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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 34)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(34) by Samantha Young
  • It was clear that despite both needing people there for backup, neither Claudia nor Dustin were comfortable discussing the whole situation with us in the room. We talked about college instead and Dustin told us about his artwork and his upcoming show. It was clear that art was his life, his passion; it totally consumed him, turning him from this nervous guy into a pretty intense one. He insisted we should go to Plaça St. Josep Oriol, a square in the Gothic Quarter not far from our hotel where we could view amazing artwork from some of the best local artists.

    After a few hours, Claudia said quietly, “Well, I know you’re busy so we’ll go, but I thought maybe we could have dinner, just the two of us, while I’m here.”

    “Of course.” His seemed genuinely happy and I felt a spark of hope for Claudia. “I’d love that. Tomorrow? I’ll make reservations at El Pintor and email you the details.”

    “I have my phone. Do you want my number instead?”

    “Yes. Let me…” He stood, looking around the space with a furrow between his brows. “Let me just find my phone…”

    “I saw it on the bathroom sink,” Pedra muttered, scowling at Claudia.

    Usually Claudia would scowl back but I knew she was playing nice, so I scowled for her. As if sensing my stare, Pedra looked at me, and whatever she saw on my face made her look quickly away.

    I probably looked murderous. It was the momma bear in me.

    Dustin returned with his phone and took Claudia’s number, promising to text her soon with the details of their date. He gave her another awkward hug and we left.

    As soon as we stepped outside the building, Claudia sagged into Beck’s side and he wrapped his arm around her waist. “You okay?” he asked, concerned.

    She shrugged. “It wasn’t so bad, right? He seems nice?”

    “He seems really nice,” Jake assured her.

    “Dinner will be better.” I smiled. “Just the two of you. It’ll be less uncomfortable without listening ears and Bitter Pill Pedra.”

    Claud laughed shakily. “Yeah, what was that?”

    “Ignore her. You didn’t come here for her. You came for Dustin and he seems really happy to meet you.”

    She grinned, finally relaxing. “He did, didn’t he? Ahh,” she exhaled. “Let’s go explore and get something to eat. I’m starving.”

    The guys knocked on our door half an hour ago to tell us they were ready to face the day, but Claudia and I had just woken up. We promised to meet them for breakfast at a café across the plaza and then rushed around the hotel room to get ready.

    As we did so, Claudia chatted about Dustin.

    Something niggled at me about how well things were going for her with her real father. Perhaps it was the cynic in me, or maybe I was terrified of my friend getting her heart broken, but it took everything within me to not warn her to be careful. I didn’t want to ruin this for her.

    We dressed in shorts and tank tops since we’d woken up to a particularly hot day and headed along the plaza to meet Jake and Beck.

    “So, Dustin says he wants to paint me.” Claudia smiled. Though her eyes were covered with oversized sunglasses, I could hear excitement in her voice.

    “Would you do that?”

    “Sit for him? Yeah. He wants to do a portrait.”

    “Well, you’re beautiful and he’s an artist, of course he does.”

    “Yeah, but also, I’m his daughter,” she added, a little indignantly.

    “Of course. I just meant… of course he’d want to draw you, daughter or not.”

    She grimaced. “I think he might have painted my mother nude. I asked if he painted her and he got all shifty and uncomfortable.”

    I laughed. “Oh, he definitely painted her nude.”

    Claud shuddered. “My mother. The disloyal muse.”

    We crossed the plaza toward the café. “Have you spoken to your mom since you got here?”

    “No,” she snorted. “My parents are pretending this isn’t happening.”

    Typical.

    “Well, my folks emailed last night asking about you. They hope everything’s going great with Dustin and said that they love you.”

    “I adore your parents. Do you think they would adopt me?”

    I would’ve answered but I was too busy staring across the street at the café. Sitting at a table on the sidewalk was my boyfriend and Beck. They weren’t alone. Two girls were sitting in my and Claudia’s seats and Jake and Beck were laughing.

    Something unpleasant pinched my chest.

    I felt a nudge at my shoulder and turned to look at Claudia.

    She lifted her sunglasses off to meet my eyes. “Hey. You okay?”

    I sighed, glancing back at the flirting girls and our flirting idiot male counterparts. “Jake and I are in a great place, but I thought the whole jealousy thing was behind me. But I see that girl, laughing into his face, and he’s not doing much to put her off and I want to kill him. He was like this in high school.” I wrinkled in my nose in annoyance. “And he used to accuse me of being a flirt.”

    “You are a flirt.”

    I frowned. “I am not.”

    “Oh, please. You can’t even help it.”

    “Well, what about you?” I waved a hand in the direction of the café. “Doesn’t it bother you anymore to see Beck flirt?”

    It was Claudia’s turn to scowl. “We’re friends. And girls flirt with him. If we were anything more than friends, I’d have to get used to that fact. Just like you have to get used to the fact that your boyfriend is hot and I hate to say it, babe, but since you two got back together, there’s this light around him… it’s totally attractive.” She patted me on the shoulder. “I guess you’ve only got yourself to blame for the hot señorita flirting with him right now.”

    I groaned. “Okay. So how should we play this? Cool, unaffected… or pissed off?”

    “Let’s be grown-ups and play it cool and unaffected. You know Jake loves you. You don’t need to be jealous. Ever.”

    I shoved the horrible feeling away and let rationale take over. “You’re right,” I agreed, studying her carefully. “When did you get all wise and mature?”

    Claudia tilted her chin up in thought. “Hmm… I think it’s a fairly recent development.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire