Secrets & Lies (Roughshod Rollers MC 3)

Page 62

Kyle looks startled by the question. Then his eyes darken. He isn’t stupid. He can see where this is going.
“Not much,” he says bluntly. “He doesn’t like to talk about it.”
I nod. That doesn’t surprise me. Grant would probably be terrified someone would react in the exact same way I did.
Though maybe my reaction wouldn’t have been so severe if I had only talked to him about what I had found out.
“What does Grant’s past have to do with anything?” Allison asks, confused.
I hesitate. It isn’t my secret to tell.
“Grant…got involved in a pretty serious crime when he was younger,” I say. “He was…”
He was what? Falsely accused? I can only assume that was the case, but I don’t know for sure. I never heard Grant’s side of the story, and I don’t know if I ever will, now.
“It was just bad,” I say. “I’m not going to tell you anything about it, because that isn’t my place. But there were a lot of people believing awful things about him. I stumbled on the truth accidentally, three years ago…and I heard only the worst. I got more and more paranoid about it and, instead of talking to him about it, like I should have done, I fled.”
The three of them are staring at me. I direct my gaze down to the table.
“You…?” Allison whispers.
Kyle sits heavily.
“Are you the reason he never talks about his past?” he asks numbly.
I flinch.
“Probably,” I admit. “He…didn’t actually know that was why I left. I finally told him about it on Thursday night.”
“Shit,” Allison says, sitting back. She looks stunned. “That’s way worse than I was expecting.”
“Yeah,” I say with a humorless chuckle. “I really am an idiot.”
“Yes,” Kyle says. “You are.”
I look up at him. Anger is burning slowly into his eyes, and I hunch my shoulders. I can’t blame him for being upset. In his shoes, I would be furious, too.
“Kyle…” Allison says. “It’s in the past, alright? Can’t you see she feels bad enough as it is.”
Kyle glowers at me. “Not badly enough. Grant is one of the best people I know. He’s friendly and loyal and he would do absolutely anything for one of us. I already knew he had a rough past. It was easy enough to guess. Someone like him… You don’t hate the police like he does unless you had a bad run-in with them. But I left it alone. If Grant wanted to tell me, he would, eventually.”
I feel so small. “I know.”
“I do respect, at least, that you aren’t just blurting his secrets out to us,” Kyle says tightly. “But otherwise, I have no respect left for you.”
“That’s harsh, Kyle!” Allison exclaims. “She made a mistake and…”
“A mistake that cost my best friend three years with his son,” Kyle growls.
Allison falls quiet. There’s nothing else to say to that. Because I was stupid and paranoid, I neglected to tell Grant he was a father. He lost three years with his son because of my idiocy.
“You can’t say anything I don’t already know,” I say to Kyle dully. “I’ve already thought about all this. And I’m paying the rightful price for it right now. Grant shouldn’t forgive me. He shouldn’t have to explain himself to me. We were together long enough that I should have trusted him.” I close my eyes and shake my head. “So, this is it. I’m going to give Grant that space. He deserves it. He deserves someone who won’t do something like this to him.”
There’s a long moment of quiet. And then Kyle snorts.
“Funny how you become exactly the sort of person Grant does deserve when it’s too late,” he snaps. “But you’re still a coward. You’ll just sit here and moan about everything that went wrong, but you won’t actually do anything about it.”
“Kyle, stop,” Allison snaps. She’s angry now at the things Kyle is saying to me. I wince; great, now I’ve caused problems between them. “I get why you’re angry. But maybe Grant can forgive her, eventually? You forgave me.”