A Different Kind of Reputation

With thirty minutes and school work separating Talia and Jason apart from each other, they have to figure out ways to be the best they can be for their baby. From being the school bad boy back in high school, to being the football star daddy in college, Jason has to figure out ways to fit back in with the crowd and keep his reputation as a father. From being the school nerd to the scholar mommy, Natalia has to figure out ways to let loose and have fun while keeping her reputation as a mother. Find out what goes on in this crazy life of Jason and Natalia in the second book, A Different Kind of Reputation.

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14. Chapter Fourteen

Jason's POV

"T, this weather is killing me." I groaned, turning on the windshield wipers. The heavy downpour pounded on the truck as I drove Talia back to school in our one car. Because Talia is only a freshman living in the dorms, she can't have her car on the campus. But I can since I play a sport.

You would think the school would be a little more, I don't know, supportive that she has a nine month old son back at home, which she needs to see. Obviously, the school doesn't know, nor care.

I took Talia's hand in mine and played with her engagement ring on her finger. "Two hands on the wheel, Jason. Especially in this weather." I let her hand go and put it back on the steering wheel.

That's the thing with Talia. Ever since we got into the car accident when she was still pregnant with Tom, she's been crazy about two hands on the wheel. If I take one off in bad weather, she flips out and starts to hyperventilate and then she flails her arms around. She's dramatic with it, but she's scarred and it's obvious to tell.

"Can you please just pull over? There's a nice motel at the next exit."

"No, I need to get you back."

"Jason, you can barely see the roads. Just go to the motel so we can at least wait it out. Maybe we can sleep a little and get some real food." She's right. The roads are extremely hard to see and in order to actually see what's in front of the truck, another car has to come towards us so the lights are flashing.

A gust of wind came out of nowhere, making the truck swerve over a little. Talia gasped and clung onto the handle, "Jason! Go to the motel!" I took the exit without any other warnings.

Now, my truck has four wheel drive and it's a tank. But winds like this, it can't handle. First of all, there's no weight in the hatch, so I can't keep steady. There's no lights on the roads so I can't see where I'm going. And the truck needs an oil change and gas. Basically, we're screwed.

"We are not staying in this town." In the corner, a mini mart sat with a bunch of guys standing outside with cigarettes in their mouths and black pants on. Next to the mart, a liquor store was displayed. A run down liquor store.

"Just... park the car, lock it, do whatever you have to do. No more driving for tonight." I shook my head.

"I swear if something happens to this truck." She rolled her eyes.

"Look, there's a parking garage for the motel."

"Babe, it's a hotel. Not a motel. It's a Hampton. Just not in the best area."

"Who cares? It's a place to stay for the night. I won't allow you to drive in this." Typical.

After getting a room, which wasn't that hard, Talia and I made our way up to the room on the second floor. The woman first gave me a room on the bottom floor. Bottom. Floor. Hell. No. I told her to give me a room on the second floor, away from the stairs and elevators and a view of the back of the building, not the front. Talia likes to walk around with barely any clothes one and I don't need her to give those creeps outside a show to get off to. Hell no.

All we really brought in with us was our duffle bags filled with overnight clothes. We knew we were staying at a hotel, but I didn't think we would stop this soon. Or in this area.

The only thing I really brought in with me was a pair of shorts to sleep in. I'll just wear the clothes I'm wearing now, tomorrow and just shower when I get to school.

Talia, however, brought her makeup, hair things, clothes, toiletries, backpack, headphones, charger, glasses, a sleeping mask. Seriously. Who the hell needs that when we're staying for one night. And she doesn't even use a sleeping mask! Or wear makeup!

"Oh my God!" I jumped up from the uncomfortable bed and ran to the bathroom door.

"Talia, what's wrong?" She just kept screaming. "Babe, let me in!" The door clicked open and Talia stood in the doorway of the door, basically half naked with only a pair of my own sweatpants and a bra, her hair in a messy bun and a scared look on her face.

"What happened?" I put my hands on her cheeks so she would stop flipping out.

"There's a ton of bugs in the drain. And I mean.... a lot." I slumped my shoulders, thinking I would have to kill some creep who worked at this dump but instead, I got a nest of bugs.

"That's gross."

"Kill them!"

"There's too many of them. Come on, just... come out to the bed and go to sleep."

"There's no way in hell I'll be able to sleep knowing there are bugs in the room. What if there are bed bugs? I'm not sleeping here. We're not sleeping here."

"I paid for the room."

"Oh well! Let's go!"

"At lease put a shirt on." She huffed and tugged my jacket over her head before slipping her boots back on her feet and tugging her duffle bag to the door.

"This place is disgusting. We have a better chance of sleeping in the truck."

After complaining about the hotel room and telling the woman at the desk about the bugs, the location and the disgusting smell coming from the room's refrigerator, Talia and I set up our things in the backseat of the truck.

I opened my duffle bag, pulled out my blanket, thankfully I brought it home to be washed, and my pillow, again, to be washed. Talia adjusted the passenger and driver seats so they were pushed all the way up and hunched over, she laid down.

Talia didn't have any source of warmness. No jacket, scarf, gloves, nothing. Whereas, me, I had my blanket, jacket, gloves, hat, pillow.

"Come lay here with me."

"There's no room."

"Lay on top of me." I could see the glare she gave me from the street light over our heads. "Talia, I can see your breath, just come here." She took a deep breath and crawled slightly over me. She lowered herself onto me, wrapped her arms around my waist and put her head on my chest.

"You're warm." She whispered.

"Come here," I took my gloves off, put them on her ice cold hands, then my hat and put it over her head. I moved the blanket so it covered both of us, from our neck all the way down to our feet.

"What about you? You're gonna freeze."

"I'm more worried about you."

"Jase, take the hat and gloves back."

"I'm fine, Natalia. You need them more than me."

"Bu-"

"Natalia." She nodded and closed her mouth. She's right, I am going to freeze, but I can take the frigid air. She can't. I practiced in snow, rain, wind, sun, every weather, I practiced in.

I looked down to Talia, ran my hand through his blonde hair and put my head back on my pillow. Her shallow breaths came out on my arm each time she breathed out.

 

I rubbed my eyes with the balls of my hands before starting the truck up. Talia went inside the hotel to brush her teeth and do her business, while I decided to stay outside and get the truck ready to go.

With little to no sleep, driving would be hard, especially with my hands still thawing out. Talia was right, again. I froze, my hands, face, ears, but it was alright, knowing she was warm and safe.

"That was one of the best sleep I had this whole year," Talia said, climbing into the car.

"Good, I'm glad," I replied, pressing my hands to the vents over the radio so my hands could thaw out before driving.

"How did you sleep?" She asked, turning her head over to me.

I chuckled, "I didn't."

"What? Why not?"

"I was more worried about you being warm and worried about the creeps outside."

"Jay, you should've slept. Did you even sleep a little?"

"I closed my eyes for a few minutes." She sighed and shook her head. "If it makes you feel better, I'll go back home and sleep the rest of the day."

"Your phone is going off." Talia picked up the phone from the cup holder in the console then pressed the end call button.

"Who was it?"

"Jackson. When did you make this your lock screen?"

I looked over to the phone to look at what she was talking about. Honestly, I forgot all about my lock screen picture.

James Madison High's famous Coach Dailey displayed my phone screen along with me and Tom. Coach's one arm was wrapped around me and his other held Tom.

"Not too long ago." Talia and I decided since I don't exactly have a dad, Coach Dailey would be more or less a grandpa to Tom. He's been apart of my life since I was a child, since my mom and his sister, Mrs. Sacowitz, were practically best friends. And not to mention, Coach practically took me in his house when my mom first got sick. He was more of a father to me than my dad ever was and for that, we agreed to have him a grandpa to Tom.

"You're accepting you're a father," Talia whispered.

"I always accepted it, it was a matter of actually growing up and behaving like one."

"So... no more getting high?"

"Not around a kid, no." She slumped in her chair. "T, I told you before, I can't change who I am. This, this is who I am. The smoking, drinking, pot head I am, he's not going away. I matured with it, yes, and I don't do it around kids anymore, but I can't change. You know that."

"I just thought you would have considered it."

"Of course I have. I got a lot of reputations to hold here. I gotta keep my status at school on the team, status at home, for you and my reputation to be a dad." She nodded.

"But that doesn't mean I still do it every night. Do I drink? Yes. Smoke? Of course, but not as much. Do I get high? Honestly, rarely. If I'm with some friends at a party, then yeah, but one puff, I'm done."

Explaining myself to Talia is definitely weird and something I never thought would happen. She's never asked about this topic before, nor did I think she cared anymore.

"I'm giving up going to parties for Tommy, you know."

"See, he has one good parent."

"This isn't funny, Jason. He needs two functional parents. We both grew up without parents around and I don't want that to happen to our baby."

I gulped. "Speaking of that."

"What? Why'd you say it like that? Like you were scared?"

"I decided on my major and I start it tomorrow."

"What is it?"

"Promise you won't flip out."

"Jason, what is it."

I took a deep intake of breath before letting my shaky hands turn the wheel to enter the road Talia's school was on.

"Criminal Justice."

A/N:

So, for this chapter you can see how Jason is changing. He's getting more mature with his words, actions and the way he treats Talia like he did in the truck.

The reason I chose criminal justice for Jason: my own brother is currently a freshman in college and he, too, is studying criminal justice, so I decided to make a lot of the information Jason learns in class, based off of true words and true events.

May I remind all of you, this book is based off of either possible things that could happen, my own life and people I know. So, everything is based off of someone's life. Including Mrs. Summers dying, Jason's dad, Zac, Jason and Talia, Jackson, Jason and Talia. Teen pregnancy. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Comment your opinions!!

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