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Authors: Valerie Sherrard

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Eyes of a Stalker

BOOK: Eyes of a Stalker
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Also by Valerie Sherrard:

Shelby Belgarden Mysteries:
Out of the Ashes
In Too Deep
Chasing Shadows
Hiding in Plain Sight

Other Books:
Sam's Light
Sarah's Legacy



Valerie Sherrard

Copyright © Valerie Sherrard, 2006

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise (except for brief passages for purposes of review) without the prior permission of Dundurn Press. Permission to photocopy should be requested from Access Copyright.

Editor: Barry Jowett
Proofreader: Rochelle Blaak
Design: Alison Carr
Printer: Transcontinental

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Sherrard, Valerie
       Eyes of a stalker / Valerie Sherrard.

“A Shelby Belgarden mystery”.
ISBN 13: 978-1-55002-643-6
ISBN 10: 1-55002-643-7

      I. Title.
PS8587.H3867E94 2006       jC813'.6       C2006-904262-4

1   2   3   4   5   10   09   08   07   06

We acknowledge the support of the
Canada Council for the Arts
and the
Ontario Arts Council
for our publishing program. We also acknowledge the financial support of the
Government of Canada
through the
Book Publishing Industry Development Program
The Association for the Export of Canadian Books
, and the
Government of Ontario
through the
Ontario Book Publishers Tax Credit program
and the
Ontario Media Development Corporation.

Care has been taken to trace the ownership of copyright material used in this book. The author and the publisher welcome any information enabling them to rectify any references or credits in subsequent editions.
J. Kirk Howard, President

Printed and bound in Canada
Printed on recycled paper

Dundurn Press
3 Church Street, Suite 500
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5E 1M2

Gazelle Book Services Limited
White Cross Mills
High Town, Lancaster, England

Dundurn Press
2250 Military Road
Tonawanda, NY
U.S.A. 14150

For Andrew & Shelley
with much love.


Grade eleven! All through the years — and right up until now — it's seemed as if school would just keep going on and on — like that cute pink bunny in the commercials. Then, all of a sudden, it's the year before graduation and whole weeks are just sliding away like crazy.

The main reason time seems to be zipping past might be that my boyfriend, Greg Taylor, is in grade twelve this year. I try not to think about it too much, but once in a while it's impossible not to wonder what it will be like next fall, when I'm in my last year of high school, and he's away somewhere at university.

I mentioned this to my best friend Betts once, but she wasn't exactly a comfort. All I'd been thinking about was how little Greg and I would see of each other. Betts had a whole different slant on it.

“I guess you're worried about him being around all those university girls, huh?” she said sympathetically.

“Not really,” I said. “I was just…”

“It's like a whole new world out there,” Betts said, cutting me off. “No parents looking over your shoulder at every last thing you do. No curfew. No rules. Just parties… and freedom. It's almost enough to make me think about going myself.”

“Betts, that is
what university is about,” I said, but I was already picturing throngs of party girls throwing themselves at Greg.

“And co-ed dorms,” she went on, like I hadn't spoken at all. She had a happy, faraway look in her eyes. “Just imagine.”

“Betts! We were talking about how I was going to miss Greg,” I snapped.

“Oh, uh, yeah. Sorry.” She offered a crooked smile and then tried to look sympathetic. “Of course, Greg wouldn't get into any of that stuff.”

This last comment on the subject was delivered with such a complete lack of conviction that I thought I'd better let the whole thing drop. Betts isn't always that insensitive, but she'd recently broken up with Derek, a guy she'd been seeing for a while, so her views on relationships were a bit sour. I cut her a little slack.

So… where was I? Oh, yes — early into grade eleven. In fact, it was the last week of November, long
after I'd settled back into the routine of homework and studying and all that stuff, which is always an adjustment after summer holidays. One thing that was different about this year was that I knew my marks were going to count toward university entrance, so I'd made up my mind not to slacken after the first burst of energy wore off, like I usually do. So far so good with that.

I'd considered getting a part-time job for the school year, but in the end I decided against it. For one thing, my parents thought I should concentrate on school (because of the marks, as I just mentioned), but I also wanted to enjoy the last couple of school years before heading off to university.

It didn't take long for me to be glad I wasn't working! I'd never have had time to do some of the other things I got involved with this year. I usually didn't get involved in extracurricular activities, unless you count volleyball — that's the only sport I was ever any good at — but I'd kind of lost interest in it, too. So, it looked as though it was going to be a pretty laid-back year outside of regular class stuff.

Then I joined the drama club. I almost didn't; the idea of performing in front of a bunch of people didn't appeal to me that much. But Betts talked me into it. Not that Betts herself is particularly keen on drama, but she's definitely interested in one of the guys who's into it.

Like I said, Betts and her boyfriend had broken up, so she was doing what she always did under those circumstances: looking around for someone new. Betts doesn't like being unattached for very long.

Anyway, she'd decided that Kevin Montoya would make a suitable boyfriend, which happens to be an idea shared by a lot of girls in Little River High. In fact, the drama club would have had a lot more members this year, except for the fact that Kevin's name wasn't on the sign-up list during registration week.

There are sheets for the different clubs posted outside the office at school during the second week of September, and you can't get in later on unless you have a legitimate reason for missing the registration period. Kevin had been out sick and had missed the registration, but since he had a good excuse he was able to sign up the next week. But because he was late joining, all the girls who
have signed up for drama when they saw his name on the list missed out.

Except for Betts, that is. She'd overheard him and his best friend, Edison Hale, talking about what they planned to join when she was behind them in the cafeteria line-up.

“This is
meant to be,” she'd told me in her usual excited way. “It's like fate is putting us together.”

Then she'd got that dreamy look that told me there was no sense in talking for the time being. Betts was off on one of her happy fantasies, eyes drifting and mouth
just slightly turned up at the corners, like a smile had got stuck halfway onto her face.

I wondered what her chances were of snagging Kevin, fate or no fate. She had a lot of competition, and no one had pinned him down yet. He dated a lot, but never the same girl more than a couple of times.

Kevin used to be one of those guys no one paid much attention to: a bit chubby and babyish looking right up until last year. Then he must have started working out or something, because he got in really great shape. It was like everything about him changed with the new look, even the way he walked and talked. Girls started noticing him big time.

Anyway, all of that aside, the bottom line was that Betts pestered and begged and finally dragged me with her into the drama club.

There were seventeen of us in the club, not counting the teacher who organizes it — Miss Lubowski. She teaches grade twelve English, wears high heels and skirts, and drives a really cool car. (A guy could probably tell you what kind of car it is, but all I know is that it's black and sleek.)

I'd expected most of the drama club to be girls, so it was a surprise to find that it was almost evenly divided, with nine girls and eight guys. It would have been nine and nine if I'd been able to persuade Greg to join, too. He said there was no way he'd have time
for learning lines and rehearsals and all that stuff.

Greg did join one club this year, though, and I signed up for that with him — but only because I was honestly interested myself. The club was a book club, but was a bit different than most. It was more like a combination book and writing club, and a local author joined us some weeks. On those nights, he'd talk about writing, give us tips, and have us do little assignments and stuff. I'm not going to tell you his real name because he always insisted he liked to keep a low profile. I'll just call him Webster.

The book club was small and predominantly female. Besides Greg and me there were seven other girls and four other guys for a total of thirteen students. (A few of the kids were also in the drama club, which makes sense since both clubs are about stories in one form or another.) Then there was the teacher, Mr. Grimes, and, when he could make it, Webster.

It didn't take long to see that there was going to be a little conflict between Mr. Grimes and Webster. It started pretty much the first time Webster joined us, and kind of took over.

Not that Mr. Grimes was exactly the group's leader or anything. He really tried to stay in the background and just offer comments or help if we asked for it. But the way Webster jumped in and took over, kind of assuming centre stage and acting like he was the single
and sole authority on all things written, well, that got under Mr. Grimes's skin pretty fast.

I remember how taken aback I was the first time this happened. It was right after Ellen had shared a short piece she'd written with the group. When she was finished (and after we all clapped, because we always do that after someone is brave enough to read their work) she looked around shyly, waiting for some feedback.

It was then, during the usual pause (when everyone was trying to think of something to say) that Webster pounced. He leapt to his feet and wrung his hands, pacing back and forth with this strangely anguished look on his face.

BOOK: Eyes of a Stalker
13.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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