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.Olympia Heights:Book 1The Pantheonby Amy Leigh StricklandCopyright © 2011 by Amy Leigh StricklandAll rights reserved.No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.For information address Matter Deep Publishinghttp://matterdeeppublishing.com“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective.Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods.Third, adjust all your means to that end.”-AristotleTo my husband, who pushed me to be better instead of yielding to sleep better.“The kinds of events that once took place will by reason of human nature take place again.”-ThucydidesI.A rising fog outlined the sun’s golden rays.In a silent forest shrill giggles echoedoff the slender gray slanting trunks of Carobs.They flew through the mist.The sun’s spotlight pursued the lusty god’s prey.On soft cool grass he ran a humoring pace,at her heels to keep the game interesting.Then a burst of speed.He wrapped his arms around her naked white fleshand his soft brown beard tickled her slender neck.The chase was up and the prize was softly kissedas they tumbled down.“Quick decisions are unsafe decisions.”-SophoclesI.Zach Jacobs leaned on the wall in the tiled hallway of Olympia Heights Senior High.He was a tall, broad-shouldered teenager with brown hair and a smile that disarmed almost any girl who saw it.Zach Jacobs had bulked up during the summer and now, during the first official week of the football season, he was attracting a lot of attention.Not all of it was from his girlfriend.Zach’s hand was planted on the wall, high behind the head of a skinny blonde girl with too much makeup and not enough skirt.He was dressed in a pressed, collared shirt and light green tie because it was a game day.The skinny blonde pretended to be picking some lint off of the tie as she gave it a flirtatious tug.The girl’s expression changed from a careless smile to frightened and alarmed in an instant.Zach’s tie was dropped and the blonde sputtered, “Oh look.June.Bye!” She ducked under his arm and headed for homeroom.She cleared the scene of the crime just as June’s eyes caught sight of her boyfriend.The pair had barely avoided the violent storm that was the jealous fury of June Herald.The look of surprise and guilt on Zach’s face was apparent for a flash before he pulled himself together and stood up.June made straight for him.“Hey, baby,” he said, leaning down to kiss her.June made a graceful dodge, turning her cheek to him.“Feeling better?” she asked as she started to pull a printed outline out of her binder to hand to Zach.He had given her a story about having a cold the night before to avoid working on their U.S.History presentation.He’d had other plans that involved a long-legged brunette.“Oh, yeah,” he coughed, “much better.”“Good.We need you healthy and charming for our speech today.Here’s the outline.”Zach glanced briefly down at it before slipping it into his backpack.He was probably just going to wing it like he always did.Charisma was never in short supply for Zach Jacobs and that alone was usually enough to squeak a C+.“Now,” June barreled ahead, ignoring Zach’s lack of enthusiasm for their project, “I want you to explain the poster.That’s simple enough, just read the key, right?” Zach could only imagine what the poster looked like.June had a three-step plan for her life.She was going to attend Harvard Law then she was going to marry Zach Jacobs and finally he was going to become a Senator.He really didn’t have much choice in the matter.“Yeah, okay.Uh, hey,” Zach coughed again, dramatically.“I’m gonna go see Livingstone and get some cough drops.Okay? So I can get through the presentation.”June’s shoulders sagged.“See you in class,” he said.Zach moved in so quickly that June couldn’t dodge a peck on the lips before slipping into the nurse’s office.The nurse’s office was three rooms.The front room was full of green and yellow vinyl loungers with curtains around them.The beds were meant to serve as private resting places for sick students.Really, they just served as a nap zone for every kid who claimed to have a headache because he really just sucked at algebra.To the right of the entry there was a tiny bathroom.Straight ahead was the nurse’s office where kids were interrogated and moms were called.Dr.Jason Livingstone was the school nurse.He was forty-three years old and had a fabulously groomed, graying beard and silvery-blue eyes that crinkled when he smiled.Jason had been sitting at his desk, reading a medical journal when Zach slipped in.“Class hasn’t even started,” he said before looking up and recognizing who it was.“You go home, you can’t play Miami West tonight, Mr.Jacobs.”“I uh, just need cough drops.”Jason glanced around Zach to see June’s vibrant red hair vanish into a classroom.He looked back at Zach, an inquiring eyebrow raised.“Yeah.Sure.”Jason opened his drawer and pulled out a handful of honey cough drops.They were basically candy.“Here,” he said, dropping them on the desk for Zach to gather.“Get to homeroom.”Zach stuffed his pockets and picked up a paper cup from the sink to get a drink.He was killing time.“You’d better not really be sick,” Jason said, closing the publication in front of him.He leaned back in his seat, resting his soft hands on the arms of the chair.“Olympia Thunder can’t have a sick quarterback to start the season.”“I’ll be fine,” Zach said, trying not to sound too sure of that.“Our record against Miami West has been terrible the last few years.You can’t even call them our rivals anymore, the way they clobber us.”Zach’s shoulders tensed.“Yeah, well, we’re better this year.We took Frank the Tank from them, remember? And I’m the starter now.I’ve got a much better arm than Tomney.”“A good arm is only half of it.”Zach scowled.He was sure Jason was just pushing his buttons.He knew that Olympia Heights had sucked in the past, but the team had turned around this fall.Their old star player, Liam Morin, had come home to coach at Olympia Heights while finishing community college.His career as a quarterback had prematurely ended due to a crippling injury, but he had found his niche in coaching.Miami West’s center, Frank “The Tank” Guerrero, had left the city and moved to Olympia Heights because of a very hush-hush domestic issue.Best of all, the old coach’s son, Steve Tomney, had moved away with him and Zach was now the starting quarterback.Zach’s pass was quick, instinctual, and moved like a homing missile down the field.They had to be better this year.Zach didn’t have the money or the grades to get into a good college otherwise.The bell rang overhead.Jason leaned forward in his chair again and opened his journal.“Alright, Lightning, get to class.”June stood in the stands on the home side of the Olympia Heights stadium.The stadium, which was not much more than a large fenced in field, had prime seating for the home fans [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]