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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 7)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(7) by Samantha Young
  • What the…

    I stopped breathing as Lowe, Beck, Matt, and Denver made their way on stage.

    What the…

    Lowe lifted his guitar over his shoulder and sidled up to the mic. He looked the same, rimless glasses, lip ring, tattoos. Except not having seen him for five months made him more attractive. I’d missed him and the guys. Lowe’s eyes swept the bar and as soon as they hit our table, his shoulders seemed to lose some of their tension.

    Our eyes locked and he smiled. “Thanks for having us at The Brewhouse. It’s nice to be here. We’ve got some friends in the audience, so tonight is for them. Charley, Claudia, The Stolen missed you this summer.”

    Beck’s eyes were on Claudia as the band started and when I turned to question her, I found her staring right back at him in total surprise. Okay, then, so she didn’t know we were going to be hijacked tonight, either.

    “These are your friends you met in Edinburgh?” Alex said, confusion and curiosity in his tone.

    Claudia tore her gaze from Beck’s. “Yeah. I told Beck months and months ago that they should play here. Obviously he didn’t forget.”

    Sharon’s brow wrinkled. “I thought they went to Northwestern.”

    “They do,” I answered, willing my heart rate to slow. If The Stolen was here, then…

    “It’s a bit of a trek just for one gig.”

    “Uh…” Claudia gripped my arm hard and gestured toward the bar with her head. “That’s because this isn’t about a gig.”

    My heart was full-on galloping, trying to burst out of my chest.

    Jake.

    I braced myself against my chair as he strode through the crowd toward our table. His eyes were on me but his face held no expression whatsoever.

    Honestly, I felt like the world dropped from beneath me.

    He stopped at the table, towering over me and all we could do was stare at each other. I drank in everything about him. His hair was a little longer, like when we were kids, and he needed a shave. His skin seemed paler than usual and he looked tired.

    I wanted to stand up, wrap my arms around him, and feel and smell him all around me. Every muscle in my body ached with how much I missed him and I didn’t know if I should cry or curse or scream. Until that moment I hadn’t realized how much I truly, deeply missed him.

    He was so much a part of me.

    “Jake.” Alex stood, holding out his hand. “Long time, man.”

    Giving nothing away, Jake shook Alex’s hand. “Alex.”

    “Uh,” Alex looked down at Sharon, “this is my girl, Sharon. Sharon, this is Jake.”

    She stretched out her hand with a congenial smile. “Nice to meet you.”

    “You too,” he replied quietly, shaking her hand.

    “Jake.” Claudia’s chair scraped back and she rounded the table. She walked right into him, hugging him tight.

    Jake cracked as he enveloped her, his eyes squeezing shut as they hugged.

    I blinked away tears.

    He was sad.

    I’d made him sad.

    And I should’ve known that I wouldn’t get off that easy.

    “Can we take a walk, Charley?” he asked loudly over the music.

    Looking back up at him, I saw Claudia had shuffled away to give us space. Jake’s expression was unreadable again.

    I nodded and got up, leaving with him after giving Alex and Claud a look of reassurance.

    We strolled outside into the warm evening air, the sound of The Stolen disappearing behind us. I glanced back at The Brewhouse, part of me hating the guys for taking a gig here and the other part of me a little more in love with them for doing this for Jake. He’d needed support and they were right there with him.

    God, it was a wonder they didn’t all hate me for what I was doing to him.

    Silence was thick between us as we walked down the sidewalk, passing other college kids enjoying their last weekend of freedom before classes started. The tension between us was palpable and the pull…

    Jake walked beside me but he’d given me plenty of space, as if he was afraid to touch me. My body felt drawn to his, eager to pull him closer. I felt like I was physically fighting to keep the space between us.

    Five months.

    What guy comes back after five months?

    I hated myself.

    Jake exhaled loudly. “First, how is everyone?”

    Not surprised he led with that, I said, “Better, thank you.”

    He rubbed a hand over his head. He did that whenever he was unsure or uncomfortable. “I should explain something. When Andie… I kept my distance not only because you asked, but because it was the right thing to do. It wasn’t about me and I know having me there would’ve upset your parents. Not to mention it might stir things up in Lanton, with my history with the town and I… you and your parents didn’t need that on top of everything else. So me not turning up to push the issues between us was about that—it wasn’t about me giving up. And you knew that. You knew you could break up with me and not have to deal with the fallout and the questions because if I turned up, I was a selfish dick. Yet, if I didn’t turn up, I was the dick who didn’t care enough to fight, so for you it was a win-win.” He shot me a searing look, his soulful eyes making me so breathless with pain, I had to turn away. “For me… I’ve been waiting five months. Five months of hell, waiting for you to leave Lanton. Now you have and now I’m here.”

    I felt sick. It was my turn to exhale. Shakily. “My being here hasn’t really changed anything, Jake.”

    He huffed, “See, maybe that’s the problem. I don’t know what the situation is now. I don’t know why you pushed me away. I don’t know why you broke up with me because you didn’t even give me a reason… over the phone. I want to know why. How did we go from being perfect to being nothing?”

    I didn’t have any answers that wouldn’t make me sound like a crazy person. Instead, I pulled on the attitude that had gotten me through our first breakup. “Can’t you just be angry with me, resent me, hate me, and then leave it at that?”

    “Oh, I’m angry,” he said. “But I also love you, so the answer to that question is no.”

    I sucked in my breath and looked away, willing the tears to f**k off. “I’m angry at me too. Okay? I haven’t been able to face you because I’ve been dealing with a lot of other stuff. You’re just not a part of that equation anymore.”

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