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Guilty

De
224 pages
Finn watches in horror as his stepmother is gunned down in front of his house. His father reacts and kills the gunman. When Finn learns that the killer is the same man who admitted to killing his birth mother years before, he is shocked and wants to know if this is more than a terrible coincidence. At the police station, he meets Lila, daughter of the killer, and they strike up a wary friendship. Both of them are desperate to find the truth. What they discover hints at a much larger conspiracy.
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NoRàH McClintocK
GUILTY
GUILTY
NoRàH McClintocK
Copyright ©2012Norah McClintock
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
McClintock, Norah Guilty / Norah McClintock.
Issued also in electronic formats. isbn 9781554699896
I. Title. ps8575.c62g83 2012 jc813’.54 c20119077086
First published in the United States,2012 Library of Congress Control Number:2011943677
Summary: After Finn’s stepmother is allegedly murdered by Lila’s father, the two teens must work together to see what is true. And who is guilty.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has printed this book ® on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council .
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Design by Teresa Bubela Cover image by Getty Images
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria,bc CanadaV8R 6S4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custer, wa usa 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada.
151413124321
One Finn
ear my a beow, “Wa o you nk you’reI ong?” Bu ’s Trace’s Voce, sarp an sr, a pus me away rom my compuer. “Rober,” se sreks. “Do someng!” Rober s my a, bu Trace s e ony one wo eVer cas m a. To eVeryone ese, e’s jus Rob. ï go o e wnow, wonerng or e zon me ow e can san er. Se’s aways eng m o o someng or, beer, buy er someng, an se oes  n a Voce a’s ke a ens’s r. ï’s so annoyng a you’ o anyng o make  sop. ï know. ï’Ve oug abou peny o ways o su er up. ï ook ou e wnow an see Trace own n ron o e garage. he secury g makes ugy saows on er ace. Se es abou er age o eVeryone, an a brg
1
N O r a h MCC L I N T O C k
g an ose saows make er ook eVen oer an se reay s. Se’s w my a, bu ey aren’ aone. Tere’s someone ese own ere. A man. Hs back s o me, so ï aVe no ea wo e s or wa e’s ong ere. he ree o em are jus sanng n ron o e garage—e man w s back o me; Trace, n e g, er eyes on e man; an my a, beween Trace an e man. My a sous. ï souns ke, “Hey!” Sueny bo e an e man are n moon. My a unges a e man. He caws a m, as  e’s ryng o wrese someng away rom m. Wa’s gong on? Are ey serous, or are ey cownng aroun? ïs e man a ren o my a’s? Wa’s e ong ere so ae? Trace sreks, “Be careu, Rober!” he panc n er Voce pus me on u aer. My a an e man aren’ jus oong aroun. A eas, Trace oesn’ seem o nk ey are. ï’Ve ece a maybe ï sou go own ere wen: Blam! Blam! ï reeze. Wa e—? Down beow me, Trace crumpes an as o e groun. My a urns o ook a er. He beows. He unges a e man agan. Blam! Blam! A secon person as o e groun.
2
G U I L T Y
Ony my a s e sanng. ï run ownsars an ly ou e back oor. My a ears me comng. He spns aroun. He yes a me, “Ca nne-one-one. Ca nne-one-one.” ï swng back owar e ouse, uck nse an grab e coress pone rom e kcen couner. ï make e ca. ï gVe our aress, our pone number, my name. ï answer quesons. ï promse o say pu. Bu ï on’. Wen ï îns e ca, ï run back ouse. My a s on s knees bese Trace. Hs an s presse agans e se o er neck. “Da?” Wen e ooks a me, ï see asonsmen n s eyes. “ï—ï nk se’s ea. ï—a man, e—” He can’ ge e wors ou. He can’ îns s senence. “ï’s okay, Da,” ï say. “ï saw wa appene.” My a oesn’ answer. He oesn’ moVe. He mus be n sock. “An ambuance s comng,” ï say. “he poce oo.” ï’m jus guessng on a, bu ’s a sae be. ï mean, ï o e 9-1-1 operaor a wo peope a been so. “Da, you sou come nse an s own.” ï’m ara  e oesn’, e’ coapse. ï ake s arm. ha’s wen ï înay see e man’s ace. “ï know m,” ï say.
3
N O r a h MCC L I N T O C k
My a’s ea wps aroun. “ï mean, ï recognze m. He was ere earer ong. He aske or you. He mus aVe wae or you o come ome. Wo s e, Da?” My a oesn’ moVe or a woe mnue. Wen e înay speaks, s Voce s oarse. “He’s e man wo murere your moer.” ï ook own a Trace. ï’m as sunne as my a abou wa as jus appene. ï ee ba or Trace. ï reay o, eVen  ï neVer cou san er. Bu se’s no my moer. Se’s jus some woman my a marre aer my moer e. “ï’m akng abou Mom, Fnn,” my a says. “ha man—e’s e one wo murere Mom. Your rea mom.” ï ook own a e man wo es mooness on e aspa. ï spoke o m earer wen e came o e oor askng o see my a. Now ï în ou e’s e one wo so an ke my moer more an en years ago?
4
Two lila
’m n one e o a ba moo by e î or sx me I e oorbe rngs. ï knew someng was up wen e e e aparmen aer supper. He was acng srange, bu wen ï cae m on , e e o me. He o me o sop worryng so muc, nong was gong o appen, e wasn’ gong o o anyng a wou ge m no roube. He o me e a some busness o ake care o. ha was ours ago. ï’s our n e mornng. ï e’s runk or, worse,  e’s on someng, ï swear a’s . ï’ pack my bags an be ou o ere. A ng ï’Ve a e eeng a Aun Jenny was rg. ï neVer sou aVe come ere. Te oorbe rngs agan. ï unac e oor an amos rp  of e nges wen ï open . ï’m reay o e m aVe . Bu  sn’ m.
5
N O r a h MCC L I N T O C k
ï’s a man an a woman, bo n sus, bo grm-ookng. he man sows me s Id. He’s a cop. Terrîc. hree ays ou—ï’m beng a’s some kn o recor. “Are you La Oumee?” e woman cop asks. ï se knows enoug o ask e queson, en se areay knows e answer. Bu ï no anyway. “Does Lous Oumee Ve ere?” er parner asks. He says  Lou-is, ke Lous Armsrong. “ï’s Lou-ee,” ï e m. “An e’s no ere. ï you în m, o me a aVor. Te m ï’Ve gone back o Boson.” Back o Aun Jenny, wo warne me.I know He’s your atHer, Lila, but He’s been in prison or ten years. hat does tHings to a man. And beore tHat… “Wen was e as me you saw or spoke o your aer?” e woman cop asks. “hs mornng.” ï ook a e wo cops. “Wa  e o?” “ïs ere anyone ese ere w you, Ms. Oumee?” e mae cop says, s eyes searcng roug e open oor ben me. ï ee asame a wa ey’re seeng— e sabby groun- oor aparmen n a ny run-own ouse a s amos more an we can aor. ï’s nong ke wa ï’m use o. “No. ï’m ere aone. Wy?” Someng n e way e asks makes me nk o a e cop sows ï’Ve wace. My magnaon kcks n. ï e myse ï’m beng rcu-ous, bu e wors come ou anyway. “Were’s my a? D someng appen o m?”
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G U I L T Y
“ï’m sorry o aVe o e you s,” e woman cop says. “Bu your aer s ea.” My mn banks ou. ï’m ookng a e woman cop. Se’s eng me someng ese. ï see er ps moVe, bu ï can’ ear er. ï can’ ear anyng excep e pounng o my ear. ï îs my ears. My aer s ea? ha’s no possbe. “here mus be some msake,” ï say. NowIsoun ke someone srag ou o one o ose sup tv sows. he wo cops ook seay a me. here’s no msake. “Wa appene?” ï ask. “How  e—?” “He was so.” So? “How? Wo so m?” “We’re s nVesgang,” e woman cop says. “We’re gong o nee you o eny your aer, La, uness ere’s some oer amy member wo can o .” “ï’m ,” ï say. “ï’m s amy.” Aun Jenny s my mom’s sser. Se oesn’ nk muc o my a. Se neVer . “ïs ere anyone you’ ke o ca? Anyone you wan o come w you?” ï sake my ea. “My aer an ï moVe n ere a coupe o ays ago. Beore a, ï was n Boson. ï on’ know anyone ere.” he woman cop nos. Se asks  se an er parner can sep nse we ï ge cange, wc s wen ï remember a ï’m wearng lanne pajama booms an
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