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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 21)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(21) by Samantha Young
  • “What? What are you talking about?”

    I’d done a lot of cowardly things these last few months, but walking away from this wasn’t going to be one of them. Nobody, nobody manipulated me, and got away with it!

    With anger burning in my blood, I stormed into the dorm room Jake and Lowe had chosen to have their little tête-a-tête. They both blanched when they turned to see who was interrupting them.

    My eyes must have registered my feelings of betrayal when they met Lowe’s because he flinched. “Charley, it’s not—”

    “Since when do you align yourself with him?” I snapped, gesturing to Jake. “You got together to manipulate me? Are you high?”

    He shrugged helplessly. “I was trying to help two friends out. I wasn’t trying to hurt you.” Lowe shook his head, looking between Jake and me. “It was a mistake to get involved and I’m now uninvolving myself.” He was still shaking his head as he walked past, not meeting my fiery gaze.

    As soon as he was gone, Jake took a step toward me, holding up his hands in placation. “Don’t be pissed. I was just trying to fix us.”

    “No.” I stepped back. “You were playing games, and I thought we were done with that.”

    “Charley,” he stared at me, looking incredulous, “did you honestly just expect me to give up, walk away, after everything? I didn’t know what else to do. You wouldn’t have come here if I said I just wanted to hang out, talk, try to actually work out our problems instead of running from them. You’re the one acting like a child here. I just picked up where you left off.”

    I couldn’t actually dispute any of that, which made me even more pissed, hurt, defensive, scared and… confused.

    I started to shiver. “I… I can’t do this.” I turned away.

    I hadn’t taken two steps when I felt his hand wrap around my wrist. Jake tugged me, forcefully, pulling me around so I stumbled into his chest. His lips crashed down on mine, his kiss hungry, desperate, angry…

    For a moment I forgot everything else but the hard pressure of his mouth on mine, the smell of his cologne, the feel of his body. I was surrounded.

    Drowning.

    And I let it happen.

    His lips moved from my mouth to my chin, along my jaw, as his hand slid up my waist, his thumb just grazing my breast. I sighed, my body arching into his. I was hot. Hot and wanting. Nothing else mattered but the way I felt when he touched me.

    His voice was ragged in my ear. “I’ve missed you so much. I love you so f**king much.” He squeezed my waist and pulled me closer, his mouth reaching for mine again but those three little words had broken through the spell of lust created by Jake’s proximity and the four beers I’d had.

    “Stop,” I whispered, pushing gently on his chest.

    Instead of stopping, Jake kissed me again.

    I pushed harder, breaking contact. “Jake, stop!”

    He stumbled back, frustration and something else in his face. Panic? “Charley—”

    “No.” I moved away from him, holding a hand out to ward him off. “This was a mistake. We’re…” I trailed off, not really knowing what to say as I tried to catch my breath.

    We stared at each other in tense silence.

    That’s when I came to the hardest decision of my life.

    I felt like someone had stuck burning needles into every muscle in my body, and all I could feel was torturous pain, and I didn’t know why it was necessary. What point it had? Why it had to be that way? I started to imagine that perhaps those needles were my family, and horribly in that moment I resented the hell out of them. “We’re done for good. We can’t be friends and we can’t be this. Lose my number, Jake.”

    He looked grief-stricken. “You can’t be serious?”

    The tears slipped down my cheeks now and I brushed them hastily away. “Deadly. I won’t answer if you call.”

    “Why?” he shook his head, his own resentment building his gorgeous eyes. “Just tell me why. A real answer this time.”

    “I told you why. You didn’t listen.”

    And just like that, I turned and walked out.

    It was hard to make sense of something to someone else when you had a hard time figuring out if it really made sense to yourself. But I wasn’t crazy.

    The truth was I’d made a promise. This was me keeping it.

    Chapter Eight

    I left Dad at his hotel talking to Mom on the phone, reassuring her that he was all right, I was all right, and that we were… talking things out. Although I still didn’t feel one hundred percent certain that we’d reached an understanding, I hoped we would by the time he left.

    For now, I headed to my boyfriend’s apartment.

    Something had shifted inside me when Jake sprung to my defense. It didn’t seem like much, but in reality, knowing he had my back was a huge step toward me trusting him. The old Jake was too determined to keep on my dad’s good side to ever interfere in any small parental disputes I might have had. He’d once sat quietly in the corner of the living room while my mom and dad refused to listen to me about being a cop.

    He’d changed.

    Anxious to see him, I hurried up to his apartment.

    “Jake’s not here,” Beck said as I followed him into the kitchen.

    Sitting at the kitchen table were Claudia and Lowe. I smiled at my girl. “Have you seen him?”

    Claud shook her head. “Nope. But—”

    “She’s been too busy planning our summer tour,” Beck interrupted, offering me a can of soda.

    “No, thanks.” I raised an eyebrow at Claudia. “Summer tour?”

    Lowe grinned. “It’s what we were talking about at Teviot. Claudia is amazing. She’s already helped us book eight gigs for the summer, and she thinks we can turn it into a state tour. It could get us noticed.”

    “Isn’t that expensive?”

    Lowe shrugged. “We’re pooling our resources. And these are paying gigs.” He nudged Claudia. “Now I just have to convince Claud to be our manager and come on tour with us.”

    “If she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t have to,” Beck said, trying—and failing—to sound casual.

    I studied them carefully, wondering what I was missing. “Well… that sounds great. And you should think about it, Claudia. It might be a lot of fun to tour with them.”

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