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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 56)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(56) by Samantha Young
  • Feeling a little stung, I moved out of his embrace. “You’re right. You’re a shit.”

    “Yeah, well…” He curled his hands around my upper arms and turned me to face him. “I have a little bit of a blind spot when it comes to you and I’ve found myself making excuses for the way you’ve acted this last year. But I can’t justify the way you’ve played Jake. Last January I was the one telling you to watch your back with Jake. I was pissed for what you had to go through watching him be with Melissa while he dangled you on a string. Now you’re doing the same thing to him.”

    I glowered at him. “It’s not like that. Jake knows it’s not like that.”

    Lowe was immune to my glower. “Jake’s been a f**king mess since he got back from San Francisco, but I get the feeling he’s not going to keep putting himself through this, whatever this is, so yeah… maybe you should get used to the idea of Jake moving on with his life.”

    Feeling angry tears prick my eyes, I asked through gritted teeth, “Why are you trying to hurt me?”

    His eyes washed over my face and whatever they saw made his expression soften. “I’m not trying to hurt you, Charley. I’m just trying to prepare you.”

    “You’re mad at me.”

    “I don’t know if I could ever really be mad at you,” he confessed, sounding almost sad. “But right now, I don’t get you.”

    Angry, but this time at myself, I glanced away and pretended to watch the bar staff as they tried to cull the crowd around the bar.

    Lowe’s warm hand slipped into mine and clasped it tight. I didn’t look at him—I couldn’t for fear I’d fall apart. Instead I just squeezed his hand back and took comfort from the fact that I had such good friends who would stick by me and try to understand, even if they never really could.

    It was an understatement to say I was in an even lousier mood after Lowe gave me a talking-to. I had a drink and pretended that everything was okay for a while, until the room started to feel like it was closing in on me.

    I excused myself and pushed through the socializing students toward the exit. I practically lunged outside, gulping the air as I flopped against the building.

    The noise from the bar gradually became a hum as I stared up at the sky, remembering a time before when life was simpler. It would be easy to blame Jake— to pinpoint the time and say it was the day before I met him when I was sixteen. Except that wasn’t the truth. The truth was life was simpler the day before I left to spend the summer in Miami with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was the summer I felt the impact of my cousin Ethan’s death. The hole he left behind, the tear his death caused in my family’s hearts, and all the answers his mom and dad never got. The justice they never found.

    Life wasn’t simple after that. For the first time in my life, I felt powerless, and I hated it. I wanted it not to be that way, and that’s when the idea of becoming a cop lodged in my head. There was a naïveté in that, I knew that now. Being a cop wouldn’t make me feel less powerless in bad situations. There was no remedy for that.

    “You look deep in thought.”

    I jumped, turning wide-eyed to find Beck leaning against the wall beside me. I hadn’t even heard him come outside. “Yeah,” I said dryly. “And I think I was on to something before you interrupted.”

    He gave me an apologetic half smile. “Sorry. I needed some air.”

    My gaze sharpened, processing the hint of melancholy in the back of my friend’s eyes. “You okay?”

    He nodded, swallowing a pull of his beer.

    Taking a stab in the dark, I said, “You thinking about your dad?”

    Beck’s eyebrows drew together. “He’s been on my mind a little lately. Did Lowe tell you we have a small label interested in us?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Did I ever tell you my dad was in a band?”

    “You told me he was a musician, but I thought he wrote jingles and stuff.”

    He shot me an unhappy smile. “Yeah, but that’s not how he started out.” He exhaled, turning so his back was flat to the wall. He stared up at the sky like I had only moments before. “Dad was in a rock band in his early twenties. For a while it was the most important thing in his life—until he met my mom. But then the band got signed to a small label in San Francisco and they started touring.” He stopped talking, his eyes meeting mine, something heavy and grim in their depths. “He loved my mom but the tour killed her love for him. This was a guy who moved us to Chicago when the band was on break because Mom got a teaching opportunity he didn’t want her to pass up. And he loved San Francisco. It was like losing an arm to leave that place. He loved her, though, simple as that. But then the band starting touring again and Mom couldn’t take it.” I suddenly realized that look in Beck’s eyes was desperation. “They argued whenever he was home. She accused him of cheating but my dad was adamant up until the end that he never screwed around on her. She didn’t believe him, and she hated the rock-star lifestyle. So she left him.” His voice cracked. “She left him and even when he left the band for her, she wouldn’t take him back. He stayed in Chicago to be close to us, started working for advertisers and stuff like that. And he turned to alcohol.”

    I didn’t know what to say, it was so heartbreaking. “Beck…”

    His eyes burned into me suddenly. “I don’t want that to happen with Claudia. My music means a lot to me, but I don’t want to lose her because of it.”

    I was stunned. Shocked even. I had no idea Beck had these thoughts running through his head. “It won’t. Claudia loves you.”

    “Yeah, and my mom loved my dad. But all the girls… I’ve not been a saint, so Claud will have that in the back of her mind all the time. And you see what it’s like.” He gestured toward the bar. “If by some miracle The Stolen actually got signed, touring would change everything. I’d have crazy girls trying to get into my pants all the time, and I have a smart girlfriend who knows exactly what goes on in these tours. How much of that do you think Claudia could take? I would never cheat on her, ever, but it would drive me crazy thinking of just one guy who wanted her and kept coming on to her, never mind hundreds. You’re not telling me she wouldn’t feel that way too eventually.” He leaned in to me, his voice low with emotion. “Somehow the most miraculous person I ever met in my life has spent most of her life feeling unloved and neglected. She deserves to feel like no girl in the world could ever come close to her. I want her to feel that way every f**king day, and I can’t do that if I’m on tour.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire