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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23. Chapter Twenty Three

Merry Christmas everyone! I know this chapter came late, but that was because it was extremely busy for me on Christmas Eve and Christmas, which is when I started writing this! But I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday!! Hope everyone is ready for New Years, too! What's your New Years resolution? Comment what it is, I would love to hear some of them!! Maybe I'll even share some of mine!

Jason's POV

"We're letting mommy sleep today, bud. It's Christmas." I smiled, bouncing Tom in my arms. I looked to the wrapped presents underneath the Christmas tree, which, is now artificial. Due to the... complications Talia and I went through, we never got around to getting a Christmas tree, but our handy dandy artificial Christmas tree in the attic came into good use.

"Do you see the presents? Did Santa come?" Tom looked down to the presents and pointed. "Yeah, and look at what grandma got you. Baby boy's first Christmas." He reached down to attempt to grab the presents, squirmy little thing he is.

After rereading over the paternity test a couple times, everything started to sink in. Robert, Carly's child, my ex girlfriend, is in fact, my kid. I think it took me more time to accept it than it did Talia. After learning about that, she got right to it. Emailed people. Texted people. Called a bunch of lawyers. Called hospitals. She even got on the phone with Carly. But as for me, I sat, frozen, on the couch for about three hours. Not knowing anything. Not realizing anything.

"We're gonna wait for mommy to eat, right, Bud?" I smoothed my hand over Tom's blonde hair as his head moved from side to side trying to get a glimpse of what was going on.

"Thanks for answering your phone, jackass. I called and texted thousands of times," Bria said, walking into the house with a bag in her hands and a stroller behind her.

"Oh, excuse me for getting my kid up before he woke up the beast."

"Who's a beast?" I turned around and smiled as Talia stared at me with her hair in a bun and her Christmas pajamas. Although Talia changed and isn't that 'geek' anymore, she still has the side of her that is geeky. Like now. The way she's looking, you can see the geeky side of her.

"No one. I guess we can start with the presents?" I asked, walking to the Christmas tree. I set Tom down before sitting next to him, making sure he didn't jump up on any presents or pulled the tree off. He crawled over to me, put his little chubby leg between my legs, then his hand, coming face to face with in between my legs. He turned his body around, moved his other leg between my legs and sat himself down.

"You good now?" I asked, leaning my head down to him. He looked up to me before pulling the few facial hairs on my chin.

"See, he doesn't like it either, which means you should shave it off," Talia commented, leaning towards the wrapped presents.

"Please, you love it."

"Do I? Do I really?"

I rolled my eyes and watched as she reached out to the first present. "This is for Tommy," she smiled, handing a box over to me.

"Are you gonna open it?" I asked, looking down to the baby who held onto my legs. He pushed his arms out and pulled the wrapping paper off quickly. "Strong one, you are."

He looked back to me before proceeding to open his present up. "What is it, baby?" Talia asked.

"Oh, no way! Look, bud, you got new bibs so you don't have to use daddy's old shirts anymore. See that, babe, no more excuses to throw out my old shirts." I smiled.

"There will always be an excuse to get rid of those disgusting shirts." I shook my head and watched as Tom took a bib out of the box.

"Alright, this is for Bria," Talia smiled, handing the small box off to my cousin who sat on the couch behind me. Bria, recently, has been having this phobia of dust. She won't sit on the floor or even dust anything because it apparently 'gets' to her.

Bria opened the box up before closing quickly. "Who told you?" She asked.

"You think I need someone to tell me? Come on, it's not like I didn't see the giant rock on your finger," Talia replied.

"Yeah, yeah. I settled down with Edward," she said, opening the box up. She pulled out a folded piece of paper, which I didn't get to see thanks to my baby who kept punching me in the face with his small hands.

"Since you're engaged now, I thought it would be good to send you some good wedding planners for when you start planning. The one I just hooked, Debbie, she's great. But, yeah. I know it's not much, probably the worst gift I could ever give anyone." Talia said.

"Talia, this is amazing, thank you. Edward will be so happy when he hears about this. Honestly, I never thought I would say yes to a man with OCD." Bria laughed.

"Trust me, I know how you feel. You think I ever thought I would say yes or have any of this with Jason?"

"Um, sitting right here," I said, waving to my girlfriend and cousin next to me.

Tom put his hand on my face and ran his nails down my cheek. "Well, I think it's time to cut your nails down," he smiled at me and punched me in the face again.

"Aggressive today, aren't you?" I asked, putting my chin on his head. He moved my head away from him and punched me once again in the face before punching me in the mouth. I opened my mouth wide and caught his fist in my mouth.

"Gotcha!" I smiled, moving his fist around in my hand. He giggled profusely as I moved his fists around in my hands, shaking him up.

"Jase, can you feed him please?" Talia asked.

"But we're having fun,"

"Jase, he needs to eat. And I would prefer it to be now rather than later. If he doesn't eat now then he'll eat too much later and throw it up."

"Alright, alright. We'll stop our fun. C'mon, bud. Someone needs to eat their breakfast." I stood up with him in my arms and he instantly started screaming from not being able to have fun anymore.

"I know, but mommy says you need to eat. We can play later," I said, smoothing his hair out as I walked into the kitchen. After putting him in the highchair, I took out the oh-so delicious baby food crushed-up-into-nothing peaches.

"I really don't know how you eat this, it smells grows and looks gross," he made a face and shook his head. "Mommy gives you this stuff, I know and god forbid I go against mommy. We would both be dead, and you're kinda adorable so I don't want that to happen."

Natalia's POV

"He's really stepping up," Bria said, looking back to me.

"Yeah, we've been... going through the motions these past couple days. He knows I'm stressed about school and about everything that's going on, so I feel like he's stepping up more because of that,"

"Still, he's stepping up. Just from him sitting here I can finally see he's accepting the fact that he's a dad."

"You know, everyday he gets better and better. I mean, there's some days where he's, well, blah, and doesn't wanna get up to tend to him or where he forgets he is a father and there's sometimes where he just needs to grow up. But today, he's oddly great." Which, is all true. With everything going on between this new information about Robert and Carly and my stress and anxiety with school, there's not a day that goes by that Jason doesn't help out with Tommy.

"Alright, well, I better get going. I promise Edward I would go to his family's house for breakfast today." I stood up and followed Bria to the foyer where the stroller stood.

"Sounds fun," I smirked.

"Trust me, it's not. Those people are so rude, oh my god. They're so judgmental too. Like, okay, so, Edward obviously knows about my past and the guys and stuff like that, so, I guess he told his mom and literally, Talia, I swear, every time I go there she asks if I got knocked up by some one night stand. And the first time I met her, she made me take a pregnancy test. Who does that!"

"My uncle made me take a pregnancy test in high school when I passed out and threw up in school after Jason and I went on a date."

"Well, you actually ended up pregnant. I, did not."

"Hey! I wasn't pregnant that time! It was the time after that. But, at first, you know, I wasn't completely keen with meeting you guys for the first time. I was so nervous, especially because I had my brother with me and he was just a newborn. I was afraid you guys would judge me or judge the fact that I had a little brother. Or the fact that I didn't have the perfect family."

"But look, we ended up loving you. And mom even bought you a car," she smiled.

"Exactly. Do you know why?" She shook her head. "I was being my own self when I first met you all. Even at Ade's wedding. I wasn't anyone but myself."

"Look at me. A Twenty-four year old getting advice from an eighteen year old. Who would've thought?"

"Just be yourself, Bri, trust me, they'll love you."

"Thanks, oh, and the stroller is for Tommy. I stole it," she smiled.

"What!"

"I'm kidding, not really. Okay, I stole it from Adelaide. She said she didn't need it,"

I rolled my eyes, "just go,"

"Look at my little boy! Oh, he's growing so much!" Sally exclaimed as Jason and I walked through the large double doors. My heels tapped on the hardwood floor with each step I took, making Jason laugh behind me.

"I know, Aunt Sally. I'm a big boy now," Jason smiled.

"Not you, honey. My grandson." She replied, taking Tommy into her arms. Jason slouched his shoulder and followed me into the house.

"You'll get used to it," I smiled, putting my hand in his.

"Don't think I ever will. My own kid is taking everything away from me. My family, my Aunt, my life, my sex life and my damn girlfriend. What's next?"

"Your ego. Oh, wait."

"Ouch, babe, that really hurt me." Jason said, putting his hand over his heart.

"You know what really hurt me?" I asked.

"Do I want to know?"

"Your beard when you kissed me goodnight last night."

"It's Christmas! You're supposed to be nice!"

"And I am being nice. Just... honest."

"Honest my ass," he said, walking away from me. Jason has this beard. And it is not pretty at all. He claims it what all the guys are doing these days, but in all honesty, it's ugly and not at all attractive. Not one bit.

Walking into the kitchen, standing right in front of me was my mother, step-Dad, little sister, brother and a very pregnant Adelaide. They smiled together, while my mom sipped her wine and step dad drank his beer. As for Macey, well, she drank her iced tea in a regular cup.

"Off of the sippy cups, I see," I announced.

Macey turned to me quickly before engulfing me in a hug. "Natty!"

"Hey, baby. I missed you," I smiled, kissing the top of her head.

"I missed you too! Look, I lost my first tooth! Mommy says the tooth fairy will come visit me tonight."

"No way! I hope the tooth fairy leaves you a good present. When I lost my first tooth, the tooth fairy left me chocolate, my favorite kind of chocolate. And when I told mommy, you know what she said?" She shook her head frantically. "She said the tooth fairy knows everything about the little kids who lose their teeth because of the big book she keeps in her fairy land. In fact, I think I'm still in that book. And guess what?"

"What, Natty! What!"

"You're in the book too!"

She squealed loudly and turned to my mom, "mommy! You hear that! I'm in the book! I'm in the book!"

"I heard, baby. Why don't you take daddy and Zack to the living room to play with your new toys?" My mom smiled.

"I only want Zack. Daddy already broke my toy," Macey said, grabbing my little brothers hand in hers and dragged him into he living room.

"You broke one already?"

"No, Santa broke it. I just broke it more," Zac said.

"It was annoying anyway. Stupid Dora doll that never shut up." Mom said, putting her arm around Zac's waist. Since the marriage therapy, I can already see the difference between my mother and Zac. Just by the way they act together. Like now, they seem... happy.

"How's school, baby?" My mom asked.

"Ugh, don't even get me started,"

"Why? What's going on?" Zac asked.

"The amount of medication she's on right now, she really shouldn't be talking about it," Jason butted, wrapping his arms around my waist.

"Medication? What medication?" My mom asked.

"Stress. Anxiety. You name it, I'm on it,"

"Birth control?"

"Took it this morning," I smiled.

"Everyone, please, if we could all gather around the table to eat!" Sally announced. Five tables were set across the dining room, kitchen, front living room and the foyer. Between my family, Jason's whole family, Sally's family, Mike's family, Harrison's parents and all the kids, there was roughly over Seventy people. And that's a lot, especially for people who only have two to five people in a family.

"Do you know who these people are?" I whispered.

"Not a clue, but Aunt Sally has a tendency of inviting people off the streets. Especially homeless people," Jason replied.

"Really?"

"No, but the left over food does go to the homeless shelters and the people on the streets." He replied.

"That's nice of her,"

"Yeah, I just can't wait to open presents, man. She gives the best."

"Is it another car?"

"I would die if she gave me another truck,"

"Talia, dear, this is for you. Merry Christmas," Sally smiled, handing me an envelope.

"Thank you," I smiled, opening the small envelope up. A white paper cane out onto my hands, showing multiple places with dresses on them.

"I saved you the hassle of having to find a dress. I already booked you an appointment with Judy at a bridal shop in Manhattan. The name and street address is on the paper, along with the time. It's actually where I got my dress from. Your mom helped decided where to go," Sally smiled.

Here we go. "Thank you," I pulled off my best fake smile, trying to cover up the anger and disappointment in my features. Yes, I think it's great that the family is wanting to help plan a wedding, which I didn't even choose a date for. But, I would, first of all, like to choose a date first. And second of all, plan my own wedding.

"This one is for Tommy." My mom smiled, handing Jason a large wrapped box.

"Open it up, bud," Jason said, putting the box in front of his own legs. I watched as Tommy ripped open the wrapping paper with wide eyes. He looked up to Jason before clapping his hands.

"What is it, baby?"

"It's a singing Elmo. Great." Jason said through clenched teeth. Oh boy.

"Every child needs one of these. Talia had one when she was a baby and she absolutely fell in love with it," my mom smiled.

"Just what we need. Thank you, Mrs. Klein." Jason said, taking the toy away from Tommy.

"Jason, give it back to him," I said. He looked to me. "Now," he groaned before pushing the Elmo to Tommy. He pressed the hand on the Elmo and moved his head around. Now the smarts, he gets from me. The moves, well, that's from his father. And his farts. Definitely from Jason.

"Hey, Talia," Adelaide called. I turned to her. "Remember when you told me you couldn't have kids?" She asked. I nodded. "You think it dodged a bullet?"

"Actually, um, I didn't dodge a bullet."

"But it's something we won't be talking about on Christmas, right, babe?" Jason asked.

"Right. Another time," I smiled sadly.

"So, are you gonna explain? We're in private now," Adelaide said as Jason and I changed Tommy into his pajamas. One person on the pajamas. The other on the diaper. Luckily for me, I get the pajamas this time. Last time, I had the diaper and let's say he did a large three digit number on the diaper and it was still coming out when the diaper was off. From both ways.

"Ade, come on, it's Christmas," Jason sighed, tightening the diaper.

"It's fine, Jase," I said.

"So?" She asked.

"I went to the doctor and he said it'll be hard to get pregnant this time. He said I won't be able to get pregnant without at least one or two surgeries. And if I ever want to have more kids, either I get someone to have them for me, or I go through with this surgery. But there's risks to it and I really don't want to have another person carry my own child in them for nine months. They get attached and then they won't give it up,"

"So, what? You're just gonna give up on having kids?"

"Ade, seriously? It's bad enough she found this out, she doesn't need anyone criticizing her about it." Jason stepped in.

"Whatever," she snapped.

"Wow, never knew Christmas could go from being perfect to crashing down in a matter of hours. Also never thought your cousin would hate me because I decided on waiting this whole thing out." I said.

"We haven't even talked about more kids."

"I don't want more kids," I laughed.

"Me either. One is just fine,"

"You can say that again,"

"Well, the good thing is, we're together right now, right? And we're happy." He smiled.

"Very happy."

"Mistletoe," he said, looking up.

"Oh, are you taking charge this year?"

"Mhm, maybe," he replied.

"Because if I do remember correctly, you thought this was sappy to do." I smiled, putting my arms around his neck.

"Not anymore," he replied before kissing me. We're cliche, we know.

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