedom.
Joey wondered which Pete he was going to find today. Would it be 'Positive Pete' or 'Pitiful Pete?' "If its Pitiful Pete, hopefully the stuff in my bag will cheer him up," thought Joey. Joey rubbed his hand over the growing stubble that used to be long, blond, surfer hair. It had been a worthy sacrifice, yet he missed it dearly. Joey thought about the shocked look on his mom's face when he showed up with it shaved. It brought a smile to his face. Joey's smile was broad and infectious. He had a wide mouth full of big, white, and perfectly straight teeth. The pain and nuisance of braces was paying off now. He had large, full lips that framed his massive smile. Combined with a square jaw and hazel eyes that seemed to change from green to blue depending on what he was wearing, Joey was ruggedly handsome and athletically fit. And even though his summer tan was fading, he still had a healthy looking tone.
Joey raised his large fist to knock on the door once more just as Mrs. Thomas opened it. Joey pulled his hand back and smiled. "Hello, Mrs. Thomas, how's Pete today?"
Mrs. Thomas' worry lines faded, as she molded her thin lips into a smile. Her complexion was pale and her eyes were perpetually sad. "Oh Joey, I'm so glad you came over. Pete was a little worried you wouldn't make it today."
"Are you kidding, it's the first day of Christmas break. I have deliveries to make," Joey said, patting the plastic grocery bag he was carrying. "All the guys on the team made him a card."
Mrs. Thomas bit her upper lip and covered her mouth with her delicate hand. Without speaking, she wiped at the corners of her eyes and moved aside for Joey to go into the house. "You're wonderful, you know that?" She asked.
Joey smiled and joked, "It's nice to have someone fooled." Joey turned the corner and headed down the hall. Pete had moved into the den downstairs since it was hard for him to get upstairs. They had turned it into a makeshift bedroom for him. The nice thing about it was the great computer system in there that Joey and Pete spent a lot of time on together. Pete was pretty good with computers and taught Joey how to sanitize things after he got done browsing. They didn't want to leave any tracks for Pete's mom or dad to stumble across. Pete's younger brothers and little sister weren't allowed to use that computer, but it still would have been disastrous for his mom to discover what they looked at. His dad might have been a little more understanding, but even still, not something they'd like to chance.
Joey rapped a couple times with his knuckles and pushed the door slowly open. Pete was in his hospital style bed watching an episode of Spongebob. "Joey!" Pete squealed. "I thought you might not come today."
"You kidding, I got deliveries to make. I even got a special delivery today." Joey winked and smiled.
"Nice." Pete slid over and patted the space on his bed for Joey to sit on. When Pete moved over, he grimaced. "Kick your shoes off and get comfy." Pete always asked Joey to take his shoes off when he was at his house. He wondered if it was some kind of rule that Mrs. Thomas was too nice to tell him about.
"I'm so glad it's finally Christmas break. I'm so sick of school." Joey said.
"Me too. I'm glad you're bringing something besides make-up homework. Umm, please tell me there's no homework in that bag." Pete said, smiling.
"Nah, there's not, only good stuff. Speaking of good stuff, what you want from me for Christmas this year?"
"Nothing. I won't…" Pete stopped mid-sentence. "I don't need anything."
"C'mon, I gotta get something for my best friend."
"Okay, well, I have one idea but I'll tell you later." Pete said and closed his eyes to rest.
Joey looked at his best friend lying there in his bed wearing the nice purple and gold Laker's cap he'd given him for his 16th birthday in August. It was still hard to get used to seeing Pete without hair; not even eyebrows. It had been even more shocking when Pete helped Joey take a shower back during the dark days of chemo and saw his completely bald privates. He looked like a giant ten year old. Pete used to have the most gorgeous brown hair with bronze streaks in it to match his brown eyes.
Joey turned sullen as he remembered the day Pete vomited his meager breakfast all over himself and his bed one Saturday. He remembered the exhausted, painful look of Pete's mother when she came in to clean it up. She asked, actually almost begged, Joey to help Pete into the shower and clean him up. Joey and Pete had both kept their boxers on in the shower. He remembered how Pete just sat listless in a plastic lawn chair they kept inside the downstairs shower for him while Joey washed his body. Pete used all his strength just to soap up and rinse his privates while Joey had looked away. After the shower, Joey got Pete all dried off still sitting in the chair and then had given Pete the towel to dry his privates and butt with. "I can't do it. You'll have to." Pete had said, "I mean what the heck, half the doctors and nurses at Community Hospital have seen me naked so often I feel like a freaking nudist anyway. I don't care if you see me, too." Joey remembered the strangeness he felt pulling the wet boxers down and off and carefully drying Pete's privates. They hung limply between his pale legs, completely hairless. Joey remembered the feelings he experienced lifting Pete up and pressing flesh to flesh in order to dry his butt cheeks and crack. After that, he had lifted him out of the shower, as though he were a baby or an old man, and set him on the toilet seat to help him get dressed.
There had been a stronger bond forged that day between them. It was a unique and indescribable emotion, new and powerful for both. What had prompted Joey to do what he did next, he still couldn't explain, but when he finished putting Pete's sweat pants on, Joey stood up and pulled his own wet boxers down in plain view of Pete. It seemed fair somehow. He dried his own privates and body while standing unabashedly naked in front of his best friend. They had both been on the Frosh/Soph basketball team together but no one ever showered after the games or practices. Everyone just wore their uni's home and showered there. To Joey and Pete's recollection, they had never seen more than the tips of each other's penises before that day in the shower; only having seen the tips of each other's penises from taking a leak outdoors once or twice. Neither boy was porn star material, both sporting a 4 inch limp and 5 ½ inch boned dick. Joey was a little thicker than Pete, but not much. Neither of them ever spoke of the bonding experience they shared that day in the shower, but both knew it changed their relationship forever.
For the Frosh/Soph basketball season, they both had been required to get their hair trimmed, but then they grew it back out after the season. This year, Joey made the JV team. He and three other players shaved their heads showing support for Pete when he tried to come back to school, following his first round of chemo. It was still shorter than it had to be for JV ball this season. Joey played forward and was pretty good at it. His older brother was 6'3" so there was hope that he would grow past the 5'10" he'd been stuck at for a while. His hands and feet were big so that gave him hope also. He was really nimble and had some beastly moves underneath the basket. He really missed the amazing feeds from Pete, though. When Pete was the team's point guard, he would always seem to know exactly where Joey was going to cut and delivered the ball precisely to that spot. No one had a better eye for the open man than Pete did.
Suddenly realizing he was staring at his friend's bald head while daydreaming, Joey turned his attention to the bag he was carrying. "Check this out." Joey tipped the bag and spilled out the contents onto the bed.
"What's that?" Pete asked. He reached out and chose the top card. He started giggling. "David's such a crackup. This is so funny. Look what he wrote."
Joey took the card from Pete and read, "Hope you're feeling Better every day." David was a pretty good artist and had drawn a cartoon of a nurse with her blouse pulled up exposing her giant tits and a name tag above them that said "Nurse Better." Joey joined in the chuckle.
"Should I put this one on the desk for everyone to look at?" Joey asked.
"Yeah, right." Pete said, "I don't think so. That one goes in our secret spot."
They shared the cards together and Pete and Joey read each one. Some made them start to tear up, others chuckle, but none were as good as David's. The emotional ones they quickly set aside. "So, where's my special one?"
Joey spread his giant grin across his face and held up the manila folder he had tucked under his leg. He dangled it from a corner and asked, "What's it worth to you?"
"You dickhead, give it over."
"Say please." Joey pulled it away.
"PLEASE, give it over."
Joey dangled it closer and Pete reached up and grabbed it. The exertion caused him to grimace again. Pete opened the flap and peered into the envelope. "Nice cover."
"C'mon, let's have a look." Joey said, "I didn't get a chance to preview it yet."
Pete smiled and said, "Maybe I'll just save it for later, when I can make proper use of it."
"Now who's being the dickhead?" Joey asked.
"That would be me." Pete said, grinning wider. Slowly, he pulled the glossy porno half way out of the envelope, then slid it back in.
"Stop teasing me. Let's see it."
Pete pulled it out and tossed the envelope aside. He rubbed his hand over the glossy, giant tits of the porno star on the cover. "Ooooh, Charlotte, nice tits." Pete whispered, sexy like. Charlotte the "cum-loving" star of the mag was cupping her enormous boobs in her hands and was twisted into a teasing position on a blue silk bedspread. She had a nicely trimmed, blond bush on her mound.
Pete let out a long slow whistle, "whew, what I wouldn't give to suck on those beauties." He squirmed in his bed. Joey, wiggled a little as well, to rearrange his stiffening, little toy soldier.
Together, they shared the glossy mag as Charlotte exposed more and more of herself. When they reached the centerfold, Pete reached under his sheet and began stroking his boner over his sweats. Joey reached in and adjusted his boner into a comfortable upright position and squeezed his tip and shaft as they took in the hot blonde's juicy cunt. Charlotte was fingering her clit with one hand and one of her nipples with the other. Absentmindedly, Joey had slid a hand under his blue and gold team t-shirt and was flicking his own nipple with one hand while he continued squeezing on his stiffened dick. "God, she's hot." Joey breathed out.
"Got that straight." Pete agreed. "And look how nice her feet and ankles look. They're so nicely shaped and perfectly formed." Joey shot him a quizzical look but moved quickly back to the mag.
They had just moved on to Charlotte sucking a massive dick of some Latino stud when they heard the clack of the doorknob. Quickly, they pulled their hands out in the open and Pete stashed the mag under his sheet. Mrs. Thomas walked in with Pete's cup of pills and some water. "Would you like anything?" she asked Joey.
"No thanks, I stopped at Walgreen's on my way over and bought a bottle full of pills already, so I'm good." Joey said.
"You're so funny." Mrs. Thomas said, smiling. "You always make me smile."
Pete took his cup of pills and downed them all at once, chased down with a big swig of water.
"How can you do that?" Joey asked. He was amazed. It took him like ten minutes and a gallon of water to gag down one aspirin.
"Lot's of practice." Pete added, "And, practice makes perfect, right?"
"No," Joey said back, mimicking their coach's raspy voice, "perfect practice makes perfect, poor practice just makes you permanently poor." They laughed. Coach probably said that like 100 times last season.
Mrs. Thomas left and pulled the door shut behind her. "What are all those pills for?" Joey asked.
"I don't even know. I just stick whatever they shove at me into my mouth and swallow."
"Wow, you sound like the perfect girlfriend." Joey joked. "I need to find one like you." They laughed together and pulled Charlotte back out from under the covers and resumed their fun. Even though they enjoyed looking at porn on the internet together, there was just something special about a glossy porno mag. Holding the naughty pics physically in your hands and rubbing the pages with your fingers was just somehow a better experience. Joey's older brother accommodated them with this and had gotten them nearly a dozen over the course of almost a year that Pete had been sick. When they finished it, Pete slid it into the manila envelope along with David's card and laid it next to Joey. "Put it with the others."
"Dude, I think your mom saw your boner tent. I swear she looked and then quickly looked away." Joey said and playfully flicked the bulge still tenting up the sheet.
"Ow, stop it, you dick. And don't use the words mom and boner in the same sentence. It grosses me out."
"You wanna surf a while?" Joey asked, "While we're in the mood." He made like he was gonna flick Pete's dick again and Pete threw his hands over it for protection.
"Sure, get my wetsuit out of the closet and let's go." Pete said.
"Smartass, you know what I meant."
"Yeah, I know. I wish we could go do some real surfing again, though. Remember last Christmas break?" Pete asked.
"Do I? It was the best waves ever from that tropical storm somewhere. Remember that gnarly set we got into early in the morning that time my brother took us to Huntington?"
"Yeah." Pete said, wistfully, "Next to jacking off for my first time, that was the most fun I ever had." That struck Joey as hilarious and he laughed out loud. "Wow, Joey said, I can't remember anything I did back when I was only four years old."
Pete started laughing too, then said, "Okay stop, it hurts to laugh so hard."
Joey, took the envelope and stooped down to open the bottom drawer of Pete's dresser. He wiggled the drawer up, then down and pulled it all the way out. There under the bottom drawer were all the other envelopes containing the previous mags they had shared together. Joey added this one to the top of the pile and replaced the drawer. Standing up, Joey noticed a packet with a cancer patient at Disneyland on the cover. "What's this?"
"Oh, some crap from that 'Make a Wish' thing." Pete said, disinterested.
"Really, cool. You gonna get to do it?"
"No, it's for littler kids. Besides, I don't have…" Pete answered, but trailed off.
"You don't have what?"
Joey shrugged it off and looked through the brochure. "You could wish for a front row seat at a Laker game and maybe meet Kobe in the locker room afterward. Course, you'd need two tickets so you could take your best friend with."
"Yeah, right. I doubt that. Maybe we could meet Luke Walton or someone like that. I'm pretty sure Kobe doesn't have time for every sick kid that wants to meet him."
"Probably right." Joey agreed. "Maybe Derek Fisher, though."
"Mmm, maybe. But like I said, I'm not interested."
"Seems like a wasted opportunity to get something awesome for free." Joey said.
"Look, it's a great program and it brings a ton of joy to sick kids, but it's just not for me. In the hospital, some of my little friends there talked all the time about their 'Make a Wish' and how much they loved it. At least, as long as they could still talk, they did." Pete swallowed hard and stared at the ceiling a minute, composing himself.
"Joey, if you could wish for anything in the whole world, what would it be?" Pete asked.
Joey laid the brochure back down on top of the dresser and sat on Pete's bed, looked him in the eye and said. "For my best friend to get better." Tears trickled from both of their eyes.
"No," Pete said when he composed himself again, "That doesn't count. I mean, if you were probably going to die and you could really wish for one thing to see or do before you did, what would it be. Like for 'Make a Wish' but with no limits."
Joey shrugged. "I don't know. New sound system for my car, I guess."
"Wow, lame." Pete said. Then in an almost angry tone, a tone Joey hadn't heard since the dark days of chemo, Pete pressed him, "Seriously, dickwad, I want you to really think about this and tell me what you would wish for."
Joey's first reaction to Pete's harsh tone was "fuck you," but he didn't verbalize it. "It's hard. I dunno. If I couldn't wish to get better, I guess I would wish for something for my family."
"Okay, that's better. What?"
"That they not forget me, I guess." Joey said, tearing up again. "What would you wish for?"
"That's a good one. That's better than mine." Pete said.
"What's yours?" Joey asked.
Pete didn't answer right away. He looked away from his friend and fidgeted in his bed.
"What is it?" Joey asked, starting to grin at the obvious nervousness of his friend.
"Well," Pete began, "Remember you said you wanted to get me something special for Christmas?"
"Okay, well," Pete paused again. He was as nervous as the day of his first chemo treatment. His stomach was churning and his palms were sweating.
"WHAT?" Joey said impatiently.
"Okay, well," Pete got that much out again and Joey started rolling his eyes. "Okay, well, … you remember back in eighth grade when I asked Brittany out to the spring dance. It was the only dance in middle school where you could dress up nice and take someone like on a date kind of."
"Yeah, I remember." Joey scowled, "I wanted to smash her face in."
"Yeah, so after she just laughed at me in the hall that day in front of everyone, I never dared hardly even talk to another girl and definitely never asked another one out. I've never even kissed a girl yet." Pete confessed.
"So, you want me to get you a girl for Christmas?" Joey joked, "Will a blowup doll work?"
"No, buttface, shut up and listen."
Joey stopped snickering and got serious with Pete. "I'm never going to get to be with a girl, I know that. I will never experience the thing I think most about. It's like one of my few regrets in my life."
"Hey, c'mon, you will after you get better." Joey encouraged.
"I'm not going to get better." Pete said without any emotion.
"Stop it." Joey demanded. "Don't say that. Don't ever say that again. You can't give up!"
"I'm not giving up. I'm just not going to live. I know it." Pete said again, almost as if he was instructing a slow student. Then he added, looking off into the corner of the room by the bookshelves, "Grandpa Eddie told me last night."
Shivers coursed through Joey's body. "You're scaring me, dude. Stop it. Your grandpa died years ago."
"No. Listen to me, this is important. Grandpa Eddie visited me last night and told me I was coming soon to live with him in a place where there's no more pain." Pete stared deeply into Joey's eyes. Joey looked away.
"It was just a bad dream. Stop it."
"It was not a dream, and it definitely wasn't bad. I wanna go there. I can't do this shit anymore." Pete said. For the first time, his voice broke with emotion. Joey had never heard Pete say an official swear word before. Most people at school use the "F" word all the time and almost everybody uses the "S" word now and then, but not Pete. He never did. He never did anything wrong or bad. He was the first one on the floor for practice and the last one off. He never passed a note back in class. He never cheated on a test or lied to anyone as far as Joey knew. He was, for sure, the most straight up guy Joey knew. His only vice seemed to be an insatiable lust for porn.
Joey and Pete sat silently staring into each other's eyes. Joey tried to search for some hint of doubt or joke or lie or something to discount what Pete had just told him. Pete tried to silently communicate his sincerity. Finally, Joey sucked his thick, bottom lip between his teeth and bit down hard on it as tears flowed down his cheeks and onto his team shirt.
"So, anyway, what I wish for." Pete said. "I'm never gonna have a girlfriend or a wife. I'm never gonna get to have sex. I'm never gonna get to kiss or make out with a girl. I know that. But, well, this is hard to ask, and it's okay if you say no, but … well … you're my best friend in the whole world. No. You're my ONLY friend in the whole world."
Joey grabbed some tissues, wiped his eyes, blew his nose and said, "C'mon, you got lots of other friends. Look at all those cards."
"Those are well wishers, not friends. When I first got sick, Riley, David and Kurt used to come visit me, too. Then after a while, it got old and they stopped. Kurt was the last one to quit and he would come over and play Mortal Kombat with me until he got his own PS3 for his birthday and guess what? No more Kurt." Joey had no answer. He knew Pete was right.
"You never quit. Even when I was a total jerk to you while I was so sick and in pain during chemo. You kept coming. You're a real friend. My ONLY, real friend and I love you." Pete broke into tears. Joey leaned down and pulled Pete into his arms and they hugged each other.
"I love you too, dude." Joey said, awkwardly. "So, what DO you want for Christmas, then?"
"If you don't want to do it, it's okay, you don't have to. Okay?" Pete said, looking serious.
"Okay already, but I'd do anything for you, dude. What is it?"
"I want you to pretend for me." Pete blurted out.
Joey just stared at him waiting for more explanation.
Pete looked away, blushed and said, "Wow, I'm sorry, It's okay, you don't want to, I get it. I'm sorry I even asked; it was stupid of me."
"Dude, I have absolutely no freaking idea what the hell you're talking about." Joey said, "Pretend what?"
Pete looked back, still very red in the face. It was an odd contrast against the purple and gold cap. His lip was quivering. "I want you to pretend you're my girlfriend and let me experience sex with you." Pete said, staring at him, watching for his first honest reaction.
Joey took a minute to process that statement. When it struck him what Pete really wanted, it was as if he had been told Pete was an alien and wanted him to go back to his planet with him.
Joey slowly smiled and said, "Sure, if that's what you want. Hell, I'll do it. Umm, but how?"
Pete brightened up like a Christmas tree and started talking in an animated voice. "Wow, really? Awesome. Okay, well, what I thought about is this. Tomorrow night, dad's going out to a Christmas party for one of his big clients." Pete paused and asked, "You're sure you wanna do this for me?"
"I told you I would. Damn."
"Okay, so anyway Dad wanted mom to go with, but she said no because of me. My aunt offered to let us all stay over at her house but since I been kind of sicker lately, mom didn't want to move me around. Aunt Julie has a new baby, so she couldn't really come over here, so mom was just staying home again because of me. So, here's my plan. I get Aunt Julie to take my brothers and sister and I get you to come over and look after me while mom and dad go to the party. We'll have until eleven, probably, by the time they drive home from Ventura. We can have some time alone to mess around and do some sex stuff. Mom's totally comfortable leaving me if you're here since you've done it before. Besides, mom and dad really need to get away together so it's like a double gift." Pete poured it all out with hardly a breath in between.
"You've really been thinking about this." Joey said.
"You don't even know. It's practically all I've been thinking about for a while now."
"So, umm, what exactly did you have in mind for the…" Joey trailed off.
"Sex?" Pete filled in.
"Well, only what you're okay with. I mean I know it's gotta be weird for you." Pete said. "But, I do have some things in mind. Only if you're okay with it, though."
Joey wasn't sure he was really okay with anything, but felt willing to try and fulfill whatever fantasy his friend had in mind. Well, almost any. "Like?" Joey prodded.
"Like, I don't want it to just be jacking off together. I mean, I kinda wish we'd done that together before anyway just as buddies, but I really wanna try and pretend I got a girlfriend. I want it to be special; special enough for a whole lifetime or even enough for eternity." The last part set the hook.
Full of sincerity, Joey said, "I'll do anything you want me to, Pete. I'm serious, dude, anything."
"Thanks. You're such a bomb friend."
Pete continued on to describe how he kind of wanted to undress each other. Maybe play soft music and have candles. He said he wanted to try pretty much everything Joey was willing to try and Joey agreed to be willing. Joey started to make a mental list of the things he needed and Pete told him to get a paper and pencil. Together they figured out they needed candles, a lighter, some good lube, a vibrator, and massage lotion.
"Too bad we don't have anything sexy to wear." Pete lamented.
"What?" That struck Joey as odd.
"Oh, just this website I was reading about ten steps to having great sex, suggested wearing like sexy, silky underwear as part of it. Never mind, that doesn't matter."
Joey let that drop and asked, "What about condoms?"
"Like I said, I've never even kissed a girl and I definitely never done anything with a guy before and I don't really know for sure what you've been up to but I'm pretty sure it's the same. Besides, I'm dying anyway so it wouldn't matter if I did get something from you." Pete said.
"Just stop saying that. I hate it."
"Okay, sorry. But, you get my point about condoms, right?"
"So what the hell do I tell my brother I need the lube and vibrator for?" Joey asked.
"Tell him, it's what I want for Christmas and you think there's a girl willing to do me so I need it all early."
"Okay, that works. Sure you don't just want a blow-up doll?"
Pete frowned. "Look, if you don't really wanna do this…" Joey cut him off, covering his mouth with his big hand.
"I was just joking. I'm sorry. This is great. I wanna share it with you." Joey said, mostly honest.
The door handle rattled again and Mrs. Thomas came in. "You staying for dinner?" she asked.
"No, thanks. I need to go tonight, but I'll come back tomorrow night, maybe then." Joey said, half winking at Pete.
"Mom," Pete began, "Can Joey come and stay over with me tomorrow night while you and dad go to the Christmas party? Please?"
"Well, I don't know. There's the other kids."
"They can go over to Aunt Julie's. Please." After a pause, while Pete studied his mom's troubled expression, he begged "Mom, PLEASE?"
"If Joey's here, I guess that would be nice. It will make your father happy." Mrs. Thomas said.
"You know, Mrs. Thomas," Joey began, "I'd be willing to just spend the night with Pete, if you and Mr. Thomas wanted just to get a motel and not have to drive all the way home. Pete said the party is clear out in Ventura."
"That's a very nice offer," Mrs. Thomas said, smiling at Joey, "But, I don't really think I could…"
"MOM, I'm not a baby and I'm feeling a little better right now. I think it's a great idea and I want you to do it." Pete said forcefully and in his normal, strong, baritone voice. His mom looked at him a bit shocked.
"Well, I'm pretty sure that would make your dad really happy." She said, then, she blushed as she realized the connotation of her words since Pete and Joey both giggled. "I guess if you're willing to stay over, I'll arrange it." She turned and practically dashed out of the room to get away from her embarrassment of her comment about making Pete's dad really happy.
Pete peered over his bed rail to see her clear the door and said, "Dude, that was brilliant!"
"Yeah, I thought so."
On the way home, "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" was blaring through Joey's lousy, blown out speakers. Joey was feeling a little like he'd been run over by a reindeer himself. Tons of thoughts flooded his brain. Memories of things he and Pete had done together came back to him. Visions of Grandpa Eddie appearing in Pete's room gave Joey the shivers all over again. The memory of the shower experience and the feelings just now shared with Pete mixed and blended together. He loved Pete. He didn't know he could feel that level of love for a guy, but he did. "It's not fair." He screamed, "It's just not fair!"
This special fantasy Pete had planned needed to go perfectly, Joey decided. "Anything Pete." Joey said aloud, "Anything you want." Ideas started creeping into Joey's head. At first, he dismissed them. Then, he entertained them. Then, he embraced them. "I'm gonna freakin' do it." He said with resolve. "He'll either be way surprised, or totally freaked out; one or the other." Joey chuckled and pulled into his driveway.