He shrugged. “I told him he was a tool.” She chuckled. She knew she shouldn’t.
“I’m glad you’re both having such a wonderful time when my life is over!” Jill said in high drama that would have made Candy green with envy.
Chris snorted. “You’re fifteen. It’s high school. Get over it. It’s not love it was infatuation. He got over it sooner than you and you didn’t take it well. Get over it. Learn from it and move on and stop wrecking detention for me.”
Madison could only shake her head in wonder. Chris was a smart kid with a great deal of common sense. If only he could apply himself she had no doubt he would do well.
“I love him!” Jill cried.
Chris waved it off and turned his attention back to Madison. “So?”
“So, tell me what happened.”
She sat back in her chair. “Chris, at what point did we lose the teacher and student relationship and wind up here?” She gestured between the two of them.
He shrugged. “You don’t cut me any slack and don’t take my shit. I respect you too much to treat you otherwise.”
“I’m taking that as a compliment.”
“As you should.” Chris gave her a lopsided smile.
A loud knock at the door made them both roll their eyes. “Come in,” Chris said loudly.
Ephraim walked in carrying a tray with two beverages and a white bakery box. “Detective Williams, have you come to make an arrest?” Chris asked pleasantly.
“Ah, Chris, I knew you would be here.”
“Didn’t I?” Ephraim pulled one of the beverages out of the tray and placed it in front of Chris. “What’s written on the cup then?” he asked as he shifted the cup so Chris could see his name written on the side of the cup.
“I’ll be damned.” He shot a glance at Ephraim. “You spit in this?”
Chris shrugged. “As long as you’re honest.” He took a sip. “Damn that’s some good hot cocoa.”
“I hear it’s the best.”
He placed the other one in front of Madison. “Are you still mad at me?”
“Yup,” Chris answered for her.
“I thought so.” He turned back to Chris and placed the box in front of him. “Eat up.”
“I wonder what you’ve brought us,” he mused. He flipped the cover open and gasped, “You are the best Detective, ever.”
Ephraim reached into the box and picked up a large gourmet chocolate chunk cookie and brought it to Madison. “I’m really sorry.”
She took the cookie from him. “Now's not the time I’m at work. I have to watch these kids.” And he did forget her birthday! Granted she didn’t remind anyone, she never did. She liked it when her brother and sister remembered on their own and made a big deal.
Chris spoke up around a mouth full of chocolate brownie, “I don’t mind.”
She waved an annoyed hand at him. “Go offer one to Jill.”
“No way. She just got dumped. She'll eat the whole box.”
“Oh, and what are you planning on doing?”
He looked affronted. “That’s different. I’m not eating out of depression I’m eating out of starvation. I was in the principal’s office during lunch if you’ll recall.”
“And whose fault was that?”
His expression turned serious. “It's the man’s fault. He’s keeping me down.”
She looked heavenward. “Oh, heaven help us.”
Ephraim walked over and butted fists with Chris. “Fight the man,” Ephraim said.
“Hey, don’t encourage him!” Madison snapped.
“I don’t need encouraging. I do well enough on my own.” He devoured another brownie.
Madison looked down at her cookie and back at Chris. “Why did he get a brownie and I only get a cookie?”
“Because I love him unconditionally and you’re making him sweat.” Chris stuffed the rest of the brownie in his mouth.
Ephraim reached over and smacked Chris upside the head. “What?” he mumbled around another brownie.
“Give the lady a brownie. A good one.”
Chris mumbled something else, but did as he was told. Madison took the peanut butter brownie Chris was eying. He huffed at her and returned to his seat. After taking a long sip of his cocoa he spoke.
“Before we were so rudely interrupted you were telling me why you were mad at Detective Williams,” Chris said in a conversational tone. Jill sobbed louder.
“What’s wrong with her?” Ephraim looked back. Jill was still sobbing into her arm. Her red hair was spread out across her small desk.
“Girl and boy date, think they’re in love then one day teenage boy falls for new girl in school with a big rack and her own car, boy dumps girl, girl dumps contents of tray on said boy’s head.” He made a dismissive gesture with his hands. “Typical high school drama, now let’s move on to the good stuff. What did you do?”
“What makes you think I did something?”
Chris snorted. “You’re the guy. Of course it’s your fault. Even when it’s not your fault, it’s your fault so dish.”
“Stop asking. He’s not going to tell you.” Madison fidgeted in her chair. He’s also not going to remember.
Chris looked expectantly at Ephraim. Ephraim reached up and loosened his tie and unbuttoned the first button of his shirt. Madison watched with anticipation. She had to shake herself. She was mad at him.
They’d been fighting for six days. Well, she had. He just smiled and listened to her ranting. Then when she was done he had the audacity to nod and apologize, each and every time. He only got upset when she refused to allow him to sleep in her bed. Cuddle her ass. He wanted more than that judging by the way his eyes devoured her.
So, she started to ignore him. He didn’t like that at first. Then he just shrugged and ignored her. Now, he had the nerve to show up while she was at work looking handsome and bringing her delicious cocoa and snacks. Damn that man.
“Well?” Chris prompted.
“Oh for god sake’s it’s nothing. He stepped up and helped her. He paid all her outstanding debt and she got mad at him because she doesn’t like owing anyone anything especially a man. He told her it’s a gift and not to worry about it and that she didn’t owe him anything. She’s hell bent on having a fight about it and he’s too thick to see that. It’s not complicated and it doesn’t compare to my problem, now give me a damn cookie I think I earned it,” Jill snapped.