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: 1424
Warnings: Language, Adult Situations, anger, jealousy
Summary: After leaving Tom’s office, Thalia faces Chris.
Click here for intro to Educating Thalia
Marching down the hallway, Thalia ignores when Professor Kent calls out her name from the faculty lounge as she passes by. Jesus fuckin’ Christ. She’s already got two staff members falling at her feet, she doesn’t need another one. Her excited high from finding out about Paris is slowly being replaced with a headache as she runs up the back stairway to the next floor. She knows it’s her fault, but Chris takes some of the blame for this explosion. Opening the door, she feigns an air of professionalism as she enters the wing established for the History Department. Students and professors are milling about, finishing up meetings and waiting for the next class sessions to begin.
Eying Chris at the end of the hall, she makes her way to him, her heart pounding in anger with each step. She can’t mistake the swollen lip or the spot of dried blood on his shirt collar. Jesus, did the men actually come to blows about it? He spies her and enters his office, trying to shut her out, but she gets her foot in the door before he can close it.
“Leave, Thalia. I’m not in the mood.” His voice drips with venom as he crosses the small room, plopping down on the couch. Thalia realizes he’s clutching an ice pack in his large hand, holding it tenderly to his jaw. She’s torn between caring for him or raining down hellfire.
Her anger wins.
“What the fuck did you do?” she seethes, her husky tone low to avoid traveling through thin walls. “What gave you the right to open your damn mouth?”
The sassy Latina wants to throw something; to hit him- and he sits in silence, but she can see his anger raging too.
A heated flash of hate sex floats in her mind. She shifts her weight from foot to foot to alleviate the ache between her legs.
Leaning forward, he rests his elbows on his knees, the blood pulsing through the veins in his neck. Hot as fuck. His dilated pupils tell her he’s thinking the same thing and debating his next step.
“I know what you’re doing… I told you to get out. I don’t wanna do this. You had your fun, and I don’t want to be a pawn in this sick little game any more.” He adjusts the legs of his tight jeans and his hard on is obvious. His words might be what his brain thinks but his body is telling her something else.
“Fuck that, Chris. We started as a one night stand. A quick lay from a night in the bar; that’s what you were looking for right? Someone to ease your pain? I was fuckable; no one else was around. I told you I was with someone else; but you stuck around. You got what you wanted, when you wanted it. You’re just pissed because of who it is.” She scoffs. “You had to have known it wasn’t some college boy teaching me those tricks. You benefited from it, so what the fuck is your problem?” Her tone slices coldly through the air. She bites back the bile in her throat at thinking of herself or their relationship in that way.
“I just can’t. Thalia, you know… you know I wasn’t just looking for a quick fuck every now and then.. It just… It sickens me to think you were down there, practically right below where I sit now, fucking him on his desk,” his words are fire and wound her. “That’s the part that pisses me off, you being his fuck toy and-”
“Chris, it’s not like-”
Slamming his fist down on the table he lifts his eyes to her. “The hell it isn’t! It is…. The bruises? Your insecurities? It makes me sick. I just wanna go to the dean and report his shit and-”
His anger takes hold as he jumps up from his seated position. Instead of moving back like she had with Tom she steps forward. She’s not afraid of his fury, his passion. She wants to feed off it…
In her heels, she’s right at his eye level and she can feel the heat rolling off him. Blood boils and a thrill of rage snakes through her stomach. “Fuck that. That’s bullshit and we both know it. That would take all three of us down and ruin all chances of any of us working in academia ever again. Say it, Chris. Say what really fucking has you pissed.”
She knows. She needs to hear it. Wants to hear it.
“You fucked him; you were fucking him the whole time we were building… something together. I don’t know what? I never thought I’d fucking fall in- No. Out. Get out.” Grabbing her by the left arm, he pulls her to the door. But not before she saw it all written on his beautifully chiseled face.
When she jerks away from him, his voice rises in outrage. “Oh, so he’s allowed to grab you, throw you around a little and leave bruises, but I can’t?”
“You asshole… That’s not it, that’s not how it happens any more than how you leave bruises on my hips.” Tugging on her hair in frustration her fingers tangle in the curls, and she growls. “Dammit, you’re being a dick. You didn’t even give me the chance to tell him. Instead you went charging in like… like a meatball frat boy.” She tips her chin, using it to point at the blood on his shirt collar. “Who threw the first punch?”
“Fucker, hit harder than I thought he would.” He rubs his jaw, flinching at the pain. “Fighting for your honor, I suppose. But really, you’ve been pretty open with me, I guess I kinda assumed he knew, so on that point, and that point only, I’ll apologize. Yea, it was a shitty thing to do. I’m sorry.”
She purses her lips together. “And just exactly where did this display of testosterone take place?”
He rolls his eyes. “Down in line to check out books.” His tone drops, a tinge of embarrassment in the words.
“Oh, Jesus, Chris! How fuckin’ stupid? In front of students? Faculty? You’re a selfish ass, you know that? You didn’t even give me a chance… And now? Now?” Her voice raises, shaking her head in disgust. “I feel like I don’t even know who you are. I didn’t expect you to get all territorial. I know you’re mad, but you should have talked to me. I deserved that much. I’m a little fuckin’ pissed at you right now too, and -”
“Go.” Opening the door, he gives her a little shove, depositing her into the hallway. “Go before we both say things we don’t mean. Maybe I’ll feel different when I calm down, but right now I just need space.”
He shuts the door on her, leaving her to stare at it in disbelief.
Love. He was going to say love.
And the daily question returns to twist in her brain: what the hell am I doing?
Two drinks and she knows it’s time to head home. The headache from her eventful day held on with biting teeth and the alcohol isn’t easing the sting. But she feels numb, just numb enough to crawl into her bed alone. To cry herself to sleep because she knows her sheets smell like Chris’s cologne. The scent seems to linger now, even after washing the bedding so many times. She wonders how Tom never noticed it, but then again, they’d never had sex in her bed. Except for a few recent movie nights, he’d never really spent time in her place.
She readies her keys as she crosses the deserted street. It’s late enough she figures someone else already let Tina inside for the night. Some lights are still on above in one of the neighbor’s apartments, but the older building seems a little rundown in the moonlight. A car passes and honks at her, not that she was really in the way of the traffic. She exhales into the cold night and the smell of booze assaults her nose, causing it to scrunch up. Running her tongue over her teeth she decides the first task when entering her apartment will be to brush her teeth.
Opening the door she walks into the lit stairwell. She stops to check her mailbox, not paying attention to the door closing behind her. She thinks about her yellow toothbrush in the cabinet. Next to the blue one Chris uses.
She jumps when the slurred voice behind her issues his greeting. “Hey, sweetheart. Got some love for me?”
Click here to read Chapter 39 Emergency
WARNING- THE NEXT CHAPTER COULD FEATURE DETAILS THAT ARE TRIGGERING TO SOME INDIVIDUALS. IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS BEFORE READING THE CHAPTER, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHORS
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