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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 36)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(36) by Samantha Young
  • My eyes narrowed. “Do you know something, Jacob Caplin?”

    “Charley, I love you, but there are some things I can’t tell you.”

    Nosy and curious and desperate to give my friend what she wanted, it didn’t sit well with me that Jake may be holding the answers and the key to Claudia’s future happiness. However, I understood. “Girl code,” I grumbled, “but for boys.”

    “Exactly.”

    “Ah, I get it.” I snuggled into his side. “Maybe, just in case, though, we should set them up for dinner alone tonight? I know Claudia had a fantastic day with him yesterday.”

    “Why don’t we just let them sort themselves out? They did that favor for us.”

    I frowned. “Stop being right. It’s throwing me off balance.”

    He laughed, pulling me close, and we walked back to the hotel in perfect contentment.

    We were waiting for the elevator when I caught sight of a familiar figure out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see Claudia striding into reception and my breath was knocked out of me by her appearance.

    Her eyes were bloodshot. She had no color in her cheeks. Worse… There was something so desolate in her expression that I felt panicked. “Claudia!” I called out, my voice trembling.

    She glanced over at me in surprise, her feet abruptly stopping their momentum.

    And then suddenly, she rushed toward me, her face crumpling as she impacted with me. I wrapped my arms around her as she sobbed into my neck. My arms tightened as I looked over her head at Jake. We exchanged worried looks and a silent message that we needed to get Claudia somewhere private.

    I got her into the elevator, Jake shadowing us protectively. I tried to ask what was wrong but she just kept crying these deep, shuddering, heartbreaking sobs.

    Jake let us into our room and I settled her on a chair, crouching in front of her.

    “Claudia, please talk to me,” I begged.

    She hiccupped as she tried to control the tears. I waited patiently for her to pull herself together enough to look at me. Jake handed her tissues and she blotted at her face, fingers shaking.

    “Dustin…” her voice cracked, “after being so cool and excited about us… he told me today he can’t do it.” Her tears fell silently now. “He doesn’t want the responsibility of being a dad and he thinks anything else is just confusing. He thinks it’s best we don’t see each other again.”

    SON OF A BITCH!

    Fury shot into my blood and it took a huge amount of self-control not to march out of that room and go and hunt down the weak piece of shit.

    Another man. Another parent… rejecting her. I hated them so much for doing this to her.

    “Claud,” I whispered, reaching for her hand, “I am so sorry.”

    She shook her head. “Don’t be. I should’ve known. I got my hopes up and I should have known.” She started crying again and I reached forward, pulling her into my arms.

    “Ssh,” I attempted to soothe her. “It’s okay. It’s going to be okay. We love you, babe. You don’t need them.”

    Her arms tightened around me. “I don’t want to be here anymore,” she sobbed.

    Jake’s expression looked as murderous as I was sure mine was. He stepped forward and I read his body language. I gently eased Claudia out of my arms and Jake took my place. Claudia clung even harder to him, soaking his T-shirt with her tears.

    He stroked her hair in comfort. “We’ll get you out of here,” he promised.

    Chapter Thirteen

    My parents were surprisingly okay with my announcement that I’d be missing out a few days of school to drive across six states with Jake, Beck, and Claudia. It helped that the LSATs had passed. I wasn’t sure how it went. One minute I was sure I’d done okay, the next I was filled with doubt.

    That was kind of a theme for my life right now.

    Anyway, I’d have accompanied Beck on this quest to find peace over his father’s death even if my mom and dad had been against it. A promise was a promise and my friend needed me. My parents… they actually understood, however, and even if they had reservations over Jake’s presence, they didn’t bring it up.

    That’s how, almost two weeks after Beck arrived on our doorstep, I found myself in Jake’s dad’s borrowed SUV with the aforementioned. I was nervous. Beyond nervous, especially after Jake’s cold attitude toward me last time I’d seen him. However, I was determined to mask my nerves with cool silence and the occasional smart-ass remark.

    Claudia and I had gotten the shuttle from Purdue to O’Hare and Jake had picked us up from there. Beck had gotten out and helped us with our bags and then promptly sat in the back with Claudia, leaving me to haul my ass up into the passenger seat beside Jake.

    Awkward didn’t even cover it. I said hello and was surprised to get a perfectly nice greeting back. However, silence fell almost immediately between us. Claudia and Beck spoke quietly in the back and every time I looked in the rearview mirror, they were sitting close, heads together. Beck seemed better than he had before. Claudia had been chatting to him almost every day and now that he had focus, something to do, he was coping with his father’s death better than any of us could’ve expected.

    It helped that Claudia was in his life now. I knew it did.

    I had to wonder about that—about Claudia’s intentions. It was such a delicate subject I hadn’t wanted to bring it up in case we started arguing about it. Yet, I was curious to know what their behavior with one another meant. Had Claudia decided to give him a shot?

    I mused over this in silence as Jake drove us down the I-80W. We’d driven through Illinois. Much of the snow that had fallen a few days ago had been cleared and was disappearing, so we made good time. We’d been driving for about three hours when we hit Davenport, Iowa.

    “Pee break?” Jake asked.

    “Yes, please,” Claudia said. “I didn’t want to be a total girl and ask but my bladder has been ready to burst for the last half hour.”

    I glanced back at her. “That’s because you drank almost two bottles of water.”

    “It’s warm in here.” She shrugged.

    I eyed Beck and the fact that his left side was glued to her right. Of course she was warm back there.

    “I was thinking we could stop for something to eat in Des Moines and then stop somewhere near Lincoln for a motel,” Jake suggested.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire