Shifting Gears (Crossroads Series Book 2)(9)

By: Riley Hart

“Leaving home won’t change the past. It won’t change the fact that he left.”

White, hot anger pierced him. You’d think after all this time, it wouldn’t matter, that he could forgive him or at least not feel like burning the whole damn world down when he thought about him. “What I do has nothing to do with him.”

“Sure it does. Our experiences shape us, good and bad. There’s no denying that, Landon. He was young…we were both young and made our mistakes. You and Shanen both know I wasn’t innocent.”

Landon shoved to his feet, walking over to the fridge because he needed something to do. He sure as shit didn’t want to talk about his father. “Don’t do that. Don’t make excuses for him.” Why were they even talking about this?

“People are human. We make mistakes. If you can forgive mine, why not his?”

Landon turned on her. “Because he’s not here! He left, remember? He didn’t give a shit and he walked away!” She flinched and he silently cursed. “Shit. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you.” Still, everything he’d said had been true.

Landon pulled her into a hug and kissed the top of her dark hair. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too, and I just want you to be happy. No going through life with regrets, huh? I have enough of them for the both of us, and I’m sure your father does, too.”

He tried to fight going rigid at the mention of him again.

“There are a lot of exciting things going on. New opportunities. Shanen is getting married. You’re back. Who knows what else will happen?”

He wasn’t so sure he wanted to find out.

“I have a confession to make…I’m looking forward to living on my own again. I haven’t lived by myself since before I had you kids.”

He crossed his arms and looked at her. “Um…did you forget I moved in with you?”

She patted his shoulder. “Not forever. I know you better than that. Once you get a job, you’ll find your own place, which is the way it should be.”

“Are you kicking me out?” Landon teased her.

“Yes?” She grinned, but he knew she really wasn’t. She was giving him an escape and he was thankful as hell for it. “Just don’t go too far this time, okay?”

He wondered if it had been like this for his dad before he’d left. If he’d been looking for an escape, and his mom had provided him with one, the same way she tried to do with Landon.


About a week later, Landon pulled up at the shop for his interview. It was a nice, clean place. The drive was slightly a bummer, since it was about forty-five minutes away from where his mom lived, but he could handle it. He’d do anything to be in a shop again, to spend his days working on bikes and getting grease under his nails.

He killed the engine, put the kickstand down, and pulled his leg over his bike just as a guy with a similar build to his own, and dark hair walked out. “R1, huh? She’s a beauty.”

Landon pulled off his helmet, set it on the bike and held out a hand. “Thank you. I’m Landon Harrison.”

The other man clasped his hand in a tight grip. “Bryce Tanner. It’s nice to meet you.”

So this was Bryce. He’d heard quite a bit about him from Rod. It was strange, and he wasn’t sure exactly how it happened, but they’d been texting each other often over the last week. It felt like such an odd thing to do, texting, with the guy who sold him lube. His conversations with men on his phone were usually done on a hook-up app, but considering he’d thought about doing more than that with Rod before he’d told Landon about the job, maybe it wasn’t so strange after all.