Chapter 7: Pampered
A collaboration involving Professor Hiddleston and Professor Evans- The two are rivals at a posh New England university and have no idea they both have taken interest in the lovely Thalia Bareo. She’s a grad student with interests in language and history; a sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago
Word count 3777
Warnings: Language, Adult Situations, Sensuality (but no sex), Nudity, Pampering, Alcohol Consumption
summary: Tom and Thalia meet for a secret rendezvous where he courts her with a little pampering
Click here for the main page for Educating Thalia
It seems to him all he does these days is pace and wait for Thalia or long for her when he should be focusing on something entirely else.
Tom sighs and looks at his watch again. She’s five minutes late already.
Will she really come?
He’s gone home after work, showered and dressed for the occasion in nice black pants and a white button-down shirt. He’s rolled up the sleeves and opened the top two buttons, wondering whether formal attire would just scare her away.
A knock at the hotel room door interrupts his thoughts.
“Tom? It’s me.”
His heart gives a weird little jump, and he realizes again how important she’s become to him over these past few months.
He walks over and opens the door, drinking in the sight of Thalia in a knee-length black dress. She’s combined it with her trusty cowboy boots and a sparkly gold cardigan. The dress isn’t too tight, but it hugs her voluptuous figure in all the right places.
Steady there, Hiddleston, you’re not supposed to jump her bones, he reminds himself.
“Thalia. I’m glad you could make it, darling,” he says with a smile and steps to the side to beckon her in.
She glances nervously to the left and right, clutching onto her handbag as if her life depended on it. After she’s walked into the room and he’s closed and locked the door, they stare at each other in silence.
“You look ravishing,” Tom compliments her. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a dress like this.”
It brings out a tentative smile, cocking her head to the side. “Thank you. I’m not really a dress kind of girl.” She pushes one foot forward and points down to her boots.
Chuckling, he tsks. “You’re an any clothes kind of girl, believe me. It just takes a real man to appreciate your gorgeous figure in a dress. And those look just as good on you as your vixen heels did earlier today.”
Her smile deepens a little before vanishing.
She stands there, fidgeting with her handbag and looking unsure of what to do or say.
“Don’t I get a kiss?” he quips, moving closer.
For a moment, the teasing tone unlocks the sassiness he’s grown so fond of.
“Don’t you have your dating etiquette a bit twisted, Professor? Shouldn’t it be a date first and then a kiss, maybe a nice meal?”
With a chuckle, he takes her face in his hands, studying the make-up she’s put on for him. It’s subtle yet passionate, highlighting her expressive eyes.
“True. Then again, we shouldn’t exactly have shagged each other’s brains out before if this is supposed to be our first proper date.”
There’s that blush he loves, highlighting her freckles.
“And technically,” he adds, “I took you out on a date months ago. Remember the dinner in England?”
She scoffs, obviously trying to keep the upper hand. “That doesn’t count. We weren’t…together at that time.”
Tom quirks his brows and steps in closer to bridge the last of the distance between them. He brushes his lips over her forehead, wrinkled in confusion.
“And are we now? Together?” he asks, wondering what she’ll answer.
Her face raises itself as if she wants his lips on hers next, but he can see her thinking, can almost hear the wheels turn in her brilliant head.
“I…I don’t know. I think we are?”
He lets his lips wander over the freckles on her nose and cheekbones before drawing back to look at her.
“I’m aware this isn’t exactly a normal relationship,” he clarifies, “but to me, we certainly are together in a sense. You’re mine, and I’m yours, even if we can’t shout it from the rooftops.”
Another tentative smile.
“And now, give me my kiss and let convention go to hell,” he demands softly.
Tom holds himself still, waiting for her to move. After another moment’s hesitation, Thalia kisses him. He lets her decide the pace and depth, answers her caress with the same soft pressure and slowness until she swipes her tongue over his lips and he parts them for her. The kiss grows more passionate, but he keeps his hands to himself, content for now to cradle her face and taste her.
When she draws back, he gives her an encouraging smile, knowing it’s awkward that they’re meeting in a hotel room. He steps behind her to take her cardigan and hang it, then softly pries the handbag from her clutches and lies it on a side table.
“As you think I’m so lacking in the dating department, why don’t you tell me what else I’ve done wrong,” he asks with the same teasing tone that works well to draw her out of her shell.
As expected, a little of her energetic light returns to her eyes. She steps back and plants a hand on her hip.
“Well, let’s see… You haven’t brought me flowers or anything, which is so grossly wrong I’m not sure I should have given you that kiss. I think a proper British gentleman would know that!”
Tom flings his head back and laughs, the ehehehe causing her to grin too and lose her mock-outraged expression.
“Well, it’s a good thing I thought of the flowers then, because I am planning to rob many more kisses from you,” he says and strides to the sitting area of the big room.
He bends and picks up a bouquet of flowers he’s had to hunt for a while. The white and pink blossoms aren’t exactly a common choice. Walking back to her, he bows with a flourish and offers her the bouquet.
Thalia laughs softly, her eyes wide with surprise. “They’re beautiful. But definitely not red roses. What are these?”
A brow raised, he studies her while he explains the meaning. “Oleander flowers are a symbol of seduction and bewitching, spellbinding attraction. Incidentally, they also stand for leaving the past in the past and enjoying what you have in front of you.”
Her eyes grow even wider and she bites her lip. “Oh…” She hides her face behind the bouquet for a moment, but he can see the new blush.
“I had no idea you’re a closet horticulturalist,” she says, but her sassy remark is underlined with something else, a warmth that tells him he’s chosen correctly.
With another chuckle, he answers, “I’m a man full of surprises.” He wiggles his eyebrows exaggeratedly. “Care to discover a few more?”
The tension in the air eases remarkably. Thalia places the bouquet on the sideboard next to her handbag, touching the delicate petals almost reverently. She walks slowly around the room, which is actually a spacious suite. The furniture and fittings speak of sophistication and elegance. Tom has lit a few candles and drawn the blinds, and together with the flowers, it creates a romantic atmosphere.
“Not bad for a date,” Thalia says with a playful smile. “Not bad at all.”
He gives her his best British accent and posh demeanor, half-bowing again. “I’m glad the lady approves. Now, how may I be of assistance?”
A giggle bubbles free before she claps her hand over her mouth, and the sound is delightful and something he hasn’t heard her make often enough.
She holds back another giggle to give off an aloof air and wave her hand. “Oh, why don’t you surprise me?” she throws his own words back at him.
God, he loves her in all her various moods, and that she’s comfortable enough with him now to let him glimpse them.
“Wine?” he asks, and she nods a little too eagerly.
Is that a sign of her underlying uncertainty? Does she think the alcohol will boost her confidence? He doesn’t want her tipsy for what he’s planned, but a little softening around the edges can’t hurt.
Tom pours them both some expensive Cabernet Sauvignon and they sit down in the comfortable armchairs and make small talk.
Talk of their project brings them to the latest production of Much Ado About Nothing, and the longer they lose themselves in a discussion of things they’re both passionate about, the lighter the mood gets.
But when Thalia starts playing with her lovely hair, which she’s wearing in a high ponytail this evening, Tom has had enough.
He gets up and walks over, gently taking the now empty wine glass from her hand. When she looks up at him, he brushes his knuckles over her cheek and mouth. He bends and licks the fruity, slightly spicy taste of red wine from her lips, then kisses her sensually.
“How about that pampering now that I promised you?” he asks softly.
“Yes.” Her voice sounds a little breathy, which is always a huge turn-on.
“Wonderful.. I’ve got the perfect plan all figured out. Give me a few minutes.”
He jumps up and strides into the ensuite bathroom, humming to himself while making sure that everything is ready. When he turns around, he sees her in the doorway, watching with unveiled curiosity.
“When’s the last time you’ve had a nice bubble bath?” he wants to know, and he sees her expression dim a bit.
“I’m not exactly the bath kind of girl,” she admits. “Not much space to feel comfortable if you’re my size.”
Tom scowls and walks over to pull her into the bathroom and shut the door, keeping the warmth and scents in.
“Nonsense, darling. Then you’ve just not found the right tub yet.”
With a sparkle in his eyes, he draws her nearer and sees her stare, her mouth rounding in an astonished O. The suite’s bathtub is large enough to easily hold two or even more people, square on the outside but sinuously shaped on the inside to provide for comfort. He has already filled it with warm water and bath salts to work up a nice foamy, frothy mass of scented bubbles.
“I can smell orchids,” Thalia says in wonder, and he smiles.
“I bought those especially for you. Had to search for quite a bit.”
She turns to him, placing a hand on his chest. “Oh Tom, that’s so sweet of you. I take it all back, this is definitely a great date.”
With a small laugh, he pulls her into him and kisses her until she moans softly at the back of her throat.
“Then let’s get you into that bath and make the date even better, shall we?”
When she moves to unzip her dress, he tuts and holds her hand still. “Don’t move a finger, darling. This is all about me pampering you. The only thing you’re allowed to do is relax and enjoy, understood?”
Her eyes are sparkling, and a smile is tugging at the corner of her lush mouth.
Damn, he can’t afford to get so turned on by her, but he’s helpless.
After pressing another kiss to her lips, he tugs the zipper down with agonizing slowness and peels her out of the dress. Her matching set of scarlet red silk-and-lace panties and bra make his mouth water, contrasting beautifully with her tanned skin.
Tom takes care not to touch her more than necessary because once he does that, he’s a goner. With precise movements, he frees her of her bra and then of her underwear, unable to resist a kiss and suck on one thigh that makes her quiver.
Much faster, he unbuttons his shirt and removes his pants and boxers. Before she can think of what he might do next, he hooks his arms under her knees and back and lifts her.
Thalia gives a surprised squeak, her arms coming around his neck.
“Mmm, that’s sexy,” she purrs when he carries her effortlessly to the bathtub and sets her gently down in the water.
“Beg to differ,” he says with a rueful grin. “You’re the one who’s sexy. Way too sexy for your own good and for my bedraggled sanity.”
He steps into the tub with her, noticing with satisfaction how her eyes travel down and her tongue wets her lips before he’s immersed in bubbles.
Instinctively, she scoots over, but he doesn’t settle down next to her. Instead, he shifts her gently until he can sit behind her. With his legs around hers and her back resting against his broad chest, he wraps his arms around her and rests his chin on top of her head.
A content little sigh. Thalia wiggles a little, trying to find the most comfortable position in his hold, and his cock gets way too enthusiastic at how her ass brushes against him.
Tom sinks his teeth into the back of her neck, biting hard enough to make her freeze and squeak again.
“Sit still, girl,” he orders quietly. “I’ve spent way too much time getting this bubble bath just right for all the water to slosh over the tub if you continue pushing your peachy ass back at me and I will take you right here and now.”
He hears a barely audible “oh” before she allows herself to settle down.
Breathing in deeply a few times, he calms himself so he won’t spoil this.
They stay like this, quietly, enjoying the warmth and soothing smells of flowers and soap. Tom stretches his long legs and searches with his toes for a particular knob. When he presses it, massaging water jets under the surface caress their bodies, prompting Thalia to sigh happily again.
After a few minutes, she breaks the silence. “Do you do this for all your women?”
A startled chuckle breaks free. Tom shifts. “What do you mean, all my women? I’m not a sheikh with a harem, as tempting as that sometimes sounds.”
Thalia elbows him in the ribs, and he retaliates by tugging her earlobe between his teeth.
“I mean… is this something you do for all your…girlfriends?”
He leans his head back against the cool porcelain. Should’ve seen that coming… It is natural for her to want to know a bit more about him. Hell, he is more than curious about her. He longs to find out about everything that influenced her life…but not necessarily her past love life because he has a feeling he’d just get annoyed with the jerks who failed to treasure her.
Absentmindedly, he starts scooping up fragrant water and trickling it over her bare shoulders while entangling his legs with hers and keeping her still.
“I’m not exactly someone who’s into relationships. I’m more the affair kind of man,” he admits reluctantly.
Tom can feel her stiffen again, her mind probably tying herself into knots with speculation now.
“Really?” She sounds genuinely surprised. “But you strike me as great boyfriend material.”
A hand rises to cover her mouth. “I’m sorry, that came out a bit wrong, didn’t it?”
He pulls her hand away, dropping a kiss on it before lacing their fingers together and resting their hands on her soft, round tummy.
“Thanks for the compliment, love. It’s just…it’s complicated.”
She doesn’t prod, but something deep inside wants to share this with her.
“I was different when I was younger. Eager to fall in love. Star-crossed, filled with foolish hopes.”
He shrugs, though it doesn’t make the painful memories go away. “I got caught up in a whirlwind romance. She was an actress. Quite a famous one, actually. I thought it was true love, I even took her to meet my parents and went out looking for an engagement ring. But it turned out she was in it for positive PR. Once the press and paparazzi started hounding us and once she let her true personality out more, I realized we weren’t made for each other. Still, I stuck with her. I was just that kind of person, willing to give everyone a second chance. Probably also a bit flattered that the effervescent movie star wanted to be with the nerdy college professor. There was a side to her that I connected with, something driven and energetic and impulsive, I guess.”
He drifts off, snuggling closer against her and peppering her nape and shoulders with feather-light kisses that are more a sign of affection than meant to arouse her.
“What happened?” Thalia asks in a low voice, sympathy shining through.
Tightening his hold on her again, he lets the words out in a rush so he can move on. “I found out she was cheating on me. Through incriminating shots plastered on the front page of all the tabloids, no less. Turns out she wanted me as the perfect boyfriend everyone would accept and focus on so she could enjoy secret trysts with a few of her costars, some of them married.”
He can’t keep the bitterness entirely out of his voice, although he’s left the past behind now.
“What a calculating bitch!” Thalia hisses before freezing. “Um…god, sorry. I mean…”
With a mirthless chuckle, he shifts again so he can slide out from behind her and move carefully to the front.
“It’s alright. It really is.”
He forces himself to concentrate on the here and now, on this gorgeous woman who is all his to spoil and explore.
Raising a finger to her protesting lips, he fixes her in his determined stare.
“Now, no more dark clouds and deep talks. Pampering, remember?”
They smile at each other.
The water has cooled down a little, and the bubbles have cleared so he gets a lovely view of her curvy body in the tub. He picks up a loofah and lathers it generously with sweet-scented shower gel.
“Sit up, darling. Let me wash you.”
She blinks at him, although she reacts to his commands automatically.
“I’m squeaky clean, Tom. I thought this bath was just for relaxation?”
He grabs her hand and scoots forward, running the sponge firmly but gently over her arm.
“This isn’t about getting you clean, love. It’s about touching. Connecting. Making you feel good,” he corrects her softly. “Now close your eyes and let me take care of you for a while.”
With a tentative smile, she does as he says. Tom carefully runs the loofah over her body, from her arms to her breasts and her belly before lifting her legs and caressing them too. Off and on, he sneaks a soft kiss in, unable to resist.
When he gets close to the place between her thighs where he longs to be, he stops. Thalia grabs his hand and moves it to her center, her hips rising a little and begging for his touch.
It’s the hardest thing ever to pull away.
When she opens her eyes in surprise and then her mouth to whine “Tom, please”, he shakes he head at her.
“This isn’t about getting you or me off, Thalia. A man and a woman can share intimacy without it being about sex. And a real man always pampers his woman because she deserves it.”
He lets the sponge travel up her stomach again before circling her breasts and ignoring her perky nipples.
“Just enjoy this. Let go.”
With a soft sigh, she closes her eyes lazily. He lathers the loofah again and tenderly maneuvers her so that she’s kneeling with her back to him.
After washing it and using his free hand to knead some of the tension out of her muscles, Tom removes her hair clip and lets her tresses cascade down.
“Will you let me wash your hair?” he asks, pressing gentle kisses onto her shoulder blades and down her spine.
She has learned her lesson, or maybe she’s finally relaxed enough to enjoy this thoroughly. “Yes.”
Tom grabs the shower head and wets her hair, luxuriating in the way it feels in his hands and against his skin, heavy and strong, a little curlier than dry. He works shampoo into it, carefully tipping her head so it won’t run into her eyes.
“This is for you,” he whispers to her in a half sing-song. “Because you’re worth it. Because the truly strong women know they are allowed to show a little weakness when they’re with their men. Because the truly confident men know they owe their women a little deference.”
He tests the water temperature and rinses her hair out, combing his fingers through the wet tendrils and burying his head in them.
One hand snakes to the front and glides over her hard peaks, making her choke on a moan.
“This is for us,” he adds. “A few hours of stolen bliss that will last us a lifetime.”
Before she can beg him for more, he lets her go and quickly rinses himself off before stepping out of the tub. He takes her hand and pulls her up and out.
Giving in to the overwhelming urge, he presses himself flush against her and kisses her, their tongues dancing and dueling. Her body’s still a little slippery, soft and welcoming, and he imagines bending her over so she can grab the sink, and pounding into her from behind while she watches breathlessly in the fogged-over mirror.
Fuck, he shouldn’t let his thoughts go there. His erection pokes into her belly, and she rubs herself against him and makes a purring sound.
It’s a promise to her and himself, and oh, he’ll make it good for her. He’ll make damn sure she doesn’t ever forget this, forget him.
Forcing himself to step back, he grabs a big, fluffy hotel towel and dries her hair first before turning his attention to her body. Here and there, he nips and flicks out his tongue, teasing her and himself to make the torture even sweeter.
“Tom, why are you doing all this?” she asks, her voice husky and content at the same time.
He nuzzles the side of one plump breast before standing up again and grabbing a different towel to dry himself.
“Questions, questions,” he scolds gently. “Don’t ask. Feel. Experience. Learn. Remember. Live a little with me.”
This time, she pulls him in for a kiss, seriously endangering his already less than rigid self-control.
When Thalia bends towards her clothes, he wraps his fingers around her wrist and shakes his head at her.
“No clothes. I want you to have dinner with me naked.”
Her eyebrows shoot up, and her mouth drops open.
“No way. I can’t.”
“I…I…” she splutters, her skin a nice tone of crimson that makes him touch the tip of his tongue to a few freckles.
“Do you think we’ll get any eating done if I’m in the nude and possibly you too?”
Tom chuckles and pinches one of her nipples, making her jump.
“Okay, point taken, Miss Thousand Complaints. But no bathrobe and no dress, do you hear me? If you want even a bite of dinner, you’ll join me in only your bra and panties.”
Click here for Chapter 8 Dinner for Two
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