What happens when the one person you truly hate is the one person who really sees you?After McKnley Rhodes’s family fell apart, she struck out at Cole Matthews, her then best friend. Over twenty years later, she’s never forgotten the hurt she endured or the hate for the boy she believed caused it.
Cole Matthews hasn’t seen his childhood friend, McKnley Rhodes, for twenty-two years, and what he finds shocks him. She’s tired and beaten down, and he wants to fix that, just as he used to when they were kids. Cole’s the only one who can see she’s putting on an act by embracing her rock star persona. His new goal is to determine why and put an end to her torment.
Will McKnley let him in or will he leave her with no place to hide?
It’s Dad’s turn to scoff. “Reed Ryan is your best friend. There’s no way he would get your hopes up like this only to dash them. I knew it was a good move you becoming friends with them. It was a master stroke on my part, probably one of my best ideas.”
I want to tell him that you can’t force the kind of friendship Reed and I have, but I don’t. It’s better to let him think he controls things than argue with him.
“Yeah, Reed’s a good guy.”
“Who cares if he’s a good guy. All I care about is what kind of package he puts together for you,” is what he says. What he means is “I want to know what kind of commission I get as your manager and what other perks I’m able to get so I can big note to everyone else in the industry.”
“I’m sure you’ll be quick to remedy it if it isn’t to your satisfaction.”
“Damn right I will, can’t have my moneymaker treated like a second-class citizen, now can I?”
I know in his mind those words sound endearing, but to me they perfectly encompass our relationship. He’s not really my dad; he’s the manager of a rider who just won a Supermoto title and I’m nothing more than the guy on the bike who’s going to make him a shitload of money.
“Right, thanks,” I say.
“No need to thank me, son. This is what I do, what I live for.”
“How could I forget?” I ask. It seems like my whole life my dad’s been in the background waiting to pounce on whatever success I had and turning it into a deal for him, something to make him look good.
“Any other connections you made tonight that may have slipped under my radar?”
My dance with Knley flashes through my mind. “Nope, nothing I can think of.” Even though she made her feelings towards me crystal clear, I refuse to give up on her. I know what you’re thinking, that I’m not giving up on her because I like the thrill of the chase or some shit like that, but it’s not that at all. No, there’s something sad about Knley. When we were little, she shone as bright as a star. Now she still shines bright but it’s forced. It’s the way her smile is a little too big, her answers a little too enthusiastic. I can see it clear as day, which makes me wonder why no one else has caught onto it.
“Right, well if that’s all,” my dad says, bringing my attention back to the present.
“Yep, pretty much,” I tell him.
“I’ll keep an eye out for that Ryan Racing contract then.”
“You do that.”
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Breaking the Cycle