Lindsey: Love and Intrigue

Lindsey: Love and Intrigue

by Kimberly Kolb


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Fifteen-year-old Lindsey Morgan Brooks is still considered the new kid in the small town of Emit, Michigan. Both of her parents are lawyers, but her father has built his reputation prosecuting some of the worst criminals in New York and Chicago. Now, as a high school junior, she is trying to choose her own path.

Lindsey feels the demands and pressure from school, gymnastics, and her parents as she battles insecurities to build friendships while steering clear of the many land mines in high school-such as the group of popular girls she has dubbed the "Fab Five." Busy with activities and consumed with thoughts of her secret crush, Chris, she takes little notice of what's happening around her.

She gets a flat tire, gets caught with the lights-out and starts receiving strange text messages-things she assumes are just high school pranks gone too far. Her father wants her to be able to handle herself, so she should be able to handle this.

But while she steals a glimpse at Chris, who is watching her?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475987911
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/06/2013
Pages: 410
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)

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By Kimberly Kolb

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Kimberly Kolb
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4759-8790-4



FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. I wonder who'll be in my classes.

As I shower and start getting ready, my mind begins to wander. What will this year bring? Will I have girlfriends—real girlfriends—or will it be like it's always been, me as mostly a loner? I've always had friends, but not good friends. Not the kinds of friends you read about or see girls have in the movies. I tend to get along better with guys. Girls are so much trickier. Well, at least for me. I think I'm the only fifteen-year-old girl in the world that doesn't have three BFFs.

Looking in the mirror, all I think is ughh. I wonder who'll be in the cool crowd this year. Mostly I like not being part of a group. I'm just me. I hang out with the kids I like, regardless of whether they're popular or not or which group they're a part of. Truth is, I wish I was more outgoing and social. The kids who are outgoing seem to be friends with everyone. I know most of the kids in high school think I'm shy. Maybe I am. More than anything, I think most of what they talk about is ridiculous, so I choose not to join in.

It would be so much easier to be a guy. Wake up, two minutes in the shower, throw on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, and show up at school—instant cool. Instead, I'm faced with an endless array of decisions like, should I straighten my hair or curl it? Should I wear eyeliner or just blush and lip gloss? Then there's the annual challenge of selecting an outfit for the first day of school. The judgment girls place on that first-day-of-school outfit is tangible. I guess the guys are judging too. Who gained weight over the summer? Who got taller? Who changed their hair? Nightmare. At least Mom has taken me shopping so I have plenty to choose from, but walking into my closet now, suddenly nothing seems right. What will the girls wear this year?

Staring at my organized closet, I decide on jeans that I know fit well, with a new pink top. Grabbing my backpack off one of the built-in hooks, I head downstairs. Of course, I'm the only one left in the entire junior class who's still fifteen and can't drive yet, but luckily my neighbor Isabella will give me a ride to school.

* * *

As I ring Isabella's doorbell, I wonder if it's really Tuesday. What if it's actually Monday, Labor Day, and I wake up her whole family on the wrong day? Stop it. Of course it's Tuesday. No one's home at my house, right? Mom and Dad already left for work, so it must at least be a weekday. Wonder if I'll ever stop questioning myself as to what day of the week it is. Do other people do this? Some probably do, but they likely live in a different kind of "home." Smirk. My mind turns to Isabella. I'm sure I'll get an update on everything she and Rick, her boyfriend, have been doing. They'll go to the homecoming dance together. I wonder if anyone will—

"Hello, Lindsey!" beams Mrs. Castiglioni. Isabella's mom is like chocolate chip cookies, warm and inviting.

"Hi," I say as she gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

"How was your vacation out east? Must have been wonderful; you got plenty of sun!" she continues while holding my arms, which are pale in comparison to her natural olive tone.

"It was great, thank you."

"Hey," Isabella says as she comes in, looking ridiculously pulled together. "Ready?"


We step through her foyer and into the garage, and I wonder which guys got cuter over the summer. Guess I'm as judgmental as the rest. Will he be in any of my classes? As we slide into Isabella's car, the music is already on. We head out and drive around the lake.

Isabella and I are not really close, but then again, am I close to anyone? I consider Elena and Melissa friends, but am I really close to them? Isabella's family has lived in the area for a while, and ever since I moved here, she has been nice to me.

And she's willing to drive me to school, so I figure I should at least try to be social. "How's Rick?" I ask.

"Terrific. We're doing great. It's been eight months—can you believe it?"

"That long?"

"I bet we stay together forever!"

"Hmm." Forever? Seriously, this is exactly why I don't get girls. Forever. Right! Why would you want to be with him forever?

Glancing around our small town, I remember riding through it for the first time. Nervous, excited, and mad that we had moved! Again!

We moved here, to Emit, Michigan, from the suburbs of Chicago the summer between my seventh- and eighth-grade years. I remember my dad and I were on one of our walks when he told me that he would be leaving his office at the end of the school year to start his own practice and that we would be moving to Michigan. My dad had started his career as a lawyer working for the New York District Attorney's Office prosecuting some of what he calls "the-most-violent-criminals." He says it like it's one word. Then we moved from New York to Chicago, and he worked as a lead prosecutor for their state attorney's office.

We moved from New York because of what our family knows as "the Case"—the Case that changed things. I still don't know much about the Case because it's one of those things you just don't bring up. Whenever I mention it, my dad's face tightens. He cracks his neck and usually answers in curt responses until he or my mom changes the subject. What I do know is that he had been preparing to go to trial to prosecute a sixteen-year-old who had apparently sexually assaulted and brutally beaten a couple of young girls. My dad was planning to try him as an adult. Before the trial even started, my dad received an anonymous letter letting him know that the author hoped my dad was successful in prosecuting this kid and sending him to jail for life. The letter said that if my dad was the prosecuting attorney and the kid ever walked free again, the writer would ensure I would understand what pain was before burying me alive.

Dad was brought up by parents who had immigrated to the United States, and he was raised with very strong family values. His Italian father died young, but my mom once told me Dad knew what his father would have said to him about caring for me. Hearing his father's advice in his head, Dad immediately transferred the case to another attorney.

My father refers to the kid who was accused as the Animal. The Animal cut a deal with the new lawyer and only served nine months in a juvenile facility. In the year following his release, three girls were brutally murdered in New York. There was no physical evidence at the crime scenes, except one thing, the same at each. My initials, LB, were carved into a tree within a few hundred feet of each of the girls. My dad, and all the authorities, are convinced the Animal killed all three of them. These remain open, unsolved cases.

I know Dad thinks he would have been able to try the Animal as an adult, won the case, and sent him off to a real jail. I think Dad has always felt responsible for those three girls killed in New York. He's never given up a case since. After the Case, I think my dad felt like he needed a fresh start, so we moved to Chicago.

After a few years in the state attorney's office in Chicago, Dad took a position at the US attorney's office in Chicago. I guess he has always been a good courtroom attorney, but he really built his reputation during his years as a prosecutor in Chicago. He had several major cases that gave him a lot of national notoriety. He told me once that with his record, he should be able to build a strong private practice on his own, and my mom had always wanted to live in a bit more rural area. He started building the business when we were in Chicago, and he must have gotten some good clients because my mom built her dream home on the lake when we moved here to Emit.

Now he has a thriving practice. He says it's much better because he gets to pick his clients and his cases, whereas when he worked for the government, he had to take whichever case they gave to him. I think he still likes to be involved in criminal work, but now he also gets to work with clients like our neighbor, Mr. Kirkwood, in corporate law. Truth is, Dad still seems to get asked to consult on some of the high-profile cases being prosecuted by his old government offices in Chicago.

As Isabella and I pull into the student parking lot, my thoughts are interrupted. I see him: Chris Buckley. Sigh. He waves at us, so of course Isabella waves back. Wow, he always looks ... Wait, is he looking at me? He spent last spring semester and the summer studying abroad in London, so I haven't seen him since the fall of our sophomore year. As always, he looks terrific. I glance over at Isabella, as I assume he's eyeing her—and realize she's on her phone and totally engrossed in conversation with someone, probably her boyfriend, Rick. Turning back, I think Chris looks my way for just a second, then he turns to grab his backpack. Maybe he'll be in one of my classes again this year. I certainly hope so. If not, maybe he'll try out for the fall play; he's clearly one of the reasons I've enjoyed being part of the school's productions. Wonder who he's seeing. I've had a crush on him since eighth grade, when my family moved to town. We had a fleeting moment of romance back then, and ever since he's always been nice to me, but, sadly, I'm not even sure he knows I'm a girl. Maybe this'll be the year that things change. Who knows? I've daydreamed about him more than I want to admit—even to myself.

Shock, Rick parks right next to Isabella.

"Hey, Lindsey."

"Hey, Rick. Thanks for the ride, Isabella."

"Sure. See ya!" she says as she walks off with Rick's arm around her. I wonder what she sees in him. I guess he's cute enough, but he's definitely not one of the smartest guys in the class. What have they talked about for eight months? Seriously. On the other hand, I bet I could think of eight months of things to talk about with Chris.

Next thing I know, Rick's brother, Kevin, is standing next to me. Kevin is a senior, towering over me at six foot one. He's in the honor society, plays soccer, and has been dating the oh-so-perfect Andrea for the past year.

"Hi, Lindsey, nice tan."

"Oh ... um, thanks." Why are you talking to me? "How, uh ... how was your summer?"

"Pretty good; I didn't see you around much."

"Oh, yeah, well, I guess I spent a lot of time at gymnastics practice, and I was visiting family the last couple weeks in August." Nervously I keep looking down and playing with the zipper on my backpack. As I glance up, I notice in the split second that we make eye contact, he's smiling at me. He pulls his backpack over his shoulder, grabs his gym bag, and starts to walk toward school. I start to dig out my iPhone so when Kevin starts walking in with someone else, which should be happening any minute now, I can at least listen to my tunes and look normal even though I'm alone. I quickly look around the school grounds to see where Chris has gone. No sign of him. Oh, well.

Just then Kevin turns back and asks, "You are coming to class, right?"

"Huh? Oh, um, yeah." As I start across the student parking lot, I can't help but notice that he seems to be slowing down. Is he waiting for me? A lowly junior? Should I catch up with him? He must be waiting for Andrea. I decide to walk in his general direction, which, after all, is in the direction of the school entrance, so that way I can either meet up with him, if by some strange twist of fate he does want to walk with me, or I can just head to the building, in the more likely case that he barely knows my name and I'm hallucinating this entire interaction. I probably imagined Chris noticing me too. Great start to the year, Lindz.

As I continue to walk in Kevin's general direction, in a deliberately slow manner, I see Andrea wave at him from across the lot in an overly enthusiastic way. Okay, hallucination officially over. Cue Kevin eagerly walking over to Andrea and putting his arm on her shoulder.

Wait a minute. Did he just nod at her? What does that mean? Well, she is walking with some friends. I keep my steady, slow pace and approach Kevin.

"So, what's your first class?" he says as he seems to be matching my stride.

"Oh um, chemistry, with Lyons," trying to seem casual on the outside as I am totally dying on the inside. Why are you walking with me?

"I had him last year—good luck with that."

"Thanks." As I try to focus on what he's saying, I can't help but notice that he continues to walk with me. Okay, so he's just being polite. His mother works at our school and is so nice. She would be proud of his good manners.

As he heads down the hall, he says, "My locker's this way, but maybe I'll see you later."

"Sure." Heading to my locker, I nod at a few kids I haven't seen since the end of last year. I wonder why Kevin didn't walk in with Andrea.

There's the Fab Five gabbing it up. Jennifer is across their circle from me and is nice enough to call over to me as I pass the group in the hallway, "Hey, Lindsey!"

It's fair to say that I have a soft voice, so I try to call back loud enough so she can hear me over the general din of students starting the year, as well as the Fab Five discussing ... who knows what, "Hey, Jennifer."

"You going to practice today?" she says with genuine enthusiasm.

"Oh yeah! I'll be there."

"Great. See you then." Jennifer and I have been on the same club gymnastics team since I moved here. It's nice of her to acknowledge me while the Fab Five is holding court. The others do not even seem to notice. Shock. Those are the kind of friends I don't need.

As I turn the corner to get to my locker, I see Jon. I can't help but smile, although I consciously control it to a small curl. I must admit a part of me is seriously hoping that his crush on me is still in full throttle. It was nice last year to at least have one guy notice me for more than just the fact that I'm still considered the "new kid." Jon is a sophomore, and a rather cute one. I'm not really interested in Jon. At least for me, there weren't any feelings last year, but if I'm honest, I get a huge surge from the attention he gives me.

"Hey, Lindsey. Good to see you," he says as he hooks one arm over the top of his locker in a smooth, but deliberate, attempt to look casual.

"Hey, Jon, how was your summer?" I give him a sideways glance, and although I'm actually shooting to look him in his eyes, I realize he grew a good two inches and I'm looking at his dimpled chin.

"Good. My trip with my folks to London and Paris for a few weeks was great. How 'bout you?"

"Cool! Oh, you know, the usual." I throw my backpack into my locker, and slam it shut. He slams his as well. I suspected he was already done with his locker when I had turned the corner, but now I'm pretty sure he still has a crush on me. And I'm selfishly thrilled at the prospect. As I look up into his gray-blue eyes, which don't seem to leave me even as his friends are greeting him, I ask if he has chemistry first period.

"Yep—shall we?" he says with that familiar glint in his eyes. It's our traditional greeting. Last year we had first-period biology together, and he always said, "Shall we?" and I would reply, "Surely," which I do again this morning.

I feel a little guilty walking down the hall with Jon, because I know I'm probably not going to go out with a lower classman. I wonder ... does Kevin, who's a senior, have the same rule? Happily, Chris and I are both juniors, so the dream lives on. But Jon seems to know I'm not really interested in him in that way, and he doesn't appear to care. No idea why—but I figure why not enjoy the attention from Jon since Chris isn't giving me any?

Walking down the hall we hear the first bell, and we both quicken our pace. I'm always glad to have someone to walk with down the back hallway—the so-called "burnout" hallway. I hate going down here alone. All the kids that smoke hang out back here. Why do they all wear black?

I see Mark tossing out his cigarette butt in the courtyard and smile. Mark is such a rugged outdoorsman. Always going camping, or rock climbing, or something outdoorsy. I admire how comfortable he is out in nature.

"Hey, Mark," I say, and with this, Jon looks over to see who I know in this particular hallway.

"Hey, Lindsey, how's it going?"

"Good. When do you have lunch?" I ask, and I'm glad we still seem to be friends.

"Third—you?" he asks.

Excerpted from LINDSEY by Kimberly Kolb. Copyright © 2013 Kimberly Kolb. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments....................     ix     

1. The First Day: I certainly hope so....................     1     

2. Gymnastics: First practice....................     17     

3. A Ride Home: This changes everything....................     23     

4. First Football Game: T he football team won, but I seem to be in the
lead....................     32     

5. The Party: Sorry night was cut short....................     41     

6. My Ride: Fade to black....................     50     

7. Pairing Up: Just looking at him makes me nervous....................     57     

8. Empty: Everyone peaks at a different time....................     65     

9. In Person: I'm gonna kill my routines....................     71     

10. North Meets South: All's well that ends well....................     77     

11. Homecoming Dance: I 'm in way over my head....................     96     

12. Auditions: Should you trust me? Always....................     115     

13. An Evening at Home: Why is everything a code?....................     122     

14. Play Rehearsal: H e barely brushes his lips to my neck.................     130     

15. Flower Day: Wonder if I will ever know....................     144     

16. My Birthday: Yours, Chris....................     151     

17. North vs. South: Game on....................     168     

18. A Night Out: Sweet dreams....................     185     

19. Research: A huge weight has been lifted....................     220     

20. Pickup Truck: Who's that guy?....................     233     

21. Halloween: W ill we ever have our first kiss?....................     238     

22. Dracula: Remember you're mine....................     261     

23. Our First Real Date: All of you....................     282     

24. Hockey Night: Friends of yours?....................     296     

25. Thanksgiving Weekend: A third wheel....................     316     

26. Date Night: Time to get ready....................     329     

27. A Cold Winter Night: I've lost my grip....................     342     

28. The Clubhouse: Thank you....................     352     

29. A Plan: They're watching me....................     362     

30. The Final Plea: Why me?....................     389     

Epilogue....................     395     

Endnote....................     397     

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