Digging into the Past

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Digging into the Past

Being Thalia

Chapter 21

By devikavernando & avenger-nerd-mom

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia 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.

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

Gif created from images found on Pinterest

Word Count: 2252

Summary: After a long day together at the museum, Tom and Thalia each spend time digging up old memories.

Previous Chapter, Museum Musings

September 2021

Unable to convince her to join him for dinner, Tom left Thalia at her office, under the guise that she had daily reports to finish. The late summer air is warm and inviting, so Tom decides to meander the city, lost in his thoughts. Taking off his jacket, he casually drapes it over his arm, clutching it to his side. He takes a deep breath, letting his muscles relax from the long day. Being so near her, but not being able to have her had put a harsh strain on his body, and he’s almost relieved she turned down his offer.

He watches a young family cross the street in front of him, and he feels a pang of… something. He can’t put a name to the feeling. Loss? Guilt? Hope?

Could that be him one day? A father, pushing a stroller while a little one toddles ahead, the mother rushing to keep up. Thalia. Would she even want that? He brushes his hand roughly across his forehead. She’s older now, her early thirties. Does she want to have children? It was something they never discussed, actually.

“You fucker, Hiddleston,” he murmurs aloud, crossing to the other side of the street, watching for traffic. She’d said it the other day, at the park, that she’d only been his sexual partner. On the phone, she’d said she felt he’d taken advantage of her. That was her truth, her view. He’d been such a hard, British arse, keeping his emotions in check, she’d never known he truly loved her, would have given anything for her.

No wonder she sought out Evans, and his affections. Bloody hell, the American had been right all along. Evans allowed her to be a partner, whereas he’d always had an air of instructor about him, guiding her and leading her to new experiences. But she enjoyed it, he has no doubt about that. She’s changed though, and so has he. Their needs are different–but they would still counterbalance each other, he believes.

He remembers seeing Thalia and his former colleague together in Toronto. It had been the last stab to his already broken heart. Evans had stayed in the shadows, only moving forward after her presentation. His hands balling into fists, Tom lets his mind travel back to the day when he realized he’d truly lost his beautiful orchid.

**

After her presentation, he’d finally collected his courage and given himself the push to go and congratulate Thalia, share his unabashed admiration, when the other man appeared seemingly out of nowhere. As if they had both waited for this moment, Thalia stepped to greet him and went willingly into his arms. They hugged for what seemed like eternity, and it made Tom recall the way she would always snuggle into his hold and feel as if she belonged there for all eternity. Well, no more.

Tom remembers actually having made a sound of anguish at the pain that sliced through him, as if someone had taken a blunt knife to his intestines, hacking and sawing away until he could almost feel himself bleed. Rubbing his chest, he’d made himself stare until the two of them were seated next to each other, heads bent close together with a devastating sense of familiarity. This could have been him–should have been him, dammit. But he’d fucked it up. It hurt like hell that she’d moved on, and the worst part was that he knew he’d driven her to this.

Vowing he would let her go, Tom had left before the evening was over, finding his way to the nearest bar to drown his sorrows. It had been ages since he’d last sought out alcohol to make his inner wounds more bearable–in fact, after he’d pushed Thalia away. This one time, he’d allow himself to wallow in guilt and regret. It was just too much to handle, as if a vital organ had stopped functioning at the sight.

A few hours later, after nursing his third whiskey, Tom had tried miserably to pull himself together. Paying and leaving a high tip because he’d been such a foul-tempered guest, he wound his way to the exit on not-so-steady feet. He wasn’t piss drunk but the liquor had indeed dulled some of his hurt. He was still wearing the nice dark blue suit he’d chosen for the occasion, as if she would even care what he looked like. Hah, what a fool he’d been, even wondering what she’d have to say about his beard. During his hours at the bar, he’d removed the suffocating tie and opened a few of the buttons on his white shirt, feeling as if he couldn’t breathe properly.

Running a shaky hand through his now longer, wavy hair, Tom took a few deep breaths of the cool night air and turned into the alley that would–hopefully–take him back to the hotel he’d booked in Toronto. Staring at his feet, the shiny shoes incongruous with how damaged he felt, he walked on.

His head snapped up at the sound of laughter, the one he sometimes still heard in his dreams. What he saw stopped him cold as if he’d slammed against an invisible brick wall. There she was, his Thalia–so very much not his anymore. With him, of course. Professor Evans had his arm slung around her shoulders and they were walking side by side, dressed like a couple out for a drink. Thalia was wrapped in a party dress, even wore heels, making her legs look spectacular. She laughed again at something her companion said, then shook out her riotous curls that Tom had loved to feel between his fingers and on his skin.

It felt like a betrayal somehow, although he knew even in his haze that he had no bloody right to such bitterness, no more claim to stake on her. He swallowed thickly, rooted to the spot. The air grew too dense to breathe when the American leaned even closer and kissed Thalia, backing her against the wall, unaware of passersby and watching eyes. Not waiting to see whether she would kiss him back, and half-afraid they would spot him, Tom turned on his heel and mechanically strode the other way. He could feel tears pricking his eyes, and the metallic tang of blood in his mouth as he’d bitten down too hard on his tongue. The numbing effect of the alcohol had been chased away by a cocktail of crippling emotions.

Fuck. She truly was lost to him. And he had nobody to blame but himself.

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**

Shaking off his melancholy thoughts, he vows to do better. On the sidewalk ahead, he spies the perfect little shop, and enters. As the bell rings overhead, a cheerful voice calls out to him in Spanish. He smiles, and points to the display he wishes to order. He’s well aware that a simple gift won’t make it all better. But he also knows that small gestures can amount to something grander, can in this case be a sign that he’s not giving up on Thalia.

Crossing the room with a few strides of his long legs, he meets the shop clerk at the counter. He asks for paper to include a note with the delivery, and he quickly scribbles his ‘thanks’ to Thalia for a lovely day at the museum, and for teaching him so many things. Tom includes mention that he’d like to see her again before he leaves town at the end of the week. He arranges with the shop clerk for the present to be delivered to her office the next morning.

“Lucky girl,” the older woman murmurs in Spanish, smiling at him as he steadies up the bill.

Is she, though? Or is he the lucky bastard because Thalia hasn’t smacked him upside his idiotic head and told him to leave her the hell alone?

***

Returning to her office, Thalia stiffens when she sees the slim, wrapped gift on her desk.

Taking her glasses off and dropping them on top of her planner, she falls into her chair, praying, “Dear Lord, don’t let it be jewelry.” She kicks off her shoes and reaches with pointed toe for the foam roller she keeps under her desk. Rolling her feet over the top, the strain from the heeled shoes begins to ease. Just like him to think everything can be fixed with a fancy dinner or a gift. Not that tapas are fancy…

“Quit being a bitch, Chica,” she says to no one but herself. “You caused the problem by not communicating well, just as much as he did.”

Her printer whirs to life on the side table, indicating the requisition forms she needs to sign from the morning budget meeting are ready. Work should be her focus, but instead she can only laugh, thinking of the silly stories Tom created from the hieroglyphs they’d read together yesterday.

He makes me laugh… I haven’t laughed with a man since Chris.

I deserve laughter.

Picking up the gift, she reads the store label. Shocked he’d discovered one of her favorite stores, she quickly tears off the paper and lifts the lid from the gift box. Thalia gasps, pulling out a beautiful silk scarf, the colors warm and vibrant.

The way he makes me feel- bright and full of life.

A folded piece of paper falls into her lap, and she lifts it up to read it. A blur, she leans forward to retrieve her glasses. She quickly skims the note, faltering when it says he’ll be leaving soon. She sighs. “Probably better that way. At least we can say we’re friends again,” Thalia mutters to herself.

Standing from her chair, she stretches, looping the scarf around her neck. In the mirror above the credenza, she sees the colors pop against the stark black business shirt she’d chosen that morning. She fiddles with the fabric, placing it just so, adding a haughty flair to her style. Picking up the forms, she returns to her desk and settles in to work.

An hour later, her phone buzzes, causing her to jump. Shit, I forgot to text and thank him.

Sliding her fingertip across the screen, unlocking the keypad, Thalia opens her messages. “Is that all I am now to you? Someone you text when you’re drunk?”

The text is punctuated with a smiley face.

“Shit,” she hisses. “Who did I text?”

She squints at the screen. Chris. “Thank God,” she chuckles, opening the actual message thread, enlarging the fonts.

“Sorry I didn’t answer last night. Avery had soccer, two games on Tuesdays. Ridiculous. BTW,  the team sucks since their best coach moved to Madrid. We miss you.”

“Aw,” she whispers, continuing to read. “Miss you guys too.”

“Honey, I can’t tell you what to do. Be happy. And I’ll deny I ever said this, but he makes you happy. I would know you’re safe and loved-”

“Jesus, what did I say to him?” Thalia scrolls up, but the messages are gone, only some old ones that had been locked for safe keeping. Drunk Thalia deleted the messages. “Just great.”

“-and I wouldn’t worry so much about you. Not that you need my permission or acceptance. For a British asshole, I guess he’s not a bad guy.

Running her fingers over her lips, she nods. Man, that had to be hard for him to say.

She types out a quick reply, thanking him- “You didn’t have to say that but it’s appreciated”– and telling him to give her love to Avery, and that she’d be in touch soon. She doesn’t let him know she didn’t remember texting him last night. After finishing at the office, she’d stopped to see Lucía at work and had a few too many drinks at the bar before Henrí walked them both to their respective apartments. She hoped she didn’t drunk text Tom too.

Lifting her head to a knock on the door, the office assistant reminds her it’s almost time for her two o’clock tour with the group from the US. She waves, saying she’ll be ready in a few minutes.

Her fingers open a memo to Tom, tapping out a thank you. “The scarf is lovely; I’ll get one of the staff to take a photo so I can send it to you. I’d like to see you again before you return to London, but not yet. I need time to think. Apparently three years wasn’t long enough.” She inserts a smiley face emoji, even though she hates them, and is nearly a hundred percent sure he does too. She wanted to soften the words so they wouldn’t read as harsh as they seem. She gulps. “Not that I didn’t think nearly every day what I’d do if you showed back up in my life. I just never expected it to happen. A week ago, if someone had asked me what I wanted, I solidly knew the answer. Now I’m not sure. I’ve grown and changed from the young girl I used to be. I’m not accustomed to feeling unsure. Please continue to give me space. You’ve been very kind and patient, and I respect that.” The secretary knocks again. “I have to give a tour to an American group, but I’ll talk to you again soon. Enjoy the sights in the city!”

Leaving the phone on her desk, not waiting for a reply, she slides into a pair of more sensible shoes, ready to go meet the high school students from Philadelphia.

Click here to read Chapter 22, Beg For It

Copyright © 2019 avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom

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