Haunted Waters
is cute and one of the best at sports in our whole class. I’m not sure he knows I exist, except that I’m Bryce’s sister.
    We walked through the parking lot and over the little rise that led to Mrs. Watson’s house. I saw two people in the distance, between us and the barn.
    “Wait up,” Skeeter called from behind us. He ran over to us, legs and arms swinging wildly.
    “Skeeter, this isn’t your fight,” Bryce said.
    He caught his breath and looked at me. “I know. But I didn’t want you to think you were all alone.”
    Bryce patted his shoulder. “Thanks, but we need to do this on our own.”
    Skeeter glanced at me. “You sure?”
    I nodded and he walked back toward the school.
    Bryce gripped one strap of his backpack as if trying to keep from falling overboard. “You ready?” he said.
    “Me either.”

Chapter 67

    I stopped two yards from Boo and his friend and put my backpack down. Ashley stood behind me.
    “So, you gonna let us ride?” the little one said.
    I stared at Boo.
    “Answer us,” he said, sneering and stepping closer. “Or just hand over the keys.”
    I wondered if Boo had ever really beat anyone up. He scared people and pulled a lot of threatening pranks, but the more I thought about it, maybe he was all show. I couldn’t remember when he had actually hit someone.
    Who was I kidding? This guy had fists the size of cinder blocks.
    “We’re not allowed to let anybody ride them,” I said, my voice shaky. But I hadn’t stuttered. That was a start. “If you have a problem with that, you’re talking to the wrong person.”
    “Hiding behind your daddy?” Boo said. “Where’s he now? Huh?”
    I held my ground and kept staring.
    Ashley stepped forward. “We have your e-mail. Coach Baldwin knows what you did in the locker room. You want to be expelled, keep it up.”
    “Ooh, I’m so scared,” Boo said. He made a fist. “I’ll ask you one more time. You gonna let us ride?”
    I had always loved the story of David and Goliath, but right now I didn’t have a slingshot. “No,” I said, and the strength in my voice surprised me. “Leave us alone, Aaron.”
    Boo slapped me hard.
    Ashley gasped and stepped back.
    I put a hand to my face, and it was hot. “You slapped me?” I said, squinting at him.
    He looked flustered and glanced at his friend. Then at me. “Come on, put ’em up.”
    “You’ve never actually been in a fight, have you?” I said. “You just intimidate everybody.”
    I knew my face was red, but inside I was smiling.
    A truck raced to the end of the school parking lot and Boo turned.
    “I’m still gonna get you,” he said. “And we’ll have those four-wheelers.”
    As Boo and his little friend hurried away, Ashley patted me on the shoulder. “You okay?”
    “Yeah.” I rubbed my face. I knew the verse about turning the other cheek, and I was glad I hadn’t had to.

Chapter 68

    As we got on the ATVs, Mrs. Watson called out from her door. Bryce took off toward the pasture, and I rode to her house.
    “Your uncle was here asking for you,” she said. “I told him what time you got out of school, and he said he’d see you when you got home.”
    Uncle? Our uncle Terry had died, and as far as we knew Sam didn’t have a brother. I thanked Mrs. Watson and tried to catch up with Bryce. He was waiting on the knoll near the school. I glanced at the truck in the parking lot and wondered if it had been some kind of coincidence or if Sam had sent someone to protect us. Our uncle?
    We rode into the pasture. Halfway home, I noticed the truck going slowly on the road beside us. I couldn’t see the driver, but the license plate was green and white like the Colorado plates Sam and Mom have.
    We were almost to the house when the pickup sped into our driveway, kicking up dust. It zoomed through our yard and came straight at us, stopping a few yards from us. That’s when I remembered where I had seen it before.
    On Gold Camp Road.

Chapter 69

    When a man in a

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