Yes, Sir

et ch 26 yes sir may 31 2017

Chapter 26

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @devikafernando & @avenger-nerd-mom

AU FICTION

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.

Word count: 3209

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, argument,  NSFW, fingering, sex in a public place, Dom, Sub, Dom Tom

Summary: Tom has some serious words with Thalia before both of them get carried away during work hours.

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

Tom walks around the meeting room, handing back the research notations to the team of students and faculty preparing for an interim trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon.  He stops at Thalia’s table and sets her paper down, waiting for her to look up at him through her long lashes.

“I’m afraid your notes, though well researched, weren’t quite up to your usual high standards, Ms. Bareo,” he says and sees her eyes go wide.

They widen even more when she sees his notation on the front page.

“I’d like to have a word with you after our meeting,” he adds quietly before continuing his round.

When the meeting is adjourned, he watches her buy time on the pretense of spilling her bag’s contents and painstakingly collecting the items. Her white camisole under her pale blue blazer falls forward, giving him a peek at paradise and his cock twitches at the view.  When the last student has left, she makes her way to the front of the meeting table, smiling.

Tom abandons all pretense of studying his calendar and sits back with folded arms, glancing out the windowed room to the hallway.

“Have you got into any trouble lately, Thalia?”

She raises her brows. “None that I know of. Unless you count the trouble you and I get into, Professor.”

Tom struggles not to grin at her saucy remark, adjusting his glasses and glaring at her instead.

Her teasing smile vanishes, replaced by confusion.

“No. I- I don’t know what you mean?”

“It was brought to my notice that the despicable frat boy who’s been bothering you before gave you hell again.” He clenches his jaw, feeling quite a murderous tendency inside him when it comes to that dipshit coming anywhere near his Thalia.

Understanding dawns on her face, quickly replaced by annoyance.

“Oh, that. It’s nothing.” She waves it away. “He was just being his usual asshole self.”

Tom leans forward. “Did he hurt you?”

Thalia shakes her head and fumbles with her bag’s strap. “Seriously, it’s not worth talking about. I don’t even remember it.”

“Don’t say that. He’s been overstepping his bloody boundary way too many times now. And Professor Evans told me the boy harassed some other girl too, though he paid for that.”

Thalia starts squirming, and he can’t help wondering whether there’s more, whether that idiot has done something serious to her and she doesn’t share it with him because she’s afraid he might cause a scene.

“Why didn’t you tell me? I could’ve done something…protected you.”

She huffs. “Oh for God’s sake, cool down. Nothing much happened. And I don’t need you hovering protectively over me like a clucking mother hen, Tom. Just because you’ve taken control of certain aspects of my life, it doesn’t give you the right to meddle with everything or think I need your advice all the time.”

She’s talking herself into a frenzy, her Latina temperament boiling over.

“I can take care of myself, I’m a big girl. Sorry to destroy your illusions, but this is the wrong era for playing the knight in shining armor.”

Tom flinches as if she’s slapped him, and her expression grows chagrined.

“Shit, that came out all wrong. I’m sorry… But, seriously, just…”

Tom holds up his hands, which stops her mid-sentence. He removes his glasses and pinches the bridge of his nose.

He knew this would get her all worked up, but he can’t help it. The thought of her being hurt in some way is a ball of pain in his gut. Icy terror and fiery fury all at once. If he could, he’d punch that wanker in his tiny dick.

With a sigh, he looks at her and tries again. “I know all that, Thalia.” His voice is laced with frustration, so he takes another deep breath. Walking to the window, he looks out into the hallway, watching faculty and staff walk by; controlling his pent up rage.  He isn’t angry at her, only upset that everything is so twisted and complicated.

“I’m well aware of the fact you’re no meek damsel in distress who needs rescuing. I know you value your independence. But even strong women can use some support sometimes, don’t you think? It wouldn’t have hurt to tell me, because…” He glances left and right and leans closer. “We’re together, didn’t we agree on that?  Am I not allowed to worry for my girl’s safety? I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

Her features soften and she sighs as well.

“He’s not worth all this attention and trouble,” she insists. “Boys like him don’t listen to professorly sermons, and they don’t really change. I can handle him, don’t worry.”

A tiny smile trembles on her full lips, and some of the tension leaves him. “Your ‘girl,’ huh?  Thank you for caring.”

He smiles back, although it feels a bit stiff. “How about enrolling in a self-defense class?” he asks, hating it how pleading his tone sounds now. “To feel safer? It’s not just him I’m worried about. You return home late, you’re in a place full of drunkards and people looking for a fight.”

“You’re entirely too worried about things, Tom. It’ll all be fine. And don’t forget where I come from. I know how to kick a man in his balls and land a mean punch. I grew up in a pretty rough area where the girls can fight as well as the boys.”

He nods, moving to rest against the meeting table, accepting defeat for now because he hates it when she’s upset with him.

She stands there in silence, looking at him and away.

“So… You’re still working with Professor Evans too?”

Thalia raises a brow. Her tone is frosty when she says, “Yes. Occasionally, as requested by the department, just for a few more weeks.  Got any objections, Professor?”

As a matter of fact, he can think of several objections, but he presses his lips together and keeps them in. With the belligerent mood she’s in, she won’t take his comments lightly.

Why does it bother him so much that she’s spending time with his colleague? It’s only work, for heck’s sake, and it’s great experience for her. And it would probably look better for them because then he isn’t monopolizing her and arousing suspicion. Yet…

“Oh, he just doesn’t strike me as the kind of company you should or would keep,” he can’t help himself from commenting coolly, realizing with a start that he’s feeling jealous.

She rolls her eyes, knowing how much it gets him.

“Seriously? Because he doesn’t have a Double First from Cambridge or what?”

Before he can react, she gets in his face. “You know what, I think our much-touted American rudeness is rubbing off on you, Professor. That remark is a bit below the belt. Professor Evans’s work for the college is as important as yours, and it’s an honor to assist him.”

She straightens up and whirls to go after shooting daggers at him one last time.

Tom jumps up from the table and grabs her wrist as she walks past, stopping her.

“Thalia, wait.”

When she glowers at him, he runs a hand back through his hair.

“I’m sorry. I meant no offense. And I have no right to tell you who to work with or not.”

Again, she doesn’t hold her grudge long. Tom makes sure they’re alone before running a finger down her cheek and throat.

“Forgive me, darling?”

She heaves a sigh of exaggerated exasperation. “Yes, sir.”

The glint is back in her eyes, and he slides his fingers down her wrist and palm, tangling them with hers for a moment before stepping away.

“Will you tell me the next time that worthless excuse for a student harasses you?”

Thalia studies him for a long time, and he wishes he could see what’s going on in her brilliant brain. She’s so proud of looking after herself all alone, of being strong. Now more so than ever. But he knows there’s vulnerability beneath the surface, and that deep down she likes to be cared for as well.

“Maybe I will,” she answers with a small smile before extracting her hand and walking out into the hallway.

#

Tom watches her walk away, her ample hips swaying. She’s not wearing a skirt today but slate-grey jeans and ankle-high boots with just the right amount of heel.  While he’s grown overly fond of her wearing skirts – and not only because of the easy access – he can’t help appreciating the way the denim stretches and molds itself to her hourglass figure.

He rubs the back of his neck, trying to get his thoughts in order and his libido in check…but it’s a hopeless case, as happens so often these days.

“Oh, sod it,” he mutters to himself.

In a few quick strides he’s out of the room and half-runs along the corridor to catch up with Thalia.

He makes sure they’re alone before grabbing her arm and dragging her with him to the right. Throwing open the door to a small storeroom, he yanks her inside. With his hand still around her bicep, he slams her up against the door.

Eyes wide, she stares at him. “What are you doing?”

“What am I doing?” his voice is already deep and gravelly, something that happens almost automatically around her because she’s got him so worked up. “Stealing the kiss I’ve been craving all day.”

Tom teases her with his tongue first, long, leisurely licks up her throat and over her parted lips. He nips, taking his time to refamiliarize himself with her taste. When she moans ever so softly, he gives in and slants his mouth over hers.

It’s no gentle kiss, but he doesn’t want gentleness right now. They devour each other, Thalia giving as good as she’s taking, her free hand fisting in the now slightly longer hair on top of his head.

He reaches up and removes her hand, slapping it against the door by her head. With his body flush against hers and his tongue working its magic, he holds her trapped.

It feels like a lifetime later when he finally breaks the kiss to haul in some air.

“Jesus, Thalia, what you do to me…” He pants, trying to catch his breath, feeling her breasts rise and fall against his and begging for his touch.

He licks his lips to savor her flavor, as if he could keep her essence with him for a bit longer like this, to carry him through the day.

“Beneath the skin of my English reserve, there lurks another man. Someone a little wilder, with animal instincts and unfulfilled desires. You bring out that alter ego, and I still haven’t figured out whether it’s a good or bad thing.”

He leans his forehead against hers, trying to rein in his rampant desire. They’re in a public space on campus, for God’s sake, and he can’t seem to be able to keep it in his pants, as if he’s a hormonal teenager.

When he lets his hand slide higher to entwine his fingers with hers, she squeezes them.

“You have the same effect on me,” she confesses, sounding as desperate as he feels.

“You…you make me want things I shouldn’t. Long for things I never even considered before.”

With a soft groan, Tom kisses her again, tugging on her lower lip while grinding against her.

He closes his eyes for a moment in another attempt to control himself.

“You and I, we haven’t been able to spend enough time with each other lately.  I have that damn meeting with the local historical society tonight.” Gazing into her lust-filled eyes, he searches for the right words. “How about we meet tomorrow?  You’ve certainly been sassy enough to warrant punishment.”

She shudders against him, but her eyes cloud over with an emotion he can’t really place. “I’m sorry.” She worries her lip. “I’ve got a study group meeting tomorrow night, one I really need because I haven’t been giving my Museum Collections class as much attention as I should have.  I’ve missed the last two study groups because I was helping you… with things,” she smiles wickedly.

Damn. Disappointment digs into his ribs and tightens his jaw.

“Are you sure you aren’t just trying to avoid another lesson in delayed gratification?” he tries to keep his tone light, but fails.

Thalia frowns. “Really, Tom, I can’t tomorrow.  I’m slacking in that class; the professor knows it and I need that grade for the internships I’ve applied for.”

He glowers at her, knowing she’s right, but he doesn’t have to like it.  He tightens the grip on her arm. “Haven’t I told you that I’m Professor Hiddleston to you when we’re here?”

Her brows rise. “Even when you’re rubbing your erection against me and driving me out of my mind?”

“Especially then,” he growls, taking her mouth in a greedy kiss that has their tongues and teeth clashing for dominance.

When they come up for a breath, she says in a low, mock-meek tone, “Yes, Professor. I’m sorry I wasn’t a good girl and that I don’t have time for you tomorrow.”

The heated darkness in her eyes is a sharp contrast to her voice, amping up his arousal. He narrows his eyes, focuses on the way her pulse flutters in her throat.

“Well, in that case, there’s no time like now.” He leans in and rakes his teeth over her pulse point, making her buck against him.

“Can you be quiet, darling?”

“Yes.” Her answer comes out as a needy gasp. His mouth moves lower, suckling at her skin, but her voice makes him pause. “Professor Hiddleston?”

Fuck, it’s hot to hear her say it in this tone. “Yes?”

“Don’t be gentle.”

His head snaps up and he stares at her intently. “Is that what you want today?”

With deliberate slowness, he lets go of her fingers and trails his hand down her arm and over her clavicle to her throat. His long fingers encircle it, his thumb stroking rhythmically. He doesn’t exert any pressure, but the sight of his hand there and her submissiveness in this moment are a huge turn-on.

“Tell me what you want,” he commands softly. “Do you want me to bite you and leave a mark for everyone to see? To turn you around and take you from behind while you desperately yearn for some friction against your throbbing clit?”

With his fingers around her throat, he can feel her swallow convulsively, her pulse racing.

He leans closer and sinks his teeth into her earlobe before whispering, “Or do you want me to use you to get off? Make you kneel and take all of my cock inside your naughty mouth?”

Thalia shudders and moans. “Anything. I…you…just do something I won’t expect. I need you. I need this.”

It’s his turn to moan. “Fuck, you’re so sexy when you let yourself go a little,” he grinds out. “I wish we had time to play, but this is too risky.”

With a frustrated sigh, he glides his hand down over her breasts, pinching a nipple through the clothes and longing to suck it until she writhes and whimpers.

Burying his head in the crook of her neck to lick and kiss, he lets his hand wander lower. Deftly he opens the button and zip of her pants. Instead of sliding them down, he dives beneath the waistband of her panties and strokes over her folds.

“Mmm, so wet and hot for me. It’s such a fucking turn-on how ready you always are for me.”

He rubs with painful slowness, his movements hindered by her clothes. “Tell me you want my fingers inside you. Tell me.”

“Yes, please, sir,” she begs, her words ending on a half-strangled moan when he seeks out her bud and rubs it in tight, little circles.

Tom tightens his grip on her arm, knowing it will leave bruises. “Tell. Me.”

Her head is thrashing from side to side while she struggles to hold her body still.

“I need your fingers inside me. Please. I want them so deep I’ll be able to feel them for hours. I want to come all around them as if they were your cock.”

Christ, she’s killing him. He can’t remember her so eager, but maybe he’s just imagining things because he’s aching for her so badly.

Kicking her legs open wider, he wriggles his hand deeper into her underwear and slides through her slickness.

“I’m not sure you’ve been good enough to deserve to come,” he grits out between clenched teeth when he feels how soaked she is. “But I’ll make an exception today and give you what you want.”

She sucks in her breath when he presses two fingers inside instead of starting out with only one. Pumping them in and out as best as the position allows it, he moves to kiss her roughly.

“Come for me, Thalia,” he urges in a deep growl. “Think of my tongue buried in your luscious cunt or of my teeth around a nipple to give you that intoxicating mix of pleasure and pain.”

Her keening sound and her rhythmic clenching tell him she’s close. He crooks his fingers, finding the spot that will undo her.

His hand moves from her arm to clamp his fingers over her mouth and muffle her sounds.

“Bite me. Bite down and let go. Come for me, my beautiful girl.”

With a sound close to a sob, she obeys. He feels her teeth dig into his palm at the same time as her body convulses and she grips his digits inside her tighter than ever.

Holy mother of God, it’s a miracle he isn’t shooting his load; it’s so unbelievably sexy.

Tom keeps his hands where they are until she’s ridden out her climax and tries to focus blearily on him.

When she reaches out for him and claims a kiss, he lets her, wishing he could have his fill now.

They move apart reluctantly, catching their breath. He’s so hard he doesn’t think he can walk.

“You should go,” he says softly.

“But…” She stares at his tented jeans, licking her lips and making his cock twitch. One hand grabs his blue cable-knit sweater. To steady herself? To pull him closer and make him lose his last working brain cells?

It’s so damn hard to resist. But Tom has to pull himself together, to at least pretend he hasn’t lost control. “No ‘but’. Go.” His tone is commanding but not unkind.

He swipes his tongue over his drenched fingers, sending a silent prayer of thanks upwards that they haven’t been caught in flagrante.

“God, we shouldn’t be doing this,” he says, shaking his head as if it could clear the haze of want.  “Go now. I need a moment.”

Thalia nods, her face flushed. She drops her hand from his chest, fixes her jeans and the rest of her clothes and opens the door to leave. Two steps out, she half-turns back towards him.

“Thank you, sir.”

Click here for Chapter 27 Mine Tonight

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

Step Up

et ch 25 step up may 28 2017

Chapter 25

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom & @devikafernando

AU FICTION

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.

Word count: 1847

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, angst, drinking, argument, harassment

Summary:  Thalia has a bad day, which prompts Chris into action.

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

The minute she catches his eye across the smoky bar, he can sense something is wrong.  He nods to a few of the regulars, surprised he’s become a regular there himself.  The game is showing on two of the screens and the place is more packed than usual.  And it’s one of those nights- she’s working and got her book open on the bar top.  He nods to Jim and the older man expresses his displeasure, but turns to get a glass for his favorite Scotch anyway as he pulls himself onto the barstool he’s claimed as his own.  Reaching down the bar, he grabs the bowl of mixed nuts, but she shakes her head no, and hands him a fresh one.  And that’s the only acknowledgement he gets that he’s even in the room.

When the game ends, the place clears out fairly quickly and the quieter sound is almost deafening to him.  “Niña, you doing all right there?” he asks as she passes by with a tray of empty glasses.

She drops it into the clearing bin and he hears one of the glasses shatter.  Jim starts to shout at her, but her look is lethal.  The grown man actually puts his hands up and backs away.  Thalia turns on Chris, hands on her hips.  “No.  I’ve had a shit day.  Maines announced a last minute quiz, and it was shit I haven’t reviewed, thinking I didn’t need it till closer to the end of the semester.  The power steering is acting up in my car again.  The apartment is fuckin’ freezing, and you…” She throws her hands up and mutters in Spanish, walking away from him.  She returns with a bottle of Fireball and pours a shot.  He’s surprised when she downs it herself, slamming in back to the bar.

Eyebrows raised, he knows it’s best in these situations to play dumb and stay calm.  Playing dumb won’t be difficult, because he has no idea why she’s angry.   Nodding gently, he moves the glass between his hands, sliding it across the dark wood.  “What did I do, babe?”

“I’m not your ‘babe’ or your’ sweetie’ or even your Niña.  You haven’t called me in two days, since I last saw you at the club.  I’ve decided I’m tired of this shit.  You can’t just come in here and expect to go home with me.  I’m tired of being your fuck buddy.”

Some of the patrons catch her last phrase and lean in closer.  The look on Jim’s face shows confirmation of what he’d feared all along, and Chris wonders if the burly man would punch him or kick him out.  “Thalia… You’re more than that, we’re more than-”

“No.”  She slams her book shut, pulling off her apron.  “I’m going home alone.”  Removing her coat from the hook, she tells Jim, “Keep him here.”  Looking back at Chris, she finishes, “Being secretive doesn’t have to make me feel like…   like a whore.  If you want this, date me, romance me, treat me the way a man should treat a woman.”  She shrugs her shoulders, “Or I’m done.”

She’s out the door before Chris can even say anything, and Jim has advanced on him, standing behind him to make sure he can’t leave after her.  “You seem like a nice guy.  Don’t do anything stupid,” Jim tells him quietly.  “She’s a good girl, but if you hurt her, you’ll regret it.”

“Fine, I hear ya…  Twenty minutes?  I won’t go to her place, I promise,” Chris claims.

Jim steps aside and Chris sits back down to finish his luke-warm drink.  When the bar gets busy again, Chris sneaks out.  Going to his car, he pulls the box with the bow on it out of the trunk and carries it across the street.  He sees Tina in the window and taps the glass.  Recognizing him, she lets him in and he slowly walks up the stairs with a heavy heart.  Setting the box on her welcome mat, he knocks on the door a few times before walking away.

He would have loved to have seen the expression on her face to find the new electric heater, but today just wasn’t his day.

#

Chris waits quietly around the corner, knowing her routine.  When she walks up to the coffee counter, he slides up behind her, giving his order as well and telling the clerk to put it on his bill.  “Miss Bareo, so glad I ran into you!  I had a few questions about the documents for the performance hall exhibit.”  When the server hands over the coffees, he reaches for them both, handing hers to her kindly, ignoring her shocked expression.  “Can you spare a few moments to sit with me?”

Giving her no choice, he guides her to an empty table in the center of the Commons.  “What the fuck are you doing, Chris?” she hisses nervously, spying around the room.

“I’m talking to the most beautiful, intelligent woman I know.”  He pulls out a stack of documents and lays them out on the table, pretending to pour over them.  “I’m trying to set things straight…  I never meant to make you feel any less than a woman, than someone I care about.  I-”

“We’re not doing this here. Someone could hear you!”  She hides her irritation behind the cardboard coffee cup.

“It’s too noisy.  Can you hear those people right there?” He tilts his head to the closest table.  “Nope.  Me neither.”  He shrugs, continuing.  “I went to see you last night because I knew you were having a hard week.  You’d cancelled work twice and I saw that creep, the frat boy, giving you a hard time in the hall yesterday.  Like always, you handled yourself before I could step in.  You aren’t a dainty flower needing rescuing.  You need someone strong enough to take it when you push back.  I didn’t think you wanted the dating thing, a commitment.  I honestly thought you were too tied to your schoolwork and to the other…”  Pushing his glasses up, he pinches the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes and leaning back momentarily before randomly pointing at something on the papers in front of them.

She looks to his hand, and shakes her head.   Pointing to something else on the documents, her hand brushes against his.  “You’re important too, I just-”

“You just weren’t getting what you needed… I see that now, Thalia.  You’re so fiercely independent and strong and you know exactly what you want and..”

Placing her elbow on the table, she rests her forehead in her palm.  “I’m none of those things.  I’ve just developed a tough skin to protect myself over the years.  You don’t think I know what people say, or think of my weight?  My step-mother always tried to help.  No junk food in the house, exercise classes.  That just made it worse.  She didn’t understand the genetics and I would just eat behind her back.  I’m puertoriquena- I’m supposed to have a fat ass,” she laughs.  “But I am none of those things you say I am.”

“You’re more, Thalia, and I’m crazy about you.  ”

Her eyes pop open wide and she sits stunned almost too afraid to see if anyone around them heard him.

“And I kinda like your ass, it’s perfect,” he winks.  Turning serious, he lowers his voice, “I’m dying to hold your hand in mine as I ask you out on a real date.  We can’t stay in town, but I know a great little place about an hour away.   I wanna pick you up at your door and watch you awkwardly decide what to do with the flowers I bring you, and then help you slide on your coat over a pretty dress that hugs your figure and hold the car door open for you and pretend not to look at your amazing legs while you get in the car. I wanna hold your hand as we drive down the highway, and compare suggestions as we stare over the menu.  I want to-”

Giggling, she covers her mouth, hiding her sweet smile.  “Ok, ok, enough.  I get it.  Shh…” she says, looking around cautiously.  “Save your other plans for later.  Surprise me.  When is this great… event?”  She questions surveying the Commons again.

Chris follows her gaze and sees the frat boy that was behaving so rudely with her yesterday.  He plans to have words with that young man later.  Bringing his mind back to the present as she rises to leave, he suggests quietly, “Tomorrow? A quarter till six?”

Closing her eyes as if she is thinking, she lifts her coffee cup and readjusts her book bag on her shoulder.  “Make it six-thirty and it sounds like a perfect plan, Professor Evans. I have a study group I can’t miss.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to class.”

He nods, a bit dazed she acquiesced so easily and he watches her walk away, seeing the dick head student giving another female a hassle.  Leaving his papers on the table, he walks to the young man who is leaning aggressively over the woman and he grabs his arm.  “You.  This is the second female student I’ve seen you harass in two days.  What’s your name, kid?”

God, he so wanted to call the kid a dick, but his job is already on the line if anyone finds out about his relationship with Thalia.  He motions for a nearby campus security guard to come over, as the girl moves out the way.  The school employee assesses the situation as Chris explains it to him and the student is whisked away for more questions.  Chris sees to it the young woman was not harmed in anyway, and advises her to always remember to be safe on campus, especially at night and not to be out after hours alone.

Back at the table, he gathers up his papers when a brisk movement causes many to fall to the floor.  “So, so sorry,” says the polite but clipped British voice.

Chris sighs as the gentleman bends to retrieve the papers.  “Hey, you.  What do you know about that asshole that’s been harassing Miss Bareo?

Taken aback, Tom falters.  “What?  She’s never said anything to me about that before?  Are you sure?”

Nodding, Chris shoves the papers in his bag.  “I know she works with you a lot and likes you, why I have no fuckin’ clue, but it happened in the hall near your office and I just turned him in for forcefully bothering another young woman.  I thought you might want to be aware if something was going on in your classes. Thalia is such a smart, sensitive woman. She doesn’t deserve crap like that.”

“Thank you, mate.” Tom stretches his hand out and offers him a firm handshake.  “When she comes into work this afternoon, I’ll check with her on that.”

Chris waves him away, distracted by the message on his phone, “What color dress would you like me to wear?”

Click here to read Chapter 26 Yes, Sir

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

It’s Complicated

et 24 Its complicated may 24 2017.png

Chapter 24

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom & @devikafernando

AU FICTION

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.

Word count:  6000 IT’S LONG BUT IT WAS NECESSARY- SORRY!

Warnings:  : Language, Adult Situations, stepfamilies, food porn, drinking, NSFW, fingering, exhibitionism, angst, real life discussions

Summary: Thalia enjoys some time out alone with her stepmother, glad she didn’t have to choose between her suitors for Valentine’s Day, but missing them.

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

Tired from the long day of classes, the drive into the city, and a few errands, Thalia hides her yawn as she sits at the table. The two women pour over the menu.  The older blonde, polished and sophisticated, taps the table with her perfectly manicured nails.  Looking over the top of her reading glasses, she asks the young woman what she plans to order.

“Mmm… I can’t decide,”  Thalia admits.  “It all looks so good, my mouth is watering just reading the descriptions.”  She happily sighs.  “I think the fish with a baked potato and the house salad?  And their garlic bread is to die for!”

“Thalia, that’s a lot of food?  You really shouldn’t be eating all those carbs.  I mean, you look great, but…”  begins the older woman.

Thalia takes a deep breath, steeling herself as she carefully places the menu on the table.  She’s used to her stepmother acting this way, and she knows if they can get through the first hour without killing one another, they’ll end up having a great visit together.

Shaking her head slightly, she purrs.  “Stacey.  I’m never gonna be stick thin, like you.  I know my limitations and if I decide to indulge there’s always the gym tomorrow.  Besides.  I can’t eat too much tonight. Everyone knows tomorrow is half-price chocolate day!”  Smiling sweetly, she pats the woman’s hand.  “Thanks for always worrying about me, but I know my shape. Big and round.  And I’m learning to own it, and appreciate it.  I’m actually really healthy right now, Moms.”

The woman takes the younger woman’s hand and squeezes it.  “You do look great.  Really happy…”

She pauses their conversation as the waiter takes their order, appearing to be miffed they didn’t order the dinner special.  Thalia looks to her right and left and it’s an endless sea of couples with the steak dinner in front of them.

Picking up the conversation where it left off, her stepmother takes a sip of her wine before asking, “Would this have anything to do with the gentleman visitor at Christmas?”

Smiling when the waiter returns with the bread basket, Thalia takes a piece of the bread and smiles up at her mom secretly.  “Maybe, yea, a little.”  Pursing her lips together, she isn’t sure how much to give away.  “He’s… He’s really amazing.  So sweet and caring, and he…” She stops and shakes her head, realizing she’s talking about both men and almost hating how this sentence ends in her mind.  Cuz it’s fuckin’ true of them both, and for the thousandth time, she can’t believe she let this happen… Tearing off a piece of the bread, the warm cheese stretches between the two parts and she dips it in the olive oil before popping it in her mouth, chewing carefully.

“Thalia, spit it out.  What are you not telling me?” The woman prods.

“Fuck, Stacey.  It’s kind of a mess, but it’s also really wonderful.  And I think…” She props her elbow on the table and rubs her fingertips across her brow with exasperation.  “I think he loves me.” She shakes her head and laughs.  Both of them do, and she knows it, and it’s just a fucked up mess she’s created.  “We haven’t said it yet, but I think he loves me.  And not ‘in spite of’ my size, but partly because of it.”  Trying hard to control the grin on her face, she just can’t stop herself.  It is Valentine’s Day afterall…  “He’s really just… something else, ya know?”

Stacey stares in disbelief for a moment and then releases a happy squeal.  “Oh, my God, honey!  That’s so wonderful!  Do you love him back?  Is he cute?  Is he still in school?  Holy shit, I didn’t think you’d spill the goods before the food arrived,” she chuckles.  “It usually takes a pry-bar to get you to open up.  He must really be under your skin.”

Taking a drink of her wine, she tilts her head slightly to the side while dozens of images race through her mind of both Chris and Tom.  Her smile reaches all the way to her eyes and she feels she’s positively glowing in the candlelight.  Candles on the table.  Romance. Damn.  She leans forward and blows it out, the smell of smoke filling the air.  “In the best ways possible,” she hints.

Their salads arrive and Thalia picks off the tomatoes, laying them to the side.  The woman across from her raised her since she was nine and she adores her with all her heart, but she can’t bring herself to fully open up with all her sordid secrets.  Hell, she tries not to think about it herself.  Sometimes, she’s afraid if she opens up to someone, things are bound to topple over and smack her in the face. As if this is all some magical fairytale and as soon as she breathes a word about it, the bubble will burst. She doesn’t want to be judged – least of all in her own head, and she has a pretty good idea she’ll start doing that automatically if she shares the details of her secret little love triangle.

She tries her best to answer the questions without actually confessing anything.  Scoffing, she replies quickly.  “Yes, he is still in school,” grinning at her own little joke.  “Devilishly handsome.  Glasses.”  She tilts her head back, eyes closed and euphoric, and shakes her whole body happily. God, she’s such a nerd.  “He’s got the most adorable accent and he gets so excited about learning new things, he’s like a puppy sometimes, bouncing all over the place.”  In her mind she wonders again how two men so different can actually be so much alike…

“Thalia María Bareo!  You are in love with him!”  Stacey drops her fork and bounces with glee.  “I never thought I’d see the day, but you are head over heels for this guy.  Oh, man!  This is amazing, honey!  I’m so happy.”

Oh, fuck.  She’s right. Her step-mother is always right.  When the hell did that happen?

She quickly downs the rest of her wine and signals the waiter.  “Scotch on the rocks, please.”

She fends off a few more of Stacey’s questions, answering as obliquely as possible.  She doesn’t want to give her stepmother any details she can nail down.  Their conversation dies off as the food arrives.  Thalia turns her focus to her mother and asks the required questions about family and adopts an air of interest as Stacey talks about the convention she is attending in the city.  Her thoughts begin to drift to ‘kill me now, I’d never survive the business world’ when her phone begins to buzz, hopping all over the table.  ‘God Save the Queen’ chimes and Stacey looks confused as to the choice of song.

Wiping her mouth on her napkin, she lays it next to her plate.  “Stacey?  Can I?” She indicates she wants to check her phone and her stepmother frantically waves her approval, mouthing the words ‘is that him?’

“It’s a text.  He can’t hear you.”  She shakes her head at the woman’s flightiness. Thalia unlocks the screen to see a selfie of Tom, presumably laying on his bed, wearing the shirt she gave him and the book she found in an old shop lying on his chest.  The message reads I miss you, darling.  Have fun with your mother. Can we meet for tea and toast in the Commons in the morning?

She runs her fingers over her lips nervously, thinking of the timing and knowing she has to attend a history department meeting at eleven with Chris to take notes about the upcoming exhibit.  Who is she kidding?  She’s juggled them both this long…  Of course, Tom!  Can’t wait to see you SIR.

Good girl.  I can’t wait either.  I have something I wish to ask you.

Thalia’s heart jumps into her throat.  At least with Chris, she can see where his thinking goes.  He sometimes misses the domestic life, and tries to replicate his favorite parts of it with her…

But Tom?  She has no idea where his mind wanders off to sometimes. It’s like he’s truly foreign to her.  Some days it’s so frustrating to be with him because his British demeanor can be cold and seem harsh, when she knows that underneath it all, he’s just a teddy bear that wants to believe in love again, to have someone to love him.  Dear God, please don’t let me hurt him…  She has no clue what he’s thinking; what he might want to ask.  She finds it unnerving.

Finishing her drink, she pushes her plate away, her appetite lost.  Stacey reads her emotions accurately, and asks, “Honey, if you’re so crazy about him, why are you here with me and not with him?  It’s Valentine’s Day?”

Nodding, she turns her hands and examines her nails, smiling absently to the waiter as he carries away her plate.  “It is.  It’s Valentine’s Day and that’s exactly why I couldn’t see him today.  It’s complicated.”

#

Over the loud music and the roar of the revelers, Thalia yells at her stepmother.  “How the hell did you talk me into this?”

“I’m your ride home!  Now shut up and have another shot.  Live a little!”

Stacey turns back to her friends from the convention and Thalia considers calling a cab back to the hotel.  The group of older ladies were enjoying the Anti-Valentine’s Party atmosphere of the night club.  Although most of them were married, that didn’t stop them from flirting, accepting drinks or dancing with the scores of good looking men who stopped by their table.  The party scene had never been Thalia’s style, but she’d danced and was having fun.  However her responsibilities are too great and she’s exhausted from her long hours.  Sliding down from the barstool she reaches across the table to her stepmother to tell her she’s going to leave when a strong arm wraps around her waist.  A familiar scent fills her nose and a heat radiates through  her.  She tries to maintain a straight face.  Reaching around her, the solid brick wall of a man standing behind her slams another shot of the dark amber liquid down on the table.  Rubbing his cock against her curved ass, he growls in her ear, “Another.”

Picking up the tiny glass, she turns to face him.  She can’t hide her smile at the handsome face that floats before her, a sure sight for sore eyes in a sea of strangers.  Shooting it down quickly she hands it back to him with a wink. In her husky timbre she boldly says over the loud raucous crowd, “Four.”

With his head thrown back in laughter she pushes past him to the dance floor.  She can feel his eyes following every move, knowing her high heels add more of a swish to her ass than usual.  Realizing he desires her is so stimulating and builds her confidence. Over her shoulder she sees him visibly panting and trying to discretely adjust the already growing bulge in his pants.

Shaking her head she finds a spot in the middle of the crowded dance floor and begins to sway to the music.   As one thumping song blends into the next, he shimmies up behind her.  His grasp on her is seductive and as she moves the seam of her tight jeans pushes her panties between her aching lips, soaking up her flood.  Reaching over her head and behind them, she drapes her arm around his neck, pulling his head down to rest on her shoulder.  Turning her head she yells in their close space.  “Chris! What the hell are you doing here?”

His hands reach all the way around her and rest on her belly pulling her back to him as they grind to a pulsing Latin beat.

“Stag night,” he yells in her ear.  “Some of my single friends thought they’d prey on heartbroken women.  Looks like they found some at your table.”  He nibbles on her ear and she lets him.  The movements are so sensual it’s like fucking in public.  As the crowd presses around them, his hands tease down her hips squeezing the tops of her thighs.  “Is one of those ladies your stepmom?”

“Shh… Don’t talk.  Keep doing that.”  She wants to lose herself in the music with him.  In public.  Like a goddamn real date on Valentine’s Day.  It’s like Cupid heard her wishes to be with one of her men; she pushes the thought away that maybe it’s meant to be a ‘sign’ that Chris was the one that appeared?

How could she ever hurt Tom?  How could she hurt Chris?  Her head pounds in a beating pulse and for one more night, she doesn’t want to have to come up with an answer.

His hands are rough on her body, tugging and pulling to the beat of the music, unknowingly lifting her from her negative thoughts.   His thick fingers grasp at her flimsy top and with each grope higher up her hips and sides, he lifts the silky red fabric until he can drag his fingers along the waist of her jeans.  Tickling at her belly button, he traces a path to the snap on her jeans.

Feeling her pupils dilate as another rush of wet releases between her legs she turns her face to his.  “What are you doing?   We can’t…” Her words come out as a rush of air, no real sound to them but the fire returned in his eyes lets her know she heard him.

“Look around, no one’s paying attention.  I can finger fuck you right here and no one would know.”

The sea of dancers swells around them and they are hidden in plain sight.  She can’t even see the group of Stacey’s friends and she doesn’t recognize a single face.  The ache in her body is intense.  Looking down she can see her nipples are hard, obviously peaking under the silk shirt, teased from the lace bra brushing against them.  “Aw fuck, Chris.  We can’t…”

Changing dance positions his other arm comes up over her shoulder and snakes over her breasts, pinching one of her peaks. “Fuck you,” she whispers.  “I already ache.”

“Let me make it better,” he offers quietly in return.

She leans back into his body, his cock throbbing and rubbing her ass.  If unclothed, he’d fit right into her.  No wonder he finds her heeled boots so damn sexy, she thinks.  We’re the perfect height.

“Niña, don’t think.”  His hands dip lower into her pants, the fabric relaxing and pulling away, allowing him access.  “You know if you want me to stop, you just have to tell me.  You’re so wet, I’m not even to your sweet pussy yet and I can feel your juices on my hand, our dance moves shifting your clothes, teasing you, spreading the wet.  The lace is soaked, baby girl.  So damn sexy.”

The dancers move and swirl around them, new pairings dividing off and others joining in.  Chris is her constant, pulling her to the edge with just his hands and his voice.  Her heart pounds in her chest.  Her head drops back against his shoulder and he bites her neck as he dips into her well, stroking the lace through her lips.  “Shit,” she moans.  Other party-goers jostle against them and his arm is bumped causing him to push deeper.  Not expecting the force, her ass pushes back against him and a gasp escapes her lips.  He keeps up the pretense of their dance as she melts in his arms.

Pulsating to the beat, Chris holds her tight and fucks her well.  “Thalia? Do you want me to stop?”  With a barely noticeable turn of her head, she breathes heavily against his skin.  “No.  No. I need this.  I need you.”

His hands are magic and she can’t say no.  His long fingers quickly make work of her as he whispers in her ear, encouraging her to let go, to relax.  “Come, come all over my hand and I’ll know it the whole drive home.”  His breath is hot and damp, and the smell of beer as he puffs against her skin seems to add to her own intoxication.  The music builds to a crescendo as she comes at his request, spilling over him and the dew seeping down her pants leg.

Removing his hand slowly, he wipes himself clean on the inside of her jeans, tugging her shirt back into place.  Keeping up their pretense of a dance, Chris holds her tightly so her limp form doesn’t collapse.  “Beautiful, so fucking beautiful.  Your mind, your body, your spirit, Thalia.”

Coming back to earth she can see Stacey’s blonde head bobbing up and down over the top of the other dancers, searching for her. Chris spins her quickly, her back to her mother and claims her with a kiss. “Let me take you home,” he begs.

Tucking her hair back she tries to clear her mind.  “No. We said ‘no Valentine’s Day’. This is pure coincidence; you got lucky I was here.  I’m staying with her at the hotel and I’ll see you at lunch tomorrow.”  She pushes away from his massive chest, ignoring the pounding pain in her head.  “I gotta go.”

“Been a long time since I had a girl run off ‘cause her mother was looking for her,” he teases.

Thalia tugs at his shirt collar, catching a glimpse of his tattoo, one of her favorite quotes.  “Cradle robber,” she jokes, trying to make light of the situation.  What kind of magic spell did he just weave?  Bastard.

Yanking her close for a moment longer, he shakes his head in total disagreement.  “You’re all woman, and you’re mine.”

“Just remember, that makes YOU MINE too, so don’t you be flirting with any of these desperate old hags”

Fleetingly, he touches his fingertips to her lips and she smells the proof of her ownership. Pivoting on her heels to walk away, he smacks her on the ass.

When she reaches her table and gathers her coat, she looks around for him and realizes he’s gone.

#

The women decide it’s only three blocks back to the hotel so the walk in the cold would be easier than finding a cab.  Thalia mentions Uber and most of them look at her like she’s speaking an alien tongue, so she just falls back in the group.

The air is cold against her wet jeans and she fears the smell will be detected in the winter breeze. “Jesus fuckin’ Christ,” she whispers aloud, rubbing her knuckle across her lips like she does when deep in thought.

Stacey steps in next to her and links arms.  “I’m sorry I couldn’t get out of my meetings today.  I can’t wait to see your new tattoo.  Glad you decided to go ahead and do it, for Amy’s memory.“  The blonde side steps some broken glass on the sidewalk.  “That was a fun night, baby girl!  I always wanna go out like that, but your father wants to sit at home.  I’m glad you came with us!”  She takes the end of Thalia’s pink scarf and wraps it tighter around her neck.  Thalia blanches at the use of her family’s nickname for her, having been so long since she’d actually heard family use it.  She palms her hand over her mouth and her stomach twists.

Baby girl.  Aw, fuck.  What have I done?  Stacey continues to prattle on, but Thalia hears none of it.  All she can think about is how she’s broken her own rule. Where did all her determination go?  She was the one who didn’t want either of them as part of her day, just to be fair to them both. She had wanted to prove to herself she could have fun without them. She shouldn’t have given in so easily, to Chris- letting him claim her like that, out in the open. But damn, the man is irresistible… She’s betrayed herself, dammit. And to top it all off she let him manipulate her thoughts and he fingered her in a goddamn public place where anyone could have seen them.  She feels sick about all the consequences if anyone from campus saw them.

“Hey, I lost ya.”  Stacey takes her room key out of her purse to gain access to the hotel lobby at the late hour.  “You okay?”

The women wait for the buzz of the door to let them in.  They all say their goodnights and head off in their individual directions, some staying by the warm fireplace to warm up and chat longer.

Thalia can feel the fakeness to her smile.  “Fine. Really. I think the evening just caught up to me and I’m dead on my feet.  I need some aspirin and to lie down.”

“Can do that, honey.”  Stacey replies leading them to wait with the group at the bank of elevators.  She leans in conspiratorially.  “Damn, I know you’re in love and all, but that man you were dancing with?  Hell, he was hot sex on a stick!  Yummy!”

“Stacey!”  ‘In love.’ Her stomach lurches at Stacey’s words.  Fuck.  She is.  With both of them, and her wanton public behavior tonight is such an insult to Tom and the privacy of their relationship… Jesus, what the hell am I doing?

“What? Just because I’ve been married to your father for sixteen years doesn’t mean I can’t look and appreciate the male form.  And believe me, he had a nice one.”  Stacey bumps her shoulder and giggles.

Girl stuff.  Thalia was never good at that.  Pulling herself together, she focuses on the now with her stepmother.   She giggles too and plays along.  “Yes, he did.  Solid too.”

“A man built like that?  He’s just right for a girl like you.  He could throw you around like a ragdoll,” Stacey smiles, her eyes bright from her slight inebriation.

“Oh my God.  Hello?  Boundaries.  You’re still my mother, ya know.”  Thalia laughs for real and shakes her head at the absurdity.  She wonders if Stacey will remember this conversation in the morning as she kicks off her heels in the elevator car.

“You need a man,” Stacey warrants, bending over to rub the ball of her foot.  “If men like that in clubs drool all over you, pick one.  And hell, I’ll stop worrying about you and food and your weight.  I’ve never had a man look at me like that before, honey.  Like he couldn’t wait to see you under all those clothes…” Other women from the club chime in their hummed agreement. The blonde tumbles a bit when the elevator stops at their floor. Righting herself she finishes with her audience. “If you can get a man like that one, take him and ride him to the altar and don’t let him go.”

Echoes of “hell yeahs” reach through the doors as they close and the silence to Thalia is deafening as they are alone and quiet for the first time all night.

Her demeanor changes and she sighs bitterly, really hoping her stepmother doesn’t remember her anger in the morning, just her words. “Dammit, Stacey, slow down.  Thank you for finally giving me permission to eat whatever the hell I want, that’s so kind of you…  But grasp your head around this one now: marriage isn’t in my cards.  At least not for a while…  I did not spend all this time and money on an education to give it up for a man and raise his babies.  I’m not ‘riding’ anyone anywhere right now, or for a long time for that matter.”

Her headache is growing worse by the minute and she just wants to get to the room and wash the club off her, the smell of smoke out of her hair.  She’s angry and she knows exactly why and Stacey just happened to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

“Girl, you’re all grown up,” Stacey says as she slides the plastic card into the lock.  “You don’t need me to tell you what to do.  And I’m so proud of all the things you do… I just don’t want you to be lonely.  Find a good man, not a boy, and know the difference.  Someone who lets you be you and makes you want to be… well, more.

Stepping into the room, Stacey moves to her bed and flops down face first kicking her feet up in the air.  Thalia closes the door and leans against it, banging her head back and closing her eyes.  “Maybe that’s the problem.”

Pushing away from the door the quote from Chris’s tat swirls in her brain.  When you lose touch with your inner stillness you lose touch with yourself.  When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.

Tugging her fingers through her hair, she wonders if she even knows how to be herself without them anymore. It’s like being with them has opened a Pandora’s box, and now she doesn’t know how to close it again. All the new experiences, the self-discoveries. Even though it ties her brain into knots sometimes to deal with the secrecy and onslaught of a dozen different emotions, she wants this, needs this like air.

God, how far gone is she? Will there ever be a point that is too far?

#

When Thalia arrives to the student Commons for her meeting with Tom, she’s ten minutes late and gritting her teeth. She knows how much he values punctuality, but this morning, nothing much has gone her way, traffic was bad leaving the city, and she probably looks as frazzled as her mind is.

He’s sitting at the far corner, a little secluded, alternately fumbling with his glasses and rubbing his lips. Surreptitiously straightening her clothes and hair and wondering for the umpteenth time what he wants to talk about, Thalia walks over.

Her heart gives a guilty little lurch when she sees that he’s ordered her favorite morning treat – coffee and a blueberry bagel with cream cheese.

He looks up and his jaw tightens as he’s watching her approach.

Shit. She’s not sure she can handle a pissed-off Tom this morning, with the mix of emotions churning away in her gut and the almost sleepless night making her grumpy.

“Professor Hiddleston.”

She stops in front of the table, wondering what to say. He taps his watch and lifts an eyebrow, giving her that stern look that’s infuriating and sexy at the same time.

“You’re uncharacteristically late, Ms. Bareo.”

Ugh. No use making excuses. “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again, sir.”

His expression softens ever so slightly at the last word and he motions for her to have a seat.

Thalia tosses her bag in an empty seat and sits down, crossing her legs. Tom is wearing one of his hundred nearly identical sweaters today, and the soft burgundy fabric stretches invitingly over his muscles as he folds his arms.

With a swallow, Thalia shifts in her seat. She needs coffee to survive this.

To keep up the pretense, Tom goes through a few project-related things first while they work their way slowly through their breakfast. She keeps having flashbacks of Chris pressed against her on the dance floor, and of the conversation she had with her stepmother.

Why did this have to happen to her? All those years without a real man to catch her attention, and now she has two who couldn’t be more different but mean the world to her.

“Ms. Bareo?”

With a start, she realizes Tom has been waiting for an answer from her. Blushing, she takes a last fortifying sip of coffee.

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes again.

He looks at her with narrowed eyes, but all of a sudden, his glare gives way to concern. Leaning forward, he lowers his tone. “Are you alright, darling? You look a bit out of it, to be frank.”

There it is again, the caring, kind side to him that not many people get to see, although he’s always politeness personified. She nods. “Yeah, I’m okay. Just a bit of a rough night.”

“I hope your stepmother didn’t give you any trouble?”

“No, nothing like that. She and her friends dragged me into a club and we got in late. So I’m a bit hung over, to be honest.  I feel as if I’m over forty and they’re the party-hungry teenagers or something.  They were all laughing and ready to go this morning like it was nothing!”

Tom laughs his characteristic ehehe, but sobers up quickly. Now that the somewhat stern look is gone, she can see that he seems nervous beneath his mask. He keeps adjusting his glasses and pushing the rest of his food around on his plate.

Changing the subject, he asks, “Did you and your stepmother get your tattoos?”

Thalia caresses over the tender spot on her breast carefully. “Yea, I did.  Hurts like hell too.  But when the redness goes away, it’ll be beautiful.  Stacey claimed she couldn’t get out of her meetings, but I think she punked out at the last minute.”

Tom smiles warmly, but his fidgeting hands bely his usual confidence.

Why is he nervous when she’s the one who should be feeling like that? It only makes her even more anxious.

“Didn’t you want to talk to me about something?” she offers quietly, hoping to alleviate his anxiety.

He swallows hard and starts playing with his empty teacup, long fingers handling the delicate porcelain with utmost care. God, what those fingers can do. They’re just as lethal when they’re gentle as when they grab her hard enough to leave bruises. She wonders, if given the chance, would he have done the same at the club – driven her crazy with his nimble fingers, leave her panting and wanting more?

Probably so, and his words would have been filthier.

And she’d have loved every goddamn minute of it too.

Who the hell am I becoming?

She closes her eyes briefly and forces herself to focus.

When he speaks, his words are so low she has to lean forward to hear him.

“Would you be my sort-of date at the Alumni Gala next month?”

The napkin she’s been twisting slides from her fingers to the table.

“What?”

Tom runs a hand back through his hair. “Bloody hell, that came out all wrong. I’m sorry.”

He takes a breath and continues in a surer tone. “You know that my project is going to be honored, and I want you there by my side because you’ve played such an important role in it. Without your research, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

His blue eyes seek out hers, everything about his expression earnest and appealing. She can feel her pulse racing at the thought of accompanying him to the gala. He’ll probably wear a three-piece suit or tux and look way too handsome. But…

“Won’t I stick out like a sore thumb?” she questions, worrying her lip. “All the staff and dignitaries and VIP guests, and then plain, old, plump me.”

He narrows his eyes again, reaching out to her but stopping himself at the last moment and taking a gulp from his water glass instead.

“Nonsense, Thalia. It won’t be the first time in history that a grad student has attended the gala for some very valid reason.”  Looking around the Commons, it’s still rather quiet the morning after the holiday, and she sees now she isn’t the only dragging, hung over person on campus.

His voice drops and her gaze is drawn to his lovely angled face again. “Darling, there’s no way you could ever be ‘plain.’  You’re such a beautiful, charming creature.  Everyone will fall at your feet and want to listen to your musical voice.”

Blushing, she tries to read him and understand his uncertainty.  His gaze softens. “It’s perfectly alright for me to invite you. Nobody will think twice about it…and I’m pretty sure the sight of you in a gorgeous gown will make rational thought impossible for anyone, especially me, anyway.”

A flirtatious spark darkens his eyes, and she feels her resolve melt away.

“Please accept my invitation, oh fair and gracious lady,” Tom adds with a theatrical expression that has her suppress a giggle. “Have mercy on this poor lad who doesn’t want to face the crowd alone. I haven’t got the faintest idea how Americans handle such events.”

Feeling more herself now, she raises a brow at him. “So, you only want me there to save yourself the embarrassment of putting your foot in your British mouth?” she challenges.

Something in his expression shifts from one moment to the other. It’s an art he’s mastered, and it never fails to throw her off balance.

“Oh, I have a whole list of ideas how you could keep this British mouth of mine busy,” he half-growls in a low, deep voice that sends delicious shivers down her spine.

“Tom,” she hisses, “not here.”

She’s had enough with public displays of… lust this week.

A smirk curls his thin lips before he pretends to busy himself with a bite of now cold toast.

“Seriously, though,” he goes on, sending her a pleading puppy-dog look. “I’d love to have you by my side and sing your praises, maybe even steal a few hidden touches. You don’t necessarily have to stick to my side, though I’d love that. And it will look really good for you, academically speaking, that you’ve been invited and received some recognition.”

Thalia leans back in her chair and sighs. “You’re right, of course. As usual.”

He smiles. “So you’ll be my date?”

“I’ll be your guest,” she says, stressing the last word and automatically smiling back.

“Marvelous. Don’t worry too much about it, you’ll fit right in.”

“I doubt that,” she mutters more to herself than to him. Her eyes widen when she realizes something. “Oh my god, I don’t have anything to wear! What sort of gown do you think is expected?”

Tom runs an appreciative gaze over what little of her body is visible, and she feels it like a caress that warms her from the inside.

“I’m sure there are photos or something from previous events to get an idea. Just pick whatever catches your eye, you’re going to look more stunning than all the women there put together, no matter what you wear.”

Blushing furiously, she wants to say something, but Tom holds up a finger.

“And by the way, I’m paying for the dress. No, don’t even think of protesting. You’re doing me a huge favor and honor by accompanying me, and a gown for a gala dinner isn’t going to cost a couple of bucks. I insist.”

“But, but…” she splutters, only to be cut off again when he adds in a low, warning tone, “Are you going to be a good girl and do as I say, or do I need to pick out a dress for you myself?”

Well hell, that doesn’t leave her with much of a choice.

“Damn you, Professor, you aren’t playing fair,” she complains, crossing her arms.

“Stop pouting like this or I’ll have to drag you into the next best room and kiss the pout right off your lips.”

The sexy threat makes her breath hitch.

Damn, he knows just how to push her buttons.

“Yes, sir.”

The look in Tom’s eyes is full of promises.

“Glad we’ve got that settled then.  Choose something to show off your lovely legs.” He gestures to the meal. “Any more coffee or tea?”

Thalia huffs and shakes her head. Ever the gentleman, Tom rises when she does. He bends to retrieve his leather briefcase and uses the move to whisper into her ear.

“I can’t wait to see you bedazzle the crowd, my precious orchid. You’re going to make all the other wallflowers wither away.”

Click here for Chapter 25 Step Up

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

Ride Home

ET ch 23 ride home may 21 2017

Chapter 23

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom &  @devikafernando

AU FICTION

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.

Word count: 4446

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, NSFW,  Dom Tom, spanking, safe words, aftercare, fingering, intercourse, car sex, condoms, food porn, real life discussions

Summary: Thalia pushes back on some of Tom’s ‘training’ and challenges him.

Author’s Note: Photo cover images found on Pinterest.  Yes. I’m fully aware that is Dean Winchester’s back!  Search “couple making out in back seat” and a thousand versions of that photo pop up!

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

Pulling up in front of the dark apartment complex, Tom doesn’t like the look of the overhanging shrubs near the gate.  Placing the car in park, he looks at the girl in the passenger seat and over his shoulder at her roommate and with his gentleman’s air says, “Come on, ladies.  I’ll walk you up.  I don’t feel right sending you alone.”

As they climb out of the car, he looks back to Thalia and growls quietly, “Be in the front seat when I return.”

Smiling innocently, she kicks her bag to the side and nods her head, pushing her wayward curls behind her ear.

A few minutes later, he walks down the sidewalk to the car, seeing her still in the back seat, her head rested back and eyes closed.  He lets out a little chuckle and shakes his head at her stubborn sense of freedom, a puff of air in front of him in the cold night.  Pulling himself together, he takes on the role he likes to play with her as he opens the door.  “You didn’t follow directions,” he plainly states in a low voice.  Climbing into his seat, he buckles up and waits for her response.  His eyes watch her in the rearview mirror as she slowly raises her head.

The defiant look he loves so much shines in her dark eyes and she bites her bottom lip, holding back a smile.  “I figured if I was already in trouble, I may as well make it worth it.”

He flicks the item hanging in front of him.  “And are these your panties hanging from my rearview mirror?”

She calmly mimics the lilt to his voice with her own raspy latino rhythm, smokier from the alcohol in her system.  “Is this a fuck blanket in your backseat?”

“A what?”  Tom asks, guessing at her meaning, watching along the deserted street carefully before maneuvering into the driving lane.

Her eyes dance with fire.  “Where I come from, there’s only one reason to keep a blanket in the back seat…”

Harshly Tom replies, “Yes.  I learned a lot about where you come from tonight and-”

She interrupts him, “Listen, you can dress me up and take me to fancy hotels but I’m still the girl that could change the oil in this car in 15 minutes flat and talk baseball in the shop with the other guys at the same time.”

“Ah.  I see.  The two sides of Thalia… well, right now, I think your backside should be over my lap.  You deserve a spanking for your behavior and attitude tonight.”

“Then do it,” she taunts.

“You think I won’t?”  His question is met with silence as she rests her head back again and the drive continues.

His brain rolls with images of spanking her and the pink panties catching in the passing street lights has him make a right turn at the next traffic stop. Turning on the radio, sounds of a lonely Hank Williams tune fills the car and he sees her sly grin in the rearview mirror as she quietly sings along.

When the car finally comes to a stop, she lazily lifts her head and rubs her eyes.  “Where are we?” she curiously asks.

Tom doesn’t reply to her question.  He gets out of the car and shakes out of his thick winter coat and removes his belt, placing both in the driver’s seat before opening the door to the back.  His eyes are dark as he crawls in the seat beside the curly haired imp and her own grow wide.  She curls her lips over her teeth and bites down, a spot of fear on her face, but he knows she is safe and she is playing her role.

“Did you have a question for me, darling?”  Tom asks, his fingers grasping the edge of the blanket he keeps in the car in case of winter emergencies.  It’s wrapped loosely around her waist and with a quick tug it falls open to reveal herself naked from the waist down.  She shivers as his long fingers caress across the top of her leg and he squeezes her thigh tightly.

A small sigh escapes her lips before she asks again, “Where are we?  It’s really dark and secluded.”

With a low moan of his his own, his fingertips knead into her flesh, tugging and pulling as his lips find the side of her exposed neck.  His late night scruff scrapes across her skin before he takes a bite at her collarbone.  His eyes fall to her hands, grasping the edge of the seat tightly.  “It’s okay, love, we’re at the lot for the hiking trail.  No one will be out here this time of night.  Be as loud as you want, wake the sleeping forest creatures.”

Biting back a giggle, she asks, “I’m allowed to make noise, sir?”

“All you want sweetheart,” he asks, biting at her again and leaving a small mark.

His mark.  His heart pounds wildly as she relaxes into him, spreading her legs wider.  He chuckles, “No.  No.  That’s a reward, darling, and you’ve been a bad girl.”

With a flip of his arm around her waist, he lays her over his lap, her full rounded ass exposed to the moonlight coming through the window.  With a quick smack, her skin bounces back and turns red in moments, a gush of air released from her lungs as she grasps his ankle.  “Fuck,” she whispers.

With another swipe of his hand, he rules, “No swearing, darling, it’s not very lady-like.  The stories you told tonight?  Someone needs to teach you to be a lady.”

His cock stiffens between them, the weight of her body against him, and he longs to be inside her as he swats her ass again and again. She takes her punishment silently, but her grip on his legs tightens. The tanned globes of her ass radiate heat from his touch, her curls falling down around her face as she starts to shake her head.

“Chocolate, Tom, chocolate.”

The sound echoes in the car and his hand freezes in mid-air.  He spins her around and cradles her in his lap, pushing her hair back so he can see her eyes.  “Are you alright, darling?  Did I hurt you?”

She huffs slightly, “Yea my ass hurts… Geez.  No.”  She sighs resting against his chest.  “I guess that’s just not a kink for me.  It reminds me too much of mi abuela and how she would paddle me with a wooden spoon when I got in trouble.  You probably can’t imagine this, but I got in trouble a lot.  She said I had a sassy mouth.”  She smiles at his feigned shock.  “I’m okay.  I’m fine.  Really.  It’s just not turning me on.”

Thalia looks up into his eyes, softer now, and cups her hand against his cheek.  “I’m okay.” She rubs her thumb against his cheek to erase his lines of worry.

“Thalia, are you sure?”  His hand tenderly brushes over the raw flesh.  “There’s still some snow on the ground; we could ice your bum?”

She giggles, her eyes glistening with tears.  “You are the sweetest man.  Really, I’m okay.  I can still feel my ass cheeks.  They’re not numb, and I like the light touches you’re doing now.”

As one song on the radio changes to the next, he holds her tight, his worry lessening.  Her fingers loosen against his collar and she slowly begins to unbutton his shirt, pressing kisses along his chest with each area of exposed skin.

“Tom?  I really need you tonight.  Your brain is whirring.  I can almost hear it.  Whatever thoughts you have, just focus on me.”

He sighs and slides down the seat more, his legs cramped in the small space.  “I think I’ve outgrown the size for making out in a backseat.”

“I know I have, but we can have fun trying,” she laughs.  “I um… I probably could use your fingers first to get me ready?”

The blush on her cheeks is beautiful in the moonlight and Tom lifts her up, kissing her tenderly before setting her back down against the door of the car.  “Slow and gentle, my Thalia, and if I hurt you, you tell me.  I’m so, so proud of you for using our safe word and telling me your feelings.”

Tugging the soft blue sweater over her head, she laughs, “Isn’t that why we have it, silly?”

Tom smiles down at her, crawling between her legs, one knee on the bench seat and the other resting on the floorboard.  Lifting her chin he kisses her sweetly, tasting the alcohol on her lips.  Always in the way, he removes his glasses and tosses them into the pile in the front seat.  Sliding his hand down from her face, he cups under her covered breast, running his thumb over the lace, raising her nipple to its peak.  Bringing his scruffy kisses down across her chin and neck, he drags his beard over her chest and latches his mouth over the lace, pulling it in between his teeth before clamping down on the sweet peak.  Flicking his tongue over the bud, the lace gets wet and moves easily with the force of his mouth.

Her hands run over his chest and tug at the waist of his pants while he brings his other hand to push the lace out of the way and expose her tit.  “Stop, stop stop.  Do you know how much it costs to get a good bra to hold these things up?  You’ll stretch the lace.”  She leans forward and quickly undoes the hooks, a look of sweet relief on her face as her breasts fall free and he pulls the delicate fabric from her arms.

“Blue? And pink panties?”

“Yea, I need to do laundry tomorrow.  Nothing matches,” she giggles as she falls back against the door of the car, pulling him on top of her.

He loves her playful side as much as he adores her bending to his will.  It really is like two sides of the same person, each as sweet and sexy.  His mouth finds itself tonguing the chocolate colored bud again as his hand dips into her wet.  Soaked already, he quickly pulls her to the edge, encouraging her noises and cries.  He so rarely gets to enjoy her sexual melodies as they often are in his office or hotel rooms, hiding from prying eyes and ears.

Her whimpers rise to a crescendo, echoing in the car, as she rides out his fingering. Eager to climb on his lap, she pushes against him.  Falling against the seat, he hauls her on top as she reaches between them to free his cock.  “Wait, shit.”  She sits on her heels as he pulls off his socks and shoes and wiggles out of his pants.  Supporting herself on the back of the car seat, she reaches into her bag and removes a condom from a little zipper pouch, throwing it back down on the floor.  Holding the foil packet in between her fingers, her expression softens and her mood changes, waiting for his approval.

Sitting up, Tom wraps his hands tightly in her hair, whispering, “Sometimes bad girls are so good, darling.”

Open mouthed, his nose crashes against hers, nibbling at her upper lip and the side of her mouth, even gently biting her cheek before his lips finally collapse against hers, a desperate need for their kisses, a salve to fix the pain in his chest.   He worries about the spankings, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Her kisses are just as fiery, tugging at his lip while her hands stroke him up and down, readying his cock for her as it swells in her grasp.  Her touches change, alternating from tight to slack, dragging her fingertips from base to tip.  With a clumsy twist on the backseat of the car, he slides her onto her back and kneels between her legs again, taking the condom from her and rolling it down his shaft.  “Come for me again, darling.  Spill all over my cock.”

With a strong push, he enters her quickly, surrounded by her sweet wetness, ready just for him.  She exhales sharply and brings her leg over his back as he thrusts in and out of her.  In the back of his mind he knows things have been too rushed between them lately, and it’s time for another getaway weekend, but taking his time here in his car doesn’t seem reasonable.  Her nails scratch at his back and she hisses as her sore ass rubs against the soft leather seat.  “Sir, please don’t make me wait; I can’t.”

Shifting his weight, he supports one hand on the window above her and the other on the seat.  Pushing in to the hilt, he grinds down on top of her and plunges in and out again, his own sounds following hers.  Each time he hits her sweetest spot her cries grow louder before she whispers his name.  Tightening around him she comes, milking from him a release of his own as he drops his head against her chest, whimpering obscenities into the night air.  She stills under him and he slowly pulls out, picking her up to sit her in his lap and wrapping the blanket around their bodies.

“See?  A fuck blanket,” she laughs, pushing his sweaty curls from his forehead.

In blissful silence, the rain begins again and beats against the window as he covers her face with tiny kisses and she whispers words of sweet happiness to him.  The radio announcer states the time, and Tom is drawn back to reality, remembering he has to catch the train to the city early in the morning for the school trip.  Holding her a bit longer in his arms, he lightly kisses the top of her head.  “Darling, it’s time to go.  I have that trip in a few hours.”

She sighs and his heart tightens.  “Just a few minutes more.  I feel like you’re always rushing away from me; we really won’t have time this week.  We’ve got all those meetings and I’m out of town with my step-mom when she visits for her convention.  Alone on Valentine’s Day sucks, you know.”

Squeezing her close, he wraps his arms tighter around her as she plays with the wispy hairs on his chest.  “If I didn’t have my meeting with the Chancellor that day to discuss funding for our next trip, I’d be by your side in a heartbeat, darling.”  He sighs, the wild curls in her hair tickling his nose.

Thalia shifts from his grasp, leaning over the console and sticking her rounded behind in his face while she reaches for her underwear.  He moves forward and gingerly kisses the redness on her ass.  Blowing cool air between his lips he continues to caress over her soft skin.  Sighing she wiggles, whispering, “Damn, that feels good.”

Turning to face him for one last kiss, they both begin to dress, handing each other found items on the floor of the car.  She starts to giggle a bit as she pulls on her sweater.  “Tom.  I’m hungry.  Still.  I only ate a few wings and a few of your fries.  Can we swing through some fast food?”

Exiting the car, Tom laughs, shaking his head.  “Get in the front seat this time.  We’ll go get burgers.”

Driving off in search of burgers in the early morning hours, Thalia refreshes Tom’s memory on details of the itinerary for the student trip.  He makes small talk with her about plans for the visit with her step-mother and asks questions about their relationship.  In the flashing of the streetlights, she tugs on his arm and winds her fingers through his, resting their hands on the console separating them.  Giving her hand a warm squeeze, he encourages her discussion of a tattoo in honor of her deceased friend.

“It’s something Stacey’s always wanted to do, and is too chicken to do alone, so she suggested it.  I’m still not sure, but I guess I have a few days to figure it out,” she laughs, pointing ahead to a fast food place with its lights still on.

Turning at the intersection the car drifts lightly on the rain soaked road but Tom holds steady.  “Not sure on the design or if you want one?”

The conversation pauses as they place and wait for their order, Thalia shaking her head that she doesn’t want ketchup.

“Amy- my friend that died last summer?  She was an amazing artist.  I’ve always loved the natural beauty and smell of orchids.” Tom hands her the food from the service window, placing their drinks in the cupholder.  “Her project for her senior portfolio in high school was a beautiful watercolor of a branch of pink orchids she designed for me.  It’s the painting above the mantel in my apartment?”  Drawing the milkshake up through the straw, she scrolls through her phone and shows the image to Tom.  “I’ve always known that’s what I would want, and I have the money saved.”  She giggles, raising her eyebrows.  “Part of me thinks it’s a frivolous use of my hard earned money.  And I’m afraid of needles and don’t like pain. ”

“That could be a problem, darling,” he chuckles, exiting the parking lot.  “I don’t speak from experience, but I think that’s how the process is done.”

“Smart ass,” she whispers between their laughter.

The pair decide it’s late and cold, so Tom will take her back to her apartment and her neighbor can help retrieve the car later in the day.  It’s a Saturday, so she won’t need to worry about getting to campus early.

Clutching the bag of warm food in her lap, Thalia turns in the seat and smiles at Tom as he pulls up in front of her building.  “I had fun.  It was almost like a real date,” she giggles.  “I’m kind of jealous I can’t go on the trip tomorrow; I’d love to see that performance.”

Pulling on her curls, Tom grins, “Well, I’ll see if I can get us tickets during Spring Break.  All those office hours you signed up to work are simply ridiculous.  Campus will be dead while everyone is out having fun and there’s little Thalia slaving away at her books and purchase orders for the next semester.  Take a break, darling.”  Cupping her cheek tenderly, he leans in for a chaste kiss.  “You work too hard.”

“I know, I know.”  She peers down into the bag and pulls out a few fries, offering some to him, but he declines.  “So, um, all that stuff tonight?”

“Yes, love,” he says, turning off the ignition, a curious expression gracing his chiseled features.  He has a feeling this is another of their heart felt chats and he’ll be sleeping on the train to the city in the morning.  “You can tell me anything, you know that.”

Unwrapping the burger and pulling it apart, she tosses the pickles to the side.  He tentatively reaches for one and she nods.  She sighs.  “Stacey had me in all kinds of kids’ fitness classes and diet groups.  She worried about my weight.  I’m not really proud of all the things I did as a kid, and I had some pretty big self-esteem issues.  My mother leaving Dad and I was a big thing to overcome, and I was always searching for something.”  She looks out the window at a passing car, avoiding Tom’s gaze.  “I’m not that girl any more. I’ve grown up.  I make adult, womanly decisions.  They still might not always be the best ones, and sometimes I don’t think things through first.” She tilts her head to the side with a small shake of her head. “But they aren’t simply for the sake of having someone pay attention to me… I just wanted to say that.  I have to remind myself sometimes, and I thought it would be good for you to hear it too.”

Tom’s hand caresses down her arm, rubbing over the back of her hand.  “You don’t have to explain anything to me, darling.  You don’t owe me anything.”

She chuckles wryly.  “Yea, actually I do.  I’ve always kinda been this tough thing, taking care of myself.  Dad kinda raised me that way- ‘Seas independiente.’  Being on campus really helped me figure out who I wanted to be.  I still remember walking into your class that first time I saw you…”  She blushes and pauses in her thoughts.  “You took my breath away; not for your handsome good looks, but just for your passion; your obvious enjoyment of life.  I wasn’t even planning to be a language studies major- I was history, all in.  But you… Tom, you’ve really shaped the choices I’ve made in my schooling and career.”  Stopping again, she nibbles on the burger growing cold in her hands and Tom’s eyes brim with tears.  “Oh, don’t get sappy on me.  I can’t handle that,” she chuckles, her voice choked as well.  “We get too caught up in our own head spaces and I forget to tell you you’re important to me.  With you, it’s nice not to have to think…”  Thoughtfully, the dark haired beauty pauses again.  “I appreciate all you’ve shown me; all you’ve given me.”

Tom rests his head against the seat, watching her, not knowing what to say.  As if she reads his thoughts, she caresses his cheek and the whiff of onions on her hands is unmistakable.  He takes her wrist and kisses her palm.  “Thank you, darling.  And I most likely don’t say it enough either.  It’s not a very British thing to do.  We often sit on our feelings, but you remind me that’s a very uptight way to live.”

“We’re good together,” she simply states, the smile reaching her eyes.

“That we are, darling, that we are.”  Returning her smile he takes the remaining pickle from the paper wrapper.

In his heart, he knows she needs more from him, but Thalia’s chipped away at his hard surface.  As the cliche goes, she’s made him a better man.  He’s offered his recommendation to several museums overseas when they call to inquire about her resume.  His heart breaks every time he sings her praise, as he knows he can’t hold her back.  The quiet country music fills the car and the mood lightens while she teases him about his choice of music and the pair talk a bit longer on lighter subjects.

“By the way,” she giggles.  “Made a new friend tonight, did you?”  She purses her lips, a spot of jealousy in her eyes.  “I was too afraid to reach under the table and tease along the seam of your pants for fear my fingers might brush against hers.”  Shuddering at the thought, she watches his own reaction.

Groaning, he runs his own hand nervously along said seam.  “Apparently the math department is very forward, and they’re all okay with it.”

“Right?  They all acted like it was no big deal.  Ugh, who would want him? So crude, and his cheap polyester ties.”  Rolling her eyes, she chews on the last french fry.  “I mean, if you’re going to have an affair with a professor, go for the ones with nice silk ties.”

His laughter fills the car and she smiles at her joke.  “Count that as a kink,” she smiles.

“Good to know,” he replies.  “Another one for our list.”  His hand caresses her thigh, stopping with a light squeeze before resting warmly on her leg.

“You can come up,” Thalia offers shyly.  “You don’t have to go home tonight.”

The grip on his heart tightens, as it always does when she invites him to stay..  As much as he wants to say yes, he also knows he needs to be ready for the school trip.  “No, darling.  I can’t.  There’s a good possibility if I walked through that door, I would never want to leave your bed ever again.”  He offers that truth to her, caressing against the soft skin of the open neckline on her sweater.  “I still have a few things to keep up with at home to make the morning train.  I’ll probably nap all the way to the city.”

Reaching in the back seat, Thalia turns to hide her disappointment.  Picking up her purse, she pulls the blanket through the gap between the seats.  “Take this.  Snuggle with it on the train,” she giggles, clearing the air.  “That could cause sweet dreams.”

Leaning over the console for a goodnight kiss, he whispers, “More like erotic dreams I don’t need to have in public with twenty or so students, you wicked girl.”

As if to prove how hard he finds it to resist temptation when it comes to her, Tom takes his time with the goodnight kiss.

He nips at Thalia’s bottom lip to make her part hers, then flicks the tip of his tongue over them. Every time she tries to deepen the kiss, he draws back a fraction, grazing his teeth over the glistening flesh or simply hovering close and breathing her in. When he finally slants his mouth over hers and slides his tongue in as deep as it can get, they both moan heatedly into the kiss. Tongue strokes against tongue, and their mouths part only to meet again and again.

After what feels like an eternity, Tom withdraws with a last lick and a soft groan, leaving Thalia blinking and out of breath.

Once she’s shaken off the new bout of intense longing, she folds the blanket and lays it in her lap, running her fingers over the lumps to smooth it out.  “Good night, Tom.  Have fun tomorrow.  Thank you for a wonderful evening.  Sometimes things turn out amazing when you go against the plan.  I’m glad I didn’t sit alone in the library studying.”

“Me too, darling.  Come on.  I’ll carry your things and walk you in.”

She giggles and shakes her head.  “Don’t be so British.  That’s ridiculous.  It’s my building and it’s five steps away from the car.  Totally safe here.”

Before he can argue, she opens the car door and hops out, closing it with a bang.  In the rain, she runs around the front of the car, and taps the driver’s side window.  Tom quickly rolls it down, accepting her wet kisses before she bounces away.  He waits as she unlocks the building door and disappears inside.  Watching for oncoming traffic before he drives away, he hopes his car forever smells like his sweet hothouse orchid.

Click here to read Chapter 24 It’s Complicated

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

Drinking Games

et 22 Drinking Games may 17 2017.jpg

Educating Thalia

Chapter 22

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom &  @devikafernando

AU FICTION

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.

Word count: 2892

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, fluff, drinking, discussions of sex, designated driver

Summary:  Tom encounters Thalia late at night at the school library but food is the need for the evening.  But as usual with Tom, that leads to something more…

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

The rain beats against the glass, matching his mood.  Walking down the row of books, he finds the volume he needs and pulls it down from the shelf.  His thoughts roam to a similar night months ago, and taking a chance, he turns to the left.   The vision in front of him lifts his spirits and with a smile and a chuckle, he crosses the dark and empty room.

“I thought I’d find you here, darling.”

Lost deep in her thoughts, her brow is furrowed when she lifts her head. The grin breaks across her face and reaches her eyes, a wide, friendly expression.  She is happy to see him.  “Hey, Tom.”  She pats the side of the couch next to her, with little fear of being discovered on a late Friday night.  He sits down, keeping his distance, though he does hit his leg against her knee before resting his ankle across his thigh.  “Just trying to get a few things finished so I can get some time to relax this weekend.”  Looking at the pile of books at her feet, she scoffs.  “Even if it is just five minutes.”

He looks at her quizzically, “I thought you had a family thing tomorrow, or something?”

She sighs.  “I do; Big Jim, from the bar?  His wife asked me over for an early dinner tomorrow before my shift.  I’ve just been so busy, I haven’t really had a chance to see her except when she stops by the bar.”  Thalia fidgets with the patch on her jeans.  “Do you… Do you want to go with me?”

Her hopeful smile tugs on his heartstrings.  “Oh darling.  I can’t.  Tomorrow is the day we go to New York with the students to the theatre district for their field study.  You planned it, remember?”

Her eyes grow wide.  “Shit, yeah.  I guess I totally have my dates mixed up.”  She looks at her phone screen and laughs.  “Yeah.  Ya know, it’ll be better as soon as I get this paper done for Masterson’s class.  If I pass it, I don’t have to attend class the rest of the term.  And I can sleep in two days a week!”  She playfully claps her hands together in glee.

Tom lays his arm on the back of the couch and plays with her dark curls.  “Are you afraid, dear, you won’t do well?”

“Perfectionist.  You know that.”  Her eyes close and she involuntarily leans towards him.  Whispering she tells, “Damn, you smell good.”

He chuckles quietly.  “You work too hard.  Is it so bad to fail?  There’s learning in failure too, Thalia.”

Her eyes pop open and she shifts in her seat.  “It’s not an option.  You know what it was like for me at Christmas.  If I go back home, I’ll be a teacher, or be a tour guide at a museum, or work with Dad at his shop.  I mean, I don’t mind getting dirty, but changing oil filters and knocking out babies isn’t how I want to live my life.  I want more than that.  I think that’s the one part of me that must come from my mother; wanting adventure and a grand life.  For me, I can’t get that in Chicago.  I want Cairo, Paris, hell, even Honduras looks pretty interesting right now with all the things I’m discovering.”  He tries to hide the scowl on his face from her reference to work with Evans; but at least the few extra hours on campus allows her to cut back late night hours at the bar.  “I want the mud on my boots to be worldly.”

Her passion speaks to him.  He remembers being young, and wanting those things too.  A wanderlust for new experiences and places to see.  “You’ll get those things, darling.  I believe you can make it happen.”

Just then, her stomach rumbles and they both share a laugh.  She pats her belly and whispers, “Shhh.  We’ll eat later.”

“Thalia, have you been here all evening?” Tom scolds, already knowing her answer. “Have you not eaten?”

Sheepishly, she hides behind her book.  He reaches over and pulls it down.  “That’s it.  We’re going to dinner.  Come on.”  He rises to standing and holds his hand out to her.  “I won’t take no for an answer.”

She reaches to him and allows herself to be pulled up.  “Tom, don’t be ridiculous.  I’m not dressed to go any place and-”

“Shush.  Come on.  We’ll go for wings and beer.”  He bends to pick up her books.  “Do you need all these for your work?”

She nods as she throws her pens and notebook in her bag.

“Thalia Bareo, you may be one of the last students on Earth who still loves book research.  Ever heard of a thing called ‘the Internet?’”  Tom teases as he adds two more books from the side table to the large stack in his arms.

“I like the written word, Professor.  The feel of the pages under my fingertips.”  Reaching for the book on the top of his stack, she opens it carefully, waving it under his nose.  “The smell of old books that haven’t been used in ages.”  She holds it to her face, inhaling the scent and cutely sneezing from the dust.  “That’s tangible, real.  It’s served me well, and this close to the end of my graduate work, I’m not changing anything.”

She takes several of the books from his arms and he follows her to the stairs, down to the checkout desk.  “Mrs. Hooperman? I didn’t know you were still on duty tonight.”  Tom greets the clerk brightly, setting the stack of books on the counter and taking the ones from Thalia as well.  “I had two items on reserve and tech was supposed to leave the delivery of my laptop here?”

The older woman eyes the two suspiciously, clacking a few buttons on her keyboard.  “Yes, Mr. Hiddleston.  Let me get those for you.  I’ll be right back.”

As the woman walks away, Thalia turns to Tom. “Wings?  Isn’t that rather beneath your fine dining tastes? Where are we going?”

Mimicking one of her signature moves, he rolls his eyes at her.  “We’re going to take this ridiculous stack of books to your car,” Tom tells as he puts on his winter coat, and helping Thalia into hers, his hands resting momentarily on her waist, “and walk across the street to Too Talls.”

Looking over her shoulder, Thalia turns back to Tom and briefly touches her fingers to his forehead and he momentarily feels burned by her touch.  “Are you crazy?  Do you have a fever?  Do you need to lie down?  That’s a campus bar!  Do you know how many people will be in there tonight?”

The light in the office down the hall flicks off and the clerk heads towards them.  Tom hisses, “I do need to lie down, with you by my side and I’m going to-”

The clerk clears her throat, stepping into their presence.  She makes a clucking sound in the back of her throat, quickly scanning Tom’s reserved materials and handing him a form to sign for the computer.  She smiles brightly at Thalia and the two make small talk, the woman complaining her Friday nights will be lonely once the young girl graduates.  “Thank you, Mrs. Hooperman.  And thank you for the recipe you gave me last week.  I really liked it.  It made perfect frozen meals!”

Gathering the books, Tom sighs.  “Mrs. Hooperman?  Could we borrow a basket for these?  We’ve worked late and I can help get them to her car, but she’ll have to bring them back on her own?”

“Yes, yes.  Good idea.  Let me find one.”  She turns to leave.

“You were saying?”  Thalia smiles.

“None of that now, girl.  Don’t get me worked up.  The math department was having a celebration and their assistants were invited.  We’ll sneak in on their gathering with the pretense we were working on the Gala presentation and needed a break.”

“I hate math,” Thalia shudders.  “Not my strong suit.  I mean, I’m functional, but I don’t get how someone would want to spend their life with numbers.  So boring and strict.  Words, history, those things change; matter.”

Tom chuckles.  “Don’t say that when we get over there, it could start a bar brawl; which I’m sure you could handle quite well, but- ah!  Mrs. Hooperman, perfect.  Thank you so much!”

She helps the two load the books into the box she found and Thalia takes Tom’s laptop and they head out into the night, thankful the rain has stopped.

#

By the time Tom walks into the bar, the place is in full swing. Searching the crowd it takes him a few minutes to spot Thalia standing next to the corner booth in the back, talking to the waitress.  He strides over to the bar, but before he can place an order, someone from the booth calls out to him.  “Hiddleston, old man, join us!” shouts a jovial if slightly intoxicated voice.

Shit.  It’s the guy from the math department whose name always escapes him.  They’ve played tennis before and Tom even attended a dreadfully boring dinner party at his home once, but Tom still can never remember the man’s name.  He’s got his arm up on the seat behind him, and Tom catches the casual way his fingertips drag across the shoulder of the young blonde sitting next to him.

Thalia nods her hello as he joins the group, and they are both invited to join the table.  There’s some shifting of seats and somehow the pair end up at the back of the booth sitting together.  The math professor teases, “Maybe you language buffs can help class this group up a bit.  I’m afraid we’ve taken our fair share of drinks tonight.”  His other arm sweeps out to the array of empty glasses and bottles on the table.

The waitress arrives and hands Thalia her drink, announcing the chicken wings will be up shortly and asking if anyone else would like to order.  Tom orders a cheeseburger and fries with a beer.  The group explains the reason for their celebration- two of the students will be joining the math nerds at NASA after graduation, so the professors wanted to thank them for their dedication.  “And how often do you get to really relax and know your students, right Tom?”

Tom simply nods as the redhead on his left slides a bit closer and begins asking him questions about life in London.  Thalia’s hand briefly scrapes across his thigh before she turns her attention to the conversation going on around her.

Drinks are served and food is shared and the group begins to get louder as the night wears on, finally leading to a drinking game.  Tom seems to have missed the rules of the game, and bows out, claiming designated driver status.  Thalia simply chuckles and raises an eyebrow at him, reaching for the shot placed in front of her.

The game seems to go on forever.  He’s learned more about Thalia than he truly has a right to know.  She’s taken drinks to reply to the most innocent questions, but some of the racier ones as well.  She’s never kissed a girl, but on the next question he learns that she’s fantasized about it.  She’s shoplifted, cheated on a test, and had sex while her parents were at home. The group coerced him to at least participate by drinking his own beer slowly, and the questions flow more freely as everyone begins to lose their inhibitions a bit.  No one seems fazed when the professor from the math department boldly places his hand on the back of the young woman’s neck as the game continues.  It’s as if the team knows of their connection?  Thalia catches his eye and the challenge flashing there quickly has him toss his head back in laughter.

A boy in a ballcap throws it all in by presenting to the table, “Never have I ever had sex with someone I work with….”

From the corner of his eye Tom can see Thalia lick the salt from her wrist as she prepares to down another shot, and he takes a long draw from his bottle of beer on the table.  As he watches cautiously the other student and professor down their drink, and he realizes the man’s arm is no longer behind the girl, but quite obviously in her lap.  Next to him, the redhead  whispers she’d like to know more about working with him next semester in the language department.  Tom shifts uncomfortably, sliding a bit closer to Thalia, and silently pushes his plate of fries to her.  With an innocent smile, she takes one, chewing quickly before slamming another shot in response to the statement ‘Never have I ever had sex in more than five cars.”

“Wait, wait, wait.”  Slurs the redhead.  “Thalia, you’ve been slammin’ ‘em back.  I’m gonna need some clarification.  Go with the last one.  Tell us about how you’ve had sex in more than five cars.”

The rest of the table agrees, hitting the shot glasses on the table and starting a chant, “tell us, tell us, tell us.”

Tom sits back, trying to keep the fire from his eyes.  He’s not liking this game too much, but it has been eye opening.  He struggles not to make eye contact with her, difficult to do as he can feel the heat rising through her body next to him.

She chuckles, resting her elbow on the table and reaching for another buffalo wing from the basket.  She begins to pick it apart and shrugs her shoulders.  “Well you assholes don’t have to act like it’s so unbelievable,” she huffs with a sarcastic smile.  “Not much to tell, but I can actually clear up three things you’ve learned about me.”  The tap of her leg against him lets him know her honesty is for his benefit.  “My dad owns an auto mechanic shop.  When I was in high school, I worked there and had a crush on the other guy that worked with us, about three years older than me.”  From the corner of his eye, he can see the blush rising across her cheeks, as she pauses to chew a bite of the chicken.  Wiping her fingers on a napkin, she continues.  “When Dad would go out on service calls, we would choose the nicest car in the shop and screw around in the back seat.  So there you have it- at work, with a co-worker, 5 or more cars.  Three things about me.”

“I call bullshit,” says the dark haired boy down the table from her.  Tom tenses, wondering what the boy might have to say.  “You’re a fuckin’ ice princess who never puts out.”

Thalia turns to him with a flash in her eyes, which quickly turns sympathetic.  “Aww, Caleb, are you still blaming your limp dick on my fat?”

The table goes wild, high fives, “oohs” and “she burned you!”  The girl next to him says, “Dude, she’s got you pegged!”

“Oh!  There’s a question!”  Someone chimes in.  “Never ever have I been-”

“Whoa!”  Thalia raises her voice, jumping from the bench.  “That’s my cue to leave.  You math department people are too hard core for me.  I’m out.”

She starts pushing the girl next to her and the three people on the outer end of the booth slide out for Thalia to make her exit.

The boy in the baseball cap teases, “What?  Us talking about ‘doing the beast with two backs’ is too much for you?  Thought you loved that Shakespeare shit?”

Thalia laughs, grabbing another chicken wing to go, wobbling for a moment on her feet.

Donaldo, Tom thinks, remembering his name, chimes in. “Hiddleston? She’s your teaching assistant.”  He gives the man a shove on his arm.  “You can’t let her go out into the dark night, half drunk and alone.  Be a gentleman and at least walk her to her car.”

The red head pipes up as Tom begins to slide out of the booth.  “Actually Professor,” her hand squeezing his thigh.  “I’m a little too drunk also.  Think you can give me a ride home?”

Bloody hell.  He sighs.  “Sure, why not?  Who else needs a ride?”  Seeing Thalia starting to walk away, he reaches his hand out to her arm and feels the spark of electricity between them.  He wants to get her alone quickly.  “Ms. Bar- Thalia.  Wait.  I’ll drive you and a few of the others home; you’ve all had a bit much to drink.”

She wobbles again.  “Really, sir,”  she smiles slowly.  “I haven’t had that much to drink.  It’s these damn heels.”

“Uh- huh.  Right.”  He steps closer to her, smelling the alcohol on her breath.  “Just wait.”

Turning back to the table, he sees the party is splitting up and one of the other faculty members from a smaller table nearby is offering to take a group home also.  The two men divide up the students based on where their ‘deliveries’ need to be made and Tom is more than pleased to note the redhead will be in the other car.  As the group exits the pub, he’s fairly sure she’s the one trying to grab his ass.

Click here to read Chapter 23 Ride Home

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

Bliss

et ch 21 Bliss

Chapter 21

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom & @devikafernando

AU FICTION

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.

Word count: 3178

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, fingering, oral sex, fluff

Summary: Chris gets the chance to spend more time with Thalia, discovering he likes more than just her body.

Cover images found on Pinterest

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

Over the course of the next few cold winter weeks, Chris realizes Thalia adds light to his dark days.   He learns her schedule and finds spots to accidently run into her on campus, the easiest being quick meets in the school Commons.  Professors meet with students there all the time, so none would be the wiser as to their little rendezvous in plain sight.  His knee casually brushing against her leg or her hand bumping his while she reaches for the pepper, a knowing smile shared between them, always with research spread on the table in front of them.

The limited hours she has working with him each week allow him to see how her captivating mind works and he realizes he has a schoolboy crush on her.  He watches her work with such pride and admiration, but at the same time he can’t wait to get her alone and rip her clothes off and let her have her way with him.  Chris likes the ease of the give and take in their experiences together and observes her growing into herself as a sexual being.  He feels fortunate just to be along for the ride.

Most of their dates consist of him meeting her at the bar, some nights coming in to talk with her by chance, not to arise suspicions from Jim, and often going home alone.  He just enjoys the company of having someone near.  He plays pool with the regulars and for pretense of being a single man, on occasion he flirts innocently with other women who come into the bar.  The dirty little hole in the wall establishment doesn’t often bring in the most savory of characters.  Chris loves watching Thalia adapt to this role, affecting a different personality to fit in rather than to use her education to stand above.

It’s amazing how she holds herself so confidently in both worlds. It’s sexy as sin and he wants to see more of it, in both arenas.

He pauses when he hears her enter the room.  Shaking his head he can’t believe he got caught.  Lost in his thoughts, he hadn’t been paying attention to listen for the water to shut off.  He grimaces as he clutches her sweater in his hand.

“Christopher!”  Thalia giggles, her tone playful and boisterous. “Just what the hell are you doing in my closet?  I mean, really, I have handled all your kinks, but really that would be-”  She stops talking when the sweater hits her in the face and she releases a mock squeal of astonishment.

He doesn’t acknowledge her tease, and says the first thing that comes to his mind.  “God, you’re beautiful,” he admires, his voice dropping to a low rumble, the sound vibrating in his chest.

Clad only in a towel from her shower and another wrapped around her head, her skin glows with a sheen of lotions and oils.  The towel tucks between her ample breasts and creates a natural draw for his eyes.  With her hands on her hip, the terry cloth pulls away slightly, exposing thick thighs with just a hint of space between them.  A space where he’d like to be, he thinks as he falls to his knees in front of her, ready to worship at her altar.

“You’re changing the subject,” she hisses as his hands snake up her legs and the top of his buzz cut head follows their path.  Taking a few steps back, she rests on the end of the bed and he crawls to chase after her, taking up the same spot and spreading her for his feast.

He starts slow and methodically licking a stripe down the sides of each puffy pink lip, enjoying the smooth result of her recent afternoon at the spa.  Nipping and flicking his tongue across the flesh, her arousal begins.  His texts to her all evening already have her on “go” and she rubs at the top of his head, small keening sounds encouraging him to delve deeper.  His hands run up her sides, kneading and caressing over her warm and fragrant skin.  He gropes at her abundant tits while his tongue takes its first leisurely swipe between her folds, eliciting a lusty response from deep within.  “I fuckin’ love your sounds, baby girl, don’t hold any back from me tonight.” Sampling her again, his cock rises to the wanton melodies she creates.  His voice drips with his own desire as he shares his secret wish with her. “I wanna hear them echo in my ears tomorrow when we sit and work with the team in my office.”

“Oh, fuck,” she whispers, pulling back on the nape of his neck and leaning to him for a kiss.  Raising up on his knees he meets her and their lips wrap together.  Their needy kisses flow one after another as he flicks his tongue through her mouth sharing her tangy sweet taste. From one welcoming hole to the next, Chris drops back down and continues his task, making quick work of driving her to a frenzy as she grips his shirt tighter and tighter.  “Lay back, Niña, so I can have more of you,” he growls.

He pushes her to the bed and holds her down tightly with one hand while the other begins to slide in and out of her slick.  Teasing and pulling at her clit with his teeth he brings her to new heights, her sounds growing in volume.  Smearing around the wet, he slips over her taint and smiles at her involuntary jump, bringing to mind beautiful images of what he’d like to do to her.  As his fingers work faster, her breath catches and the noises echo in the cold room.

“Look at me,” she commands of him.  Lifting onto her elbows she cries out to him, her voice raspy and thick.  “Fuck me, baby, make me come.”

His vision holds with the depths of her melted chocolate brown eyes, her hair wet and wild tumbling down over her shoulders.  It’s quite possible she’s never looked more beautiful.  His mouth moves over her cunt, sliding his hands out and bringing both down over her thighs, pushing his thumbs over her taint.  His hold on her free, she thrusts up as his whole mouth latches over her sweet hole, delivering the sweetest of French kisses.  Writhing against him, grabbing the sheets, she comes all over his tongue as he laps it up quickly, not wanting to waste a single drop.  Her cries wither to quiet mewls and he pulls back slowly, washing over her with his tongue and cleaning her well.  Sitting back on his heels he watches with satisfaction as her eyes roll back and she collapses to the bed.  “Damn, I love that.”

Her scent fresh on his fingers, he wipes her succulent juice from his scruffy chin and scrambles up beside her on the bed.  She flops her head to the side and beams at him as he teases her with his fingers. “Rather delectable… Would you like to try?”

Nodding imperceptibly her pupils dilate and her breathing halts.  Her pink tongue flicks over her swollen lips,  gifting them with a dewy shine.  His finger tip follows the same motion spreading her come on them to share before kissing her.  Gathering the last from his beard, he touches his finger to her lip anew. Tentatively she tags him with the tip of her tongue and he pulls down at the entrance of her mouth and pushes inside with his finger.  Closing around him, she sucks him clean, humming at the deed with a silent promise for his later.

chris and thalia

#

Falling into their Sunday afternoon routine they take up residency on their respective ends of the couch, Thalia needing space to spread out her books.  Today the task at hand seems to be creating note cards for an upcoming presentation.  Chris absently watches her work as she chews on the tip of her pen and twirls her hair.  Smiling, she looks up and his heart fills with joy.  He winks at her and turns his attention back to his computer, several tabs open on shopping sites, searching for just the right something to showcase her beauty and her luscious figure.  Just the thing to stop him in his tracks when he sees her walking across campus so he can think, “Damn, I know what’s under that.”

With a few clicks, his choices are made, and he realizes it was so worth getting caught coming out of her closet.  He shakes his head at his own joke, but he didn’t want to order something that wouldn’t fit, so he had to do a little spy work.  Chuckling inwardly, he opens a browser for the afternoon football game he wants to watch.  A TV.  A TV might need to be another gift for her little space, but she always seems so offended when he suggests it, he hasn’t stepped over that boundary.

He hates feeling like they’re a couple when they really aren’t.  Are they?  He can’t be seen in public with her, can’t take her to the movies, or hold her hand walking across campus.  But he feels like they’re a couple.  He stays at her place once or twice a week; when she studies in his office, she cuddles under his arm on the couch; she sometimes brings fresh fruit to add to his morning yogurt.  Those are ‘couple things,’ right?  Hell, has dating become so complicated, he’s forgotten how, or has he simply fallen back into the role of “caretaker” as he had before he and his wife drifted apart?

Staring at the screen, the game isn’t going as he hoped and his mind wanders.  Is that all a relationship is?  Finding someone you want to take care of and be with, and if the sex is great, added bonus?  In his failed therapy sessions, he never came to a true answer as to why his wife left him for another man, other than “she’s a bitch.”  It always seemed like he was doing everything right- buying her favorite flowers, doing things to help her out, taking care of Avery when she was working, making sure he kept their sex life active when everything else seemed to pull them in other directions.  He still isn’t sure if he did anything wrong, but it’s-

“Earth to Evans?”  Thalia is snapping her fingers in his face.  “Where’d you go, babe?  I lost ya there…”  She rests her arm on his bicep and administers a gentle squeeze.  “Everything okay?”

Closing the computer, he smiles slowly.  “Yeah, just thinking about stuff I gotta do this week.  Hey, do you wanna get outta here for a bit?  We’ve been cooped up too long, and it’s not terribly cold out today.”

Tossing her curly head, she laughs.  “You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?”  Giggling when he sheepishly hangs his head, she tosses a pillow at him.  “Get off your lazy ass.  We are going out.  My neighbor texted. She still hasn’t made her ‘walk of shame’ and she needs to make sure her dog gets a walk.  We’ve got to go find Dory.”

Chris adds resistance to her pulls as she tries to lift him off the couch and she topples into his lap and he dots her face with a few sweet kisses.  He wants to banish away his sad thoughts.  The expression on her face tells him she understands his actions and she rubs gently over the fuzz on his buzzed head.

“Dory?  Um, Isn’t that a better name for a fish?”  Chris asks, leaning his ass against the door and balancing on one foot as he pulls on his shoes and ties the laces.  She hands him his winter coat from the back of the chair and quickly shrugs into hers before he has a chance to help her.  While she’s distracted, looking for her keys, he tugs the pink tail of her scarf from her pocket and hides it behind his back.

“The dog’s name wasn’t originally Dory.  Chelley and I don’t even remember the his original name…  It was just a really damn stupid dog.”  She chuckles, stuffing her hands in her pockets and only pulling out her gloves.  She spins in circles, looking to see if she dropped it on the floor.  “I know that’s horrible to say, but it’s true.”

She freezes with a cute, frustrated look on her face; true consternation and Chris can’t contain his laughter as he dangles the hand-knit scarf out in front of her.  “Come here,” he says quietly.  He takes her hair and sweeps it back, holding it up and out of the way as he drapes the scarf over her shoulders with his other hand.  Hanging loosely down over her breasts, he runs his hands down over her form, hidden under the downy comfort of the winter wear.  Even so, her eyes still close and her head tilts back as he caresses over her full breasts, reaching for the dangling tassels at the bottom of the scarf and wrapping them loosely around her neck, his fingertips grazing across her exposed skin at her throat.

Lifting her head to him, she sighs.  “Only you could make this hideous get up sensual.  I feel like half my life is cold Northern Winter weather and I look like the Michelin man, all round and puffy.  So I dream about moving south; but then I think, no one wants to see me running around in sundresses all the time to compensate for the heat.”

He follows her into the hallway, listening to her ramble about weather and clothes and really all he hears is her damn sexy raspy voice.  He follows her up the stairs to the neighbor’s apartment and informs her, “Me.  I wanna see that.  You in skimpy sundresses, a beach?  What are we doing for Spring Break?”

Unlocking the door, she stares at him incredulously.  “We??  What do you mean ‘what are we doing?’  Christopher Evans, have you lost your damn mind?”

If it hadn’t been for the scratching on the door, Chris would have shown her exactly how much she makes him lose his mind.  The minute she opens the door, Dory pops out, so excited to see people.  The fluffy mutt jumps up on him, paws on his chest, sniffing and hoping to make friends.  “Dory!  Down.  Bad dog.  We don’t jump on people.”

The dog sits down next to her, reacting to her voice as she holds her hand to him to sniff.  “Wanna go for a walk?  Wanna go to the park?”

The dog dips his head, as if to say yes.  “Get your leash,” she commands and the dog runs back inside stopping at a basket by the TV.  “Good boy,” she pats his head, bending for it and attaching it to the dog’s collar.  Closing the door, she says to Chris.  “Well, I don’t know what you plan to do during the week off, but I’m working, studying, and beginning prep for finals.  And I have hours to complete on campus for work study.  Some of us actually work when we work, ya know.”

Exiting the building, she motions to the left and Chris follows her lead, the pup bounding ahead of them as far as the leash will let him.  She hands over the reigns to Chris while she puts on her gloves and he happily keeps it from her.  “Thalia, I didn’t mean it like that.  I mean… I guess.  Shit.  I wanna make plans with you.  I wanna do things with you and not feel like we just hang out at your place.  Do you get some time off?  We could drive out to the beach one day, or for kicks, you come stay at my house a day or two?  Let me take care of you.”

Thalia stops at the corner, waiting for the light to change.  Watching her, the wind blows her hair around her face and her cheeks blossom in the cold wind. Even when the light indicates they can move forward, she stays frozen in her spot.  Dory lurches forward, unsure why Chris won’t move.

“Did I say something wrong?”  he asks tucking the end of the scarf back inside the loop around her neck.  The dog runs a lap around them and they become tangled in the leash.  Not that he plans on going anywhere till Thalia gives her okay….

Eyes glistening with tears, her hand covers her face.  “Oh, my God.  You are literally the most insane, adorable man I’ve ever met…  You just go through life with no plan other than fun, don’t you?”

Shrugging his shoulders he simply says, “There’s nothing wrong with that; less stress that way.  I can’t be doing it all wrong.  I’m a successful professor, a well known historian and a good dad.  And managed to snag a hot, young co-ed…”

Resting her gloved hand on his chest, she pats him sweetly and rises on her tiptoes to kiss the tip of his nose, then slides down, pushing her body against him and pressing her lips to his.  In the cold, their warm air puffs in a cloud between them as their lips gently dance, kisses growing with intensity.  They only break apart when a passing car honks at them and she bows her head, hiding behind some of her curls.

Taking his hand, she leads him across the street.  “Nothing wrong with it at all.  In fact, that’s probably something you need to teach me- how not to work so hard.”  She sighs.  “So.  Staying at your house a few days, huh?  Can we crank up the heat and pretend it’s a fancy vacation destination and play music full of steel drums?”

“And drinks with coconut rum and little umbrellas in them if that’s what you want. Hell, I’ll even get a sandbox and we can pretend it’s the beach.  Anything that will help you relax and enjoy a vacation for a few days, Niña…”

She opens the gate to the little neighborhood dog park and lets Dory off his leash, laughing when he trots over to ‘check in’ with friends.  Chris and Thalia find an empty bench and snuggle side by side to ward off the cold.  “Chris, that’s still weeks away.  I mean are you sure you wanna-”

His lips crash against hers, effectively shutting her up.  Separating with a tug to her lip between his teeth, he teases, “You talk too much.  You’ve already said your stepmother is coming for Valentine’s Day and you can’t see… anyone.  I want to do something ‘date-like.’ With you.  I don’t care if it’s weeks away.”   He slides his hands between her thighs and rests them there to keep them warm, having forgotten his gloves on the table by the door in her apartment.  “And just think of all the nights in between now and then…”  Nibbling on her ear, he whispers some of those ideas to her while Dory runs around the park.

Click to Chapter 22 Drinking Games 

Copyright © 2017 avenger-nerd-mom. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

Lunch Date

1494606262823

Original Fiction

Photo Drabble

by avenger-nerd-mom

Word Count: 897

Tapping on the door gently it falls open unexpectedly.  With the laundry basket balanced on her hip, she hesitantly steps into the room, afraid of what she might find.  As the scent of cologne and stale gym shoes sting her nose, the dog lazily lifts his head.  With a wide yawn, he plops back down on his large graying paws.

Her eyes quickly scan over his body, the scar on his calf from a treehouse fall when he was eight and the birthmark on the side of his thigh.  She smiles at the elastic waistband of his favorite “star wars” boxers, shaking her head.  Still like a little kid…  The muscles across his back are broad and strong, already showing signs of a light summer tan from mowing the lawn.

He may look like a man, but he will always be her little boy.

Placing the clothes from the basket on top of the desk, she rolls her eyes and picks up a few dirty plates and empty soda cans.  Placing them with a muffled clink into the plastic bin, she checks the time on her watch.

“Wake up, sleepyhead!”  She loudly shouts.  He doesn’t even flinch.  “Rise and shine!”  Yanking on the cord for the mini-blinds, light fills the room, highlighting the collection of dust on the shelves.

“Go away,” comes the mumbled sound from under the pillow.

“Can’t, dude,” she says, resting on the end of the bed, patting the dog and scratching his favorite spot on his hindquarters.  “Graduation practice today.  Can’t be late.  I thought you and the guys from the team were meeting for breakfast out on Highway 17?”

Head still hidden under the pillow, he hits his hand around on the mattress top, searching for his phone.  Peeking from under the pillow, his long lashes rest against his cheeks.  One bright blue eye pops open and he looks just like his father did at that age.  After looking at the screen, he drops the phone and thumps his head back down on the bed.  “Shit, I set it wrong.  I’m gonna be late.”

“So why aren’t you moving?”  She asks, scratching the dog under his chin, kicking her feet against the side of the bed.

“We might play ball after breakfast before we have to be at school.  I can shower in the locker room. Five more minutes,” he promises, pulling the blanket over his head to block out the sunlight.

The dog wiggles around, pushing his body against her hand.  Her eyes skate over the trophies, ribbons, books and game cases on the shelves her husband helped him build.  Some of the graphic novels of his youth are mixed in with the classics from his honors English classes.  

His foot hits her thigh.  “Mom, what are you doin’?”

“Nothin’, just sitting here with you; why?

He chuckles.  “I’m in my underwear.  I’m not getting out of bed till you leave.”  Looking at her, he answers her silent stare.  “It’s just weird.”

“Who do you think bought you that underwear?”  She laughs softly, holding back the lump in her throat.  There won’t be many more mornings like this- quiet, just the two of them.  Graduation is Saturday and the whole family is coming to town to see him.  The entire day is all about him, but she’s made one request of her handsome son- when it comes time for photos, there will be no complaints.  She hasn’t said anything to him, in case she can’t follow through, but she’s secretly promised herself for one day she can bury the hatchet and sit with her ex-husband and his new wife.  With their son leaving for Boot Camp in less than ten days, she feels this is a sacrifice she can make.  She wants him to remember that even with anger and distrust, in any situation you can still choose to work things out and get along, even if it’s a stilted truce for a greater good.

Her son and his happiness is her greater good.

Sitting up, he pulls a tshirt from a dirty pile of clothes beside the bed, scooting down and pulling the comforter tighter over his lap.  His strong arms snake around her, holding her close, resting his chin on her shoulder, his patchy scruff against her cheek.

“It’s gonna be okay, Mom.  It’s only ten weeks.”  His words are choked and she tenderly pats his arm.  “I know I don’t know what happens after that, but we can survive anything for seventy days, and you and Dad can come see me for that graduation ceremony too.”  His sighs deeply, his breath tickling her neck.  “You okay?  I can leave you here with Brutus?”

The dog whimpers softly at hearing his name.  With her eyes closed, she holds in her tears, simply nodding her head.  

Tugging the blanket off the bed, he wraps it around his waist, walking to the door.  “Hey, Mom?” he asks, paused at the entry.  “We get done around two, after the reading of the senior wills. Wanna meet for lunch?  Just you and me?”

As he stands truly at the threshold between being a boy and a man, she knows she raised him right, and the world is a better place for having him in it.  Not even bothering to hide her tears, she sniffles and giggles. “Yes.  Yes, I’d like that very much.”

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom

Disclosure

et ch 20 disclosure may 10 2017.jpg

Disclosure

Chapter 20

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom & @devikafernando

AU FICTION

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.

Word count: 3263

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, angst, difficult real life discussions

Summary: Tom and Thalia sit down for a serious talk.

A special thanks to @deathbyukmen and @itsliterallythis for their advice and input on this chapter

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

Enjoying light chatter over their coffee and chocolate cake, Tom feels Thalia holding back.  This late at night, the shop is nearly deserted.  Being far from campus, he reaches his hand across the table to her, moving his chair closer.  “Thalia, darling, you’re awfully quiet.  What’s on your mind?”

Turning his hand over in hers, she runs her fingertips over the ridges mapped across his palm.  “Ever wish sometimes you could see the future?  Know what was going to happen, Tom?”

He trembles at her touch, delighting in the sweet sensuality of it, but sits quietly, sensing she needs to gather her thoughts as she builds to whatever it is she wants to say.  She sighs and lays her palm against his, looking to him with her wide innocent eyes.  “Do you see a future in us together here, Tom?  I mean, what are we doing?”

His heart plummets to his stomach because he knows he doesn’t really have an answer for her.  Not a good one.  Not one that won’t hurt them both.

Reading her expression, he knows when she figures it out.

“It’s so complicated, Thalia.  I just-”  he huffs, pulling his hand back from hers and grasping it tightly, moving his leg to brush against hers; to connect.  “I just don’t know, and I don’t think there’s an easy answer.”

Giving his hand a squeeze, she removes hers from his grasp and leans back against the chair. Defensively, she crosses her arms over her chest, her glorious tits resting across the line she creates.  “Does it change anything since I’m just auditing your class this semester?  It’s not graded?  Can we be seen together now?”

Removing his glasses and resting them on the table, Tom roughly pushes across his forehead, having to face all the questions he’s asked himself over and over again late at night.  “Darling, I want nothing more than to hold your hand and walk across the Commons together, or grab lunch with you at one of the pubs right off campus.  You deserve that much, but you know we can’t. You still work for me.”

He watches as she runs her tongue across her teeth in thought.  Nodding, she offers,“So what if I quit?”

He chuckles.  “Then you really would need someone to take care of you and your finances, and you’ve made it painfully clear that’s not what you want.”

She makes a low growl in the back of her throat. “You don’t get it, do you?”  She rubs under her chin in frustration.  “It’s not that.  I mean, yes, I want my independence, but caring for someone is a give and take.  Tom, you give a lot, but you don’t let me care for you.  That bothers me.  This?”  She gestures her hand back and forth between them.  “This is the most we’ve communicated in weeks about us, and not about work or exhibits or whatever fucking piece of knowledge we’re trying to show off for each other.”  Her smile softens her words, but Tom still feels the punch.

She’s right.  Their time together is often a show, a game; part of her ‘education.’  Tom loves the dominance of it all, the ceremony, of enlightening her and watching her bend to his will as it becomes hers as well.  Like tonight in the theater.  ‘Fucking menace’ rings in his ears and he loves the throaty sound of her voice when it replays in his mind.  He made her want what he wanted, but not with malice. He’d never force her to do anything he didn’t think she’d like.  If she doesn’t want it, she knows the safe word…

“Are you listening, or are you in your own thoughts now?” she asks sharply.

Moving his leg against hers, he brings himself back to the conversation.  “Thalia, I’m just trying to think of the right response, to be honest.  The one that will make you stay; the one that won’t make you want to walk out of my life.  And I don’t know if there is one. What’s this all about, darling?  Does this have anything to do with talking to your friend today?”

Thalia’s eyes dart away and she bites her lip.  He can see her pulse rising as the blood rushes through the veins in her neck.  He worries about her response, sensing her physical discomfort.  He leans forward and rests his hand on her knee.  “Thalia, what’s wrong?  Tell me.”

“Shit,” she hisses out under her breath.  “Tom, it was… someone I knew, a friend, but… it was kind of a date.  It… It just kind of happened, and… and it wasn’t anything I planned and-” she stammers over her words.  “I feel bad you didn’t know ahead of time.  I wasn’t-”

Fuck.  He wasn’t expecting that.  He can’t deny the kick to his gut.  But her pained expression hurts him even more.  “Thalia, Thalia, stop. Stop.”  His fingers brush lightly over her thigh.  “It’s fine; it’s fine.  We said- ok, I said- we should see people to take suspicion off us.  I don’t need to know the details, as much as it pains me. We’re both adults, things happen.”  His stomach turns and he wants nothing more than to beat against his chest and claim ‘mine’ at the top of his lungs.  Possibly even throw her over his shoulder and run away with her, but that’s his foolish heart.  He has to think clearly from his head right now.

“I just didn’t want you to think it was planned out; or I was keeping anything from you.  It’s not something I would normally do, Tom.”  Low and quiet, her voice is full of sorrow and remorse. “It just… happened.”

“Hell, Thalia, it’s not like I planned on seducing you in the library months ago either,” he chuckles, trying to soothe her.  “It just happened.”  He smiles, repeating her words. “There is no easy way to render our situation.  Neither of us are at a point in our lives to make long term decisions, other than you following your career path.  It’s important to me that your reach your goals; I’m not here to sidetrack you.”  He gives her knee a gentle squeeze.  “I’m content where I am now with my work and happiest with you.”  He leans back and thoughtfully runs his hand over his scruff, trying to mask his turned down frown.  “But if you want to leave; if I’m not what you need, now is the time to do it… before any other investments are made, and either of us wind up broken.”

The tears shimmering in her eyes shatter him as he holds back his own.

She hits her leg against his, sliding it along his thigh. “Tom, that’s not what I want; I’m not looking to get out, but it’s all just so consuming.  You can be really intense.”

Wiping away her tears, her voice is raw with emotion.  “I sometimes feel like I forget how to be me.  I mean, I am ‘me’ when I’m with you, but it’s like a different version. The ‘learning me’ that wants to know everything you know, that wants you to show me.  Let’s be real- the “me” that wants you to make my sassy ass submit to you.”  She giggles, and the heave in her breasts as she pauses for a moment, possibly as her own thoughts of their times together pass through her mind, causes a tightening in his pants. Sighing deeply, she taps her fingers on the table top.  “But sometimes I just need to sit on my ass at home on my couch in my baggy sweatpants, you know what I mean?  I’ve been on the go too much lately, many times at your beck and call.”

Pulling down on his pants leg, he shifts in his seat.  “I’ll give you whatever you want, darling. I’ll try not to be so possessive of you, you are your own person, free to make your own choices.  I want to control you, yes, but not like that.  You understand that, don’t you?”

Actually with their arguments lately about her work and money, he doubted she did, although she gently nods her head. He’d pushed her away when he only wanted to hold her close, possibly driving her right into the arms of another man.  Damn his foolishness, but he knows he doesn’t really have the right to claim her.

“Thalia, if you’re asking me for a commitment, that’s something we don’t have the luxury of attaining right now.”  Her deep brown eyes look back to his, searching his face.  “You work for me; for my department.  You are a student. I can’t ask you to take risks like that with your academic career.  I care about you too much to let this be something to destroy your future, all you’ve worked for.”  Looking at his watch, he doesn’t want the night to end, but knows she needs to get home.  “Do we have to make any rash decisions tonight, darling?”

Thalia giggles as she stands up from her chair.  She sweetly pushes back the curl falling across his forehead and gives his hair a little tug.  “Do I have to make any decisions?”

Rising next to her, he places his arms around her waist and holds her close.  “So far it seems to work well when you let me make them?”

She playfully hits his chest.  “Isn’t that what this whole discussion was about?  My need for some independence?”

“I thought it was about making some sort of commitment?” He raises a questioning brow at her.

“Dammit.  It was that too.  You’re right.  It’s all just too complicated- but, sir, that doesn’t mean you get to make all the decisions.” She defiantly shakes her head once, making her curls bounce.

“Duly noted, Miss Bareo.”  His laughter echoes into the night, as he walks her back to her car in the newly fallen snow.

“You’re not mad?”  She clasps his face in her hands as she did earlier, tracing his prominent cheekbones and then his jawline lightly with her fingertips – and as soft as her touch is, it has a possessive feel to it and he allows the gesture to burn itself into his mind.

Placing his hands over hers, he wants to pause the moment in time.  The innocent expression on her face; the flakes of snow momentarily sticking in her hair.  She’s going to break his heart.  It has to be that way, because he knows he couldn’t live with himself if he broke hers.

“No, Thalia, dear, how can I be mad when you did what I said to do- I said ‘date’ and you did?”  He releases her hands, nodding as she pulls a pair of bright blue gloves from her pockets and slides them on.  “You’ve been upfront with me, and that’s honestly more than I could have asked for.  Just please tell me it’s not that prat from our class?

“Oh, God, no.”  Tom leans in to start her car and turn on the heat while the two share a laugh about the frat boy and his ridiculous comments on the works of Shakespeare, stomping their feet in the cold to stay warm.

“Darling, are you sure you won’t go with me tonight?  I don’t want to push you…”

She places her gloved hand tenderly against his chest.  “Sometimes I like it when you push me,” she teases, cocking her eyebrow.  “But I really do need to finish some studies up, and my application for Paris is due at the end of the week.”

“Say no more.  I understand that there are more important matters tonight.  Will I see you tomorrow?”  Tom can’t keep the hope out of his voice, and the look in her eyes is full of understanding, which only makes him feel worse.

“Of course, and our date is Tuesday?”  She pulls the collar of his coat up, tighter around his neck.

“I already have reservations made.  Think of it as preparation for France!”  He winks, waiting to see her response.

“French food?  Please don’t make me eat snails,”  Thalia says, eyeing him warily.  “And don’t be so cocky.  If I don’t get that internship, I’ll want to drown myself in buckets of ice cream.”

“I promise.  No snails.”  Tom crosses his fingers over his heart. “And if that happens, we can eat all the ice cream you want, darling.” Mirroring her earlier gesture, he cups her chubby-cheeked face and leans in for a kiss that is gentle yet firm at the same time. He makes it last as long as he can, wishing he didn’t have to let go. “Good night, Thalia.”

“Good night, Tom.” The smile she gives him seems to come straight from her heart, but there’s a wistful, almost sad edge to it that makes his heart clench.  He hates feeling like he can’t be all she needs, but she’s young and still needs to spread her wings.

Closing the door for her, he waves a little goodbye and strides away quickly, willing himself not to look back as her car drives away.

#

Chris has an extra bounce in his step as he heads to his office.  With the displays needing to be readied for the local historian group, the head of the history department agreed a part-time assistant seemed like a logical plan for completing the work on time.  His meeting in the office of student affairs also went well, and they approved his request for an assistant if the student was interested in the work.

Passing by the workroom, he hears her laughter and it fills him with joy.  He slows down, stopping at the doorway.  She’s with him and they are chatting over cooling mugs.  Probably hot tea.  Who drinks that shit anyway?  Time to rescue the damsel from the boring Brit.

“Ah, Miss Bareo!  Just the student I was looking for,” he announces as he steps into the room, throwing his leather satchel on the nearest table.

She jumps on her feet and Hiddleston returns his usual scowl.

Timidly, a blush rising on her freckled cheeks, she responds.  “Professor Evans?  You were looking for me?”

Reaching into the staff fridge, he procures a carton of yogurt and tosses money in the cup on the counter.  “I’ve just been down to the office of student affairs, needing short term assistance on the project for the local historical chapter and they recommended you, if you have the time available?”

Her eyes grow huge and Hiddleston turns to look at her, obviously flustered.

Chris winks at her behind the other man’s back and smiles, adopting a more casual demeanor as he sits at the table, propping his feet up on the chair across from him.  “Oh, hey, I forgot a spoon.  Can you hand me one?”

“Evans, for heaven’s sake, an assistant isn’t a slave. And you look like a barbarian in a public place with your feet propped up like that. I’m certain Ms. Bareo already has her hands full with-”

His British demeanor gets on Chris’s nerves, but it’s equally fun because he knows he crawls under the lanky man’s skin as well.  So he’ll drag this out just for fun.  Class doesn’t start for another ninety minutes.  He’s got nothing better to do.

Clearing her throat, both men look at her as she steps forward and hands Professor Evans a spoon. Chris notices she’s closer to the door for an exit.  She needn’t worry.  He has no plans to spill their little secret, for fear of getting her expelled or himself fired.

With a bit more confidence in her voice, she addresses the gentleman standing at the counter.  “Professor Hiddleston, I appreciate your concern, but if a student is recommended by the office, the pay is more per hour.  That extra pay helps my expenditures that aren’t covered by the university when I go on expeditions.  You know, sir, I’m fully capable of taking directions to complete a task in a timely fashion.”  She pauses thoughtfully, gathering some papers from the table.  “It would also allow me to cut back some hours at the bar.”  She says quietly, turning and  smiling warily to Professor Evans.  ”How many hours a week do you need help?”

“Six, maybe eight.  I really don’t think it will be more than that.  There’s not a lot of work, really, but I’m busy editing my next book.  I just need help until the exhibit is ready, after the Alumni Gala in late-March.”  He licks the spoon wickedly, hoping to see a rise from her as Hiddleston turns back to the counter to rinse out his mug.  Chris bites back his laughter when she runs her middle finger across her perfectly arched eyebrow.  “And on days there isn’t much to do, I can always find other work.  Word has it you are great at grading freshman essays, Miss Bareo.”

Hiddleston and Thalia both groan and Chris joins in their laughter.  “The state of the American education system is appalling,” Hiddleston laments.

“Well, gentlemen, as a product of the American education system, I must get to my next class.   Wouldn’t want my brain to turn to mush so my professors can talk about me behind my back.  I’d really hate that,” she says somewhat sharply, her eyes on Chris.  “What are your office hours, Professor Evans?  I won’t be available to start till the day after next?”

Running his hand around his bicep in the sweater he was wearing the other night, he stretches back in his chair.  “Thursday? I have a commitment that morning at my daughter’s daycare, but I can be in the office by 10:00?  Will that work for you?”

“I’ll check my schedule and if it doesn’t, I’ll be in touch.  And Professor Hiddleston, please don’t forget we have the meeting with the drama department today at four to discuss the accuracy of props.  And then you said something about a study of French culture this evening, is that right?”

“Yes, Ms. Bareo.  Thank you, and thank you again for the lovely cup of tea.  You’re getting quite good at fixing it.”

She blushes and dips her head, exiting the room quickly.  Chris watches her walk away, that sweet little sway to her ass.

Snapping his fingers to break his stare, Hiddleston barks at him.  “Evans? What are you on about?  That girl does not have time for your busy work.  She’s working towards attaining some of the most prestigious honors our University offers and interviewing for internships.” Hiddleston wipes down the counter and hangs the towel to dry, “as well as putting the final touches on our research for publication.  If I find out you have her grading freshman essays, I’ll lodge a complaint to the Dean.”

“Cool it.” Rising from his seat, he cleans his trash.  “I know she’s an intelligent woman.  She’s been in my class and I’m familiar with her work.  The exhibit is important for us to receive more funding for an archeological dig in Honduras that might interest her.  I’m trying to aid a student who deserves it.”

“She doesn’t need your kind of aid,” Tom comments vehemently. “I may be fairly new around here, but I’ve heard the stories about you and the help you give your female students.”

Placing his bag over his shoulder and across his chest, Chris replies, “Man, you’re a real prick.  I’m not even gonna defend that with a response.”  Placing his spoon in the sink, he exits the room without another word.

Click to Chapter 21 Bliss

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

A Night at the Movies

ET ch 19 May 7 2017

Educating Thalia

Chapter 19

Collaboration by @devikafernando & @avenger-nerd-mom

AU FICTION

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.

Word count: 3934

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, NSFW, Dom Tom, sex in a public place, fingering, exhibitionism

Summary: Tom takes Thalia out on a date to the movies – and he has much more planned than just watching the screen!

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

Tom approaches their meeting point in his car, anticipation making him drum his fingers on the steering wheel. He’s looking forward to spending some quality time with Thalia. Even though – or maybe because – they see each other every day at work, he’s been missing her.

It should probably bother him that he’s grown so attached to her, that he feels a little possessive pinch every time he sees her in someone else’s company – even if it’s just other students – but it doesn’t.

In the past, he used to overthink everything, and all that ever did for him was make him brood and steal his happiness. So for the past few years, he’s taken things at face value, has stopped questioning himself. His brain might be telling him that he’s inviting trouble by ‘dating’ Thalia, but his heart insists that it’s exactly the right thing.

“Shut up, brain,” Tom mutters under his breath, “just lose yourself in Shakespeare sonnets so my heart can get what it wants.”

He’s even considered going to the bar on the outskirts of town where Thalia works off and on. There’s a curious part inside him that wants to watch her in an environment completely different from campus. He has a feeling it brings out her tough side, the one that is closely linked to the sassiness she lets shine through the more he gets to know her.  He’s heard talk from students and faculty who have visited the bar about how she handles the tough guys and takes no shit, of how she somehow rises above all the drunken stupor, boisterous shouts, sullen drinking and rowdy games.

But Tom isn’t a bar guy at all, and it’s a ‘local’ bar, not designed for the college crowd. Something, a different voice at the back of his head, cautions him that it wouldn’t do him any good to stalk her like that. Perhaps it’s better this way. Perhaps she needs a domain that’s exclusively hers, where she knows she isn’t watched by him and can be whoever she chooses to be.

He rounds the corner, slowing the car a little when the movie theater comes into view. For a moment, he wishes he could just pick her up at home, maybe have her invite him up for a cup of tea and some lazy kisses on the couch.

Turning right, he steers the silver Lexus into the parking lot.

There she is. Thalia is standing next to her cute little junky excuse for a car, her riotous curls tamed by a ridiculously long, pink scarf wrapped around her neck a dozen times and still hanging down to the hem of her knee-length skirt. Her coat and her skirt are black, so the splash of hot, feminine color is twice as striking from the distance. She’s stomping her bare legs in the cold, wearing her signature cowboy boots. Her hands are stuffed in her coat pockets, and she’s not watching the area for him but waiting with her head half-lowered.

When she hears the approaching car, she looks up, and he notices her thoughtful expression before a smile slowly transforms her face.

Tom parks a little away and gets out, shuddering once at the cold. He should’ve brought his own scarf. Then again, they weren’t planning on walking but on watching a special screening of Coriolanus, a stage play performed recently in London and now released worldwide for select theaters.

Pulling the hood of his coat tight around his neck, he ignores the fog on his glasses as he approaches. His lips stretch in an answering smile, forming laughter lines around his eyes.

“Fancy meeting you here, Miss Bareo,” he says with the lift of a brow. “Then again, I do know you’re a huge Shakespeare fan too.”

Her smile falters a little and she lifts a hand to tug on her orchid-pink enormity of a scarf.

“Who could resist the Bard – especially if such magnificent actors reenact one of his best plays?”

Shooting a glance left and right, Tom comes closer. He can’t help himself, he needs to touch her. There’s nobody to be seen anywhere near, and as the car park is at the back of the building, they’re in no danger of being discovered.

He leans closer and wraps her in his arms, inhaling her unique scent mixed with wool and biting winter cold.

Thalia takes a moment, then melts into his embrace, her arms coming up around his waist to press herself closer.

They remain like this for a precious moment while Tom resists the temptation to kiss her.

A gust of wind makes her shiver against him, and he rubs her back.

“Let’s go inside. We’re a bit early, but I can’t wait to feel warmer.”

She nods and they step away from each other, walking into the building. They’re close enough for their arms to touch, and Tom brushes a finger softly over her hand before putting a tiny bit more distance between them.

The next few minutes are spent exploring the place with all its Shakespeare-themed posters and paraphernalia, and then bickering goodnaturedly over what snacks to buy and what is the correct way to eat one’s popcorn. Tom insists on carrying their drinks and snacks, and he watches mesmerized as she unwraps those seemingly infinite layers of scarf and then loops the soft material around a hand so it’s finally small enough to stuff into a coat pocket.

He takes her to the hall, which is half empty. Their seats are at the very back. There are a few people right at the front, and judging from their animated talk they are Shakespeare enthusiasts. Several of the seats in the middle rows are occupied by younger and older couples who obviously had the same idea as Tom and want to share some privacy, probably not caring much for Coriolanus.

They settle down, Tom helping Thalia out of her coat because the place is surprisingly warm. She’s wearing a pink sweater underneath that is exactly the same shade as her scarf and stretches fetchingly across her ample breasts. He runs a hand over her shoulder and down her arm, briefly entangling their hands.

“Pretty. You don’t just smell like orchids, you look like them too.”

She raises her brows at him. “Ever the complementing gentleman, huh?”

“Why, of course.” He feigns shock, clutching his chest. “I couldn’t possibly not pay you a compliment about your outfit before we get down to business. About a million dead ancestors would roll over in their graves.”

That makes her giggle. “And what on earth do you mean with ‘getting down to business’, Professor?” she asks, her brows rising even higher.

He gives her his most innocent puppy-dog face. “Oh, just a general way of summarizing whatever may or may not happen during the next few hours.”

Now she’s narrowing her eyes at him, getting that sharp look of curiosity and intelligence that he loves so much.

“I thought we came here to watch a play?”

“Among other things,” he says airily and holds down a seat for her.

With an eye roll, she sits down, her skirt riding up to her thick thighs and making his hands itch to explore.

Tom takes a seat next to her and hands her the Coke. “Did you know that critics consider Coriolanus as the most opaque of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes? Compared with other grand works like Macbeth or King Lear, there’s hardly a revelation of his motives or a soliloquy. It makes him appear more like those ancient classical literature heroes like Odysseus or Achilles.”

Thalia cocks her head a little, listening intently. “Interesting. Wouldn’t that make him kind of difficult to sympathize with?”

“It does, yeah. Perhaps that’s why this play isn’t performed as much as others.”

“I heard there was a movie starring Ralph Fiennes that gave the story a modern twist?” Thalia asks, momentarily distracting him from lecture mode when she gulps a bit of her soda and licks a drop from her lips.

“Uh… yes. Yes, you’re right. A highly acclaimed actor and a stunning, quite provocative movie. Then again, today’s interpretation has earned a lot of praise too. There’s all that pride and militarism and Roman grandeur, but also so much subtle background story.”

They spend the next few minutes talking about the play and then veer to small talk, and something feels a little odd to Tom. Thalia seems distant, a bit subdued almost, although her smile – when she does smile – reaches her eyes.

Didn’t she mention she’d been with a friend? But that should have left her in a good mood.  He wonders why she isn’t as enthusiastic or flirty as he’d hoped?

Deciding to pull her out of her thoughts during another lull in conversation, Tom says, “You know, I’ve been in a couple of Shakespeare plays myself.”

That does catch her attention. She gapes at him, a handful of popcorn halted in mid-air.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

He grins. “I swear, scout’s honor.”

“Wouldn’t have pegged you for an actor, Professor Hiddleston.” Wide-eyed, she grins back at him. “Tell me all about your acting career.”

With a sheepish smile, Tom rubs the back of his neck. “It’s not actual acting, just a bit of dabbling. It was for a college play both times, actually. I starred in Cymbeline and Othello. It was fun, once I’d died a thousand deaths of mortification.”

He’s interrupted by the lights going out and the sounds of people settling down for the movie.

For the next half an hour, they’re much too intrigued and enthralled by the play to talk much. They munch on their snacks, off and on elbowing each other or exchanging a glance or tugging on a sleeve when they want to share their delight.

When a shift of her body makes her skirt ride up higher, Tom remembers what had been his plan today.

Leaning over, he nuzzles her hair softly before taking her arm and draping it over the back of his seat so he can get closer and lean against it. She makes a content little sound, and after a moment, her head drops to his shoulder. It’s dark enough for them not to fear discovery.

Tom switches his popcorn to the other hand and rests his free hand on her knee. Thalia shoots him a glance but focuses on the shouting Roman general again when he simply keeps it in place.

He waits until she’s so immersed in the play that he will catch her off guard. Slowly, he lets his hand wander higher until he slinks it beneath the hem of her skirt and runs his nails over the inside of her thigh.

Thalia’s legs close, effectively trapping his hand between them.

“What are you doing?” she hisses out of the corner of a mouth, staring determinedly ahead.

The light is too low, but he bets she’s blushing.

“I think I’ve had enough popcorn. I’m hungry for a different kind of treat,” he murmurs, keeping his voice low and letting it drop to the deeper register that always works wonders with her.

He feels her shiver. When he wiggles his fingers against her skin, her legs open ever so slightly. It gives him enough room to slide his hand higher until his fingertips are brushing the crease where skin meets panties.

“Are you up for some naughty shenanigans, Miss Bareo?” he asks, leaning close enough to her ear that his breath fans warmly over her.

He sees her grip tighten on her popcorn bag before she draws in a deep breath.

“What kind of shenanigans did you have in mind, Professor Hiddleston?” she asks back in the same low tone.

“Let me surprise you, darling.”

A few seconds tick by, making him wonder again why she’s not as responsive to him today. But then she nods, and he licks his lips in anticipation.

“We’re in the last row, remember. Nobody can see us. And everyone’s either too busy making out or watching the play to notice anything out of order.  And you remember our safe word?”  Sexual encounters in a public place aren’t for everyone, and he wants her to know she has an out if she chooses.

She nods again.

“Are you a good girl, Thalia?” His voice is even lower and deeper now.

“Yes…sir.”

God, she remembered that. Tom feels himself grow harder and adjusts his position surreptitiously.

“Then you deserve a treat. Spread your legs wider, love.”

Thalia complies, her gaze never leaving the screen. He can hear her breath come a little faster.

Bending his wrist a bit, he runs his fingers softly over the front of her panties, stroking rhythmically without touching high enough to brush her clit. After a few strokes, the fabric goes damp.

Her popcorn bag wobbles in her now unsteady grip, so she sets it down in the seat next to her and puts her empty hand into her lap. It clenches into a fist when he moves his fingers higher and adds some pressure, rubbing over the hidden nub.

In the dim light, he can see her dig her teeth into her lower lip.

“Do you trust me, darling?”

“Yes.” Her voice is husky.

Tom leans closer still, speaking with his lips pressed against the shell of her ear.

“Then be a very good girl for me and take your panties off.”

“What?” It comes out as a mix between a soft shout and a startled squeak. From somewhere, a voice shushes them, and he can feel her muscles grow tense.

Tutting softly, he gives her clothed clit a pinch that makes her jerk and suck in her breath. Her eyes are on him now, wide and dark.

“Take them off. Now. And I’ll reward you.”

He removes his hand from under her skirt and shrugs out of his coat, draping it strategically over their laps. Moving with deliberate jerkiness, he knocks a chocolate bar down.

“Bend to pick this up and use it as a pretense.”

She holds his gaze for a moment, her breasts heaving with unsteady breaths.

“Hell, Tom, you’re a fucking menace,” she mutters darkly.

“And you love it,” he whispers back with a smirk, his cock twitching when she moves to obey his command.

Wriggling a little under the cover of the coat, Thalia slips her panties down and slowly lifts a foot at a time out of it while grabbing the wrapped candy.

“Hand them to me.”

Avoiding his gaze this time, she drops the wadded damp silk fabric into his waiting hand and he pockets it.

They settle down, watching the play for several minutes as if nothing happened.

Tom takes her hand, entwining their fingers and squeezing reassuringly. He can feel her shift, crossing and uncrossing her legs and fully aware of going commando in a movie theater.

“Have you ever had a quickie, Thalia?” he asks, taking care to keep his voice as low as possible. He brushes his leg against hers. “Some forbidden little tryst in the restroom or up against the wall in a dark corner?”

She sucks in another breath. “No.”

“Wrong answer. You should say ‘no, not yet’. How about I introduce you to the thrill of that one day?”

Her grip on his hand tightens like a vice.

“Would you like that? To let me pull you to a semi-secluded place and grind against you, plunging my tongue into your mouth and my fingers into your sopping cunt? Would you wrap your legs around me and let me take you so hard and fast you see stars? Make you feel so good that you’ve never wanted to scream more in your life but know you can’t? Would you let me fuck you so mercilessly that I’ll have to clamp my hand over your mouth and let you bite my fingers so nobody can hear you when you come all over my cock?”

He hears her mutter expletives in Spanish and English and can’t hold back a devilish smirk, although he’s enjoying this so much that his trousers are way too tight now.

“Does the thought of it make you wet?” he taunts softly. “Shall we verify that, love?”

Tom moves their joined hands beneath the coat and her skirt, brushing over the inside of her trembling thigh and inexorably closer to the Promised Land.

He touches her slick folds, their tangled fingers stroking and spreading the proof of her arousal. Biting back a groan of his own, he listens to her needy, soft whine. After a minute of stroking, her hips rise, her breath a harsh pant that only he is close enough to hear.

“More, darling? Want me to make you come right here and right now?”

“Fff…. god yes. I hate you for this, but… yes. Make me come. Please, Tom.”

“As you wish, darling.”

He tugs free of her grasp and moves her hand to her own thigh. “Dig your fingers in and hold on for the ride.”

Tom leans over her on the pretense of adjusting his coat over her, and it allows him more flexibility. At the same time when he slides two fingers into her soaking heat, he bends to capture her lips in a kiss.

He knows they’re not the only couple kissing at the moment, but nobody will be the wiser that he does it to swallow up the moans now rising from deep in her chest.

Without further teasing, he crooks his fingers up inside her to rub over the spot that will trigger her release. He rubs his thumb over her swollen nub and glides his tongue into her mouth, dancing with hers as she gasps, freezes and then clamps rhythmically around him.

While stifling her whimper and his own, he slows his movements to bring her down from her high.

Once she has stopped convulsing around him, he pulls out and settles somewhat painfully in his seat, his erection straining to have some fun too. He waits until she focuses hazily on him before he brings the slick digits to his mouth and licks them clean.

“Definitely tastier than the sweets they sell here,” he growls before stealing another breathless kiss from her.

Thalia slumps in her seat, so dazed she doesn’t even ask for her panties back.

“I think you’ve ruined Shakespeare for me,” she says amidst soft pants, and he can hear the reluctant grin in her husky voice. “I’ll never be able to talk about Coriolanus again without remembering this.”

“Likewise, darling,” he admits with a chuckle.  “And I have to present it once a semester in class.”

She catches him totally by surprise when her hand slides over his bulge and squeezes gently.

“Let me help you too?”

Tom presses her hand down, forcing himself not to buck into the more than welcome warmth so close to where he’s dying for her.

“Not here, darling. I need to be inside you, and I haven’t made you come nearly enough yet.”

He laces his fingers with hers, keeping their hands on his lap but out of the danger zone, not entirely sure that he’ll be able to control the monster he’s unleashed. Since Chicago, she’s a little more forward, more daring, and he loves it, but it also fills him with the weirdest wistful ache deep inside. For she isn’t his, as much as he wants to convince himself otherwise.  She’s like a wild creature who needs freedom, who shouldn’t be tamed, but could stand a little training.  As much as he wants her to himself, he reminds himself to be realistic. He can’t keep her forever.

That thought sits with him, a lump in his chest, and he can’t focus on the film before him, although the portrayal is amazing work. The rest of the play goes by in a blur, neither of them paying full attention or finishing the snacks, although his throat is parched with longing and he could guzzle two bottles of water right about now.

Tom rises as soon as the credits start rolling, tugging her out with him before people might take notice of who had occupied the last row.

They dump their stuff on a bench in the lobby and juggle their clothes, Tom taking it upon himself to wrap her in the never-ending loop of her scarf and nuzzling the softer than soft material that smells of her.

“Where would you like to go now?” he asks her. “I could rent us another hotel room and order take-away or room service?”

Something shifts in her face, which is still slightly flushed. She looks away for a moment and takes a deep breath.

They’re in a corner towards the back, alone for the moment. After checking left and right, Thalia takes his face in her hands. It’s an odd gesture, the tenderness of it jolting through him.

“Will…will you be mad if I decline?” she asks, her voice a little uncertain.

Tom feels something heavy settle on his chest and sinking lower into his gut.

There it is again, a small sign that something is off today.

He’d love to know why she’s reacting like this, but he knows it’s none of his business unless she wants to share it with him. So, he forces a smile onto his face, happy when it brings the spark back into her beautiful eyes.

“I have no right to be mad at you, Thalia,” he says. “Please don’t ever think you’re in any way obliged to spend time with me.”

She nods once, letting go of his face. He wants her hands back there, where they feel as if they belong. He wants her in his arms, in his bed, goddammit.

“Tom,” at the sound of his name he knows their little game is over for today.  “Don’t be that way. I love being with you, but I’m…tired. And I didn’t get much studying done this afternoon, because I was getting ready to see you.  This was a nice surprise for our ‘day off,’ but can we just go grab a quick cup of coffee? Maybe sit and talk for a bit? I’d really like that.”

Tom feels himself nodding like a loon, hears himself speak in a tone that grates on his nerves because the cheerfulness is all fake. “Sure, totally fine with me. There’s a great little bakery just around the corner?”

Her hand gently runs across the stubble on his chin as she teases, “You always know the best places to eat!”

He feigns a chuckle, and something in her expression tells him she’s seeing right through the farce.

Shit, he didn’t think it would be so difficult to face rejection from her. Not so soon, not like this when they’ve barely explored all the magnificent possibilities, but he feels like she’s leaving him behind.  Like something is weighing heavy on her beautiful mind.

Then again, he’s probably taking this far too seriously. Everyone has a bad day once in awhile. He shouldn’t read anything into this.

Pulling himself together, he leans in and kisses her on both cheeks, lips lingering a tad too close to her mouth.

“And I’ll share them all with you, love,” he says quietly, trying to mask the sinking feeling in his stomach. Buoyed when she links her arm around his, she pushes them out the door and onto the deserted sidewalk.

“Come on, Professor. Although I quite enjoyed the reasoning behind your clothing request, I’m freezing now. Let’s go!”

Click here to read Chapter 20 Disclosure

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

Changes

ET ch 18 may 3 2017.jpg

Educating Thalia

Chapter 18

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom & @devikafernando

AU FICTION

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.

Word count: 2173

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, fluffy, angst, parenting, aftermath of divorce

Summary: Chris deals with the demons from his past and puts his foot down. It’s time to make some changes and move forward.

Click here to the introduction of Educating Thalia

Sitting in the driveway, he waits to see if she’ll answer the text.  He meant it when he typed if she didn’t answer by three pm, he’d knock on the front door.  She still has about twelve minutes to respond.

Leaning his head back, he admires the small craftsman cottage in the peaceful neighborhood. The dream house.  Thinking over bittersweet memories, he remembers painstakingly putting in the rose bushes and placing the pavers just so to create the winding walkway.  Looking at his lightly calloused hands he realizes he’s forgotten how much he enjoyed ‘doing things’ with his hands.  Creating something to last.

The door opens and she walks out in a tight jeans and a sweater shawl wrap.  Rolling the window down, he simply says.  “You look good.”

She freezes, obviously stunned by his compliment, before approaching the car tentatively.  Chris reaches over and turns down the radio, noticing the monitor in her hands.  “Wanna sit in here with me where it’s warm?” he offers.

“Chris, you can’t just come by unannounced,” she responds pulling the shawl tighter and looking around to see if anyone is watching.

“Maura, you didn’t answer my phone calls and texts.  She’s my daughter.  I get to see her.”  He grips the steering wheel keeping his temper under control.

“You smell like a bar,” she replies.  “Stale cigarette smoke,” she sniffs.

“Yea. Because I was pissed as hell you didn’t let me get Avery last night.  I’ll admit, I got a little drunk. Stayed with a friend.  Totally sober now… What was the excuse this time?” he asks bitterly.

His ex-wife kicks at the tire of the car.  “Avery had a birthday party at Susie’s house; they were swimming and it would have been bed time after so-”

“So?  I could have taken her there and brought her back to my house.  We’ve been to Mark and Patty’s house a million times.  And a birthday party, Maura?  You’d have had that on the calendar for weeks. You couldn’t give me a heads up, and we could have changed dates?”  He turns off the ignition and gets out of the car.

“What are you doing?” she asks, stepping back.

“Don’t act that way, like I’d hurt you, in case the neighbors are watching.  I’m not playing games.  I’m going inside to see my daughter.”  Chris pushes past her and follows the winding path up the snow covered steps.  He waits for her at the door.  “May I enter my house?”

She runs her hand through her short blonde hair and sighs.  “Of course.”  She tilts her head.  “Do you want to take her tonight?  Can you get her to preschool before eleven tomorrow?”

His heart beats wildly.  Not expecting a sudden show of kindness, he simply nods his head and blinks back his tears.

“Don’t try to trick me with your beautiful lashes there, Professor,” she says as she steps into his space and pushes up his glasses to wipe away a tear clinging to the long black hairs.  He holds her wrist and gently pushes it away.

“You don’t get to console me anymore, Maura.  I’ll find someone else for that…”  The image of just the right person for that flits across his mind, tanned skin and curves, challenging brain and sweetest laugh…  Crossing over the threshold the smell of fresh paint assaults his nose and he cringes.  “You never liked the beige color, did you?” he scoffs.

Shaking her head, she laughs quietly.  “No, I didn’t; the dining room is now the buttercup yellow I always wanted.” Hanging her sweater up, Maura points to the stairs.  “She’s in her room, probably just waking up from her nap.  Just throw some clothes in her back pack; whatever you’ll need for your place.”

She tries to push her body to him again but he ignores her advance and takes the stairs two at a time to reach his little Avery faster.  Quietly entering her room, he watches her sitting in her big girl bed whispering to her dolls and their dog, Tramp.  Her jumbled words don’t make sense to him and again the tears fill his eyes and he sniffs.  Turning around at the sound, she bounces gleefully and claps her hands.  “Oh, Poppa!  Is ‘at really you, or am I dreamin’?”

Chris rushes to her bedside and drops to his knees, wrapping his big strong arms around his favorite little package.  “No, Bug, it’s real.  Poppa’s here.  Momma says you can come stay with me tonight.  Would you like that?”

“Oh yes! Yes, please!” she covers his face with tiny kisses and his face stings from the salty tears of happiness.  “Don’t cry, Poppa, you’ll get my fav’rite shirt wet.”

Maura’s voice sounds from the door.  “She wears it all the time.  Refuses to take it off, Poppa.  You’re gonna have to buy more just so she has one to wear when I have to wash the other.”

Chris looks over his shoulder and smiles to his ex, while she starts gathering a few things to put in an overnight bag.  Pulling back from his little one, he looks at her shirt and laughs as he reads, ‘Daddy’s Favorite Girl” on the front with a kitten wearing a crown.  “I can do that, no problem, Bug.”  She jumps off the bed and lands in his outstretched arms and the dog hops down too, barking and wagging his tail.  “Poppa, Tramp misses you too. Can he come?”

The battle over keeping Tramp had been almost as tiring as deciding the best residency for Avery.  And neither are still fully worked out.  Tramp was their first child, the stray they adopted shortly after they bought the house, long before they even thought of having children.  Chris looks to the pretty blonde hopefully, but the words choke in his throat.

“Fine, you can take the dog too.  He actually goes to the groomer tomorrow.  Can you get him there by noon?”  she smiles.

“I’ll just be your taxi service tomorrow, getting everyone where they need to be,” Chris replies, standing up with Avery still in his arms.  Balancing her on his hip, he reaches down for her favorite doll and blanket, making sure those are along for the evening as well.  Eyeing a sparkly dress in her closet he tells Maura to pack that also.  “I’m taking my girl out for dinner.  We’re gonna dress up fancy.  What do you say to that, Bug?”

“Oh, Poppa!  You’ll be so handsome; I wike it!”  The little girl giggles and blows a raspberry against her father’s cheek, giggling louder when his beard tickles her lips.

Maura leads the way out to the hall, the overnight bag in one hand, and another bag in the other.  “Here’s some more clothes and things I’d already packed for you to keep at your place.  She needs to feel comfortable there too, Chris.”

Chris rolls his eyes.  “She does Maura; she’d even feel more that way if you’d let her stay over on a regular basis, like the court papers say.”

She purses her lips together.  “We go back to the mediator early next month.  Maybe we can get it all figured out by then.  It’s just I worry that-”

Setting her down to the ground, Chris leans down to tell Avery, “Hey, run on downstairs and get some cans of food for Tramp, his leash and put your boots on.  I need to talk to Momma for a few minutes.”

The little girl looks expectantly at her mother, who shakes her head in agreement and the little girl and dog slowly take off down the stairs, grasping the rail tightly in her tiny hands.  As soon as she’s out of earshot, Chris hisses to his ex, “You worry what? I’ll have a string of women in my condo?  Maura, you know that’s not true.  I know why you didn’t want me going to the party for Susie’s birthday yesterday.  You didn’t want me to fuckin’ kill Mark or spill your little secret to Patty- “ The angered man ignores the shock on her face.  “Yeah, I know about that affair too, not just the trainer at the gym… And you forget I work with your friend Brianna, and I know you’ve had three other ‘boyfriends’ since the divorce was final.  You fucked up our marriage.  And instead of respecting me enough to ask out, you decided to screw it into the ground.  One date, Maura.  I’ve had one date in nearly eighteen months as I watched my marriage fall apart and I try to rebuild my life.”

“Chris, I-”

Moving down the stairs, he looks over her shoulder at her stricken face.  “No.  I’m not playing games anymore.  I pay the child support, I pay what you need, but I’m not gonna sit back and let you keep me from Avery.  Or the dog, for that matter.”

“I still love you.”  Her pink lips form a pout he once found beguiling but now it just turns his stomach.

“Well you had a fucked up way of showing it, then didn’t you?” he spits out.  His face red with anger, his hands ball into fists at his sides as she descends the stairs and reaches out to him.  He steps back.  “Stay away, Maura.  Your cute little body can’t fix this.  Share it with someone else.”

The little blonde curls bounce around the corner with three cans of food for Tramp in her hands and he hides away his anger as quickly as it grew.  Opening the coat closet, he pulls down Avery’s puffy purple and blue coat and her warm fuzzy hat while she plops on the floor at his feet to pull on her boots.  Spying an empty store bag, he takes shoes for school the next day and her silver sequined shoes to go with her dress for dinner.  “Avery!  Did you steal these from Cinderella?”

She giggles. “No, silly Poppa!  They went with my dress for Christmas.  Momma got them for me.  It’s not nice to take things that aren’t yours.”

“Hear that Maura.  Even the five year old gets it…”  He zips up the toddler’s coat, seeing the blush of embarrassment rush over his adulterous ex-wife’s face.

Standing back up, he tugs his coat back into place.  “Are my boxes still out in the garage?” he asks.  She nods.  “I’ll get a moving truck later this week.  Be back to get them.  Sorry it’s taken so long.  But I think this little show, and something a friend recently said to me, makes me realize it’s time to move on, but keep doing the right thing.  Can I go out there? There’s one or two things I want now.”

“Sure.  You know the code.  I haven’t changed it.  Just come get the stuff whenever.”  She sighs, wrapping the sweater shawl around her shoulders again.  “Maybe when you come get Avery Wednesday night, like every week?  I’ll move her to a different dance class.”

“Yes, you do that.  Wednesdays are mine until we meet with the mediator,” he nods.  He knows he’ll get more time then, and things will be better balanced.

“I’ll get her in her car seat while you’re in the garage.”  She takes the little girl by the hand and the faithful dog follows them out into the cold.

Chris quickly finds the boxes he wants and takes them to the car.  Making sure Avery and Tramp are settled in, he walks back around to Maura.  “I want us to be friends.  For her sake.  And because I’ve loved you longer than I’ve hated you.  That hate doesn’t do me any good.  It just makes me old and bitter before my time.  You destroyed me once.  If you ever really loved me, stop all this.  Focus on her first.  But I’m a good dad, and you know it.”

He hugs her lightly and gets in the warm car, backing out of the drive and away from his old life, finally ready to make some changes.

#

A few hours later, as the sun begins to set, he’s on his way to dinner with Avery.  He’s promised to take her to their favorite Italian restaurant, dressed to the nines, but he can’t help himself.  Driving several miles out of the way, he drives down Thalia’s street, absently smiling to himself.   Avery is singing along to the CD he plays and he watches Tina shuffle down the street, a bag in her hand.  He slows when the door to her building opens and by pure coincidence, the latina beauty steps out in her signature skirt and cowboy boots, her hair a wild mess of curls, a pink scarf wrapped around her neck.  She walks to a little junker car and bounces on her heels as she unlocks the door.  Turning his head so she can’t see him, it kinda tugs at him that he’s elated to see she’s not all dressed up for what he’s pretty sure is a date with the other man.

Click to Chapter 19 Night at the Movies

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