Allie couldn’t stand it. She snapped off the television and walked out of the room and onto the sunporch where she stared outside to the lawn. And there on the porch, too near to her for comfort, was Rinko. Had he followed her here? God, the kid was weird.

“Hey!” a female voice called, and she turned to spy an attractive woman of about twenty standing under the archway. She walked into the room and offered a smile. “You’re Allie Kramer, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” Allie said, relieved that someone recognized her. From the corner of her eye she saw Rinko moving stealthily, trying to get out of the room. She ignored him. “And you’re?” she asked the girl with the sad eyes.


“I’m new. A transfer,” she explained. “And my name’s Shay.”

Rinko, standing behind the newbie paused and looked over his shoulder. He gave his head a slight shake, a warning, as he stared at Allie. She felt as if a ghost had crawled up her spine. What was that all about?

“So,” Shay said, commanding Allie’s attention again, “I hope we can be friends.”

“Sure,” Allie agreed and slid her gaze to the spot where Rinko had been standing.

But he was gone.

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