Into the Deep Page 7

“I don’t know.” Jake’s expression grew serious. “Is it possible to move on from a girl like you?”

I laughed softly. “Nice line.”

Jake smiled, running a hand through his messy dark hair. “I’m not sure that was a line.”

“Oh, it was a line. So was that. You’re very good at the flirting thing. Very confident for your age.”

“I don’t know about that. I’ve never really had to wor—”

“Work at it,” I finished for him, quirking my eyebrow at him. “Confident or arrogant …”

His laughing eyes narrowed on me. “You think you’re pretty smart.”

“No. I know I’m pretty smart.”

“Now who’s arrogant?”

I chuckled but shrugged. “Well, I have reason to be. I’m awesome.”

“Fuck.” Jake was grinning again and he placed a hand above my head on the post and leaned in. “I really want to kiss you right now.”

Heat suffused me, the butterflies in my stomach going absolutely crazy at the thought of it, but I somehow managed to control myself. “I don’t know you well enough for that.”

“I disagree,” he leaned closer, his intent clear. “Five minutes with you and I feel like I’ve known you forever.”


He stopped, his expression changing at the sound of his name on my lips. I didn’t know what that expression meant, but it made me want to melt into him. I forced myself not to.

“I’m not going to kiss you.”

A spark of intensity lit up his gorgeous dark eyes. “Are you going to make me work for it?”

I nodded and straightened up from the post, bringing our bodies so close I could almost feel him against me. “If I don’t believe I’m worth the effort, why the hell would you?” With a small shrug, I slipped past him and headed toward my friends who were gaping at me, obviously eager to know what was going on. I didn’t get the chance to tell them because Jake fell quickly into step beside me.

We hung out with my friends for the rest of the night, exchanging barbs, enjoying the frisson of electricity that sparked and pulled between us. We enjoyed it, but we didn’t encourage it. Jake didn’t encourage it. There was no more talk of kissing me, but I knew as my dad arrived to bust up the party, dragging me and Lacey and Rose back to his car, that Jake Caplin was intending to make the effort.

I knew because as I walked away, he watched me the entire time. He watched me like he wanted to watch me forever.

I knew this because I was looking back at him thinking the exact same thing.

Chapter Three

My eyes felt swollen as I pried them open at the sound of the knock on my bedroom door. I felt crunchiness in the corners and on my lashes. Salt from my tears. Grounding them out, I tumbled from my bed, catching myself on the desk that was squished in close in the narrow space. My room was long but not wide, which gave me a slight space problem. It was also taking me a while to get used to sleeping in a twin again.

“Charley, it’s Maggie. You there?”

“Coming,” I mumbled, flinching at the sight of myself in my mirror.

I looked like hell.

After I cried in Claudia’s arms the night before, I told her that the guy chasing us out of the party was Jake. She knew all about Jake. She knew Jake was the reason I was a failure at relationships.

My body still ached with tension as I was reminded of the reality of the situation.

Jake was here. In Edinburgh. At college. In the same city as me.

It was too painful to contemplate this early in the morning.

I pulled my door open a fraction and Maggie’s eyes widened a little at my current state. “You have a visitor.”

My eyes narrowed. “Who?”


Beck was here to see me? Why? I sighed heavily. “Tell him I’ll be right out.” I closed the door and turned back to find my jeans. I shimmied out of my pajama shorts, pulled on jeans and a hoodie, and scraped my hair back in a ponytail. The truth was I didn’t give a crap if I looked like shit. Beck was hot, yes, but I had no intention of going there. Especially not when Claudia had a crush on him.

Upon opening my door to step out, I found myself forcefully shoved back inside by my best friend. Claudia flipped the lock in a hurry and then slammed her back against the door. Her gaze drifted over me and she paled. “You cannot go out there like that.”

“It’s just Beck,” I grumbled.

Claudia shook her head. “Lying redhead alert.”

I guessed she was alluding to Maggie but had no clue what she meant. My expression said so.

She sighed. “It’s not Beck. It’s Jake.”

I sucked in a breath at the news. “Why would the redhead lie?”

“He probably asked her to lie.”

“Either that or she saw the drama between us last night. She knew I wouldn’t go out if I knew it was him.” My heart pounded in my chest. “I’m not going out there.”

“Not looking like that.”

I ignored my friend’s look of disgust and threw myself on my bed. “Not ever. Tell him to go.”

Thankfully, Claudia didn’t argue with me. She disappeared for a few minutes and when she returned, she came right over to crawl onto the bed beside me. “He’s gone. He looked like I’d just told him Santa wasn’t real.”

“Do you feel sorry for him?” I wasn’t sure if I did or not.

Claudia shook her head. “I don’t know what to feel. I don’t know him. All I know is what he did to you. I also know it was pretty bad what he went through and, you know, it can take time to get over these things. Maybe he just wants to apologize.”

I turned my head, wishing like hell the knifelike pain in my chest would just disappear already. “I don’t know if I have it in me to listen to that apology. It took me a while to get over it, and now he’s back in my face again, reminding me of everything …”

We lay in silence for a while until eventually I turned my head on the duvet to stare at Claudia’s stunning profile. “What happened last night with Beck?”

Claud’s lip curled and I couldn’t quite read what that expression meant even as she replied, “He said I’m a good girl and he doesn’t mess with good girls because he wasn’t a one-woman kind of guy.”

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