Cabin Fever

etch 31 cabin fever june 18 2017

Chapter 31

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom & @devikafernando

AU FICTION

A collaboration involving Professor Hiddleston and Professor Evans- The two are rivals at a posh New England university and have no idea they both have taken interest in the lovely Thalia Bareo. She’s a grad student with interests in language and history; a sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago.  Story updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Word count: 3766

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, real life discussions, fluff, angst, weight issues   

Summary:  Due to a cancelled weekend date, Thalia has time for a special weekend with Chris.

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

She taps her phone against her chin, replaying their call in her mind.  Darling, I know this is very last minute, but I have to cancel our plans for the weekend.  My friend, Professor Harelson?  The one I took the teaching position from?  He’s decided to elope with his love and he’s asked me to attend the ceremony as his best man.  I’d love to take you to Canada with me, but other friends might be there, and we can’t risk our secret.

Shoving away from the counter, she walks to the fridge, looking over her calendar for the week. She can’t believe it’s already near the end of March and Spring Break is just around the corner. The only big thing on the agenda is the test Thursday. In her effort to comfort Tom, she’d promised they could go to dinner that evening and she’d drive him to the airport..  She totally understood the concept of keeping things secret, and she wasn’t at all upset about missing the wedding of a person she didn’t even know, although she would miss him. She sighs happily, thinking of Tom and how things have been more balanced these last few weeks.  Movie night has become more commonplace, and their get away two weeks ago to see a play in New York had been wonderful.

Continuing to look over her schedule, she smiles at the notation about work hours on Friday and makes a hasty decision.

Dialing Chris’s number quickly, she opens the door of the fridge and pulls out the juice bottle, taking a long gulp, nearly choking when he answers so quickly.

“Do you just sit around and wait for my call?” she giggles, screwing the lid back on and putting the bottle back on the shelf.

“Yes, oh great one, I have nothing better to do than to wait for you,” he teases, an infectious warmth in his voice.

“I like that.  Keep it that way,” Thalia jokes.  “So, uh?  Plans this weekend?  Mine changed, and I was thinking maybe I could convince my boss to let me skip work Friday afternoon?”

Waiting while he rustles some papers around, she assumes he’s looking at his calendar.  “But you work for me on Friday.”

She laughs, resting on the couch and pulling her book to her, settling in for a night of study.  “Yea… I’m telling you now, I won’t be in to work.  I’m gonna convince my boyfriend to go do something fun.”

“Oh really?  Hmmm… He’s a lucky guy,” Chris teases, playing along.   She hears him moving around other things and then a quiet groan as she presumes he drops to the couch.  “I miss you.  I hate that Avery and I were sick this weekend and we missed our Sunday.”

“I know, baby, me too.  I’ll see you at the history department breakfast tomorrow?”

He sighs.  “Not the same…  Alright, Niña, I’m gonna let you get to studying.  If Jim can let you have the whole week off to study for midterms, I need to respect your time.  Besides, I have planning to do.  I think I have the perfect idea for this weekend.”

#

The longer they are in the car, the quieter she gets until he realizes she’s fallen asleep.  Works herself too damn hard.  I can’t believe she even managed to get away for the weekend.  And it’s not just work, it’s that other guy too. Fucker, I sure would-

Stop.  That’s not conducive thinking to a romantic getaway, he laughs to himself, turning off on the exit and following onto the small two lane highway.  Watching her peacefully, he gently tugs back at her pink scarf, thinking it’s too warm in the car to have it on her neck.  Another bruise.  She swears up and down the bastard doesn’t hurt her, but he just can’t seem to let his worse nightmares escape even his waking thoughts.

Chris signals right, even though there probably isn’t even another car for miles.  He’s glad he drove up earlier in the week and got the cabin ready.  He’s not been out here in a few years.  He and Maura last came for their anniversary.  Right before he realized she was fucking their friend.  Kinda spoiled memories of the old family homestead.  He’d like to create new memories, with Thalia.  Find a reason to love the place again.  If not, it’s time to pass it over to his brother, let him get good out of it, and still keep it in the family.

Pulling the car up to the front porch, he gently eases the car into park.  He turns down the music and removes his seat belt.  He leans over the console and gently pulls Thalia’s arm free from around her waist.  “Hey, babe.  We’re here.  Wake up Niña.”

She is the most difficult person to wake.  He chuckles, wondering if she’d ever just respond back with a punch in her sleep.  He tugs the scarf and says a bit louder, “Sleeping Beauty, wake up, come on.  You can sleep when I get you inside.”

Her eyelids flutter open and she yawns, quickly clamping her hand over her mouth.  “Onion ring breath. Disgusting.”  Rubbing the sleep from her eyes she rolls her head across the back of the seat to face him.  “Why’d you let me eat those?”

“I believe your exact words were, ‘These are all mine; if you touch them, I’ll stab you with my fork.’”  He chuckles when she covers her face in shame and giggles.  “Besides, those are the best onion rings in the state; we couldn’t turn them down.  Stay here; I’ll get the door.”

She rests her hand on his arm, holding him in place.  “You do realize I’m in my boots, not heels this time.  I’m perfectly capable of opening a door for myself.”

He chuckles, “Damn independent woman.  I know you are.  Doesn’t change the way my mama raised me.  Keep your stubborn ass in the seat.”

Chris climbs out the car before he can hear her smart remark.  He jogs around the front of the car, the fresh powdered snow kicking up around his ankles.  Snowball fight. Definitely.  Hot chocolate.  Warm fire.  The whole nine, like some frickin’ chick flick.  He wants the weekend to be all about her, her needs.  When he reaches her door, she’s making funny faces at him through the glass.  Opening the door, he laughs, “One beer too many at dinner; you’re goofy.”

“Yeah, I’m not a beer girl,” she shrugs her shoulders.  “I was raised on the hard stuff.  I can handle it like nothing.  Three beers and I’m toast.”

“Good to know,” he teases, pulling her from the warm car seat.

Thalia steps aside, wrapping the scarf back around her neck while he closes the car door.  “Where are we?” she asks.  “It felt like we were driving for ever.”

“Well, Miss, in a sense, I’ve kidnapped you.  I’ve taken you across state lines without your permission.  But I figured that was the only way to get you out of the bar and away from your books.  Welcome, my sweet, to the Evans’ cabin home.”

Sweeping his arm in a grand gesture, her eyes take in the little home behind him.  The cedar shakes covering  the front porch are partially hidden by snow, icicles hanging from the edges.  She takes in the small windows, and notices smoke from the chimney.  “This isn’t a resort?” she asks, a bit confused from her stressful week and classes.  “There’s a fire going?”

Chris takes her hand, and guides her up the steps, careful for any patches of ice.  “The groundskeeper came up earlier.  He knew I was coming and started a fire for us.  The house should be warm and toasty.”

Thalia sucks in her breath, sinking in the history before her.  She smiles at Chris warmly.  “It belongs to your family?  How long has it been here?”

“Since the early 1900s.”

“So these logs were hand hewn by one of your ancestors, painstakingly put together for his family, to protect them; to keep them safe?”  Her hands brush over the worn wood, aged with time.  She steps closer, pulling her phone from her pocket and turning on the flashlight to admire the work.  “You can still see the ax marks.  That’s amazing!”  She runs to the end of the porch, checking to see the style used for placing the logs together.  “Notched?  That took a lot of extra effort;  and the brush marks in the chinking?”  Turning to Chris with her eyes wide, she grins.  “God, I can’t wait to see it in daylight.”

His grin equals hers.  He just knew she would love the old place.  When he pulls the keys from his coat pocket, she takes them from his hand and he eyes her questioningly.  She turns them over in her hand, admiring the heavy brass key from days gone by, being used now as the key ring to hold the modern ones together.  She cocks her head and smiles, taking a deep breath and sighing.  Blushing, she hands it back to him.  “Kinda nice to get away someplace that doesn’t open with the swipe of a plastic card, ya know?”

Raising his eyebrow, he’s not really sure, but he can see her brain spinning, absorbing the history.  “Whatdya mean?”  he asks.

“It means something.  It’s real; there’s a history and an importance to it.”  She pauses, biting her lip as he ushers her into the warmth of the little cabin.  Blushing a bit, she continues, “I mean I’m not knocking fancy hotels, but this…  It’s something that lasts…. What did it go to?”

“One of the ancestors to originally live in the cabin worked in the local bank during the depression.  The key was to one of the vaults.  Story tells he brought it home every night and placed it under the mattress for safe keeping, along with the cash that was supposed to be in the vault.  He didn’t trust the bank system himself and wanted to keep his friends with money there safe and secure.  So he kept it at home instead.”

He watches her expression as he flips on the lights.  His parents did renovations on the home while he was still a toddler, to allow for plumbing and electricity, and he’d spent many summers visiting as a child.  Liking the cabin, the lake, the woods, had always been a deal breaker for him, and he’d dumped a few girlfriends back in his youth for not feeling the same…  Her eyes are wide and she smiles at him.  He nods his approval and she moves forward, tenderly fingering the quilt over the back of the couch.  “My great, great, great grandmother stitched that,” he tells her, a quiet awe in his voice.

She walks around the room, taking in the little details.  “So much history…”  She runs her hands along the mantle, looking at the pictures, some dating back to the early 1900s, with small descriptions placed in the frames to identify the family members.  “Genealogy…  Wow.”  Bending down, she pokes at the fire a bit and then admires the masonry of the fireplace, swinging out the arm for the old fashioned kettle.  “We could pop corn in this!”  Her grin is huge and Chris releases the breath he didn’t know he’d been holding.

“That’s the plan, there’s some in the kitchen.  You wanna do that now?”  He asks, shrugging out of his heavy coat and laying it over his grandfather’s rocking chair.  Her appreciation of the small details has him bouncing on his heels in veiled excitement.

“No.  No; come here.  Sit with me.”  She removes her coat, wrapping up the scarf around her hand and placing it into the pocket.  “I wanna hear all the history of this place.  Is that where your fascination with the past started?”

Chris pulls an album and family bible from a shelf and brings it to the hearth to join her.  She snuggles next to him as he tells her all he knows about the home and shows sketches passed down for generations, hidden in the pages of the leatherbound book.   At her prodding, he shares tales of his childhood, the mischievous troubles he caused with his siblings, and the time their father actually chased after them with a switch from the willow tree off the edge of the back porch.  Tossing her head back in laughter at their antics, her eyes light upon the loft above.  “Is that where we’re sleeping?  I’m not real balanced on ladders,” she shares, biting her lip, squeezing his knee.

“No, I thought we’d stay in the larger room, an addition on the back.  It’s not original to the cabin.  Dad, Pappo and Scott and I built it when I was about sixteen.  Cut the logs down ourselves and everything.  Following the notes left in the bible and the trees we used were-”

“Wait, wait,” her hands fly to his chest and he instinctively flexes under her touch.  “I need to picture this.  You.  With an ax.  Chopping logs and splitting them to build a house with your damn bare hands…  That’s just… Shit, I need a cold shower.”

Throwing his head back in full body laughter, he pats his chest, feeling the soft plaid flannel under his fingertips.  “Oh, Niña, believe me, at sixteen I was not the fine specimen of the man you see before you now.  I was a theater geek.  I took dance lessons at Mom’s studio.  I played lacrosse but was the worst player on the team; girls weren’t exactly beating down the door to date me.”

Flipping a few pages in the album, she finds a picture of him in his youth.  Tracing her finger over the image, she says lowly, “They were idiots.  Sounds like you were just the kind of guy I dreamed of.”

He tilts her chin up to meet his eyes.  “What about you, Thalia?  Tell me about you, what kind of boys did you date, what was your childhood like?”

“Chris, I don’t… Ah, you know, you’re gonna bug me all weekend if I don’t answer, aren’t you?”

“I can be very persistent,”  Chris smiles.  “I could maybe even withhold some things you’re needing.”

Needing?  You think very highly of yourself, don’t you?”  Her hand graces down his chest and pushes against the bulge in his jeans.  “Fine, put some more wood on the fire.  Let me get something from my bag.”

Seeing the hurt in her eyes, he holds her close, kissing the top of her head.  “Oh, Thalia, I didn’t mean to make you sad.  I just wanna know you; all of it, the good and the bad.”

“It’s okay, really.  Isn’t that why we’re here?  Getting to know each other more?  You mean a lot to me; I think… I think I want you to know.  But it’s not stuff I really talk about, you know?”  She shrugs her shoulders, tenderly kissing his cheek, her lips grazing his, but not a fully planted kiss on the lips.  “There will be tears… I’m tough, but you’re too big of a softie.  You won’t be able to handle it.”  Winking at him, she pulls from his grasp and stands up.

“Oh is that right?”  His stomach coils, wishing he hadn’t even started this line of conversation.  She’s probably right.

#

The pause in the conversation lasts longer than he anticipated as she took time out to make coffee on the stove, an addition to the cabin in the late ‘30s.  The wrought iron metal beast was no trouble to her, something Maura never mastered in twelve years.  The kettle whistles and she pours two mugs over the instant brand he’d brought earlier in the week.

“Real caffeine.  None of that tea shit you’re always making at work,” he teases as she hands the steaming cup over the back of the couch to him and then a package of cookies.

“Real caffeine,” she laughs, a blush rising over her cheeks, taking one of the cookies he offers before she rests between his legs.  “But I happen to like tea also, so don’t knock it.  It’s a talent in how you make it.”  She sets her coffee on the little table behind the couch and leans back against his chest, pulling the quilt over their feet.

In the dark, the room lit only by the warm fire, she shares details of her past.  Her mom leaving one day when she was barely six years old and never coming back; how her father retreated into himself, not really knowing how to raise a little girl.  With more nephews in the family at the time, she was just raised like ‘one of the boys,’ and could hook a worm and change a flat tire faster than any of them.  Her father always dreamed of sharing his shop with her one day, but she knew her dreams were bigger.  Chris hears her story and it tugs at his heart, wanting to make sure to always remember Avery needs to be a girl.  But a side of tomboy isn’t so bad either, if it leads her to have the confidence Thalia has, an inner sense of self.

“No one ever talked to me about it, it’s just always what it was.  When Dad married Stacey, when I was nine, things changed.  She took me to therapy, but by then the physical damage was already done,” she tells quietly, pulling a photo from the back of her wallet.  “This was me, at eleven.  Food was my solace, and it was the one thing I could have control over.  My mother reappeared when I was ten and for awhile I was shuffled around between the two homes.   She always had boyfriends, and some of them gave me the creeps, so I ate more.  If I was fat, no one would pay attention to me.”

Chris’s hands stroke her arms tenderly and hold her close, resting his lips against the top of her head.  The more she talks, he can feel her relax in his stronghold, like all the years of therapy and all she needed was this.  She continues her story, how books and intelligence was her way out.  “Stacey really saw something in me no one else did; she encouraged Dad to send me to camps and her parents were my surrogate grandparents and they footed the bill for a lot of things Dad couldn’t afford.  I worked hard for scholarships, but I took a year off college.  I came out East to establish residency to cut down on school tuition.  I stayed with Big Jim and his wife and worked at the hotel in town.  I met a woman there who hired me as a nanny for her son.  I later overheard her talking at a luncheon with some of her friends, saying that at least her husband wouldn’t stray with the ‘fat nanny.’  She should have been more worried about what her step-son was up to under her own roof, sanctimonious bitch…”  She pauses and shakes her head.  “Anyway, my aunts all thought that it was a wonderful job, that I’d finally tap into the ‘mother gene.’  No such luck.  That child was the devil’s spawn.”  Turning in his arms, she looks over her shoulder.  “He was like eight, or something.  One day, he was supposed to clean his room and I went to do laundry?  The kid climbed out the second story window, jumped on top of the pool house and ran away and hid for hours.” She pauses in her storytelling and takes a deep breath.  “My job was already on the line, but the final straw was the day she found me in bed with the step-son.  But by that time, I’d taken free use of their home gym, the pool and the nutritionist.  I was just the help.  She never paid attention to me.  She hadn’t realized while I was running after her brat every day I’d lost over fifty pounds.”

Chris lets her words flow, fighting the urge to clench and fight against the rich bitch, and her step-son.   Her tone drops.  “I’m not necessarily proud of it, but that job helped me get ahead.  I knew I wouldn’t survive in the heat of archaeological digs at my weight, so I got in better shape.  Round?  It’s a shape, right?”  She giggles.   “A lot of her pals are alumni at school.  They knew some secrets might not be safe, as I had been in their circle.  After that, getting scholarships and fellowships wasn’t as difficult as it had been before.  My first year of school was practically paid for by that group.  Since then, I’ve rejected their money, and worked to attain other connections.  Now, my education is what I can control, and my food choices are just for pleasure.  All things in moderation…”

She quiets and the silence hangs between them for a bit.  Her head lulls against his chest as she watches the fire, still fingering the edges of the photo of the heartbroken chubby little girl she once was.

His ears and heart take it all in, wanting to patch up her pain.  Breaking the silence, Chris speaks.  “Fuck.  That’s quite an origin tale, Thalia.  Ya know, you’re an amazing woman.  What a bunch of assholes!  I don’t know who I wanna hit first… Ok, yea, I do… the fuckin’ step-son…”  She chuckles, and he wraps his arms tighter around her holding her to his own pounding chest.  “What do you think pushed you the most, to be who you are now?”

When she doesn’t answer, he shifts her against his side, so he can see her face in the light of the flickering flames.  Tears wash over her freckled cheeks and his stomach drops; his heart hurts with hers and he quickly wonders if there’s more pain to her tale she’s keeping to herself.  He finds tears stinging at his eyes. She said I’d cry; she knows me too well.

“Always feeling like no one wanted me, or knew what to do with me” she whispers into the night.  “That’s my origin.  I had to be strong for me because no one else was.”

Gently pushing her forward, Chris wiggles out from behind her and stands up.  “I want you,” he tells her boldly, sweeping her up in his arms and carrying her to their room.  “And I definitely know what to do with you.  Thalia, let me be strong for you.”

Click here to read Chapter 32 Prize

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

It’s Complicated

et 24 Its complicated may 24 2017.png

Chapter 24

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom & @devikafernando

AU FICTION

A collaboration involving Professor Hiddleston and Professor Evans- The two are rivals at a posh New England university and have no idea they both have taken interest in the lovely Thalia Bareo. She’s a grad student with interests in language and history; a sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago.  Story updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Word count:  6000 IT’S LONG BUT IT WAS NECESSARY- SORRY!

Warnings:  : Language, Adult Situations, stepfamilies, food porn, drinking, NSFW, fingering, exhibitionism, angst, real life discussions

Summary: Thalia enjoys some time out alone with her stepmother, glad she didn’t have to choose between her suitors for Valentine’s Day, but missing them.

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

Tired from the long day of classes, the drive into the city, and a few errands, Thalia hides her yawn as she sits at the table. The two women pour over the menu.  The older blonde, polished and sophisticated, taps the table with her perfectly manicured nails.  Looking over the top of her reading glasses, she asks the young woman what she plans to order.

“Mmm… I can’t decide,”  Thalia admits.  “It all looks so good, my mouth is watering just reading the descriptions.”  She happily sighs.  “I think the fish with a baked potato and the house salad?  And their garlic bread is to die for!”

“Thalia, that’s a lot of food?  You really shouldn’t be eating all those carbs.  I mean, you look great, but…”  begins the older woman.

Thalia takes a deep breath, steeling herself as she carefully places the menu on the table.  She’s used to her stepmother acting this way, and she knows if they can get through the first hour without killing one another, they’ll end up having a great visit together.

Shaking her head slightly, she purrs.  “Stacey.  I’m never gonna be stick thin, like you.  I know my limitations and if I decide to indulge there’s always the gym tomorrow.  Besides.  I can’t eat too much tonight. Everyone knows tomorrow is half-price chocolate day!”  Smiling sweetly, she pats the woman’s hand.  “Thanks for always worrying about me, but I know my shape. Big and round.  And I’m learning to own it, and appreciate it.  I’m actually really healthy right now, Moms.”

The woman takes the younger woman’s hand and squeezes it.  “You do look great.  Really happy…”

She pauses their conversation as the waiter takes their order, appearing to be miffed they didn’t order the dinner special.  Thalia looks to her right and left and it’s an endless sea of couples with the steak dinner in front of them.

Picking up the conversation where it left off, her stepmother takes a sip of her wine before asking, “Would this have anything to do with the gentleman visitor at Christmas?”

Smiling when the waiter returns with the bread basket, Thalia takes a piece of the bread and smiles up at her mom secretly.  “Maybe, yea, a little.”  Pursing her lips together, she isn’t sure how much to give away.  “He’s… He’s really amazing.  So sweet and caring, and he…” She stops and shakes her head, realizing she’s talking about both men and almost hating how this sentence ends in her mind.  Cuz it’s fuckin’ true of them both, and for the thousandth time, she can’t believe she let this happen… Tearing off a piece of the bread, the warm cheese stretches between the two parts and she dips it in the olive oil before popping it in her mouth, chewing carefully.

“Thalia, spit it out.  What are you not telling me?” The woman prods.

“Fuck, Stacey.  It’s kind of a mess, but it’s also really wonderful.  And I think…” She props her elbow on the table and rubs her fingertips across her brow with exasperation.  “I think he loves me.” She shakes her head and laughs.  Both of them do, and she knows it, and it’s just a fucked up mess she’s created.  “We haven’t said it yet, but I think he loves me.  And not ‘in spite of’ my size, but partly because of it.”  Trying hard to control the grin on her face, she just can’t stop herself.  It is Valentine’s Day afterall…  “He’s really just… something else, ya know?”

Stacey stares in disbelief for a moment and then releases a happy squeal.  “Oh, my God, honey!  That’s so wonderful!  Do you love him back?  Is he cute?  Is he still in school?  Holy shit, I didn’t think you’d spill the goods before the food arrived,” she chuckles.  “It usually takes a pry-bar to get you to open up.  He must really be under your skin.”

Taking a drink of her wine, she tilts her head slightly to the side while dozens of images race through her mind of both Chris and Tom.  Her smile reaches all the way to her eyes and she feels she’s positively glowing in the candlelight.  Candles on the table.  Romance. Damn.  She leans forward and blows it out, the smell of smoke filling the air.  “In the best ways possible,” she hints.

Their salads arrive and Thalia picks off the tomatoes, laying them to the side.  The woman across from her raised her since she was nine and she adores her with all her heart, but she can’t bring herself to fully open up with all her sordid secrets.  Hell, she tries not to think about it herself.  Sometimes, she’s afraid if she opens up to someone, things are bound to topple over and smack her in the face. As if this is all some magical fairytale and as soon as she breathes a word about it, the bubble will burst. She doesn’t want to be judged – least of all in her own head, and she has a pretty good idea she’ll start doing that automatically if she shares the details of her secret little love triangle.

She tries her best to answer the questions without actually confessing anything.  Scoffing, she replies quickly.  “Yes, he is still in school,” grinning at her own little joke.  “Devilishly handsome.  Glasses.”  She tilts her head back, eyes closed and euphoric, and shakes her whole body happily. God, she’s such a nerd.  “He’s got the most adorable accent and he gets so excited about learning new things, he’s like a puppy sometimes, bouncing all over the place.”  In her mind she wonders again how two men so different can actually be so much alike…

“Thalia María Bareo!  You are in love with him!”  Stacey drops her fork and bounces with glee.  “I never thought I’d see the day, but you are head over heels for this guy.  Oh, man!  This is amazing, honey!  I’m so happy.”

Oh, fuck.  She’s right. Her step-mother is always right.  When the hell did that happen?

She quickly downs the rest of her wine and signals the waiter.  “Scotch on the rocks, please.”

She fends off a few more of Stacey’s questions, answering as obliquely as possible.  She doesn’t want to give her stepmother any details she can nail down.  Their conversation dies off as the food arrives.  Thalia turns her focus to her mother and asks the required questions about family and adopts an air of interest as Stacey talks about the convention she is attending in the city.  Her thoughts begin to drift to ‘kill me now, I’d never survive the business world’ when her phone begins to buzz, hopping all over the table.  ‘God Save the Queen’ chimes and Stacey looks confused as to the choice of song.

Wiping her mouth on her napkin, she lays it next to her plate.  “Stacey?  Can I?” She indicates she wants to check her phone and her stepmother frantically waves her approval, mouthing the words ‘is that him?’

“It’s a text.  He can’t hear you.”  She shakes her head at the woman’s flightiness. Thalia unlocks the screen to see a selfie of Tom, presumably laying on his bed, wearing the shirt she gave him and the book she found in an old shop lying on his chest.  The message reads I miss you, darling.  Have fun with your mother. Can we meet for tea and toast in the Commons in the morning?

She runs her fingers over her lips nervously, thinking of the timing and knowing she has to attend a history department meeting at eleven with Chris to take notes about the upcoming exhibit.  Who is she kidding?  She’s juggled them both this long…  Of course, Tom!  Can’t wait to see you SIR.

Good girl.  I can’t wait either.  I have something I wish to ask you.

Thalia’s heart jumps into her throat.  At least with Chris, she can see where his thinking goes.  He sometimes misses the domestic life, and tries to replicate his favorite parts of it with her…

But Tom?  She has no idea where his mind wanders off to sometimes. It’s like he’s truly foreign to her.  Some days it’s so frustrating to be with him because his British demeanor can be cold and seem harsh, when she knows that underneath it all, he’s just a teddy bear that wants to believe in love again, to have someone to love him.  Dear God, please don’t let me hurt him…  She has no clue what he’s thinking; what he might want to ask.  She finds it unnerving.

Finishing her drink, she pushes her plate away, her appetite lost.  Stacey reads her emotions accurately, and asks, “Honey, if you’re so crazy about him, why are you here with me and not with him?  It’s Valentine’s Day?”

Nodding, she turns her hands and examines her nails, smiling absently to the waiter as he carries away her plate.  “It is.  It’s Valentine’s Day and that’s exactly why I couldn’t see him today.  It’s complicated.”

#

Over the loud music and the roar of the revelers, Thalia yells at her stepmother.  “How the hell did you talk me into this?”

“I’m your ride home!  Now shut up and have another shot.  Live a little!”

Stacey turns back to her friends from the convention and Thalia considers calling a cab back to the hotel.  The group of older ladies were enjoying the Anti-Valentine’s Party atmosphere of the night club.  Although most of them were married, that didn’t stop them from flirting, accepting drinks or dancing with the scores of good looking men who stopped by their table.  The party scene had never been Thalia’s style, but she’d danced and was having fun.  However her responsibilities are too great and she’s exhausted from her long hours.  Sliding down from the barstool she reaches across the table to her stepmother to tell her she’s going to leave when a strong arm wraps around her waist.  A familiar scent fills her nose and a heat radiates through  her.  She tries to maintain a straight face.  Reaching around her, the solid brick wall of a man standing behind her slams another shot of the dark amber liquid down on the table.  Rubbing his cock against her curved ass, he growls in her ear, “Another.”

Picking up the tiny glass, she turns to face him.  She can’t hide her smile at the handsome face that floats before her, a sure sight for sore eyes in a sea of strangers.  Shooting it down quickly she hands it back to him with a wink. In her husky timbre she boldly says over the loud raucous crowd, “Four.”

With his head thrown back in laughter she pushes past him to the dance floor.  She can feel his eyes following every move, knowing her high heels add more of a swish to her ass than usual.  Realizing he desires her is so stimulating and builds her confidence. Over her shoulder she sees him visibly panting and trying to discretely adjust the already growing bulge in his pants.

Shaking her head she finds a spot in the middle of the crowded dance floor and begins to sway to the music.   As one thumping song blends into the next, he shimmies up behind her.  His grasp on her is seductive and as she moves the seam of her tight jeans pushes her panties between her aching lips, soaking up her flood.  Reaching over her head and behind them, she drapes her arm around his neck, pulling his head down to rest on her shoulder.  Turning her head she yells in their close space.  “Chris! What the hell are you doing here?”

His hands reach all the way around her and rest on her belly pulling her back to him as they grind to a pulsing Latin beat.

“Stag night,” he yells in her ear.  “Some of my single friends thought they’d prey on heartbroken women.  Looks like they found some at your table.”  He nibbles on her ear and she lets him.  The movements are so sensual it’s like fucking in public.  As the crowd presses around them, his hands tease down her hips squeezing the tops of her thighs.  “Is one of those ladies your stepmom?”

“Shh… Don’t talk.  Keep doing that.”  She wants to lose herself in the music with him.  In public.  Like a goddamn real date on Valentine’s Day.  It’s like Cupid heard her wishes to be with one of her men; she pushes the thought away that maybe it’s meant to be a ‘sign’ that Chris was the one that appeared?

How could she ever hurt Tom?  How could she hurt Chris?  Her head pounds in a beating pulse and for one more night, she doesn’t want to have to come up with an answer.

His hands are rough on her body, tugging and pulling to the beat of the music, unknowingly lifting her from her negative thoughts.   His thick fingers grasp at her flimsy top and with each grope higher up her hips and sides, he lifts the silky red fabric until he can drag his fingers along the waist of her jeans.  Tickling at her belly button, he traces a path to the snap on her jeans.

Feeling her pupils dilate as another rush of wet releases between her legs she turns her face to his.  “What are you doing?   We can’t…” Her words come out as a rush of air, no real sound to them but the fire returned in his eyes lets her know she heard him.

“Look around, no one’s paying attention.  I can finger fuck you right here and no one would know.”

The sea of dancers swells around them and they are hidden in plain sight.  She can’t even see the group of Stacey’s friends and she doesn’t recognize a single face.  The ache in her body is intense.  Looking down she can see her nipples are hard, obviously peaking under the silk shirt, teased from the lace bra brushing against them.  “Aw fuck, Chris.  We can’t…”

Changing dance positions his other arm comes up over her shoulder and snakes over her breasts, pinching one of her peaks. “Fuck you,” she whispers.  “I already ache.”

“Let me make it better,” he offers quietly in return.

She leans back into his body, his cock throbbing and rubbing her ass.  If unclothed, he’d fit right into her.  No wonder he finds her heeled boots so damn sexy, she thinks.  We’re the perfect height.

“Niña, don’t think.”  His hands dip lower into her pants, the fabric relaxing and pulling away, allowing him access.  “You know if you want me to stop, you just have to tell me.  You’re so wet, I’m not even to your sweet pussy yet and I can feel your juices on my hand, our dance moves shifting your clothes, teasing you, spreading the wet.  The lace is soaked, baby girl.  So damn sexy.”

The dancers move and swirl around them, new pairings dividing off and others joining in.  Chris is her constant, pulling her to the edge with just his hands and his voice.  Her heart pounds in her chest.  Her head drops back against his shoulder and he bites her neck as he dips into her well, stroking the lace through her lips.  “Shit,” she moans.  Other party-goers jostle against them and his arm is bumped causing him to push deeper.  Not expecting the force, her ass pushes back against him and a gasp escapes her lips.  He keeps up the pretense of their dance as she melts in his arms.

Pulsating to the beat, Chris holds her tight and fucks her well.  “Thalia? Do you want me to stop?”  With a barely noticeable turn of her head, she breathes heavily against his skin.  “No.  No. I need this.  I need you.”

His hands are magic and she can’t say no.  His long fingers quickly make work of her as he whispers in her ear, encouraging her to let go, to relax.  “Come, come all over my hand and I’ll know it the whole drive home.”  His breath is hot and damp, and the smell of beer as he puffs against her skin seems to add to her own intoxication.  The music builds to a crescendo as she comes at his request, spilling over him and the dew seeping down her pants leg.

Removing his hand slowly, he wipes himself clean on the inside of her jeans, tugging her shirt back into place.  Keeping up their pretense of a dance, Chris holds her tightly so her limp form doesn’t collapse.  “Beautiful, so fucking beautiful.  Your mind, your body, your spirit, Thalia.”

Coming back to earth she can see Stacey’s blonde head bobbing up and down over the top of the other dancers, searching for her. Chris spins her quickly, her back to her mother and claims her with a kiss. “Let me take you home,” he begs.

Tucking her hair back she tries to clear her mind.  “No. We said ‘no Valentine’s Day’. This is pure coincidence; you got lucky I was here.  I’m staying with her at the hotel and I’ll see you at lunch tomorrow.”  She pushes away from his massive chest, ignoring the pounding pain in her head.  “I gotta go.”

“Been a long time since I had a girl run off ‘cause her mother was looking for her,” he teases.

Thalia tugs at his shirt collar, catching a glimpse of his tattoo, one of her favorite quotes.  “Cradle robber,” she jokes, trying to make light of the situation.  What kind of magic spell did he just weave?  Bastard.

Yanking her close for a moment longer, he shakes his head in total disagreement.  “You’re all woman, and you’re mine.”

“Just remember, that makes YOU MINE too, so don’t you be flirting with any of these desperate old hags”

Fleetingly, he touches his fingertips to her lips and she smells the proof of her ownership. Pivoting on her heels to walk away, he smacks her on the ass.

When she reaches her table and gathers her coat, she looks around for him and realizes he’s gone.

#

The women decide it’s only three blocks back to the hotel so the walk in the cold would be easier than finding a cab.  Thalia mentions Uber and most of them look at her like she’s speaking an alien tongue, so she just falls back in the group.

The air is cold against her wet jeans and she fears the smell will be detected in the winter breeze. “Jesus fuckin’ Christ,” she whispers aloud, rubbing her knuckle across her lips like she does when deep in thought.

Stacey steps in next to her and links arms.  “I’m sorry I couldn’t get out of my meetings today.  I can’t wait to see your new tattoo.  Glad you decided to go ahead and do it, for Amy’s memory.“  The blonde side steps some broken glass on the sidewalk.  “That was a fun night, baby girl!  I always wanna go out like that, but your father wants to sit at home.  I’m glad you came with us!”  She takes the end of Thalia’s pink scarf and wraps it tighter around her neck.  Thalia blanches at the use of her family’s nickname for her, having been so long since she’d actually heard family use it.  She palms her hand over her mouth and her stomach twists.

Baby girl.  Aw, fuck.  What have I done?  Stacey continues to prattle on, but Thalia hears none of it.  All she can think about is how she’s broken her own rule. Where did all her determination go?  She was the one who didn’t want either of them as part of her day, just to be fair to them both. She had wanted to prove to herself she could have fun without them. She shouldn’t have given in so easily, to Chris- letting him claim her like that, out in the open. But damn, the man is irresistible… She’s betrayed herself, dammit. And to top it all off she let him manipulate her thoughts and he fingered her in a goddamn public place where anyone could have seen them.  She feels sick about all the consequences if anyone from campus saw them.

“Hey, I lost ya.”  Stacey takes her room key out of her purse to gain access to the hotel lobby at the late hour.  “You okay?”

The women wait for the buzz of the door to let them in.  They all say their goodnights and head off in their individual directions, some staying by the warm fireplace to warm up and chat longer.

Thalia can feel the fakeness to her smile.  “Fine. Really. I think the evening just caught up to me and I’m dead on my feet.  I need some aspirin and to lie down.”

“Can do that, honey.”  Stacey replies leading them to wait with the group at the bank of elevators.  She leans in conspiratorially.  “Damn, I know you’re in love and all, but that man you were dancing with?  Hell, he was hot sex on a stick!  Yummy!”

“Stacey!”  ‘In love.’ Her stomach lurches at Stacey’s words.  Fuck.  She is.  With both of them, and her wanton public behavior tonight is such an insult to Tom and the privacy of their relationship… Jesus, what the hell am I doing?

“What? Just because I’ve been married to your father for sixteen years doesn’t mean I can’t look and appreciate the male form.  And believe me, he had a nice one.”  Stacey bumps her shoulder and giggles.

Girl stuff.  Thalia was never good at that.  Pulling herself together, she focuses on the now with her stepmother.   She giggles too and plays along.  “Yes, he did.  Solid too.”

“A man built like that?  He’s just right for a girl like you.  He could throw you around like a ragdoll,” Stacey smiles, her eyes bright from her slight inebriation.

“Oh my God.  Hello?  Boundaries.  You’re still my mother, ya know.”  Thalia laughs for real and shakes her head at the absurdity.  She wonders if Stacey will remember this conversation in the morning as she kicks off her heels in the elevator car.

“You need a man,” Stacey warrants, bending over to rub the ball of her foot.  “If men like that in clubs drool all over you, pick one.  And hell, I’ll stop worrying about you and food and your weight.  I’ve never had a man look at me like that before, honey.  Like he couldn’t wait to see you under all those clothes…” Other women from the club chime in their hummed agreement. The blonde tumbles a bit when the elevator stops at their floor. Righting herself she finishes with her audience. “If you can get a man like that one, take him and ride him to the altar and don’t let him go.”

Echoes of “hell yeahs” reach through the doors as they close and the silence to Thalia is deafening as they are alone and quiet for the first time all night.

Her demeanor changes and she sighs bitterly, really hoping her stepmother doesn’t remember her anger in the morning, just her words. “Dammit, Stacey, slow down.  Thank you for finally giving me permission to eat whatever the hell I want, that’s so kind of you…  But grasp your head around this one now: marriage isn’t in my cards.  At least not for a while…  I did not spend all this time and money on an education to give it up for a man and raise his babies.  I’m not ‘riding’ anyone anywhere right now, or for a long time for that matter.”

Her headache is growing worse by the minute and she just wants to get to the room and wash the club off her, the smell of smoke out of her hair.  She’s angry and she knows exactly why and Stacey just happened to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

“Girl, you’re all grown up,” Stacey says as she slides the plastic card into the lock.  “You don’t need me to tell you what to do.  And I’m so proud of all the things you do… I just don’t want you to be lonely.  Find a good man, not a boy, and know the difference.  Someone who lets you be you and makes you want to be… well, more.

Stepping into the room, Stacey moves to her bed and flops down face first kicking her feet up in the air.  Thalia closes the door and leans against it, banging her head back and closing her eyes.  “Maybe that’s the problem.”

Pushing away from the door the quote from Chris’s tat swirls in her brain.  When you lose touch with your inner stillness you lose touch with yourself.  When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.

Tugging her fingers through her hair, she wonders if she even knows how to be herself without them anymore. It’s like being with them has opened a Pandora’s box, and now she doesn’t know how to close it again. All the new experiences, the self-discoveries. Even though it ties her brain into knots sometimes to deal with the secrecy and onslaught of a dozen different emotions, she wants this, needs this like air.

God, how far gone is she? Will there ever be a point that is too far?

#

When Thalia arrives to the student Commons for her meeting with Tom, she’s ten minutes late and gritting her teeth. She knows how much he values punctuality, but this morning, nothing much has gone her way, traffic was bad leaving the city, and she probably looks as frazzled as her mind is.

He’s sitting at the far corner, a little secluded, alternately fumbling with his glasses and rubbing his lips. Surreptitiously straightening her clothes and hair and wondering for the umpteenth time what he wants to talk about, Thalia walks over.

Her heart gives a guilty little lurch when she sees that he’s ordered her favorite morning treat – coffee and a blueberry bagel with cream cheese.

He looks up and his jaw tightens as he’s watching her approach.

Shit. She’s not sure she can handle a pissed-off Tom this morning, with the mix of emotions churning away in her gut and the almost sleepless night making her grumpy.

“Professor Hiddleston.”

She stops in front of the table, wondering what to say. He taps his watch and lifts an eyebrow, giving her that stern look that’s infuriating and sexy at the same time.

“You’re uncharacteristically late, Ms. Bareo.”

Ugh. No use making excuses. “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again, sir.”

His expression softens ever so slightly at the last word and he motions for her to have a seat.

Thalia tosses her bag in an empty seat and sits down, crossing her legs. Tom is wearing one of his hundred nearly identical sweaters today, and the soft burgundy fabric stretches invitingly over his muscles as he folds his arms.

With a swallow, Thalia shifts in her seat. She needs coffee to survive this.

To keep up the pretense, Tom goes through a few project-related things first while they work their way slowly through their breakfast. She keeps having flashbacks of Chris pressed against her on the dance floor, and of the conversation she had with her stepmother.

Why did this have to happen to her? All those years without a real man to catch her attention, and now she has two who couldn’t be more different but mean the world to her.

“Ms. Bareo?”

With a start, she realizes Tom has been waiting for an answer from her. Blushing, she takes a last fortifying sip of coffee.

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes again.

He looks at her with narrowed eyes, but all of a sudden, his glare gives way to concern. Leaning forward, he lowers his tone. “Are you alright, darling? You look a bit out of it, to be frank.”

There it is again, the caring, kind side to him that not many people get to see, although he’s always politeness personified. She nods. “Yeah, I’m okay. Just a bit of a rough night.”

“I hope your stepmother didn’t give you any trouble?”

“No, nothing like that. She and her friends dragged me into a club and we got in late. So I’m a bit hung over, to be honest.  I feel as if I’m over forty and they’re the party-hungry teenagers or something.  They were all laughing and ready to go this morning like it was nothing!”

Tom laughs his characteristic ehehe, but sobers up quickly. Now that the somewhat stern look is gone, she can see that he seems nervous beneath his mask. He keeps adjusting his glasses and pushing the rest of his food around on his plate.

Changing the subject, he asks, “Did you and your stepmother get your tattoos?”

Thalia caresses over the tender spot on her breast carefully. “Yea, I did.  Hurts like hell too.  But when the redness goes away, it’ll be beautiful.  Stacey claimed she couldn’t get out of her meetings, but I think she punked out at the last minute.”

Tom smiles warmly, but his fidgeting hands bely his usual confidence.

Why is he nervous when she’s the one who should be feeling like that? It only makes her even more anxious.

“Didn’t you want to talk to me about something?” she offers quietly, hoping to alleviate his anxiety.

He swallows hard and starts playing with his empty teacup, long fingers handling the delicate porcelain with utmost care. God, what those fingers can do. They’re just as lethal when they’re gentle as when they grab her hard enough to leave bruises. She wonders, if given the chance, would he have done the same at the club – driven her crazy with his nimble fingers, leave her panting and wanting more?

Probably so, and his words would have been filthier.

And she’d have loved every goddamn minute of it too.

Who the hell am I becoming?

She closes her eyes briefly and forces herself to focus.

When he speaks, his words are so low she has to lean forward to hear him.

“Would you be my sort-of date at the Alumni Gala next month?”

The napkin she’s been twisting slides from her fingers to the table.

“What?”

Tom runs a hand back through his hair. “Bloody hell, that came out all wrong. I’m sorry.”

He takes a breath and continues in a surer tone. “You know that my project is going to be honored, and I want you there by my side because you’ve played such an important role in it. Without your research, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

His blue eyes seek out hers, everything about his expression earnest and appealing. She can feel her pulse racing at the thought of accompanying him to the gala. He’ll probably wear a three-piece suit or tux and look way too handsome. But…

“Won’t I stick out like a sore thumb?” she questions, worrying her lip. “All the staff and dignitaries and VIP guests, and then plain, old, plump me.”

He narrows his eyes again, reaching out to her but stopping himself at the last moment and taking a gulp from his water glass instead.

“Nonsense, Thalia. It won’t be the first time in history that a grad student has attended the gala for some very valid reason.”  Looking around the Commons, it’s still rather quiet the morning after the holiday, and she sees now she isn’t the only dragging, hung over person on campus.

His voice drops and her gaze is drawn to his lovely angled face again. “Darling, there’s no way you could ever be ‘plain.’  You’re such a beautiful, charming creature.  Everyone will fall at your feet and want to listen to your musical voice.”

Blushing, she tries to read him and understand his uncertainty.  His gaze softens. “It’s perfectly alright for me to invite you. Nobody will think twice about it…and I’m pretty sure the sight of you in a gorgeous gown will make rational thought impossible for anyone, especially me, anyway.”

A flirtatious spark darkens his eyes, and she feels her resolve melt away.

“Please accept my invitation, oh fair and gracious lady,” Tom adds with a theatrical expression that has her suppress a giggle. “Have mercy on this poor lad who doesn’t want to face the crowd alone. I haven’t got the faintest idea how Americans handle such events.”

Feeling more herself now, she raises a brow at him. “So, you only want me there to save yourself the embarrassment of putting your foot in your British mouth?” she challenges.

Something in his expression shifts from one moment to the other. It’s an art he’s mastered, and it never fails to throw her off balance.

“Oh, I have a whole list of ideas how you could keep this British mouth of mine busy,” he half-growls in a low, deep voice that sends delicious shivers down her spine.

“Tom,” she hisses, “not here.”

She’s had enough with public displays of… lust this week.

A smirk curls his thin lips before he pretends to busy himself with a bite of now cold toast.

“Seriously, though,” he goes on, sending her a pleading puppy-dog look. “I’d love to have you by my side and sing your praises, maybe even steal a few hidden touches. You don’t necessarily have to stick to my side, though I’d love that. And it will look really good for you, academically speaking, that you’ve been invited and received some recognition.”

Thalia leans back in her chair and sighs. “You’re right, of course. As usual.”

He smiles. “So you’ll be my date?”

“I’ll be your guest,” she says, stressing the last word and automatically smiling back.

“Marvelous. Don’t worry too much about it, you’ll fit right in.”

“I doubt that,” she mutters more to herself than to him. Her eyes widen when she realizes something. “Oh my god, I don’t have anything to wear! What sort of gown do you think is expected?”

Tom runs an appreciative gaze over what little of her body is visible, and she feels it like a caress that warms her from the inside.

“I’m sure there are photos or something from previous events to get an idea. Just pick whatever catches your eye, you’re going to look more stunning than all the women there put together, no matter what you wear.”

Blushing furiously, she wants to say something, but Tom holds up a finger.

“And by the way, I’m paying for the dress. No, don’t even think of protesting. You’re doing me a huge favor and honor by accompanying me, and a gown for a gala dinner isn’t going to cost a couple of bucks. I insist.”

“But, but…” she splutters, only to be cut off again when he adds in a low, warning tone, “Are you going to be a good girl and do as I say, or do I need to pick out a dress for you myself?”

Well hell, that doesn’t leave her with much of a choice.

“Damn you, Professor, you aren’t playing fair,” she complains, crossing her arms.

“Stop pouting like this or I’ll have to drag you into the next best room and kiss the pout right off your lips.”

The sexy threat makes her breath hitch.

Damn, he knows just how to push her buttons.

“Yes, sir.”

The look in Tom’s eyes is full of promises.

“Glad we’ve got that settled then.  Choose something to show off your lovely legs.” He gestures to the meal. “Any more coffee or tea?”

Thalia huffs and shakes her head. Ever the gentleman, Tom rises when she does. He bends to retrieve his leather briefcase and uses the move to whisper into her ear.

“I can’t wait to see you bedazzle the crowd, my precious orchid. You’re going to make all the other wallflowers wither away.”

Click here for Chapter 25 Step Up

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando

Ride Home

ET ch 23 ride home may 21 2017

Chapter 23

Educating Thalia

Collaboration by @avenger-nerd-mom &  @devikafernando

AU FICTION

A collaboration involving Professor Hiddleston and Professor Evans- The two are rivals at a posh New England university and have no idea they both have taken interest in the lovely Thalia Bareo. She’s a grad student with interests in language and history; a sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago.  Story updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Word count: 4446

Warnings:  Language, Adult Situations, NSFW,  Dom Tom, spanking, safe words, aftercare, fingering, intercourse, car sex, condoms, food porn, real life discussions

Summary: Thalia pushes back on some of Tom’s ‘training’ and challenges him.

Author’s Note: Photo cover images found on Pinterest.  Yes. I’m fully aware that is Dean Winchester’s back!  Search “couple making out in back seat” and a thousand versions of that photo pop up!

Click here for intro to Educating Thalia

Pulling up in front of the dark apartment complex, Tom doesn’t like the look of the overhanging shrubs near the gate.  Placing the car in park, he looks at the girl in the passenger seat and over his shoulder at her roommate and with his gentleman’s air says, “Come on, ladies.  I’ll walk you up.  I don’t feel right sending you alone.”

As they climb out of the car, he looks back to Thalia and growls quietly, “Be in the front seat when I return.”

Smiling innocently, she kicks her bag to the side and nods her head, pushing her wayward curls behind her ear.

A few minutes later, he walks down the sidewalk to the car, seeing her still in the back seat, her head rested back and eyes closed.  He lets out a little chuckle and shakes his head at her stubborn sense of freedom, a puff of air in front of him in the cold night.  Pulling himself together, he takes on the role he likes to play with her as he opens the door.  “You didn’t follow directions,” he plainly states in a low voice.  Climbing into his seat, he buckles up and waits for her response.  His eyes watch her in the rearview mirror as she slowly raises her head.

The defiant look he loves so much shines in her dark eyes and she bites her bottom lip, holding back a smile.  “I figured if I was already in trouble, I may as well make it worth it.”

He flicks the item hanging in front of him.  “And are these your panties hanging from my rearview mirror?”

She calmly mimics the lilt to his voice with her own raspy latino rhythm, smokier from the alcohol in her system.  “Is this a fuck blanket in your backseat?”

“A what?”  Tom asks, guessing at her meaning, watching along the deserted street carefully before maneuvering into the driving lane.

Her eyes dance with fire.  “Where I come from, there’s only one reason to keep a blanket in the back seat…”

Harshly Tom replies, “Yes.  I learned a lot about where you come from tonight and-”

She interrupts him, “Listen, you can dress me up and take me to fancy hotels but I’m still the girl that could change the oil in this car in 15 minutes flat and talk baseball in the shop with the other guys at the same time.”

“Ah.  I see.  The two sides of Thalia… well, right now, I think your backside should be over my lap.  You deserve a spanking for your behavior and attitude tonight.”

“Then do it,” she taunts.

“You think I won’t?”  His question is met with silence as she rests her head back again and the drive continues.

His brain rolls with images of spanking her and the pink panties catching in the passing street lights has him make a right turn at the next traffic stop. Turning on the radio, sounds of a lonely Hank Williams tune fills the car and he sees her sly grin in the rearview mirror as she quietly sings along.

When the car finally comes to a stop, she lazily lifts her head and rubs her eyes.  “Where are we?” she curiously asks.

Tom doesn’t reply to her question.  He gets out of the car and shakes out of his thick winter coat and removes his belt, placing both in the driver’s seat before opening the door to the back.  His eyes are dark as he crawls in the seat beside the curly haired imp and her own grow wide.  She curls her lips over her teeth and bites down, a spot of fear on her face, but he knows she is safe and she is playing her role.

“Did you have a question for me, darling?”  Tom asks, his fingers grasping the edge of the blanket he keeps in the car in case of winter emergencies.  It’s wrapped loosely around her waist and with a quick tug it falls open to reveal herself naked from the waist down.  She shivers as his long fingers caress across the top of her leg and he squeezes her thigh tightly.

A small sigh escapes her lips before she asks again, “Where are we?  It’s really dark and secluded.”

With a low moan of his his own, his fingertips knead into her flesh, tugging and pulling as his lips find the side of her exposed neck.  His late night scruff scrapes across her skin before he takes a bite at her collarbone.  His eyes fall to her hands, grasping the edge of the seat tightly.  “It’s okay, love, we’re at the lot for the hiking trail.  No one will be out here this time of night.  Be as loud as you want, wake the sleeping forest creatures.”

Biting back a giggle, she asks, “I’m allowed to make noise, sir?”

“All you want sweetheart,” he asks, biting at her again and leaving a small mark.

His mark.  His heart pounds wildly as she relaxes into him, spreading her legs wider.  He chuckles, “No.  No.  That’s a reward, darling, and you’ve been a bad girl.”

With a flip of his arm around her waist, he lays her over his lap, her full rounded ass exposed to the moonlight coming through the window.  With a quick smack, her skin bounces back and turns red in moments, a gush of air released from her lungs as she grasps his ankle.  “Fuck,” she whispers.

With another swipe of his hand, he rules, “No swearing, darling, it’s not very lady-like.  The stories you told tonight?  Someone needs to teach you to be a lady.”

His cock stiffens between them, the weight of her body against him, and he longs to be inside her as he swats her ass again and again. She takes her punishment silently, but her grip on his legs tightens. The tanned globes of her ass radiate heat from his touch, her curls falling down around her face as she starts to shake her head.

“Chocolate, Tom, chocolate.”

The sound echoes in the car and his hand freezes in mid-air.  He spins her around and cradles her in his lap, pushing her hair back so he can see her eyes.  “Are you alright, darling?  Did I hurt you?”

She huffs slightly, “Yea my ass hurts… Geez.  No.”  She sighs resting against his chest.  “I guess that’s just not a kink for me.  It reminds me too much of mi abuela and how she would paddle me with a wooden spoon when I got in trouble.  You probably can’t imagine this, but I got in trouble a lot.  She said I had a sassy mouth.”  She smiles at his feigned shock.  “I’m okay.  I’m fine.  Really.  It’s just not turning me on.”

Thalia looks up into his eyes, softer now, and cups her hand against his cheek.  “I’m okay.” She rubs her thumb against his cheek to erase his lines of worry.

“Thalia, are you sure?”  His hand tenderly brushes over the raw flesh.  “There’s still some snow on the ground; we could ice your bum?”

She giggles, her eyes glistening with tears.  “You are the sweetest man.  Really, I’m okay.  I can still feel my ass cheeks.  They’re not numb, and I like the light touches you’re doing now.”

As one song on the radio changes to the next, he holds her tight, his worry lessening.  Her fingers loosen against his collar and she slowly begins to unbutton his shirt, pressing kisses along his chest with each area of exposed skin.

“Tom?  I really need you tonight.  Your brain is whirring.  I can almost hear it.  Whatever thoughts you have, just focus on me.”

He sighs and slides down the seat more, his legs cramped in the small space.  “I think I’ve outgrown the size for making out in a backseat.”

“I know I have, but we can have fun trying,” she laughs.  “I um… I probably could use your fingers first to get me ready?”

The blush on her cheeks is beautiful in the moonlight and Tom lifts her up, kissing her tenderly before setting her back down against the door of the car.  “Slow and gentle, my Thalia, and if I hurt you, you tell me.  I’m so, so proud of you for using our safe word and telling me your feelings.”

Tugging the soft blue sweater over her head, she laughs, “Isn’t that why we have it, silly?”

Tom smiles down at her, crawling between her legs, one knee on the bench seat and the other resting on the floorboard.  Lifting her chin he kisses her sweetly, tasting the alcohol on her lips.  Always in the way, he removes his glasses and tosses them into the pile in the front seat.  Sliding his hand down from her face, he cups under her covered breast, running his thumb over the lace, raising her nipple to its peak.  Bringing his scruffy kisses down across her chin and neck, he drags his beard over her chest and latches his mouth over the lace, pulling it in between his teeth before clamping down on the sweet peak.  Flicking his tongue over the bud, the lace gets wet and moves easily with the force of his mouth.

Her hands run over his chest and tug at the waist of his pants while he brings his other hand to push the lace out of the way and expose her tit.  “Stop, stop stop.  Do you know how much it costs to get a good bra to hold these things up?  You’ll stretch the lace.”  She leans forward and quickly undoes the hooks, a look of sweet relief on her face as her breasts fall free and he pulls the delicate fabric from her arms.

“Blue? And pink panties?”

“Yea, I need to do laundry tomorrow.  Nothing matches,” she giggles as she falls back against the door of the car, pulling him on top of her.

He loves her playful side as much as he adores her bending to his will.  It really is like two sides of the same person, each as sweet and sexy.  His mouth finds itself tonguing the chocolate colored bud again as his hand dips into her wet.  Soaked already, he quickly pulls her to the edge, encouraging her noises and cries.  He so rarely gets to enjoy her sexual melodies as they often are in his office or hotel rooms, hiding from prying eyes and ears.

Her whimpers rise to a crescendo, echoing in the car, as she rides out his fingering. Eager to climb on his lap, she pushes against him.  Falling against the seat, he hauls her on top as she reaches between them to free his cock.  “Wait, shit.”  She sits on her heels as he pulls off his socks and shoes and wiggles out of his pants.  Supporting herself on the back of the car seat, she reaches into her bag and removes a condom from a little zipper pouch, throwing it back down on the floor.  Holding the foil packet in between her fingers, her expression softens and her mood changes, waiting for his approval.

Sitting up, Tom wraps his hands tightly in her hair, whispering, “Sometimes bad girls are so good, darling.”

Open mouthed, his nose crashes against hers, nibbling at her upper lip and the side of her mouth, even gently biting her cheek before his lips finally collapse against hers, a desperate need for their kisses, a salve to fix the pain in his chest.   He worries about the spankings, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Her kisses are just as fiery, tugging at his lip while her hands stroke him up and down, readying his cock for her as it swells in her grasp.  Her touches change, alternating from tight to slack, dragging her fingertips from base to tip.  With a clumsy twist on the backseat of the car, he slides her onto her back and kneels between her legs again, taking the condom from her and rolling it down his shaft.  “Come for me again, darling.  Spill all over my cock.”

With a strong push, he enters her quickly, surrounded by her sweet wetness, ready just for him.  She exhales sharply and brings her leg over his back as he thrusts in and out of her.  In the back of his mind he knows things have been too rushed between them lately, and it’s time for another getaway weekend, but taking his time here in his car doesn’t seem reasonable.  Her nails scratch at his back and she hisses as her sore ass rubs against the soft leather seat.  “Sir, please don’t make me wait; I can’t.”

Shifting his weight, he supports one hand on the window above her and the other on the seat.  Pushing in to the hilt, he grinds down on top of her and plunges in and out again, his own sounds following hers.  Each time he hits her sweetest spot her cries grow louder before she whispers his name.  Tightening around him she comes, milking from him a release of his own as he drops his head against her chest, whimpering obscenities into the night air.  She stills under him and he slowly pulls out, picking her up to sit her in his lap and wrapping the blanket around their bodies.

“See?  A fuck blanket,” she laughs, pushing his sweaty curls from his forehead.

In blissful silence, the rain begins again and beats against the window as he covers her face with tiny kisses and she whispers words of sweet happiness to him.  The radio announcer states the time, and Tom is drawn back to reality, remembering he has to catch the train to the city early in the morning for the school trip.  Holding her a bit longer in his arms, he lightly kisses the top of her head.  “Darling, it’s time to go.  I have that trip in a few hours.”

She sighs and his heart tightens.  “Just a few minutes more.  I feel like you’re always rushing away from me; we really won’t have time this week.  We’ve got all those meetings and I’m out of town with my step-mom when she visits for her convention.  Alone on Valentine’s Day sucks, you know.”

Squeezing her close, he wraps his arms tighter around her as she plays with the wispy hairs on his chest.  “If I didn’t have my meeting with the Chancellor that day to discuss funding for our next trip, I’d be by your side in a heartbeat, darling.”  He sighs, the wild curls in her hair tickling his nose.

Thalia shifts from his grasp, leaning over the console and sticking her rounded behind in his face while she reaches for her underwear.  He moves forward and gingerly kisses the redness on her ass.  Blowing cool air between his lips he continues to caress over her soft skin.  Sighing she wiggles, whispering, “Damn, that feels good.”

Turning to face him for one last kiss, they both begin to dress, handing each other found items on the floor of the car.  She starts to giggle a bit as she pulls on her sweater.  “Tom.  I’m hungry.  Still.  I only ate a few wings and a few of your fries.  Can we swing through some fast food?”

Exiting the car, Tom laughs, shaking his head.  “Get in the front seat this time.  We’ll go get burgers.”

Driving off in search of burgers in the early morning hours, Thalia refreshes Tom’s memory on details of the itinerary for the student trip.  He makes small talk with her about plans for the visit with her step-mother and asks questions about their relationship.  In the flashing of the streetlights, she tugs on his arm and winds her fingers through his, resting their hands on the console separating them.  Giving her hand a warm squeeze, he encourages her discussion of a tattoo in honor of her deceased friend.

“It’s something Stacey’s always wanted to do, and is too chicken to do alone, so she suggested it.  I’m still not sure, but I guess I have a few days to figure it out,” she laughs, pointing ahead to a fast food place with its lights still on.

Turning at the intersection the car drifts lightly on the rain soaked road but Tom holds steady.  “Not sure on the design or if you want one?”

The conversation pauses as they place and wait for their order, Thalia shaking her head that she doesn’t want ketchup.

“Amy- my friend that died last summer?  She was an amazing artist.  I’ve always loved the natural beauty and smell of orchids.” Tom hands her the food from the service window, placing their drinks in the cupholder.  “Her project for her senior portfolio in high school was a beautiful watercolor of a branch of pink orchids she designed for me.  It’s the painting above the mantel in my apartment?”  Drawing the milkshake up through the straw, she scrolls through her phone and shows the image to Tom.  “I’ve always known that’s what I would want, and I have the money saved.”  She giggles, raising her eyebrows.  “Part of me thinks it’s a frivolous use of my hard earned money.  And I’m afraid of needles and don’t like pain. ”

“That could be a problem, darling,” he chuckles, exiting the parking lot.  “I don’t speak from experience, but I think that’s how the process is done.”

“Smart ass,” she whispers between their laughter.

The pair decide it’s late and cold, so Tom will take her back to her apartment and her neighbor can help retrieve the car later in the day.  It’s a Saturday, so she won’t need to worry about getting to campus early.

Clutching the bag of warm food in her lap, Thalia turns in the seat and smiles at Tom as he pulls up in front of her building.  “I had fun.  It was almost like a real date,” she giggles.  “I’m kind of jealous I can’t go on the trip tomorrow; I’d love to see that performance.”

Pulling on her curls, Tom grins, “Well, I’ll see if I can get us tickets during Spring Break.  All those office hours you signed up to work are simply ridiculous.  Campus will be dead while everyone is out having fun and there’s little Thalia slaving away at her books and purchase orders for the next semester.  Take a break, darling.”  Cupping her cheek tenderly, he leans in for a chaste kiss.  “You work too hard.”

“I know, I know.”  She peers down into the bag and pulls out a few fries, offering some to him, but he declines.  “So, um, all that stuff tonight?”

“Yes, love,” he says, turning off the ignition, a curious expression gracing his chiseled features.  He has a feeling this is another of their heart felt chats and he’ll be sleeping on the train to the city in the morning.  “You can tell me anything, you know that.”

Unwrapping the burger and pulling it apart, she tosses the pickles to the side.  He tentatively reaches for one and she nods.  She sighs.  “Stacey had me in all kinds of kids’ fitness classes and diet groups.  She worried about my weight.  I’m not really proud of all the things I did as a kid, and I had some pretty big self-esteem issues.  My mother leaving Dad and I was a big thing to overcome, and I was always searching for something.”  She looks out the window at a passing car, avoiding Tom’s gaze.  “I’m not that girl any more. I’ve grown up.  I make adult, womanly decisions.  They still might not always be the best ones, and sometimes I don’t think things through first.” She tilts her head to the side with a small shake of her head. “But they aren’t simply for the sake of having someone pay attention to me… I just wanted to say that.  I have to remind myself sometimes, and I thought it would be good for you to hear it too.”

Tom’s hand caresses down her arm, rubbing over the back of her hand.  “You don’t have to explain anything to me, darling.  You don’t owe me anything.”

She chuckles wryly.  “Yea, actually I do.  I’ve always kinda been this tough thing, taking care of myself.  Dad kinda raised me that way- ‘Seas independiente.’  Being on campus really helped me figure out who I wanted to be.  I still remember walking into your class that first time I saw you…”  She blushes and pauses in her thoughts.  “You took my breath away; not for your handsome good looks, but just for your passion; your obvious enjoyment of life.  I wasn’t even planning to be a language studies major- I was history, all in.  But you… Tom, you’ve really shaped the choices I’ve made in my schooling and career.”  Stopping again, she nibbles on the burger growing cold in her hands and Tom’s eyes brim with tears.  “Oh, don’t get sappy on me.  I can’t handle that,” she chuckles, her voice choked as well.  “We get too caught up in our own head spaces and I forget to tell you you’re important to me.  With you, it’s nice not to have to think…”  Thoughtfully, the dark haired beauty pauses again.  “I appreciate all you’ve shown me; all you’ve given me.”

Tom rests his head against the seat, watching her, not knowing what to say.  As if she reads his thoughts, she caresses his cheek and the whiff of onions on her hands is unmistakable.  He takes her wrist and kisses her palm.  “Thank you, darling.  And I most likely don’t say it enough either.  It’s not a very British thing to do.  We often sit on our feelings, but you remind me that’s a very uptight way to live.”

“We’re good together,” she simply states, the smile reaching her eyes.

“That we are, darling, that we are.”  Returning her smile he takes the remaining pickle from the paper wrapper.

In his heart, he knows she needs more from him, but Thalia’s chipped away at his hard surface.  As the cliche goes, she’s made him a better man.  He’s offered his recommendation to several museums overseas when they call to inquire about her resume.  His heart breaks every time he sings her praise, as he knows he can’t hold her back.  The quiet country music fills the car and the mood lightens while she teases him about his choice of music and the pair talk a bit longer on lighter subjects.

“By the way,” she giggles.  “Made a new friend tonight, did you?”  She purses her lips, a spot of jealousy in her eyes.  “I was too afraid to reach under the table and tease along the seam of your pants for fear my fingers might brush against hers.”  Shuddering at the thought, she watches his own reaction.

Groaning, he runs his own hand nervously along said seam.  “Apparently the math department is very forward, and they’re all okay with it.”

“Right?  They all acted like it was no big deal.  Ugh, who would want him? So crude, and his cheap polyester ties.”  Rolling her eyes, she chews on the last french fry.  “I mean, if you’re going to have an affair with a professor, go for the ones with nice silk ties.”

His laughter fills the car and she smiles at her joke.  “Count that as a kink,” she smiles.

“Good to know,” he replies.  “Another one for our list.”  His hand caresses her thigh, stopping with a light squeeze before resting warmly on her leg.

“You can come up,” Thalia offers shyly.  “You don’t have to go home tonight.”

The grip on his heart tightens, as it always does when she invites him to stay..  As much as he wants to say yes, he also knows he needs to be ready for the school trip.  “No, darling.  I can’t.  There’s a good possibility if I walked through that door, I would never want to leave your bed ever again.”  He offers that truth to her, caressing against the soft skin of the open neckline on her sweater.  “I still have a few things to keep up with at home to make the morning train.  I’ll probably nap all the way to the city.”

Reaching in the back seat, Thalia turns to hide her disappointment.  Picking up her purse, she pulls the blanket through the gap between the seats.  “Take this.  Snuggle with it on the train,” she giggles, clearing the air.  “That could cause sweet dreams.”

Leaning over the console for a goodnight kiss, he whispers, “More like erotic dreams I don’t need to have in public with twenty or so students, you wicked girl.”

As if to prove how hard he finds it to resist temptation when it comes to her, Tom takes his time with the goodnight kiss.

He nips at Thalia’s bottom lip to make her part hers, then flicks the tip of his tongue over them. Every time she tries to deepen the kiss, he draws back a fraction, grazing his teeth over the glistening flesh or simply hovering close and breathing her in. When he finally slants his mouth over hers and slides his tongue in as deep as it can get, they both moan heatedly into the kiss. Tongue strokes against tongue, and their mouths part only to meet again and again.

After what feels like an eternity, Tom withdraws with a last lick and a soft groan, leaving Thalia blinking and out of breath.

Once she’s shaken off the new bout of intense longing, she folds the blanket and lays it in her lap, running her fingers over the lumps to smooth it out.  “Good night, Tom.  Have fun tomorrow.  Thank you for a wonderful evening.  Sometimes things turn out amazing when you go against the plan.  I’m glad I didn’t sit alone in the library studying.”

“Me too, darling.  Come on.  I’ll carry your things and walk you in.”

She giggles and shakes her head.  “Don’t be so British.  That’s ridiculous.  It’s my building and it’s five steps away from the car.  Totally safe here.”

Before he can argue, she opens the car door and hops out, closing it with a bang.  In the rain, she runs around the front of the car, and taps the driver’s side window.  Tom quickly rolls it down, accepting her wet kisses before she bounces away.  He waits as she unlocks the building door and disappears inside.  Watching for oncoming traffic before he drives away, he hopes his car forever smells like his sweet hothouse orchid.

Click here to read Chapter 24 It’s Complicated

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom.  All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando