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, fluff, angst, thoughts of sexual situations
Summary: Thalia reflects on her life in general and on her relationship with Tom.
Word Count 1528
Click here to read the introduction to Educating Thalia
With a sigh, Thalia dumps her bag and keys, plopping down on the couch to pull of her boots. To ward off the cold as she waits for the radiator to warm up, she stays wrapped in her scarf and coat, feeling oddly listless.
The best thing now would be to just fall into bed- and forget the fight with Tom she just had. But she’s much too annoyed to fall asleep right now. She’s glad to know her class in the morning is cancelled, and she can laze about a few extra hours. Finally warm enough, she peels off her outer layer of clothes and reaches for the slippers under the coffee table.
With another sigh, she pads into the kitchen and grabs the ingredients for a nice, ego-boosting, nerve-soothing cup of hot chocolate. Although a shot of whiskey doesn’t sound bad either. She looks briefly to the window, and thinks about crossing the street to the bar where she works, but she’d probably get sucked into helping close for the night. Chica, you are too tired for that shit. Three nights in a row is enough and she looks forward to being off from the bar for a few days. Instead of booze as a soother, while the water boils, she rummages for home-made cookies she always keeps in an emergency stash in a tin above the stove.
Tom. She can’t kick him from her mind… It’s barely been two weeks since she’s returned from her Christmas break, but things have changed somehow. She’s confused by how there can be a closeness and a distance at the same time… It’s like he wants to pull her close, then gets scared of his own feelings, and pushes her away. It’s become dizzying.
Although she’ll forever remember and treasure the amazing time she spent with Tom during his surprise visit, their days apart during the holidays made her see one thing clearer: She shouldn’t tie herself to him too much.
They’re becoming too dependent on each other; she’ll be looking for work abroad, and this isn’t the permanent home for either of them. Their time at the college as professor and student is just a stop along the way to the rest their lives…
Yes, he’s all she can think about sometimes, and he’s awakened a hunger for more inside that scares the shit out of her – but does that mean he should wield such control over all of her life?
She’s a little tired of re-adjusting her schedule and missing out on other things because she’s at his beck and call. Whenever he is free, she ditches anything that isn’t work or school to spend a few forbidden hours with him.
Thalia munches grumpily on two cookies, the usually mouth-watering taste of her step-mother’s family recipe barely registering on her taste buds.
God, she loves spending time with Tom. And that’s part of the problem. She’s grown so attached to him, so dependent on him and how he makes her feel valued and appreciated…
What the hell happened to being her own girl?
It doesn’t help that Tom has steadily been growing more attached too. He cares for her, she feels it in her bones, even though he hasn’t put it into words. It’s a blessing and a curse rolled into one, and sometimes he’s like a petulant child if he doesn’t get his way.
While going through the motions of making her hot chocolate,Thalia recounts a fight they had about a week ago. She was in a bad mood before meeting him, weighed down by the challenges of the new semester and drained by all those extra hours at the bar now that one of the other bartenders quit. When she snapped at Tom for a teasing comment, he gave her an impromptu spanking in his office. What started as playful fun, with her admitting she was being a bad girl ended up with him taking her from behind and leaving a rather prominent love bite on her neck. Afterwards, he cuddled her close and asked her what was wrong…and somehow off they were on their first ever real fight- over something completely ridiculous.
Tom was none too happy with her decision to work late hours. When she reminded him icily that she didn’t have the privilege of money, he offered to help her out.
Shaking her head at the memory, Thalia takes a sip of the hot, bittersweet liquid and waits for its effect to kick in.
She knows he mentioned helping her financially because he wants to have more time with her and because he genuinely cares for her, but to her that was a big no- a red flag. With a scowl, she remembers stomping around his office and gathering her clothes while hissing at him that he sure as hell wasn’t her sugar daddy and she was the last person who wanted his money.
He flinched and looked so wounded that she wanted to take the words back. But though they were harsh, they were the truth. No way would she let him help. It was bad enough that he paid for all those hotels and meals and little treats off and on. She didn’t want to turn into a kept woman, dammit, like some medieval mistress. And she told him so before storming out of his office.
Slowly, trying her best to savor the flavor, Thalia sips the rest of her beverage.
In the days that followed, he did not bring up the topic again and he was careful to create opportunities for them to spend time together that didn’t involve large expenses. She smiles at the memory of him ‘accidentally’ finding her studying in the Commons and the ice cream he shared with her. And the whispered naughty things he would do to her if they were alone…
But the truce was short lived. They fought again tonight at dinner. She hadn’t been able to see Tom for three days due to work and classes and today she nearly fell asleep while waiting for dinner. His deep, crisp voice lulling her in safety and she wanted nothing more to fall into his arms and sleep for days. When she asked him for a raincheck on the date, things only got worse. Before she could even suggest he go with her to her place for the night, he switched from disappointment to cool anger. He accused her of being needlessly stubborn.
“I told you that you should let me help. Why are you so intent on making things complicated?” he asked, blue eyes flashing, a muscle ticking in his clenched jaw.
Something snapped inside her then, exhaustion taking its toll on her. “I’m being stubborn?! Ya know, Tom, I don’t have strength for this bullshit right now. How about learning how to deal with a little rejection instead of making matters worse?” she threw at him and left, ignoring his pleading voice calling her name as she paraded down the snowy sidewalk to her car.
As tired as her body is from being overworked, it also burns with a constant longing for Tom’s affection and attention.
And God, he could be attentive to the point of killing her, in the best ways possible.
Her cheeks heat, and it has nothing to do with the chocolate. She writhes with the sizzling memory of him pleasuring her with his mouth and a tiny but powerful vibrator last week. He didn’t let up until she thought she’d burst out of her skin, coaxing so many orgasms out of her that she was a boneless mess in his arms by the time he rubbed himself between her full breasts and came all over them.
Thalia tightens the grip on her cup, arousal slipping through the annoyance and making her press her thighs together.
Almost defiantly, she downs the rest of the liquid and rinses the cup in the sink.
Dammit, she doesn’t want him to have such a hold on her, and he simply doesn’t understand what’s so bad about, how did he phrase it, ‘helping the woman who means so much to me until she’s pulled through.’
Her phone dings, announcing a message. Knowing instinctively that it must be Tom, she keeps herself from looking at it. Instead, she walks into the bathroom and indulges in a hot shower, trying to wash off all her conflicting emotions.
When she’s finally in bed twenty minutes later, she picks up her phone and checks.
She can’t help the eye roll and reluctant smile when she reads the Shakespeare quote. It’s just so Tom.
‘A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.’ I’m sorry for being such an insufferable fool this evening, darling. Forgive me? I just want what’s best for you…for this beautiful thing we share.
The umpteenth sigh for today wrenches itself lose.
Forgiven, she types, I’m off work tomorrow. Let me buy dinner and we can talk things over? Not even waiting for a reply, knowing he’ll say yes, she lies back and tries to catch the sleep she so desperately needs.
Click here for the next chapter, Closing Time
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