Color Me In (Last Chance #2)

By: Riley Hart

A Last Chance Novel



SYNOPSIS




Caleb White has been a lot of places and made a lot of decisions he isn’t proud of. He’s ready to settle down and figure out who he really is. Where better to do that than Last Chance, the home he was ripped away from at sixteen? A fresh start is in order, but he has no idea how to do that when he’s not even sure what he wants in the first place.

Ryan Daily is a pro at hiding his insecurities. He’s never fit in and has spent most of his life knowing there’s something missing. Just when he thought he’d found it, his whole world fell apart and he lost everything.

Then comes a sleepless night in a twenty-four-hour café, where Caleb and Ryan forge a connection full of laughs, junk food, and whispered secrets. In the middle of their budding friendship, desire blooms unexpectedly. Ryan has kept his heart protected after having it shattered, and Caleb—no stranger to attraction—finds that what he has with Ryan is on a whole new level from anything he’s experienced before. In a world of black and white, they bring each other color.

But life is never simple. When the past comes knocking, Ryan and Caleb will have to reach through the darkness to find the light they see in each other…or risk slipping into the shadows for good.





CHAPTER ONE





It was as if Caleb White had just driven through a fucking time portal. He’d started out in the current day, but the moment he’d crossed the city line into Last Chance, he was sixteen years old again, spending his days hiking and fishing and sneaking away to make out with his best friend, Shane. The same friend he hadn’t spoken to since his family dragged him out of town that same year they spent kissing.

Not a phone call. Not a letter. Not a damn text. Nothing.

“Fuck.” He rubbed a hand over his face. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all, yet it sure had felt like it originally.

He wouldn’t turn back, though. There was a part of him that needed this, needed to make peace with his past in a way he’d never let himself. Needed to remember who he was back then so he could try to find himself again. He’d lived a lot of life since leaving Last Chance—some of it pretty good, and some of it as low as you could get. So far down that he was ashamed and hated the idea of anyone, much less his old friend, knowing the depths of his past. He was in a good place now. He had been for a while, but lately…he’d just felt the tug to go. He needed a fresh start, a simple life, to figure out who the fuck he was and what he wanted. There was nowhere better to do that than Last Chance.

He hoped.

Caleb didn’t have the windows down, but he could still smell the familiar scent of his hometown—pine and nature. Fresh air and the lake.

He’d missed it. He’d known that for a long time, but it wasn’t easy going home again, especially when you felt like you were a completely different person from the one who’d been there before. How would the old Caleb and the new Caleb merge? And would the person he was now fit in Last Chance? If people knew where he’d been, would they accept him?

As he continued through the middle of town, past the small movie theater and Lucky Rose—the diner where he’d spent most of his youth—he was both eager to start a new life here and sad about the one he lost. He’d be lying if he didn’t admit there was some guilt thrown in there too.

A big part of that guilt circled around one person: Shane Wallace. The first boy he’d ever kissed, first boy he’d had an orgasm with too. The first person who knew he was gay, and one of the people he respected most in the world. Caleb had missed him—God, he’d fucking missed his friend.

He made the drive straight to Shane’s old place. Sure, he had shit to do, but none of it was as important as seeing Shane and creatively explaining where he’d been all these years. The thought of giving him the whole truth made nerves skitter down Caleb’s spine. He was proud of who he was, knew mistakes didn’t make the man, but yeah…some things a guy just didn’t want to tell anyone.

Hell, he hadn’t even known if Shane still lived in Last Chance until he made a stop at the gas station and asked. He figured word couldn’t get around to Shane that he was back before he could make the ten-minute drive to Shane’s place.