Finally

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Finally

Being Thalia

Chapter 36

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.

“But…Tom…”

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.

The End

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

Final Countdown

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Being Thalia

Chapter 35

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: 2020

Summary: In the days before the Big Occasion, there’s more for Thalia to handle than shopping, planning, and eating too much cake.

Previous Chapter 34, A Better Man

December 2021

Pushing the door open, Thalia waits for her stepmother to enter her little apartment. The cold winter wind whips around her, tangling her hair and she quickly closes the door behind her. Dropping the packages by the door, she slumps against the old wooden frame.

“What were we thinking? What the hell was I thinking when I let him talk me into a wedding in two weeks! I need my fuckin’ head examined.” She runs her hand over her hair, trying to tame the wild curls. She huffs, blowing a short piece out of her eyes. “Why didn’t you stop me, Stacey?”

The older woman giggles. “Would you have listened? You’re so much like your father, dear. Once you get an idea in your head, there’s no stopping you. And that man and his smooth accent, he charmed you into it before you gave it a second thought.”

“British arse.” Thalia pushes off from the door, unwrapping her trademark pink scarf from around her neck. Tucking it in the pocket, she rubs her belly. “We ate too many cake samples today. I don’t feel so good.”

Stacey nods her blonde head, her fair beauty the opposite of her step-daughter’s. “Tried to talk you both out of that too.”

“Can I gain so much weight in a week that the dress won’t fit?” Thalia’s dark eyes grow wide in panic.

“A week, love? Hardly. Our flight leaves in the morning and the wedding is in five days.”

“Five days. What the hell? Were we drunk? Who allowed us to make these grown-up decisions?!”

“You’re both adults.” Stacey tilts her head. “Not that either of you acted like it today in the bakery. I truly think you sampled one of everything. It’s a wonder Tom didn’t call from the airport, complaining he’s sick.”

“You’re right. I hope he’s okay.” Thalia spins on the spot. “Where’s my phone?”

Stacey enters the bathroom in the small apartment. “Check in the bag from the lingerie store. I think I saw you drop it in there after we left Tom at the airport.” The door closes behind her and Thalia hears the sound of running water.

Picking up the little pink bag from a ridiculously expensive boutique, Thalia carries it over to the couch. Pulling out the flimsy lace, she drops it in her lap, digging around for her phone. Tangled in the garter belt, she pulls it out, smiling at the phone case Tom gave her for Christmas. A collage of photos of the two of them on various outings, including the photo of them together at the archaeology site dig in Stratford Upon Avon. Two weeks. She’d waited two weeks. And six years to marry the man who owned her heart. Exhausted, her head flops back against the worn cushion. If someone had told her all those years ago, he’d really love her, or that she’d settle for an ordinary, married life, she’d have laughed.

She rubs her rounded stomach again, rumbling and rebelling against the sweet concoctions they’d sampled at the bakery. After all that trouble, she and Tom still hadn’t been able to decide on a wedding cake. Drinks with Henrí and his husband had settled it. Henrí would fly to London and prepare a special surprise, just for his lovely friend.

She smiles at the simple silver band on her finger. The braided pieces twisted around, and had once belonged to Tom’s grandmother. As the only grandson, it was his to give to the owner of his heart. Thalia found it very telling that it had not been offered to anyone else before her… A perfect fit, it was though it was meant to be, having been mapped by the stars, possibly long before they were even born.

Fortunately for her, his grandmother must have been a plump woman.

Theirs would be no ‘ordinary, married life.’ Preparing to sail around the coast of Greece, they had already decided on historic spots they wanted to venture to together. When they returned from their honeymoon, Tom would continue to travel back and forth from London to Madrid, to finish his next contracted book and tie up loose ends at the university. If he could find a job at one of the many facilities for higher learning in Madrid, their plan was to stay in the city that felt like home to Thalia. In the late Spring, they would enjoy a visit to New Zealand together, for a museum expansion for which she’d been hired to provide assistance. Her old pal Hemsworth had invited them to stay with him, and his wife, Jane. Tom was looking forward to the visit, enthusiastic about seeing his old friend as well, and to share good times together again, like brothers.

Everything seems to be falling into place, save for one little detail. Thalia’s heart thumps against her chest as she checks her messages. Chris still has not replied to her news, or acknowledged the invitation to her impending nuptials. Eyes closed and head back, she dozes off, worried for her friend, and surprised Avery hadn’t called her for the holidays.

Hours later, the phone rings. Looking at her screen, she shakes her head, realizing it was really only minutes. “Hey, Mr. Groom-to-Be. How are you?”

“I ate too much. All the frosting, and ganache… I’ve landed at Heathrow, but I may need to go straight to the hospital, make sure I’m not in some sort of sugar shock. I feel awful.”

“Say that again.”

“What?”

“Awe-fool. I like the way you stretch it out when you say it,” she teases, trying to mimic his dialect.

“I feel positively dreadful and awful, and you’re making fun?”

She groans. “Not by any means, I feel awe-fool too. My teeth even hurt. I think the sugar might have rotted them out.” She toes off her boots, letting them fall haphazardly to the floor, flopping under the coffee table. “Would you still marry me if I was toothless?”

Tom’s laughter snorts. “Oh, darling, that would be dreadful! Please don’t let that happen… You’re in a mood. Are you alright?”

Thalia rests the side of her head up on her hand, her elbow propped on the arm of the couch. “You know how much I love shopping for clothes.” Her voice drips with sarcasm. “I think we found the dress though, and there’s a store in London that has it in my size. Tomorrow after we check the venue, I’d love for your mom and sister to come with Stacey and I, to see me try it on.”

“Oh, they’d love that. You’ll call them after we’re off the phone?” He seems to be moving his cell away from his mouth, and she can hear him giving instructions to someone. “Did they treat you like a princess, serve wine and goodies while you were trying things on, like those bride shows on the tele?”

“God, it was awe-fool. Strangers poking me, trying to button and zip the dresses up, attempting to hide my love handles and shove them in place. I think I’m bruised…” She leans forward and rubs a tender spot on her back. “How can actors and actresses stand that, to have someone treat you like a mannequin all the damn time?”

Tom chuckles. “I can imagine that’s quite horrible, trying to make small talk, while getting your inseam measured.”

“I swear my tits were groped more today than they have been in weeks,” she teases, flicking her tongue between her teeth, continuing to rub her back.

“Then I obviously am falling down on my job duties as Mr. Groom-to-Be. I’ll added ‘more boob fondling’ to my growing list of things to do!”

“Yes, please do,” Thalia chuckles softly, resting back against the comfy couch.

Tom clears his throat, changing the subject. “Any news from the States?”

“It’s okay, ya know. You can gloat. You won, and now he won’t call me back. He doesn’t want to be friends and-”

“Thalia. Darling, please stop. I don’t want him causing you any pain. I know his friendship means a lot to you, and you had hoped Avery would be your flower girl. I don’t gloat in this, if I know you are hurting.”

“I think you’re lying. I think you are doing a little happy dance right now, in the backseat of your Uber ride, glad he’s out of my life.”

Tom sighs. “Fine, yes. We have no lies between us. It does make me a little happy, but not at the expense it’s hurting you. I’ll make some phone calls to friends I have in the department, see if I can collect any news for you.”

“You’d do that?”

“Well, I won’t drag Evans to the wedding, that’s for damn sure,” he chuckles. “But I can see to it that the man at least calls you, and acknowledges your news. I know your friendship is important.”

“Tom, I can hear you rolling your eyes.” She smiles softly, silent tears collecting under her lashes.

“My eyes don’t rattle, love. I do everything for you. I can do this as well, because it means something to you. Remember my mantra, ‘I’m a better man.’”

Thalia lifts her head when Stacey exits the bathroom, wrapped in her towel and dashing to the guest room under the stairs. “You’re the best man. You’re my man.”

“Just remember that, always, and we’ll be fine, darling.” Tom addresses the driver again, and Thalia winces at the sound of honking car horns coming through the phone connection. “I’ll collect you and your mother at the airport in the morning? Then straight away to the venue I want you to see. An old classmate married there, and I think it would be lovely this time of year.”

“It’s London, in December. Everything will be cold and dreary. Like I said, I don’t care where we get married-”

“-As long as we do,” Tom chimes in with her, finishing the sentence she has said so many times over the last few days. “You really would just show up in your boots and a sundress if you could, wouldn’t you, darling?”

Now it’s Thalia’s turn to sigh. “No,” she huffs. “Cuz you look too damn good in a tux. I don’t wanna miss an opportunity to see that. Oh, God! Tom, a photographer! We need a-”

“Already taken care of, love. Don’t worry. Well, if you want to worry, I guess you could. Luke and the boys are taking me on a stag night later this evening. He wanted to do it before you came to town.”

“Oh, Lord. Just don’t get arrested. I won’t marry you in a jail.”

“Ah, so you do care where we get married?” Tom jokes.

“I did not go to college, and move to Europe, to marry some dude with a record. If I wanted to do that, I’d have stayed in my old neighborhood. I’ve matured. I have standards now.” She laughs loudly. Her wide open mouth quickly turns into a yawn. “I’m beat. I need to finish packing, and get some sleep since we gotta be at the airport so early.”

“Right. Don’t forget your passport and birth certificate. We’ll need those to pick up the marriage license tomorrow.”

She mentally ticks off another box on her list. “Got it. Already in my bag for carry on.” She yawns again. “Tell Luke I said to have fun, and to keep you in one piece.” She pauses. “No strippers either.”

Tom’s haughty laughter hangs on the line as the call ends.

“Do British guys go to strip clubs?” she mumbles, opening her messages.

“I think in England, burlesque would be more high class,” Stacey comments, entering the room with her hair tied up in rag rollers.

“Uh, thanks, Mom. I didn’t need to know that.” Thalia sticks out her tongue. She quickly taps out another message, ‘I really wanted to talk to you about this. I thought we were friends?’

Lifting from the couch, she watches her stepmom dig through the fridge. “How can you even think of food after all that cake?”

Click here to Chapter 36, Finally

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

A Better Man

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A Better Man

Being Thalia

Chapter 34

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: 3003

Summary: A lazy Sunday morning, reading in bed, turns into something more-

Previous Chapter, Chapter 33: Over Her Head

December 2021

This is bliss. And she’s missed it, Thalia realizes. More than she cares to admit.

Not reading, of course; she always manages to squeeze that into her schedule because books have been her first love and will always be part of her life.

It’s sharing the experience of reading that feels so wonderful. A lazy Sunday morning together. They’re lounging on her bed, snuggling while the rain is pelting the window with a lulling pitter-patter. The colorful Christmas lights on the tree Tom insisted they get for the bedroom add a soft glow to the room. She’s stolen one of Tom’s ultra-comfy sweaters, big and worn enough to accommodate her curves. Off and on, she inhales deeply, bathing in the oddly familiar and soothing scent of Tom with its hint of citrus and male.

Tom is wearing the blue twin to her red sweater, the sleeves rolled up to reveal his freckled forearms, long fingers cradling an iPad. He’s totally engrossed in whatever he’s reading on it, the tip of his tongue poking out in concentration occasionally.

Thalia drinks in his profile, which has softened a tiny bit over the years although the scruff highlights his still admirable jawline. With the slightest, contented sigh, she turns her attention back to her paperback and wiggles to get more comfortable.

They started out an hour ago with her head in his lap and his fingers sifting gently through her curls, massaging her scalp almost absentmindedly while both of them were reading. Then Tom got up to make them two hot chocolates, and when they settled back down, it was him with his head in her cushiony lap. He turned it occasionally, to softly rub his scruff over her thigh or press a kiss to it.

“I love a lazy day like this,” Tom murmurs absently, almost as though he’s thinking out loud.

Thalia drags her fingertip down his nose. “Can you read my mind? I was thinking the same thing earlier.”

His chest rises and falls when he chuckles softly. “I think, love, the ability to read your mind could be a very dangerous thing.”

“It’s full of nothing but food and sinful thoughts,” she giggles, flipping the page in her book.

“The best kind,” he replies, tracing his hand down her raised calf, clad in Christmas leggings. She hums, nodding. “Lazy vacations like this are wonderful. All the days are running into the next. Remind me when we’re going to the airport to get your mother?”

“Move, you’re making my leg fall asleep.” He huffs when she slides out from under him. Standing next to the bed, she shakes out her achy muscles. “Wednesday, around two? But we’ll have to leave earlier that morning. Remember? I rented a car for a few days.”

She steps out into the hall and jogs towards the bathroom.

“And Christmas is next Sunday?”

Thalia ignores him, hating when he yells at her through closed doors. Just to be petty, she takes a few extra moments to apply lotion to her hands after washing them.

On her walk to the kitchen, she tilts her head to the side, stretching out the kinks in her neck. “Yeah, but we’ll go to Mass the night before and open a few presents at dinner. That’s our tradition.” With a plate of cookies in her hand, she returns to the bedroom, crawling up next to him. “Dad never wanted to wait. Stacey says if she’d have let him, he’d have never even wrapped the presents, just given them to me when he bought them. And he was always sick after opening presents and dinner. He would skip church and Stacey and her family would take me to Mass.” Breaking a cookie in half, she hands a piece to him. Licking the crumbs from her thumb, she continues, “I didn’t figure it out till I was older that he stayed home to put out the Santa gifts that always magically appeared while we were gone.”

Tom good-naturedly laughs, thoroughly enthralled in the story of her childhood. “That sounds like a good plan.”

Tucking the pillow to her chest, she flops face first on the bed, hugging it under her, and pulling her book in front of her. She agrees. “They’d let me stay up and play with my new toys until I wore out under the tree, and they could sleep in the next morning until it was time to meet family for brunch.”

Rolling over onto his belly, he snuggles next to her, copying her pose, propping himself up on his elbows. “It’s nice to hear you tell stories, share your memories with me.”

Thalia blushes, hiding behind her curls. “It’s therapeutic. I can’t put all my feelings in a box and lock them away anymore. Or so Doc keeps telling me.” She rolls her eyes.

“It’s nice,” Tom reiterates. “Lets me learn more about you.”

She lifts her eyebrow. “Well, I’m done for now. That’s all you get to know today. I’m sure Stacey can tell you all kinds of stories when she’s here.”

“She is a talker.”

Clearing her throat, she explains, “She was trying to cover up for Dad’s sullen behavior.”

She sucks in her breath, hoping he’ll let that comment slide for now.

Patting the back of her hand, he quietly says, “Your father would want you to be happy. Are you happy?”

Thalia grins. “If we can stop talking about my feelings now, that would make me happy.”

Shaking his head, Tom wraps his arm over her shoulder, pulling her close to kiss the top of her head. “Fine. Go back to studying, Professor Bareo.”

Morning turned to afternoon. Naturally, they shifted and drifted again after some time, and now she’s half draped across his lean, impossibly long body, one of Tom’s arms around her waist while he holds his iPad in the other hand.

“Here, listen to this.” Thalia sits up a little straighter, loving how her curves slide against the hard, muscled angles of his body, willing the instant twinge of arousal down because she enjoys this time of cuddling and reading.

“This is the chapter about Sapiens and language,” she clarifies briefly. She’s reading “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari because Tom mentioned it years ago and lately she’s found herself doing astonishingly many things he’s recommended. “So, he says it’s all about gossip: The new linguistic skills that modern Sapiens acquired about seventy millennia ago enabled them to gossip for hours on end.” She clears her throat. “Harari goes on to say that the majority of day to day communication, whether it’s social media or articles in newspapers, is gossip. Here, this is where it pertains to our world.” Thalia adjusts her glasses, reading from the thick book again. “Do you think that history professors chat about the reasons for World War One when they meet for lunch, or that nuclear physicists spend their coffee breaks at scientific conferences talking about quarks? Sometimes. But more often, they gossip about the professor who caught her husband cheating, or the quarrel between the head of the department and the dean, or the rumors that a colleague used his research funds to buy a Lexus.

She giggles, hearing Tom chuckle too as he adjusts his position and stuffs a pillow behind his back. “Well, as a professor, I can certainly certify that affairs and cars are mentioned more often than historic finds or quantum theory,” he says with a raised brow.

“This is one of the author’s more controversial statements but it makes a whole lot of sense,” he adds. After a thoughtful frown, he elaborates in his teaching voice, “Doesn’t Harari go on to say that Sapiens had the language advantage over others because they were able to transmit information about things that did not exist? Things they haven’t yet touched or seen or tasted or smelled? Which of course paved the way for religion in all its forms.”

Thalia sits up straighter, a finger between the pages marking her place in the book. “I swear, Tom, your ability to remember things is just freakish. It’s almost as if you have a photographic brain.”

He gives her a sheepish grin, the hint of a blush rising on his cheeks. “Can’t say I do, darling, but I sure wish I did. I’m sure I would be taking lots of brain photographs of you, then.”

“Idiot.” She scoffs and playfully punches his stomach.

Catching her wrist, Tom lifts her hand to his face and kisses each knuckle.

“Your idiot.”

Something about his words sink all the way into her, slides into all corners, sidles into the little cracks and holes and mends her. Completes her-

Not so keen to analyze it, to break the mood of a lazy Sunday, she pulls her hand away after a quick smile and focuses on her paperback again. She mimics Tom, sitting up and leaning against the headboard, offering him another smile when he stuffs a pillow behind her back as well so she can get comfortable.

After minutes of blissful silence, Tom speaks up.

“Listen, this is absolutely share-worthy too.” He clears his throat and fidgets with his glasses.

To begin with I love you with a depth and passion that I have felt for no one else in this life and if it astonishes you it astonishes me as well. I never thought that — even if one was in love — one could get so completely besotted with another person, so that a minute away from them felt like a thousand years.”

Glancing up from her book, Thalia shoots him a glance. She’s caught only some of it as she wasn’t prepared for such a long read-out excerpt. That sounds like a love letter? Surely Tom hasn’t suddenly developed a taste for romance novels?

“What on earth are you reading? Is that some romance novel? Since when do you read those?” Still thinking on her own reading, she doesn’t pay him much attention.

He clears his throat once more. “It’s from the Letters Live publication. Titled ‘All this I did without you’. A letter from British conservationist, Gerald Durell, to his future wife.”

His voice cracks a bit, and she wonders whether Tom might be catching a cold. He did run through the rain earlier this morning to fetch them breakfast from the little corner store he likes, getting thoroughly wet because of course he didn’t take an umbrella with him.

“Beautiful,” she mumbles, diving back into her reading matter when Tom doesn’t say anything else.

She’s read maybe half a page when he clears his throat, speaking up again. “There’s more, it’s quite lovely. Listen: Darling I want you to be you in your own right…always, especially with me.

Thalia’s head snaps up. “Okay, that IS a nice one. Sounds like something you’d tell me… Got any more gems like that? He sounds like he’s an amazing letter writer.” She sighs. “It’s a lost art, letter writing, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is. Sadly, some never find a way to express themselves.”

“I have old letters Dad wrote me when I went off to school. Postcards you sent me. I even have old text messages saved. But that’s not the same as a love letter, not really. It’s not tangible.”

Tom readjusts his glasses and takes a deep breath that makes his arm brush against hers. Why does he seem so agitated all of a sudden? Then again, it shouldn’t surprise her. If he’s in, he’s all in. It’s one of the things she loves so much about him. Someone else’s declaration of love probably has him all emotional, and he wants to discuss his thoughts on the passage and she’s babbling about text messages.

“I’m sorry.” She runs her hand down his arm, tracing her fingers over his veins. “I interrupted your reading. Please continue.”

With a small smile, she waits for more snippets as his eyes skim down and up again, his tongue darting out to moisten his lips.

“This one is my favorite passage.” Swallowing with an audible click, Tom sits up straighter and she wonders briefly whether he’ll turn it into a theatrical performance of sorts like when he reads Shakespeare to her.

In you I have found everything I want: you are beautiful, gay, giving, gentle, idiotically and deliciously feminine, sexy, wonderfully intelligent and wonderfully silly as well. I want nothing else in this life than to be with you, to listen and watch you (your beautiful voice, your beauty), to argue with you, to laugh with you, to show you things and share things with you, to explore your magnificent mind, to explore your wonderful body, to help you, protect you, serve you, and bash you on the head when I think you are wrong.

Thalia guffaws at the last one, clapping a hand over her mouth. Oddly, it feels almost sacrilegious to laugh now. There is something so solemn and heart-touching about the words, something so emotional and sincere in Tom’s hoarse voice. It’s almost as if he’s written these words just for her, not simply reading someone else’s love letter.

The crazy thought has barely entered her mind when Tom lifts his gaze from the iPad and looks straight at her, the blue of his irises dark and gleaming. Thalia freezes in place, reacting instinctively to the almost palpable shift in the atmosphere.

Whipping his glasses off his face, Tom shifts his body so he’s kneeling up on the bed and facing her. He reaches out to take her hand, and it registers that his is clammy and trembling slightly.

“Did you catch cold in the rain this morning?” She reaches up with her other hand to brush a floppy curl from his forehead. “Are you running a fever?” There sure is a feverish intensity to his gaze now, and his jaw is all tense.

Why can’t she shake the feeling that she’s missing an important point here? Why does her heart tell her something her mind hasn’t fully processed yet?

Thalia feels a shiver run down her spine for no apparent reason as Tom’s fingers tighten their grip on hers and he pulls in another deep breath.

“Thalia María Bareo.”

Oh god. Oh god, oh god, oh god.  Her brain starts to catch up. He’s not sick. He’s –

“I meant every word I just read to you. From the moment you came into my life, you’ve turned me upside down and inside out. You’ve made me a different man, hopefully even a better man.”

This…this can’t be happening. This isn’t what she thinks it is. Or is it?!

Tom’s grip grows so firm it’s almost painful, and his eyes are alarmingly shiny.

“In you, I have indeed found everything I’ve ever yearned for, everything a man could ever want. I was a fool, more than once. I let life come between us, other people come between us. But perhaps that was for the better because now I couldn’t be more certain…or more in love.”

There’s a dull rushing sound in her ears and her heart is beating so fast she puts her free hand against her chest as if to prevent it from falling out.

“Darling Thalia, my fragile, yet strong, orchid… my one and only, I love you more than words can express. Will you share your wonderful body and magnificent mind and above all, your generous heart with me, for the rest of our lives? Will you make me the most incandescently happy man that has ever walked this earth? Will you…” His voice breaks again as she holds her breath. “Will you marry me?”

* * *

Tom has never felt so anxious in his life. It’s all he can do to breathe, and in a corner of his mind he’s amazed that he’s got all the right words out. There was more he had been planning to say. A proposal that was somewhat more eloquent and elaborate, more his own phrases than those wonderfully meaningful quotes. But his heart overwhelmed him in the middle of it all—and maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Because it’s all coming from his heart and he means every single word with all of his being.

He’s planned this…sort of. No stereotypes for them, like a ring hidden in dessert at a restaurant or a moon-lit walk where he’ll drop on his knee in front of her. They’re not a normal couple, theirs is not a normal love. And so this feels right. Books and feelings. And his life offered up on a platter, for her to accept or to kill him.

Thalia is staring, her mouth opening and closing silently, her fingers shaking. Or maybe he’s trembling so hard that he makes her shudder as well. When the silence stretches and the only reaction he gets is a single tear rolling down a chubby cheek, his heart plummets from his throat all the way to the floor and further down.

He feels hot and cold at the same time.

“Darling, say something,” he begs at last, feeling his whole world teeter on the brink.

“I…Tom…oh my god, Tom.”

Suddenly she’s blinking to life. Another tear rolls down—and then she launches herself at him and knocks him flat on his back, luckily not falling off the bouncing mattress.

As a garbled mumble against his chest, drowned in sniffling sobs, he hears her answer.

“Yes. Yes, I’ll marry you. Sir, Professor, Tom.” She giggles through her tears, lifting her eyes to his, the fevered pitch a match. “I’m yours, whatever you want me to call you!”

His smile is so wide, his face could nearly break in half. “Anything that makes you happy, my love, as long as I can call you Mrs. Hiddleston in return?”

Her lips land on his, soft and salty with tears. The corner of her mouth turns up to a smile and in her true fashion, she sasses back, “How does Bareo- Hiddleston sound?”

***

Proposal inspired from Tom Hiddleston reading Love Letters Live. For reference: This link has the full transcript as well as the video: https://sinosicat.com/2015/12/11/all-this-i-did-without-you/

Click here to read Chapter 35,  Final Countdown. There are two chapters remaining in this fan fic novella.

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

Over Her Head

1556734581474.jpg

Over Her Head

Being Thalia

Chapter 33

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: 1656

Summary: A conversation with her stepmother makes Thalia realize her true growth.

Previous Chapter, Ready?

December 2021

Cradling the phone to her shoulder, Thalia digs through the box of wrapped ornaments. “I know it’s in here somewhere,” she mutters.

“Did you even hear what I asked? I asked what I should pack, weather-wise. Are you even paying attention to me? What are you doing that’s more important than talking to your mother?”

Thalia drops her hand down into her lap. “I’m sorry, Mum, you’re right. Just lookin’ for something I can’t find.” She sighs and tugs her cozy sweater over her belly. “No, I didn’t hear what you asked. Can you repeat it please?”

Stacey’s laughter stutters over the phone line. “Do you hear yourself? You just called me ‘Mum,’ with a British accent. Are you and Tom spending that much time together?”

Thalia screws up her face and scratches her brow. “Was that your original question? Or are you changing topics to try to get info from me?” She laughs. “Um, yeah. I guess we’re spending a fair amount of time together. I was in Greece for a week, after we got back from London, so-”

“London? What were you two doing there?”

Thalia blushes, grateful this isn’t a video chat. She swallows and runs her tongue over her teeth. “He took me to meet his parents. We had afternoon tea and cake with his mother and sister, before going to see a production in the West End, and meeting some of his school pals for drinks.”

“You met his old friends too?”

Thalia fidgets, wanting to get back to decorating the tree, and not wanting to give away too much information to Stacey. She takes every little detail and makes it bigger than it needs to be. She had shared with her mother they had patched things up and had been spending some time together, but she hadn’t gone into much depth, wanting to avoid the psychoanalyzing of every moment, every word spoken, that Stacey was known to put her through.

Besides, she likes keeping her new life with Tom private. Something they share between themselves because they want it that way. Not secret because it has to be, like before.

“We met his friend, Luke, and some other schoolmates happened to be at the pub where we were.” She clicks her teeth at the memory. “We didn’t stay long actually. One of the fellows was piss drunk and made an ugly comment about my weight.” She pushes down the flood of anger in her gut. “It was all I could do to drag Tom out before he started a fight. But he’d also had a pint or two, and was feeling no pain. Luckily, Luke and I got him out of there before fists started flying.”

“Oh, Thalia, honey, I’m so sorry. I hope that didn’t put a damper on your weekend getaway.”

She hides her smile behind her hand. No. The damper on the weekend was when the proper asshole insisted she sleep alone in the guest room, since his mother had it fixed it ready for her stay. He’d told her she was too noisy! Of all things!

She’d gotten even by sending him filthy texts and photos the rest of the night before finally falling asleep in his old rugby jersey. And when she trounced downstairs in her usual ‘morning before coffee’ grumpy mood, his mother was astonishingly nice. Kind and open with exactly the same charismatic smile as her son, and with a backbone of steel hidden beneath the affable charm. Mrs. Hiddleston–correction, Diana–hadn’t once treated Thalia oddly, even though she had reason enough to do so. They’d amiably shared coffee and fresh scones, teasing Tom about is wild, floppy curls when he came in from his morning run.

“No.” She answers her stepmother after blinking away the memories. “We had a really nice visit. His childhood home, his mother and sister, everything was great. It’s all so funny when you really get to know people and find out they are definitely a product of where they were raised. Books and music everywhere. Everything with a story or fact to go with it. His mother once worked in the stage and theater industry, so Diana really fostered his love for the dramatic arts. She had photos of his school plays, and albums with his school papers. He was always so smart!” She shakes her head in disbelief of his achievements. “You could tell he was a charismatic young boy.” Stacey giggles, but Thalia ignores her. “It was nice to get to know him on a more personal level, you know what I mean?”

Stacey hums quietly. “Thalia, neither of you are getting younger. He practically left a woman at the altar to have you back. Is this what you really want?”

Want, Mom? We’re just together, having fun. Getting to know one another, differently now. Better now. We’re both adults, have our own jobs and interests-”

“-Thalia, don’t be foolish. That man will want to settle down with you. There’s only one reason a man his age calls off a wedding and mere weeks later takes a former love home to meet his parents. If you aren’t looking for long term, if you’re going to break his heart-”

“Stacey, stop. Just stop it. We’re not putting a label on anything.” Is ‘mine’ a label? She smiles slyly, again thankful this is not a video chat. “He comes to the city to research and write. I fly off wherever the museum sends me. In the next five months, I have to be in Greece again, Australia and Egypt. I might have to speak at a conference in London. We’re together when we can be, but we’re not making a big deal of it.” She tries to squelch down the gnawing feeling that meeting his mother was a big deal. Maybe if she keeps shoving that aside, the thought will go away. “I’m just enjoying life, right now. I’m happy. You’ll see when you get here for Christmas.”

Moving the conversation away from her relationship with Tom, she tries to refocus her mother. “I can’t wait to take you to all my favorite places, and introduce you to my friends, Henrí and his family, and Lucía. You’re gonna love it so much, you’ll wanna move here!” She digs her hand back in the box, looking for the Christmas ornament Tom bought her in Munich years ago. “So if you wanna keep talking nonsense, I’m going to hang up. Or you can tell me more of the things you wanna see when you’re here or the neighborhood gossip from back home? Oh! Did I tell you I’m wearing the Christmas sweater you sent? It’s so soft, I love it!”

Twenty minutes later, the phone call is over. Thalia rolls over onto her knees, placing her hands on the couch and pushes herself up. The couch cushions separate and a piece of paper draws her eye. She pulls it from its wedged spot, laughing at the childish scrawl. “I think you’re beautiful. You’re my warrior princess. Always, Tom.”

Dropping it in the glass dish on the table, it lands with the pile of other secret notes she’s been finding around the house. Some feature words of encouragement and wishes for a good day, others spout Shakespeare quotes or random facts he knows and wants to share.

Lifting the box from the floor to the coffee table, she leans over to better dig through it. The wrapped ornament she was looking for is nestled in the corner, next to some popsicle stick tree ornaments she and Avery made together. Carefully unwrapping the ornament from Tom, she decides both have an equal place on the Christmas tree this year. Both have made her the woman she is today…

She admires the individuality of the hand blown glass ornament he’d bought at the Christkindlmarkt the year they’d spent the holiday together in Germany. It had been too painful to look at after he left her in Paris, so it had been hidden in the bottom of the box. The Christmas box that went from Paris, to the US and survived the fire, and followed her to Madrid. Holding it up to the light of the setting sun coming through the window, the colors dance and swirl, making her feel warm and happy.

Turning up the volume on the Christmas music playing from her tablet, she places the conversation with Stacey out of her mind. Stacey, who always worried about her, always pushed her to find a man to take care of her. “That’s her life. Not mine. I can take care of myself.”

Realizing she’d spoken aloud, she shakes her head. With her free hand, she loops the ribbon from the handmade child’s ornament over one finger and an angel ornament her father had given her over another. Thalia carries them to the tree, adding the last additions to the tiny little tree on the table top window. Tapping the bottom of a Disney ornament Chris had gifted her on a trip, she watches it spin, laughing when it bumps the hotdog one she and Tom bought their first Christmas together, when he’d surprised her in Chicago, to commemorate their feast at Portillo’s. Always a battle between those two. She laughs out loud, stepping back to admire the tree. Tilting her head to the little display of colorful ornaments collected over the years from her travels, something feels like it’s missing.

With a sigh, she reaches for her phone and snaps a quick picture. Attaching it to a message, she sends Tom a little note: Something’s missing from my tree! Bring your tartan wool scarf this weekend. It would make the perfect wrap around the base. Found another little note… Thank you!

When she re-reads the message, it gives her pause. These notes he’s left for her. The messages they send each other. How things automatically remind her of Tom or how he will sometimes give her impulsive calls just to share a tidbit of new knowledge–this isn’t what two people in a casual affair would do.

Deep down she knows that there’s nothing ‘casual’ about her feelings for him. Never was, never will be. The thought is scary…and yet it doesn’t terrify her as much as it would have some years ago.

Click ahead to Chapter 34: A Better Man

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

 

Ready?

ch 32 Ready April 28 2019.jpg

Ready?

Being Thalia

Chapter 32

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: 1212

Summary: Thalia and Tom get ready for another big step.

Previous Chapter, Served Hot

 She sits on the edge of his bed, her head in her hands. The front door clicks shut, and she hears him bounding up the stairs.

“Thalia, are you ready to go?” he shouts, the sound echoing off the walls.

Lifting her head when the bedroom door fully opens, Thalia offers Tom a weak smile. “Help?”

She watches the realization hit him, and he tries to hide a small smile. “Darling, I’m just taking you to meet my mum, not the Queen.” He takes two long strides to cross the room, falling at her knees. Tom grasps her hands in his, bending down even more to look up into her face. “She’s going to love you. You have nothing to worry about.”

Thalia lets out a shaky breath. “That’s easy for you to say. You’re so blinded by love, Tom, you’d let me leave here in this t-shirt and those holey jeans.” She tilts her head to the side, indicating her second favorite fashion accessory, laying beside her on the bed.

“Put on your boots with it, I don’t care,” Tom says. He rises from the floor, his knees popping and creaking. “Turn sideways, love.” He taps her hip, then runs his fingers through her hair, careful not to tug or pull. “It’s a beautiful day, sunny. Mother will want to sit in the sunroom and have tea. She’ll want to impress you, so she’ll use the fine china, with little flowers. Not the simple white tea set for everyday use.” Her breathing slows as he eases her tension, twisting a curl loosely around his fingers. “She’ll pull out photo albums, and do her best to embarrass me. She’s probably told my sister I’m bringing a girl home, so Emma will stop by, unannounced with a pie or cake, with the excuse to Mum that she just wanted to try out a new recipe.”

He continues to play with her hair, his fingers massaging her scalp as he arranges it into one fist, smoothing out the bumps. She sighs deeply, her eyes closed, enjoying her pampering. “If she brings my nephew too, we’ll probably move into the den, where Mom keeps his toys. And they’ll ask you questions about your life, and your job, and they’ll want to make sure your intentions with me are pure.”

She pulls the elastic from her wrist and hands it up to him. “Then you’ll want to shower again, because the smell of sex rolls off you.”

Tom titters with laughter and brushes his covered bulge against her arm, twisting her tresses and wrapping the band around her thick hair. “I’ll assure them your intentions are nothing but sexual greed, you only want me for my cock, my money, maybe also my brain.”

Thalia pushes away when he thrusts into her face. “Rude! I obviously want you for the size of your library!” She laughs.

He puts his hands on her shoulders, turning her to face him again, a wide grin lighting up his face. “There, finished. How can you have so much hair, even after cutting and donating it?”

“I don’t know,” she shakes her head, rising to kiss his cheek. “Thank you.” She cups her hand over the bun, tucking in a few stray curls. She bends, reaching for a black polka dotted blouse, laid out on his bed. “What about this? It kinda coordinates with your dark sweater.” Realizing she’s being ridiculous, worrying about matching, she silently scolds herself. “With my black pants and the pink sweater? The London air is colder than I expected.”

“It’s nearly winter,” he fusses, tugging down on his old, standard wool coat.

She rolls her eyes, reaching down for her heels. “I can be ready in about ten minutes, is that okay?”

He nods. “The car is packed, I’ve already taken my stuff down. What else do you need for an overnight bag?”

She points to the satchel on the bed. “Stuff in whatever you want me to wear for tomorrow, when we meet your dad. You said it was a lazy drive back here, with some stops along the way? Things you wanted to show me?”

He nods, reaching for her jeans. “My old stomping grounds. Might do a little walking.” He looks around. “Where are your tennis shoes?”

Entering the bathroom, she flicks on the light. “Still down by the back door, I think.” She nervously chews her lip. “Tom, does your mom know about us? How we met?”

He nods, worrying his own lip. “I’d mentioned weeks ago, after leaving my… former situation, that I’d hoped to fix my wrongs. She’s asked a few questions, especially with me being gone so much lately, and I’ve told her bits and pieces-”

“Does she know I was your student?”

He nods.

Thalia thumps her head against the door jamb. “Oh, God, Tom, what she must think of me!”

Tom drops to the bed, rubbing out the wrinkles on his forehead. “No, actually, she was ready to turn me over to the authorities. To hear her rant and rave, you’d have thought I’d told her I’d had an affair with an underage high schooler, not a grad student in her mid-20s.”

Thalia smiles. “I was young and naïve.”

“You were wearing a mini-skirt in the library-“

Thalia folds her arms over her chest, challenging him. “Are you saying my choice in clothing made you feel like you needed to come on to me? That, as a man, you couldn’t control yourself?”

Tom bows his head. “Bullocks, that sounds bad doesn’t it?” His soothing laughter, the familiar ‘eheheh’ sound, echoes around the sparse room. He slides off the bed, landing on his knees again. Raising his hands to plead, he crawls towards her. “Dearest Thalia, any man, regardless of your clothing choices, would be powerless to resist you. You have the body of a goddess, your voice is sin, your smile warmth on a cold day-“

She throws her head back on a guffaw. “Get up, you fool, before you damage your knees. And don’t you dare wax poetic like that in front of your mother or sister.” She reaches for the door, readying to close it. “They’ll have you committed.”

“Nah.” He wrinkles his nose on a grin, then groans as he gets up. “They had a dozen chances throughout my life to do that. They’ll just roll their eyes, and once they give it time to sink in, they’ll know I’m truly in love.”

Moving closer, Tom wraps his long fingers around her neck and tilts her head up, his eyes awash with meaning and his expression growing solemn. “I mean it, you know. Sure, I’m being a bit over-dramatic and probably soppier than any man should be, but I’m being completely honest. There’s so much about you that I admire, Thalia, so many reasons why I love you.”

Feeling her throat close up, Thalia swallows thickly. “I know. And I feel the same.”

His smile is brilliant, like sunshine in human form. He dips down for a quick kiss that she can feel everywhere, then gives one ass cheek a light swat. “Off you go then, I’ve got this.”

Thalia can’t hide her smile as she closes the door, some of her worries fading away.

 Click here to read Chapter 33, Over Her Head. Only a few chapters remaining.

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

Served Hot

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Served Hot

Being Thalia

Chapter 31

By devikafernando and 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

WARNING: HEAT ALERT!! HOT HOT HOT

Word Count: 2117

Summary: Thalia and Tom enjoy early morning treats.

Previous Chapter, All Tied Up

November 2021

Thalia wakes up to warmth and instinctively snuggles close before opening her eyes. But wait, there’s nobody to cuddle with–the warmth comes from sunshine streaming through a window. She blinks to clear her sight and looks around, momentarily disoriented. Then it all comes back: she’s in Tom’s apartment. Back in England after years, and so much has changed.

Thalia sits up, tugging the sheet around her as she’s slept naked in Tom’s strong arms. He brought her here yesterday because today they’ll take another major step forward. It’s time to meet his parents.

Her hands grip the sheet tighter, twisting it in a bout of anxiety. She spoke to his mother, Diana, several days ago because Tom wanted her properly introduced. That resulted in an invitation by the well-spoken, surprisingly kind woman on the phone. So here they are, ready to face the family. She shouldn’t be so nervous. If this woman raised a person as amazing as Tom, and if his stories about Diana Hiddleston are anything to go by, she must be lovely to meet. Patting her plump thigh, Thalia certainly isn’t ashamed about herself or about their relationship…but it’s bound to be weird at first. How much does his mom know, and how happy is she about it?

Deciding that worrying won’t get her anywhere, Thalia gets out of bed. She needs coffee, pronto. A side of Tom wouldn’t hurt either, if he’s back from his diabolical early-morning run. She shrugs into the oversized T-shirt and panties that should have been–and were, for a few minutes before Tom practically devoured her–her sleeping clothes. Her cheeks heat at the memory of how he claimed he wanted to christen every room and every surface of the apartment with her, starting in the bathroom and the bedroom.

Trying hopelessly to untangle her curls with her fingers, she decides that looking presentable will just have to wait until after the coffee. Tugging the hem of the t-shirt down, Thalia walks down the stairs, following her nose. God, that smell is heavenly, a mix of eggs and bacon and coffee. Her stomach gives an audible rumble–but it isn’t the scent of breakfast food that has her mouth watering a moment later when she steps into the kitchen. It’s the sight of the man doing the cooking.

Hot damn, it should be illegal to look so sexy at this time of the day, doing something so mundane. Hoping she isn’t actually drooling, Thalia feasts her eyes on Tom standing at the counter, tapping his foot while he chops some fruit. He’s dressed in black jeans and a white button-down shirt with its sleeves rolled up. A black apron tied at the back makes the outfit complete and gives her all sorts of dirty ravish-the-cook fantasies she didn’t even know she harbored. The jeans are pulled tight around his delectable ass and she battles the urge to just walk over, sink to her knees and bite one of those perfect butt cheeks.

Her blush intensifies, and Tom notices her presence right at that instant.

“Hey.” His whole face lights up, at least as brightly as the sunlight through the kitchen window that gives his hair a ginger tinge. He quirks his left eyebrow, pausing to read her shirt. Wiping his hands on the apron, he grins. “Good morning, beautiful. Did the smells lure you down at last?”

With a nod and a muttered ‘good morning,’ she tries to slink past him towards the coffee machine. She should’ve remembered the goddamn wingspan on this man. With one long arm darting out, he intercepts her path and hauls her close so he can press a quick but possessive kiss to her pouting mouth. Then he nuzzles her hair and inhales before giving her a playful shove.

“You get your caffeine fix, then sit down and wait.” Tom wags an admonishing finger when she frowns, ready to protest. “Nuh-uh. You don’t get to lift a finger because I’ve decided your first morning in my apartment warrants something special. So let me pamper you and treat you to the magic of a full English breakfast, served hot.”

Definitely ‘served hot,’ Thalia thinks to herself as she grabs a mug. Looking over her shoulder at him, her insides warm before even having the heated beverage. Damn, he’s so hot. She turns to the coffee pot and fills it with the scalding brown, aromatic liquid. All too happy to watch Tom putter about, looking so at home in the kitchen and somehow moving with graceful purpose despite those long limbs, she plunks herself down on one of the bar stools. “Do you always fix coffee, or is this just for me?” she asks before blowing her lips over the top of the steaming cup.

Tom momentarily loses his focus when the T-shirt rides up to reveal most of her thighs alongside a peek of panties. His tongue flicks out to lick his lips but then he gives himself a shake and averts his eyes. “For you, darling. Everything is for you. Always.”

Grinning, Thalia sips her coffee and watches on as her personal chef for the day puts his finishing touches to the meal. She can see fried eggs- sunny side up-, crisp bacon dripping with fat, sausages, something that looks suspiciously like baked beans and grilled tomatoes. And are those pancakes? Tom darts around to get the toast on plates, then arranges the just-cut fruits–strawberries and green apple and banana–artfully on a separate plate. It’s colorful and fragrant and she wants to bask in it all, in this sense of domestic bliss she could really get used to.

Feeling herself get wet at the surprising eroticism of Tom as a too-sexy-to-be-real houseman, Thalia presses her thighs together, wiggling precariously on the barstool. She watches his peachy bum as he bends to retrieve a bottle of orange juice from the fridge, then has to stifle a moan at the way his back muscles entice her when he stretches a bit to get glasses out of the top pantry cupboard. Suddenly, she’s ravenous–but not for food. Tom has barely set the glasses down on the counter to pour them some cold juice before she’s up from the stool. Crossing over to him, Thalia makes up her mind.

“Tom?”

“Hm, love?” He half-turns–and freezes when she pulls her T-shirt off without further ado, leaving her only in her panties. She sees his hand shake as he sets the bottle down with a clink and turns fully.

“What are you doing?”

“Showing my gratitude for breakfast,” she says with a saucy smile, tossing her hair and making Tom blink.

“B-but we haven’t even eaten it yet.” Thalia can see how much effort it takes him to maintain eye contact, his gaze slipping lower to her naked breasts for a fraction of a second.

“Doesn’t matter. I’ve decided I don’t want breakfast now,” she waves his protest aside and steps close enough to fumble with the apron’s tie at the back, making sure her boobs brush all over his torso as she slides her arms around him.

“You don’t?” He sounds so confused, like a flummoxed school boy totally out of his depth, and she wants to laugh, but she’s too turned on to appreciate the humor of the situation.

“I don’t,” she affirms. “I want you instead.”

When she lets her hand wander down to squeeze an ass cheek, Tom groans. And he doesn’t stop her when she finally unties the apron and tosses it on the counter. She slides her hands around his slim hips to the front and makes him hiss when she drags her blunt nails down his crotch. Something twitches with interest beneath her touch, hardening. Thalia glances up at him and makes a show of licking her lips.

“So hungry,” she whispers seductively, which only makes him groan even louder. Staring down at her, his mouth parted, Tom watches as she runs her palm up and down, applying more and more pressure and friction. At a particularly firm squeeze, he hisses and closes his eyes for a moment. A ‘please’ slips from him.

“Please stop or please go on?” she asks, fluttering her lashes at him when he seeks her gaze. His pupils are blown and his breath is coming faster, and seeing him so at her mercy makes her slicker between her legs.

“Please, Thalia, go on.” It’s a husky plea that does things to her.

In the power of the moment, she doesn’t miss his address of her given name, rather than one of his titles, nicknames, for her. Gathering a heady sense of authority from Tom’s willingness to bend to her needs, Thalia leans up to peck him on the lips, denying him a real kiss. Determined, she slides lower until she’s kneeling on the tiles, their coolness such a contrast to how hot she feels. Deftly, she unhooks Tom’s black belt and then unzips him, careful of his erection. Hooking her fingers into the waistband, she pulls both the jeans and the boxers–which he’s probably only wearing because he’s planning a family visit–down his thighs, trapping them around his knees. Tom automatically tries to widen his stance, licking his lips again at the sight of her kneeling.

Thalia runs the tip of her nose over the hardening length, inhales the scent of clean male musk and Tom’s soap. She nuzzles, runs gentle lips over him as his foreskin slowly pulls back to reveal more. When she laps at the first bead of precum offered to her, Tom’s groan is even more heartfelt and rough. She glimpses him bracing himself on the counter behind him, knuckles white as he grips the edge. This new sign of him surrendering to the moment, to the pleasure she can bring him, spurs her on and also makes her wetter.

Emboldened, Thalia gives him one firm stroke, then anchors her hands on his thighs, thrilled at the quivering, tensed muscles beneath her fingers. They’ve done quite some catching up in the past few weeks but it’s been a long time since she’s done this. She’s almost forgotten what a heady sense of power it gives her, and how beautiful Tom’s cock is up close. Taking her time, she licks and caresses him with her lips, gives him a suckle or a fimer suck off and on. The intention is to please him, but it gives her pleasure in return as she rediscovers this treat. Every so often, she’ll scrape her teeth gently along his length, dip her tongue into the slit or glide her mouth lower to his balls. But she takes her time, drinking in his hisses and gasps, the occasional growly moan, bitten-off curse, pleading use of her name. And he doesn’t remove his hands from the counter to steer her or direct the pace, just holds on and attempts to keep his eyes open so he can watch her kneel for him.

At last, when she’s so aroused she has an idea how on edge Tom must be, Thalia sucks him off in earnest. She lowers her mouth to take as much of him inside as she can, hollows her cheeks and sets a rhythm that has Tom whimpering. God, how she wants to move one hand between her thighs and rub herself to completion while she makes him come. But this is for him, a thank you in many ways. And so Thalia flattens her tongue against the vein running along the underside of Tom’s cock and dips her head that tiny bit further until her gag reflex kicks in. And then she moans around Tom’s rigid length, and the vibrations set him off.

Thalia feels his release hit the back of her throat, and she swallows and swallows as Tom’s body jerks, half-twists to the side while his hands fist in her hair at the last moment. She holds still until he’s finished, gives him some tender, cleaning kitten licks before shuffling back a bit. There’s barely time to take a breath before Tom has hauled her to her feet and crushed her to him, panting into her hair and swaying side to side with her a bit. He loosens his hold to peer at her, brow raised as if to silently ask what’s gotten into her.

With a naughty grin, she gives him a wink. “Well, you said you wanna christen every room in the apartment. Looks like you can put a check mark behind the kitchen.”

After a peck on his cheek, she wriggles out of his embrace, puts her T-shirt back on and saunters to the dining table.

“Now, weren’t you about to serve me breakfast?”

Click here to Chapter 32, Ready?

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

All Tied Up

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All Tied Up

Being Thalia

Chapter 30

By avenger-nerd-mom and 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: 1105

Summary: Thalia finds another- very sexy- way to cling to her independence.

Previous Chapter, Déjà Vu

Thalia can barely unlock the door, with Tom’s hands fumbling under her dress, his crotch nestled up against her backside. “Can you wait two more minutes? There are cameras in the hallways,” she hisses quietly. Not that she really wants him to stop, but she’d rather not get busted for inappropriate behavior at work. Shaking her head slightly, the irony is not lost on her.

She’s at her place of business, getting ready to fuck the man she used to work for- her college professor- in her office.

Guess the tables have turned.

He looks up and down the long hallway. Burrowing his face in the crook of her neck, he nips his teeth at her exposed shoulder. “And no lights. No one will know I’m trying to get your knickers down before we’re even through the door.”

Distracted, she drops the key. “Shit,” she mumbles.

Tom bends to retrieve it, his other hand sliding up her thick thigh as she grabs the key from him, finally opening the door. Holding tightly to the door knob, she wags her finger at him. “My desk is all laid out for next week’s budget meetings.” Dropping her hands to his solid chest, she runs her hands up his tight form before slowly undoing his tie. “Don’t even think of clearing it off in a mad dash.”

tie by painfulbliss

He solemnly crosses his finger over her chest, his fingertips dragging over the top of her exposed cleavage. Thalia holds her breath, feeling her skin rise in goosebumps at his slightest touch.

“I promise. I’m thinking of fucking you right off, against the wall, love. I can’t even wait ten seconds to cross the room to the desk.”

A rush of heat slams between her legs, his words, his hands, his mouth, causing her to melt down quickly. He pushes her through the door, banging it against the wall. Something in the dark room crashes to the floor. Moonlight casts shadows around them, but she can’t tell what’s broken – not that she gives a shit at the moment. She hastily kicks the door closed with her foot, pulling at the buckle of his dress pants.

Unbuttoning his pants, her shawl falls down her arm. Hit with sudden inspiration, a sinful thought fills her mind. Lifting her head, she keeps her face firm. “No.”

Surprised, Tom chuckles, “No?”

Air is sucked from his lungs as Thalia moves quickly, tugging his pants down and forcing him to sit on a nearby chair.

“You said I’d get my turn.” Flicking her wrap over her arm, she hitches her dress up, planting herself on his lap. Wet and ready, her slick panties caress over his exposed hardness while she pushes his shoulders back, his arms over the top of the chair. Staring into his eyes, she holds back a devious grin. Leaning forward, trapping the lace shawl between them, she brushes her chest against his, whispering in his ear, “It seems like it’s a perfect time for me to tie you up.”

Licking his ear lobe, she grinds down on him, reaching around his shoulders and tying the wrap behind him.

Nuzzling his nose in her hair, growing harder against her heat, Tom pleads, “Fuck me.”

Instinctively, Thalia wants to obey. He’s using that deep, growly voice that promises the wickedest things imaginable, the words sounding even dirtier in his posh accent. But no-

She’s doing this her way.

“That’s the plan.” Lifting from him, her mouth crashes into his. She scrambles to move her skirt out of the way, drawing her underwear to the side and sinking down onto his stiff, thick cock. “Oh, sweetness,” she mutters, pulling off his lip.

Their kisses chase one after the other, Tom pinned to the chair under her weight as she pushes down on him, grinding closer to their release. His arms useless, Thalia plants her feet firmly on the floor. Laying her hands on his shoulders she pulls off him, before slowly impaling herself again. A moan escapes her lips, while he holds his breath tightly. Sounds from the party filter through the building, hiding their groans and whimpers from the intoxicated revelers. With a quick boost up, Thalia repeats the motions, bringing Tom right to the edge. His long legs tighten under hers, his breath quickens in his chest as his eyes dilate, turning black with lust.

“Kiss me while I pour into you, Mistress. Take me as yours,” he pants, barely able to hold back.

“Uh, uh.” She shakes her head ‘no.’ Thalia rises again, leaving his tip barely in, swaying her hips side to side, before sheathing him once again. The force rocks the chair, but the two stay balanced. She can feel the strength rising up from his feet, an unstoppable force. Her mouth hovers above his, breathing in his air, brushing her nose against his, inhaling his scent, before hungrily claiming his mouth.   

So connected, her velvet walls grip him tightly, each surging pulse of his release filling her as her own orgasm crests. Yanking his hair, she tilts Tom’s head back, latching her lips over the exposed area of skin, under his earlobe. The scruff on his jawline scratches her cheek as she bites and marks him, staining his skin with her lipstick. He gives a full-body shiver, his head dropping even further back in surrender. She slumps against him, equally sated.

It takes him a while to lift up his face and blink at her.

“Oh, Jesus.” His breath is hot against her skin. “Am I still alive? Did you kill us? What a way to die!” He chuckles. “Now, give me your mouth, love.”

“Not because you tell me to-” She meets his need, her lips parting, accepting his tongue to tangle with hers. Breathy, she finishes her sentence, “Because I want to.”

“Giving yourself to me makes you no less independent, darling.” He cocks his eyebrow, a challenge in his eyes. “No more so than being tied to this chair makes me unable to move my arms. I’m trapped here because you wish it so.” To prove it, he twists his torso and gives a yank with his arms, freeing himself.

Kissing the tip of his nose, she rises off him, her wobbly legs making her collapse to the floor. “Are you saying I need to work on my knots?”

“I’m saying everything I do is for you, your wishes, needs and desires.” Sliding off the chair and landing next to her, Tom hands her shawl back. Pulling his shirt down, covering himself, he wraps his arm over her shoulder. “We can learn together, Thalia.”

Click here for Chapter 31, Served Hot

Image found on Pinterest

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

Déjà Vu

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Déjà Vu

Being Thalia

Chapter 29

By avenger-nerd-mom and 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: 2396

Summary: Tom and Thalia re-live a night from their past, and make it better.

Previous Chapter, Surrender

November 2021

Standing in front of the glowing dome, Tom pats down the front of his formal tux. A member of the serving staff greets him. “Señor, ¿tiene Ud. la invitación?

He smiles, thankful he’s been brushing up on his language studies. For such a multicultural city, Madrid holds strong to pride in its language. “Soy un amigo de Thalia Bareo.” He pats his pockets. “No tengo una invitación.”

¿Sr. Iddleston?” He nods, still unaccustomed to the swallowing of the H sound when his name is spoken in Spanish, and the server smiles. “Come this way,” she says, speaking in quiet, broken English. “She said to show you inside.”

Tom follows the older woman, looking up to admire the lights and floral displays. Inside the building, she reaches for the coat, draped over his arm. She points to the coat closet and leaves his side, returning to her job.

Tom watches as other couples and patrons fill in, wondering where his lovely woman could be. She’d left her flat in a rush this morning, slinging a large bag over her shoulder, a garment bag hanging from a finger she held high up over her shoulder. “There was a problem with the food order, and I’ve got to go see if I can fix it.” Her smile was wide and inviting. “I can’t serve food truck tapas to the wealthiest in town if we want the additional money for the Gaudí exhibit.”

He’d lifted from the bed, and offered to tag along. “No, you stay. You’ve got the book query to finish by next weekend. I have so many things to do, and you don’t speak enough Spanish to really help.”

“Are you saying I’d be in the way?” he asked, fluffing out his hair.

“Yes.” Thalia threw a kiss over her shoulder, smiling warmly. “I have a hair and makeup appointment this afternoon, photos for the museum, and I’ll see you at the hall a las ocho.”

She’d been out the door before he’d been able to reply. After her exit, he’d lazed in bed a bit longer, answering some emails on his phone and dashing out a few more sentences to his literary agent. His tummy rumbled and he finally dressed and ventured out onto the streets. He proudly dangled her house key from his finger, flipping it around in his hand as he walked through the neighborhood. He stopped to admire the crafts and wares of the vendors setting up for the afternoon. Purchasing a small wooden painted postcard of the park where they’d walked the night before, he happily sighed, tucking it in his back pocket. Continuing his excursion, he smiled at shopkeepers, setting out café tables for the day. But few were ready to serve breakfast, as the locals rarely eat as early he does.

Turning the corner on the next block, the smell of fresh baked bread greeted his nose. A portly man called out a greeting and beckoned for him to cross. Watching for traffic, Tom jogged across the street.

¡Bienvenido! Ven aquí, ven aquí. ¿Americano?

Tom shook his head, searching for the word he lacked. Seeing the banners across the front of the little café, he pointed to the Union Flag. The man nodded, and ushered him to a little table with a chess set. The man barked out some orders to a young woman behind the counter and sat down with Tom. He reached forward and moved one of the white pawns into play. Tom counteracted the move. The two shared a game and a traditional breakfast of toast, smeared with crushed tomatoes and olive oil. With an eye on the time, Tom finished the game, allowing the man to win, but promised to return. He left a hefty tip, and took a business card with him so he’d be able to find the place another day.

If asked, he’d hate to admit to Thalia he’d spent the remainder of his day studying chess moves on his computer and talking on the phone with his sister. She’d questioned him about his absence and he’d vaguely replied that he was researching for a new book.

“Really? The Clarke’s heard from Sabrina you might have a new woman already. Is that true, little Tommy boy?”

Tom wanted to keep his secret awhile longer, and dishing details to his sister was as good as taking out an ad in the Daily Mail. The whole county would know before the postman arrived the next day. “Believe me, sweetest Sis, when there’s news to tell, you’ll be the first to know.” He’d shaken his head vehemently, knowing that was the biggest lie he’d told in recent times.

“Tom!” His head snaps around, seeking out the lovely woman addressing him. “There you are!”

For a split second, he worries Thalia’s going to rush across the room, despite her high heels, and tackle him. She moves forward and stops, tilting her head. Even from a distance, without his glasses, he sees her mouth form the word ‘fuck’ as she mentally undresses him from his fitted designer tux.

He blushes, bowing his head. He allows her eyes their fill, before rising tall to gaze upon her again. The plunging neckline and revealing slit up the thigh of her tight black dress leaves little to the imagination. Before the night is over, he fears he’ll be fighting off competitors, other men, vying for her attentions.

Crossing the room to join him, two staffers stop her with questions and she waves them away. A third person detains her and she listens intently to the inquiry as she continues moving towards Tom. The intruder sees where Thalia’s true attention lies and slowly steps away.

“Hey, handsome. You clean up nice, despite the shaggy hair.” She steps closer and smooths out an unseen wrinkle on the satiny lapel. “You know if you ever pull that mess into a man bun, I’m chopping it off?”

“So you’ve said,” he chuckles. His eyes dart to the side. “You’re working. Am I allowed to touch you?”

She grabs his hands, placing them on her rounded hips. “I’m officially off the clock. Well, except for my speech.” She lists her head to the right in thought. “And when I have to get up and introduce the director of the board.”

“You look stunning. So much more confident than the last time we attended a ball together. You already were a gorgeous girl. Now you’ve become a beautiful woman, Thalia. On the inside and out.” Tom gazes into her eyes, wanting to remember every detail of the moment. He can feel his thoughts written on his face, his eyebrows lifting of their own accord, expressing unspoken love and adoration for this amazing creature. He takes in her freckles and the little scar on her lip from coaching Little League, and the faint scar across her left cheek. The last one still sends an ice-cold shiver down his spine because it reminds him how she was attacked years ago. He wants to kiss her full, pouty lips but doesn’t want to smudge her makeup before the event begins. Her eyes watch his, the corner of her mouth twitching into a small smile. His gaze drops lower, her pulse fluttering at her pulse point, just below her ear where he loves so much to nibble and bite.

Her dress reveals her alluring cleavage, the start of her flowered tat peaking above the cut of the expensive fabric. He wants to get lost there for days, to bury himself between her ample bosom and suffocate, dying a happy man-

“Did I ever tell you I can read your thoughts, Thomas?”

He licks his lip, looking up at the dancing whimsy in her eyes. “Do tell, Mistress, what do they say?”

“You’re thinking, ‘How long do I have to look at her face before I look at her boobs? Was that it, was that long enough? Shit, I have a little smirk cuz I wanna look at boobs. Ok. There. I looked at her face long enough, now my eyes can slowly look down… BOOBS. Dammit. I’m not smirking now. Lust is written all over my face. I can’t help it. I should look back up, but no. Boobs!’”

Tom throws his head back, releasing his robust, gut busting laughter. To hold it in would cause him pain. “Oh, sweet Thalia, you are a treat. A devil in a party dress, that’s what you are! How did I ever let you slip from my grasp?”

“You were young and foolish. I’d like to think you’ve grown wiser-”

“You are a saucy little thing tonight! How about a swing around the dance floor as punishment?”

She lifts her eyebrows and signals a staff member nearby. As Tom leads her to the dance floor, one hand rests possessively on her lower back, the other still holding hers tightly.  He chuckles ‘eheheh’ when the band changes their tune, seamlessly switching over to the song he and Thalia had danced to at the Alumni Gala over six years before. “You are a delight, darling! You never forget anything, do you?”

She smiles, twirling in his grasp to face him. “There are things about that night I wish I could forget. I was horrible, wretched, Tom.” She places her hand in his raised one as he gracefully wraps the other around her waist, holding her close. “To more than one person, including myself-”

“-Thalia,” he interrupts another stream of her self-flagellation for her wanton youth. “Have you forgiven me for being cold and aloof?” She raises her sculpted eyebrow in a silent question. “I’ve forgiven you, long ago for anything I unknowingly pushed you to do.” He inhales deeply. “And if you aimed that winning smile of yours at… at Evans,” he pushes on, swallowing hard, “He’d have been a fool and blind not to have fallen in love with you as well. I’ve made peace with it all, love. As I’ve said, it all brought me back to you. I think we’re meant to be exactly where we are now. ‘The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.’ And I believe-”

“-Tom, do you have a Shakespeare quote for every occasion? Do you have like a dusty old file cabinet up in your brain, each drawer and file labeled? Do you just think, ‘I need a quote about love and life and the passage of time!’ And it just pops in your head?’” she asks, incredulously.

He shakes his head in laughter, a loose curl falling across his forehead. “Well, darling, you know them too, it would seem.”

She blushes at his compliment to her intellect. “I recognize them, but I don’t know that I could randomly quote them.” She squints, her eyes flashing and filling his heart with a longed for warmth. “We need to get you on a trivia show, you could win us millions.”

“No, love, then we’d be famous, and people would stop us on the street, asking about our dog and wanting autographs-”

“What dog?”

He spins her gracefully, light as a feather. “I think we need a dog, someone to snuggle at our feet at night.”

“We?”

He pulls her closer. “Yes, we. We are a we now.”

She squeezes his hand. “What if I want a cat?”

He whispers in her ear, “I already have all the pussy I need.”

He can feel the heat rise off her, not needing to lean back to see that she’s blushing.

“What if I only want to share my bed with one animal? I don’t need a dog at my feet to keep me warm. I have you.”

She pushes closer, her voice like velvet to his ears. His heart wells with pride, heated by her spirit. One song blends with the next, and the next. He keeps her in his arms most of the night, until the dinner is served. Tom enjoys the conversation of the guests they’re seated with, discussing local politics and theatre. His eyes stay locked on her as she moves about the room, speaking in Spanish and French with the patrons, sharing knowledge of artifacts on display, depositing their personal donations into a leather pouch she carries under her arm.

Seated in the corner, tired of the fanfare, and frankly, his mind worn out from keeping track of the Spanish conversations, Tom sits alone, his fingers tracing the rim of his glass. A model-looking waif sits down next to him, trying to stir him, and he simply shakes his head. The woman takes the hint, scattering away quickly when Thalia, with her steely, dark eyes focused on her, moves towards the table.

Gripping the back of the chair across from him, she leans forward. “Wanna get outta here? I pawned the intro of the director off onto another colleague. I’m officially done for the night.”

“Stay just like that, darling. Don’t move.” Thalia tilts her head, keeping her stance, smirking when he lifts his phone to take her photo, her cleavage nearly falling out of her dress. “That’s the reason,” he points, “you’ve collected so many thousands in euros tonight. That one man, the German one, he nearly propped up his wallet on your breasts to write his check.”

“It’s just like when I was bartending. They can look. That doesn’t mean they can touch. Although it was the asshole from Poland who got his hand slapped,” Thalia says, reaching for his arm when he stands and offers it to her.

“Was that the scuffle with the guards earlier?” He takes her lace shawl from the back of the chair, wrapping it around her shoulders.

She nods, bending to kick off her heels, instantly 2 inches shorter. Tom swoops down to pick them up in his large hand, brushing against her exposed calf. Before reaching full height, he can hear her sudden intake of breath, and he instantly hardens, having been on his best behavior all night.

“Thalia, what’s the fastest way home from here?”

Her laughter rings around the room, drawing attention to them and their escape. The dark haired goddess waves goodbye to her secretary.

Cheeks flushing, with a devilish gleam dancing in her eyes, Thalia quietly informs him, “My office is up the stairs?”

He stops mid-stride, frozen, then throws his head back with laughter as well.

Click here for Chapter 30, All Tied Up

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

Growing Up

1554257015424.jpg

Growing Up

Being Thalia

Chapter 26

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: 2779

Summary: Thanks to the influence of a young friend, Thalia comes to the realization she’s grown up.

Previous Chapter, Another Step Forward

October 2021

Thalia stares at the open journal in front of her. She absently flips back to the beginning and reads through the book, skimming quickly. She smiles as a weight lifts from her shoulders, realizing she’s made more progress than she thought. She shakes her hair back and whispers, “Doc was fuckin’ right. Who’d have guessed?”

A dark haired girl with braces and a wiry preteen frame plops down on the couch next to her. “You’re talking to yourself again. You do that a lot. Sure you’re not going crazy, living all alone in Madrid?”

Thalia rolls over onto her hip, pushing against Avery’s shoulder, and reaches her hand into the bag of potato chips. Pulling out a few, she rights her body into a more comfortable position. “Whatdya mean I talk to myself?”

“The last three nights, while you were fixin’ dinner, I could hear you in the kitchen, talking to yourself.” The girl claims, munching down on a handful of chips. “It’s very distracting to my homework process.”

Thalia scoffs. “From what I’ve seen, your homework process is hanging over the end of the bed, typing in numbers on your calculator while you Snapchat with Charlotte.”

“It works. I have straight As this term,” Avery brags, picking at a chip stuck in the purple bracket on her teeth. “Are you-” she sighs. “Are you talking to that guy?”

Thalia slowly chews the chip in her mouth. Due to the time differences, she and Tom have been on the phone in the evenings while she prepares their dinners. She didn’t think Avery would be able to hear over the TV and the music the pre-teen constantly plays. Placing her hand over her mouth, she talks while still eating. “What guy?”

Avery peers down in the bag, shaking the chips. “I heard Mom talking about how you got back together with some guy from your past. I guess Dad told her.” She shrugs. “I’m not a baby anymore, Lia. Hell, Dad just got remarried to the baby mama. I know you’re not getting back together. If you’re dating someone, you can tell me.”

Thalia straightens up a little more, and sends a stern look to the young lady. “Avery, don’t curse. It’s really crass when kids your age do it. I don’t like it. It doesn’t make you more grown up or tough.” Avery blushes and shakes her hair from behind her ears, whispering her apology and hiding from her role model. Thalia pats her leg. “It’s okay, I don’t think less of you, I just. I just hate to think of you doing that.” She reaches up and scratches under her hairline. “I have had a few dates with someone I once knew, that I actually met here at the University.” Seeing the young girl’s eyes grow wide, Thalia adds, “Someone I met before I knew your dad.”

Avery nods. “Cool. Where he and Dad friends, like he and Hems are now?”

Thalia chuckles. “No. No, your father and this man were not friends.” She pulls her smile over her teeth, remembering how the two men definitely were not friends. Yet when she needed them most, coming out the hospital years before, they both pretended to tolerate the other. “But they reluctantly agreed on some things.” She smiles big. “One of them being that I’m pretty incredible, and irreplaceable.”

Avery laughs. “It’s true. No one can replace you.” She huffs. “I can’t believe he married the baby mama.” She screws up her face, looking angry. “I blame you. If you hadn’t left, he wouldn’t have been at the grocery store alone, and bumped into her.”

Thalia squeezes Avery’s knee. “Come on, ‘Ry. You gotta quit calling Karen ‘the baby mama.’ It’s not right, and it’s not fair.”

“I’m almost twelve. I’m supposed to be hateful and dramatic. I’m not stupid. They got married because they had a baby. I mean, I love Liam. I’m making a scrapbook for him for Christmas. I’m working on it at school, so Dad doesn’t know. But I don’t have to like her.” She sticks out her tongue, gagging at the thought. “She’s not you.”

Thalia chews the inside of her lip, not knowing what to say. Her young charge continues her rambles.

“Did you leave because of me?”

“What?!” Thalia jumps forward, grabbing the young girl’s shoulder, tears springing to her eyes. “Oh, Avery, honey. I’m so sorry. If that’s what you’ve thought all this time, I am so, so sorry.”

Avery’s lip quivers as she falls into Thalia’s embrace. “I just really miss you.” Her chest rattles as she takes in a deep breath, letting out a sob. She sniffles, and coughs to clear her throat. “I thought you didn’t want me, or that I was too much work. You left twice.”

Through tears, Thalia holds her closer, wrapping her hand in the young girl’s hair. She breathes out slowly, then inhales the sweet, innocent smell of baby powder. “Oh, shit. I messed up, didn’t I? Oh, Avery. Me leaving was because I wasn’t grown up enough to know what I wanted or needed.” Her throat clicks and she pulls back, tilting the girl’s head up to look into her eyes. “Leaving you was so hard. Why do you think I still call and write you? I love you, honey. So much.”

Avery licks a tear from her lip. “Lia, you shouldn’t curse.” She laughs and her eyes glisten with tears. She sucks in her lips, smacking them when she releases the pressure. “You promise?”

“Avery, I didn’t realize till this very moment you thought that.” She clears her throat and looks up at the ceiling, trying to mask her fear of the pain she’s brought to this child. “My own mom left me when I was little. I’m sorry, I’m sorry I did that to you, made you feel like you weren’t important or special to me. I should have realized it sooner.”

With her own tears still falling, Avery climbs into Thalia’s lap, wrapping her arms around her plump confidant. “I didn’t mean to make you cry. Don’t worry. I’m not messed up. You’re not the reason Mom thinks I need therapy.” Her laugh comes out like a snort and the breath tickles Thalia’s cheek. “All the girls in my class go. She wants to keep up with the Jones’.” She pokes Thalia’s shoulder. “Thalia, you are the best thing. Like, don’t get mad I say this, but you’re like a kick ass role model I have to look up to, and that’s pretty amazing.” She settles in Thalia’s lap as the older woman rocks her back and forth. Like she did when she was younger, she weaves her fingers in Thalia’s curls. “I don’t know if Dad loves Karen, but I know he was happy with you. I remember crawling in bed on Sunday mornings and we would all read, and then Dad would make amazing pancakes.”

“Don’t forget the vanilla,” they chime at the same time. Thalia kisses the top of Avery’s head.

“I remember studying for spelling tests together, and how terrified I was when I had to rush you to the emergency room when your appendix burst.”

“You were scared?” For affect, she scratches the scar on her belly. “Thalia, you’re never scared of anything. That’s why you’re gonna be a great mom. You’re always so calm and collected.”

Her tears beginning to dry, she laughs. “Glad you think so, I was a jumbled mess. Always afraid I was doing it wrong, that your mom would yell at me, say horrible things about me.”

“Oh she did. Still does. Hates your natural curls and the fact you can eat half a cheesecake and still look amazing,” Avery admits, smiling up at her dearest friend. “But never anything really mean.”

“Your mom, she always made me so nervous. And I was always envious of how professional she dressed. I kinda copied her look a bit, adapted it for me, with things I could find at the market in Madrid. When she brings you for Spring Break, I’ll take you there.”

“See. She likes you. My friends still can’t believe I get to go to Europe for break, and stay with my dad’s ex-girlfriend.” Avery giggles. She leans back and screws up her face in thought. “So you like shopping now? Can we skip school tomorrow, and you take me shopping for a dress? The first school dance is in a few weeks.”

“We can’t skip school for a shopping day-”

“Please? You’re only in town a few more days, and I have to go back to Mom’s. I’m really glad she and Dad both agreed I could stay with you a few days, so you didn’t have to be alone in this rental.”

Thalia looks around the clear open space. The modern furniture lacks warmth and comfort, but having Avery here with her made the time fly. Avery’s stepfather picks her up in the mornings and gets her to school on time, so Thalia can head to campus to cover Chris’s classes and lead a few seminars. She’s enjoyed getting in the carpool lane at the Middle School to pick up Avery after volleyball practice. “I’m glad you’ve been here too. I’ll tell you what- let’s call your mom and have permission for me to pick you up early. I don’t wanna step on her toes if she already has plans to get you a dress.”

“She wants to get me something pink and girly, and won’t let me wear my cowboy boots.”

“I don’t know why you think that’s a fashion statement.” Thalia grins, kicking up her legs, revealing her yoga pants tucked into her boots. She leans forward for her phone, unceremoniously dumping the young girl on the floor. They both laugh and scramble for the phone. She opens her contacts to dial Maura when it rings, Tom’s face flashing on the screen.

“Ooow, it’s your new boyfriend.” Avery giggles, jumping up from the floor, rubbing her bruised bottom.

Thalia rolls her eyes and answers the phone. “Hey, hang on just a second-” “Go get started on your work. We’re going out for Chinese in a bit with Hems and Jane, but I wanna see your Spanish homework first.”

Sí, Señorita Bonita,” Avery calls over her shoulder as she leaves the room.

“Hello, darling,” Tom purrs. “Is that your new nickname? Miss Pretty? I totally agree, it suits you.”

Thalia laughs. “That kid I swear, she’s-”

“What’s wrong? You sound like you’ve been crying?”

She scoffs. “How the hell can you hear that on a transatlantic call? You have like the ears of a bat. Bats hear everything, right?”

“Something like that, love. I actually don’t know much about bats.”

“Oh, well! Something you don’t know? I’m shocked, Professor Hiddleston-”

“Thalia.” His voice scolds. “I asked you a question. Quit deflecting. You’ve been crying. Is everything okay?”

She sighs, snuggling back into the couch, pulling a pillow into her lap. “‘Ry and I just had an emotional heart to heart, that’s all.” She looks at her discarded journal resting beside her on the couch. “She came in as I was looking over my therapy journal. I’ve really come a long way in a short time, Tom. I was just realizing I really like who I am now, how everyone I’ve met along the way has helped me become the person I am. Even the bad people,” she says, running her fingers over the slight scar on her cheek. She inhales deeply. “It’s like I’m finally becoming Thalia, who I’m supposed to be.” She pauses, hit with sharp pang of emptiness, missing him. “When can I see you again? Can you be in Madrid when I get back?”

She hears him shuffling some papers. “I think I can arrange that for you, darling. I’ll have to juggle a few things. In a hurry to see me, are you?”

“Yes, you know I am. But it’s not because I need you. I mean, you know that right?” She runs her hand over her head, pushing away the wrinkled brow from her deep thoughts. “The person I am now doesn’t need you. But I want you. And it’s my choice. I think that’s really important… Growth.” She tilts her head, hearing and believing her own words. “I choose you.”

“Thalia, that’s so wonderful to hear you say that.” His pleasure practically crackles over the phone line. “When you left me alone in London ten days ago, I never would have thought this trip would be so therapeutic for you. I’m glad-”

“It’s closure, Tom. I’m not going to deny the things I’ve done in the past. I was awful to you, and other people who are important to me. I’m also not going to deny how I’ve felt the last several days. You, and Chris… Walking around campus, you’re both around every corner. And it was nice getting to see him, have dinner with him a few days before the wedding. We won’t get chances like that very often.” She sighs. “You’ll have to understand, to trust me, he and I have a special bond. And nothing’s gonna change that, and you can’t try to take those things from me-”

“I promise, I won’t,” he barely whispers.

She swallows. “Being with Avery has been great. She’s such a neat kid. I can’t wait for you to meet her. Did I tell you? Her mom and I sat together at her volleyball game last night. She has a conference in Madrid in the Spring, wants to bring Avery with her so we can spend time together.”

Tom’s throat makes a clicking noise. “That sounds, interesting.”

Thalia verbally swallows again. Her voice drops. “She thinks I’d make a good mom. Tom, I don’t know how to be a mother. My own left me, and when I was younger, I didn’t let Stacey do ‘mom’ things I should have let her do.” She worries her free hand inside the pocket of her college hoodie, playing with a paper straw wrapper she shoved there earlier. She heavily breathes, almost panting. “Tom, I’ve had the same vision. Only it’s a little boy, with dark curly hair, and his father’s clipped British chirp.” She audibly exhales. “Maybe I’m less selfish now. Maybe Madrid is good for me, because I can still travel to so many places easily by train, still get to archaeology sites just hours from the city.” She shrugs. She can feel his anticipation palpitating over the phone. “If I had the right man, if he understood me, understood I don’t need a child to feel complete. And it was a choice, not just an ‘oops, forgot my pill’ kind of thing… Maybe I could be a mom.”

He coughs. She can almost picture him nervously running his hands through his unkempt hair. “Well then, I’m not sorry at all you went to the States, maybe that’s something-”

La tarea está terminada.” Avery announces with a flourish, waving the papers in Thalia’s face.

Thalia grabs them and shows Avery her irritation. Tom’s lulling voice grabs her attention again. “I guess I better let you go eat. What’s a ‘Hems?’”

Thalia laughs, looking over the school work. “Hems is the nickname for a friend of mine, we were both teaching here. His name’s Hemsworth, but-”

“Chris? Norse Mythology? Blonde and bigger than a house? I know him! We worked together in Sydney for a few weeks, on a project. Great fellow. He’s like my brother from another mother.”

“Oh, God. Tom. Please, please don’t ever say that again.” She cringes. “That actually hurts my ears.” She shakes her head with exasperation at the young lady in front of her, wearing leggings under a long skirt, with cowboy boots and her father’s old leather jacket. She gives the free-spirited girl a thumbs up. “I’m being summoned for dinner.” She moves her mouth away from the phone, asking Avery, “Do I need to change?”

Avery looks her over. “Everyone falls in love with you, but Hems has Jane, and Dad’s married now, and I guess your new man doesn’t want someone sweeping you away so, I suppose you can go looking like an overgrown sorority girl. Your messy bun is lopsided.” The girl grabs the truck keys from the ledge and runs out the door.

Tom laughs. “Full of spunk, not your influence at all, I suppose? Go. Tell Hemsworth I said hello and I’d love to see him again some time.”

“I love you, Tom.”

It’s getting easier and easier for her to say.

“I love you too, darling.”

Click to Chapter 27, Not Yet

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

Another Step Forward

chapter 25 Another Step Forward March 31 2019

Another Step Forward

Being Thalia

Chapter 25

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

IMAGES FOUND ON PINTEREST. Not TH, but reminded us of him!

Word Count: 1634

Summary: Tom does his best to explain himself to Thalia, to try to keep her from rebuilding the brick wall between them.

Previous Chapter, Second Chances

“Yes, yes. I understand.” Tom speaks into the phone. His hand wildly grasps for Thalia’s, but she shakes him off. If a man could die from a woman’s glare, he’d be burned to ashes in an instant. He keeps his eyes locked on her, trying to silently convey this isn’t his fault. “Can this wait? I’ve told you, I’ve made the latest flight I can get, and I can be at the office first thing in the morning.”

“Flight?” Thalia mouths, dropping her bag on the bed next to his.

He shakes his head, closing his eyes and looking up to the ceiling, raking his other hand through his messy curls. “Dammit, can we not do this? Don’t speak to me like that, please. We promised to be civil, and I mean to keep to my word. I promised I’d take care of it, and I will. I’ve changed my plans to come back to London, isn’t that enough?” He listens, irritation etched on his face as he slowly lowers his glance, turning his eyes back on Thalia. Her jaw twitches as she folds her arms over her chest. He sighs. “No. No, I’m not done with my research and the reparations I need to make here in Spain. As soon as I can clear up these other troubles, I’ll probably be coming back here to Madrid.” He lifts his eyes hopefully to Thalia, and she turns on her heels away from him, stomping into the bathroom and slamming the door.

“Listen, Sabrina, I don’t have time for this now. I told you I’ll be there tomorrow. I can’t fix it tonight anyway. Make yourself some tea and settle in. We’ll worry about it in the morning.”

Ending the call he drops his phone to the bed and lets loose a low roar. “Fucking fuckin hell,” he mutters, taking long strides across the room.

Ear to the door, he hears no sound. He raps his knuckles against the solid wood. “Thalia?”

“When are you leaving?” The sound is sad and muffled.

“Tonight. A cab will take me to the airport at 9:30, to catch the last flight out.”

The door flies open and he nearly falls into her.

“Please tell me you weren’t lying to me, that you weren’t just in town for an easy fuck?”

He steps towards her and she retreats, bumping into the large sink basin. He steps closer still, causing her to arch her back away from him. “Thalia, my darling, I have never lied to you.” He closes his eyes in thought, opening his eyes with a slow blink. “Not once can I think of a time I lied to you.” He makes one small step back, still keeping his leg between her thighs. “I’ve lied to other women, to get what I wanted, or to save face. Yes, even the woman I was engaged to.” He retreats further. “I’m not proud of it, but something about your faith in me always made me a better man. For you.”

Thalia hangs her head. Her voice is low. “I lied, stretched truths. I was a terrible person to you, and… and to him. But I don’t do that now, Tom.” She lifts her head. “If I’m in it, I want everything to be open and honest. Eventually, we’ll have to talk the past out, it’s the only way to move on.” She nods her head to the other room. “But apparently, you’re leaving?”

Tom turns, walking out of the bathroom and she follows. “Yes, bloody hell. I have to get back. I left too many things unfinished, up in the air. The catering and reception hall, the serving staff, it was all booked through one company. They’re threatening to sue if we don’t follow through on our contract, and the date to cancel has passed. Cancelling now, they want to charge a hefty sum. It’s going to cost me more than going through with the damn wedding.”

Thalia leans against the bookshelf, in a much less inviting pose than the one from the night before. “So what are you going to do?”

Tom strokes his beard, feeling the wall between them building back up. “Thalia, there’s nothing I can do. I’ll fly back tonight. Meet with their staff first thing in the morning. Check in with my literary agent, try to book a few more speaking engagements to make money to pay the costs. Maybe stop at the University, see if I can extend my leave for another semester.”

She crosses her arms over her hefty bosom. “And you have to see Sabrina?”

Her steely eyes say what her words don’t. He bows his head. “She’ll be there, she’ll have to agree to my proposal, since her name is on the contracts as well.”

“And what do you plan to propose?”

He flinches at her word choice. He should have only made one proposal in his lifetime, to her. That first moment the thought popped into his head, he should have said it, years ago that day in Paris. But he’d been gobsmacked by the feeling, and taken time to process it instead, overthinking everything. And he’d lost her. He couldn’t bear the thought of losing her again.

“Let her go ahead and have her big party, choose a few less expensive options they’ll settle for… Trade in the honeymoon cruise package for three tickets with her friends. Turn my name to mud in our social set. I suppose I can watch Wimbledon on the tele, just like everyone else.” He scoffs, falling back onto the bed. Resting his elbows on his knees, he holds his head in his hands. “I don’t know what else the hell to do. I’ll give it all up, Thalia, as long as I know you’re willing to give me another chance, that last night wasn’t a fluke.”

“How do I know you’ll be back?” Her wistful voice tears at his heart.

Tom holds his hands out to her, motioning for her to join him. “Darling, I admitted to you I haven’t gone down on a woman in over two years.” He’s surprised she follows his request. He pulls her down onto his lap. He pushes her hair back, exposing her neck. “You think after tasting you,” he nibbles her neck, scratching her with his beard, “just this morning after our shower, that I could ever leave your side again?”

She pushes against his chest. “Oh, Tom. No jokes- wait.” Her brow furrows. “We’ve been apart three years. You just said two years?”

“I wasn’t a total monk, darling.” He chuckles, tackling her to the bed when she tries to get away.

“Ass,” she giggles between peals of laughter as he tickles her.

“Thalia, I mean to court you. To right everything I did wrong our first time around. No sneaking, no hiding. Everything out in the open. That’s why I plan to ask for an extension on my sabbatical. So I can be here with you in Madrid.” He leans over her, his lips caressing against hers, grinding his pelvis against hers. “Would you like to come back to London with me tonight? You could stay at my place, maybe do some sightseeing while I take care of business?”

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Running her hand down his chest, her eyes trailing down the same path, she shakes her head ‘no.’

“No. That’s really nice of you, but I think this is something you need to finish up on your own, free and clear.” Her fingers dig under the waistband of his jeans. “If things work out, I’ll go to London with you soon, when I get back from the States.”

“I hate you’re going to the States.”

“I don’t back out on my promises. Yes, I’ll be seeing… old friends, but I also have former students I plan to see for lunches and dinners. I’m looking forward to being in the classroom again.”

“I’ll miss you.” Tom leans forward and kisses the tip of her nose, pushing against her again. “You know, we have time before my flight, we could-”

She rolls her head back and forth against the bed. “I ordered food. It’ll be here soon.”

“Who needs food?”

They both laugh when her tummy rumbles.

“Ok, maybe you need food.” He leans forward and kisses the tip of her nose, grateful to be so close to her. “Can’t have my beautiful warrior princess succumb to starvation,” he murmurs quietly, running his hands over her thigh, pulling it up against his side, pushing her into the bed as he rocks back and forth.

She chuckles. “I think I have enough fat stores to last a few more hours.”

“Mmhmm. I thought you’d see it my way,” he says, leaning on one hand, using the other to rip open her shirt, latching his mouth over her peaked nipple under it’s satin cage.

She sucks in a deep breath. “Oh, thank you. That shirt was too damn tight. How can you eat so much and stay so damn skinny? I hate you. I really hate you, Tom.”

He tugs her nipple between his teeth, his long hair tickling her chest. “Uh-huh, no you  don’t. Say it, Thalia. You need to say it. I need to hear you say it, darling.”

She grabs the back of his hair, lifting his head, looking him straight in the eyes. “I love you, Tom. So much. I’m ready. Ready to start this, see whatever this can be.”

His eyes well with tears as he kisses her tenderly. It’s all brushing and caressing, his lips stroking tenderly over hers, withdrawing and returning as if he wants each gentle nip, lick and press to be burned into her skin, into her heart, her soul.

Click here to read Chapter 26, Growing Up

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