Underhand (Orca Sports)
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Fifteen-year-old Nick Carver is tired of living in his older brother’s shadow. Markus is the lacrosse team hero, love interest of Nick’s longtime crush and now the recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the Philston Weiks Academy.
When a mistake at provincials results in Markus’s goal being discounted, rumors start going around school that he cheated. Suddenly, Philston Weiks is “rethinking” Markus’s scholarship offer. They’ve also invited other players, including Nick, to try out for Markus’s spot. Nick is flattered but conflicted. He’s pretty sure his brother didn’t cheat. But can he prove it? And if he does, will he ruin his one chance to finally be in the spotlight?
I look down at the phone in my lap and click on the latest message. Please talk to me. “Ahem.” I look up to see Dad staring at me. “I don’t think that’s yours,” he says. “Yes, it is.” Dad hates technology. All phones and MP3 players and converters look the same to him. For all he knows, this could be my phone. He eyes me suspiciously, but he doesn’t press the issue because, I can see, he’s not sure. I hear the cupboard door slam and know I’m running out of time. I don’t really know what I want
my curfew is nine. But tonight, curfew doesn’t matter. In one hour, I have a date with Lindy Hilner. Chapter Fifteen Sneaking out of my house at eight PM is pretty hard with a mother like Julie Carver. She spends all her after-dinner time in the laundry room, which is the only way to get to the garage. My bike’s in the garage. I decide to walk. Freezo’s Palace is way up near the train station, so by the time I see its neon blue sign lighting up the night, it’s almost nine PM. The walk wasn’t
server. My stomach starts to feel queasy. You heard Coach Trent. I did. He’d said great things after practice, and I’d felt…The acid in my gut makes a leap for my throat, burning the back of my tongue. I’d felt good. “Hey there, boys,” says Pearl, the owner, waddling up to our table. “What can I get you?” Kev pumps his fist in the air. “I’m doing the mountain, baby!” Pearl puts her hands on her hips, “That’s a lot of ice cream, son.” “It sure is,” Kev grins. “It’s a special occasion.” That
squeeze. “You boys go change, then come down and tell me what you want on your pizzas!” I nod. Markus’s sniff was enough. Just him. No one else. Mom heads back to the kitchen and Markus disappears to the bathroom, leaving me alone on the stairs. A full scholarship to Philston Weiks, just for Markus. Just for Markus, and no one else. Chapter Four I didn’t go downstairs for pizza. I said I wasn’t hungry. My stomach grumbles as I run my pencil along the staples in my notebook. I’m starving,
head. Even from up here, I can see that at least four of them have five o’clock shadows. If someone told me they were twenty-five, I’d believe it. I wince as I watch Kev trying to shake one of the bigger guys who’s hacking at him, slashing at his arms and torso. Maybe it’s not so bad being up in the stands after all. Another blast from the buzzer marks the end of the first period. Markus and one of the Hornets are yelling at each other, and Steve drags my brother away before the man-monster