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Chapter One

With the beat of a Gwen Stefani song pounding in…


Chapter Two

Maddy froze. She could feel the blood draining from her…


Chapter Three

Ow!” Weighed down by two huge duffel bags and dragging…


Chapter Four

Here we are!” Her dad’s voice was offensively cheerful. Mom… 21

Chapter Five

When Maddy’s cell rang at dusk, she snatched it like…


Chapter Six

Maddy! Rise and shine, little bean!”


Chapter Seven

When she got to the house, Maddy rushed into the…


Chapter Eight

Maddy.” Mom’s voice came through the door of Maddy’s room. 56

Chapter Nine

Maddy woke up at six and lay in bed for…


Chapter Ten

Back at the house, Maddy hurriedly peered into the fridge…


Chapter Eleven

Maddy wandered along the sidewalk. After a couple of awkwardly…


Chapter Twelve

Mouth agape, Maddy stared up at the Robertsons’ concrete and…103

Chapter Thirteen

Maddy tucked the edges of the old quilt around the…


Chapter Fourteen

Maddy sat with her parents in the living room that…


Chapter Fifteen

The interior of the gray pickup was hot, but David…


Chapter Sixteen

I’m so glad Dad agreed to go with the cream…


Chapter Seventeen

Mads,” Maddy’s father said, coming into the kitchen the next… 151

Chapter Eighteen

From her perch on the old wooden porch swing on…


Chapter Nineteen

Maddy! Come on, we’re ready,” Maddy’s mother called from



Chapter Twenty

Where are we going, Mom?” Maddy asked. “I’m starving.”



Chapter Twenty-One

On Sunday night, Maddy wandered out to the orchard after…


Chapter Twenty-Two

Bright sun streamed onto Maddy’s face. She closed her eyes… 196

Chapter Twenty-Three

Maddy stood at the kitchen counter, holding a giant chopping… 203

Chapter Twenty-Four

Everyone was already sitting around the table. Maddy tried not… 209

Chapter Twenty-Five

David!” Maddy called, running breathlessly up the path to the… 219

Chapter Twenty-Six

Maddy collapsed onto her bed and stared up at the…


Chapter Twenty-Seven

The radio in the kitchen was on when Maddy knocked…


Chapter Twenty-Eight

Maddy was folding T-shirts into her blue suitcase when there… 238

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Maddy inhaled a deep breath of the crisp Napa air…


Chapter Thirty

Tears almost blinding her, Maddy grabbed her suitcase off the… 255

About the Author

Other Books by Hailey Abbott




About the Publisher

Chapter One


With the beat of a Gwen Stefani song pounding in her ears, Madeline Sinclaire clipped up her long blond hair and slid into the hot tub on her parents’

deck. Steam rose up from the bubbling water, momentarily obscuring her friends’ faces. She inhaled deeply and eased downward. Suddenly, something grabbed her feet under the water.

“Brian!” Maddy screamed.

Her boyfriend’s sleek, wet head surfaced next to her, and everyone burst into laughter.

“What? Did I scare you?” Brian Kilburn asked, flashing his sexy little smile that curled just the edges of his mouth. After dating him for almost a year, Maddy still thought he was the cutest boy she’d ever 1

Hailey Abbott

seen. Brian’s sleepy blue eyes could always melt her annoyance.

“Yes, you did, jerk!” Maddy said playfully. She punched him on his well-toned arm.

“Don’t hurt him too badly,” Morgan Gainsley called from the other side of the hot tub. “He’s the only one left who knows how to tap a keg—Dave already passed out.” She pointed to a dark shape lying in a heap on a lounge chair, barely visible through the San Francisco night.

“How is that possible?” Maddy giggled at her best friend. “The party just got started!”

“She’s not going to hurt me,” Brian growled. “Not before I . . .” He trailed off as he stood up in the water, grabbed Maddy, and tilted her back in his arms.

“Eeek!” She giggled, hoping she wasn’t flashing the rest of the hot tub. Her D&G string bikini top didn’t allow for a lot of gymnastics.

Brian went for her neck like a vampire. He started to run his mouth lower, but Maddy struggled upright and shoved him away.

“Okay, hornball. Save it for later,” she said with a laugh.

Reluctantly, Brian released her and sat down again. Maddy settled back contentedly in the hot water, Brian’s arm around her tanned shoulders. Light spilled over the deck from the open French doors behind her. The glow 2

The Other Boy

reached the manicured gardens at the edge of the twoacre lawn. Most of Richmond Country Day’s upperclassmen, plastic cups of Miller High Life in hand, were packed into Maddy’s living room, where the leather furniture had been pushed against the walls to make a dance floor.

On the deck, couples were cuddling on lounge chairs with beer bottles strewn on the ground next to them. Rob Davis had started a game of drunken tackle football on the lawn. “Touchdown!” a huge, hairy guy screamed as he grabbed the ball and landed headfirst in the shrubbery at the side of the yard. Maddy smiled. Her first official house party of the summer was only an hour old, and she could already tell it was going be a great night. In fact, it was going to be a great summer—maybe the best ever. Maddy’s other best friend, Kirsten Owens, slid up next to her. “So when did your parents leave?” Kirsten asked, resting her elbows on the edge of the tub behind her, looking sleek and athletic in her navy blue Speedo. Maddy laughed. Even though Kirsten’s idea of a relaxing Saturday was running a ten-mile race, Maddy still found it funny that she insisted on wearing a one-piece suit to a party full of bikinis and boys.

“This afternoon— finally,” Maddy replied. “They should be arriving in Napa any minute now.”

“I cannot believe you have the house to yourself for 3

Hailey Abbott

two whole months!” Morgan squealed, splashing across the tub to join the other two girls.

“I know, right?” Maddy agreed. “You know, at first, they actually tried to tell me that I had to help them fix up that little midlife crisis—I mean, vineyard. But they couldn’t resist my powers of persuasion—”

“And that A in AP English, you nerd,” Brian teased. She gave Brian a push. “Go get me another beer,” she ordered playfully, admiring the muscles of his back as he climbed out of the hot tub and shook the water out of his dark hair. A tan line showed where the waist of his baggy navy trunks had dropped down a little. She heaved a sigh of delight as she thought of her and Brian—and her big, empty house—together, all summer.

“Girls, we’re going to have so much fun!” she declared, stretching out her long legs and watching her toes bob in the bubbling water as her two best friends flanked her on either side. “First of all, we finally got to throw the party we’ve been planning since finals. And for the rest of the summer, we’ll have shopping in Noe Valley, the beach every afternoon—”