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Depth of Field (Last Chance #1)
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Shane Wallace has made a decent life for himself in Last Chance. He built his own home on his mom’s property to take care of her, owns an automotive repair shop, and when he wants to get laid, Portland isn’t too far away. Not too shabby for the boy who spent his childhood getting bullied and feeling alone. Shane’s content to leave his past behind him…until one of his childhood tormentors comes back to town.
Maxwell Sullivan never planned to step foot in Last Chance again. Here, he was Maxwell, a teen who suffered in silence while everyone thought he had the perfect life. Now, he’s “Van,” the erotic artist and photographer. He’s only here to help his mom tie up some loose ends after his father’s death and to apologize to Shane. After that, he’s heading back to LA for good.
Shane never thought he’d have anything in common with Maxwell, but there’s a depth to Van that surprises him. Van knows what it feels like to be alone. He sees Shane in ways no one else does. There’s a shared connection neither can deny. Somehow, despite their rocky history, they get each other.
It’s not long before the two are so drawn to each other that they tumble into bed—sometimes with Van’s camera involved. Their chemistry in and out of the bedroom is undeniable. Except nothing is ever black and white. Shane can’t leave his mom and Van’s life is in LA. With two different lives pulling them in opposite directions, their picture-perfect ending might not be in the cards.
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Shane didn’t flinch when the balled-up piece of paper hit him in the back of the head. He kept his eyes trained on the chalkboard as his math teacher worked out an equation.
Another one hit him, and he ignored that too. There were a few chuckles behind him that Mrs. Johnson somehow didn’t hear. Not all teachers ignored Maxwell and his crew, but some did. Who wanted to fuck with the town’s golden boy? Maxwell and his family were revered as though they’d died on the cross for the sins of every resident in Last Chance—at least the ones that mattered. Maxwell was rich and good at football and baseball, after all.
The room door opened and the principal stepped inside. “Can I have a quick word?” he asked.
Mrs. Johnson nodded before telling the class to continue working the problem on paper before she left, closing the door behind her.
His chair lurched forward when someone pushed it from behind. “Look at us when we want your attention, faggot.”
That was enough to get a response from him. Shane’s body went rigid and the pencil in his hand snapped in two. It hadn’t been Maxwell who’d spoken, but Maxwell’s best friend, Jonathan. The papers had come from Maxwell though; Shane had been able to tell because of the angle.
“Fuck you,” he said without turning around.
“You think you got real big balls, but you don’t. You’re just a little queer. The town faggot. I bet you even suck dick to help pay the bills since your mama rarely leaves the house. She’s probably too embarrassed of you.”
Shane shoved himself to his feet, an earthquake erupting beneath his skin. He could take a lot of shit. He did take a lot of shit, but one thing he wouldn’t deal with was anyone talking about his mom.
“Shut up.” His hands balled into fists. Jonathan was bigger than him—Maxwell, too. They both played sports and lifted weights the way good little jocks did. Shane was too thin. At sixteen, he looked more like he was fourteen but that didn’t matter. Not in that moment.
“Or what? What are you going to do about it?” Jonathan asked with a chuckle.
“Keep talking, and you’ll find out.”
“Oh, no. Please don’t. I’m so fucking scared of the faggot with toothpicks for arms.” Jonathan stood. “Sit down before you embarrass yourself.”
“Take it back. What you said about my mom. Take it back.”
Maxwell groaned. Shane glanced at him to see him roll his eyes. “Sit the fuck down and shut up before he kicks your ass. Jesus, you’re fucking stupid.”
“What do you want me to take back?” Jonathan asked. “Everyone knows she’s fucked in the head. Can’t even leave the fucking house. Good thing she has her little bitch of a son to take care of her. I—umpf.” Jonathan grunted when Shane lunged at him. He hit Jonathan in his chest and tackled him. The only thing he had going for him was the element of surprise and sheer fury.
“Oh, fuck,” Maxwell said before jumping to his feet and moving toward him. Shane swung every which way, taking out years of anger and frustration and torment on Jonathan.
“Get the fuck off me! What the hell are you doing, you psycho? You’re just as crazy as your mom.” He covered his face and Shane kept swinging.
People circled them. He was pretty sure someone ran out of the room. Maxwell grabbed at him, trying to pull him off Jonathan but Shane kept fucking swinging.
“Shane Wallace! What are you doing? Get off him right now!” Mrs. Johnson screamed, and then it was the principal standing over them. Shane’s breaths came out in heavy, sharp pants. His eyes stung.
“What happened?” Mrs. Johnson asked as Principal Dickinson pulled Shane off Jonathan.
“He’s crazy! He attacked me!” Jonathan replied, as he pushed to his feet. “He’s lucky I didn’t fight back because I didn’t want to hurt him.”
“Is that what happened?” Principal Dickinson asked. Shane didn’t reply. Just kept his mouth shut. What was the point? It didn’t matter if he told them what Jonathan said, or about Maxwell throwing shit at him. They’d make up some BS excuse about violence never being the answer. Plus, he didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of hearing him try to defend himself only to end up suspended anyway—because he would.
He’d just attacked Jonathan Wilson—Maxwell Sullivan’s best friend. He was fucked no matter how he looked at it.
“Son, if you’re not going to defend yourself, I’ll have no choice but to suspend you.”
“Like you won’t do it anyway,” Shane replied. His eyes caught Maxwell’s and he could have sworn he saw Maxwell flinch, before pushing his hands into his pockets and looking down at the floor.
“Come with me, Mr. Wallace,” Principal Dickinson said to Shane. He grabbed his things and followed the man out of the room.