By devikafernando & 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
Word Count: 3612
Summary: Tom and Thalia come full circle on the most important day of their life.
Previous Chapter 35, Final Countdown
December 31, 2021
The first notes of the wedding march sound, and Tom has to remind himself to breathe. Bloody hell, he’s really getting married. Torn between doing a giddy little jig and puking all over his black tux, he turns along with the other guests in the church to stare at the double-winged door with its white flower arch.
They may not be doing many things traditionally, but Tom insisted that they would at least adhere to a few customs. As a consequence, he hasn’t laid eyes on the wedding dress that Thalia picked last week. Neither did he see her yesterday, choosing to spend their last night separately. Not that he slept a wink, nerves kicking in at the last minute.
Breathe, Hiddleston, he reminds himself—then nearly swallows his own tongue when it reminds him that the woman he loves will soon carry his name…alongside her own last name, as she doesn’t want to give it up. He’d happily have taken hers to please her but the possessive, authority-loving man inside a corner of him preens at the thought of staking such a public claim on her. She still brings the caveman in him out sometimes, although he’s learned a lot over the years.
A collective murmur travels through the church before hushed anticipation descends as the wedding march plays its most important melody. The door opens, and in steps a figure bathed in sunshine. His earthly angel, come to bless him with her shining light. He’d always thought it was just a phrase used in literature that one’s heart could skip a beat, and yet when Tom first lays eyes on his bride stepping out of the light and onto the carpet, he could swear his heart does cease to beat for a moment. When it recommences beating, it does so with a great, big thump of unbridled joy.
Lord in heaven, she is a vision. Thalia steadily advances towards him—alone because without her father, she didn’t want anyone else giving her away. Her exact words were, “I’m my own woman. The only person giving me to you, is me.” He’d laughed at her determination, her spirit. Seeing her unaccompanied now, Tom stares and stares, drinking in his fill.
She has chosen a gown in a creamy shade of white, with only a few lace accents and no veil. Modest yet pure feminine allure, it hugs her luscious curves, allowing a peak of ample cleavage, and cinching tightly at her waist before falling into a long train behind her. There’s a flower in her hair, the usually riotous curls tamed for the occasion in a fancy updo. Her modest bouquet is as classy as her gown, and it includes pink orchids and oleanders. He catches a peek of bejeweled sandals beneath the dress’s hem. Those have to be seriously high heels, judging from the height of the gorgeous woman gliding towards him like a goddess.
His brain blanks out for a moment, only a feeling of bliss remaining behind. If someone asked him for his name, he wouldn’t have remembered it.
Tom fastens his gaze on Thalia’s face, seeing the same stunned joy with a tinge of trepidation on her features that he must be radiating. He watches enraptured as she glances left and right, then breaks out into an astonished smile when she sees their guests.
They’d decided that they wanted a small, intimate wedding without any fancy pomp. First a short, personalized ceremony in church—no bridesmaids, no flower girls, no elaborate choir or British fanfare—and then a garden party for a few guests in an inn on the outskirts of London. What Thalia didn’t know until now is that Tom conspired with her family to surprise her on her big day. In secret, he organized and paid for tickets for most of her closest relatives and friends to attend. Her step-mother and grandmother are standing next to his family, some of the aunts looking decidedly weepy. He can’t blame them; his own eyes are glazing over a little. Henrí and his small little family, with Lucía by their side, blow kisses and wave to her as she giggles at the bouncing children.
Thalia’s eyes return to him and remain there, wide and shiny, and filled with so many emotions that he can feel resonate inside his own heart. She’ll probably kill him once the celebrations are over or demand that he lets her pay part of the ticket and accommodation cost. Not that he minds. He’ll die a happy man—or more probably, quarrel for a bit and then have sensational make-up sex. Jesus, not a good time to think of getting Thalia laid. Neither is it a good idea to be wondering whether she might be wearing stockings underneath that beautiful, not too showy dress. Or sinfully sexy lingerie?
Tom fidgets with his bowtie. He’s tied it himself, of course, fussing with it a few agonizing minutes in front of the mirror because this isn’t just any occasion. He’d picked out a black tuxedo, feeling as if it was a century ago that he last wore tails and a waistcoat. There’s a white flower in his buttonhole, and he’s even splurged on new shoes.
Thalia’s gaze rakes him from head to toe, and the tip of her tongue glides over her red lips, which makes all the muscles in his body tighten. He can feel her eyes like caressing fingers on his cheekbones and jaw and can’t resist a tiny smirk.
She’d been pestering him for days to get rid of the beard for the grand occasion, using her body and her sass to plead and cajole and argue. Day before yesterday, he conceded to at least trimming it—which ended in Thalia taking matters into her own hands, sitting on his lap and trimming the gingery scruff herself. That, inevitably, led to steamy shenanigans. But Tom didn’t tell her that he would of course heed her wish. This morning, he shaved himself with the greatest care, feeling oddly naked. But he didn’t need the ‘armor’ anymore, did he? He had what he wanted, with whom he wanted it. The haircut was an added bonus for his love.
Finally, what feels two seconds but also two decades later, his bride is in front of him and he holds out his arm to draw her nearer. When she twinkles up at him, he notices how fast her pulse flutters at her throat, and how her hands tremble. But it isn’t anxiety or doubt, for her eyes shine with love and happiness. It’s all he can do to not kiss her.
“You look utterly ravishing. The most beautiful bride in all of England’s history, I’m certain,” he says in a voice that sounds raspy to his own ears.
A blush spreads over her cheeks, highlighting a smattering of freckles. He notices for the first time that she’s wearing a string of diamonds around her wrist and beautiful drop earrings.
Caressing his thumb over the spot her wedding ring will sit in just a short while, he asks, “Ready to spend the rest of your life with this besotted old fool?”
Her answering smile nestles deep in his heart. She nods. “Are you ready to put up with my sass and stubbornness?” Of course, he nods as well.
Most of the ceremony is a blur. He knows he tears up a little during the personalized vows, almost stuttering when he recites some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines to profess his love and swear his undying fidelity to Thalia. “‘My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.’ My love for you, Thalia, my Warrior Princess, has always been. Even as hard as I fought against it, and pushed you away, it was always there.” He tenderly reaches up to wipe away a tear from her check. “Thank you for putting up with me.” The crowd laughs when she murmurs that it takes a lot of patience. He chuckles, shaking his head. “You never wavered, even when we were apart. I always felt your love, knew it called to me. I’m so damn lucky to have this chance, this forever, and I promise I won’t mess up this time.”
Somehow, they manage to exchange rings without him making a complete fool of himself, and then he dimly hears “you may now kiss the bride” and bends his head.
“Mine,” he whispers against her lips before giving her the first kiss not just as her man but also as her lawful wedded husband.
“Mine,” he feels her murmur against him as she kisses him back, and then he sinks into the magic of the moment and forgets everything and everyone around them.
It’s the nip of Thalia’s teeth on his lower lip that brings him back to reality and to the mingled sounds of tittering, throat-clearing and tentative applause. Tom knows he’s blushing, and Thalia’s face is flushed too when he draws back enough to drink her in.
His. Truly his.
Holding out his arm, he marches his radiant bride down the aisle where even more women are teary-eyed now and where his chum Luke gives him a grinning thumbs-up. There’s confetti to be thrown, there are photos to be taken, and then a cute old-timer Bentley takes them to the venue of their garden wedding as the rest of the guests file out to wave and cheer.
The ride to the location breezes by, mostly because he’s so busy holding Thalia’s hand, their fingers with their silver and platinum wedding bands linked together, and kissing her permanently smiling lips. The car takes them to the Marquee and Lawns on the little, enchanting Ravens Ait island on the river Thames, not far from Hampton Court and Kingston.
While the venue had been Tom’s suggestion once they had decided on a garden wedding, Thalia had accompanied him to check it out and finalize the decoration and menu. With less than fifty guests, theirs is probably the smallest function organized at this idyllic place that feels like miles out of London while technically still within the city limits. The couple takes a private launch to the island, Tom insisting on lifting Thalia aboard as if he were carrying her bridal style into their honeymoon suite. Their guests arrive soon after in a hired bus and are also ferried across the river.
“I feel as if I’m in a fairy tale,” Thalia whispers breathlessly into his ear as she clutches his hand tight enough to hurt.
“More Cinderella than Maleficent, I hope?”
She shoots him a look. “Definitely. Do you know that I’ve been pinching myself since this morning, to make sure I’m not dreaming?”
She shows him the inner curve of her elbow where he can make out tiny crescent shapes where her nails must’ve dug into her skin. Tom lifts it to his lips and brushes a soft kiss over the marks.
“If it is a dream then I never want to wake up.”
They are helped out onto the shore and greeted by smiling, ever so polite staff. There are more photos to pose for on the old stone steps and in the manicured garden before they find their seats beneath the white tent.
The next few hours go by in a blur, with a few special moments standing out. There is Prosecco and a three-course dinner altered to incorporate some temperamental Latino dishes. There is a wedding cake to cut, of course with another Shakespeare quote worked into the elegant décor. There is also a speech, then another one, then a toast that Tom makes before he steals another kiss from his bride.
Another surprise up his sleeve, he pulls his phone from his pocket when it rings and hands it to his beautiful wife. Thalia’s eyes widen in surprise when a cheerful young girl greets her. He motions her away to a quiet corner, allowing her privacy as she talks to her dear friends who were unable to make the wedding on such short notice. He tugs on the arm of his shirt, adjusting his cufflinks, thinking of the chat he’d had the other day with his old nemesis. Tom held true to his word and tracked Professor Evans down. The man hadn’t been ignoring Thalia’s calls. He’d been trapped in a family vacation disaster, snowed in at a resort in the mountains with his in-laws. Taking a drink from a tray as a waiter passes by, Tom wonders how he’d fair in the same situation. Stacey likes to dish it out to him as much as her daughter does…
Older and wiser, Tom had asked Evans for his blessing of sorts, knowing the act of civility would please Thalia. Maybe it’s the wine, or the few shots he’d tossed back with old friends, but he’s almost grateful for the challenges the other man in Thalia’s life had presented, because it brought them back together in the end. Made them stronger. Made him see how he couldn’t live without her.
“You’re a lucky man, Thomas,” his mother says quietly at his side. “She’s beautiful inside and out. First woman I’ve ever known you to love who wouldn’t let you walk all over her. She fights back. I like her spirit.”
Tom chuckles, putting his arm around his mother’s shoulder. “Appreciating a woman who speaks her mind and knows when to hold steady? I have no idea where I would have learned the importance of that…” He raises his eyebrow as his mother playfully swats his arm. “Let’s dance.”
Leading his mother to the dance floor, other party attendees fill in around them. He watches Thalia finish her call and take another glass of wine before joining him on the floor.
“Thank you,” she whispers, snuggling into his arms, her eyes still wet with tears.
Wiping them away, he simply nods. Him making the call, that was another important step towards coming full circle today. Not an end of an era so that a new one can start, but an acknowledgement how much the past has shaped their present and will shape their future.
Dancing of course is among his favorite moments of the day. He tugs Thalia closer into his hold, her curves gliding along him as her scent envelops him. Nuzzling her neck, bare except for a few curls of hair that have escaped her up-do by now, he presses a kiss to her tanned skin.
“Is everybody else busy dancing?” he asks softly.
She shifts a little in his possessive hold to glance around. “Some are. Others are talking non-stop or taking second helpings of that to-die-for dessert. Speaking of which, how about feeding me some more of that?”
Her glance at him from beneath her lashes is nearly his undoing but Tom reins himself in. He gives her his most smoldering look, which makes her steps falter despite his sure lead as he twirls with her across the garden.
“I’d much rather feast on you than have you feast on dessert, no matter how decadent it tastes,” he growls low in his throat.
Thalia blinks once and then stares up at him with wide eyes, nearly stepping on his foot so that he pushes her outwards, turns her in a sort of pirouette and reels her back in. He presses his smooth cheek against hers and slows their movement somewhat, using it as an excuse to whisper hotly into her ear.
“I’ve been wanting to get my hands on you for hours, Mrs. Bareo-Hiddleston.” Her full-body shiver fuels the fire inside him. “You look good enough to eat, and I’m a starving man. Surely you wouldn’t deny me a taste?”
As further incentive, he dips the tip of his tongue into her ear, then breathes against the bit of moisture to make her shiver again.
“But, Tom…” Gratifyingly, her voice sounds wobbly and needy, and her fingers are digging into his shoulder as she hangs on for dear life, dance steps forgotten while he continues to sway them. “We can’t just leave. What will everybody think?”
“Screw what everybody else will think,” he says vehemently, pressing her close with his free hand splayed low on her back so that their bodies rub against each other promisingly. “When have we ever let others get in the way of the magic between us?”
He hears the click of her convulsive swallow despite the romantic music all around them.
“True. But promise me it’ll just be a few stolen kisses.”
She lifts her chin to hold his gaze and he gives her a nod. Deftly, he maneuvers them to the edge of the area reserved for dancing while mentally going over what he remembers of the place’s layout. They have booked a flight for the early morning hours to enjoy an exotic honeymoon, so they aren’t staying at the venue and have no room here. But surely there will be some corner secluded enough to seduce his wife?
His wife. The thought makes him beam.
Making sure with a furtive glance that everyone is busy, he grabs Thalia around the waist and half-hauls her out of the garden and into the nearby building, wedding finery and propriety be damned. While she giggles and he chuckles—and they startle a waiter into nearly dropping a tray of Prosecco—they make their escape. The ground floor is deserted, as the venue is usually closed off whenever a wedding party takes place. Tom spies a few doors marked ‘staff’, then looks into a room that seems perfect. It’s almost a sign, meant to be.
Veering right, he pulls Thalia with him and closes the door behind them, locking it with a click that seems to seal their fate. It’s a guest room, the interior reminding him of typical English cottages. But Tom doesn’t pause to appreciate the décor; he’s spied something far more interesting and suited to having his way with the willing woman in his arms: The far wall is covered in a bookshelf, stocked with what at a glance looks like old classics mixed with new bestsellers. Of course it’s got to be a bookshelf because over six and a half years ago, he first claimed this beautiful temptress in a library. And now he’ll get to do so for the rest of his life.
The joy makes his head reel for a moment before he steadies himself and holds his woman close. “Now give me a kiss like a good girl. Or should I say, like an obedient wife?” he commands, tilting her face up.
There’s a gleam in Thalia’s eyes. She licks her lips and leans close, pressing herself against him so he fills his free hand with curves and expensive fabric. “I’m not sure I like the word ‘obedient-’”
Tom gives her a light tap on her tulle covered ass, and pulls her closer to claim her lips. The kiss starts out tender, but Tom soon gives in to all the pent-up desire.
“You’ve been driving me crazy all day,” he whispers hoarsely, the blood pounding in his ears. “Looking like a queen and not just a warrior princess. Let me worship you, on my knees like a good king should always worship his queen.”
She shivers again, her hands clutching at his biceps.
He holds her gaze, his grip on her chin firming. “Do you trust me?”
Thalia nods immediately.
“Do you want me?”
An even more eager nod.
He claims her mouth in another kiss, letting his tongue delve deep to explore and entice, one single kiss enough to blow his control to smithereens. With a stifled, needy groan he pulls her towards the bookshelf so her back hits the wood. Giving her a heated look, he sinks to his knees in front of her—and Thalia gasps as realization dawns in her eyes, her pupils dilating. Does she remember it too, their first naughty encounter a lifetime ago?
“If you don’t want this, tell me to stop,” Tom grinds out as his hands wander beneath the skirt of her wedding dress, recalling a similar warning from those days.
“You said you’d only steal kisses,” comes Thalia’s half-whimpered reply.
He smirks at her, his long fingers stroking up her calf and higher to dig into her flesh. “I’m getting to the kissing part, darling.”
Wagging his brows, he leans forward to press a kiss to her clothed belly as his hand inches higher still, then bites off a moan when he discovers she’s wearing a garter and stockings.
“God, I love you,” comes Thalia’s answer, almost sounding like a curse, although her eyes shine down at him.
“I love you too.”
He holds her gaze a moment longer, then gives her a wink and ducks under her gown to nuzzle the rapidly dampening heat between her thick thighs. His fingers join his eager mouth, drawing the fabric aside so he can slide his tongue through her folds and make his wife come as she clutches the bookshelf.
The muffled sound of Thalia reaching her peak is followed by the clock in the room striking midnight. After a final soothing lick, Tom struggles a bit to extricate himself from under layers of fabric and stand up. His joints protest but nothing, absolutely nothing, can spoil this moment.
“Happy New Year, my darling wife,” he all but purrs, and Thalia blinks open heavy-lidded eyes. Her smile is slow to form but absolutely glorious in its joy.
“Happy New Year, and happy beginning of our new life together!” she whispers and seals the fervent wish with a kiss.
Thank you for reading and sticking with us till the end. Your comments and likes have been appreciated!- Love, Cass and Devika
Copyright © 2019 avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom