It’s TRUE! @devikafernando and @avenger-nerd-mom are posting a SEQUEL for Educating Thalia, involving Professor Hiddleston and Professor Evans! In Being Thalia, the two rivals are still vying for their right to claim the lovely Thalia Bareo. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago is all grown up now, holding down a job, continuing her studies and freelancing as a consultant for museums around the world. Story updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.
Summary: Settling into a new, permanent role at the University, Thalia makes new friends and discovers her office comes with a nice view.
Word count: 2382
If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.
If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia
Images found on Pinterest
“Why are old lovers able to become friends? Two reasons:
They never truly loved each other, or they love each other still.”
Whitney Otto- How to Make an American Quilt
2018, Fall Semester
With the announcement after Fall mid-terms that Lin-Hu would not be returning from her maternity leave, the University offered Thalia a teaching position for the Spring semester, with classes in languages and history. She was given the former teacher’s office, larger than the closet sized cubicle she had been sharing with two grad students. Elated to have a permanent space in the history department to call home, she was having fun buying furniture and decorating, and getting ready to go home for the holidays.
“Stacey, if I’m gonna get outta here at a decent hour tonight, I need to get off the phone, and get more of these boxes unpacked,” she says, pushing up from where she had been sitting on the floor, sorting through a stack of books.
“Ok, mija, just let us know when you finalize your flight plans,” the quiet, motherly voice says over the phone. “You’re father is so excited, he’s already planning to pick you up at the airport and take you straight to Portillo’s.”
She laughs. “Papá does realize I won’t be home for, like, another six weeks, right? I can’t make it home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
“I know, I keep telling him,” her voice drops. “Will you be joining Chris and his daughter for Thanksgiving?”
Thalia pinches her lips to hold in the sigh threatening to burst out. “Probably not. I think I’ll join some of the foreign exchange students and help them serve dinner at the shelter.”
Stacey is silent for a moment. “Thalia, are you okay, sweetheart?”
Tears sting at her eyes and she blinks them away just as quickly. “I will be. I’m getting there.” Thalia chuckles looking at the messy room and boxes still waiting to be unpacked. “I really gotta go. If I’m not home by dark, my landlord will start to wonder why I even bother paying rent if I’m never home.”
“You are never home! Isn’t that why you keep all your favorite things in your work space?”
“You know me too well, Mamá,” she replies.
She and her step-mother exchange goodbyes. Turning the radio up, she steps back and visualizes the plan for the empty shelves. A student stops by with questions about an essay assignment, and before she knows it, it’s almost time to call it a day. “One more shelf,” she says to nobody but herself.
Bent over an open box, Thalia reaches in, pulling out a few more things to add to the balance of travel knickknacks and books on the wooden shelving. She chuckles at the low whistle she hears, and the whispered, “Nice ass.” She licks her lip but pays no mind to the man across the hall. Still got it, she thinks to herself.
Humming along to the Latin music she plays, she tries not to dance to the beat, knowing he’s still watching her. He probably doesn’t even know he said it out loud, she muses, having seen him already slam his hand in the desk drawer accidentally and forever jamming up the copy machine. The pretty boy from Aussie is a bit flaky, a bit too blond for her tastes.
Reaching up on the shelf, she wobbles on her heels and huffs in frustration.
“I can help with that?” he asks, much closer now.
Sure enough, he’s standing in her doorway, his arm stretched up, resting on the moulding above the door frame. She does her best not to respond on animal instinct, her mouth involuntarily watering at the sight of him. Taking in the sculpted abs under the tight sweater and the tat on his inner arm, she feels her cheeks flame, hoping her blush isn’t visible. It would have been almost comical if his shirt had lifted to show what she was sure to be a very happy treasure trail. She shakes her head, and laughs him off.
“Hemsworth, right? No thanks. I know how professors like you work.” She snags her toe around the leg of a small footstool and pulls it closer. “Stretching up to reach things on high bookshelves, or door jams,” she rolls her eyes, puckering her lips in accusation when he drops his arm, “to ‘innocently’ catch a girl’s eye? Not interested.”
Sirens buzz in her head, telling her to stay away and keep focused. Sneering at him when he plops down in her new leather chair, she steps up on the higher plateau, arranging the books as she envisioned. “Hand me those photos,” she says to him. “If I can’t get rid of you, you might as well be useful.”
“I can be useful in a lot of ways,” he pronounces slowly, winking at her. Shuffling through the frames on her desk, he comments. “Nice collection. Paris. London. New York. Disney? Quite well traveled…” He hands up the photos, smiling. “So are the rumors true?”
Thalia tilts her head, looking down on him. Her tongue runs over her teeth, and she makes a clucking sound. “Is that why you keep sniffing around?”
They’ve chatted before, occasionally sharing a lunch in the staff workroom, but she’s kept herself distant and guarded. No actions that could be viewed as anything more than professional courtesies.
“No, actually.” He leans forward, looking at the stack of papers on her desk, reaching for another photo frame. “Your parents?” She nods, giving no indication she wants to talk. “Nice family… You’re always such a nice woman,” he shrugs. “You have an easy laughter, you always smell like flowers, and the lunches you heat up every day always make my mouth water.” He stretches out in her chair, digging his heel into the rug and spinning slowly from left to right. “We’re neighbors now. I simply wanna get to know you.” He crosses his arms over his tight belly and twiddles his thumbs, the silver rings on his fingers drawing her eyes to the slight movement. “I don’t care whether or not you fucked your science professor as an undergrad.”
“Hmm,” she hums,, lingering over his words and turning back to arrange the photos. She’d heard all the stories, none of them actually hinting at the truth. “I can assure you, I did not have sex with my science professor.”
He quietly assesses her. “I’d like to spend time with you, figure out what that amazing scent is that you always carry. Can I take you to dinner?”
Holy hell. He is hitting on me. “What? Why me?”
“I miss home.” He reaches for a pencil, tapping it against the edge of the desk. She looks down at him, skepticism written all over her face. “I’m tired of all the skinny, plastic girls, the ones that only want to talk makeup and reality TV stars. I like a woman with a little more…” His eyes stroke over her figure, undressing her in a way she hasn’t felt in ages. A small butterfly flaps its wings deep in her belly. “Charm and intelligence.”
“What a flattering way to word that,” she chuckles, running her hand over her hip and slapping her thigh.
His laughter explodes, warm and infectious. “Someone to throw over my shoulder,” He says, rising from the chair to aid her as she steps down.
“Nice shoulders,” she compliments, giving his strapping deltoid a tight squeeze. “Too blond for me, pal.” She laughs and winks. Spinning on the step stool to properly stand down, her feet tangle and she topples from the height. With quick reflexes, the handsome professor catches her in a basket hold and her arm grips around his shoulder. She gasps, the wind sucked out of her. “Nice shoulders,” she repeats as he gently sets her to the ground, holding her as close as he can without being too forward. His eyes dart down quickly for a peek at what her tight t-shirt reveals before taking a step back, gallantly blushing.
“Too blond, huh?” He laughs, running his hands through his hair. “Sure I can’t change your mind?”
His Aussie accent jumbles her brain, slightly drawled, very relaxed. Accents are my kink. She tries to hide her blush at the thought, shaking her head. “Chris, that’s really sweet, but I’m still getting over a relationship. I’m really not…not myself just yet. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone,” she explains, letting him down easy and ushering him to the hall. Her heart thumps against her chest as a familiar plaid shirt rounds the corner at the end of the hallway, disappearing from view.
Hemsworth squeezes her forearm. “Sorry to hear that, darl. But I am somewhat lonely for company.” He tilts his head and his bright white smile beams down at her- “Jesus, you’re tall!” she mutters and he chuckles softly. “I promise I won’t bite, so the offer for dinner still stands, any time.”
“Thanks, I appreciate that,” she mumbles stepping back into her office. Placing her hand on the door, she laughs. “I know you’re still gonna sit at your desk and watch my ass, so I’m just gonna close the door.”
She waves the tips of her fingers and places a divide between them. Sinking back against the door, she hits her head against the solid wood. “How many professors you need in that collection, Chica?” she scoffs before pushing off the surface. Grabbing her purse from the bottom drawer, she reaches across the desk to turn off the lamp. Lifting a stuffed file, she tucks it under her arm, exiting the room quickly and locking the door behind her.
Thalia jogs down the hall, slowing before reaching the doorway to the staff workroom. Entering the shared space, she acts surprised to see Professor Evans leaning against the counter, eating a bowl of cereal. “Hey,” she says, nonchalantly, opening the fridge for a chilled bottle of water and her lunch bag. With her other hand, she waves the folder to him. “I finished the research. Wanna go get a table downstairs, spread it out and work on it?”
He chuckles at her word choice and she slams the folder against his chest. “Childish fucker,” she laughs, shaking her head.
“I didn’t say anything,” Chris laughs, turning on the water to wash out his bowl. “Can’t do it tonight, I’ve got to get Avery after dance.” He shakes off the excess water and lays the bowl in the drainboard to dry. “So… You and the Ken doll?”
She didn’t miss the jealous tone in his teasing words and her Latina blood starts to simmer. “Shit, I knew it. Are you fuckin’ spying on me? We said we were gonna live our lives separately. You have no right to-”
“Another professor though? Norse mythology? Really? Even the British arse would laugh at that. Maybe I should give him a call, let him lecture you about the pitfalls of dating professors. You always seemed to listen to him more than-”
Her eyes blaze as she cuts him off. “He wouldn’t fuckin’ care. His opinion has no basis on anything I do anymore and I couldn’t-” Her strength wilts in an instant and her eyes well with tears. “Fuck off, Evans,” she sputters, storming from the room.
She doesn’t turn when he calls after her and she tries to hold back her crying. He catches up quickly and reaches for the strap on her bag, stopping her. “I’m sorry, Thal, I didn’t know.” She angrily pushes away the tears, her arm caught between them as he wraps her in a hug. “He still didn’t call? Damn, I figured you’d patched things up by now.”
Thalia swallows hard, trying not to choke on her words. “Doesn’t fuckin’ matter. I just… I’m tired. I need a new life, to forget everything-”
“-But that guy? He’s… I don’t know? He doesn’t seem like your type at all, other than being a professor.”
She pushes away from his grasp. “Thanks for trying to cheer me up, but eat shit, Evans. You don’t have any say in my life now either.”
Rushing down the stairs, she gasps for breaths, trying to quell her battered heart. Working on a friendship with an ex-lover is just too damn tough, he always thinks he can have a say in what I do. I’ll damn well do what I want, she thinks, sighing heavily. Leaving the back stairwell, she pushes out onto the sidewalk in the late fall sunshine. I’m done letting them control my life, as if they still own me. I’m my own person, dammit!
Walking to her car, she tucks her water bottle under her arm as she roots through her purse for her keys.
“Side pocket,” a voice calls out.
She spins around, to see Hemsworth straddling a motorcycle, pointing to her. She reaches for her coat pocket, and sure enough, the lanyard is hanging out, her keys tucked safely inside. “Nice ride,” she says, holding up her keys as a silent ‘thanks.’
“Wanna take a spin?” He tilts his head. “You look like you need to escape. You all right?”
Pursing her lips, she shakes her head no. Swallowing hard, she pushes back her fears. “Sounds good actually. You still up for dinner? Drowning myself in pasta sounds good right about now.”
“Put your bag in the car, and tie up that wild mane of yours.”
She does as she’s told and jogs back quickly to his set up. Hemsworth has opened a storage compartment and pulled out a second helmet. Handing it to her, he asks, “Ridden before?”
“Been a while, but I think I can remember.” She takes the helmet and pushes back fly away hairs from her face.
“Hold tight and lean when I lean; squeeze with your knees.”
“Got it,” she says, putting on the helmet and watching him lift his thick thigh over the seat of the bike. Pulling the protective gear over her head, she climbs behind him, sliding forward on the worn leather seat and wrapping her arms around his fit waist. She can feel his tight abs under his soft sweater and a decidedly masculine scent fills her nose.
As they pull out of the parking lot, the side door opens again and Professor Evans exits the building. She lets go and gives a little wave as they literally ride off into the sunset.
Click here for Chapter 3, Attraction
Copyright © 2019 avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom