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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 30)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(30) by Samantha Young
  • “Thank God.”

    I jerked, surprised to hear Jake’s voice. “Jake…”

    “I’m coming for him. Keep him there.”

    He hung up and I stared at the phone a second too long.

    “That was Jake?” Claudia asked, her voice a little hoarse.

    I nodded and slumped down on my bed. “When did Beck get here?”

    She ran a shaky hand through her hair. “He turned up at the door about one. He was hammered and crying—” She choked on the word as she rubbed at her eyes. “Oh God, Charley. How do I handle this? He lost his dad and he needs me but—”

    “There are no buts.” I drew her in for a hug. “You’d hate yourself if you didn’t give him the comfort he needs.”

    My friend clung to me. “I know you’re right. But I’m scared. How selfish is that?”

    “It’s not selfish,” I promised her. “It’s natural. But Claud… the worst thing in the world just happened to him and you’re the one person he sought out.”

    She processed this and I felt her arms tighten around me.

    Although Claudia was skipping class, she insisted I go to mine. I decided not to argue with her because I thought it might be best if she spent the day alone with Beck. She’d managed to get the story out of him before he passed out in her arms the night before. His dad’s death was completely unexpected—a heart attack.

    What made it worse was that he’d been dead for almost twenty-four hours before a neighbor called police because his stereo was playing loudly through the night. Claudia said Beck was agonizing over the fact that if the music hadn’t been playing, it could’ve been days before anyone found his dad.

    He blamed himself for not visiting enough, for not trying to take better care of him.

    Guilt. Blame. Those were things I was pretty familiar with lately, and I’d be there for him, no matter his connection to Jake or our history. Honestly, though, it was pretty clear by his presence in West Lafayette that Beck only wanted one person to see him through this.

    Despite Claudia’s misgivings, despite her resentment, I could see her concern for Beck overtaking everything. She found strength I didn’t think I could’ve had to see the bigger picture… and just… be there for him.

    I left her making him the homemade soup she’d finally perfected.

    I had one class in the morning and I didn’t register a word of it. Afterward, I hurried over to the library where I split my time working on my thesis and studying for the LSATs. My exam was only a week away but my mind wandered, and by the time I walked across campus to my law and society class, I’d processed about ten minutes of work in all.

    Every five minutes I glanced at my phone in case Claudia texted but I heard nothing, so I sat through class, foot tapping impatiently, waiting for it to end. All I wanted was to hurry back to the apartment to check on my friends.

    Finally, our professor dismissed us and I stuffed my notebook in my bag, preparing to run back to the apartment. However, Alex stopped me in my path.

    He had attempted to hang out with me whenever he could. He asked constantly to tell him what was wrong, but I never confided in him. I knew he was frustrated but he kept at it, trying to be there for me even though I was a miserable asshat to be around.

    Go figure.

    “I called you this morning. You didn’t call back,” he said in greeting.

    I winced apologetically. “Sorry. I’m not having a great day. I meant to call but…”

    “Oh?” He held the door open and we walked outside into the cold November air. “I can help with a bad day.”

    “How?”

    “Waffles and chocolate milk.”

    I laughed. “Not tequila?”

    “Puhlease,” Alex scoffed. “That shit is for pussies.”

    Chuckling, I nodded. “You’re right, that helped.”

    “Charley!”

    I blinked, jerking my gaze from Alex’s affectionate one to across the lawn. Hurrying toward me from the sidewalk was Claudia and Jake. The breath whooshed out of me at the sight of him.

    It was like I was a recovering addict and I’d just taken my first hit in years. The rush of feeling that flooded through me held me frozen.

    “Charley!” Claudia yelled again, running up the stairs toward me. Her eyes flicked to Alex. “Hey, Alex. Sorry, I have to borrow her immediately.” She grabbed my arm and hauled me down the steps toward Jake before Alex could even open his mouth to protest.

    Her frantic behavior yanked me out of my Jake fog. “What’s going on?”

    Jake shoved a hand through his hair. It was really getting long now. “Beck’s gone.”

    “Gone?” I gaped at Claudia. “How did that happen?”

    She shook her head, her chest rising and falling in shallow breaths. “He was fine. I mean, not fine, but he had some soup and he was sobering up. He wasn’t talking but he was sitting with me and I thought… anyway, he eventually said he needed some aspirin and we didn’t have any so I ran out for some and when I got back, Jake was there and Beck was gone.”

    I rubbed her shoulder, trying to soothe her. “Take a breath. He can’t have gotten far. In fact…”

    “In fact what?” Jake asked impatiently.

    I ignored his tone. “My bet? He’s out somewhere getting hammered again. And since he’s only been here once before, it would make sense that he’d try to find somewhere familiar.”

    Claudia threw her hands up in annoyance. “I’m so stupid. He’s at The Brewhouse.”

    “I think it’s worth checking out.”

    Some students were kicking around The Brewhouse but not a lot given that it was afternoon. The gorgeous, tragic-looking rocker certainly stuck out.

    Beck sat on a barstool, head bowed, hand on his head, the other wrapped around a glass of scotch.

    “He’s hitting the hard stuff,” I murmured.

    “Wouldn’t you?” Jake said.

    “I’m not really into numbing my pain with self-medication.”

    “That’s probably because you have a high pain threshold,” he muttered dryly. “Some of us actually have feelings.”

    I blinked, feeling my cheeks heat with hurt and anger.

    Claudia threw me a sympathetic look as Jake pushed past to get to Beck. I waved her off and she hurried after him. Trailing at the rear, I reached them as Beck told Jake to go f**k himself.

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