Color Me In (Last Chance #2)(8)

By: Riley Hart


He was already bored out of his mind.

It was close to two weeks since Caleb showed up at Shane’s place, and three days since he ran into the cute guy with the dark hair, a young face, and a sweet tooth at Lucky Rose.

He was lonely, which he should have expected he’d feel. Caleb always felt a little lonely, but being back here and so out of touch made it dig its claw deeper into him.

Caleb grabbed his hoodie, pulled it on, and then went for shoes and socks. He’d go grocery shopping because that was a real fucking barrel of laughs. But hey, at least it got him out, and food was always a good thing to have around the house. For…oh…five minutes or so, shopping would at least keep his mind off the fact that he had no fucking clue what to do with his life.

It was drizzling softly as he made the short drive to the local grocery store. He pulled his hood over his head when he got out, and jogged into the building.

Two carts were stuck together. After fiddling with them for a second, he pulled them apart and then made his way down the aisles of the very same store he used to shop at with his mother.

Last Chance worked that way; some things never changed.

First things first. Caleb made his way to the frozen-food section. He tossed some frozen fries, tater tots, and microwave meals into his cart…which was mostly all he needed.

Figuring he should at least try to eat like an adult human being, he made his way up and down the aisles, throwing things into his cart here and there.

“Oh, hey,” he heard, and his eyes snapped up. Cute Sweet Tooth stood in front of him.

“Hey.”

“I’m surprised I didn’t see your flashy car in the lot.”

Chuckling, Caleb shook his head. “Such a ball buster. What did I ever do to you? Hide your cookie jar?”

“Ha ha. Very funny,” Ryan replied. “I think my shopping trip looks much healthier than yours.” He carried one of the small baskets, which was filled with bread, cold cuts, mustard, and mayo.

“Who are you and what did you do with Sweet Tooth?” Caleb asked.

Ryan sighed playfully. “Fine, you figured me out. This is food for the shop. I’m picking it up for Shane. How does he eat this way?”

They chuckled together before Caleb answered with, “I don’t know, but I’m slightly worried about his well-being.”

“You and me both.”

It was funny how they fell into this sort of playful relationship. It wasn’t as if he knew Ryan well enough to joke around with him the way he did, but it was comfortable. They both seemed to feel it with each other.

Ryan’s eyes skated around as if he was suddenly uncomfortable. Maybe he was thinking the same kind of thoughts Caleb was, or hell, maybe he was thinking, “I wish this weirdo would leave me the fuck alone.”

“You look nice and rested,” Caleb said. You look nice and rested? What in the fuck was that?

Ryan’s brows pulled together. “Um…you too? And thanks. I don’t feel it, but that’s okay.”

There was another moment of quiet before Ryan said, “I thought you didn’t always eat like that.”

“I don’t.”

“Liar.”

“Yes, you got me. I eat like a sixteen-year-old boy, and there’s nothing you can do to make me feel bad about that!”

Again, the two of them laughed. A woman walked by, smiled uncomfortably, and kept going.

“We’re scaring the locals,” Ryan teased. “And I should…I should probably get going. Shane will be wondering.”

“I wouldn’t want to keep you…”

Ryan rubbed the back of his neck.

Caleb scratched his hand.

He felt like he was being weird but wasn’t sure if it was in his head or not. “Well, it was nice to see you in the light of day. I hope you have a good one and…get some sleep.”

“You get some sleep too.” Ryan waited a moment as though he thought Caleb might say something else. Caleb wanted to, he realized, wanted to keep talking, but he didn’t know what about.

He just wanted to talk to someone, and he thought Ryan was a nice guy. Plus, he couldn’t ignore the fact that Ryan was close to Shane too.

The emptiness in his chest suddenly felt bigger.

“It was good seeing you,” Caleb added.