The Naughtier Chronicles
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“Why won’t anyone help me?” came the hysterical scream from the other side of Jason’s locked closet door as he sent a text message to Haley, reassuring her that everything was fine even as he couldn’t help but regret not grabbing Cole’s phone when he had the chance.
Then again, if he’d known that his son was going to barricade himself inside his classroom, Jason wouldn’t have wasted time telling his son exactly what he was going to do to him. That had been a mistake, one that he wouldn’t be making again. Once he was able to convince his wife that Cole was fine, he was going to break that fucking door down and pick up where they left off.
“You have to come out of there sooner or later,” Jason pointed out absently as he glanced down at his watch and noted that they had twenty minutes until first bell.
Plenty of time to clear this matter up and throttle the little bastard for taking ten years off his life. Telling himself that it was a simple misunderstanding and that his son really wasn’t that fucking stupid to get a girl pregnant at sixteen, Jason finished reassuring his wife that everything was fine before shifting his attention back to that locked closet door.
For a moment, he considered leaving Cole in there for the rest of the day to ponder his life’s choices, but…
He wanted to clear this matter up before first period.
Decision made, Jason strolled over to his desk to grab his keys only to frown when he realized that they weren’t there. Sighing, he reached into his pocket only to curse when, “You really didn’t think that I would be stupid enough to leave the keys out there, did you?” came the heavily sighed question from the closet followed by, “That’s just sad.”
Nodding in agreement because Jason couldn’t argue that one, he walked back over to the closet door and asked, “Do you know what else is sad?”
“What’s that?” Cole murmured absently as the sound of his son’s fingers tapping away on his phone reached Jason’s ears.
“Telling me that I’m going to be a grandfather and then thinking that you’re going make it out of here alive,” Jason drawled.
He heard Cole clear his throat awkwardly before he murmured, “I may have messed that up.”
“And you may want to reassure me that I misheard heard you,” Jason said even as he debated how he was going to handle this one, throttle his son or throw Cole in his room and keep him there until he’s old enough to collect social security.
It was a tough one, Jason admitted, but then again, the decision may not be his to make since his little grasshopper would probably have something to say about this. Knowing his wife, it might end up being in Cole’s best interest to make a run for it before she found out about this.
“Chloe’s going to kill me,” Cole muttered.
“What do you think I’m going to do to you?” Jason asked, wondering if he had time to head down to the janitor’s closet to find a sledgehammer to take this door down before school started.
There was a pause and then…
“Good point,” Cole said, clearing his throat before adding, “I screwed up.”
“Clearly,” Jason drawled, leaning back against the wall with a heavy sigh as he reached up and rubbed the back of his neck, wondering how they got here.
It seemed like only yesterday that Cole was climbing onto his lap, demanding extra story time before bed and now…
He wasn’t ready for this.
“Start talking,” Jason said, dropping his hand away with a sigh.
“I didn’t have a choice,” Cole said, making Jason shake his head in disgust, already knowing that was bullshit. He’d raised all of his children to own up to their mistakes and this was definitely a big fucking mistake.
Haley was going to kill him.
“You always have a choice,” Jason reminded him.
“Not really,” Cole said, sounding so fucking upset that it nearly fucking killed Jason.
He didn’t want this for his son.
“I don’t know how to tell Chloe,” Cole said on a pathetic groan, making Jason frown.
“Shouldn’t she already know about this?” Jason asked since he’d assumed that it was Chloe since Cole spent nearly every fucking minute with her, but maybe he’d missed something?
Cole hadn’t acted like Chloe was anything more than a friend, but Jason would be lying if he said that he hadn’t been hoping that there was something more there. He liked Chloe. She was incredibly kind, sweet, and funny and she would be good for Cole, but his son was a Bradford, which meant that he was going to fuck this up.
“Who is it?” Jason asked, slowly exhaling as he tried to figure out how they were going to get through this.
“Who is who?” Cole asked, sounding confused while Jason stood there, glaring at the closet door.
“Who. Is. The. Mother?” he bit out, in no fucking mood to play this game.
“Chloe,” Cole said slowly in a tone that told Jason that he should really fucking know that.
Definitely going to throttle the little bastard, Jason decided as he pushed away from the wall and-
“Is he in there?” Chloe asked as she pushed her glasses up with one hand while she gestured with the other to the closet door.
“Oh, crap,” came the muttered response from the safety of the closet as Jason watched the teenage girl that he was fond of narrow her eyes accusingly on the closet door.
“Did you really think that I wouldn’t find out?” Chloe asked, shaking her head in disgust.
“I can explain!” came the panicked response that had Jason biting back a heavy sigh.
“Maybe we should have this conversation at home,” he suggested, still trying to figure out how he was going to tell Haley.
Then again, he might not have to since Chloe’s uncle would probably fucking kill Cole when he found out.
“I don’t want to hear it,” Chloe bit out as she shifted her attention from the closet door to the backpack on the floor that Cole had dropped in order to make it to the closet before Jason could grab him.
“You don’t understand. It wasn’t my-”
“I don’t know why I let you talk me into this,” she said, snatching Cole’s bag off the floor and began searching through it.
“Cause you could have done better?” Cole said, making Jason wince in sympathy even as he realized that he might not have to worry about Chloe’s uncle killing Cole since she would probably do it herself.
“I really could have,” Chloe mumbled absently as she tore through Cole’s bag.
“Puhlease, no one else wanted you,” Cole said, making Jason’s eyebrows arch in as he stood there, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Adam Henderson,” Chloe said, giving up searching through the front pocket and moved onto the rest of the bag.
“You’re lying,” Cole bit out, sounding pissed.
“He asked, but I turned him down because I felt bad for you,” Chloe said, shrugging it off while Jason stood there…
Really fucking confused right now.
“Does someone want to tell me what’s going on?” Jason asked, feeling a migraine starting.
“I’ll tell you what’s going on,” Cole said as he threw the closet door open so that he could narrow his eyes on Chloe. “That girl,” he snapped, damn near making Jason roll his eyes as his son pointed his finger at Chloe as he channeled his inner Mikey, “is lying!”
“I really don’t have time for this,” Chloe said, sighing heavily as she grabbed a small white cardboard box that looked like it had been repeatedly stepped on.
“Which is why no one else wanted to work with you, because you are mean!” Cole snapped.
Pushing her glasses back up her nose, Chloe stood there, considering Cole for a moment. “I have the highest GPA in our class and don’t accept anything less than an A and this project is worth twenty-five percent of our grade, which means that I’m not going to play any games and make damn sure that I get that A and you really think that you were my only choice? Every boy in class asked me to be their partner. Several begged with tears in their eyes and you really think that you were my best option?” Chloe asked with a pitying look that just pissed Cole off more.
“You lie, woman! As soon as we found out that we had to work in teams, you couldn’t get your greedy little hands on me fast enough,” Cole said evenly as he folded his arms over his chest.
“You were a pity pick,” the brutal little thing said, making Jason bite back a smile.
“I could have had any girl in that class and we both know it.”
“Really? Is that why they all said, ‘Thank god,’ when I reluctantly agreed to work with you,” Chloe said, blinking innocently as she dropped Cole’s bag on the floor.
“You’re just saying that,” Cole said only to wince when Chloe opened the box and-
Slowly, so fucking slowly, looked up from the box to narrow her eyes on Cole. “What did you do?”
Frowning, Jason looked over and found himself looking down at two eggs. Why was he looking at two eggs? Jason couldn’t help but wonder as he sent his son a questioning look.
“This never would have happened if you didn’t baby them,” Cole said accusingly.
“Please tell me that you really didn’t hard boil our children, Cole,” Chloe said, sighing heavily as things slowly started to click into place and when they did…
He was going to throttle the little bastard.
“It was the only way to make sure that they survived for the next month,” Cole said, completely fucking oblivious to Jason’s glare.
Nodding, Chloe gently placed the box in her bag as she said, “Consider this the divorce,” as she turned around and walked away, leaving Cole to glare after her.
“She’ll be back,” Cole muttered as he grabbed his bag off the floor only to frown when Jason reached over and slowly closed his classroom door.
“Please tell me that you weren’t talking about eggs this entire time,” Jason drawled as he faced his son.
Frowning, Cole said, “It’s twenty-five percent of my grade.”
Nodding, Jason said, “Run,” deciding that he owed it to Haley to give their son a running start.