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Anyone's Game (Cross Ups, Book 2)
Excerpt

Chapter 1
On screen, my dragon-cross, Kaigo, is locked in battle with Saki, the yeti-cross.
Kaigo breathes fire, but before he can melt the ice off Saki’s beard, Saki thrusts a snowstorm my way. The fire extinguishes, and Saki comes in for the punishment.
I’m playing my favorite game, Cross Ups IV. Kaigo’s my main. I play him so much it’s like he’s a part of me. Not the real me, of course. I’m just a skinny twelve-year-old who’s never been in a real fight. Kaigo’s the guy I am inside my head.
Kaigo wears kung fu gear and he’s totally buff. He’s super confident, probably because he can turn into a dragon and blow his opponents’ heads off with fireballs.
Most of the time.
Right now, he’s being shut down by Saki, who just unleashed a blizzard of punches. The yeti-cross is being played by my friend, Cali. It’s the second week of summer holidays and we’re playing online. Cali’s gotten good at Cross Ups since she moved to live with her dad in Montreal a few months ago. I mean, she was always good, but now she’s actually coming close to beating me. I’d better power up.
I go to throw my Dragon Fire Super but she’s faster. Her character transforms into a huge yeti and stomps across the screen. Ice flies everywhere. My Health Meter is down to a thin beat of red.
Not cool.
I jump in the air to breathe fire down her neck—a move she never blocks fast enough. But today she does. Before I compute what just happened, a yeti headbutt takes me down.
K.O.
She beat me?
That’s not supposed to happen.
HermIone Tuesday , 4:08 pm
YES! FINALLY! GTG
We’ve been playing for six hours, but I totally don’t want to stop. Not on a loss.
JStar Tuesday , 4:09 pm
1 MORE
HermIone Tuesday , 4:09 pm
CAN’T
JStar Tuesday , 4:09 pm
Y NOT?
HermIone Tuesday , 4:10 pm
TRBL TTYL
JStar Tuesday , 4:10 pm
WHAT KIND OF TRBL?
She logs off before I hit send.
It’s not like Cali to run off just because she finally got a win. Is her dad mad at her for playing so long? Or is it something more serious?
Sometimes Cali’s like the yeti. She freezes me out.

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