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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Into the Deep (Page 15)     
  • Into the Deep(Into the Deep #1)(15) by Samantha Young
  • “Denver, take a shot of me and Charley together,” Lowe nodded at his friend and pulled me into his side, his arm tight around my shoulders.

    Denver frowned. “Why?”

    “Because my brother gave me shit about spending money on this study abroad. I want to post this picture on his Facebook page to make a point that I made the right choice.”

    “Oh, God,” I groaned. “I hope your lyrics are better than that line.”

    When the group chuckled, I grinned over at them, the smile faltering on my lips when I saw Jake staring off to the other side of the room, his eyes dark. The moment between Lowe and me rewound in my head and I felt my heart stutter in realization.

    It was exactly the kind of thing Jake would’ve said to me back in the day and exactly the kind of cheeky response I’d have given him.

    I was about to pull away from Lowe, not wanting this distraction to turn into another Jake situation, but Denver had his camera phone out and Lowe was pulling me back into his side. His fingertips were calloused from playing the guitar and as they coasted around to cup my hip, he brushed under my T-shirt, eliciting a shiver I knew he felt and enjoyed because his grin widened. I made a face at him and he laughed so boyishly, I couldn’t help but laugh back. Later, I’d discover that was the shot Denver took, because Lowe did put it on Facebook and tagged it after friending me. It was a great photograph, us laughing into each other’s faces, holding onto one another like we’d known each other our whole lives. As soon as I saw it, it made me uncomfortable and flustered.

    Lowe disappeared to the bar to get Claudia and me a drink. When he returned, Claud moved down a chair so Lowe could sit with me. Matt eventually came over to the table and sat down by Jake, and Beck announced that the band was supposed to be on soon.

    Once conversation had started up, Lowe put his arm behind my chair and leaned into me. My gaze automatically dipped to his lip ring and a curious thought flashed in my eyes before I could stop it. I knew Lowe caught it because his teeth grazed the ring a second before he smiled.

    “Was that a naughty thought, Charlotte?” he murmured, eyes twinkling.

    I shook my head casually to cover my embarrassment. “Just wondering if it was painful?”

    “Not as painful as the tat on my ribs.”

    Knowing exactly what he wanted my response to be, my lips twitched. “I’m not asking you to take your shirt off.”

    “Damn. I’ve got a live one.” He smiled and then dipped his head closer to mine. “Is it weird? Seeing Jake again?”

    I arched an eyebrow at him, not particularly happy to learn they’d obviously been talking about me.

    Lowe just shrugged. “We’ve been friends since freshman year. I knew something was up so he told me about you guys. It’s a shit situation.”

    “It was a long time ago.”

    “So you’re a free agent, then?”

    I wondered for a second if there was a code amongst guy friends about pursuing ex-girlfriends. Clearly not, according to Lowe. I sighed. “I’m not his, if that’s what you mean.” Funny, but that was the first time I’d said it aloud since we broke up. I was no longer surprised by how much it hurt.

    “Are you anybody’s?”

    “I don’t think we’re ever anybody’s, and to believe otherwise will get you hurt.”

    Lowe tipped his head in thought, his eyes strangely serious. “I think you’ll like my lyrics.”

    “I can’t wait to hear you guys.”

    “I warn you once you do, you’ll become a groupie.”

    Laughing, I shook my head. “Sorry, I’ve never been a follower.”

    “I think that’s a challenge.”

    “No, it’s a fact. Take it as a challenge if you like, but you’ll find it a Sisyphean task.”

    Lowe laughed so hard he drew everyone’s eyes. His were glittering. “Classics major?”

    My lips twitched. “Psychology.”

    That made him laugh even harder. “Really?”

    “Nah. Criminal law.”

    “You’re shitting me?”

    “Nope.” I smiled around my beer, glad for Lowe and his distraction from Jake. My smile almost faltered when I caught Jake’s eyes, but he just gave me a tight smile and leaned his head to the side to listen to whatever Melissa was saying. Ignoring the sudden churning in my gut, I glanced over at Claudia to find her grinning happily at me, her gaze darting to Lowe pointedly. She gave me a wink, which I ignored, and laughed, turning back to Beck.

    “Why are you studying law?”

    “She wants to be a cop.”

    This came from Jake and my head jerked to him in surprise. He was staring at me with that frown line between his eyebrows again. I hated that his answer was like a free kick to my heart. Claudia, sensing I was lost as to how to respond, answered for me. “Actually, Charley’s parents hated the idea of her being a cop so much that she compromised with a pre-law degree so she can apply to law school.”

    Something sharpened in Jake’s expression as he returned his attention to me. Although I doubted anyone else understood it, I certainly did. Back when we were “us”, I’d discussed my parents’ unease at my career choice with Jake. Every time I found myself caving to them, Jake was there to bolster my resolve. In actuality I hadn’t given up on being a cop. I was compromising until I could convince my parents it was what I really wanted to do with my life. It had always been important to me to have their full support in everything I did, and I was growing more worried every day that I might not be able to persuade them to see things my way. I didn’t know how the story of my career was going to end if they didn’t jump on board soon.

    To Jake it would seem like I’d given in to them completely, and that my change of heart was another thing that could be traced to his lack of presence in my life. I didn’t know how that made him feel, but I could tell it made him feel something.

    “Claudia is pre-law too,” I turned to Lowe. That’s how we’d met.

    “Why law school?” Beck asked her, grinning like he didn’t quite understand her.

    “Because when I closed my eyes and ran my finger down the undergrad programs, it stopped on criminal law.”

    And she wasn’t joking.

    Beck almost choked on his beer, shaking his head at her like she was crazy.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire