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Teacher of the Year
An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
“What are you really doing here?” Jason demanded once they were in the hallway.
“I missed you,” Haley said, nodding her head solemnly as she pushed her glasses back up her nose and added, “So much.”
“And the cupcakes?” he asked as his eyes narrowed on the little liar.
“I was hungry.”
“So, you brought cupcakes for the whole class?” he asked, glancing over his shoulder to make sure that his class was staying out of trouble.
“It was the polite thing to do.”
“And Sebastian?” he asked, glancing over to find Sebastian devouring the book in his hands and-
He should have taken that scholarship, Jason thought, still wondering what happened. One day, he’d been excited, talking nonstop about Radcliffe Academy and the next…
He’d changed his mind and didn’t want to go and let his twin brother take the scholarship. Jason still wasn’t sure why the school hadn’t offered both boys a full scholarship. He understood that they’d only had one scholarship left, but with the boys’ scores on the entrance exam, they should have found a way. Both boys had nailed the tests, scoring in the top one percent, but Sebastian had wiped the fucking floor with that test. Radcliffe pushed for Sebastian, but in the end, Sebastian turned them down along with every other private school that was salivating over his score, telling his parents that he preferred homeschooling.
The kid was fucking lying, but so far, Jason couldn’t figure out why, but he would.
“He came over to see if we had anything new to read,” Haley explained as he shifted his attention back to find out what the little fibber was doing here.
“And did you?” he asked, taking in her Bradford Construction tee shirt, the slight bump where their baby was fast asleep, her jeans and-
“Just a reminder that this morning we’re voting for Teacher of the Year. So, make sure that your vote counts and vote for your favorite teacher!” came the PA announcement that had him narrowing his eyes on his wife.
“Not fucking happening,” he bit out, because this was his fucking year. With Haley on maternity leave he finally had a chance and he’d be damned if she took it from him.
“What’s not happening?” Haley asked, blinking up at him.
Instead of answering her, he walked back into his classroom and flipped the cover off one of the bakery boxes and-
Gasped in outrage when he saw what was written across them.
“Is something wrong?” Haley asked, trying to appear innocent as he looked from the cupcakes that the little brat thought would be enough to buy his students’ loyalty to-
“Oh, my god, these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had!”
“Kasey from KaseyCooks.com made them,” Haley said with a triumphant glimmer in her eyes.
“My mom loves her!”
“So does my mom!”
“Her food always looks amazing!”
“You crossed a line, woman,” Jason said, leaning down to glare at his wife.
Blinking. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Bullshit,” he said, because she knew exactly what she was doing.
“Oh, are you talking about the Teacher of the Year contest? I didn’t even know that was today,” Haley said with a sad shake of her head.
Oh, she fucking knew….
“It’s mine,” Jason bit out evenly.
“I mean but is it really?” she asked with a sympathetic wince and a shrug.
“It really is,” Jason said, because he’d worked his ass off to land Teacher of the Year, the pitiful raise that came with it, the twenty-five-dollar gift card to Staples, and the parking spot that was going to be his.
“Shouldn’t it be up to the students?” she asked as someone moaned, “Best cupcakes ever!”
“No, no, it shouldn’t,” he said, because it was his.
For the past ten years he’d been more than happy to let his wife win, mostly because they carpooled and he didn’t have to worry about trying to find a parking spot in the morning, but now…now it was his turn.
“We could always play for it,” Haley suggested with an innocent shrug and a calculating glimmer in her eye.
“Bring it on, baby,” he bit out, more than willing to do whatever it took to win.