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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Into the Deep (Page 19)     
  • Into the Deep(Into the Deep #1)(19) by Samantha Young
  • While running my finger along the books in the reserve section of the university library in search of material I needed for an upcoming tutorial, I heard his voice right beside my ear. I jumped, thinking I’d actually conjured him.

    “Jesus,” Jake cried out softly, dodging my flailing arm.

    I glared up at him, my hand now pressed to my chest as I tried to get my heart rate to normalize. “Are you trying to kill me?”

    “I’m sorry. I didn’t know the words ‘Hey, Charley’ were considered lethal.”

    “They are if you sneak up behind me and practically whisper them in my ear. It’s creepy. Creepiness often precedes death.”

    “I’ll keep that in mind,” he replied in a strangled voice.

    “You do that.” I turned back to the bookshelf so I didn’t have to look at his gorgeous face, which happened to need a shave. When Jake needed a shave, he looked beyond hot. It was so unfair.

    I felt his head dip close to mine. “Whatcha looking for?”

    “The equation for time travel. Some guy just gave me permanent heart failure and I’d like to go back in time and change today so that I’m lying on a beach in Guam being waited on by a hottie named Han with heavy footsteps and an aversion to whispering.”

    Jake chuckled and I felt the deep sound in every one of my erogenous zones. “Still a smart-ass, I see,” he said.

    I looked up at him and ignored the fact that he was wearing another tight-fitting, long-sleeved shirt and that he obviously worked out. His shoulders and biceps were broader than they used to be and I realized belatedly that even his face was a little different. It was sharper, harder, the softness of youth having melted away.

    He was quite possibly more beautiful than he used to be. Wonderful.

    My gaze shifted past him and I shrugged casually. “Some things change. Some things don’t.”

    “You have and you haven’t.”

    His comment brought my eyes back to his. I frowned. “What do you mean?”

    It was now Jake’s turn to shrug. “You’re still a smart-ass, still cocky, but you’re quieter about it, more reserved. You’re not … you don’t seem as open to people as you used to be.”

    Finding myself in dangerous territory, I deflected his observation with sarcasm. “I was never open to people, but I live in a small town and was given little choice in the matter.”

    Jake ignored the sarcasm. “Come grab a coffee with me.”

    I felt an uncomfortable flip in my chest. “Now?”

    “Yeah. There’s a café across the main forum of the library. It’s two seconds away. We’re here. It’s there. We could be drinking coffee or juice or soda, milk even, or tea, or you know they have food there too …”

    “Jake Caplin, are you rambling?”

    He nodded, his warm eyes alight with humor. “I’m rambling. I’m a rambler now.”

    Crossing my arms over my chest, I tilted my head with an arrogant smile. “Are you nervous around me?”

    His mouth curled up at the corner and he gave me a little nod. “I’m nervous you’ll say no. Our last coffee didn’t go so well.”

    I hadn’t thought it had gone poorly. I made a face. “Didn’t it?”

    “You walked out after taking three sips.”

    “I was making a statement.”

    Jake shrugged, all humor suddenly gone from his expression. “Well, I didn’t like it. I don’t want you to repeat that statement.”

    I knew by the rapid fluttering in my chest that agreeing to have coffee with Jake was a bad idea. Andie would also think it was a bad idea. However, the whoosh in my belly—a consequence of Jake’s intense focus on me and worry that I’d reject his friendship—was something I hadn’t felt since we’d been together. It was a sudden reminder how addictive the belly whoosh I got from Jake’s attention was.

    And I found myself giving in to temptation. “I could do coffee.”

    His slow smile caused another big whoosh and I told my belly to get a grip as I walked out. I followed Jake across the crowded main entrance of the library, a forum that students had turned into a hangout, and we let ourselves into the perplex security gates to the library café. The place was packed, so I found us a spot to sit near brightly colored bean cushions while he got us coffee.

    Five minutes later I looked up and watched him coming toward me with the tray in his hands. The belly whoosh went to war with the ache of the loss of him in my chest. I forgot how much I loved the way his tall body moved. The pleasure of watching him was so familiar.

    It amazed me that the residual feelings from our eight months together felt like an album of memories compiled over years.

    Taking a seat across from me, Jake smiled. “So, it looks like we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other over the next few months. I think we should try to get past the weirdness.”

    What a conversation opener. “Straight to the point.”

    “The Charley I knew was a straight-talker. Has that changed too?”

    I blew over my hot coffee and replied before taking a sip, “What do you think?”

    Jake snorted. “I’m thinking that hasn’t changed.”

    We drank from our mugs, silence falling between us. I knew Jake was waiting for me to lead the way, telling me that the ball was in my court and he was happy to go along with whatever I wanted. In the interest of keeping our new group sweet, I put my mug down and relaxed back into my chair. “How are your mom and dad?”

    Relief visibly traveled through Jake’s body and he too relaxed. “They’re good. We moved back to Chicago and Dad got his old job back. Mom was happy to be back with all her old friends. They’re doing a lot better. What about your family?”

    “They’re okay. Dad’s busier than ever at work but Mom’s store hit troubles. The basement has some really dangerous mold growing in there, so she’s had to close down while they deal with that. It’s expensive in a lot of ways but you know Mom, you can’t keep her down. She’s working from the house. It’s driving Dad nuts.”

    Jacob’s eyes brightened and he nodded. “I’ll bet. What about Andie?”

    I smiled now as I thought of Rick. I was so happy my sister had found the right guy. “She’s great. Living in Chicago. Postgrad psych, doing her internship, and she’s engaged to a rugged police detective.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire