Into the Deep Page 28

I drunkenly cuddled into his side, leaning my head on his shoulder. “Thanks,” I murmured.

His arm came around me, hugging me. “You okay?”

Hearing the concern in his voice, I pressed even tighter against him, trying to bury myself into the comfort he was giving me by just being him. “Fine. Where did everyone go?”

It was Matt who answered, appearing a little awkward. “After you left with that a-hole English guy, Jake got a little moody. Mel noticed. They got into an argument and left. Den and Row got bored, so they left too.”

I was put more than a little off-balance by Matt’s not-so-subtle insinuation that I’d caused some kind of rift between Melissa and Jake. However, it wasn’t just the insinuation. It was the thought that Jake was pissed at me for being with another guy. What the hell did that mean? What was he trying to do to me?

Lowe’s arm tightened around me. “Don’t worry about it, babe.” He sighed. “This party is terrible and I’m exhausted. You want us to walk you home?”

I nodded. Yes. I wanted out of there so I could pass out on my bed and forget everything about tonight. “Let me get Claud first.”

Finding my friend on the balcony with Zach and a couple of his friends, I pulled Claudia aside and told her that I wanted to leave.

“Okay, we’ll go,” she assured me.

I glowered at her. “Don’t think we won’t be talking about what happened with you.”

“Not now.” She brushed me off and called a goodnight to Zach.

Seeing us preparing to leave with Lowe and Matt, Beck abandoned the girl he was with and followed us out of the apartment. Hitting the street, I was glad I had alcohol in my blood to keep me warm in the freezing cold.

“You might not feel cold, but you are,” Lowe said, pulling me into his side. He was only wearing a thin shirt. “So am I,” he grumbled and rubbed a hand over my arm.

Ahead of us Claudia walked between Beck and Matt, Matt chatting away, oblivious to the obvious tension between his companions.

“What happened with the guy?” Lowe suddenly asked.

I curled my lip at the thought of Aaron. “As soon as I made it clear he wasn’t getting any, he dropped me like a bad habit.”

“What a charmer.”


He squeezed my waist. “Will you sleep with me?”

I smiled at his teasing question. “Not tonight.”

His laughter rocked against my side. “That wasn’t a no.”

“I’m leaving my options open.”

Lowe chuckled. “A guy wants a girl, he has to hope to God she wants him back. A girl wants a guy, all she’s got to do is say the word and bam! He’s naked. You got all the power.”

“I am Supergirl.”

He laughed again and kissed my hair. “That you are.”

“And you know … I think it’s more to do with the fact that girls need to be attracted to more than just a penis to want sex. I get the impression straight men are just attracted to the vagina.”

This only made Lowe laugh harder. “You’d be surprised.” He sighed and after a minute quietly muttered, “Jake’s a f**king moron.”

I decided it was best I didn’t ask him to confirm what he meant by that.

Chapter Ten

There was so much food inside my stomach, I was impressed I’d managed to fold myself into my mom’s car and drive myself to Jake’s. I’d just spent Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, and my mom had gone overboard, illogically compensating for the fact that my sister wasn’t with us. Well, she was kind of with us. We’d sat my laptop at the end of the table and Andie had Skyped with us from Dublin while we ate. I’d have felt sorry for her watching us scarf down Mom’s delicious turkey dinner and incredible pumpkin pie, but Andie had made her own little Thanksgiving dinner for her and a couple of her fellow Americans. Since she’d inherited Mom’s cooking gene, I could imagine it had been pretty good.

When I told my parents I was going over to see Jake, my mom was the one who protested. “Isn’t it enough that one of my daughters isn’t here for Thanksgiving?” she bemoaned. Surprisingly, it was Dad who came to my rescue.

“Let her go. They haven’t seen each other in twenty-four hours. It must be killing them,” he said, flashing me a teasing smile before returning his eyes to the game. The Eagles were playing the Cardinals, neither of which were my dad’s team, yet still he watched.

Somehow in the last few weeks, Jake had weaseled his way into my dad’s good graces. Whether it was because I was happy or because Jake could charm the pants off anyone, I don’t know. All I did know was that last Sunday, I’d gone into the kitchen to get Jake a soda and when I returned, he and Dad were watching the game and I might as well have been invisible. They made disparaging comments about the Rams and reassured each other that their team (the Chicago Bears) would pull it together. In the end, the Bears whipped the Rams 27-3 and that victory seemed to cement some kind of bond between Dad and Jake. I didn’t care that it took football to do it. I was just glad it was done.

It was freezing outside, so despite the fact that my cheeks were blazing and my whole body was warm with Delia Redford’s cooking, I bundled into my winter coat and scarf and got into Mom’s car. Thankfully, it hadn’t snowed yet this month so I had clear roads to Jake’s. He lived on the other side of town in a newer development built in front of the creek, so he had beautiful views from the rooms at the back of his house. Including his bedroom. I’d been in his bedroom a couple of times, but his mom made us keep the door open while we studied. He still managed to sneak in quick make-out sessions, but the heavy make-out sessions were reserved for the inside of Hendrix. We couldn’t use the truck bed because of the weather, but I’d already begun fantasizing about next summer and the possibilities to be had.

“Charley, so good to see you, sweetie,” Mrs. Caplin greeted me at the door. “Happy Thanksgiving.”

I hugged her tight. “Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs. C.”

She led me into their large sitting room and I met Jake’s eyes as soon as I entered. He smiled at me and lazily got up off the couch, sauntering over to me for a hug.

“Don’t squeeze me too tight. I’m full,” I mumbled against his chest, clutching onto his back.

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