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

Over Her Head

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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

 

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

Girls’ Night

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Girls’ Night

Being Thalia

Chapter 17

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: 856

Summary: Another friend shows up at Thalia’s doorstep.

Previous Chapter, Facing Demons

September 2021

Sleepily, she rubs her eyes, trying to figure out the sound. Someone’s at the door. “Fucking Hiddleston,” Thalia grumbles as she stumbles to the door. Pushing her hair away from her face, she doesn’t remember falling asleep on the couch after storming away from Tom at the restaurant.

“Thalia, it’s me, Lucía,” announces the person at the door. “Open up.”

Thalia throws open the lock, and ushers her petite friend inside. “Hey gorgeous,” she kisses her on the cheek. “How was work?”

“Really hot guy gave me an amazing tip.” Lucía smiles, stating the amount as she walks on through to the living room. She sets a large bag of food down on the table, and pulls a bottle of wine from her book bag.

“A prospect, hmm?” Thalia teases, sitting back down on the couch and reaching for the corkscrew Lucía passes to her.

“Nah, I think he’s taken? Is that the American expression?”  

Thalia smiles. “Yea, that’s right. What makes you say that?” She twists the cork, laughing as her friend runs away.

“Wait,” she calls out. “I need to find clean classes. Oh, wow! You cleaned your kitchen?”

“Don’t say that like you’re surprised,” Thalia chuckles. “Yes, I clean occasionally.”

Lucía holds out the delicate wine glasses while Thalia pours the chilled drinks. The dark haired girl reaches in her coat pocket before sitting down, and trades Thalia a folded note for a glass. “He asked me to deliver this to you.”

Thalia grimaces, taking a sip of her drink before opening the half sheet, torn from the notebook her friend uses as an attendant at the restaurant. Fuck him, she thinks, looking down to read the familiar script.

 

Dear Thalia,

I’m staying at the Palacio del Retiro. I’m here for two weeks. I need                    to see you. I’d like to talk things out.

-Tom

 

“The Palacio. Of course he is,” she murmurs, rolling her eyes. “Probably rented the Presidential suite. Pretentious arse.” She takes another, longer sip, letting the cool liquid wash down the back of her throat.

Arse?” Lucía questions, emptying the paper sack and passing Thalia a warmed packet of food.

Peeling back the foil cover, Thalia nods. “It’s a play on his British slang, and did you hear him? His Spanish! Ugh!”

Lucía giggles. “I thought you liked this guy. Tom? He’s the guy right? The one you told me about? What’s he doing here? I thought he was getting married.”

“I thought so too! But he just shows up at the museum, then here tonight, telling me he’s left her. That he could never love her the way he loves me.” Thalia stabs at her food. “Thanks for coming over. You didn’t have to.”

Lucía slurps down the noodles in her sopa, and wipes her chin. “You stormed away in such a hurry, and he was so forlorn when you left. Like really broken.” She grins shyly. “My curiosity got the better of me… Come on, he said that? It’s really sweet.”

“Yea, like a damn Hallmark movie, but this is real life,” Thalia says, savoring the bite of shrimp she’s just placed in her mouth. She explains what a Hallmark movie is to her foreign friend. “Mmm… so good. Was this really a botched order, or did Henrí fix it just for me?”

“He’s sweet on you too. So many men, Thalia! Whatever will you do?” Lucía laughs again, propping her feet up on the table and snuggling into her spot on the couch.

“Fortunately for me, I don’t want any of them. Besides, Henrí has a husband and two kids, I think he has his hands full.” She stares off into the distance, chewing slowly. “And the other one left a woman practically at the altar. What does that say about me if I take him back?”

“That you never stopped being in love with him, and you feel the same way. That’s what it says.” Lucía licks the top of her wine glass. “Listen, Thalia, not everyone gets a third chance at love. For whatever reason, you two keep coming back together. I think you at least owe it to yourself to listen. Besides, when I spoke to him, he quoted Shakespeare. Made me weak in the knees…” Lucía’s eyes glaze over, momentarily lost in a daydream, before screwing up her face to remember something. “You love that…  that shit? Is that the right word?”

Thalia giggles, “You’re learning quickly! Now that you’re mastering curse words, your English is almost ready for your study abroad.”

“You’ve been an excellent teacher!” Lucía laughs. “I can’t thank you enough for helping me get that placement at your old university.” She bows her head. “I’m really going to miss you. You’re kind of unforgettable, chica.” She slurps another spoonful from her cup. “Really, Thalia. You need to talk to him.”

“I know, you’re right. You’re right.” She puts the tray of food on the table in front of her. “Wanna stay? We can watch a few more episodes of Outlander?”

“Yeah, ‘cause you’re not a romantic at all.”

Lucía ducks when Thalia throws a pillow at her head.

Click here for Chapter 18, Open Wounds

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

Facing Demons

ch 16 Facing Demons Feb 24 2019

Being Thalia

Chapter 16

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: 2496

Summary: An old friend appears on Thalia’s doorstep bearing news.

Previous Chapter, Reaching Out

September 2021

The afternoon sun feels like summer. The museum will be closing soon, but Thalia’s shift actually ended hours ago. She rests on the marbled steps at the main entrance, reading the book her therapist suggested shortly after her sessions started over a month ago. She looks up when Antonio sits down beside her. “¿Qué estás leyendo?” He asks.

She shows him the cover of the book, knowing his reading of the English language isn’t that great. He simply nods like he understands. “Looks interesting.” He rests his elbows back on the stair behind him and stretches out his long legs. He doesn’t say anything else, so she goes back to her reading, making notes in the margins. She’d almost forgotten he was there when he asks again a few minutes later, “Thalia? Can we go out again? I feel like I didn’t make a very good impression… I mean,” his foot wiggles nervously as he talks, belying his confidence. “It’s not like it’s affected our working together, but really, I’d just like to know you better.”

Thalia closes her book, resting it on her lap and leaning forward on her elbows. She rests her chin in her hands and turns her face to look at him. “Antonio, honestly, it was nothing you did.” She releases one of her hands and runs it over her eyebrow. “It’s so cliche, but it’s me. I woke up in a man’s place, with his dog, surrounded by domestic things, and I just… I can’t. No puedo… I can’t go down that path again.”

He reaches over and runs his hand over her thigh and she pulls away. “Don’t. Please don’t touch me like that. Don’t touch me without my… my consent.” She sucks in her breath and tries to soften her voice. “I had a… thing happen years ago, and I don’t like to be touched.”

Mi dama, I had no idea, I meant nothing by it,” he begins.

“I know, I know you didn’t, but I don’t respond well to touches. Unless you want your glasses broken,” she scrunches up her nose, “I suggest you don’t do that unless I say it’s okay.”

He nods. “I understand, Thalia.” His English is broken and his accent truly is foreign to her. The language of Spain sounds different than the lilt of Puerto Rican Spanish. Most of their conversations are in their native language for work, but speaking in English allows her the upper hand now. “I was just suggesting… Well, what I’m trying to say is, I’m not looking for a relationship… But you were fun. I liked having you in my bed, under me, riding me, and I’d like that again.”

She slowly breathes out. “No Antonio. I don’t think I’m your dama. That’s not for me.” She stands up, smoothing out her skirt. Bending to reach her bag, she can feel his eyes peeping down her top, and a chill washes over her.

“I won’t force myself on you, Thalia, but I’d really like to take you to dinner, to take you home with me.”

“Listen, arsehole, I believe I already heard her say ‘no’ once. How many more times does she need to say it?”

Thalia fists her hand at her side, spinning quickly to see Tom standing a few steps away, holding a bouquet of pale pink and white flowers.

“Oleanders,” she whispers, tears springing to her eyes, clouding her vision.

Tom steps forward, ignoring the man still sitting at her feet. “You once told me it was grossly improper to not bring flowers for a date, that a proper British gentleman would know that…”

She chokes on her words, barely able to swallow. Her sound is little more than a whisper.  “And you told me oleander flowers were a symbol of seduction and attraction. And for leaving the past behind you, and enjoying what’s in front of you…”

“I’m in front of you now,” Tom says quietly. “I’m here.”

Antonio stands up and wipes his hands on his pants. He huffs, “Well, I can’t compete with that level of courtship, so I’m just gonna leave.”

“Good idea,” Tom curtly replies as the other man walks away.

Thalia is frozen on the spot. She can’t breathe, can’t think. She feels like she’s going to pass out.

“Thalia?”

“Tom, what are you doing here?” She whispers. “You’re getting married in two weeks.”

Tom’s face pales and he nervously sticks his tongue out, licking his lip. “No. No, I’m not. I don’t know if I’m a coward, or the bravest man in the world. But I broke it off. I could never marry anyone else, never truly love anyone else. Thalia. It’s always been you; you have always been mine. My Warrior Princess…”

“Fuck you,” she chuckles as tears fall from her eyes. She pushes past him, moving down the steps.  She hears him call her name, but she doesn’t even look back as she dashes around the corner.

***

Hours later, when there’s a knock on her door, she’s ready. Any space that can be seen from the front door is tidy, and the dishes have been washed, dried and put away. Facing demons can be a great motivator for housework. Changed from her work clothes, she feels more comfortable in an old blouse and jeans. Walking to the door, she nervously fluffs her hair, arranging it over her shoulder. She slides the chain across and opens the door.

“Not even going to ask who it was first?” He smiles.

Tom, of course.

“I knew you’d already tracked me down. Finding me at work was just a formality, so you could sweep in with a grand gesture.” Her voice is hard and cold, desperately trying to cover her nerves.
Forlornly, he looks down to the wilted flowers in his hands. “Grand gesture, eh?”

“You were always good at those, and bold announcements. Still are, I see,” she mocks, referring to the news of his broken engagement. She holds out her hand for the withered bouquet. “You plan to hold those all night?”

He bows his head sheepishly and hands them to her. She drops them carelessly onto a side table by the door. Reaching for her wallet, she steps forward and he steps back, confused. “What are you doing?” he asks.

“You can’t come in here. It’s my safe haven.” She sighs. “I battle enough memories in there. I don’t need to actually have you in the flesh, in my apartment.”

At the word ‘flesh,’ his eyes darken, and he struggles to hold back a smile. She bites her tongue, not willing to give in, to acknowledge she saw it. “I haven’t eaten. You can take me for tapas.”

Her heels click across the pavement stones as he follows her down the covered walkway, back onto the busy sidewalk. The city is alive at night, people everywhere, rushing for nightly errands, meeting with friends, and vying for tables at crowded restaurants. She’s aware he keeps a few steps behind her. She tamps down the desire to add a little extra wiggle to her hips as she walks, not wanting to encourage him in any way. Reaching her destination, she pulls the door open and is met with a cool rush of air. The shop clerk greets her with a kiss on the cheek. “Buenas noches, Thalia, bienvenidos.” Thalia nods and returns the kiss to the young woman’s cheek. “¿Quién es el hombre guapo y enfadado?”

Thalia rolls her eyes. “Lucía,” pronouncing her name with a muted ‘th’ sound in place of the ‘c,’ “That’s Tom, and he speaks Spanish.”

“Oh,” Lucia blushes, then stammers in broken English, “Let me find you a quiet table in the back.”

Thalia nods, ignoring the man behind her. She can feel his anger rising. “No, center of the floor, lots of noise is fine. This is not a date,” she says loudly for the benefit of the seething man.

Lucía’s blush deepens. Picking up two menus, she leads them to a small table, off to the side of the room, near a bank of windows looking out to the busy street. She whispers, “Don’t kick him out of bed before you even get him there, mujer!”

Thalia hisses, “That’s exactly where I don’t want him!” She sits down quickly, so Tom doesn’t have time to properly seat her. He scowls as he sits down. “Tell Pablo I’m ready to order as soon as-”

“Lucía,” Tom interjects, tenderly placing his hand on the woman’s arm. He repeats the proper pronunciation of the girl’s name, following Castilian Spanish, and changes the sound of the letter ‘C’ in her name. “Lo siento que mi amiga está grosera…” He glares at Thalia. “Quiero ver la carta de vinos, y traenos un plato de los aperitivos mejores que la restaurante tiene. Por favor.”

Lucía looks to Thalia, worried, but Thalia waves her away. “You can’t just come here, show up at my house, think everything will be better and then boss my friends around. It doesn’t work that way, Tom.”

“Boss her around? I was being polite. You’re the one acting like a shrew, with a chip on your shoulder. She’s a lovely girl.” Tom watches as the young girl relays his order to a server. “She’s just doing her job, and you’re acting like a spoiled child because you’re mad at me. No sense to be rude.”

Thalia narrows her eyes. “Don’t call me a ‘spoiled child.’”

“Why not? You always want your way.” She can see Tom is holding back laughter.

“Me?” Her voice raises and her cheeks glow with a fiery anger. “That’s bullshit, and you know it. You never even talked to me, gave me time to explain myself. You got pissed when I wasn’t always at your beck and call, wouldn’t play the role as your submissive servant, you son of a bitch.”

The waiter clears his throat, handing Thalia a drink. “Your usual, and for you, señor, the wine list.” He sets a loaded plate of tasty treats on the table. He nods to the item on the menu Tom points to, but looking to Thalia, he inquires, “Is everything ok? Will that be all?”

She smiles to him, wondering exactly what he overheard. “Thank you, Pablo. That should be it.”

Thalia jerks her leg out from under the table. “Keep your damn long legs to yourself. There’s enough space here so you don’t have to be touching me.”

Her nerves are alive, frazzled, messages jumping from synapse to synapse, but she’ll be damned if she’ll give him cause to make a move on her. Just because she’s dreamt about him for weeks now doesn’t mean it’s a possible reality. She tucks her feet up under her chair, keeping a safe distance.

Tom grins, popping an olive from the tray into his mouth. He licks his thumb and cocks his eyebrow. “I get under your skin… After all this time, and you still don’t know how to control it, darling, do you?” He runs his hand down his chest before reaching for the napkin on the table and lazily draping it across his lap. When she doesn’t reply to his rhetorical question, he leans forward, eyeing the plate of food. “It all looks so delicious. So mi madreleña, tell me what this is?” He points to the oddly cut potatoes on the dish.

Thalia defeatedly sighs. She’s reminded of Tom’s holiday trip to Chicago years ago when she educated him on delicacies the locals enjoyed. They always found a way to bond over food. Maybe dragging him to a restaurant wasn’t the best idea, but she’d been so hungry, she couldn’t think of a better plan. “Those are patatas bravas, they’re kind of like hash-brown potatoes, I guess? And there are two dipping sauces, this tomato-based one” she points, “and this aioli, which is mayonnaise seasoned with garlic. I’d basically equivocate aioli in Spain to the American obsession with Ranch dressing on everything.”

Tom shudders. “Dreadful. Why ruin perfectly good food with Ranch?” he reaches for a potato wedge and dips it in the sauce. He slowly chews, a smile breaking across his face. He points to her, wanting her to eat. She puts a few on her plate and spoons out some of the aioli for herself. “Wonderful! What else?”

She points to a pile of fried pillows. “These are croquetas, and have beef, fish, or fried vegetables inside. I eat here a lot, so they’re probably mostly beef if Pablo was thinking when he placed the actual order. Those are the ones I like best.”

Tom takes a bite. “Fish? Cod, maybe?” She nods. Looking around the restaurant, he watches the locals, mostly business men and women, who’ve stopped to get a bite to eat before moving on for the evening. “Nice little place, close to your home; I can see why you like it.” He smiles at Lucía as she walks by, seating a couple at a table nearby.  He notices a treat on other tables, not placed on theirs. “No gazpacho?”

Now it’s her turn to shudder. “Cold tomato soup? No thank you. That’s worse than Ranch on everything.”

Tom continues to eat heartily while Thalia nibbles at her food. “Thalia? You’re not eating? You’re not on a diet or anything, are you?”

She sets her glass on the table, fisting her hand next to the stem of the glass. “Why would you ask that? Do you think I need to diet?”

He quickly swallows the piece of potato he was chewing. “God, no.” His eyes dart up and down,taking in her voluptuous figure, turning dark again. “You still have the most amazing body, the most delicious curves…” He leans forward. “Images of your form haunt my dreams at night, in the best of ways, love.”

She flushes and her freckles show under her warm dark skin. “I’m not your ‘love,’ Tom.”

Tom takes a long sip of his wine, before placing the glass down. “You could be, dear. It’s obvious you have some animosity towards me, probably rightly so. I’ve just shown up on your doorstep, quite literally, and told you I left my fiancée. Let me make that totally clear to you. I realized after seeing you in London, I couldn’t continue without you. I could never love another the way that I love you. As obstinate as you are, and as much as we butt heads, you are the one who makes me whole, who drives me to move forward and better myself. Thalia Bareo, I’ve cleared everything in my life for you.”

“Tom,” she says, mustering as much strength as she can. She pushes back from the table, placing her napkin on her plate as she stands. “I never asked you to do that for me.”

With the strength of an army, she commands her feet to move forward, to carry her home, so she can collapse on her couch in tears.

Click here to read Chapter 17, Girls’ Night

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

 

Reaching Out

ch 15 Reaching Out Feb 20 2019

Reaching Out

Being Thalia

Chapter 15

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 2741

Summary: Thalia reaches out for help as she tries to get her life together and move forward.

Previous Chapter, Haunted

August 2021

Thalia twists the tissue in her hands, relieved by her falling tears and surprised it felt good to have it out.

“If you loved Tom, had pined for him, why did you bring Chris home that night at the bar?”

She sucks in her breath, turning over the therapist’s question in her head. She goes with her gut instinct. “How could I not? If you could have seen the way he looked at me?” She waves her hand down her body with a flourish. “Most men aren’t looking to get with this, but his look said it all. He was down to fuck, and I wasn’t the only girl in the bar that night. He coulda picked someone else.” She leans forward and wipes at a smudge of dirt on the toe of her caramel colored heels. “Tom had given me a confidence I didn’t have before…” Thalia avoids the gaze of the older woman. “And it was just supposed to be a one night stand. It wasn’t supposed to last.  Handsome devil tricked me,” she chuckled.

The rest of the session had been about Chris, and now she can’t get him out of her mind.

On the walk home, her heels bang against her thighs, holding them in her hands as her tennis shoes beat across the pavement. ‘It wasn’t supposed to last’ repeats in her head. She knew from the start she shouldn’t have taken Chris home that night. But over five years later, it was still as vivid in her mind as the night it happened. The way he’d looked at her challenged her, made her curious. He’d let her have some power and she’d thrived on that, as much as she melted under Tom’s domination.

They were such opposite men, but both fulfilled what she needed, formed who she is now…

Chris was such a contrast to Tom, so vibrant and full of life.

Stopping at the traffic light, she shakes her head. No, that isn’t right. Not to make Tom seem dull, she scoffs to herself, but Chris just had a different energy than Tom. Chris was more of a family man, domestic. She chuckles out loud, drawing the looks of strangers. Who would have thought she’d ever crave that type of domesticity? But Chris gave her a look at a life she never thought she wanted, to have kids, to settle down in one place.

Turning the corner to head up the street to her little flat, her mind tries to control her racing thoughts. Stupid therapy, she thinks. Why dig up the past? It isn’t gonna change anything. Both men are gone, and she can’t have them back. Tom should be getting married soon, and Chris’s engagement announcement is in the pile of papers in her home office, along with a note from Avery. Fishing the keys from her bag, she resolves to check in with the young girl.

Stepping into the tiny place, she’s reminded of her college apartment. After all these years, this still isn’t a step up, but at least the radiator works. In this mid-summer heat, she’s thankful the air conditioning unit works. Dropping her bag by the table, she twists her hair up, clipping it away from her neck. Having lived such a nomadic life, moving to teach at various universities or to work for internationally renowned museums, no one place has ever been home. Her eyes land on the photo on the fridge. That’s not true either. She taps the picture of the snowman in front of Chris’s house, the house they shared, with the friendly wrap around porch. She just knows now with age and wisdom, home isn’t a place. It’s the people one collects along the way.

She sighs, opening the fridge and pulling out leftovers from the night before. She sniffs the container and drops it into the trash. Tapas later, she thinks, walking over to sit at the little dinette. She pulls the laptop close and powers it on. While the old thing slowly whirs to life, she sifts through a stack of mail, tossing junk into the trash and separating out the bills and personal items. Thalia smiles at a postcard from Egypt from a former student… Egypt. Still a destination she hasn’t tackled. Paris, Melbourne, London, various places in the US… They’d all been fun, but… maybe it was time for another move. She liked Madrid, has met some nice people, but she was starting to itch to travel again.

The computer opens, with a message flashing. She rolls her eyes. Work can wait till Monday.

She tucks her wild hair over her shoulder, and turns the chair slightly to avoid the pile of dirty dishes on the counter behind her, and logs into Skype, pounding out the keys she knows in her sleep.

His image pops on the screen, rugged and handsome. “You need a trim,” she tells him. “You’re starting to look like a hermit in the woods.” She leans closer. “And it’s awfully damn red and gray.”

Chris scratches his chin. “It’s not that bad, is it?”

“You look like hell.”

“Well, thanks. A crying baby all night will do that to you.”

She leans forward on her elbow, resting her chin in her palm. With the wind nearly sucked from her lungs at the reminder of his new life, and one she lost, she nearly whispers her response. “Reason 253 on the list of reasons I don’t want kids. I need my sleep. He’s adorable though. Looks just like his dad.”

Chris smiles, his energy vibrating through the connection. “Thanks. We hear that a lot.  He sleeps all day, but then is up at night. I can hardly get any work done at home. Karen took him to visit her mom today, just so I can get in one solid day of work.”

“How’s that going?” she asks, her stomach tight at the mention of the other woman’s name. She slowly breathes through her nose to control her ill-feelings.

“Oh, I think they planned to go for another dress fitting and-”

“No. No, I didn’t mean her. I meant the work,” she sighs. “But since you brought it up, how’s the wedding planning going?”

He rolls his shoulders, tilting his head from side to side. “I don’t think we should talk about this… You made your point last time. I know I don’t have to marry her, just because we have a kid together, but, it still seems like the right thing to do.”

“Chris, it’s your life. We agreed we were done for good. I just want you to be happy. And right now, you look like shit…” She rubs her hand over her forehead, frustrated and, yes, slightly jealous. “Ya know, actually, I called to talk to Avery. She’s still on break, right? Is she home?”

Chris shuffles some papers on the desk in front of him. He shakes his head no. “She and some friends went to the movies and the mall. I’m trying to get this chapter done before I have to pick her up in a few hours.”

She tilts her head. “Well, I don’t want to keep you from your work, so-”
His brow knits together, and he squints. “Thalia, you’re never a bother. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Everything.” She shrugs her shoulders. “I just left therapy. I’m a bundle of open emotions. I hate it.” Thalia pulls her notebook from her bag and lays it on the table in front of her.

He laughs quietly, but his blue eyes show his concern. “I’m glad you took my advice. Making any headway?”

“I was happier when I kept it all locked inside. Who wants to dig deep at their flaws, Chris? It’s fuckin’ stupid.”

“You keep going though, right?” She can tell he’s truly concerned.

Doodling on the blank page, she inhales deeply. “Babe, I’m okay. That was one night, during the holidays. I think everyone is entitled to that one drunken night of total self-loathing when they call a friend up, and spill it all out.”

“Yea, but usually that friend isn’t halfway across the world, sitting on a rooftop and talking about losing it all. Thal, I was worried for you. I really thought you were going to do something stupid.” He wipes his hands over his beard, obviously frustrated.

She purses her lips, her head beginning to pound. Her voice is barely a whisper. “What was I supposed to do? I didn’t have any friends here yet. It was a really low point. I’d just found out my stepmom was dating again, you’d told me a few weeks before your girlfriend was pregnant and… and the only other people who ever loved me are either dead, or not talking to me. So yeah, I was having a bad holiday. I wasn’t suicidal, like you make it sound,” she scoffs. “I’m sorry I called and fucked up your holiday.”

“You didn’t fuck up anything. I always want you to have my phone number, I wanna be your backup plan.” He adjusts the camera on the screen. “You just left therapy. You wanna do this now? Cuz I can do this now. No one’s home and I’ve always got time for you, Niña.”

“Yeah, sure.” She sighs. “You know the old saying, ‘it’s five o’clock somewhere?’ Well it is almost five here, let me get a drink. You want one?”  She rises and walks to the fridge, grabbing a beer and pointing it to the computer screen.

He lifts his coffee mug. “Way too early here, I’ll stick with this.”

“Fine, Chris.” She twists the top off, sitting back down and tossing the cap onto the table. “Say it, all the things we should have said when I left the States, or every phone call we’ve had since then.”

Sitting back in his chair, tapping the edge of his desk with his thick, calloused finger, he scoffs. “Dammit, Thalia, even if I’d said it all, you’d have grown to resent it. I wanted to marry you and have kids, and be a real family. But we already were. You just didn’t see it, kept up some invisible wall. I hope you can figure out in therapy what that is, or why, but you don’t know how to let people truly love you… You’re too damn stubborn and independent, and that’s one thing I love about you, but it makes it damn hard to be in love with you. Do you understand the difference?”

She chuckles, taking a sip of beer, and wiping a stray drop from her lip. “I’m not a child, Chris. I know the difference. You don’t have to study Shakespeare to know love, or be old and wise, like you.” She teases, taking another drink. “I just didn’t expect you to move on so fast. That hurt… a lot.”

Chris slowly bounces his head up and down. “I didn’t mean for it to happen either. I think I was pissed and hurt too, angry. Here I was, offering my heart to you for the hundredth time, and you wanted to move on, travel, take the next work challenge. And I get that, but Thalia, all those books and artifacts aren’t gonna keep you warm at night.”

“How did it happen?” Her voice is so low, so pained, she’s surprised to hear her own question, like it jumped out of her mouth before she could think. She ignores his barb at her lifestyle.

He sighs, and rests his elbows on the desk, leaning forward, into her confidence, even through the computer screen. She can see the lines of worry around his eyes. “You’d been gone a few weeks, and Karen and I kept bumping into one another. About a month later, she finally admitted she would take me back, as long as you were gone for good. One thing lead to another… We were… seeing each other a few times a week and then, one night, she came over to tell me she was late. Wanted to know what we should do…” He rubs his hands across the lower part of his face, and pushes back through his hair, resting his hands behind his head and leaving his elbows splayed out behind his head. “Getting remarried, having more kids, was always my plan Thalia, so I took the opportunity. Maybe it’s a sign. I don’t know. She’s a good mom, and we’re putting together a nice life. Avery is still adjusting to her, but we’ll get on.” He leans forward. “It’s not the one I envisioned for myself, Thalia. You know I always pictured you by my side, but I couldn’t love you enough to keep you. I let us- you and I- drag on too long, out of convenience and love for you, for everything we’d been through together.”

Tears well at her eyes. “I hate you’ve moved on to another relationship of convenience…”

“Well, that’s for me and my therapist to work out, not you. Try not to see it that way. I don’t… I have a son now; he’s my focus.” He shifts his eyes, and she wonders if he’s staring at a photo of the little one. She tries to remember; she thinks he was born right before she left for London. Another reason for her poor behavior at the lecture, but she pushes that out of her mind. She focuses back on the conversation as Chris talks about his own therapy sessions. “He says I have a thing for ‘damsels in distress.’ I told him you are no weak thing needing rescuing… You fixed something in me. I think for that time, we fixed each other. But I was never enough for you, or you wouldn’t have needed Hiddl-” He clears his throat. “You wouldn’t have needed anyone else. But I needed you. I was willing to let you have both of us, just so I could keep you. Even after you went to Paris, and then came crawling back to me… I needed you, in a way you didn’t need me.” He scoffs. “‘Good guy syndrome’ is what they call it. But I think, Thalia, we were good for each other. We were perfect together in the time we had, but I knew I could never ask you to stay. It’s the most fuckin’ warped thing ever, but that’s it. I don’t really know that there’s an explanation.”

“But you have a son now, and you and Karen need to make a life together,” Thalia says, nearly choking on the other woman’s name, wiping away her tears.

“What about you? What does your therapist say?”

Thalia sniffles, wiping her nose on a napkin and holding it in her lap tightly. “She doesn’t say much. She wants me to think it through on my own.”

“What conclusions have you come to?” He asks, in a scholarly way.

“That I’m a greedy bitch,” she chuckles, wiping away her tears, smearing her makeup. “I wanted it all and too much. And I found the two people on the planet that would try their damnedest to give it to me, no matter the cost to their own personal lives.”

Chris licks his lip. He speaks quietly. “I can’t speak for anyone else, but you turned my life upside down in the best way possible. I’m a better man because of you, Thalia. I see things different, with added color, thanks to you. And my daughter has the most amazing role model to look up to as she begins to think about her future. You should hear her! Every now and then, I look at her and think, ‘she got that from Thalia.’” He scratches his nose absently. “I don’t know where you’re going to go, or what you’re going to do. But if you ever do find the right man, to settle down with, or that’s willing to travel the world with you, he’s gonna be so damn lucky, and you’ll make him the happiest man in the Universe. And just so you know, you’ve got what it takes to be an amazing mom- no, don’t laugh- you do.”

“I love you, Chris.” She tilts her head up. “Thanks for alway making me feel better.” She smiles weakly. “I don’t always believe it, but it’s nice to hear you say it.”

“Keep going to therapy, Thal. Keep talking things out. Maybe you’ll find answers in places you don’t expect to find them.”

Click here to read Chapter 16, Facing Demons

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

Haunted

ch 14 Haunted Feb 17 2019

Haunted

Being Thalia

Chapter 14

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 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 2077

Summary: Tom falls down a rabbit hole of forbidden memories.

This chapter contains sexual activities and reference to a near-rape experience.

Previous Chapter, Forbidden Fruit

July 2021

As his hands fly across the paper, Tom madly scribbles his forbidden thoughts of lost love and his mind wanders to happier days.

***

His head resting on Thalia’s plush thigh, Tom stretches on the huge king-size hotel bed in Paris, grateful for another stolen day with his girl.

They’ve slaked the fiercest of their thirst with a round of almost fierce love making already, Tom indulging in one of his favorite positions and urging Thalia to ride him, her glorious tits bouncing as he dug his fingers hard enough into her ample hips to leave faint bruises.

That was an hour ago, when he’d first arrived from the airport, finding her only wrapped in a sheet. He’d missed his girl, Thalia here in Paris, getting settled for her internship. Although only apart a few weeks, he wanted to make up for lost time. After their frenzied fuck, they’d followed up with the lazy cuddling he loves just as much. It strikes him how rarely they really get the chance to draw out the time with each other, to cuddle and talk or even take a nap nude before going for round two or three.

“Tom?”

The fingers combing through his short, slightly sweaty hair stop as Thalia speaks and jolts him from his indulgent haze.

“Yes, darling?”

He opens his eyes and shifts slightly so he can see her face better.

“Tell me more about kinks.”

Blinking, he shifts again so that he can roll onto his stomach and prop his chin on his hands. He reminds himself to keep his gaze on her face and not let it wander over her delectable body; she’s still naked, and has reached that stage when she forgets about any insecurities and is herself—and his.

“Where’s that question coming from now?”

There it is, that lovely blush that makes her freckles stand out more and that he always causes all over her curves when he licks and sucks and nips.

She bites her full lip but holds his gaze. “I may have read a romance novel last week that mentioned a foot fetish. A fetish is the same as a kink, right?”

He tries to look as innocent as possible. “And why do you ask ME that?”

Thalia prods his rib with a toe and he uses the opportunity to catch her foot and tickle her sole mercilessly until she’s a giggling, wheezing, writhing mess.

Scrambling up on the bed, Tom rearranges them so he can sit with his back against the high headboard and his naughty girl in his embrace, her back to his chest as she rests in the circle of his widespread legs.

Still a bit out of breath, she elaborates, “I know you’re much more experienced with all that…kinky stuff.”

He snorts softly and nips her earlobe, which makes her squirm and brush against him in all sorts of torturous ways.

“Up for some more educating, are you? Well, what sort of professor would I be if I got in the way of that? So, what do you want to know?”

“Anything. Everything.”

And so he tells her about stuff he’s read on the internet and even experienced first-hand or been told about by more daring friends.

He talks about weird fetishes like getting it on with teddy bears, being aroused by stuttering or even being attracted to dangerous criminals. When he mentions that some people get hot and bothered for statues, Thalia giggles. She gives him the once over and raises a brow, “I mean, you can hold a candle to Adonis. So if it’s that kind of statue, I can’t really fault people for having such a fetish.” Her other brow quirks too and he seems a mischievous gleam enter her eyes. “Although I do have to say that none of those classical statues come anywhere near to what you’re packing in real life.” She nudges her chin towards his crotch area.

Blushing but grinning, Tom lightly slaps her thigh, which makes her squirm. “I guess I should be flattered. Or worried that you’ve paid enough attention to that particular part of statue anatomy?”

They snicker before he continues. “Speaking of paying attention to bodies… Some people have a kink that isn’t all that weird. They get turned on by sex in front of a mirror.”

Thalia perks up at that. “And do you happen to know the name for that kink, Professor?”

Feeling a shiver dance across his spine at the thought of this particular kink that has sometimes called out to him too, Tom nods. “I do happen to know it, yes. It’s called Katoptronophilia as the Greek word for mirror is katoptron.”

Resting his chin on her shoulder and letting his hands wander idly over Thalia’s body to stroke until she’s very still and breathing carefully, he also mentions more normal or harmless things that can be kinks for some. Glasses, stockings, high heels, collars, food fetishes, exhibitionism…the list is long, and he loves her reactions and curiosity.

This is when he’s happiest, he thinks in a sudden moment of insight: when he’s got Thalia in his arms and they can talk and touch and be unashamedly themselves.

“Would you say you have a kink you aren’t even really aware of?” Thalia asks, her voice musing but also a tiny bit husky because she’s definitely noticed his caresses. “Or that you’re maybe hiding one from me?”

“I’m not hiding anything from you, love.” The words are out before he can think about them—and they’re true, even if he’s always been rather secretive in his life, lovers included.

Tom doesn’t have time to think about it because Thalia turns her head and kisses him. He pours his shock into the press of his lips against hers, slides his tongue deep until she whimpers softly and all but melts in his arms.

When they disentangle to breathe, she insists. “No, really. No kink that I should know of?”

“Well, we both know about your glasses kink,” he teases her, which makes her laugh and blush some more, squirming so her lush bottom grinds over his now very interested cock.

“Me? I can’t really think of anything subtle or hidden. A tea kink? Because I love watching a certain young woman prepare a proper English tea for me in the nude?”

There’s humor in his voice which has gone automatically to that lower, deeper register that she brings out in him, and it makes her giggle and swat his leg none too gentle.

“Be serious, Tom.”

“Oh, you want me serious? Is that what would make my girl happy?”

He grabs the wrist of the hand with which she just hit him and twists her arm back, gently enough not to hurt her but firm enough to make a point. He pulls it behind her back, then does the same with the other arm. Then he pulls her more firmly against his body so her crossed wrists are trapped between her spine and his chest.

A shiver courses through her, and when he drags his teeth over her shoulder, he hears a low moan.

Her position makes her unable to touch him or balance herself properly, and she’s at his mercy. It also thrusts her voluptuous breasts out more, and he’s tall enough to lean forward and take advantage of that.

One of his hands molds a heavy globe, kneading and pulling and rubbing his palm over her stiff nipple until she’s gasping. His other hand hooks one of her legs over his so that her thighs are spread even wider. He lets it glide over the inside of her thigh, dragging his blunt nails lightly over her skin and causing her to shudder again. Her body grows taut with anticipation when his fingers stray higher and he brushes his fingertips lightly over her swollen, slick lips.

“You’re wet,” he growls. “Is it all the talk about kink or is it me?”

“You.” It sounds breathy, hardening him further. “You know you always make me wet…Sir.”

“And that’s the way it should be.” Feeling an odd wave of possessiveness, Tom sinks his teeth into her neck and sucks to mark her, drawing another gasped moan from Thalia.

Something about the gasp makes Tom try to rein in his rampant desire and remember to take extra care of her. He’s seen her scars, knows that the memory of the near-rape is probably still on her mind sometimes. Drawing in a steadying breath, he loosens his hold on her a fraction. Sure, he’s just touched the evidence of her arousal, but what if her body is overtaking her mind and she’ll regret this later?

“Thalia, is this okay?” he asks earnestly. “I want your full consent. Are you fine with me restricting and dominating you like this or do you want me to tone it down a notch because of…well, you know.”

He doesn’t want to say the word, ruin the mood. It still makes him incandescent with rage and pain to think about what nearly happened. If life was a movie, he would be out getting his revenge and killing the sick bastard who hurt this beautiful creature.

Tom feels her curves move when she also hauls in a deep breath.

“This is fine. Please. I need it, need you.”

Thank heavens. He nuzzles her hair, then tightens his grip on her again.

“Think you can come for me, just from my hand on your beautiful, needy pussy?”

He can feel her hands flex useless against his abdomen and her thigh muscles twitch.

“Yes. Please. Make me.”

And so he does just that, touching her in earnest. He knows how she needs to be caressed, how to slide his fingertips over the sensitive area right next to her clit, how to draw tight circles and then let her hang for a bit by delving a finger in and pumping.

It doesn’t take long for her to quiver and clench around him, her body bucking so hard that he has to fling an arm around her middle and anchor her to himself.

With a keening whimper, Thalia comes, gushing over his hand while her back arches despite his firm hold.

Tom gentles his strokes, massaging some of her wetness in, bringing her down from the peak while peppering her neck with kisses.

“So precious. Mine.”

He releases her from his firm embrace and she moves languidly to turn around, but he sees determination in her wide, dark eyes.

When he fists her hair in his hand, she licks her lips and needs no further command. Kneeling between his legs, she closes one hand over his rigid length and bends forward for a first suck that has him grit his teeth.

When they lie in each other’s arms later, idly tracing circles on damp skin and synching their breathing, Thalia murmurs, “I think I’ve figured out one of your kinks.”

Tom somehow finds enough energy to lift his head an inch and glance at her. “Is that so? Care to enlighten me?”

She seeks his gaze, her teeth digging into her lower lip for a moment. “Being in control. Teaching me naughty things. Not just simply being a mild dom of sorts. It’s the educating aspect too, and being older than me and sort of getting to deprave me.”

Her choice of words makes Tom guffaw. “You were no Regency-era virginal maid to deprave, darling,” he protests among snickers.

“Gee, Tom. I didn’t get around THAT much,” she slaps his thigh playfully. “But you have to admit, you’ve taught me things, and you get off on that, knowing you were first.”

Her comment with its kernel of truth gives him pause. All said and done, that’s quite astute. Tom blinks at her, feeling a bit caught out. He wonders whether there’s a word for that too. And as the two of them drift into contented sleep, still entangled, he realizes something that makes him open his eyes wide again: He might still be doing all the educating, but in the end, he’s learning too. Learning how right she is for him, and he for her.

***

Folding the paper neatly, Tom vows to put it away, out of sight so Sabrina won’t find it. He wonders what to do with the box of old letters and keepsakes when they finally join households. He closes his eyes, whispering a prayer for strength and forgiveness, before reaching for his phone to return the call to his dear intended wife.

Click here for Chapter 15: Reaching Out

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

Warpath

warpath jan 20 2019

Warpath

Chapter 6

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is trying to grow 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 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

Summary: Someone is a little bitter about Thalia’s collection of professors.

Previous Chapter, Sensitivity Training

Word Count 1676

2019, Summer Semester

Thalia watches the ball bounce back and forth, catching it each time. She briefly wonders what would happen if she shifted her aim a foot to the right. Would the windows shatter? Would she be responsible to replace them?

She bounces it again, and catches it, on repeat.

Her rhythm is only broken when her phone rings. She snatches the ball from the air and lays it on her desk. Dropping her feet to the floor, she swivels in her chair. Leaning forward against the fake wood surface, she reaches in her back pocket and pulls out the device.

“Hey, babe? What’s up?” Thalia asks. Her melancholy hangs with her, and her voice is dry and devoid of emotion. She sighs.

“Sounds like a long day,” the familiar voice offers. Rich and deep, it washes over her like a salve to her soul. “Wanna go for a run? Avery’s at dance, and her mother is picking her up after, for the night.”

“Evans? How long have you known me?” She chuckles, reaching for the pale yellow envelope propped against her lamp. “How many times are you gonna ask me for a run before you realize I’m never gonna say yes? How many times do I gotta tell you, my thighs could chafe and start a small fire?”

His laughter echoes through the line and she smiles, picturing him in her mind’s eye. “Well, babe, you were a sophomore when you were in my class?” He teases. “Before you could legally drink? I don’t know, it feels like we’ve known each other forever, and I’ve told you a million times, that’s not how fires work.”

She chuckles and feigns indignance. “Are you saying I’m getting old and I’m not hot enough?”

“Definitely hot enough. And you keep me young. I’m the one getting older.” He scoffs. “I can skip the run tonight. Why don’t you come home and let me show you how hot I think you are?”

Running her finger over the embossed gold lettering on the envelope, she smiles, daydreaming about the sexy flecks of gray in his scruffy beard. “I’ll be home in twenty minutes. Have a shower ready.”

Tucking the phone in her back pocket, she puts the yellow envelope high on the shelf behind her. It could change everything, but it’s not pressing now. Out of sight, out of mind. She shuffles around some papers, organizing stacks to grade and notes to research. Picking up the large manuscript, post-its sticking out everywhere, she thumps her finger over her name on the cover page. Tilting her head to the right, she gasps when it pops, but realizes the tension in her neck fades. She shoves the draft into her bag and reaches for her jacket.

“You leaving?” calls the voice from across the hall.

“Yeah,” she replies stepping to the hall and locking the door behind her.

Professor Hemsworth stands from behind his desk. “Let me walk you out, it’s kinda late and there’s been talk around campus, girls getting attacked at night.”

“There’s always talk,” she leans in the door frame. “Young kids, no parents, frat parties and bars nearby… I went to the seminar earlier this week with some of my students for the training on how to defend yourself.”

The muscular blond grabs his bag from the couch and joins her in the hallway, locking his door. “That’s good. You took care of yourself, knew what to do. That’s good you talk about it, let your students learn from you.”

“It was tough as hell, Hems, not really shit I wanna talk about.” She shrugs. “But now I’ve been invited to speak at two dorm house meetings next week, and possibly the keynote speaker at the rally sorority row is planning for next month, when everyone’s back on campus.”

“A wonderful role model for these young women.” He reaches his arm around her shoulder and pulls her close. “You’re tough. I respect that.” Walking down the hallway, he tenderly kisses the top of her head. “Like a Valkyrie.” His deep, thick accent is full of pride in his friend. “Full of such complex emotion, warm and caring, faithful and loyal to men. Unless they need an ass kicked.”

Reaching the stairwell, Professor Joanna Kent falls into footsteps with them, and uninvited, joins their conversation. “Depends on the works you read, Professor Hemsworth. Not all Valkyries were so innocent. You should know that.”

Hemsworth halts their steps, nonchalantly standing between the two women. Thalia feels a vulnerability, standing a few steps below her former professor, a woman she slighted, not once but twice. Kent has had it out for her since her return to the university as a colleague. “What do you mean, Mrs. Kent?” Chris Hemsworth asks, resting his hand on the stair railing. Thalia shifts her weight, hiding behind the expanse of his broad back, holding in her glee at his dismissal of her preferred title.

“In my studies of Norse mythology, Valkyrie are often depicted as cold, cunning women, true evil beings who take advantage of the men with whom they have affairs. They seem to have considerable control of those around them, often domineering and bold.”

Blood starts to curse through Thalia’s veins, understanding Kent’s play on words. Waiting out the cat fight, she takes another approach. Stepping from behind her protector, Thalia smiles, “Oh, Joanna, I had no idea you saw me as ‘domineering and bold!’ That’s really a kick ass compliment, thank you.” Kent splutters, at a loss for words. Thalia wrinkles her forehead, changing her expression to one of confusion. “I mean, that’s what you meant, right? ‘Cuz, it kinda sounded like a slam, that you think I’m an evil bitch, but it was also mixed with praise. I am all for bold dommes.” Running her hands down her side, and straightening her crisp white dress shirt, she grins. “You like that type, right?”

“Girl,” Kent growls, leaning forward, creating enough presence Hemsworth actually shrinks back. “Watch it.” She wags her finger in Thalia’s face. “I should have nailed your ass to the wall when I had the chance-”

Thalia begins to walk away, “You never had that chance. You’re not my type.”

Kent snarls. “Listen, Missy, I know what you were up to then, and I see it now. You’re just zebra island trash. What makes you think you can go around collecting all the pretty boys on campus? Everyone knows why you got a job here, sleeping your way up.”

Thalia lunges forward, Kent stepping back and Hemsworth, eyes wide with shock, restraining her. “You fuckin’ bitch, you don’t know shit and how dare you slur against me? I’ll have your damn job for that, because I’m sure derogatory racial comments rank higher as “socially unacceptable” than me fucking a professor.” Climbing up another step, she stands eye level with Kent. “You’re still pissed he couldn’t get it up for you, you old goat, and mad I rejected your advances too. Come at me; see what happens.”

She pushes past Kent, going back up the stairs, Hemsworth following.

“What the actual fuck was that?” He smiles nervously.

hemsworth smiles

She holds up her hand, already opening her phone to make a call. On the third ring, she spits out. “It’s on. Kent’s on a warpath, and I have to file a University grievance now before she can clap back at me. I’m gonna be late. Go ahead and take your run…. Babe, I don’t have time to explain it now… No, I wasn’t alone. Hemsworth was walking me to out to the car. He’s a witness… Yeah, he’s a good friend.” She turns her head away from Hemsworth when he flinches at the dismissal. “Bake brownies too. I’ll bring ice cream.” She chuckles. “Yes, it’s that bad.” Thalia rolls her eyes, ending the call.

Hemsworth bites his lip. “Is he still jealous we’re friends?” He adjusts his glasses, trying to hide his hurt feelings.

“I’m sure he is, a little bit, but he knows the ‘surfer Norse God’ look you’ve got going on is not my thing.” She chuckles. “We’ve known each other a long time. Now, we’re always honest with each other. I’ve earned his trust.”

“I still think I could beat him at arm wrestling,” he chuckles, flexing his muscles.

“I’m sure you could.” She pats his arm. “Maybe at the barbeque next weekend. Bring that physicist you met. What’s her name? Jane?” Thalia pushes her hip against her door, opening the office. “Listen, go on home. I’m gonna be here awhile,” she says, flipping on the overhead light.

He shakes his head ‘no.’ “I can’t leave you- what if she came back? I was a witness, I can file a complaint also. If I understood it? What exactly did she mean?”

Thalia sits back in her office chair, turning on her computer. “My dad was Afro-Puerto Rican and my bio-mom was white. Mixed.” She tugs on her mane of unruly curls. “A zebra.” She shrugs. “I only heard it as a kid, growin’ up in the neighborhood. If that’s the worst thing she could think of to call me, I’m good with it. But I’m still gonna slam her for it. Petty bitch.”

He nods. “And I gather there’s more to the story from when you went to Uni here that you haven’t told me?”

Thalia exhales slowly, nodding and running her hand across her forehead. “Remember when we met last year, when I said I didn’t sleep with my science professor?”

“I kinda figured that part out.” Hemsworth smirks, resting on the arm of the couch.

“Surfer boy smarter than he appears, huh?” She chuckles, opening her email. “Yeah, Chris and I’ve dated off and on for the last three years. We met at the bar, where I worked.” She stares at the computer screen for a moment, sighing. “I wasn’t his student, although I was in his class years before, as an undergrad. And I eventually did some work for him as a grad assistant, helped with research and editing for his book. But that’s not the whole story. Kent didn’t know about him. That’s not who she was talking about…”

Click here for Chapter 7, Family Matters

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