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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Into the Deep (Page 59)     
  • Into the Deep(Into the Deep #1)(59) by Samantha Young
  • Chapter Twenty-One

    The sight of Jake standing talking to the guys on the sidewalk of the corner of Blair Street, his hands stuffed into his black wool coat, his small duffel bag at his feet, made me feel like I was coming out of my skin. A rising wave of jittery nerves crashed against my stomach and I almost stumbled to a stop.

    “You okay?” Claudia asked, her eyes pinned to the group.

    Denver stood with a rainbow-colored Rowena at his side, Matt joked with Jake, and Beck and Lowe watched us approach.

    “I’m fine,” I lied. “Let’s do this.”

    The wheels of our small suitcases rattled along the hard sidewalk and the sound drew everyone’s stare.

    Do not look at Jake, do not look at Jake.

    With a single-minded determination, I focused entirely on Lowe.

    “Hey,” he grinned.

    “Oh, finally, more girls,” Rowena smiled. Her bright eyes settled on Claudia. “Thanks for inviting me. I love free trips.”

    “Who doesn’t?” Beck smiled and then turned to Claudia, eyeing her carefully. “How’s it going?”

    “We’re good.” She smiled at everyone. “But late, so we better motor if we want to catch our train.”

    Feeling Jake’s gaze burn into my cheeks, I was ever so thankful that Lowe fell quickly into step beside me as we walked up a very steep Blair Street. It stopped me from doing something foolish like desperately asking Jake if he was okay since his split with Melissa three weeks ago. It shouldn’t bother me if he was or wasn’t, but I still cared. I still cared enough to not want him to be hurting.

    “Did you have a good Christmas?” Lowe asked softly.

    “I did. Did you?”

    “Yeah, it was cool. We decided on Chinese takeout this year. Very Christmassy.”

    “Please tell me you at least bought cake or a pie?”

    “I bought beer.”

    I laughed. “At least tell me you used it to soak in some kind of sponge cake?”

    “I’d like to say we were that inventive, but my brother and I are pretty low-key.”

    “Hmm. I think next year I’ll box up some of my mom’s Christmas desserts and send them your way. We always have a ton of leftovers.”

    Lowe snorted. “We’re not poor.”

    “No, just lazy.” I grinned so he’d know I was teasing.

    “About food, yes. About other stuff …” he shot me a wicked smile, “I’ve been known to work my ass off to get things done right.”

    “How is it possible that you made that sound dirty?”

    “It’s a gift.”

    I laughed and continued to banter with The Stolen’s lead vocalist as we hauled our asses up onto The Royal Mile and then down the winding and bizarrely named Cockburn Street.

    “Don’t even say it,” I said quickly, watching Lowe’s eyes flicker up to the street sign.

    His mouth twitched. “I wasn’t going to say anything. It’s not pronounced the way it looks.”

    “It’s not?”

    “Nope.”

    “Well, that’s disappointing.”

    Lowe nodded, his eyes catching mine as he smiled affectionately. Concentrating on enjoying the comfortable camaraderie between us made it easier to ignore Jake’s eyes scorching my back as he walked behind us.

    When we arrived at the train station, it became clear that Claudia had indeed enrolled Lowe to play interference between me and Jake. Climbing onto the train, I felt him at my back. As soon as Beck scored us two tables, Lowe’s heat pressed into mine as he shuffled me in across from Claudia and Beck and took the seat beside me. This left Jake to sit with Matt, Denver, and Rowena at the table across the small aisle. Lowe put my suitcase up on the overhead space and as he did, my gaze, with a will of its own, lifted and met Jake’s.

    The tightness in his jaw told me he was angry, but the look in his eyes was mostly questioning. It took everything in me to keep my own face blank and calm as I casually glanced away from him to smile at an excited Claudia.

    For the first hour or so, we chatted about Christmas break and I pretended not to be hanging onto Jake’s every word, even though I was. It turned out Lukas had won over the girl he’d met in his first semester at Boston and since she was also from Chicago, Jake and his parents had gotten to meet her over Christmas. According to Jake, Luke was totally gone for her and the girl, a bundle of energy, was more than a match for Jake’s blunt-tongued Nana, and thus considered a member of the family.

    No one mentioned Jake’s breakup with Melissa.

    Of course, if anyone asked I’d feign ignorance that I’d been listening closely enough to know any of that.

    By the time the second hour was underway, we’d descended into silence, some of us watching the passing scenery outside while listening to music, others reading, and some of us (Matt) were even sleeping. As I watched Scotland pass before me, rolling green hills, sheep, and cows broke up suburban areas, the lush vastness closer to the images of Britain I’d seen on TV throughout my childhood. As we started to climb, the landscape became more rugged, the hills were higher, the greens darker, interspersed with black and gray rock. It was beautiful and wild, and only made more breathtaking by the sun-speckled lochs—placid and peaceful lakes in the valleys between.

    I’d been staring out the window, my earbuds in, listening to Adele’s “Don’t You Remember,” when I felt Lowe shift beside me. He said something to us, but I didn’t hear what. I could only guess that he was going to the bathroom and I felt my heart flip a little at the sight of the vacant seat beside me. My eyes were definitely not on my side because they immediately sought out Jake who’d glanced over when Lowe had gotten up. Our eyes met and a thousand things passed between us before I swiftly looked back out my window.

    The flippy thing my heart was doing turned into a full-on somersault as the seat beside me depressed and the smell of Jake’s cologne hit me. His arm brushed mine and even though we were both wearing a sweater, I felt that brush take hold of my entire being. I froze, my muscles locked.

    I felt the tug on my left earbud as Jake gently pulled it out, his knuckles brushing my jaw as his hand dropped.

    “What?” I asked quietly, pretending to be unaffected by his questioning and hurt countenance. As I tried to ignore Beck’s and Claudia’s enquiring gazes, I also attempted to ignore the call of Jake’s soulful eyes.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire