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an SAT/ACT vocabulary novel

Chapter Seven

Page 2

“Hill . . . Hill . . . Hill . . . ,” he repeated as he ran his finger along the listings. Luckily, there was only one Hill in Corinth. He tore the page right out of the book and walked into the convenience store.

“Excuse me?” he asked the older man behind the counter. “Do you know where River Drive is?”

The man gave him a dubious look. “Yeah, kid. It’s the next left,” he said pointing out at the street.

Drew’s heart leapt as his adrenaline pumped faster in his veins. “Thanks.”

He turned around and shoved his way out into the warm evening air. Five minutes later, Drew pulled up in front of Samson’s house. It was a meager cottage-type home, but it was immaculately clean, and the yard was bursting with plentiful flowers. This town didn’t seem to be ridiculously poor to Drew. Couldn’t they have just kept their damn school open one more year?

Drew killed the engine and, functioning on pure ire and vengefulness, stormed up the front walk. He pounded on the door with the side of his fist.

“I got it! I got it!” he heard Samson shout from inside.

The door swung open, and there he stood. His brown eyes registered surprise. “Drew, man. What’re you doing here? You wanna come in?”

“No, man,” Drew said, his nostrils flaring as he attempted to keep his breathing even. “I think you should come out.”

Samson’s expression darkened as he glanced down at Drew’s clenched fists.

“Samson! Who is it?” a woman called out from inside.

“Just a friend from school, Mom,” Samson said dryly. “I’ll be right back.”

“Okay, but dinner’s in fifteen minutes!” she called back.

“Don’t worry. This won’t take long,” Samson told her. He closed the door behind him. “So we’re gonna do this now, huh?” he said, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Yeah. We are,” Drew said, backing up a few steps.

All he wanted to do in the world was punch Samson in the face. He wanted to see the guy go down. He wanted, for once, to feel like he had some kind of power over his situation.

“You couldn’t have picked a more opportune time?” Samson asked casually, like this was just a social call. “My mom and brothers are right inside. We’re about to sit down to dinner, for God’s sake.”

“I care?” Drew said.

“So, what are you hoping to accomplish here, man?” Samson asked, lifting his shoulders. “You think kicking my ass is gonna make you feel better?”

“It’s a start,” Drew said.

“You have no clue what you’re doing, Benson,” Samson said, standing in the center of his yard.

“Oh, I don’t?” Drew spat, his anger growing.

“Let’s say we do get into it. Let’s say we beat the crap out of each other right here and now,” Samson said. “How’re you going to explain it to coach? How’re you going to justify the fact that we’re all bruised up with, what, broken fingers and sprained wrists and whatever else? You think that’s really gonna win you points? You think us killing each other is really gonna integrate our team?”

“I don’t give a crap about integrating the team!” Drew shouted. “You came in and took my team away from me! So what the hell do I care what happens now?”

Samson pulled his face back as if he’d just been slapped. He looked at Drew like he was out of his mind.

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