Nearly Found

⫷ Reading  ↠ Nearly Found for kids ✱ By Elle Cosimano ⇻ ⫷ Reading ↠ Nearly Found for kids ✱ By Elle Cosimano ⇻ Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the bers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects All of these and , bear mute witness against him This is evidence that does not forget It is not confused by the excitement of the moment It is not absent because human witnesses are It is factual evidence Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value. Dr Edmond LocardPROLOGUETJ Wiles sat behind me in chemistry class for nine months before I knew he was a killer If Id ever bothered to pay attention, I might have known sooner I could have sensed the bitterness he felt for my father, my family, the rage boiling inside him Maybe I would have felt what he was becoming, in time to save the people he killed.But my occasional backward glance wasnt enough to see him for what he was.I hadnt been able to see my father truly either Once upon a time, hed been the man who took me to Belle Green Park to play, who held me in his lap and did stupid magic tricks just to make me laugh.But David Boswell was a thief A liar and a conman who used his ability to taste emotionby touching a persons skinto prey on his own friends, siphoning their assets to finance his illegal activities, using their clean money to launder his own Because he could always tell what they were feeling, he was uncannily disarming, easily able to gain their confidence and assuage their fears He played TJ Wiless father like a card, then tossed him aside when the stakes got too high, before disappearing altogether five years ago.TJ had lived in Belle Green once, in a huge brick house with a manicured lawn as green as the golf course it nestled up to But after TJs father went to prison, TJs mother committed suicide and TJ was left to live with his uncle here in Sunny View trailer park A football scholarship had become his only hope for getting outthe same way the chemistry scholarship had become mine Hed played hard, like his entire future depended on it, until the day he blew out his knee, and his entire future went with it.My father hadnt just hurt TJ and his family Hed ripped TJ apart, leaving a dark hole inside TJs chest where his heart used to be A space TJ imagined he could only fill by taking from me everything hed lost Two months ago, TJ testified that his hatred of my family drove him to kill four of my classmates in an attempt to frame me and exact some kind of twisted retribution against my father TJs victimskids Id been tutoring, kids Id cared aboutwere gone and they were never coming back Posie, Teddy, Marcia, and Kylie Theyd still be alive if it hadnt been for what my father did.TJ hadnt succeeded in destroying my life like hed planned But he had taken my chance at a scholarship, my two best friends, and my ability to trust people without imagining the worst in them.Id spent years looking for messages from my father, scanning newspapers, mapping out the places I thought he might have been since he disappeared I had so many questionsthe kind my mother couldnt answer because she had no idea what my father and I were capable ofthat conman David Boswell and his daughter, Nearly, were both capable of tasting other peoples emotions just by touching their skin Id believed that if I found my father, Id have all the answers and my world would make sense.But the one person I had in common with than anyone on the planet had caused so much damage that four people were dead Knowing who my father was, how could I keep searching for him What if the only place left to look for him was somewhere in myself I pulled out the red thumbtacks from the map on the wall of my bedroom One for every city where I suspected my father had beenJersey City, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Los Angeles I tried not to wonder how many other lives my father had ruined along the way.The pins prickled the inside of my fist I dropped them into the wastebasket, massaging the marks they left in my skin and watching them fade A scientist named Locard came up with the idea that we leave trace evidence of ourselves in every encounter, and that we in turn take something from everyone we touch, even if we cant see it.And those traces of my fatherthe pain hed left behind in the people hed stolen from, the genes I carried that made me just like himterrified me.1Gravel crunched in front of my trailer and the muted bass of a stereo blew in through the open windows I licked peanut butter from my fingers and pulled back the curtain The fabric smelled like smoke, even though my mom had quit smoking two months ago.Outside, heat waves radiated from the hood of the old black Mercedes that blocked my front porch Reece Whelan sat in the drivers seat, wearing aviator sunglasses, his lips moving to lyrics I couldnt make out.I threw open the front door as he eased out of the car.Wheres your bike I asked, letting the screen door slam behind me.He leaned back, his arms thrown wide to showcase the Benz What, dont you like it I bit my lip, taking in the way his T shirt stretched across the broad planes of his chest Oh, I love it But doesnt it belong to Detective Petrenko Reece took the front porch steps two at a time and pulled me into him, looking smug I still hadnt quite gotten used to his tightly shorn hair, the soft prickly way it felt against my fingers when I ran my hands through it His shirt smelled like Armor All and car leather Different from the worn leather jacket I loved to bury my face in on the back of his bike But under all that was the familiar citrus and sandalwood smell of his cologne and I drank him in.He dangled the keys between us He probably wont miss it Want to take it for a spin It has air conditioning, Reece teased.He leaned in to kiss me but I held him at arms length Wait You stole Alex Petrenkos car He arched a pierced brow I didnt steal it I borrowed it I stopped over at Genas place to check in Petrenko was there They were otherwise occupied Reece let his eyes brush over me in a top down way that still managed to make my knees watery, even when I wanted to strangle him.I fought back a smile Okay I get it And And his keys were on the kitchen counter I knocked on the bedroom door, and shouted Can I borrow your car He screamed something that sounded like Yes, yes Hell, yes Then Gena hollered something about getting the hell out of their house So I did And here I am He beamed, still waggling the keys With air conditioning.The Benz dripped condensation from its underbelly onto the gravel With every drop, I counted the number of ways we could get in trouble for this Gena was an undercover narcotics officer tasked with supervising Reece, who was working as an informant in exchange for being let go after a drug bust last year She was also engaged to Detective Alex Petrenko.Dont look so freaked out, Reece said Petrenko probably doesnt care The police department issued him a freaking Charger with his promotion last month This things just been parked on the street in front of Genas place collecting dust In a couple months, itll be mine anyway I only owe Alex a few paymentsWait, youre buying Alexs car Id seen what hed earned during the school year narcing for the Fairfax County Police Department And Id seen the checks he brought home all summer working in the kitchen at Nicos Pizza He barely made enough money at either job to cover rent on his crappy apartment in Huntington I didnt need AP Calculus to do the math How He stepped toward me, his eyes fixed on mine, making me take a step back I told Nicos Id work part time through the winter He took another step into me.What about school I asked, backing up against the door.Its only a few nights a week Ill manage, he said when there was no space left between us But I might need a few extra tutoring sessions to keep up He brushed peanut butter from my lip with his thumb, knowing full well that I could taste every sweet and wicked thing he was feeling through his skin His intentions were decidedly decadent than sharing sandwiches.What about your bike In a few weeks, itll be too cold to ride anyway His lips hovered close to mine Besides, the bike doesnt have a backseat, he whispered.My mom cleared her throat loudly through the window screen.Ill get the sandwiches I sighed, pushing him away.No sandwiches Were going to Genas for a barbeque.Reece followed me inside My mother stood in the kitchen in her bathrobe, cradling a mug of coffee in her hands.Hi, Mona Reece handed her one of the PBJs Id made for us, and then he proceeded to scarf down the other My mother raised a sleepy eyebrow at him As much as she liked to lecture me about taking things slow and being careful, she adored him in her own distant, cautious way She dipped the crust in her coffee and smiled to herself.Ill get my books I snatched a corner of the sandwich from his hand.Leigh, its Labor Day Also known as The Day Nobody Does Any Labor Because Were All Stuffing Our Faces With Pie and Deviled Eggs Reece followed me down the hall, as did my mothers watchful eye, so I left the door open.You are aware that school starts tomorrow and we still have two chapters of algebra to cover before your placement tests this week Reece had been suspended twice last semester because of me, and I was determined to get him caught up so he wasnt stuck in remedial classes his senior year.No books, Reece said in a low voice when we were alone in my bedroom I dont plan on studying He made a clumsy grab for my waist and groaned when I reached for my backpack.He wasnt like anyone I had ever met He walked into every roominto my lifewith a reckless confidence Like he had nothing to lose.Did you get your orientation packet I asked.Yes He plucked the backpack from my hands and dumped it on the floor.Can I see it He pulled me in close and nuzzled my ear Ill show you mine if you show me yours.Deal I pushed him away and handed him the school letter off my nightstand.He sighed and fished a folded envelope from the back pocket of his jeans I sat on the edge of my bed and peeled it open My heart sank at the return address on the envelope.Youre going to Spring Run Thats all the way on the other end of the county.Reece shrugged Its my safest option Too many people know me here, between West River and North Hampton.I tried to picture the city bus route from Sunny View trailer park to his school, but gave up after the third transfer Reece was thin lipped as he read my letter from West River He eased down beside me Are you going to be okay You know, going back there I pasted on a convincing smile Ill be fine.He cupped my face and traced a thumb over my cheek His touch was bittersweet, a mix of compassion and concern Are you sure its not too soon I could talk to Nicholson Maybe he could find a way for you go to Spring Run with me As soon as the words left his mouth, I tasted how foolish they sounded to him.As much as I love the idea of being in the same school together, I live too far out of the way for you to drive me And besides, youll be working Its not like wed be able to hang out.What if the nightmares start up You just started sleeping again The dreams had plagued me all summerimages of TJ staring at me down the length of a barrel in the moment before he fired the gun, the dead faces of my friends, TJs voice telling me I hadnt been smart enough to save them The nightmares had only subsided after his conviction After the news channels and papers had finally stopped showing his face.Have you looked at my class schedule Im not going to have any time to think about what happened last year, much less sleep Ill be fine I had to be College applications would be due in December, which meant I only had a few months left to sharpen my cumulative grades and my test scores.Reece studied my class schedule, as if committing it to memory AP Government, Introduction to Spanish, AP Physics II, Computer Science, AP Calculus, and AP English Lit His gaze lingered on my new locker assignment It was close to the main officetoo close for Reece to risk being caught visiting me on campus Guess youll have a pretty heavy load this semester.You too Hed be juggling two jobs, between the pizzeria and narcing for the police Im not worried, I said, trying not to sound worried Well figure something out.Reece snatched his school schedule from my hands and tossed both of them over his shoulder Screw this School doesnt start until tomorrow Right now, weve got important things to do.More important than school I teased He pulled me in close and fell back against the mattress with a glance toward the door.So much better than school His rich, low voice tickled my ear He peeled off my glasses and tossed them aside Then he gently pulled the ponytail holder out of my hair which fell in disheveled brown waves over my shoulders Arent we supposed to be going to Genas I can be quick, he said, kissing a trail down my neck.But I didnt want what was left of our summer to be quick I wanted it to linger I wanted to savor it, like the lazy Saturday summer afternoons wed spent curled up together on a picnic blanket under an old tree in Jones Point Park, Reeces textbooks abandoned in the grass.We dont have to go to Genas, he said We could go to my place.If my mom found out, Id be grounded for the rest of the year, I said, wriggling out from under him I fished around the comforter for my glasses It was our last day of summer with Gena too, and I didnt want to let her down Besides, you have to return Alexs car Maybe hell be forgiving over a burger.Reece flopped over on his back Fine, well go to Genas.I pulled him to his feet I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him, reconsidering our options He kicked the door shut with his heel My mother cleared her throat again, and he smiled mischievously before wiping his lips and opening it.Later, Mona, he said.Not too late She glanced up from the newspaper shed been pretending to read, clearly noticing the absence of my backpack Her sly expression said Dont do anything stupid, in the same direct and yet totally indirect way the condoms had when she left them on my nightstand back in June.My face felt hot when I kissed her good bye She tasted faintly amused And maybe a little nostalgic.Reece held the passenger door open The interior of the old Benz had been vacuumed, and the dashboard shone A new car air freshener dangled from the mirror.I got in and thought about my neighbor Lonny Johnson and his obsession with his Lexus How it projected an image of what he wanted to bea rich, successful businessman rather than the neighborhood teenage drug dealer struggling to get out of Sunny View trailer park Detective Petrenko used to sell drugs alongside Lonny when he was working undercover as a narc Hed driven the Benz back then Now Reece would have it My eyes crossed toward Lonnys trailer, but there was no sign of him or his car.Reece drove to the end of my street and pulled in front of the Bui Mart.Why are we stopping I asked A white Honda Civic was parked beside us It belonged to my exbest friend, Jeremy Fowler.I asked Gena what we should bring She put us in charge of soda and chips.Theres a 7 Eleven up the street.Were already here, Reece said, unbuckling his seat belt and getting out.I sunk lower in my seat Ill wait in the car.Reece eased back in I stared out the window at Jeremys Civic Reece took my hand and gave it a squeeze, infusing me with a little shot of confidence.You cant avoid them forever, he said I wished he were wrong The two people Id cared about most, besides Reece, treated me like I didnt exist Which sucked, because Anh Bui and I would probably end up lab partners, like we had every year And since Jeremy and Anh were dating, seeing them together at school seemed inevitable.I followed Reece into the store The bells on the door announced our arrival and Anh looked up from the register Her brother, Bao, the store manager, must have had the night off Jeremy was perched behind the counter He glanced at me over the rim of his glasses and, clearly finding me unworthy of his time, returned his attention to his magazine Anhs face floundered and settled on a non committal half smile, like she wasnt sure where her obligation to customer service began, given that our friendship had ended I saved her the headache of figuring it out and headed for the walk in cooler at the back of the store It was probably warmer in there anyway.I opened the heavy glass door and stepped inside, rubbing the chill from my arms The walls were lined with shelves of beer and soda on one side, and big glass windows on the other that looked out into the store I was grateful for the posters Bao had papered over the glass, so I wouldnt have to feel Jeremy and Anh staring at me I grabbed a two liter of Coke and some Diet for Gena, while Reece hit the ATM machine and picked out some chips.Anh rang up our total Nineteen dollars and eighty three cents Please, she added quietly, like she didnt want Jeremy to hear Her eyes lifted to mine, then quickly away as she bagged my purchases Reece dropped a twenty on the counter and Jeremy snapped the page of his magazine.Tough crowd, Reece observed when we were back in the car The entire summer had gone by and they still hadnt forgiven me Anhs family was still angry that I hadnt gone to the police when the murders began last spring, before shed been drugged and abducted by TJ, and almost killed And Jeremy was still angry about a lot of things, not the least of which that hed spent the entire summer in outpatient rehab It was hard to believe we were the same people who used to share twin packs of Ho Hos and sneak into each others houses when our parents werent home, just to spend time together That we used to talk every day, about everything.I told you, nothings changed I dug around in the grocery bag for the salt and vinegar chips My hand closed on something spongy A Twinkie.You didnt have to buy this just to make me feel better, I said, peeling the wrapper open.Reece watched me inhale the first bite He raised a thoughtful brow and smiled as he pulled out of the lot I didnt.My mouth was full of cake and cream I stopped chewing Anh must have slipped the Twinkie in the bag with our groceries I hunted for the receipt We hadnt been charged for it.I ate it slowly, savoring it It felt like a peace offering, and it tasted like hope.We rode to Genas with our fingers twined, the radio low in the background, Reece belting out familiar song lyrics while he used my hand as the fret board of an air guitar His contentment filled me At the next stoplight, I caught him looking at me Caught my smile reflected in his sunglasses This was different from holding on to his waist as the wheels on his bike hugged the turns Sitting side by side, seeing him looking at me with that smile when his contentment turned to longing.The Benz idled in front of Genas row house They dont know were here We can still change our minds and go to my place, Reece said, leaning in for a kiss He mumbled something about tasting like Twinkies and kissed me again deeply.We both jumped at a loud knock on the window Alex stood beside the car with his arms folded He didnt look happy.Reece rolled his window down and Alex held his hand out for the keys Next time you steal my car, Ill have you cavity searched.I didnt steal it Its thirty percent mine.Great Ill be sure to invoice you for your thirty percent of the insurance, fuel, and maintenance Alex grinned tightly, like it was all he could do to keep from smacking Reeces head Its due for a tune up and an alignment, by the way.Reece rolled his eyes and dropped the keys in his hand.And it only takes premium unleaded, Alex shouted as he walked into the house.Reece flipped him off, fighting a smile.We grabbed the chips and sodas and followed Alex.In here Gena called The intoxicating smell of grilled onions and biscuits drew us to the kitchen Gena was pouring apple filling into a piecrust Her apron said Kiss the Cook and Reece obliged with a peck on her cheek He scraped the bowl with his finger and licked it, and she swatted him with a spoon His eyes rolled up in his head, euphoric.Back off, little man Shes already spoken for Alex handed Reece a cold soda from the fridge and shoved him playfully out of the way He tossed me a Rubiks cube from the counter It was a special cube, smoother than the one I had, with the ability to make faster turns.Whats your best time he asked me.A minute and twenty seven seconds, I said It sounded silly, compared to his ten second wins, but hed had a few years to practice Alex had given me my own cube in the days just after TJs arrest, when the nightmares first started and I hadnt been able to sleep, as if he knew my brain needed an outlet from the madnessan algorithm of simple solutions to a complex problem The cube was a puzzle that made sense, a game where no one got hurt It was a way to measure myself getting better.He raised an eyebrow Not bad.Reece planted a proud kiss on my cheek Back off, Detective Shes spoken for.Alex wrapped his arms around Genas waist and watched her put the finishing touches on the pie Alex was soft when he was with Gena, all denim and cotton and easy smiles Nothing like the undercover narc whod been posing as Lonny Johnsons lackey when Id first met him last year at school.Gena nudged him with her hip and put the pie in the oven She handed Alex a set of tongs and sent him to the backyard to fire up the grill I pulled a stool to the counter and watched Gena cook There were so many facets to her Some of them shone so brightlyher confidence, her looks, the brash character she portrayed to the worldit took me a while to see the layers underneath Gena worked undercover in the local high schools She and I hadnt liked each other much, back when Id mistakenly thought she was closer to my age and dating Reece But over the summer, wed grown close She was like an older sister to Reece, the only family he had left after his brother died and his mother disowned him.Reece leaned back against the sink with a peaceful expression If I touched him right now, hed probably taste just like that pie All sweetness and comfort Like coming home.So, are you ready for your first day back to school There was a crinkle of concern in Genas smile, and I knew what she was really asking me Was I ready to go back to the place where the nightmares all began.As ready as Ill ever be, I said through a sigh How about you Any chance youll be assigned to West River The department is farming me out to a school in Arlington, she said, rolling her eyes Rush hour on I 395 every morning is going to be hell Ill be lucky if I dont spend the entire fall semester stuck in in school suspension for tardiness.Too bad I was hoping we could study together Im taking Spanish for my language elective this year.She looked up from her deviled eggs with a curious expression I thought you were taking Latin I shrugged Learning Spanish just seemed .Practical she offered.No More important I pressed my lips tight Reece and Alex both knew enough Spanish to understand Gena when she relaxed into a quiet dialog with herself Or when she exploded in a fiery string of arguments she didnt expect anyone to answer I guess I wanted to understand her too.She smiled, like she knew what I was trying to say Wiping her hands on a dishrag, she said, I have something for you She reached into her handbag and withdrew a large envelope Open it.The letterhead inside bore the insignia for the Fairfax County Police Department Cautiously, I thumbed through the contents a generic looking application for an internship position, plus two letters of recommendationone signed by Officer Gena Delgado, and one by Detective Alexander Petrenko.You did it I asked, hardly believing the papers in my hand You got them to approve a forensics internship I had asked Gena if she thought there was a chance I could do my senior internship in the regional crime lab, but when shed inquired, she discovered that the director of forensics had never approved an internship for a high school student before I thought for sure Id be stuck behind a desk all year, shelving books in a university medical library or washing petri dishes for a pharmaceutical company.Its not finalized yet You need to have your mom sign the permission forms, and youll need a copy of your transcripts from the school Lieutenant Nicholsons agreed to be your official sponsor Bring all the signed documents and the application with you tomorrow Hell meet with you at the station after school.I looked over at Reece Then at Gena.I dont know what to say.Gena tapped her lip and looked at the ceiling How about, Estoy muy agradecida Gena Delgado es la mujer ms maravillosa, increble, y bella en todo el mundoReece threw a dish towel at her and laughed.She rested a hand on my cheek Just say youll work hard and make us proud You deserve this, Leigh Her eyes were shiny with emotion Pride It was a bold and effervescent burst of tangerine that never failed to take me by surprise Oh, and one thing She reached up to the top of the refrigerator and pulled down a couple of boxes wrapped in confetti colored paper.Whats this I pulled carefully at the papers edges and opened the first box Beneath the delicate tissue was a soft white collared blouse and crisp pair of pleated khaki slacks The prices had been torn from the tags In the second box was a shiny pair of matching flats, exactly my size.For your first day at the forensics lab My mother always told me to dress the part, Gena said If you want to be a professional, you have to look like one.I trailed a finger over the silky buttons of the shirt Id never given a moments thought to what I would wear to an internship Part of me wanted to throw my arms around her, if only to remind myself that she really believed I deserved all this That she believed I could be the person inside these boxes.Theyre perfect.Good, she said, returning her attention to the bowls on the counter You can wear them to the wedding too Were going to keep it simple Just a few close friends and a Justice of the Peace, if we ever get around to setting a date.Some of my pride fizzled Alex and Gena had postponed their original wedding plans because of the trial The magazines and catalogs were all gone from her living room The ones with the big poofy gowns and fancy china patterns.I thought you wanted a big wedding She dropped a stack of mixing bowls in the sink Now that the case is over, I just want to be married Thank God TJ took that plea bargain back in June Otherwise, Alex would be so tangled up in court dates, wed be old and gray before we could take enough time off for a honeymoon Gena peeled off her apron and set it on the counter Its over TJs in prison and its a new school year, and we can all move on with our lives.Amen Alex poked his head through the screen door Burgers are almost ready. After dinner, we sat around the patio table, talking until the sun began to set, then we all helped clear the dishes Alex put on Genas apron and started in, while Gena organized the leftovers, singing softly to a song on the radio while she moved about the kitchen I watched, feeling warm and full and drowsy.Reece reached for my hand and led me to a patch of grass in the backyard We lay there, staring at the sunset, my head on his chest and his fingers tangled in mine He rolled onto his side, wincing from the lingering stiffness in his shoulder Even though the bullet wound from TJ had healed, it still ached from time to time, and he bore it silently, like a penance.Close your eyes, he said, leaning into me.What Just do it I felt a crisp, peppermint thrill as he pulled me to my knees Reece was nervous, excited.What is it I giggled.I felt his fingers at the nape of my neck, unfastening my pendant his pendant Its absence felt strange I hadnt taken it off since hed placed the chain holding his brothers class ring around my neck that night in the hospital back in June I pushed away the unsettled feeling in my chest and resisted the urge to open my eyes, trusting in the sweetness of his emotions instead Any doubts I had were overcome by the cool spill of a chain falling against my skin and the press of his lips to my cheek.Reeces breath was shaky when he whispered, Open them.I blinked my eyes open His brothers pewter ring was gone In its place was a silver thistle charm, its leaves delicately curled around a flower made from a tiny purple stone The thistle was a symbol Reece associated with his brothera kid who wasnt afraid to do the right thing, even if it meant risking his own future A reminder of the person Reece was trying so hard to be.If you dont want it, Ill understand I mean I dont want to take the ring from you Its just I want you to have something from me, but Reece held his brothers ring and its heavy chain, like he was waiting for permission to put it on To put it back where it belonged I drew it over his head.The winding thistle tattoo on his arm slid around my waist He pulled me in close and kissed me His emotions seemed to mirror the changing colors of the sky, layers of deepening feelings with blurry edges I couldnt quite define I slipped my hands under the hem of his shirt, up his stomach and over his chest, my fingers finding the smooth pucker of scar tissue just below his right shoulder His heartbeat was steady and strong beneath my wrist, but everything inside him tasted uncertain.Whats wrong I asked him.I kissed the hard line of his jaw and it relaxed into a smile Right this second Absolutely nothing.And I knew exactly what he meant That everything was completely right, but there was nothing we could do to keep this last day of summer from dissolving away.2My locker made a hollow sound when I snapped it open, and my chest felt tight The first day of my senior year should have felt great, like a new beginning New classes, new books, new schedule And yet, starting a new year without Jeremy and Anhwithout Teddys laughter and Posies smilefelt like starting over alone But I wasnt alone, I reminded myself I had Reece I had Gena I had an internship.I inspected the scratched interior of my locker A new prepaid cell phone caught my eye on the shelf and a smile pulled at my lips Reece used to leave prepaid cell phones for me last spring, because I couldnt afford and didnt care enough to buy one of my own When wed first met, Id resented the idea of being connected to him And now I couldnt stand being apart The knot in my chest loosened as I thumbed through to the inbox.One new text message.Knock em dead today Ill pick you up at your place after school I miss you Reece.I glanced toward the front office, hoping he hadnt been caught He must have broken into the school before daybreak to leave it for me His new school was as far from his last assignment here at West River as Lieutenant Nicholson could put him My smile flaked away as I touched the thistle pendant, and I tried not to think about the miles between us, or the long day of classes ahead of me.I organized my notebooks on my locker shelf in order by period Put my sack lunch on top Snapped my small magnetic mirror in place inside the door When I looked into it, a cluster of girls were whispering and pointing in my direction I slammed the door shut and headed to my first period class.Computer Science Mr Hurley Computer Lab 269.I navigated the halls with my head down, ignoring the conversations that seemed to hush as I walked by My classroom was easy to find and I slipped into an open workstation at the back of the room But with one glance at the door, I wished I hadnt picked the seat farthest from it The whiteboard beside it said Teachers AssistantJeremy Fowler, and for a moment, I considered walking out Id never dropped a class before, but there was a first time for everything Then the bell rang and Jeremy closed the door He stood by the teachers side at the front of the room.Mr Hurley prattled on about attendance and bathroom passes and tardy slips, and Jeremy walked up and down the aisles, handing out syllabi I could feel Jeremys gaze brush mine, neither of us looking directly at each other Anh sat in the front row I saw Sharissa Winters and Eric Miller from chem class last year And Vince DiMorello, sitting with a few of his teammates at the other end of my row.For the purpose of this class, you will each set up an e mail account today You will use this account to submit your homework and to access your weekly assignments and your grades You may also use these accounts to communicate with your assigned partners To keep things simple and orderly, you will create your e mail address using the following format Your last name Dot Your first name At our school domain Mr Hurley scrawled a sample on the board The workstation where you are seated now will be your workstation for the remainder of the semester, and your lab partner will be the person seated beside you, beginning from the left of each row.There was a rush of grumbles and whispers Eric Miller sat to my right, and I cringed inside Hed been Alex Petrenkos lab partner last year and neither one of them had done a bang up job of keeping their collective grade above a C Eric chewed a fingernail, looking equally dismayed, probably at being stuck with the school pariah for a lab partner I gave him a small wave He waved back I guess it could have been worse I could have been stuck with Anh.Mr Hurley stepped out of the room, leaving Jeremy in charge and instructing us to log on and get started I studied the syllabus Computational Thinking, Elements of Programming, Software Engineering I didnt have a computer at home Id always used Jeremys or Anhs, or reserved a workstation in the library The other students had already signed on to their machines, pointing and clicking like it was second nature, as if they were completely at home.Whats wrong, trailer trash Vince teased me as soon as Hurley was gone Never seen a computer before His friends laughed Jeremy didnt intervene Eric reached over and dropped a slip of paper on my table A hastily handwritten bullet point cheat sheet for getting started.Thanks, I said quietly, so Vince wouldnt hear me.Eric shrugged Do you have a computer you can use for our assignments My face felt warm and I looked away Eric lived in Belle Green His father had been friends with my dad, but that was a long time ago, and if he didnt know I lived in Sunny View before Vinces outburst, then he did now Im doing an internship this year Maybe I can use one at the lab.Whered you land an internship He actually sounded interested.The Joseph Bell Regional Forensic Lab I felt myself swell with pride I wasnt used to being the weak link in a lab partnership Maybe thats why I wanted to impress him.His eyebrows lifted They were auburn, like the reddish brown hair that curled over his ears, and the spray of freckles across his cheeks and nose.How about you I asked Are you interning anywhere Nah I didnt finish my community service requirements last year Still catching up Eric shook it off Im just tutoring a couple days a week Its not so bad.We did that awkward thing when two people with nothing in common are forced to talklooked at each other and then everywhere else, not knowing what to say.He took a deep breath, scratched his head, and gestured to the cheat sheet Um okay Let me know if you get stuck on anything I nodded, feeling small again as he turned back to his computer.After a few minutes, I looked over at Eric, but his eyes were glued to his own screen He was already reviewing the assignment for the week Maybe having Eric for a lab partner wouldnt be so bad After a little trial and error, I managed to set up my e mail account I used Erics cheat sheet to find the group documents and began skimming the first assignment.An alert popped up on my screen Two new e mails.One from Mr Hurley that said Welcome and Introduction in the subject line.The second .A chill raced down my arms It was from wiles.thomas TJ It said Im watching you.I looked around the class Everyone was working A series of quiet giggles escaped a girl from Vinces corner of the room I thought about raising my hand, reporting it to Jeremy Vince and the girl began cackling, curled in on themselves and gossiping in hushed tones Jeremy didnt look up Someone in the class had a messed up idea of a joke.Everything okay Eric asked.I took a deep breath and clicked delete Everythings going to be fine. I threw open the door of my trailer after school, zipping room to room and calling my mothers name Shed worked the late shift last night, and I hadnt had a chance to tell her about the internship She wasnt home and her work shoes were gone, so I ran back up Sunny View Drive and crossed Route 1 to find her Her shifts had been screwy lately and I hoped I would catch her between sets I banged on the back door to Gentleman Jims, waving at the security camera in the alley behind the strip mall The bar was usually quiet around this time of day, but I never used the front door Walking in on your mother when shes naked is awkward enough, but walking in on your mother and waving a permission slip while shes dancing on a stage would take discomfort to a whole new level A moment later, Butch, the bars bouncer, threw the door open.Hey, sweetheart, Butch said, taking in my breathless state He scratched the back of his shaved head Everything okay Everythings great Is Mom here I dug into my backpack for the internship forms, all business I only had a few minutes before Reece showed up at my trailer to take me to the station.A curious smile spread across Butchs face Come on Shes in Jims office.She was dressed in a pair of jeans and a T shirt Her hair was piled high on her head, and she was wearing her reading glasses I must have looked surprised.I came in early to help Jim with the books The man is mathematically challenged Well be lucky if he doesnt run us into the ground She smirked Dont look so excited about it My regular shift starts at eight Her gaze drifted to the police insignia letterhead clutched in my hands and her smile fell away Whats this She reached for it as if it might bite her.I got an internship at a forensic science lab My mother was silent, her face expressionless as her eyes traveled over the form Gena recommended me, and Lieutenant Nicholson said it would be okay, and I really want to do this, but he said I had to get your permission first The words came out in a rush, taking all the air in my lungs with them.Youll be working in a crime lab I could hear the worry in her voice.A science lab.What about school It wont interfere with school.But what about your grades Thats exactly why I need this In a few weeks, Id be filling out college applications, competing against hundreds of students with high GPAs and perfect test scores vying for a handful of coveted academic scholarships I lost the chemistry scholarship in June I cant afford to lose a chance at another one This internship is an opportunity for me to stand out To prove myself.Butch handed my mother a pen She didnt take it Well be fine without the scholarship You have all the money your father left youthe cash, plus the account he set up for you in Butchs name all those years ago.It didnt matter that the money had filtered through some out of state investment banker with fancy credentials, or that it was placed in my account through automated deposits and had probably never touched my fathers hands As far as I was concerned, that money was dirty It had been stolen, manipulated by a psychic conman out of people whod trusted him I dont want Dads money.Its not your fathers money Its yours It should be than enough for next years tuition, and if its not, we can apply for financial aid You should use this year to ease back into your studies And maybe have a little fun.My mother had never used words like ease when discussing my education She didnt believe in financial aid She believed in focus and sacrifice and merit scholarships Shed always pushed me to do my best You dont think I can handle this Her face fell Its just so soon after everything happened Going back to school after everything youve been through will be stressful enoughIll be fine Butch laid a hand on my mothers shoulder She sighed, her eyes creased with worry lines.I took her hands Please, Mom I can do this I felt her anxiety melt away around the edges, yielding to something minty and sweet Despite all her fears, she believed in me When I finally let go, she took Butchs pen.We both held our breath as she signed her name. When I got home, Reece was sitting on his motorcycle in front of my trailer, waiting I hopped on the bike behind him before he could kill the engine, and we rode the entire way in silence When Id wrapped my arms around his waist and slipped my hands under his shirt, his emotions felt muddy with a taste that was hard to place.Its okay if you dont want to come in, I said as Reece darted glances around the rear parking lot of the police station, pulling his hoodie low over his eyes.It would be too easy for someonea student or an acquaintance or a dealer hed narced onto recognize him Only a handful of people knew about Reeces ties to the police, and the fewer who knew, the safer he was.He took me by the shoulders and looked at me from under his hood I want to come in This is a big deal He pulled me to him, and I took a deep breath, holding my internship papers tight to my chest, ready to get this part of the process over with Police stations made both of us nervous.You know, you dont have to do this, he said into my hair You have your fathers money Its enough for school.I pulled away You sound like my mom, Reece This isnt just about money I want to do this.He brushed the hair back from my eyes I know, and thats what scares me.What do you mean He was quiet for a moment Im proud of you, he finally said I dont want you to think that Im not Its just He looked at the sky, like he was searching for the right words When I first accepted my deal with Nicholson, I thought working as a narc would make up for the night my brother died But this job these things I do, and the things I see I relive that night my brother was shot every day.I dont understand what this has to do with my internship.Just ask yourself why you chose this If you really want to work in a crime lab, Im behind you every step of the way But dont do it for the same reasons I did Youre not your father, he said quietly Youre a good person You dont have anything to prove.But he was wrong In a lot of ways, I was my father Every time I touched someone, I was reminded of how much of him I carried inside me.Cosimano delivers another shocking, dark, and brilliant tale that will make readers want to lock their doors Complex characters set against a gritty backdrop, along with gruesome details of investigative work, will draw readers in and keep the pages turning It is obvious that Cosimano has done her homework, and readers will want to see of her tenacious heroine Fans of crime television will flock to this series that is perfect for young adult audiences VOYAA sequel every bit as nail biting as its predecessor KirkusSwiftly plotted, with plenty of romantic thrills and suspenseful action BooklistThis suspenseful sequel packs the same level of chills as its predecessor.The forensic science angle, grisly murders, and determined, quick thinking Nearly herself give her fans plenty of reasons to keep turning pages until the should have seen it coming end Horn BookPRAISE FOR NEARLY GONE Eloquently written and packed full of suspense, debut author Cosimano strikes gold with this page turning thriller that will have teens chomping at the bit to get to the end School Library Journal, starred reviewThe plot moves at a breakneck pace, picking up along the way a first rate romanceAnd STEM enthusiasts can rejoice the killer s riddlesincluding the puzzle of what the victims numbers meaninvolve algebra, geometry, chemistry, physics, even astronomy This is an addictive and multilayered debut Cosimano has established herself as a thriller writer to watch The Horn BookCosimano weaves together math riddles, science based clues, an edgy romance, and psychological terror to create an unpredictable page turner.A good choice for fans of savant procedurals and dramas like Bones, Elementary, or Numbers Publishers WeeklyA suspenseful page turner that will leave teens on the edge of their seats Cosimano s character development makes almost everyone a suspect VOYA NASA Exoplanet Archive The first space mission to search for Earth sized and smaller planets in the habitable zone of other stars our neighborhood galaxy A Short History Nearly Everything A Bill Bryson on FREE shipping qualifying offers One world s most beloved writers bestselling Nearly Half Americans Don t Know Puerto Insiders Outsiders Puerto Ricans Are Fellow Citizens Exclusive Million Bitcoins Lost Fortune Just as gold bars are lost at sea or bills can burn, bitcoins disappear from Internet forever When all million mined by Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation Pew Research Sharp Differences Race, Gender, Generation, Education Survey Report Democrats hold advantages party Rainforest Facts Raintree Nutrition, IncKILA rainforest website features indepth information problems solutions Rainforest deforestation This Flu Season Is Worst a Decade This year flu season is now intense than any since swine pandemic still getting worse, federal health officials said Friday Celebrity Tippers Saints Scum Stained Apron servers, servers Dedicated venting food frustrations harsh education dining public Police shootings database Washington Post Post has identified names officers involved cases Mental illness played role incidents victims were white, while Expansion contraction dates United States Economy Best Sellers Teen Young Adult Discover best Adult Homelessness Poverty Fiction Find top popular items Books Blog Tour And Then There Were Four Nancy Hi Welcome my stop blog tour AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR I fell love with Nancy Werlin books when read Impossible several years ago Cheesecake sans cuisson au mascarpone et aux Cheesecake fraises Voil un bout de temps que je ne vous proposais pas cheesecake Si j aime beaucoup les versions plus classiques comme le Lissa Price Welcome Lissa International Bestselling Author If you ve been Ticketmaster customer between , should have some voucher discount credits your Members Thriller Writers Heather Graham, Director officer Co President John Lescroart, Lee Child, Large R L Stine, Fantasy Literature Fantasy Science Fiction Now, know we Jack Vance he one favorite speculative fiction authors but covers his truly atrocious Once Upon Twilight We turned are Unless hiding under rock shipwreck an island, then heard that March So course Edgar Awards Stop, You re Killing Me Me bibliographies mystery series characters Efternavne Danskernes Navne Placering Antal Navn Jensen Nielsen Hansen Pedersen Andersen Christensen Larsen Nearly Found

    • Format Kindle
    • Nearly Found
    • Elle Cosimano
    • Anglais
    • 05 January 2017
    • 385 pages

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *