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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 48)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(48) by Samantha Young
  • I guessed I wasn’t the only one who’d thrown caution to the wind last night.

    “It finally happened, huh?” I said, a small smile playing on my lips.

    Claudia stared at me warily and nodded.

    I thought of Jake and the pain in his eyes when I left him this morning, compared to the happiness in Beck’s. I reassured my friend. “Don’t question it.”

    Claudia gave me a tremulous smile in return. “Thanks, Charley.” She glanced at the door. “So last night you and Jake—”

    “It shouldn’t have happened,” I cut her off as I grabbed my stuff and strode into the shower.

    That day on the road was a difficult one. Claudia and Beck were loved up in the backseat while Jake and I were… I didn’t know what we were.

    Beck came back with room keys but as soon as we pulled up to the motel, Jake turned to him and held out his hand. “I’ll take one of those keys.”

    “I’ve got ours, man.” Beck waved him off.

    “No. Charley and I are sharing tonight.”

    I gaped at my ex-boyfriend a little stupidly.

    “Uh…” From my peripheral I could see Beck turn to me, but I didn’t look back at him because I was still gaping at Jake in confusion. “Are you sure—”

    “Key, Beck,” Jake insisted.

    “I want to make sure Charley’s okay with that first,” Beck returned impatiently.

    Jake looked at me. “Well?”

    As we looked at one another, I dug deep for my courage. I knew why Jake wanted us to share a room. He wanted privacy because he wanted answers. He was done pretending he didn’t deserve them. Maybe before I could justify shutting him out, but last night I’d made a choice that had confused and hurt him even more. Jake deserved better than that. He deserved the truth, even if I was scared to share it.

    I suddenly heard his voice in my head, words he’d said not too long ago but now felt forever ago. “Come on, Supergirl. Be brave.”

    “It’s fine,” I told Beck quietly. “As long as Claudia’s okay rooming with you.”

    “Oh, I’m cool with that,” Claudia shrugged with fake nonchalance and I rolled my eyes at her. I could tell she was more than happy with this new arrangement.

    It was clear to me that Jake was beyond impatient to talk when he suggested we go to a McDonald’s drive-through and eat back at our room. By now I’d lost whatever appetite I had, but I was so used to pretending none of this affected me that I ordered a double cheeseburger.

    Just before Jake closed the door, I heard Claudia giggling happily as Beck let them into their room next door. Despite my own messy life, I was glad for her. I was relieved the experiences with her parents and biological father hadn’t scarred her permanently, hadn’t stifled her generous heart. She was giving Beck a chance, and I believed that chance might just save him from himself.

    They deserved the joy they’d found. I had to find time to tell Claud that because every time she looked at me, I saw guilt in her eyes, like she felt bad for being happy when I was more miserable than I’d ever been in my life.

    It was time to remind her that that wasn’t how real friendship worked.

    I chewed on a pickle as I watched Jake sit on the bed opposite me. He unwrapped his burger but he didn’t lift it to his mouth right away. Instead, he sighed.

    “What’s going on with you, Charley?” His dark eyes pierced through me. “And not just why you broke up with me… Everything. Because right now—this person you’ve become, it isn’t you. You know it isn’t you because your light has gone out. You’re somewhere dark right now and I’m worried sick about you.”

    Your light has gone out. It sounded so permanent. Like my light wasn’t switched off, but broken.

    Tears stung the back of my eyes and I took another bite of my burger to have something to concentrate on, something that would focus the tears away.

    Finally when I felt in control, I met his gaze. “I haven’t seen or spoken to Andie since before she woke up out of the coma.”

    That surprised him. “How? What… I’m confused.”

    And so I tried to explain.

    “You remember I was there every day while she was in the coma?”

    “Of course.”

    “Something… something happened to me when she woke up.” I shook my head, feeling the bottled emotion in me well up. “I tried to take a step into the hospital room but I just couldn’t. I felt paralyzed.” I dashed away a tear that slipped down my cheek. “And somehow I haven’t stopped feeling that way.”

    Jake leaned forward, his brows drawn together in concern. “Baby, paralyzed? Why?”

    “You’re not going to like that answer.”

    “Give it to me anyway.”

    I pushed my half-eaten food away and drew my knees up to my chest. “The whole time Andie lay in that hospital bed, breathing through a ventilator, I couldn’t shake the guilt. I couldn’t shake the fact that I hadn’t spoken to my sister—one of my best friends—in weeks… because of you.” Forcing myself to be brave, I looked at him. He’d grown pale with realization. “I didn’t blame you directly, Jake. I blamed me. I resented myself for making that choice, for putting you before my family. I didn’t know how to talk to you or be around you during it all because you reminded me of all the bad decisions I’d made regarding Andie and my parents.”

    Jake blew air out between his lips and whispered, “Fuck,” as he dragged a shaky hand through his hair. “You have no idea how much I get that, Charley. I wish you’d told me that was how you were feeling.”

    Surprise shot through me. “I don’t understand.”

    “After Brett died, I was filled with this irrational guilt,” he explained, the steadiness of his words testament to how far he’d come emotionally since Brett’s death. “At the time it didn’t feel irrational. I truly believed that there was something I could’ve done to avoid that outcome. And there was a huge part of me that couldn’t separate you from Brett’s death. I couldn’t be around you because of it.”

    As I processed this, the love I felt for Jake seemed to grow too big, too much, and I ducked my head to break our eye contact. There was so much relief that he understood me, but more than that, I was in awe of his understanding and compassion.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire