Color Me In (Last Chance #2)(10)

By: Riley Hart


“Nah, our diets keep us happy.”

They laughed before Ryan pulled a piece of his cinnamon roll off and popped it into his mouth. It was so good, he nearly moaned. He chewed, licked his lips, and then realized Caleb was watching him. “Problem?”

“You’re enjoying that.”

“Am I not supposed to?”

Caleb shook his head. “Not saying that. Just an observation. You should always take time to enjoy things.”

Ryan cocked his head slightly. Yes, he agreed with Caleb, but most people didn’t speak the way he did; they didn’t just make statements like that, and they sure didn’t live them. Something about Caleb told Ryan that he did—that he walked the walk, but maybe he hadn’t always, and he’d learned from it.

“Oh no. Now I’ve done it—you’re trying to figure me out.”

“No.” Ryan shook his head. “I mean, maybe? I agree with you, but I think it’s easier said than done.”

“Of course it is. There’s no question about that. It’s worth it, though.”

Yeah, Ryan figured it was, but it was also something he’d always sort of struggled with. Some things he was better at than others. He was working on it, doing what was right for him. Not questioning who he was or feeling the need to desire things he just wasn’t passionate about, even if it likely made him a little strange.

“Well, this is easy to enjoy.” Ryan pulled off another piece of the warm, sweet roll and ate it.

“Yep.” Caleb gave that half grin. “It really is.”

*

Caleb could tell Ryan didn’t realize he was talking about how easy Ryan was to enjoy. There was no doubt he was easy on the eyes, hot as hell in a subtle way.

He had a soft, innocent sort of face, with big hazel eyes, greener toward the iris and a light brown along the edges. They held secrets in them, and Caleb had no doubt he’d seen a lot. When you met as many people as Caleb had, when you’d fucked people you didn’t know, you learned to look for signs of who someone was.

His face was clean-shaven, unlike Caleb’s stubble. His cheekbones soft, lashes long and sooty—yeah, really fucking hot.

And straight. Caleb was pretty sure Ryan was straight, so he needed to get those thoughts out of his mind right now.

“So…how’d you end up in Last Chance?” Caleb asked just as the waiter set his fries and drink in front of him. Caleb picked up the salt shaker and liberally shook.

“How about some fries with your salt?” Ryan replied.

“I know. It’s my downfall. I don’t use this much very often, though—only with fries and only once in a while. It’s like heaven on a plate.”

Ryan shook his head but grinned.

“Last Chance?” he prompted again. Ryan interested him for some reason. Maybe it was the fact that he looked a little lost, or the fact that, crazily, they drove the same car, or hell, maybe it was just because he had a sexy, scratchy voice and was pretty to look at. Whatever the reason, Caleb didn’t plan to deny himself as long as Ryan enjoyed his company. His whole point in coming back here had been to…hell, be happy. To try and remember who he used to be.

“I’m from Northern California—Redding area. I…” Ryan paused, took a drink of his hot chocolate, and Caleb could see that he didn’t want to give all the information.

“No obligation. Tell me to shut up if you need to, or skip around in the story—Oh! We can tell half-truths and half-lies and try to figure out which part of our stories are real and which aren’t.”

“It’s one in the morning and you want to play Two Truths and a Lie?”

“Do you have a better game in mind?”

“I didn’t know a game was a necessity.”

“It’s not.” Caleb shrugged, popped a fry into his mouth, and moaned. “Jesus, this is fucking good. Want one?”

He could tell Ryan wasn’t sure how to respond by the way his brows pulled together. Not to the fry thing, but to Caleb in general. “I promise I’m not crazy. Well, not completely crazy, at least.” Caleb winked at him.

“Just a little.” Ryan made an inch with his fingers. “I think I’m going to have to skip most of the details. It’s too heavy for tonight.” He glanced down, and Caleb wished he could take the question back. The last thing he wanted was to bring up something that hurt Ryan.