Epic. Unforgettable. Heartbreaking. A must read. That is how I would describe Into the Deep because I loved this book to no end and could not put it down. The story of Charley and Jake is so intoxicatingly addictive, you will find yourself cherishing the heart-breaking moments as much as the heart-warming ones. Samantha Young is an incredible storyteller, her characters stealing your heart from the very first page, and this book was no exception. Today, I am super-excited to be sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from the conclusion of Charley and Jake’s love story…
The sight before us brought me to an abrupt halt. Jake stumbled into my back, catching my elbows to steady me.
I grinned at the sight of Claudia and Lowe sitting at the guys’ kitchen table. So. My friend had decided to take my advice after all. “Hey.”
Claudia caught my look and made a face. “I was supposed to be meeting Beck,” she explained. “But I’m guessing he tripped and fell inside another groupie because he isn’t here.”
Lowe laughed, a deep, sexy sound. His eyes glittered in amusement and I felt a rush of anticipation at the thought of something happening between these two. So Claudia was too hung up on Beck to notice Lowe. That could change once they started hanging out more. I’d just have to make sure they had reason to spend time together. Alone.
As if Jake read my mind, he pulled me against him and murmured in my ear, “No.”
“You seem in a better mood.” I raised an eyebrow at Claud, ignoring Jake’s warning.
She shook her head, giving me a little smile that said she wasn’t mad at my attempts at matchmaking. “I got that email I was waiting on.”
My heart lurched in my chest. “And?”
Claudia’s eyes lit up. “It’s all good. I’ll tell you about it later.”
Relief moved through me. I couldn’t be happier for Claudia that her real dad had gotten back in touch. I was curious to know what he’d said, but I knew it was something she was keeping private.
And then an idea hit me.
“You should go out for a drink. Relax about it now. Maybe Lowe could take you.”
Jake gently nudged me toward the door with an exasperated sigh. “Charley and I will be in my room. Do not disturb.”
“Too much information,” Lowe muttered into his coffee.
“That’s your definition of too much information?” I heard Claudia say as I followed Jake down the hall. “You have a lot to learn.”
“Was that an invitation?” he purred back.
I shot Jake a triumphant look but he shook his head sternly and pulled me inside, locking the door behind us.
He turned to me, completely serious. “Beck would lose it if anything happened between Claudia and Lowe.”
“But you heard him.”
“That’s just Lowe. He’d flirt with a houseplant. What he would not do is touch Claudia. He knows how Beck feels about her.”
“You know, I’m starting not to care about Beck’s feelings when it comes to Claud. He’s messing with her. He doesn’t want to date her but he gets pissed when some other guy does. No. That does not fly in Charley World, Jake. I’ve advised Claudia to move on.”
Jake sighed as he gently pulled me close. “And you’re probably right. But don’t pit best friend against best friend.”
Feeling bad, I played with a button on his shirt. “I’m sorry. That’s not cool, I know.”
“Anyway, Lowe wouldn’t touch Claud.”
“Why not?” I glowered. “She’s smart and funny and prettier than all his groupies put together.”
I felt him shake with laughter. “Sheath the claws, sweetheart. I know your girl rocks but Lowe and Beck are tight. He wouldn’t do that to Beck, no matter how much of a dick Beck’s being.”
“Uh, he did it to you with me when you were being a dick.”
Jake tensed and I knew it was exactly the wrong thing to say. He released me and wandered toward his desk. Turning on his computer, he spoke without looking at me. “That was different. Lowe isn’t as tight with me as he is with Beck. And it was you.”
I was almost afraid to ask. “What was me?”
He gave me a sharp look. “Come on, you must know Lowe really likes you. You’re not just some girl to him.”
“If you know Lowe likes me, why do you rub us in his face?”
“The comment about the teeth marks. The comment just now. ‘Do not disturb.’”
“I’m just being me, I’m being us. I’m not going to stop being us. Plus, this way he’ll get over it quicker.”
“You were definitely far more concerned about protecting Melissa’s feelings.”
“That was different.” His face clouded at the mention of his ex. “Lowe wasn’t in a relationship with you. You didn’t tell each other you loved each other.”
Realizing I was digging myself deeper into unstable territory, I tried to stumble out the way I came in. “I’m just saying, I think there’s animosity between you two I don’t get.”
“He tried to f*ck you,” Jake snapped.
My cheeks flushed. “I think you’ll find that it was a little more complicated than that. He’s a good guy. He was there for me. All I want is the same for Claudia.”
Jake groaned and buried his head in hands. “Baby, I hear what you’re saying but please pick someone else. Not for my sake, not for Lowe’s sake, but for Beck’s sake.” He glanced over his shoulder at me and smiled. “He doesn’t get to hold her captive while he messes around with other girls. I get it. I do. Advise her to move on, cut him out, whatever … just don’t … He’s got his issues but me and The Stolen are his only real family. Lowe is like his brother. Don’t do anything to mess that up for him.”
I softened. “You sure are giving me a lot of credit if you’re truly worried I could make something happen between Claudia and Lowe.”
Suddenly looking very boyish, Jake said, “I believe you can do anything you put your mind to, Charley Redford. You’re a force to be reckoned with.”
His words cast a stillness over me, my eyes drinking in all that he was. “Totally worth it,” I murmured.
I grinned. “Get on the bed. You just won bonus sex.”
His low chuckle tickled me in all my good-for-nothing places as my sweater fell to the ground.