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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 6)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(6) by Samantha Young
  • “Well, I think I’m finally unpacked,” I announced, walking into the open plan living room and kitchen area. Claudia was playing Carrie Underwood on her laptop while she—“Why are you rearranging the furniture?”

    She stood from pushing the sofa, wiping sweat from her brow. “New year, new everything.” She grinned as if that was an answer.

    “Watch your back, okay?” I said, eyeing the brown leather couch dubiously. “It’s not exactly a poodle you’re pushing around there.”

    “I’m fine. I’m done.” She strode into the kitchen and pulled two bottles of water from the fridge, throwing one my way. I caught it as she said, “Did you check in with your parents?”

    She knew too well I had. “They’re going to Chicago this weekend. That usually does them some good. I just wish things weren’t still so strained between us. I was hoping it would miraculously return to normal before I left for school.”

    “Maybe if you’d go with them to Chicago once and a while…”

    “Don’t,” I snapped.

    “Okay, shutting up.”

    Turning the tables on her, I said, “Speaking of parents… have you spoken to any of yours?”

    Claudia’s expression soured. “My mom. She’s been calling more since Barcelona.”

    Surprised by the seeming show of parental concern, I said, “That’s good?”

    My friend raised an unimpressed eyebrow. “We’ll see.”

    “Cautious as she goes. Smart.” I glanced around at the exceptionally clean and tidy living space, knowing it wouldn’t stay that way for long once classes started. “So… are we meeting Alex and Sharon tonight or are you planning on something else for the ‘new year, new everything’ attitude you got going on?”

    She made a face at my sarcasm. “Be like that if you want, but I actually got the idea from you. You said you wanted a fresh start. Well, you’re absolutely right. We’re starting over almost from scratch. I have a plan—now you need one.”

    “And what exactly is yours?”

    “Life is for living, right?” Claudia grinned, her green eyes glittering. “I’m finally going to ask Will out.”

    “The hot TA?” Will McPherson was a TA in our second-year criminology class. Claudia had crushed on him. “Do you think he’ll still be there?”

    Her face fell. “I did not think of that.”

    I turned away to hide my smile. “He could still be here. Don’t lose hope. Your plan to distract yourself from the fact that you’re in love with Beck could still work out.”

    “Don’t, or I’ll whip out my Jake card.”

    I flinched at his name. “Fine. Your plan: ask out Will. My plan: pass the LSATs.”

    “Unimaginative, but if it’s what you want, I will help you attain it.”

    “I appreciate it. Now get your butt in the shower. We’re meeting Alex and Sharon in an hour at The Brewhouse.”

    “An hour?” She tugged on a lock of silky, black hair. “It takes me an hour just to blow my hair out.”

    “Then you better get a move on, Pocahontas.”

    The Brewhouse was a bar close to campus that was a little slack on the ID thing. A lot of the campus bars were but The Brewhouse hosted live bands on the weekend. Claudia complained all the time that there were never any country singers booked to play. I pointed out that the usual clientele weren’t really country people.

    As soon as we walked in, I saw Alex and Sharon. My eyes met Alex’s and an overwhelming sense of home washed over me. When I’d hurried back from Scotland months ago to be with my parents, Alex was there for me. He returned to Lanton from Purdue. Once the worst was over, he still came home on the weekends to see me.

    However, he’d taken off this summer with Sharon and they’d gone traveling around Europe. I’d missed him. I’d missed his support and how he withheld judgment.

    All I really wanted to do was throw myself into his arms and hug him tight.

    However, as nice as Sharon was, she was a little cagey of me being affectionate with her boyfriend considering he was my ex, and I understood enough to keep my distance when she was around.

    Alex, however, was clueless that way.

    He grinned at me, got up out of his chair, and strode across the bar with determination. Next thing I knew I was crushed in his bear hug.

    I hugged him back, squeezing my eyes shut and taking in the familiar smell of his sandalwood and musk cologne.

    “It’s good to see you, Charley,” he said quietly.

    “You too.”

    “Don’t I get a hug?”

    Alex let me go, smiling at Claudia over my shoulder. “Always.”

    They hugged as Sharon approached. She was a five-foot nothing, cute-as-a-button blond who had a nice thing to say about everybody. Bubbly and sweet, she was my complete opposite. She reached out to hug me and I hugged her back. “How are you?” she asked as she pulled away.

    “Getting there,” I answered honestly enough. “How are you? How was Europe?”

    Her blue eyes lit up. “So amazing! We have so many great stories to tell you guys.”

    We settled down at their table with drinks, noting that the stage was set up for a band tonight. “Who’s playing?” I asked.

    Alex shrugged. “No clue. More interestingly… did I hear a rumor you’re taking the LSATs?”

    Glancing over at Claudia, I saw her looking away innocently. I sighed, turning back to Alex. “Yes, you heard correctly.”

    “I’m glad to hear it.” He threw me a boyish grin.

    “I thought you might be.” When we were together, Alex had fervently pushed me toward law school. He hated the idea of me becoming a cop as much as my parents had.

    “Testing, testing!”

    Our attention was drawn to Duke, a thirty-something bartender who’d worked The Brewhouse for years. No one really knew anything about him, a fact he played up to deliberately, often referring to himself as “mystery bartender guy,” which kind of took the cool out of the enigma. Duke stood on stage, tapping the mic. Satisfied, he gestured behind him. “For those not in the know, every Friday and Saturday night it’s live music night here at The Brewhouse. So if you’re looking for a quiet drink, you might want to try The Turtle down the street. But I promise you the jukebox selection there is as slow as the service.” He grinned waiting for laughs. They did not come. “Anyhoo, tonight I’d like to welcome to the stage some local boys—neighbors, really, from the Windy City. They’ve been making a name for themselves touring bars across the Midwest this summer. Please give a warm welcome to The Stolen.”

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