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Life is Like a Carton of Ice Cream

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"It takes hard work and patience."

Milo had been pretty high and mighty in his opinion about Alex and Robin's relationship and Rick just wasn't in the mood. He made a sarcastic comment about Milo's new career as a marriage counselor and got a dirty glare for his trouble. He was almost relieved when Milo muttered something about needing some air and stomped out of the house.

Rick could see Robin's side of things. Alex wasn't Milo, not by any stretch of the imagination, but the two of them shared a lot in common. They were both puzzle solvers: when they got their teeth into a juicy one, they were bulldog-stubborn, wouldn't let go until they figured it out. The problem was, the kind of puzzles they got their teeth into were born from dark, twisted minds, and usually turned out to have teeth of their own—sharp, vicious teeth.

To a certain extent, Rick had known what he was getting into when he and Milo started getting serious. After all, dating a cop brought with it certain expectations. Even so, it had been complicated, challenging. Still was.

Robin, on the other hand, probably hadn't had a clue about what she was getting into. A child psychologist. Didn't sound like a particularly dangerous profession, did it? You could hardly blame her for getting worried or upset when Alex got in too deep in dangerous situations. It wasn't what she'd signed on for.

Not that Milo was wrong. Any relationship, even the most mundane, required work and patience from both parties. Moonlight and roses could only take you so far. Theirs was a perfect case in point. He and Milo loved each other, but if they hadn't worked at it together, they would never have lasted this long as a couple.

No, the point Rick had been making was that it was up to Alex and Robin to find their own way through the rough patches—or not. He knew Milo just wanted to help his friends, but the bottom line was, he couldn't. And he shouldn't even try. Milo may not have liked having that fact thrown in his face by Rick, but once he got over his irritation, he'd know it for the truth.

As if on cue, the front door opened. Milo came in with a couple of packages and a sheepish look.

"Feeling better, big guy?" Rick asked mildly.

"Yeah," Milo replied. "Got a movie and some ice cream," he added by way of apology.

Hard work and patience? Definitely. But it was worth it.

Out loud Rick asked, "What kind of ice cream?"

"Your favorite."

He chuckled at the irony. Milo gave him a quizzical look, inviting him to share the joke, but Rick simply shook his head. "Sounds great."

After all, he really did like Rocky Road.