Color Me In (Last Chance #2)(14)

By: Riley Hart

“Fair enough,” Shane replied. “You were there for me when Van left… You helped me pull my head out of my ass, and you had my back at the shop and with my mom. I’m here for you too. You ever want to talk, I’m always around.”

Ryan nodded, an unfamiliar knot in his throat. He’d never considered talking about his problem to anyone—not even Danielle—but he thought there was a quiet part of him that wished he could talk to Shane. He would feel comfortable talking to Shane, he realized.

“So we trying that threesome or what?” Van’s voice came from the open stall. Ryan jerked back, realizing Shane had finished with his finger but still held on to his injured hand.

“You wish,” Shane replied but didn’t seem to be worried that his boyfriend truly thought anything was going on. Considering Van apparently thought he was bisexual and all.

“He’s cute, but you’re enough for me,” Van said as he stepped closer and put his arms around Shane from behind.

“Threesome?” Ryan asked.

“Oh shit. I forgot he didn’t know about that,” Van answered.

“It goes back to him thinking you were bi. When he first met you, he thought I was interested and teased about a threesome.”

Okay…so this was new. “I’m not really sure how to respond to that. I guess I’m flattered he thought you were attracted to me?”

Shane didn’t get a chance to reply before Van said, “I was wrong? You’re not bi? Huh…I’m not wrong very often. Strange.”

“Cocky motherfucker,” Shane told him, but Ryan was struck dumb. That had been one of the oddest conversations of his life.


The rest of the workday had gone on without any other weird incidents, though Ryan himself was still a little on edge. He was tired as fuck, confused as fuck, and his brain was still going fucking crazy. That was a whole lot of fucks.

He and Shane locked up just after five. Shane opened his mouth, and Ryan was sure he planned to apologize again for earlier, but he stopped when Ryan shook his head.

“We’re good.”

“I’m glad. And if you were wondering, I haven’t known Caleb for a long time, not since we were kids, but there isn’t a doubt in my mind he’s a good man.” Without another word, Shane went for his truck, climbed in, and started it. Without much choice, Ryan did the same with his vehicle.

His eyes were scratchy the whole drive home. He needed some sleep. If he was smart, he’d stay home and make sure he got it, lie there counting sheep…or cars or something much cooler, until slumber found him. Maybe that was what he’d do. He’d call Lucky Rose and leave a message for Caleb that he wouldn’t be going that night.

Ryan frowned when he pulled up in front of his apartment to see his landlord’s car there and the man himself standing by Ryan’s door. It was a small unit, only four apartments in one building. The older gentleman had always been nice, was incredibly reliable, but he didn’t make random visits.

After the day he’d had, the last thing Ryan needed was to discover something was wrong with his apartment.

He climbed out of the car and waved at George, who stood under the porch light. Strangely, Ryan had always liked daylight saving time. He enjoyed nighttime and looked forward to it getting dark early. “How’s it going? Everything okay?” Ryan asked as he stepped onto the cement slab in front of the door.

“Hi, Ryan. It’s going okay… Afraid I have a bit of bad news, though.”

Ryan’s gut twisted into a pretzel. “What’s wrong?”

“My daughter left her husband. He’d been cheating on her, poor thing. She’s moving down from Seattle to be close to her mom and me. We downsized a while back and don’t have much room in the house for her and her son…”

He thought this was a good time for another fuck. Maybe even a motherfucking piece of shit, and what the fuck was wrong with this day?

“I hate to do this, son. You’re a good tenant, a level guy, but she’s my daughter and…”

“And you have to take care of your family.” Ryan understood that. He felt the same. He’d spent a lot of years trying to do just that.