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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Into the Deep (Page 50)     
  • Into the Deep(Into the Deep #1)(50) by Samantha Young
  • It hadn’t taken Thanksgiving with my new friends, listening to them talk about their mixed backgrounds, for me to realize how lucky I was to have been raised by Jim and Delia Redford. No. All it had taken was a glimpse into Claudia’s world, growing up in Coronado with parents who lived on inherited wealth and spent their lives dashing around the world and ignoring their only child, for me to realize what I had at home.

    Pretty freaking great parents.

    My dad’s eyes came to a rest on me and he beamed huge when he saw me, standing up off his car. I waved as he started toward me.

    “That’s me, guys. I’ll see you back in Edinburgh.”

    Lowe pulled me into a hug, and I ended up getting my ribs squeezed by him, Beck, and Matt. Jake and Melissa received an awkward wave instead of a hug.

    When I turned around, Dad was right there. “Dad,” I said. I threw my arms around him, something I hadn’t done in a long while. He lifted me off the ground in a bear hug.

    “Hey, Supergirl,” he murmured softly as he gently set me down.

    Thickness suddenly developed in my throat and I swallowed it, surprised by the emotion. I don’t know why I bothered. It was a perfectly acceptable reaction considering I’d been gone for three months, the longest time I’d ever been separated from my parents.

    My dad glanced over my shoulder and I turned to see he was looking curiously at Lowe. “Dad, these are my friends. They go to Northwestern. This is Lowe.”

    “Hey, Mr. Redford,” Lowe greeted congenially and held out a hand.

    My dad smiled and gave him a firm handshake. “Nice to meet you.”

    I introduced Beck and Matt who shook my dad’s hand with respectful hellos.

    The friendly, warm atmosphere plummeted to below freezing when Dad turned to greet the next person in line. His whole body tensed with recognition.

    “Uh, you remember Jake, Dad. And this is his girlfriend, Melissa.”

    Dad actually flinched at the introduction, his eyes narrowed on Jake, moving from him to Melissa before slicing back to me with a look so incredulous, he didn’t even have to say “are you nuts?”

    “Mr. Redford.” Jake stepped forward and held out a hand. A peace offering. An olive branch.

    The look my dad bestowed upon him could’ve shriveled even the biggest badass’s smile. With a grunt of disgust he spun around, grabbed my suitcase, and started to walk away. “Let’s go, Charley.”

    Awkward.

    I didn’t know where to look.

    “Dude,” Matt laughed quietly, “I thought he was going to smack you.”

    “I was kind of hoping he would,” Lowe muttered. Shooting Lowe a look that clearly told him to put a sock in it, I was merely rewarded with a smile. “Your dad rocks.”

    However, my choked laughter quickly vanished when my eyes met Jake’s. He looked ashamed, and, worse, lost. There wasn’t anything funny about that. Dad’s attitude had told Jake one thing I hadn’t told him—just how badly his leaving had affected me. So badly that Jim Redford, a man who had eventually welcomed Jake into his home and treated him like a son, could barely stand the sight of him.

    “Charlotte!”

    Exhaling through the sudden tightness in my chest, I gave my friends a wave. “Bye, guys. Have a great Christmas.”

    “You too, babe,” Lowe stepped forward and pressed a soft kiss to my forehead. When I lifted my eyes to smile at him, he winked, making me feel not so lost. Grateful, I squeezed his hand and then spun around quickly, darting through the crowd toward my dad and away from Jake.

    There was no snow to drive through and Dad said he’d made the trip in just under two hours. Two hours in the car with a dad you hadn’t seen in three months should’ve been a breeze. We had lots to catch up on, but after the Jake encounter, Dad was quiet. Tense and quiet.

    “How’s Mom?” I finally asked, fed up with the silence. I was tired enough I could close my eyes and go to sleep, but I’d just gotten home. I wanted to chat with my dad.

    Dad’s hands clenched around the steering wheel. “I can’t believe he had the audacity to offer me his hand.”

    I sighed. Really, this shouldn’t surprise me. Dad was a stewer—he stewed until he was ready to vent. It had taken him twenty minutes of stewing to get to the venting part. Damn. I really should’ve closed my eyes. “Dad—”

    “I didn’t agree with him being back in your life but your mom told me to leave it, that you were a grown-up and could make your own decisions … but to see him standing there, and with his arms around another girl right in front of you.”

    “Dad—”

    “No, Charley.” He shook his head, his brow wrinkled with deep furrows. “I’m a realist, okay. Most sixteen-year-olds aren’t going to end up with the person they’re dating in high school. That’s reality. Most of it is puppy love or temporary love or just plain old lust. But I watched you two together and I thought, well, they’re just like me and Delia.”

    He’d never admitted that to me before.

    Pain cut through me and I looked out the passenger window, trying to control the emotion.

    “I was like Jake in high school. Ask your mom. I had a bit of a rep for fooling around with a lot of girls and yeah, I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth. Then I came home after one summer at my grandma’s in Virginia and I walked into class and there was Delia. Sitting on her desk, feet on her chair, laughing her ass off at something her girlfriend was saying. As I approached she turned her head to smile at me, and I swear to God, that smile … it knocked me on my ass. I don’t know why I never noticed her before, but there she was and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I was a goner.” He sighed. “First time I saw Jake smile at you, I thought, hell, here we go again. And because of that I saw myself in him and I began to trust him with you. And I’m not stupid. I know he took everything from you—”

    “Oh, God, Dad …” I groaned, mortified.

    “—but I thought to myself, these kids are forever. I let myself care about that son of a bitch. I was cut up for him over what happened to Brett. Then he broke my little girl. Stomped all over what she gave him. Now he’s back offering me his hand as he willfully messes with your head. Flaunting another girl in front of you. I ought to swing this car around and kill him.”

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