Educating Thalia: Chapter 12
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. Story updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Warnings: Language, Adult Situations, NSFW, Dom, Sub, safe words, binding, blindfolds, aftercare, delayed orgasms, cunnilingus, blow job, spanking, condom use, silk tie play, trust, lessons from Tom on making tea
Summary: Tom and Thalia grow closer while spending the night together in Chicago, putting his Christmas present to good use and learning to make a proper British cup of tea.
SPECIAL NOTE: Due to Good Friday in the States and the New Year celebration in Sri Lanka, there will be THREE story postings this coming week. Look for chapters to be posted on Wednesday, April 12; FRIDAY, April 14 and Sunday, April 16. If you want to make sure you are always up to date with Tom, Thalia and Chris, just follow avenger-nerd-mom on WordPress and stories are sent directly to you!
Images used for this chapter were found on Pinterest
Word Count 5996
Click here for the intro to Educating Thalia
Tom inserts the key card and enters the room, with Thalia close on his heels and still holding his free hand.
He’s opted for a cozy double room this time, not a lavish suite, but he made sure before booking that the bathroom has a generous tub if his girl should want a repeat performance of their first night together.
Pulling Thalia to him, he nuzzles her hair. “I’m glad, darling, we were able to spend the day together. I enjoyed seeing your city through your eyes. So many places to visit; it’s no wonder you grew up with a love for theater, history and culture.”
Thalia pushes back against him, taking his hand. “Come here, you have to see something.”
Tom drops his bag and follows her to the window. Pulling back the curtains, the beautiful city lights up in front of them as snow begins to fall and a lighted ship can be seen on the lake, bobbing along on the waves. His arms wrap around her waist and she rests hers on his, running her fingertips along his leather watch band. His pulse quickens at her light touch and he wonders if she has any idea how she makes him feel.
“I’ve never really seen the city from up high at night; it’s so beautiful,” she whispers, leaning forward to get a better view.
With her forehead pressed against the glass, he releases one hand from her grasp and sweeps her long hair over her shoulder. “Not as beautiful as you,” he whispers in her ear, continuing to tug at her hair.
He can see the smile in her reflection on the cool glass. Pursing her lips together, she quietly says, “It’s a lost cause. The Chicago wind; my hair will be in knots for days. I like…” she sighs, turning in his arms. Playing with the buttons on his shirt collar, she looks up at him through her dark lashes. “I like leaving it down for you to play with…”
His heart flips at her innocent admission. Before he can speak, she makes another confession. “You also look really good in plaid,” she giggles. “It’s damn near pornographic.”
“Oh, really,” he taunts, a chill running through him as her fingertips light over his collarbone, dipping beneath his shirt collar. Barely a whisper between them, he tells her, “I’ll have to remember that.”
“Entirely too sinful… I wouldn’t be able to concentrate in class-”
“I wouldn’t know anything about that.” His hand reaches behind her and gives a light squeeze on her ass.
They both laugh warmly at the ruined lesson the day she wore the plaid skirt to lecture, and the few times since they’d worn or said things in a veiled attempt to tease the other out in the open.
Standing in front of the window, he begins to sway with her gently in his arms as they look out over the city. He tries to formulate the words that tickle at the back of his mind. He opens his mouth several times, but closes it quietly, not knowing what to say and not wanting to say too much.
She giggles, gently shaking in his hold. “Tom, just spit it out. I can see your reflection in the glass and you look like a funny fish!” She mimics him in the window and he has a good laugh with her.
Shaking his head, he begins, looking down on her glowing face, cheeks still slightly pink from the wind.. “Thalia, I didn’t come all this way to visit you out of sexual frustration. I want you to know I truly missed you. I’ll admit, dammit, I was miserable without you. My favorite hiding places- my office, the library- they held no spark for me knowing you wouldn’t pop around the corner. Do you understand, darling?”
Her eyes soften and a new expression fills them, something he’s not seen there before. She licks her lips and he can see her pulse quicken. A light blush crosses her face, darkening her freckles. “I understand, Tom. I… I felt the same. I’ve missed you; the feel of your arms, the poetic lilt of your voice. You calling me this morning? That was the best Christmas present I’ve ever received. I can’t repay that to you, but-”
“Darling, it’s not a give and take like that. Just having you here with me now is enough.” His hand slides up her curvy figure and his palm rests against her rapidly beating heart, his fingertips brushing gently along the gold necklace chain she wears.
In her low raspy tone she tells him quietly, “I guess I could confess something else to you, as a thank you for flying all the way out here to see me?”
“What’s that, Thalia?” His own pulse echoes in his ears and he wonders what she has to share with him. “You can always tell me anything.”
Her mouth turns up into to a cocky grin and she bites at the corner of her lip. “You once asked me if I pleasure myself while thinking of you? Well, I’ve been missing you a lot, late at night-”
“Oh, fuck, Thalia,” he chuckles darkly, “then let’s get on with it, shall we?”
She throws her head back in laughter and the tension has a more playful feeling now, but Tom still intends to give her a lesson. She has no idea what she does to him…
“I hope you aren’t suffering from an overdose of too many sinful experiences late at night and alone, are you darling?”
She snakes her arms around his waist and buries deeper into his embrace, shaking her head. Her words come out muffled against his chest.
“Not at all. As long as I share all the experiences with you.”
As much as he enjoys a simple hug as this, Tom draws back, flicking her chin up with his long fingers.
“Good, because I have another new experience waiting for you.”
She looks up at him, and something about the expression of utter trust in her face makes him feel ten feet tall. He steals a quick kiss before saying in a low voice full of sinful promises, “I’ve been dying to try out my Christmas present, you know?”
He sees her eyes widen, then darken when she remembers- their last night together before she left on break and the silk tie and their talk about alternative uses for it.
“Yes,” she says, her voice already breathy, and he can’t wait to see how far she will let him go today.
The air between them becomes charged with sexual energy and anticipation.
Cupping her face in one large hand, he holds her gaze intently. “A few things first before we start playing. While we’re doing this, I’m in control. You do what I say. You don’t ask any questions, unless you need clarification of what you’re supposed to do. If you address me, you’ll call me sir. Understood?”
Her tongue sneaks out to wet her lips. She nods, then remembers earlier instructions and adds a breathy, yet somewhat confident, “yes”.
He can feel her pulse throb against his fingers and he knows his heart is racing just the same. God, how has he deserved a woman like this? She’s a true gift, and he intends to treasure her for as long as she lets him.
“I’m not going to do anything you don’t like, so please don’t be scared, darling. I’m giving you the safe word ‘chocolate’. If you want me to stop something I’m doing or you ever feel uncomfortable at any point, you say the word clearly once, and I’ll take that as a signal to stop immediately.”
Thalia shivers, and he caresses her gently, trying to ease her nerves. “Do we really need a safe word, Tom?”
Fear in her dark eyes, he worries he’s frightened her.
“I promise, I won’t hurt you or be too rough, nothing I don’t think you’ll enjoy. It’s just a precaution…” His voice is tender and soft, to alleviate her concerns, but switches back to a controlling sound to finish his thought. “What’s your safe word, darling?”
She sighs, working her lip over and he can feel her fingers nervously fidgeting with a fold on the back of his shirt where her hands rest around his waist. “Chocolate.”
“Exactly. It’s your right to use it whenever things become too much. But I just want to tell you that you shouldn’t use it too liberally. This is all about new experiences. I want to educate you and guide you. So even if something might strike you as strange or daring, give it a chance first and see because you might enjoy it. Okay?”
She pulls herself tall in his arms, creating a confidence, making up her mind to turn herself over to another lesson at his hands.
Jesus, they haven’t even started yet and she’s got him hard. She’s so stunning in the dark light, with the city glowing behind her, and he’s proud of her resolve.
“We won’t try anything too forward today,” he adds because he wants her to enjoy this and not panic. And as he’s told her, he isn’t into the hardcore stuff anyway. To prove he wants this to be fun, he nips playfully at her neck, eliciting a light squeak from the back of her throat.
“Yes, sir, I trust you.” She nods, her curls bouncing and her pulse leaping.
“Good girl. Let your man show you how much fun a bit of playing can be.”
He lets her face go and grabs hold of her hand to pull her towards the bed.
“Strip for me, love.”
A little less shyly than the first time, Thalia removes her clothes one by one, holding eye contact.
Tom licks his lips and takes deep breaths. He doesn’t move from his spot until she has stepped out of her white panties, the innocence of them contrasting tantalizingly with her actions.
He steps out of his shoes, impatience raising its head inside him.
“Now be a darling and help me out of my clothes.”
She comes forward eagerly and removes his jacket before unbuttoning his plaid shirt. When her fingers brush lingeringly over his pecs, he grabs her wrist.
“No touching. Not yet. Just remove my clothes.”
She undoes the rest of the buttons and slides the shirt off, followed by the navy T-shirt he’s wearing beneath it. Tom shifts obediently this way and that, pleased that she’s sticking to the rules so far. His pants are next, and her fingers shake slightly while she opens the belt.
Slowly, she pushes the button through its hole, then lowers the zipper over the beginning bulge. Her hands falter and her eyes shoot up when she discovers that he’s been going commando.
Thalia opens her mouth to say something, but a warning lift of his eyebrow reminds her that she’s supposed to be silent. Tom watches with a smirk how she eyes his hardening cock with longing but keeps her hands to herself. He can tell whatever she wants to say is just killing her and he’ll have to ask later.
She lowers his pants all the way down to his feet, squatting in the process. Tom steps out of them and removes his socks, then pulls her up with him.
“The tie is under the left pillow. Be a good girl and bring it to me.”
His voice has automatically taken on a deeper timbre, a low growl full of authority.
He enjoys the view of her round ass when she walks to the bed, bends and retrieves the tie. The shiny silk with its mesmerizing color pattern of blue, purple and pink gleams in the light. Thalia is holding it in both hands, carefully carrying it like a breakable glass on a tray.
Tom takes it, gliding his fingers over it in a caress that has her suck in a breath. He plays with the length of it, watching her eyes follow the movement as if hypnotized by the sight.
“One day,” he says softly, “I’ll have you tie it for me before a party or retie it during the event, your fingers tugging and stroking it. And we’ll both remember what purpose it served before I wore it.”
He leans in for a kiss, snaking his tongue past her lips and feeling a little of the tension leave her body.
“Do you trust me?”
Her answer is immediate. “Yes…sir.”
“Perfect. Turn around and close your eyes.”
She does as told, swallowing hard. When he lifts the tie to her forehead and places it over her eyes instead of looping it around her wrists, she starts.
“But I thought…”
“Be quiet, pet.” He makes his voice stern, enjoying her surprise. As a warning for her to be obedient, he presses an open-mouthed kiss to the nape of her neck and sinks his teeth into her skin, hard enough to send a jolt of pain through her and mark her.
Then he returns to tying the blindfold, making sure with a few tugs that the knots are neither too tight nor too loose.
“Is this painful for you?”
“No, sir.” She sounds a little out of breath and nervous again, but her voice also carries the huskiness it adopts when she’s aroused.
“Can you see anything?”
God, it’s tempting to kiss and caress her now, maybe press his lips to every knob and indent of her spine before scraping his teeth over the small of her back and over those gorgeous globes.
But he has other plans for her, so he restricts himself to licking the spot he’s just bitten and then blowing cool air onto it. Goose bumps rise on her skin.
He inhales the flowery scent of her hair, the unique fragrance of her skin, mingling with a hint of crisp silk cloth.
“Turn around again.”
A little wobbly and off balance, Thalia turns to face him, and something about her blindfolded with his tie makes his cock twitch in anticipation.
Fuck, she looks hot like this, submissive but not too different, and definitely not uncomfortable.
“Touch me,” he commands, his voice rough. “Your sense of touch will be enhanced because you can’t rely on your eyes. I want you to run your hands all over my body and explore me as you’ve never done before.”
It takes all of his self-control not to haul her close for a kiss or fondle her breasts with their hardened tips when she starts caressing him. Her movements are tentative at first, hovering uncertainly at his shoulders. But she grows bolder with every ragged breath, her fingertips and palms traveling over his clavicles and his pecs, molding the ridges of his abs.
Emboldened by how intensely she must be feeling things and by the novelty of it all, she takes her time and really does explore him. Her nails graze over his nipples, making him moan. She glides her fingertips through the sparse hair on his chest and lower through the hints of happy trail leading south.
Fanning her hands outward, she explores his Adonis belt, tracing a vein down. Instead of moving lower, she touches his arms next, fingertips digging into his biceps when he flexes them. Her touch flutters over his wrists and palms. Interestingly, she explores his face next, studying him like a blind woman would to guess what he looks like. Her fingers brush over his high forehead and sharp cheekbones, linger on his mouth when he parts his lips and lets her seek out his teeth and tongue.
When she moves her hands to his waist and then back, wandering lower to cup his firm ass, Tom shivers in delight. Their bodies are pressed flush against each other, and it’s heaven and hell rolled into one. He grits his teeth to keep himself still, battling the need to really touch her and focuses on the subtle changes in expression on her face instead.
“On your knees,” he orders.
Thalia lowers herself unsteadily and reaches out to caress his thighs, trailing inwards to his balls, which she cups softly.
He hisses in a breath through his teeth, tensing when her fingertips massage the tender flesh and she rolls them slowly.
Probably unconsciously, her tongue wets her lips, as if she wants to run not just her hands but also her mouth all over him.
Fuck, he needs more.
With one hand at the back of her hair, half holding onto the tie’s knot and onto her hair, Tom keeps her in place.
“Open your mouth.”
Clenching his jaw, he shifts his hips a fraction so the head of his rock-hard cock brushes against her lips.
“Now explore me with your mouth.” It’s almost more of a plea than a command, and he can’t hold back a groan at the first slick of her tongue over him.
She licks away a bead of pre-come before sucking softly. Tom holds her head in place and drives his hips forward and back, sinking into the welcoming warmth of her mouth with agonizing slowness. Inch by inch, he lets her take more of him in, and it’s almost too much to handle.
Without waiting for his order, Thalia begins to lick and suck in earnest, and he can feel it in every cell of his body, the fierce longing to let go.
After a few more minutes of this sweet torture, he orders gruffly, “Stop.”
She obeys, but with a delay. Too turned on to remember punishing her, Tom yanks her up again and devours her mouth in a heady kiss that has them both moaning, biting and licking furiously.
He picks her up and half-throws her on the bed where she bounces, breasts heaving and begging for attention.
He wastes no time hunting for a condom in his wallet, tossing it onto the sheet before joining her on the bed. Crawling over her so he can cover her body with his, Tom lets her feel some of his weight.
“How was it for you?” he asks, barely able to form a rational thought and control his vocal chords. “Did you feel everything more intensely?”
“Yes… Yes, sir.”
“Excellent. Now feel this.”
He slithers down and buries his face between her luscious thighs, wasting no time in working her up into a frenzy with his talented mouth.
“Oh God, unh… ugh, fuck…” Before long, Thalia is whimpering and shouting profanities, her inability to see heightening the sensations.
Tom pauses to reach up and tweak a nipple. “Quiet, girl, or I’ll stop and leave you hanging again while I pleasure myself and come all over your helpless body! No sounds, remember?”
She nods frantically, biting her lip.
“And you’re not allowed to come until I tell you to, understand?”
When there’s only desperate and very muffled keening, he holds down her bucking hips while pinching the nipple harder. “Understand?”
“That’s my girl.”
He licks again, alternating between using the tip of his tongue and the broad flat of it, teasing and stroking. Pursing his lips around her clit, he sucks softly, which draws an animalistic sound from her.
He slows down a fraction, keeping her at the brink but not allowing her to jump off the cliff and drown into bliss.
Licking her delicious taste from his mouth, Tom moves up again. He holds her head and fumbles behind it, finally untying the silky fabric so he can stare into her beautiful dark eyes.
Her hips still lifting and circling, she nods frantically.
“Yes. God yes, please, sir.”
Tom grins at her, frankly surprised that he hasn’t fucked her raw by this time because she’s so freaking delectable like this.
He shifts, crooking a finger at her.
“Sit up tall with your back turned to me and your lovely ass resting on your feet.”
Thalia moves as if in a trance, her whole body flushed and sweaty.
When she’s in the right position, he gives his next order. “Arms back, wrists together.”
Again, she reacts eagerly, her thighs pressing together to alleviate the ache between her legs.
“Good girl,” he praises her in a deep low tone, before giving her another love bite on the sensitive juncture between her neck and shoulder.
Her whimper travels straight to his cock, and he hurriedly wraps the tie around her wrists, tugging experimentally.
“Not too tight?”
He grabs and positions her as he wants, with her body braced on her knees and leaning forward and her ass in the air. The sight is so goddamn pretty that he can’t resist. In quick succession, he slaps both cheeks, hearing her choke on a needy drawn-out sound that’s more animal than human.
Alternating between displays of dominance and tenderness, Tom makes sure her head rests comfortably and she can breathe. He grabs the condom and sheaths himself, his hands shaking because he wants her so much. Wrapping a fistful of her hair around one hand, Tom tips her head back to whisper into her ear.
“Do you want me to take you like this, like the naughty girl you are?”
He rubs himself against her wetness, coating himself in the slick juices so he won’t hurt her.
“Hm? Do you want me to fill you so thoroughly that you think I’ve become one with you? Fuck you so hard that the guests on the whole floor will know I’m treating you well?”
Thalia moans incoherently.
“I’m afraid I can’t hear you. What was that?” He nips at her earlobe.
“Yes what, my pet? Tell your man what you want and he’ll give it to you.”
She fights for breaths and for her voice, trembling with need against him. “Please, sir, please take me like this. Make me come. Make me scream.”
Fuck, that’s hot.
Tom shifts and nudges her legs wider apart, settling on his knees behind her and giving her engorged clit a pinch that has her arch up with a mewling sound.
“You want it all?”
“Yes, sir, please.”
With one thrust, he sheaths himself fully in her, hissing at the tightness. God, it’s like he’s died and gone to heaven.
Thalia shouts, tightening around him in a vice-like grip that has him clench his jaw so hard it’s painful. When he slowly pulls out only to press himself inside to the hilt again, her shout turns into a guttural moan. He can see her body struggling to keep balance, can see her bound hands flex uselessly in search of something to hold on to.
Tom begins rocking into her, not as hard and fast as he’d like it because he’s a lot to take even with her state of arousal. From behind, he fits so incredibly well it’s as if they were built for one another.
He grabs her hip, fingers digging so deep that he’ll leave bruises. With his free hand on the back of her neck, he keeps her still while he pounds into her with all he has.
It doesn’t take her long to convulse around him, high-pitched keening telling him she’s close. Moving the hand around and letting it glide down the front of her body, he pinches a nipple before traveling lower and rubbing her slippery clit in tight circles.
Thalia arches up wildly and grows absolutely still, coming so violently around his cock that she can’t even make any noises. Tom follows close behind, feeling her milk him for all his worth.
As soon as he can somehow force breath into his lungs, he straightens and unties her wrists.
Massaging them tenderly, he peppers her back with kisses.
“Are you alright, darling?”
“Never been better,” comes the weak reply after a moment, and they both have to chuckle at that.
Tom turns and embraces her, shifting so they lie side by side and he can get a good look at her face.
“Enough new experiences for today?” he asks softly, brushing a strand of hair off her sweaty forehead.
She smiles, reminding him oddly of a sated and contently purring cat.
“Yea,” she giggles. “You wore me out.” Caressing across his brow with her thumb, she sighs contentedly.
Tom steps out of the shower and grabs a towel to dry himself off. His early-morning run has invigorated him – but truth be told, he knows that his good mood is mostly Thalia’s fault. This stolen day in Chicago with her has been a blessing. And he notices a subtle change in their relationship. More trust. They weren’t really the professor and his student yesterday, they were almost two normal people dating.
His blood heats at the memory of their tie play. God, she’s the hottest woman he’s ever met.
Starting to dry his hair, Tom walks into the room only to stop and admire her.
Thalia didn’t wake up when he snuck out for his run earlier, and she’s still asleep. The sheet has shifted with her movement, exposing one long, thick leg and part of her delicious curves. Her gorgeous curls are spread out on the pillow in tangles, giving her a certain wild look.
Tossing the towel aside, Tom prowls closer and slowly tugs the sheet further down. He licks his lips at the sight of her full breasts, remembering them bounce. There are faint bruises on them and on her waist where he’s sucked and bitten a little too hard, and his cock stirs at the sight of how he’s marked her.
And he’s hers too, even if he’s reluctant to admit that to himself. She’s wiggled her way into his life and now she’s as essential to it as his meals.
Banishing further thought, Tom leans over and shakes himself like a dog so that his wet hair sends water drops flying over her naked body.
She grunts and moves restlessly, one arm flinging out to the side. With a chuckle, he rubs his curly hair against her belly and nuzzles her breasts, spreading cool wetness over her skin.
With a small yelp, she jerks upright, hands automatically trying to fend him off.
Now laughing outright, Tom crawls on top of her and captures her wrists in his hands.
“Good morning, sleepyhead. I never knew orchids need so much time until they can bloom again.”
She reacts with a half-hearted eye-roll and a stifled yawn.
“Morning,” she grumbles. “You’re already up and showered?”
He nods. “Just came back from a run, actually, while you were lost in beauty sleep. Not that you need it, as you’re beautiful enough already.”
A blush begins to rise while she mutters, “You’re much too chirpy for this time of the day. Get your morning cheerfulness away from me.”
Tom grins and licks a few water drops from her breast, deliberately avoiding her nipples.
“Adorable. But I won’t tolerate slovenly behavior, Miss Bareo.” Shifting so he can sit up, he keeps her wrists in one hand while he moves the other to draw circles around a nipple, watching it pebble.
With a sound that reminds him of a purr, Thalia stretches beneath him. She drags her gaze to the alarm clock on the nightstand and gasps. “Oh, it’s much later than I thought.”
He dips and gives the now hard bud a tender suck, which instantly makes her focus on him again.
“I guess I wore you out last night, hm?” he asks with the lift of an eyebrow.
Her blush deepens, but a sassy look enters her eyes. “If I said yes, will that convince you that I need to be pampered with a 5-star breakfast?”
Tom throws his head back, his carefree ehehehe causing her to giggle too.
“As if I needed any convincing whatsoever when it comes to breakfast.”
He grows serious momentarily, trailing his free hand down to brush ever so softly over her thighs and center.
“Are you feeling sore, darling?”
She sobers and wriggles experimentally. The slightest grimace flickers on her face, gone in an instant.
Tom places gentle kisses around her belly button.
“Sore in a good way, I hope?”
She smiles, and it lights his whole heart. God, he’s fallen for her so hard it’s not even funny anymore.
“In the best way.”
Telling his interested cock to calm down, he forces himself off her.
“Go and refresh yourself, love. Then we’ll have that breakfast. But before that, there’s something I want to do.”
Interest widens her eyes as she wraps the sheet around herself and rises to go to the bathroom.
Before she reaches the door, he calls out to her. “Oh, Thalia. Last night, when you undressed me, you were dying to say something, love; what was it?”
With a flounce she stops and turns to him, laughter bubbling from her. “I was just thinking about you being commando all day in the biting Chicago cold. I almost felt sorry for you,” she giggles and disappears behind the door.
Bubbling with laughter himself, Tom makes the bed half-heartedly and paces the room, practically bouncing with energy when she returns a while later, still clutching the sheet.
“Only your panties and bra,” he commands softly when she bends for her clothes.
Thalia huffs, but she knows better now than to argue.
Taking her hand, he leads her to the far side of the room and points to the table.
“Pay attention now, Miss Bareo, I’m going to introduce you to the art of making proper English tea.”
She giggles, biting her lip when he shoots her a mock-reproachful glare.
“Yes, sir, certainly, sir,” she says in her most obedient tone, and he’s seriously tempted to ditch this and explore some more naughty roleplaying with her.
But he does take his tea seriously, so…
“Now,” he holds up a finger, using his lecturing voice although he can’t help grinning a little, “the most important thing by far is to choose the correct tea. But we’re sadly lacking in choice here, so the one they provide will have to do. I usually prefer Earl Grey or breakfast tea. And tea leaves would be even better than bags, but never mind that now.”
She nods, watching him grab a tea bag.
“Next, the water.” He holds out the kettle and motions for her to go and fill it while explaining, “Using old or coldish water in the kettle can result in scummy, scaly tea. So always boil it freshly.”
“Yessir.” Thalia salutes, which earns her a slap on a butt cheek.
“Behave. Tea is almost sacred for a true Englishmen.”
She quirks a brow at him. “Oh, is that why I’m supposed to make it half-naked? Wait, wait, wouldn’t that be a sacrilege of sorts then?”
With a feigned growl of anger, Tom plants a firm kiss on her mouth. It shuts her up for the moment, though the playful gleam in her eyes stays.
“Okay. Next step. If you want to make tea in a teapot, warm the teapot with hot water first , and then add one teabag per person. This ensures that your tea will stay hot longer. But we’re using two mugs with a tea bag each. The water really needs to be boiling when you pour it, simple hot water won’t free all the aromas.”
They wait for the water to boil, Tom allowing himself to be distracted by her fingers combing through her hair.
“Right. Now pour the water into the mug and stir briefly.”
He watches her do as told, displaying the same quiet concentration he is so familiar with from her studies.
“Now we let it brew for around two minutes.” Tom pulls her in closer, his hands always hungry for her skin. He caresses her waist and the small of her back, oddly happy to be standing here with her and making tea.
They share a smile.
“Ready. Remove the tea bag now,” he instructs.
Thalia does so, yelping in surprise when he clamps his hand around her wrist.
“No, don’t squeeze the bag. It’ll just make the taste bitter.”
“Yeesh, Tom, you really do take this far too seriously,” she complains half-heartedly while dumping the soggy bags into the bin.
“And now, oh maestro of the British tea culture?”
He pinches her waist softly, motioning to the condiments.
“Now it’s time for milk and sugar. And none of that low-fat nonsense for me.”
He drops some sugar in, making sure she’s watching. Then he takes her hand and helps her add milk slowly, controlling the amount.
“You need to watch for the right colour, darling. The perfect cup of tea will have a dark orange-brown look once the milk has been added and stirred. Too little or too much will totally throw the taste off balance.”
She rolls her eyes again, which earns her a second slap on her ass, this one stinging enough to make her pout.
Tom leans in to kiss the pout off her lips.
“Done…but not totally,” he announces. “Now we’ll let it rest for around four minutes until it’s the perfect drinking temperature.”
He takes a whiff of the fragrant steam rising, and she does the same.
“Catch that slightly fruity undertone?”
She nods. “Yes, what is it?”
“It’s a pinch of bergamot that is added to Earl Grey tea. Usually we should really celebrate the tea with some digestive biscuits or jaffa cake.”
“Oh, I remember that one,” she half-squeals, eyes instantly lighting up at the mention of food. “My roommate in London made me try jaffa cake. That mix of chocolate and orange was perfect.”
Tom gives her a joyful smile. “Ah, a girl after my own heart.”
He grabs his mug. “Now come and sit on my lap while I enjoy my morning cuppa. Repeat my instructions back to me. If you get them right, I’ll treat you to a spectacular breakfast.”
Trying to give her the privacy she deserves for her phone call, Tom places his earbuds in his ears while he checks over his flight information to return home the next day. He shouldn’t have been concerned. Her whole conversation is in Spanish, and he finally realizes she’s talking to her father. Listening as the words roll from her tongue fluently he eavesdrops as she tells her father about enjoying a day on the town with a friend. He can detect her father’s worry she didn’t return home when she sweetly reminds him she’s an adult and can be trusted in her decisions. He keeps his head low as she watches him from across the room, blushing lightly when she explains to her father in her native tongue of Spanish, “He’s special dad, and you’d really like him, but it’s too soon in the relationship to meet family.” His air of indifference holds until his laughter bursts out when she raises her voice to her father, shouting with frustration in Spanish, “God, yes we use condoms; I’m not stupid!”
Her head jerks to him and she blushes, shaking her head. Ending the call quickly, she says defiantly. “Shit, I should have known you were fluent… The way you roll your damn tongue,” she winks. Sighing, she finishes. “Dad’s a little old-fashioned; he gets I’m not a virgin, but he likes to meet my boyfriends. He hates I went to school so far away from home, but it was the best choice for my studies… I know we’re a little non-traditional, you and I, so I’m not expecting you to meet my parents.”
He nods, crossing the room to her and hugging her close. Meeting her parents and all a relationship should entail for a young woman… Damn, he chides himself for the hundredth time, what am I doing? Pressing his lips to the top of her head, he decides to set his thoughts aside for his solitary return trip home.
“Which museum shall we hit today darling?”
Click here to read Chapter 13, Alone
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