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Authors: Norah McClintock

In Too Deep

BOOK: In Too Deep
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NORAH McCLINTOCK

First U.S. edition published in 2013 by Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

Text copyright © 2010 by Norah McClintock. All rights reserved. Published by arrangement with Scholastic Canada Ltd.

All U.S. rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc., except for the inclusion of brief quotations in an acknowledged review.

Darby Creek

A division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

241 First Avenue North

Minneapolis, MN 55401 U.S.A.

Website address:
www.lernerbooks.com

The images in this book are used with the permission of: Front cover: © iStockphoto.com/Kuzma.

Main body text set in Janson Text Lt Std 11.5/15.

Typeface provided by Linotype AG.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

McClintock, Norah.

In too deep / Norah McClintock. — 1st U.S. ed.

p. cm. — (Robyn Hunter mysteries ; #8)

ISBN: 978–0–7613–8318–5 (lib. bdg. : alk. paper)

[1. Mystery and detective stories. 2. Group homes—Fiction. 3. Juvenile delinquency—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.M478414184In 2013

[Fic]—dc23
2012017534

Manufactured in the United States of America

1 – BP – 12/31/12

eISBN: 978-1-4677-0964-4 (pdf)

eISBN: 978-1-4677-3049-5 (ePub)

eISBN: 978-1-4677-3050-1 (mobi)

“I

just bought the cutest bathing suit,” Morgan said in her third call to me that afternoon. “It's a bikini. And it's
tiny
. Billy's eyes are going to pop when he sees it.”

While Morgan was out shopping, I was lying on the couch at my father's place, reviewing the Camp Spirit leadership manual. Morgan and I had been hired as counselors at the all-girls camp. We were due to leave in a few days.

“Billy is working in the city all summer,” I reminded her. “He won't see you in your cute, tiny bikini.”

“Yes, he will,” Morgan said. “I'm going to try it on for him as soon as I get home.”

“Good idea,” I said. “Every guy wants to see his girlfriend in a bikini that she's going to be wearing around a bunch of other guys.” There was a boys' camp across the lake from Camp Spirit. The counselors at both camps hung out together in their spare time.

“I
told
Billy to apply for a job at that boys' camp,” Morgan said. “He was the one who decided to stay in the city all summer. What do you expect me to do, Robyn? Wear an old-lady bathing suit just because Billy didn't listen to good advice when he heard it?”

Before I could reply, I heard a blood-curdling scream.

“What was that?” I said into my phone. “Morgan, are you all right?”

I heard a thud. Then more screaming. Then a lot of voices all at once. Someone said something about an ambulance. Someone else said something about 9-1-1. Then all I heard was dead air.

I dialed Morgan's number. It rang a couple of times before kicking me into her voice mail. I tried again. No answer.

“Problem?” my dad said. He had come out of his study, coffee cup in hand, and was padding across
the floor of his loft on his way to the kitchen for a refill.

“I was just talking to Morgan. I heard a scream and then ...” I held out my phone.

“Was she in a car? On a bike?”

“She was at the mall.”

“Well, I'm sure she's fine,” my dad said. “As long as her credit card doesn't get refused, I don't think there's much trouble even Morgan can get into at the mall.”

It turned out that my father was wrong.

  .    .    .

“Broken,” Morgan said when she called me again nearly three hours later. “And not a hairline fracture. It's spectacularly broken. I can't put any weight on it for at least six weeks, maybe longer.”

“Six weeks? What about our jobs?”

“It's your job now,” Morgan said. “I can't run around after a bunch of nine-year-olds if I'm on crutches.”

“But—”

“I gotta go, Robyn. I want to give Billy the good news.”

“Good news?”

“I'm going to be in the city all summer. I'll be able to see him every night. I'll call you later, okay?”

“Okay,” I muttered. I sank down onto the couch.

“Problem?” my dad said again. He was coming out of the kitchen, coffee cup in hand—his third trip since I'd arrived—and heading back to his office. He was catching up on his paperwork.

“There was a freak accident at the mall. They have these giant beach balls hanging from the ceiling—part of their summer display. The cable holding one of them snapped, and the ball fell.”

“Not on Morgan, I hope,” my dad said, concerned now.

“No. It just fell. Turns out that the balls aren't heavy. But I guess most of the people at the mall didn't know that. Someone saw the ball falling and screamed. Then a whole bunch of other people panicked, and there was a stampede.” At least, that's how Morgan had described it. “Morgan was on the stairs, heading down to a shoe store, and she got pushed. She broke her ankle. She'll be on crutches all summer.”

“Ouch,” my dad said.

“I only applied for the camp job because Morgan talked me into it. I don't know any of the other counselors.”

“You'll make friends, Robbie. You always do.”

I knew my dad was right. But it wouldn't be the same without Morgan.

“Where's Morgan now?” he said.

“She's on her way home.”

My dad dug a set of keys out of his pocket and tossed them to me.

“Let's take a run over there,” he said. “You can drive.”

I stared at the keys. “You're going to let me drive your car?”

My dad has a Porsche. He is very particular about it. I had started taking driving lessons the minute I turned sixteen. My dad had been happy to go out for practice drives with me. But he had always borrowed our family friend Henri's car, which she hardly ever drove. Two weeks ago I had passed my second road test. I was now qualified to drive solo. My mom had let me borrow her car a couple of times to go to the mall. But my dad's Porsche?

My dad just shrugged. “Why not?” he said. “It's going to come to that sooner or later.”

  .    .    .

It turned out that Morgan's elation following her accident had a lot to do with the painkillers she had been given at the hospital. Once they wore off, her mood changed dramatically. By the next day she had turned into a major grouch. It didn't help that the day she broke her ankle was the same day Billy had chosen to surprise her. He had accepted a job as a counselor at—you guessed it—the boys' camp across the lake from Camp Spirit.

“I told him to tell them he'd changed his mind,” Morgan said. “But he wouldn't do it. He said he'd signed a contract. Like that's some kind of big deal.”

“Well, actually, it is,” I said. My mom is a lawyer. True, she's a criminal lawyer. But while she was in law school, she suffered—as she put it—through contract law with the rest of her class. Now she always reads the fine print.

“You sound just like Billy,” Morgan said, pouting. “It's fine for you. You'll be able to see him. In fact, you're going to keep an eye on him for me. I mean it. I'm not going to have some sun-bleached Camp Spirit counselor steal my boyfriend while I'm stuck here hobbling around this stupid city. Have you ever tried to get up and down stairs on crutches, Robyn? I'll be lucky if I don't break my other ankle.”

She complained for another hour before I finally stood up.

“Where are you going?” she said.

“I ... um ... Nick and I are getting together—I only have a couple more days before I have to leave for camp.”

Morgan perked up. “Right,” she said. “Nick's going to be here all summer, and you're going to be there. Maybe he and I can hang out. Life's never dull around Nick. Hey, I'll keep an eye on him for you—you know, return the favor.”

“That's an idea,” I said. But not a very good one. Nick didn't out-and-out dislike Morgan. But he didn't have much in common with her, either. He also thought she was a little too self-absorbed, and he didn't understand why she and I were such good friends.

  .    .    .

I found Nick in the park across the street from the used-to-be carpet factory that my dad owned. He'd had it transformed into living space for himself and added half a dozen apartments that brought him some nice rental income. Nick lived in one of those apartments.

Nick wasn't alone in the park. He was with a spiky-haired girl named Beej (short for B.J., which was short for something else that she refused to tell me) and an enormous black dog named Orion.

“... twice a day, minimum,” I heard Nick say as I darted through traffic to join him. He smiled when he saw me and slipped an arm around me.

BOOK: In Too Deep
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