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Authors: Vaiya Books

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Double Life - Book 1 of the Vaiya Series

BOOK: Double Life - Book 1 of the Vaiya Series
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Double Life
Book 1 of the Vaiya Series

 

Published By Brandon Fiechter &
Derek Fiechter at Smashwords

 

Copyright 2013 Brandon Fiechter & Derek
Fiechter

 

 

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment
only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
If you would like to share this book with another person, please
purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading
this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your
use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your
own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this
author.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Flinging open the glass doors of Sparta High
School, Ian Hansen sprinted inside and weaved past two of his
classmates, vicious thoughts about school circling through his mind
like hungry sharks. It wasn’t fun being a junior; his classes kept
on getting harder and harder and no amount of studying could
prepare him for the tests.

Last Friday, after studying for five hours
the previous night, he’d gotten a D+ on his first government exam,
which he’d found out on the school’s website last night. It hurt
more than he’d care to admit.

He’d always consoled himself for his low GPA
by telling himself, his family, and his friends that if he wanted
to get all A’s he could easily do it--now he wasn’t so sure.
Hopefully, his best friends wouldn’t ask him what grade he’d
received on the exam, as it would be too painful to tell them,
especially knowing that Darien would probably get an A, and that
even Eddy, who could care less about his school grades and wasn’t
even very smart, couldn’t do as badly as he did.

Forcing his lips into a subdued smile, he
carefully formed his school mask, putting a hint of boredom in his
eyes, giving his eyebrows the right slant, and keeping his posture
somewhat slouched yet not necessarily rebellious.

Not paying attention to his surroundings, he
darted around a corner with the metabolism of a Type A personality
and collided face first with the cross country coach Terry Sandler.
Stumbling onto his knees, striking the rough floor, he immediately
heard hushed giggles from some girls nearby. Shamed, he averted his
eyes from them--knowing who they were would only make him feel
worse.

His nose now steaming like a pot of chili,
his knees scraped up, Ian scrambled off the floor, reflexively
dusting himself off, before smiling sheepishly at the middle-aged
balding man who’d trimmed down considerably, probably from his new
diet.

“Sorry, Coach,” he murmured. “Didn’t see you
there.” This wasn’t the first time he’d run headfirst into someone,
but it was definitely his most public spectacle. Usually this
reckless behavior was confined solely to home, and only with his
brother Erik. Now he’d crashed into the cross country coach, an
impulsive, competitive man who expressed complex and unpleasant
emotions on a whim.

Staring at Sandler’s now red nose, awaiting a
verbal assault, he was surprised when the coach merely smiled
stoically with a relaxed expression on his face: “Ian, we need to
talk.”

“About what?” asked Ian, massaging his
throbbing forehead, disturbed by the man’s indiscernible face.
“This isn’t about when I burned Skyler Harrison with the Bunsen
burner last Friday, is it? I said I was sorry.”

He cleared his throat. “No, it’s not that.”
Embers of a dying fire smoldered on his face. Skyler was one of his
seven best runners, and to have him wounded in any way, even if it
were just the tip of his thumb, was not something the coach could
easily forgive.

Not knowing what the coach was getting at,
Ian dove his left hand into his blue jean pocket rather flustered,
regretting even mentioning Skyler. “Then what’s this about?”

Sandler rubbed a thick finger over his bushy
pirate eyebrow. Settling down, he folded his arms across his chest,
as he revealed his true intentions: “Ian, we need you on our cross
country team.”

Ian’s mouth fell partway open as he shook his
head, becoming deeply upset. “No way, Coach. It’s been a whole year
since I ran cross country.”

“But you still have it in you, Ian,”
countered Sandler, his eyes lighting up like Japanese lanterns.
“Last year, you were by far my best runner.” He paused, the silence
dragging his face down a dark alleyway, his lips twisting into a
writhing scowl. “Why’d you drop out?”

Ian shoved his other hand into his pocket,
tapping his fingers uneasily against his cell phone. Back to this
sore subject again. “Well … I guess I wanted some more free
time--”

“That’s not what you told me before,” snapped
the coach. “Last time you made that lousy excuse about
competition.” His eyes fixed heavily on Ian. “You still have a
problem with it?”

Ian’s arms hung limp at his sides; he
shrugged, trying to loosen up. “Yeah, I just don’t like it. It sort
of brings out the worst in me.” The coach bit his lower lip, his
face a fiery furnace, as two of Ian’s least favorite classmates,
Kenn Ashton and Jeff Burnes, smirked wickedly at him before
sauntering off to their classes like comic book villains intent on
fulfilling some evil plan. What was their problem?

Feeling a rush of annoyance towards the young
men, his voice cracked. “Sorry, Coach, but it’s the truth.”

Sandler’s teeth clenched tighter. “Quit the
lame excuses, Ian. You’re not a baby anymore; you can handle some
real competition.”

Cringing at the insults, he altered his mouth
into a semi-smile, masking his true emotions. “I’m not sure why you
even need me, Coach. Don’t you already have your seven?”

“Not anymore!” Infernal fire rained from his
eyes. “Skyler Harrison, my second best, broke his right ankle while
skateboarding yesterday.” Ash seeped into his countenance. “He’ll
never recover in time; the state championship in Peoria is this
Saturday.”

Lowering his head in shame, Ian felt very
foolish. Eddy had already texted him about the accident last night
and he should have remembered it. Still, this did little to assuage
his boiling anger. “I’m sorry to hear about Skyler,” he murmured,
“but can’t you just replace him with somebody already on your
team?”

The coach growled lowly. “No. None of them
are fit for this. They’d make me look like a joke.”

Ian fought back a sickly frown. This was
ridiculous. “So you think I can just come in and fill the position
when I haven’t been in cross country for a whole year?”

The coach sighed as he unfolded his arms.
“Don’t be modest, Ian; I know how good you are.” He paused. “You’re
in shape, aren’t you?”

“Yes, but--”

“And you still run almost every day?”

Ian reluctantly nodded his head, as he dug
his feet into his shoes. This was the last sort of thing he’d
expected when he’d come to school. “So I can come in just like
that? No paperwork or anything?”

“It’ll all be taken care of,” Sandler replied
firmly with growing enthusiasm, the faintest silhouette of a smile
crossing his face.

Ian’s brow furrowed with annoyance. “But I’m
not even on the team. I didn’t run in any of the races.”

He wasn’t fazed as he summed up the
situation. “Yes, I know you weren’t at the regional, sectional, or
semi-state meets, but that’s no problem. Your name was still on the
list so we’re not doing anything illegal here. Besides, we’re
desperate and people understand that.”

Heart thumping, wondering why the coach had
never removed his name from the list even though he’d been out of
cross country for a year, Ian gazed down at the polished terrazzo
floor, uncomfortable with his decision. After what seemed like
forever, he finally plucked up enough courage to speak. “Coach
Sandler,” he muttered nervously, as Terry watched him like a hawk,
waiting breathlessly for his next words. “I’m sorry, but I can’t do
it.”

“You what?” Sandler ground his teeth, then
let out a deep sigh and looked intently at him, adding in an
annoyed tone, “You’re not going to do poorly Ian; quit
worrying--”

“No,” he interrupted.

Sandler immediately clenched his fists, his
mind no doubt visualizing his team’s finest new trophy; he didn’t
back down. “Our school’s never gone to state before.” His eyes
burned into Ian as if he’d stepped onto hot pavement with bare
feet. “Do you want to be known as the boy who betrayed his school?
The boy who melted under pressure?”

Ian took a deep breath, aware that other
students were listening, as Sandler’s words shook him to the core.
As much as he hated angering the coach and turning him down, his
fear of running in the race and losing more than made up for it;
with the utmost reluctance, he stared at the coach anxiously and
replied, “I’m not doing it.”

Stunned, as a man who’d just found out he’d
lost his house to a fire, the coach hammered his fist against his
left knee repeatedly, wrath fuming from every pore in his body.
After a short silence, his glare grew even more intense, as a dark
brooding enveloped him. “I hope you have nightmares, boy,” he
muttered eerily. Then, after a brief pause, he added with spite,
“If you don’t rethink your decision, you’ll regret it forever.”

As Sandler strutted away, his head held in
the rigid manner of a grave digger, face still as proud as a
soldier’s, silence held Ian’s tongue, the coach’s ominous words
pounding in his ears. He felt terrible, as if he truly had betrayed
the whole school, but he could do nothing about it.

Shaking away the harsh words and the sinister
threat, he focused on the day ahead of him, forcing himself to
begin another awful day of school, made even worse by this
unexpected encounter. Even for a Monday, the day was starting out
unusually bad.

Jerking out his chemistry book, he kicked his
locker shut with his foot, as two girls skipped up to him, eyes
wide, prying interest written on their smiles.

“Hey. Why aren’t you helpin’ him out, dude?”
asked Shayla Reiver, a thin black-haired cheerleader with dark blue
eyes. Though most guys found her down to earth, friendly, and
peppy, he’d never liked her. She was a gossipmonger, and thus
abnormally talkative; she discussed meaningless things with anyone
who cared to listen--he didn’t.

“Cuz I don’t wanna be involved, Shayla,” he
replied distantly, as he bypassed the two girls and glanced back at
them. “Understand?”

“Not really.” She shook her head slightly,
gazing at him as if waiting for a good explanation, one he wasn’t
willing to give.

“Well, start trying.” And that ended the
dialogue, one of many that he’d had with Shayla over the past
couple of months. Avoiding their dirty looks, puzzled as to why
Shayla kept talking to him more and more frequently even when he
only grew more aloof from her, he strode down the bustling school
halls towards his first class.

Entering the chemistry classroom, shaking the
bubbly, annoying image of Shayla out of his mind, and the icy,
displeased frown of her nosy comrade, Alena Benton, he plopped down
between his two best friends, Eddy Sarris and Darien Bryer, and
waited impatiently for the hour-long lecture to begin. Yawning, he
felt his eyes grow dim. He grew drowsy. His eyelids began to
droop.

Faintly hearing his two friends talking about
some party, he drifted off, diving straight into a delusional
nightmare where Skyler Harrison tripped, while running in the race,
breaking his foot, his leg, and his arm. As Skyler limped painfully
along the track, everyone else breezed past him. Seeing Skyler in
such an impaired condition, the coach yelled at Ian as if Skyler’s
injuries were his fault and then shouted at a policeman to arrest
him. Within seconds, a burly policeman charged out of nowhere
towards Ian, quickly shackling his arms, and then shoved him
towards his car....

“Hey, man.” His friend Eddy nudged him,
jolting him out of his bad dream. “Look at the dork; he’s sittin’
all by himself again.”

Eyes now wide open, Ian faced his friend
fearfully, expecting to see the policeman. Seeing Eddy instead, he
breathed a sigh of relief, while subconsciously tightening his red
bandana around his short-cropped chestnut brown hair, Eddy’s words
replaying through his mind.

Wondering who he was insulting this time, Ian
saw him gazing over at Alan Reade and frowned. Of course, who else
would it be? Every day Eddy picked on him and never tired of the
repetition, but rather seemed to take fresh amusement in every jeer
and ridicule. Staring at Eddy coldly, he hoped he’d drop the
subject. Today, he couldn’t handle it.

“Tired again, Ian?” Eddy smiled mischievously
as he punched Ian lightly on the shoulder.

“Yeah, I only got two hours of sleep last
night.” He was glad for the new topic. “I guess you could say the
Pirates of the Caribbean did me in.”

BOOK: Double Life - Book 1 of the Vaiya Series
7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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