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soon got caught up in the day and wondering what had happened to Trey. I d hoped he d
come into class late, but he didn t. In fact, he didn t surface for the rest of the day, not even
when I was finishing up my independent study. I d thought he might come by again for homework.
 You look troubled, said Ms. Terwilliger, watching me pack up when the bell rang.
 Worried about getting your project in on time?
 No. I d actually finished two of the charms, but I certainly wasn t going to tell her that.
 I m worried about Trey. He keeps missing school. Do you know why he s out? I mean, if you
can tell me?
 The office notifies us if a student will be out for the day, but they don t tell us the reason. If
it makes you feel better, Mr. Juarez s absence was called in this morning. He hasn t disappeared.
I almost mentioned my fears about his home but held off. I still needed more evidence.
Between worrying about Trey, Ms. Terwilliger s work, the Warriors, Brayden, and all my
other myriad complications, I knew I couldn t waste any of my free time. Nonetheless, I went
to Adrian s after school on a mission I couldn t refuse. On our way to Wolfe s class earlier this
week, Adrian had mentioned offhandedly that he hadn t had the Mustang looked at by a
mechanic before purchasing it. Although my own novice assessment hadn t found anything
wrong with the car, I pushed for Adrian to get the car examined which, of course, meant I
had to look up a specialist and make the appointment. It was just before my textile museum
date, but I was certain I had time to make it all work.
 The guy I bought it from seemed pretty trustworthy, Adrian told me, after we d dropped
the car off with the mechanic. He d told us he d look at it right away and that we could hang
around and wait. His shop was on the outskirts of a suburban area, so Adrian suggested we
go for a walk through the neighborhoods.  And it ran just fine when I did the test drive, so I
figured everything was okay.
 That doesn t mean there aren t problems you can t see. It s best to be safe, I said, knowing
I sounded preachy.  Bad enough you got a car you can t drive. Glancing over, I saw a
small, half smile on his face.
 With your help, I ll be a pro in no time. Of course, if you don t want to help anymore, I ll
just wing it and figure it out on my own.
I groaned.  You already know what I d say about wow.
The neighborhood we were in was pretty affluent. In fact, I d say the houses bordered on
being bona fide mansions. We stopped in front of one that looked like a cross between a
hacienda and a southern plantation, large and sprawling with a pillared porch and pink stucco
siding. The front yard was a mix of climates, green grass with palm trees lining the path to the
house. The trees were like tropical sentries.
 Gorgeous, I said.  I love architecture. In another life, I d have studied that not chemicals
and vampires. As we continued on, we saw more of the same, each house trying to outdo
the others. All of them had high fences and hedges blocking their backyards.  I wonder what s
back there. Pools, probably.
Adrian stopped in front of another. It was as yellow as his car and showed another mix of
styles, like a southwest version of a medieval castle, complete with turrets.  Nice juxtaposition,
he remarked.
I turned, knowing my eyes were wide as I stared at him.  Did you just use juxtaposition in
a sentence?
 Yes, Sage, he said patiently.  We use it all the time with art, when we re mixing different
components. That, and I know how to use a dictionary. He turned from me and scanned the
house, his eyes resting on a gardener who was out trimming some hedges. A sly smile
crossed Adrian s lips.  You want to see the back? Come on.
 What are you  Before I could say another word, Adrian strode up the granite pathway
and cut across the lawn to where the guy was working. I didn t want anything to do with this,
but the responsible part of me couldn t let Adrian get into trouble. I hurried after him.
 Are the owners home? Adrian asked.
The gardener had stopped his clipping and stared at Adrian.  No.
 When will they be back?
 After six.
I was astonished that the guy was answering these questions. If I d been asked them, I [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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