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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 4)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(4) by Samantha Young
  • My throat clogged with emotion so I flashed a cheeky grin to cover it. “I’m doing it for us.” I stood and shoved my laptop and notes into my backpack.

    Jake’s hand curled around my thigh and I glanced down to see him staring up at me, unable to hide the uncertainty in his eyes. “You’ll call me afterward?”

    “If it’s not too late.” I bent down and pressed a quick kiss to his mouth. “See you tomorrow.”

    I said goodbye to Rowena as Claudia moved through the busy room toward the barroom. When I turned back to wave goodbye to the guys, I got a chin nod from Lowe but nothing from Beck. He was too busy watching Claudia leave, a little furrow between his brows.

    She hadn’t bothered to say goodbye to him and at this point, I didn’t blame her.

    Outside the bar, Claudia wrapped her arms around herself, her long dark hair blowing wildly behind her. She had a remote expression on her face I didn’t like. Not one bit. Ignoring my own nerves over the conversation I was about to have with my parents, I strode forward and linked my arm through hers.

    She smiled absentmindedly at me as we walked toward the apartment.

    “So,” I said, “last weekend you and Beck seemed fine. You seemed to have come to terms with how things are between you, and you were nervously excited about taking him with us to Barcelona to meet your father.”

    Claudia’s parents were wealthy, self-indulgent, neglectful socialites from Coronado, California. They had no time for their daughter. Over Christmas break, Claudia found out why her dad was particularly indifferent. Turns out he wasn’t her real father. Her real father was a British artist called Dustin Tweedie. In an effort to make some kind of amends, Claud’s mom had tracked him down. He lived in Barcelona and Claud’s mom was going to pay for Claudia to fly out there this spring to meet him—with Jake, Beck, and me in tow for moral support.

    Claudia tightened her grip. “I was. But that was last weekend.”

    “What happened between then and now?”

    “I wrote an email to Dustin two days ago.” She wouldn’t look at me, and anger burned hotly in my blood at the sight of her throat working against emotion. “I still haven’t heard anything back.”

    Having no idea what it felt like to be the recipient of not one, not two, but three indifferent parents, I really didn’t know what to say. “It’s only been two days.”

    Two of our neighbors called out to us and we waved back. As soon as they were gone, Claudia shrugged. “Does it matter? I should just face it now. He won’t want me coming out there and interrupting his life.” Her laugh sounded hollow. I hated it. She wasn’t meant for bitter. “Let’s face it, Charley. I’m missing whatever that thing is that makes men care.”

    Stunned, I stopped outside our courtyard gate. “That’s not true.”

    She pulled away. “I can’t even look at you. You would never let them make you feel like this.”

    “Uh, hullo.” I waved my hand in front of her face. “Were you not here these past few months, watching me wallow in self-pity over a certain handsome young man with the surname Caplin?”

    She snorted but still wouldn’t meet my eyes.

    “Claud, we’re allowed to have bad days, okay? Today is a bad day for you. That’s all. This shit with your parents is not going to change you. Please don’t let it.”

    “And Beck?”

    I cared about Beck, I did. And I know he cared deeply for Claudia, but right now it wasn’t enough for her and I felt like we’d had this conversation one too many times. “I think maybe you had the right idea last week.”

    “Cutting him out a little?” She shrugged. “He got all broody about it and I caved.”

    “Well, this time, don’t cave.”

    She shot me a droll look as we walked toward our building. “Oh really? It’s that easy.”

    “Okay, maybe not. Maybe you just need a distraction.”

    “A distraction?”

    “Yeah.” I thought of the one thing that had distracted me while Jake was dating Melissa. I grinned. “You need Lowe.”

    “Um, I like the guy and all, but I am not sleeping with Lowe.”

    “I’m not talking about sex.” I gave her my most serious look. “Believe it or not, Lowe is an incredibly insightful, compassionate, patient guy. He’s a really good friend to have on your side.”

    “Jesus, does Jake know you’re half in love with his friend?”

    “I am not in love with Lowe. He was just there when I needed him. You should hang out with him. Seriously. Oh, and don’t say shit like that in front of Jake.”

    She grinned mischievously and the uneasiness I felt dissipated. This was more like Claudia. “Does Mr. Caplin have a jealous streak?”

    “Yes. It’s almost as wide as mine,” I grumbled.

    “And you’re positive my hanging out with Lowe won’t incite your jealousy?”

    I considered it, letting her walk into the apartment ahead of me. It wasn’t too long ago I’d had a crush on Lowe, but that’s all it was or ever would be. What I felt for Jake… it burned in my very depths. No one had ever come close to making me feel what I felt for him.

    He was my missing puzzle piece.

    “Nope,” I finally concluded. “He’s sexy as sin and I like him, but he doesn’t come close to Jacob.”

    “Aww, Jacob,” she teased.

    “Please don’t start calling him that.”

    “Oh, I believe you started it.”

    “Great. He’ll kill me.”

    Claudia laughed, coming to a stop outside her door. Her laughter melted into a smile. “Thanks for making me feel better.”

    “You’re my family. I hurt when you hurt.”

    Tears shimmered in her eyes. “Dude!” She shook her head as she unlocked her door. “This mascara is not waterproof!”

    The door slammed shut in my face and I burst out laughing. “Good night, then!” I moved slowly to unlock my own door.

    Once inside, I felt the butterflies come back to me with a vengeance. Fighting through the nerves, I hurried to set up my laptop on my desk, plugging into the hardline Internet connection. My Skype page opened and I sat on the narrow bed in front of my desk to wait.

    Eight years ago I earned the nickname “Supergirl” from my entire town. When the people of Lanton, Indiana, heard the name Charlotte Redford, that’s the first word that popped into their heads. However, I’ve never felt as brave as people tell me I am. I certainly didn’t feel brave as I waited to face my kryptonite—my parents.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire