Beg For It

1552958032644.jpg

Beg For It

Being Thalia

Chapter 22

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

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

Word Count: 4065

Summary: Tom’s past greets him at the door.

*****THIS CHAPTER IS NSFW****

Previous Chapter, Digging into the Past

Two nights later, Tom sulks in his room, attempting to focus on a book he found at the market that afternoon. Hearing the unexpected knock on the door to his room, Tom pulls back the book cover, closing it between the pages and laying it down on the table. The thunder rumbles the sky again as the rain beats against the windows. He murmurs his imminent arrival and runs his fingers through his hair, biting his tongue when he stubs his toe on the edge of the bed. Awkwardly perched in the middle of the room, it’s nearly unavoidable.

           When the knock echoes again, he calls out louder, “On my way!” Scratching his eyebrow in frustration, he looks around the unkempt room. He shrugs, barely opening the door, unprepared to let anyone see his untidiness. He sucks in his breath at her figure, her back to the door, admiring the architectural trimmings in the hall.

She turns when the door opens wider and smiles. “Surprise.”

“Thalia. I wasn’t expecting you-“

“That’s what makes it a surprise, Thomas.” She laughs as she steps forward.

“I just meant… Well you seem…” He stutters, floundering for his words. A thought is just out of reach, something he’s missing…

“The great Tom Hiddleston, at a loss for words?” Thalia teases as she brushes past him, pushing her way into the room, dropping an oversized bag at his feet.

“Well, truth be told, right now, you look like the ghost of an old dream I once had, a wonderful memory.” The coat is shorter, fire engine red, and she’s not in her country boots, but the look of determination is the same. He knows Thalia plans to take what she wants. And he’s ready for it. Desperate for it. His cock begins to stir and he’s thankful for the long shirt-tail hiding the evidence. “A vision of days gone by, of my sweet warrior princess.”

She turns on her heel to face him, like a goddess outlined among the books filing the walls of the room. Thalia ignores his comment. “I’m not surprised you chose this room. It’s almost pedantic. Always the intellect…” She tugs on the belt holding her raincoat tied closed. “I’m not a princess now, Thomas. I’ve worked my way up, earned my title. I’m a professor.”

Thomas. He remembers few occasions when she would call him by his full name, and again his cock twitches.

His eyebrow arches and he understands the stakes as she opens her coat, revealing a vintage polka dot dress. It clings to every curve, dipping low between her ample cleavage and barely covering the tops of her thighs, the lace trim of her hosiery showing, possibly the clip of a garter belt. Sweet and sin, all rolled into one. She lets the coat fall to the floor. He closes his gaping mouth quickly, hoping he doesn’t look like a stunned fish as she spins away, walking towards the shelves. “Stay there.” She commands without looking at him. “I ordered dinner. It’ll be here any moment.”

Watching her wide hips sway hypnotically, his Adam’s apple bobs as he gulps. He’s never wanted to lick the bottom of a woman’s shoes before, but something tells him if she asked tonight, he’d say yes. He’d gladly lick the bottom of those red-soled heels…

The woman before him is no longer the girl he once loved. She’s more exotic, worldly, powerful. She sometimes played at being a domme, but now he wonders where her travels may have taken her, what knowledge she has collected along the way… This woman, he needs to know. He feels it in his lungs, needing her like the air he breathes.

Dismissed, he stands quietly fidgeting with his hands, perching his glasses up higher on his nose to watch as she graces her hands thoughtfully over the spines of the tomes. Many of them are in languages he can’t even pretend to understand. He’d love to discuss them with her, for her to pull a novel, maybe by Cervantes or García Lorca, from the shelf and listen to her Spanish tongue wash the words over him.

When there’s a knock, she doesn’t react, pulling down a book and reading the back. He grins to himself and shuffles to the door. The delivery man in a yellow rain poncho stands with a large silver foiled packet and a tall, thin paper sack in his hands. Tom swings the door open widely and motions for him to put them on the coffee table, in front of the couch.

“The wallet’s in my purse,” she purrs.

Leaving the delivery to be set up, Tom walks back to her bag, picking it up and cringing at the wet puddle underneath. Pulling the handles apart, he looks down inside, thankful he hadn’t blindly reached in and attempted to pull out the wallet. He might have grabbed a vibrator instead. Or a bottle of lube, or one of many other untoward items resting on top of her wallet. He clears his throat, taking out the clutch. The man murmurs the total quietly. Walking to the couch, Tom counts out the Euros, dropping her bag on the modern furniture piece. The delivery man accepts the payment and handsome tip, smiling to Thalia and winking at Tom before exiting quickly.

“Dinner for two?” Tom presents, waving his arm out and drawing her attention to his delivery.

Over her shoulder, disinterested in the food, her shoulder drops and a wicked smile graces her painted red lips. “No clothes. I want you to have dinner with me naked.”

His eyes widen at her request. “But that’s just ridicu-.” Shit. He’d commanded it of her before, on their first true date when he’d pampered her in the hotel, all those years before. She’s not just teasing him, she’s letting him know she hasn’t forgotten a moment of their life together either. Their souls are tied as one. Blushing, he laughs out, soft puffs of air. “Eh, eh, eh.” He shakes his head. “Got me there, love.”

She turns and presses her back against one of the shelf supports, crossing one leg over the other and digging the toe of her heel into the floor. He watches her take a deep breath as she spreads her hands out to her sides, gripping the edges of the shelves. As he slowly unbuttons his wrinkled white shirt, he can’t help his nerves. He’s tried his best to keep in shape, but he’s older now, in his forties. He can’t stop the insecurities flitting through his mind, and his eyes are nearly blinded by shame, as tears well behind them. What if she’d felt that way before? That she wasn’t beautiful enough? She’d been brave, so brave not to hide, to share her voluptuous body with him, with so little coaxing…

A hitch in her breath clears his head and he notices the small, nearly imperceptible wiggle of her legs, crossing over one another. Bloody hell, she’s starting without him. He’d love to call her on it, but tonight she holds the reins. She’s the Professor and he’s simply Thomas. Whoever she needs him to be…

He pulls the shirt off, biting his tongue in frustration when his hand seems to get stuck in the sleeve. It was worth it to watch her crack a smile before her visage hardened again. He quickly unbuttons his pants, pushing them down to his ankles, lifting one foot out and stepping on the fallen leg, pushing the gathered fabric down, to free the other one. In his gray, faded boxer briefs, he’d have been better prepared if he’d known he was going to be the object of a seduction.

Leaning forward from the bookshelf, she nods her approval. Her breasts push forward while she arches her back, resting her ass back in place. Thalia raises her head up. “I can’t reach that book; the one I want. Can you get it for me?”

Holding back, eager to pounce across the room, her voice causes him to ache.

“Which one?”

“The blue leather, with the gold lettering, Romancero Gitano by Federico García Lorca.” He nods. “I’ve actually been looking for older copies, for a study of the Gypsy people, a project for the museum.”

He tilts his head, contemplating dropping to his knees to crawl across the floor to her. Frankly, the idea of the hardwood floors scraping across his old joints stops him. He pulls himself up tall, sucking in his gut a little as he strides towards her. Eyes locked on her face, he doesn’t miss as she visually eats him up, from head to toe, eyes lingering a moment too long on the tattered fabric which barely keeps him covered.

The book in question is directly above her head, and the only way for him to reach it is to stand right in front of her. Even at his tall stature, he can’t reach the edition without lifting onto his tiptoes, brushing his bare chest against her full body. Grasping the tome in his fingers, he slowly pulls it down, pushing his body against hers, whispering, “Oops.”

She runs her tongue over her teeth and smirks.

Stepping back, he can see her quickened breaths, her nipples peaking under the fabric of her sinfully tight dress.

Not knowing, or caring, if she has rules, he speaks out of turn. “You smell wonderful. The smell of orchids always remind me of you.” Retreating another step, he curtsies low and presents the book up to her.

“Thank you, Thomas,” she murmurs quietly, taking the volume from his outstretched hand.

“Will you read to me while we eat?” he inquires submissively.

Thalia dips her head, moving around him to the couch. She perches on the edge of the seat, slowly crossing her legs, allowing Tom a view of her uncovered pussy, already wet and wanting. Thumbing through the book, she ignores the food, chooses a passage and begins reading. Taking his cue, as her manservant for the evening, he walks towards the table, grabbing a pillow from the bed. He tosses it down to the floor before kneeling by the coffee table. He hides his chuckle when he realizes his hard cock rests perfectly on the polished surface, tented under the straining fabric. With a shake of his head, he begins pulling out various containers of foods, labeled in script he can barely read. Identifying the desserts, he leaves those for later, but begins to peel back the covers as Thalia’s lyrical, throaty vocal inflections fill the room. He chuckles at the seemingly American food, the concept reminding him of loaded potatoes. Thalia looks up from her reading, eyeing his personal accessory added to the table and rolling her eyes, a crooked smile gracing her lips.

“Best take out in town, from a little bar called Gandario. They’re tablas; yes, I know they look like potato skins, but there’s thick toasted bread on the bottom.” She points to the tin of what appears to be french fries, loaded with meats and small containers of dip. “Here in Madrid, they’re called patatas, not fries. One is chicken, el pollo, and the other is pork loin, el solomillo. I didn’t know what sauces you might like, so between the two plates, there’s nearly 12 different ones you can try.”

“If it tastes half as wonderful as it smells, I’m sure I’m in for a treat.”

She blushes when his eyes land on the apex of her crossed legs as he speaks and she scoots around on the couch, leaning forward to grab a potato piece with a chunk of chicken before dipping it into a green sauce. “If we were eating in the restaurant, their plates are designed to hold the sauces. If you ordered four, that would determine the size of your plate. If you ordered six, it would have six little dipping wells for the sauces.” He watches as she chews slowly, before licking the cream from her fingers and leaning forward for another piece. “Eat,” she tells him, grabbing a piece of the pork loin. “You’ll need your energy.”

Straightfaced, she resumes her reading as the pair eat with their fingers, delighting in the sinfully good foods. Spellbound, he listens to her words, the poetry telling of the sadness felt by the gypsies of the Andalusian culture, living on the margins of society, oppressed by the government of the early nineteen hundreds. As she reads, and they eat, he stops and asks her questions, words he’s unfamiliar with, and they discuss the metaphors found in the ballads. He’s surprised to recognize phrases in songs of the region that he’s heard on his travels and holidays in Spain over the years. Tom’s eyes well with tears as she reads ‘Muerto de Amor,’ the story of a young gypsy who dies of sadness from a broken heart.

Reaching over the table, he places his hand on hers, rested on the book, holding the page open as she reads. Choking back his tears, he whispers, “Thalia. I always thought that was something people said, ‘to die of a broken heart.’ I didn’t know it was true, it was real, till I walked out on you. I died three years ago; I beg you to let me live again.”
Her dark eyes fill with tears, and she tosses her head back, looking up to the ceiling. She chuckles softly, sniffling back her emotions. “Beg,” she repeats softly. “Dying was a choice. Yours. You left.” Her chest heaves, holding back the pain in her voice, little stabs to his own heart. “But you broke me… shattered my heart. Killed me… Dying would have been easier…” She swallows, tilting her head back and shaking out her hair, regaining her confidence. Looking him boldly in the eye, she repeats, “Beg.”

Wiping his hands on a napkin, he turns away from the table, dropping to his hands and crawling around the table. Pushing it out of the way, he buries his head in her lap, tears beginning to wrack his body as he cradles himself in the little warmth she provides. Despite her hesitation, he lets the tears flow, all the pent up sadness and anger he’s felt over the years. Even if she can only give him this, he feels his spirit healing again.

Not knowing when, he realizes her body has curved over his, her hands running through his hair as she whispers in Spanish, comforting him and telling him everything will be okay. He can feel her own body heave with emotion and he moves his head back and forth, trying to pull away, to stop her pain. Wanting to comfort her. She holds tight, not letting him go from her grasp, and he becomes aware he’s nudged up the hem of her skirt. He continues to move his head side to side, his beard scratching the tops of her thighs, covered in nylons and lace. The sensation seems to slowly dawn on her and she shifts, spreading her legs, pulling his hair, pushing him between her thighs. “Don’t stop,” she moans.

Strengthened, he lavishes small kisses over her olive skin. Running his hands up her sides, he grips her hips tightly in his grasp, pulling her to the edge of the couch. From the corner of his eye, he can see her raise one heeled foot, resting it on the edge of the table. “Let me make you forget all the pain, and bring back all the good we had together, Thalia.” He nibbles at her leg, snapping the top of her thigh highs between his teeth. “We were always so damn good together. Let me show you.” She squirms from his caresses, unaccustomed to his beard between her legs. Truth be told, a beard he grew purely out of lack of care for personal hygiene because he was so devastated by the loss of her. A loss they suffered because of his own doing. “Thalia, I beg you to forgive me for leaving.”

He bites higher on her thigh, first the right and then the left.

“I beg you to forgive me for anything I ever said in anger.”

He washes his tongue over her dimpled flesh, feeling the tight, defined muscles under her full figure.

“I beg you to forget all the hurt I’ve caused.”

He bites again, higher, leaving little marks, his claim on each thigh. His eyes land on the prize, her lips pink and swollen, already throbbing and demanding his attention. Her sweet scent lures him closer, his mouth watering for a taste. Brushing roughly against her skin, he marks her with his beard, little abrasions already forming on her skin. He feels her, tense in his hands, holding back, reining in her emotions, her responses.

“I beg you to let me love you again. I won’t hurt you this time, Thalia. I promise.”

A quiet sob from her throat echoes from the book shelves in the room.

“I’m so hungry, Thalia. Thirsty. Your nectar is what I need to soothe my soul. I’m parched, dry without it… Still a dying man. Save me, I beg of you. Let me have it, darling” he whispers, his breath hot across her mound, his tongue aching to touch between her folds.

Her body unwinds, relaxing finally in his hands and her legs fall open wider. “It’s yours,” she moans quietly.

Swiftly, Tom raises her feet, lifting them to his shoulders, the heels of her pointed shoes digging into his sinewy tendons. A delightful, twisted pain as he lifts her ass from the couch, latching his mouth over her dripping pussy. Sucking intently, he tugs her lips, pulling with his mouth before loosening his hold to slide his tongue through the length of her slit.

“Oh my, fuck,” she breathes out, gripping the edge of the couch.

Tom’s cock is hard against his thigh, twitching with desire. Ignoring his physical needs, he gives to her, washing his tongue over her lips, diving between them into the depth. Losing himself as he drowns in her, lapping her up, literally devouring her. So much wet, welcoming him home. Yes, he’s home, this is where he should be. With Thalia. Between her legs. Forever.

He snickers at the thought, his breath tickling her and she wiggles from his grasp, falling back to the couch, her feet dropping to the floor as she kicks off her heels. “What’s so funny, Thomas?” She asks, roughly pulling his hair, lifting his head.

“Just the laughter of a foolish, old man, realizing he had everything.” His tongue darts out and flicks across her swollen clit. He bites his lip at her response, her eyes wide. “I don’t intend to waste it this time, darling. I beg you to take me back.”

“Mm, hmm,” she hums, eyes rolling back, as he swirls the tip of his finger around the rim of her tight cunt.

He watches as her body contracts, a small gush of wet rolling out between her lips. Wiping it up with his finger, he pushes his long digit inside, curling it to hit her spot. Remembering every inch of her body… Her hands tighten in his hair, pushing his face back to her soaking pussy. Closing his mouth over the tender pearl, he slides his finger in and out, adding another while his beard adds to her pleasure. “Damn, you’re good,” she whines. “Love the beard.” She giggles, gripping his hair tighter. “Not sure about the hair.”

He shakes his head, brushing the curls from side to side, tickling her thighs. Pulling a plump lip between his, he sucks the tasty flesh. “More to grab,” he reminds her.

Lifting her foot to his lap, she presses against his cock, the shiny nylons teasing his sensitive skin. “Other things I prefer to grab,” she taunts, pressing her heel into the head of his rock-hard cock.

Flicking his tongue across her slit again, he pushes it into the tight space his fingers occupy and she sighs deeply. Releasing his mouth from her sweetness, he promises, “There’s time for that later, Mistress.”

The title comes to him as naturally as all the other delicious filth he usually whispered to her. Today, she IS his mistress. And she’s more than that. She holds his life, his joy, in her hands and he doesn’t even consider hesitating.

“Good boy, Thomas,” she praises, dragging her toe up his chest, and pushing him backwards with her foot. “I’m not hearing enough begging though…”

Scissorings his fingers, he watches the pulsing of her pink walls gripping his fingers, glistening with their shine. “Mistress, I beg you to let me push you over the edge. I need to feel you, dripping over my fingers, flooding my mouth. Remind me what a real woman wants; can take…”

Curling his long fingers, he forcefully pushes her walls, proud when her head falls to the side, in a trance. “That’s my girl,” he whispers. “Just relax.”

It registers dimly that he’s called her both ‘mistress’ and ‘my girl’ and she hasn’t protested. And that’s exactly it, that’s the magic of this new Thalia and what she causes in him. They can be so good together, like this. Top and bottom and everything in between, dom and sub and all imaginable bliss contained in one odd but beautiful arrangement.

Tenderly, he squeezes her foot with his other hand, lifting it for a quick kiss to the tops of her toes before gently placing it on the floor. Rising up on his knees, he crawls closer, using the hand to spread her legs wider. Her dress is bunched up around her waist, showing wet spots, evidence of their lovemaking. He’ll worry about the couch cushion later. Inhaling deeply, her scent fortifies him, makes him stronger. Diving forward, his ripe, pink lips wrap around her tight bundle of nerves. His hands work to loosen her, one kneading her thigh while the other caresses the smoothest spot, deep inside. She’s growing wetter and he takes it all as she drenches him, her hands pulling him closer, smothering him as his nose grinds against her mound.

Gracias, salveme Díos,” she moans, rising off the couch and thrashing against him.

He takes it all, licking it up, sucking her clean, his mouth never leaving her pussy till she finally pushes him away. She has the control after all, for the evening.

Rocking back on his heels and slowing pulling his fingers out, he lovingly pats her punished mound. Closing her legs, she effectively pushes his hands away from her sensitive center.

“What now, my sweet warrior Professor?” He laughs, wiping her essence from his beard, licking the side of his lip.

Leaning forward, she tugs the whiskers on his chin, pulling him to her and firmly planting her lips on his in a hard, rewarding kiss. “Don’t ever call me that again,” she giggles, pulling back lightly. “I can be your professor, or a warrior princess, but not both at the same time.”

With a small “eheheh,” he pulls her off the couch, into his arms, tangling his tongue with hers again, covering her sweet face with kisses. He likes that she’s not squeamish about tasting her own juices, and doesn’t complain about his tiny licks, spreading her mess all over. “God, I’ve missed this, more than I knew.”

She nods, understanding unspoken words. “Missed you too, darling,” she murmurs, grinding her ass against his crotch.

Thrusting up, he bounces her in his lap. “You’re overdressed.”

She holds his face in her hands. “You’re not in charge,” she warns with a sly smile.

Bowing his head, he replies, “Yes, Mistress. I beg for you to use me at your will. Any clocks you need hung up? Cabinet doors to fix?”

“You know damn well the landlord had to come fix the doors later that week,” she says, tugging her fingers through his curly hair. “Not as good at screwing things as you thought, I guess,” she teases as she pulls away from him, running to the unmade bed.

“Oh, so that’s how it is?” He laughs, chasing after her.

“Your hammer work was good…” She laughs, crawling up on the bed, wiggling her ass. “Always a good pounding. Why don’t you come over and remind me how good you are at it?”

Click here to read Chapter 23, Whatever You Need

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

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