by A.D. Fast
A showdown with the police. A stalker. A half-dead friend. The biggest rowing event of the year is coming up. This year, the Bayview High crew has a shot at a medal. Then, a rivalry with another high school gets out of control. The entire crew must pull together to finish the race. In the end, they realize that some things are more important than winning. But will it be too late?
Click here for reading level.
This book is part of the Bayview High series.
To read the first chapter of Dangerous Rivals, click here. Enjoy!
Other Tea Leaf Press books by A.D. Fast:
After Dinner Barf
Beating Up Daniel
Crossing the Line
Taking the Lead
The Mystery of the Medieval Coin
To Save a King
Angel Wilson: teenage diva
"It's a piece of junk," Shawn said matter-of-factly. He hit the hood of the '94 truck with his hand. It was a navy blue 4 X 4, covered in rust. The rubber liner around the driver's side door was hanging out. The fan belt needed tightening. The plugs were old, and there was a crack in the windshield. It was a piece of junk. A big, heavy 4 X 4 piece of junk. And Shawn loved it.
"Four hundred. No more," Shawn offered.
The man scratched his greasy grey head. He threw the end of a cigarette to the ground. He was wearing jeans that hung down off his butt and a white undershirt. His gut stuck out so much that it was impossible to tuck the shirt in. He also had yellow teeth and bad breath. Shawn decided then and there never to smoke again.
"My kid isn't going to be happy," he said. "Says he could use some wheels to get him to rowing practice."
Great. Now the guy was having second thoughts, and Shawn was having a heart attack. "Really? Well, let him know that a fellow rower will take good care of it."
The man thought about it for a minute.
"So you're a rower too, huh? Four hundred dollars cash you say? Sold. But I ain't throwing in the seat covers," he almost belched.
Leopard skin seat covers. That's too bad, Shawn thought to himself. I'm sure the girls would love them. Shawn wondered how bad the seat covers were if that guy sat on them every day.
"I'll tell you what, Mr. Dobson," Shawn offered. "Why don't you take those things off the seats now, while I remove the old license plates?"
Shawn took care of the plates. Then he stood on the man's driveway waiting to sign the papers for his new truck. He looked around the yard as he waited. The man's house was nice enough. Not small, but not huge, either. A large dog was jumping at the fence and barking. There were no other cars in the driveway. A tow truck was parked in front of the house that read "Dobson's Towing."
The man finished with the seat covers, and Shawn put his own plates on the truck. Then the guy dug around in his grubby jeans. Finally he found the right keys. Five fat fingers handed over two shiny keys. They were the keys to Shawn's freedom.
Shawn Weston had loved cars ever since he was a kid. By the age of twelve, he could do an oil change. By fourteen, he could rebuild an engine. By fifteen, he could drive. That caused a bunch of problems. By the time he turned sixteen, he wasn't allowed to drive.
Shawn had spent from age fifteen to seventeen trying to make up for taking his mom's car for a drive down the street. Thankfully, his mom's friend at the police station was the one who caught him. He could have hurt someone. As it was, all he did was drive into a pole at the Quick Mart. It was a big mistake and a dumb thing to do for a bag of chips.
Now, a year after most of his buddies, he had his license and enough money for some wheels. Driving his mom's little white car that smelled like flower spray was not great on a date. Not that Shawn had had a date in a while. Besides, he always reminded himself that even though his mom's car was not hip, it was a car. He was lucky to drive it at all.
When Shawn got into the driver's seat of his new truck, he felt like the king of the road. A king, however, without gas. It seemed Mr. Dobson forgot to fill it up.
His cell phone beeped on the car seat beside him. He turned down the crappy radio, soon to be replaced with a kicking CD player, and answered the phone.
"Yeah, Shawn here," he said into the phone.
"Don't answer the phone while you're driving, butthead," the voice on the phone said.
Shawn laughed. "If I'd known it was you I wouldn't have. Besides, how did you know I was driving?" he asked.
"Your mom told me you were probably on your way," Big Dog answered.
"Then if you knew I was driving you shouldn't have called me!" Shawn laughed. "What's up, Big Dog?"
"I'm at the school. Mr. Kennedy wants to know if his hard drive is ready. He wants to do some work tonight," the gruff voice on the other end answered. "He's right here. I told him I knew your cell number."
"Tell him it's done, and I'll bring it by in about an hour," Shawn answered. He waved to a friend out the window. "And by the way, I got the truck, thanks for asking."
Big Dog sounded surprised. "No crap? Sweet. I'll be in the gym for a while. When you drop off Kennedy's computer, come and get me. Now get off the phone, dope, it isn't safe to talk and drive."
Shawn clicked off the phone and threw it back on the dark blue seat beside him, still laughing at his friend. Big Dog would work out like a dog, and still he would only be shorter than everyone else. No one had the heart to tell him that no matter how strong he got, he wasn't getting any taller.
Big Dog--also known as Mark Massoff--spent a lot of time at the school and the rest of his time on the water. The Bayview High rowing team had their eyes on the Royal Cup Regatta. This year, their boat would win the medal. The entire crew was focused on winning. They swore that those weenies at Lincoln High were finally going down.
Shawn headed for home to pick up the computer for Mr. Kennedy. Shawn worked on computers to make money. He had a reputation at his high school for being fast and being good. He could rebuild a computer like he could rebuild the engine of a car. He thought they were a lot alike. Both drove something powerful and both broke down a lot.
The kicker was, Shawn could make better money fixing computers than he could fixing cars. Trying to collect money from your butt-head friends after you've spent all Saturday on their car was hard. Collecting from desperate teachers or parents when their computers broke down was easy. No one wanted to make their favorite computer whiz angry. Especially when his prices were much better than anyone else's.
Computer whiz. Shawn liked that term. Computer geek was a thing of the past.
Shawn Weston was a six-foot-three brick wall. Computers kept him in the money. Rowing kept him in shape. He was built like a truck and had the reputation of being quiet but tough. His light brown hair was cut short. A tiny scar over his left eyebrow didn't hurt his image at all.
The truck rumbled into the driveway of his house. His younger stepbrother, Steve, came crashing out the door.
"Great car, Shawn," he yelled over from the porch, hands on his hips and eyes wide. "You have to take me for a spin in that baby!"
Shawn laughed. "Sure, Stevie. And it's a truck, not a car." He shook his head as he passed Steve on his way into the small white house.
"Yeah, truck. Right, man," Steve said as he followed Shawn through the door. Steve always looked up to Shawn. He was twelve and would do anything to impress his older brother.
"Are you coming to my soccer game tonight? We haven't lost a game yet, you know. This could be one of our last games," said Steve.
"Are you kidding? I'm your good luck charm," Shawn called down from upstairs. "I'll be there, but I might be late. I'll give you a lift home in my truck after the game."
He didn't really want to go to every single game, but his little brother was used to having him there. Steve was so proud when Shawn showed up. He tried to make it to Steve's games whenever he could.
Shawn grabbed the hard drive from Mr. Kennedy's computer. Then he grabbed a t-shirt and shorts for a quick workout in the school's weight room. When he was done, he jumped back into his truck.
He decided to get the truck washed before stopping by the school. He hoped he wouldn't lose too much of the rust on the doors when it was washed. There wouldn't be much of the truck left.
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