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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 14)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(14) by Samantha Young
  • The guys had invited us to stay at their apartment while we were in the city, but Claudia and I both thought it was safer to get a hotel room.

    She smirked at me. “What? We’ve gotten pretty good at running from shit.”

    “True. But this we can face up to.”

    Once inside we followed the posters directing us toward the party. Not that we needed the posters. The music and kids with plastic cups in their hands were like flashing arrows.

    We walked through the corridors in silence, the music growing steadily louder. We passed a couple of open dorm rooms, a few people mingling inside, as we neared the central point of the party.

    Gazing into the large common room, I saw a whole bunch of people I didn’t know, drinking and chatting.

    I felt Claudia’s hand curl around my wrist and tighten. “You were right,” she said just loud enough for me to hear over The Killers. “Maybe we shouldn’t have come.”

    She sounded pained, her eyes locked on something to our left. I followed her gaze.

    It took me a moment to register what I was seeing.

    And when I finally did, I felt like I was back at that first party in Edinburgh, seeing Jake across the room for the first time in four years.

    In the corner, past a group of college girls, was Jake. He was sitting on a table that had been set up with plastic cups of beer and standing in between his legs was a tall, curvy redhead. She had one hand on his shoulder, her other hand clutching a plastic cup, as she grinned down at him. He wasn’t touching her, but their proximity and his body language more than made up for it. I knew he was flirting in the way his dark eyes danced, in the half smile he gave her as they talked.

    “Charley?” Claudia gripped my wrist. “We can go, babe.”

    It was unfair of me, right? To feel betrayed. To feel the blade of jealousy score across my chest. To feel the burn of his loss in my gut. I only had myself to blame. Six months ago he was mine.

    I’d given him away.

    “Oh shit,” Claudia said, “it just got worse.”

    I blinked, tugging my eyes from the car crash that was my relationship with Jake, only to find my focus zeroing in on the beautiful brunette walking toward me.

    Melissa.

    Yup. It just got worse.

    I flinched at the sympathy in her eyes as she came to a stop before us. “Claudia, Charley.” She gave us a pinched smile.

    “Hey,” Claudia answered, her tone wary.

    I gave Melissa a nod, not sure I was able to speak past the burning lump in my throat. It took everything within me not to look over Melissa’s shoulder at Jake and the redhead.

    Melissa looked over her shoulder for me. When she looked back at me, her expression was unreadable. “Jake told me you guys broke up.”

    Another score across my chest. I only just stopped myself from touching it, to see if there was an actual wound.

    Jake was friends with his ex? He was confiding in her? Since when?

    Her eyes softened, like she’d caught something in my expression that tugged at her compassion.

    I quickly wiped my face clean of emotion.

    “This is just what he does,” she said, gesturing behind her. “When he’s hurting. Specifically when he’s hurting over you.”

    Why was she telling me this? What did she expect me to say? That I was sorry Jake turned into an ass**ley manwhore when his heart was broken?

    So I didn’t say anything at all.

    Melissa shifted uncomfortably. “Just try not to be too pissed at him. He really loved you.”

    He really loved me? Loved.

    By some strength of will, I didn’t let her know that hearing those words was like taking a bullet.

    “Why do you care?” Claudia suddenly stepped toward her, her eyes glittering with suspicion. “He dumped you for Charley, so why would you give a crap about him or Charley?”

    Melissa shrugged. “Time heals, I guess. And I don’t care about Charley. I care about Jake.”

    The uncharitable thought that perhaps Melissa was hoping history was about to repeat itself raced across my mind. Maybe she thought Jake would whore around for a while and then end up running back to her.

    Apparently that occurred to Claudia. “He’ll never care about you the way he cares about her, so do yourself a favor and get over it.”

    Jake’s ex looked like she’d been punched. She stared at Claudia incredulously before looking to me for help. All I could do was stare back at her, stunned Claudia had enough bitch in her to say that. Melissa shook her head and wandered back into the crowd.

    “You do realize I’m to blame for her heartbreak,” I said to Claudia.

    “Yeah? Well, that right there wasn’t her being nice, Charley. That was her kicking you when you were down. Oh look, Charley catches her ex-boyfriend flirting with another girl and is obviously gutted by it. Why don’t I stick another knife in her by telling her Jake is my friend again and I clearly have plans to go after him once he’s done sampling the redhead.”

    I smirked sadly at her. “I don’t even need to tap into my rage. I’ve got you to do that for me.”

    “Well, ye-uh,” Claudia said, still looking agitated.

    “Claudia.” I grabbed her hand. “I’ve got no right to be mad at him.” Right?

    My friend’s eyes misted over. “It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt you.”

    I blinked at the rush of tears heading straight for my own eyes and turned around so I had my back to the room and to Jake. “It’s self-inflicted. Doesn’t count.”

    She sighed but let it go.

    “Guys, you made it!”

    Looking over my shoulder, I saw Lowe grinning broadly as he made his way across the room. I was immediately enfolded in his hug and I found my arms tightening around him without even meaning to. Tears stung my nose. “Happy birthday.”

    His own arms tightened and when he pulled back, he searched my face in concern. “Babe,” he murmured.

    Not wanting to make his birthday about Jake and me, I forced out a smile and stepped back to let Claudia greet him.

    “Happy birthday, Lowe,” she chirped a little too cheerily as she hugged him. “Great party!” She looked across the room where a beer pong table had been set up. “Oh, I see Matt.” Sure enough Matt lounged against the wall, talking to some chick with his eyes glued to the table. Way to show your interest, Matt. “Why don’t you take Charley to get a drink while I go say hi.”

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