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Kayla slumped in the front seat of her dad's police cruiser, a chocolate milkshake numbing her fingers. Please don't let him see me. Please don't let him see me.

She peeked as much as she dared over the dash and there he was, sitting on a fire hydrant with his head slumped between his shoulders. Justin Heard.

She watched her dad, snapping his fingers in Justin's face. The police radio kept spitting static, the voice of some lady barely crackling through, but it was enough noise to make it impossible to hear what her dad was saying. She could just imagine the lecture. Friends who want you to drink are not your friends. Like Justin Heard was just a victim, trying hard to fit in with the cool kids. But the truth of it was, Justin Heard was one of the cool kids. The cool kid. The king of Point Chester Public. If him and the rest of the grade eleven caf boys were drinking outside Betty's Burger Shack, it was because Justin Heard said they should.

When Kayla and her dad pulled up, the boys were all standing out front downing forties, smoking and laughing. Until they caught sight of her father's car. The Sheriff's car. Then they ran. Kayla's dad managed to snatch Justin from the group, which was why he found himself in the middle of a make better choices speech.

Kayla's heart spring-boarded to her throat as Justin's eyes met hers.

She ducked.


Kayla Girard was no idiot. She knew what a guy like Justin Heard thought of Sheriff Girard's egghead daughter. Loser. Brainiac. Goody-goody. She got that. And seeing Kayla out for late-night milkshakes with her dad wouldn't help Justin's opinion.

But it was too late. He'd seen her.

There was a click as the cruiser door opened and a thunk as Justin Heard plunked down in the backseat.

Kayla stayed where she was, crouched low below the dashboard. She could smell him. Cigarettes and beer.

Her dad opened the front door. "We're just gonna give Mr. Heard a lift home. Alright, sweetie?"

Slowly, Kayla slid back up to a normal human sitting position. Please don't call me sweetie.

"Justin," said her dad, "you've met my daughter Kayla, haven't you?"

Of course they'd met. They'd been in the same class since junior kindergarten.

Kayla watched as Justin's big brown eyes caught hers in the rear view mirror. His lips were pursed tight, his jaw set. "Hey," he grumbled. Maybe the first word he'd said to her since junior kindergarten.

"Hi." Kayla focused on the dashboard, her fingernails digging into her seat. This. Is. THE worst.

The radio spat more static, and then a voice came through. "Sheriff Girard, Dom's been trying to get a hold of you."

Her dad grabbed the radio. "Yeah, go ahead, Trudy."

"Dom's out on Highway 3. Got a bunch of sharks laying out on the road."

Kayla looked sideways at her dad.


"That's what he said. Eight of 'em."

Justin looked up from the window. "Did she say sharks?"

"Alright, I'll look into it." Her dad's forehead got those three wavy wrinkles it always got when he didn't want to do something. He looked over his shoulder. Betty's Burger Shack was on Highway 3. They were close.

"You're going to drop Justin off first, right?" said Kayla, near panic. Justin lived around the block from the Girard's - centre of town. She had a sick feeling she knew what her dad would say next.

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