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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 20)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(20) by Samantha Young
  • He laughed and shook his head at me. “Can you not be cute right now?”

    The smirk died from my lips at his comment. Jake sometimes said that to me when I used humor as a deflection. If Lowe noticed the change in me, he didn’t say so.

    “Why are you dancing with that guy, Charley? That’s not you.”

    “Uh, do you not remember Halloween last year?”

    He blinked. “Jesus, we’ve known each other a year. How did that happen?”

    “I imagine it had something to do with the world turning for almost 365 days.”

    Lowe’s lips twitched. “You really are a smart-ass.”

    I saluted him. “Top of my class.”

    “I’m being serious.” He gave me a little shake. “I don’t want you doing anything stupid because Jake hurt you tonight.”

    “Hurt?” I said, suffusing just the right amount of boredom into my tone. “I’m not hurt anymore, Lowe. I feel better. Any doubts I had… poof!” I gestured an explosion with my hand. “I’ve been replaced.” I shrugged. Beer did help with convincing deception. “That means we weren’t meant to be. I was right in the first place. Makes moving on now very easy to do.”

    I was too busy congratulating myself on sounding like I meant it to notice Lowe was now searching the room with an anxious expression on his face.

    A couple of beers later I wandered through the main rec room and away from Denver, Matt, and a bunch of people I didn’t know. I searched the room as I left, not seeing Jake, Lowe, Beck, or Claudia. I frowned. Only a few minutes ago I’d seen Lowe practically making out with some brunette in the corner, and Claudia had been flirting with a random guy as Beck watched on, seething.

    I wondered where they’d all disappeared.

    “Hey…” I stopped a girl wearing a Northwestern hoodie. “Nearest bathroom?”

    “Down the hall to your left. Third door down, I think.”

    I thanked her and walked out into the corridor, thinking after I’d used the restroom it might be time to grab Claudia and get out of there. Bemoaning the disastrous decision we’d made to come here, I wasn’t really paying attention to the fact that the third door down didn’t have signage on it.

    I thrust the door open and froze at the scene in front of me.

    I was in a dorm room, a dorm room in which Beck had a girl pressed up against the wall, kissing her with a passionate intensity that actually made my cheeks heat. It took me a second to recognize the girl, and I must’ve made some kind of strangled noise because it broke the scene up.

    Claudia pushed Beck away, her eyes bright, her tan complexion tinged with a flush.

    Stunned by this development, I stammered out an apology for interrupting.

    My best friend shook her head frantically. “You’re not interrupting anything.” She brushed past Beck who grabbed her wrist to stall her. Claudia tugged out of his hold, glowering at him. His eyes narrowed and he turned away, staring at the wall, the muscle in his jaw flexing.

    Claudia gave me a look that screamed, “Don’t you dare ask,” and rushed out the door behind me.

    Well, this was uncomfortable.

    I watched Beck as he blew out air between his lips and hung his head.

    Sympathy opened my mouth. “Beck.”

    He looked at me over his shoulder, appearing so disheartened I actually forgot my own woes for a moment.

    “Be patient,” I told him. “Keep doing what you’re doing. Claudia just needs to know that she can piss you off, try your patience and drive you a little crazy, and you’ll still be there at the end of the day.”

    Something in his eyes flickered, something a little like hope. “Yeah?”


    His face darkened. “But the TA?”

    “She’s not in love with him.” I shrugged and took a step toward the door. “Why do you think she’s so scared of you?”

    “You shouldn’t really be telling me this stuff, should you?”

    “No. If Claudia finds out, I’m on her shit list, so I’m taking a risk.”

    Beck laughed softly. “Well, I appreciate it.”

    I smiled back at him and turned around to resume my search for the bathroom, still a little stunned. I shouldn’t have been surprised to walk in on Claudia and Beck making out, and I guess I wasn’t. The truth was it wasn’t the fact that they’d kissed that had me reeling—it was the kiss itself. It wasn’t just the kiss of two people who were attracted to one another; it was the kiss of two people who needed one another. There was desperation in it, a longing so intense, it had been palpable to even me.

    It was the kind of kiss I’d once shared with Jake.

    Feeling even lower than I had been before, I walked down the hall, wondering if the bathroom was perhaps right, rather than left.

    I was approaching an open dorm room door when two familiar voices made me stop in my tracks.

    “I’m trying to tell you that you’re f**king up,” I heard Lowe snap.

    “I know what I’m doing,” Jake replied, sounding irritated.

    Curious, and yes, hoping to overhear my name, I pressed back against the wall and held my breath.

    “Jake, I’m confused. I thought you got me to throw this thing, invite her here, so you could talk to her, patch things up. Who the f**k is the redhead?”

    My mouth dropped open. They’d orchestrated this party just to get me here? What? Since when did Jake and Lowe work together on anything… especially something involving me?

    “The redhead doesn’t matter. The whole point of tonight was to get Charley and me in the same room and show her what life is going to be like for us if we’re not together. Practically strangers at a party. I know Charley. She’s hating this as much as I am. We’re possessive of each other. We need to be in each other’s lives, know what’s going on with each other. Sooner, rather than later, she’s going to realize what a mistake this is. But not if she’s three hours away. It was only when we started hanging out again in Edinburgh that not being together was too hard.”

    He was… manipulating me?

    I just stopped myself from gasping out loud.

    Jake wasn’t over me. This wasn’t… what the hell was this?

    “I hate to tell you this but your plan is backfiring. She thinks you’ve moved on so she’s moving on. She thinks this proves that she was right to break up with you.”

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