Getaway

ch 8 getaway jan 27 2019

Getaway

Being Thalia

Chapter 8

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: Chris finds a way to help relieve Thalia’s after-work stress.

Previous Chapter, Family Matters

Word count 2578

2020, Spring Semester

Staring out the window, watching the waves hit the shore, the moonlight bouncing off the water, she growls. “I still can’t believe you talked me into this.”

Chris pulls back the bedspread with a flip of his wrist, decorator pillows flying through the air like popcorn. “I told you once I was gonna see you in a bikini on a beach, and I meant it. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I’ve already booked us for a boat trip and snorkeling and-”

“You can’t stop grinning, can you?” She asks, kicking off her heels.

“Oh, no,” he chuckles. “Put those back on, Professor.”

Blushing, she rolls her eyes. “Shut up.” Reaching under her hair, nearly six inches shorter than she wore in college, she grabs for the back of the large hoop earring and undoes it, tossing it on the dresser. In the mirror, she watches as Chris quickly removes all his clothes before flouncing down on the bed. She laughs, as she reaches across and removes the other earring, laying it next to the other, almost as large as the bangles she’d removed from her wrist. “You’re crazy if you think you’re gettin’ laid tonight. Avery is in the other room, right next door.”

Running her fingers through her hair, she pulls and tugs at the tame curls to free her mane.

“Jesus, fuck, that’s sexy,” Chris admires, patting the bed beside him. “So you’ll just have to be quiet.” He lifts his eyebrow, presenting his challenge to her. “You’ve been gone for five days. I could die.”

Seeing him lie naked on the bed, his dark hair trailing down his tight stomach, awakens her. As tired as she is, she thinks she can muster up some energy for some night-time recreational activities. She smiles. “You’re not gonna die.”

“It’s possible. The unused… junk… could back up into my brain, causing me to have a seizure of some kind and-”

Hitting him in the face with her shirt suffices as a way to shut him up.

He sniffs the silk blouse, fingering the delicate fabric. “Come on, Niña. It’s not like we haven’t had sex when she’s around.” He tilts his hide to the side. “And there’s a closet buffering the sound between the two rooms. Come on. Really. This is our special holiday, celebrating your doctorate, the opening of the museum here, and your amazing displays. We have ten days, just the three of us. ‘Ry and I spent the last two days at the pool since we stepped off the plane, while you’ve worked on the other side of the island. Babe, I’ve missed you.”

Sliding the lotion over her dark skin, she can’t deny the tightening in her belly, seeing him on the bed, his cock hardening as he speaks. “I need you too, Chris. Just let me-”

“DADDY!”

The scream echoes through the hotel suite. Chris closes his eyes and Thalia counts the seconds, to see if the young girl cries out again. She does, and Chris huffs as he climbs off the bed. “And that’s why we can’t have ‘daddy kink,” he grouses, exiting the room, pausing to kiss her cheek as he yanks back on a pair of sweatpants.

bringing sexy back

Thalia leans against the door frame, tired. She listens to him calm his daughter, making her promises to go to the beach the next day and snorkeling soon. As his voice grows quieter she slips into the bathroom to finish getting ready for bed. Removing her makeup and brushing her teeth, Chris still isn’t back from settling the child when she crawls into bed, quickly falling asleep, exhausted from last minute work at the island museum.

Sometime during the night, Thalia rises from her deep slumber as she feels his fingers delicately roaming across her back. He tugs up at the hem of her t-shirt and she lifts from the bed so he can pull it up. She smiles at his fair skin, practically glowing in the moonlight drifting in from the window. He continues his caresses and she quietly moans. “You can’t be serious?” She can feel his hard, heavy cock resting against her thigh.

He chuckles in her ear increasing the force of his touch across her back. This continues for some time, or not, she has no idea in her sleepy state. His body shifts on the bed and his agile fingers skim just under the waistband of her underwear. She moans again softly, warm from the wet beginning to pool between her legs, anticipating more from him. His strong, greedy hands smooth over the rounded curve of her ass and she slightly spreads her legs to allow him more access. He ghosts his fingers across her covered slit, applying just enough pressure to know she’s wet.

Thalia’s breath catches, wanting more. She wiggles and writhes, whispering her desire to roll over and remove her panties so he can take care of her. He ignores the words, giving her bum a slight tap and a gentle rub before running his hands back up her curved spine.

Chris leans across her, pressing his weight down on her as his lips tenderly kiss and bite her hip. He lightly adds a flick of his tongue, lapping like tiny flames, igniting her as more kisses are gifted across her silky skin, covering the whole of her back, slowly and precisely.

She whispers again, “Let me roll over and you can use your strong fingers… I want you to, I wanna feel you…”

The caresses from his soft full lips continue and he ignores her again.

“Honey, I wanna feel your hands inside me. I want you to finger fuck me.”

He chuckles against her neck, his warm breath causing goosebumps on her skin. Thalia knows in the dark he is smiling at her word choice. He thinks it’s funny when she talks dirty, when she tries so much to be adult-like and proper these days. “How quiet can you be, Professor?”

Her eyes flash dark, her pupils dilating so fast she can almost feel it. Fuckin’ hell, that is a sexy title. No wonder they both-

Breathing deeply, she tightens her fist, digging her nails into her palm. Stay in the present, stay in the present.

She looks back at him, over her shoulder and with her other hand, she mimics locking her lips and throwing away the key.

In a quick move, he pulls her panties down her legs and caresses his strong calloused hands over her bare ass. Bent over her, he takes a bite of the juicy peach and she jumps, trying to hold in her giggle. Her insides stir with anticipation, waiting for him to find the surprise she left for him, thinking he’d be to bed much earlier. Chris continues biting, licking and massaging, his hands sliding closer to her pretty pink hole. Grabbing and pulling her cheeks apart, he whistles, seeing the silver gem blocking his view. Smacking her ass, he grumbles, “So you’ll wear a diamond in your ass, but not on your finger?”

Reaching back, she playfully punches his thigh. He chuckles and nudges the back of her legs, signaling her to crawl onto her knees. “Any bitch can wear one on her finger. Only good girls like ‘em like this.” Thalia sasses, turning around on the bed to face the mirror.

“Only the best girls taste like this,” he praises, diving forward to flick his tongue across the plug. His beard teases and scratches her soft skin and she tries to crawl away, too sensitive. He grabs and pulls her back towards his mouth. “So sweet,” he murmurs, burying his face between her cheeks. As his tongue swirls around the silver base, she can feel it begin to dance as her holes contract and release to welcome him. She gasps when he rolls over onto his back, positioning his face under her as he grips her thick thighs dragging her pussy across his tongue.

His hands force her cunt forward and back over his open mouth and she feels her juices running down her legs, covering his beard, drowning him. He moans, the sound vibrating through her as he nips his teeth over her clit before lathing his skilled tongue over her whole slit, poking at the plug again. She bites her lip to keep silent, dropping down onto her elbows. Ass in the air as he eats her greedily, her breasts ache, pushing against the bed with each drag. Folding one arm under her, between her legs, she pats the top of his head, tugging at his messy hair. “Don’t stop,” she whispers, panting for air. “Gonna come so damn good…”

He chuckles, wrapping a strong arm over her waist, deliciously punishing himself with her weight on his face. Barely able to breathe, his nose grinds against her clit as he pushes her in a circular motion. She lifts her hand, pinching a tight pink nipple as her breaths come faster. The tingle builds in her toes and she tries to hold back, wanting the build to last. But the bastard reaches behind and begins to play with the pretty plug in her ass, twisting and pulling, and she’s done for… Exploding onto his face, he laps it up as her body quakes in his arms, and she falls forward, shifting her weight and severing the contact with his mouth.

Lost in a haze, she hears a door open and moments later, light from the bathroom filters into the room, the bed dipping down as he climbs onto the bed. He nuzzles against her cheek, whispering, “Better than room service.”

His beard smells like her sex, but his breath is minty fresh and tingles her skin as he kisses and bites her shoulders, rubbing his cock through her mess, lubricating himself. “Don’t I get a turn?” He grunts, pushing his head against her rim.

The drag of his balls over the anal plug stirs her. “Oh, fuck me,” she whines, spreading her legs apart for him, as he covers her mouth with his large paw, murmuring in her ear to be quiet.

“No, need noise,” she complains, chuckling at her incoherent phrases as she pushes back onto her knees, slamming herself onto his shaft.

They both sigh loudly and his hand slides around the front of her neck, squeezing gently, as she tilts her head back. Holding her like this, he plows into her deeply, pressing her pulse just enough to cut down her oxygen supply and her thoughts seem to melt away. Just the two of them. When he finally loosens his grip, her head falls forward. She takes in a deep breath, filling her lungs, her tits rising and she watches them in the mirror. With him, alone like this, she’s beautiful, a goddess, not so big compared to his beefy build. He grips her hips, digging his fingers into her flesh as he drives into her. Chris’s blue eyes meet hers and he winks, pursing his lips into a kissy face. She blushes, bowing her head.

Chris grabs her shoulder, pulling her up off her hands and presses her against the front of his body. His other hand reaches up and tweaks her nipple, pulling and tugging the tender peak. “Your body is so fuckin’ good to me, baby,” he growls in her ear before toppling them over backwards, his body cushioning her fall as he now thrusts up into her from below. “Lay it on me.”

He always makes her feel so good about her body; sexy. Balancing her feet on the bed, she grips his thighs and lifts up and down with his punishing pace. He wiggles them up into a sitting position and pushes forward on her shoulder. She brings her legs back and slides down on his cock, in the reverse cowgirl. Chris leans back on his elbows, his head to the side so he can watch her tits bounce and sway in the mirror. “So damn hot, mi Niña.”

Balanced up on one hand, she licks the fingertips of her other hand, drawing it down her chest, over her belly, pressing on her clit. She bucks at the cool touch against the molten lava she’s producing. He gets her so damn wet, every time.

Taking charge, she changes his pace. Slowing, she rolls her hips against his, the plug filling her ass, stretching, as she grinds her body with his. “You’re killing me,” he whispers, hitting his fist against her thigh. “Ride me faster.”

“Darling.” Perfectly clear in her mind, added to his command. Perfectly British.

She gasps, leaning forward and shaking her head.

Chris’s hand grabs her hip, caressing her thigh. “Sorry, babe. Did I hurt you?”

Breathing deeply, she shakes it off. “No, fine. It’s good, it’s good.”

Where the hell is this coming from? Why now? Get it together, Chica.

Closing her eyes tight, she shuts off her brain, sliding his shaft deep into her wetness. She hears the clip of the bottle lid for lube, the flowery scent filling her nose. “Aaahh,” she sighs as the cold liquid drips down her divide while she slides her hungry pussy off and on his pulsing cock. “Love seeing you swallow it up,” he moans, twisting the plug and pulling it out, watching it fall back into place.

Feeling full, she wells up, ready to tumble over the edge again. His laboured breathing lets her know he’s ready too. Looking down, the tight muscles in his thighs and calves prove he’s holding back, waiting for her. Her ass in his face is too much for him, fantasy number one of their holiday getaway, nearly marked off the list. “Take it out.”

She leans forward, feeling him smear the lube all around the tight hole, wiggling the stainless steel. With a gentle tug, he pulls up but his fingers slide off and the plug suctions back in… With both hands on her ass, he caresses the tender area, removing the jewel with a pop, the lube cooling as it slides inside the gape, slowly closing again as he fingers over the puckering flesh. Rocking back on his cock, she slides up, pushing down again as his digit slides inside, caressing her from within. His finger in her ass mimics her rhythm as she grinds down against him, grabbing his legs as she comes, her own shaking uncontrollably. Biting her lip, she holds in her need to cry out as he grunts, emptying himself deep within her walls. The light little twitches from his body allow her to extend her orgasm, his balls pushing against her clit, so good it’s almost painful. Slowing her roll, she milks him, every last drop, till he slowly slides out and they lie spent, their fluids mixed between them as it continues to drip out between her battered lips.

The last thing she remembers before falling asleep again is his confession of love for her, his breath whispered against her feet as they lay head to foot in the bed.

###

The next morning, she stares at the little pink case in her hand. She’s been so busy getting the island museum ready to open for the public, she’d forgotten to take her birth control pills for the last three days. Dropping the cheap plastic into the sink, when her knees give out, she presses her palms against the countertop, bracing herself and closing her eyes in prayer.

Click here for Chapter 9,  Going Places

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

Family Matters

ch 7 family matters

Family Matters

Chapter 7

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: Chris spends a rainy afternoon with his two favorite women.

Previous Chapter, Warpath

Word Count 1539

2019, Fall Semester

The storm beats against the window but it’s not the tapping rain driving him crazy. Stretched out on the couch and wiggling his feet, Chris tosses his book down on the table, addressing the cause of his annoyance. “Avery, bring me that. You’re done. You’re gonna run down the battery, and then be mad later.” When his daughter chooses to ignore him, he turns to Thalia, leaning against the kitchen counter and silently appeals to her. She smirks at him, and he childishly answers by sticking out his tongue.

His curvy companion claps her hands together, getting the child’s attention. The little blonde head sways in her direction, barely taking her eyes from the gadget that’s held her enraptured for the last hour. “Hey, kiddo! Bring me the phone. I wanna show you something.” Thalia points to the array of goodies laid out on the counter. “You gotta have both hands free to help.”

Chris grimaces, watching the young girl comply and giving no grief when Thalia places the phone on top of the fridge. With the power out for nearly four hours, they’re all becoming a little squirrely. He pretends not to hear Thalia scold the young girl for ignoring him, and he tilts his head thoughtfully when Avery’s sweet voice offers a quiet apology. “It’s okay, ‘Ry, but you need to follow our house rules. No phones all day.”

He and his ex have debated the issue back and forth. Maura insisted the child needed a phone to stay in contact when they’re apart. All the woman does is send Snaps, interrupting his family time. In the habit of ignoring her stepfather, Avery has developed a bad practice of discounting him as well, and responds better to Thalia’s guidance. He sits back at the table, observing his pretty little girl climbing up on the stool next to his lovely girlfriend. The two put their heads together, eyeing the snack foods and whispering together.

Girlfriend? Is she though?

rainy day

He can’t shake the thought. They’ve never made official proclamations about one another, simply falling back into their old ways. After a week or two of sneaking around last spring to keep their frantic lovemaking secret from his impressionable daughter, it just became an unspoken thing. Once Avery was in bed during her visits, they’d climb the stairs together, curl up under the covers, and spend hours reading, talking, watching late night TV… Or making love. Desperately. Madly. Wildly. Like he hadn’t done in ages. Something about her body, her spirit, fixing everything broken inside him… And over a course of a few weeks, her clothes made their way into his closet, her personal items into the bathroom. Just like that, they were a couple again.

Thalia had gained a small amount of notoriety on campus after Joanna Kent was asked to step down from her position. It was revealed that she had been hiding inappropriate relations with students for years, indiscriminate in her choices. Several prominent community leaders were having their old transcripts reviewed, including a well-known Congresswoman. The University was looking into the possibility that grades were traded for sexual favors and keeping quiet. In the wake of the investigation, several couples working on campus came forward, admitting they had begun dating under unsavory conditions. Although they never admitted their prior involvement, Chris and Thalia began dating openly, and no one questioned it.

rainy day 2

Watching the scene in front of him, Chris sighs, not wanting to forget a single moment of their time together, but knowing it won’t last. Thalia’s too much of a free will. Chris has seen it, noticed her moods, the way she shuts down her email when he walks by or how she closely watches travel documentaries, hanging on every word.

It’s not another man calling her, but another place. Another stop on her adventure in life.

He tries not to take it personally that he and Avery can’t be her permanent home, but he knows they can love her and mend her as long as she gives them that chance.

“Come here, Chris, you’re in on this too. If the power isn’t back on by dinner, we may have to call around and see if any restaurants are open, if they have power. But for now, we can have snacks for lunch today.” She points at the old metal pot in front of her. “I need your lighter.”

Standing from the couch, he faces away from her, hiding his ‘oh, shit’ face. He’d been doing his best to keep his clandestine smoking away from the house, usually when he and some of the professors would go for a drink after work. He should have known she’d figured it out. She always figures things out. Regaining his composure, he spins on his heels, and just shrugs. Thalia tilts her head with a lift of her eyebrow, not buying it, and he reaches into his pocket, pulling forth the lighter in question.

“Uh-huh,” she fusses, bumping his shoulder, her dark eyes reminding him she sees everything. “Avery, you pick two things you wanna taste dipped in chocolate while your dad fires up this burner. We’re gonna fondue!”

Chris’s quizzical eyebrow speaks for him. He answers her unspoken words, rolling his eyes. “Yes, I know what fondue is.” He feigns insult, much to the giggles of little Avery. Popping off the top of the sterno can, he looks over the spread. “Potato chips. Where are the potato chips?”

“Oooh,” Thalia stretches out the word, tapping Avery on the back. “Good call! Go get the chips from the drawer for Poppa.”

She follows orders, her pink glitter shoes tapping across the floor as she asks questions about how to fondue. “You mean we’re gonna stab the pineapple and stick it in?”

Thalia continues chopping the fruit Avery requested while Chris drops in the chocolate to melt. Avery returns to her perch atop the stool and reaches for the graham crackers and starts breaking them apart and laying them neatly on a platter. “Well, we don’t have to stab all of it. The cherries have a stem, so you can just dip them in, but careful, Avery, ‘cuz they have a pit.” She dangles a piece of the fruit in question over the little girl’s mouth and she stretches up from the seat to grasp it in her teeth. Cherry juice dribbles down her chin and she hops down to the floor again to run over to the sink to wash up.

Flame lit, Chris wraps one arm around Thalia’s hip, pulling her close and whispering in her ear, “Bet you can tie that stem with your tongue in no time flat.”

“I’ll show you later,” she says, turning to kiss his cheek and hiding her blush from Avery.

“Lia, how come you know this stuff?” the little girl asks, rooted on the stool once more as she lays out more potato chips on the tray.

Chris stirs the chocolate as Thalia tells about visits to her mom’s when she was younger. He’s heard them before, the sad stories of her visits to her mother’s dingy little apartment, with limited heat and scarce resources. She makes the experience sound more fun when she retells it to Avery, but he can read the pain behind her eyes. Giving her shoulder a squeeze, he nuzzles his nose in her hair. Wired from the humidity of the storm, it tickles his cheek as he kisses her shoulder. “I love you, Niña,” he whispers, holding her close. She tilts her head to his, collecting his compassion before Avery distracts her again. “Cheesecake. Do we still have the frozen cheesecake bites in the freezer from the block party?”

“You always know just how to make everything better, don’t you?”

“What was bad? How did Poppa fix anything?” Avery asks Thalia as Chris slides in his socks across the finished floor to the fridge.

His two favorite women continue to chatter on as he uses the flashlight on his phone, digging around in the freezer. “He knows sometimes that talking about my birth mom makes me sad, but you’re a lucky girl! Because your father believes cheesecake fixes everything.”

Avery giggles, the sound reaching across the room.

“It does,” Chris bellows, still searching through labeled packages of frozen items. “Everyone knows that.”

“This fun-do stuff? Will Miss Stacey know how to fix it if the ‘lectricity goes out when she comes to stay with me for a week?”

“When we’re gone for the conference to Toronto next month, I’ll make sure she knows how to fix all your favorite foods,” says Thalia. “And what to do if the power goes out.”

“Will you bring me postcards and a t-shirt too?”

“Canada? We’ll bring back some maple syrup,” Chris calls out, finding the bag he’s been searching for, waving it over his head in victory, just as the overhead lights flicker back on.

“He fixed the power!” Avery cheers. “Oh!” She whines, her bottom lip already starting to quiver. “Does that mean we can’t have our chocolate lunch?”

Chris laughs, humored by their shared love of sweets. Reaching over, he flicks off the lights, returning the room to candlelight and the afternoon gloom of a rainstorm with the people he loves most in the world.

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Click for next chapter, Getaway

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

Christmas in NYC

NYC dec 23 2018

Christmas in NYC

Being Thalia

Collaboration by avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

It’s TRUE! @devikafernando and @avenger-nerd-mom are working on a SEQUEL for Educating Thalia, involving Professor Hiddleston and Professor Evans! The two rivals are still vying for their right to claim the lovely Thalia Bareo. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago is all grown up now, holding down a job in Paris, continuing her studies and freelancing as a consultant for museums around the world.

To kick off the premiere of the sequel, Being Thalia, we’ll take a look at Christmas vacations Thalia’s shared with her men in the last two years since her graduation.

A Christmas one-shot, featuring Thalia and Tom in Munich, is posted below and the story with Chris in NYC will post December 23. The series premiere is slated for January 2, 2019!

Warning: This work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content.

Thalia comes to Chris’s rescue when she finds out he will be all alone for Christmas

Word Count: 6888

Click here for the story page to read all the chapters in the novella, Being Thalia. Click here for series one, Educating Thalia.

The Lyft ride pulls up to the curb of the hotel and she sees him standing there, stamping his feet in the cold, his hands shoved deep in his pockets. Home. She’s home and her body vibrates with every breath, a joyous contentment rushing through her body. “Stop here and let me out,” she says to the driver. Thalia’s hands shake with nervous excitement as she points to the spot. She expresses her gratitude to the driver as a concierge rushes over to take her bag and she exits the car quickly, poised to tap her phone to send the payment.

The dark haired beauty nods to the hotel attendant and he disappears inside with her things.

Pulling her wool coat down and adjusting her signature pink scarf, she shakes her hair back, inhaling deeply, readying herself to see him face to face again.

“Hey, you,” Thalia calls warmly, her voice a bit shaky, inviting him to turn to look at her.

He spins on his heels, righting himself quickly. “Hi,” he whispers, the sound not quite carrying to her ears. God, he looks so handsome! The wave of love rolling off him barrels towards her down the sidewalk as she quickly bridges the gap between them. His sad, puppy dog look is immediately replaced with love and awe and she already feels wrapped in his love.

NYC 2.gif

His love. “Tell your expressive eyebrows to shut up.” She laughs, happy tears streaking her face. “They’re already screaming at me.”

Shrugging his shoulders, he reaches out for her, wrapping his arms around her thick waist. Her heart soars when she feels his hands clasp together, reaching all around despite her bulky winter clothes. Suddenly, all her troubles disappear. Work? Forgotten. Responsibilities? Forgotten. Everything is forgotten, except for him.

He chuckles, his own eyes misty with tears. He purposely quirks his eyebrow, replying, “I have no control over them. They speak whatever truth they know.”

Pushing herself against him, she lifts to her tiptoes, her arms wrapped around his neck. “Merry Christmas!”

“Stop talking and kiss me,” he commands, his voice deep and reassuring. “It’s been too long.”

His lips press softly against hers, his beard scratchy and ticklish. Melting into him, she parts her mouth, accepting his tongue to tease hers. Their kisses are salty from their tears, his mouth cold from standing on the brightly lit sidewalk, waiting for her. Hers turns up into a smile. Pulling back, she takes in his strong features, brushing her gloved hand over his cheek. “It’s only been about eight weeks,” she giggles.

“Sixty-seven days, but who’s counting?” He chuckles, pulling her closer, his hands roaming over her back, warming her up, and cupping under her ass.

Oblivious to the crowds bustling around them, holiday shoppers running last minute errands, the two continue their kisses, reacquainting their lips.

***

Two days later, Thalia stretches lazily, rolling over onto her hip. Throwing her arm out, she feels around on the empty bed. Shaking her head, she furrows her brow. It wasn’t a dream. It couldn’t have been. The best Christmas Eve sex ever couldn’t have just been a dream, could it? Her thoughts are a bit hazy from the amount of alcohol she’d had the night before, spending Christmas Eve with aunts and uncles, cousins she hadn’t seen in years.

She swallows hard, her throat raw. From the cold? Skating at Rockefeller Center till the late hours, or from the… She blushes, thinking about the enthusiastic sex she and Chris shared hours before, after returning to the hotel from Midnight Mass. It wasn’t a dream. The bruise around her wrist is too real, and she smiles up at the red ribbon still tied to the bedpost. Pushing thoughts of ribbons and last Christmas, a very different holiday in Munich, from her mind, she pulls on the satin sash till it falls on the bed next to her. She sighs, remembering how disappointed Tom was when she announced she was visiting her parents, alone. But she couldn’t leave Chris alone, not this Christmas, and she did her best to avoid an argument with Tom. The precarious situation had become a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ type thing between her and her men. It was getting harder and harder on her heart to make a decision, but she didn’t mind wracking up the airline miles. Both men kept her happy, and she craves their love and attention. Very satisfied, she thinks to herself, looking to the shiny red restraint.

Thalia swallows again, stretching like a feline and practically purring. She hears his soft chuckle echoing from the other room in the suite. Thalia reaches into the nearest box strewn across the floor, grabbing the nightshirt and cute socks he’d given her last night. Pulling them up over her knees, she pads out softly to the dimly lit room.

Seeing her string along the ribbon as she enters the room, his face lights up and he holds up his hand to quiet her.

“Yes, honey. That’s amazing! I’m glad Roger is taking time to teach you to ski,” he rolls his eyes. “You be careful okay? Could you imagine if you had to go back to school on crutches- No, no I don’t know what else Santa brought you, tell me.”

Thalia walks to the kitchenette, smiling at the pot of coffee already brewing and the tin from the cookie shop she and Chris found while exploring. Pulling up on the lid, she breaks off a piece of the Kitchen Sink Bar from Schmackary’s and rests it on a napkin. Pouring a cup, she nods to Chris. He shakes his head no, pointing to his mug on the side table, precariously balanced on a stack of folders. Opening the mini-fridge for milk and creamer, she sighs and mumbles to herself, “Grading papers on Christmas Day. This is our vacation, man!”

She looks over her shoulder when he lets out a low whistle. She shakes her ass, showing him her panties with Christmas lights all over them. They match the boxers she gifted him last night. He chuckles, and continues talking to Avery. Her heart aches for him, knowing he’s trying to keep himself together. Although so handsome perched in the chair, already dressed for the day in a festive sweater and slacks, his face shows his raw, beaten emotions. The man is tired.

She remembers their frantic calls as he tried to decide what was right for Avery. He’d been so upset when his ex-wife’s new boyfriend wanted to whisk them away for the holiday. Still somewhat friendly, the two adults had agreed as part of their shared custody to spend Christmases together while Avery was still young, believing in Santa. It’s his first holiday since the divorce without his daughter, the first in her little life they aren’t together, and Thalia can see it’s killing him. His pain is a palpable beat, echoing in the room, bouncing off the walls and slamming into her. She sighs, warring against the feeling so it doesn’t bring her down with it. Her number one goal for the next four days is to keep his spirits lifted until Avery joins them in the city to celebrate the new year.

“You wanna talk to Thalia?” She lifts her head at the sound of her name, her hand hovering over the coffee cup, ready to dunk in the breakfast bar. “Oh, ok. Well, you have fun then!” She completes the dunk and nibbles on the bar quietly as he finishes his call. “I’ll tell her and you can call back later to talk to her. Yes, we both miss you.” His eyes shine with tears. “Bundle up warm and take lots of pictures to send me, okay, Bug?” He nods his head, his eyes filling with tears. “You too, sweetheart. Merry Christmas. I’ll see you at the end of the week.”

Ending the call, he drops the phone on the table and rubs his hand over his face, wiping at his eyes and smoothing out his beard. Thalia finishes chewing quickly and wipes her hand on a napkin. She waits, giving him his moment of grief, her own heart aching. When he sniffles, she asks quietly, “Wanna talk about it?”

He clears his throat and rests his head back against the chair. “The guy proposed to her last night. He’s gonna be Avery’s stepdad.”

“Oh, shit,” she whispers stepping around the counter, moving closer as he runs his hand over his thigh.

“And I’m gonna have to share her more, and get used to her having a complete family-”

“Chris, don’t be silly. She’s already got a complete family, even if you don’t live in the same house. She’s got amazing aunts and a crazy uncle, a doting grandmother… And me. She’ll always have me. And no one can ever replace you as her father. Daddys are special.” She smirks when he snorts as the movement along his thigh becomes more of a pat, inviting her to join him. “Just because your ex remarries doesn’t mean you’ll lose Avery. And she knows you’ve always been there.”

“I’ve never taken her skiing-”

“No. You’ve taken her to Disney and Paris and on archeology sites, museums and college campuses. What’s tying two sticks to your feet compared to all that? You’re just wanting to sink in it. But I’m not going to let you.” She steps closer, her socks sliding on the polished hardwood floors.

His hand rests on his thigh, licking his lip. “What are you gonna do about it?”

Thalia crouches low and makes a run towards him and the chair, his eyes wide, arms open to catch her. She stops short enough to slide up next to him in her socks. Wrapping her arm around the back of his neck, she sits on his lap. “Didn’t think the old chair could take my weight,” she smiles.

“I’d brace the impact,” he says with a chuckle, wrapping his arm around her waist and grabbing around her knees when she settles in against him. “I’ve always got you, Niña.”

She nods her head to the stack of papers as he lazily drags his hands over her thigh. “I thought we said ‘no work?’ It’s Christmas Day!” She kisses the tip of his nose. “Merry Christmas.”

He grips her hip tighter. “Merry Christmas, Thalia. Thanks for not letting me wallow in my sadness… Being here with you, the best present.”

“Totally agree,” she whispers, sighing contentedly from the gentle caress of his fingertips over her dimpled thighs.

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Lifting her hand to scratch his jaw, his gaze flickers to her wrist. “Oh, shit, honey,” he murmurs, taking hers in his, twisting her arm and raising the bruised wrist to his lips. He ghosts his lips over the tender skin carefully, blowing cool air over the red flesh. “I hurt you, I’m sorry.”

Thalia blushes, wiggling down in his lap. “I don’t mind… “ She shrugs. “A little pain’s okay.” She presses her wrist to his ripe pink lips and he kisses the tender spot sweetly. “I like it when you’re kinda rough, I can take it. You know that, you can’t break me, and you’re always so sweet after.”

“Like right now?” he murmurs, the vibration against her pulse causing her personal heat to rise. His lips continue to bite and nibble up her arm.

“Mmm… damn that feels nice,” she giggles, as his other hand slides over the silly printed panties.

Feeling her warmth, he groans, nuzzling his face into her wild morning hair. “Not as sweet as you’re gonna taste in about five minutes when I get you back in that-”

They jump at the pounding on the door, followed by shouts of “Merry Christmas!” and “¡Feliz Navidad!”

“Yeah,” he chuckles against her ear, stretching the word out. Still holding her, he stands up before gently setting her to the floor. He turns her in the direction of the bedroom, and gives a little push, smacking her ass as she walks away. “Get dressed. I’ll stall ‘em.”

From behind the closed bedroom door, she can hear him greeting her family. “What a wonderful surprise! We weren’t expecting you so early! ¡Feliz Navidad!”

She chuckles as she grabs her clothes and dashes into the bathroom.

*****

Leaning his head back on the cushioned seat, Chris rolls his face to the side and sees there isn’t anyone else around. “Niña,” he calls out, “how much longer are you gonna be?”

Her string of curses slide out from behind one of the red curtains. “Shit! Chris, can you come over here? The zipper is stuck.”

Shaking his head in amusement, he rises from the chair, picking up their shopping bags. “Which one are you in?”

All the fitting rooms look the same until her hand waves out from one at the end of the hallway. Chris looks over his shoulder, seeing a clerk assisting other shoppers on the sales floor, but the fitting room area is relatively empty. A quiet, secluded spot amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holidays in New York City? His grin devilishly lights up his face and he licks his lip. Reaching the curtain, he sits the bags at his feet and runs his fingers down the lush velvet drapes. “It’s gonna cost you,” he teases, his heart pounding in his chest.

“It sure is! This leather skirt you picked out is over $200 bucks and-”

“That’s not what I meant, Thalia,” his voice drops. He pushes the bags under the curtain with his foot, and checks one more time before sliding into the fitting room with her. He bites his tongue, trying not to laugh at her, shirt hanging from her waist, stuck in the zipper, her lush tits ready to pop out of the black lace bra she wears. “Well, this is quite a situation you have here, love.”

Her eyes are welled with tears. “We’re meeting up with my parents later for lunch, and I’m stuck here. Help, Chris.”

She still hasn’t realized how funny this is or how he intends to help. “Sweetheart, just relax,” he says, running his hand down her arm, squeezing the tips of her fingers. The thought cemented in his mind, he’s full of bravado and calm. “Turn around and I’ll help you.”

She turns to face away from him, and he can see every inch of her in the three way mirror filling up the corner of the dimly lit space. “It’s gorgeous on you. Hugs every curve,” he compliments her, running his hand down over her hip, smoothing the soft leather, landing just above her knees. She never believes him, but her size, her full, round curves are a part of her appeal, like a siren’s call.

“Not really something I can wear for work, Chris,” she sniffles. “It’s a ridiculous expense. Can you get it unstuck?”

Resting back on the little bench in the room, his hand still on her thigh, he pulls her back to him, leaning in for a better look at the zipper. Easy fix. The sheer fabric hem of her shirt is caught in the metal teeth of the lovely leather skirt, but it won’t be a problem. “I don’t know, babe,” he replies, fully knowing he can fix it.

Feeling slightly guilty at the plan formed in his head, he lifts his left hand, and his fingers brush against the small of her back. Chris tugs carefully at the zipper, careful not to rip her shirt. With his right hand, he curves his hand around her leg, lazily reaching under the skirt and gripping her thigh. He’s not at fault, he can’t help himself. His wickedly sexy girlfriend is standing in front of him, in a lace bra, a leather skirt, and boots, and she’s purely helpless.

He leans forward, kissing the small of her back. Thalia sucks in her breath, her head lifting up and catching his gaze in one of the side mirrors. “No,” she quietly whispers, her eyes wide.

His kisses continue across her lower back, along the waistband of the skirt, till he reaches her hip, where he bites her tender flesh. “Mmhm,” he hums, his hand sliding higher under the skirt, pushing her legs apart. She rocks on her heels and follows his direction.

“This is the cost you meant, oh, you asshole!”

He quietly clucks his tongue. “Can you blame me? Look at yourself. Open your eyes and really look. You’re fuckin’ gorgeous, Thalia. A model.” He ignores her snicker of derision as his fingers glide higher, fluttering against her thighs, brushing against the matching silk and lace panties. He bites his lip, turned on by her gasp, watching her breasts heave with excitement. His cock hardens and strains against his tight jeans. “So beautiful, lush. I wanna lick every inch of your body.”

To prove his point, he pushes the scanty fabric aside and dips his finger in her well, pulling out her wet and teasing her lips. She involuntarily pushes against his hand, yet whispers, “Not here, Chris, no.”

With a wicked grin, he pulls his hand out from under her skirt and raises it to his mouth, drawing in the succulent taste of her right off his fingers. He happily sighs and gently tugs on the zipper, freeing her shirt to fall to the ground. She takes a deep breath. “Too tight?” he chuckles.

“A little, but they didn’t have my size.” She shakes her head, frowning at his reflection in the mirror as he begins pushing the skirt up her thighs, bunching it around her waist. “Chris! We’re in public. After Christmas shoppers. What if we get caught?”

“We won’t get caught if you’re quiet,” he taunts, pushing her panties aside and spreading her open in front of the mirror. He admires the gentle folds of her lips, caressing over her smoothly shaved pussy. “Beautiful. My favorite color. Did you know it changes the more excited you get?”

His smoky voice fills the air and rather than dropping her head to watch his hands, she leans back, staring up at the ceiling, her legs already quaking and he’s barely touched her. Chris confidently wraps his arm around her waist, moving forward on the bench seat and pulling her to him, supporting her against his chest as his fingers slowly slide in and out of her hot, wet cavern, occasionally flicking against her hooded clit. She throws her arm to the side and braces herself against the mirror and with her other hand, grabs behind her, pulling up on his sweater at the shoulder, twisting it between her fingers. The fitting room is hot and small, Christmas carols still playing on the loudspeakers throughout the store, drowning out her occasional whimpers.

“Evans, you can’t just finger me and think,” she gasps when he pinches her tender bundle of nerves, falling forward, weak in the knees. She sucks in her breath. “You can’t think that’s a fair game. You have to be more of an active participant.”

Looking up into the mirror as his fingers dig in deeper, they lock eyes. A twisted smile brightens her face and she flicks out her tongue to lick her lips. Releasing his sweater, she slides her hands down his chest, reaching for the bulge practically throbbing under her hand. She fumbles with his belt while his fingers continue their caress of her inner walls, bringing her high, almost to her peak before changing his pace.

He chuckles, leaning forward and resting his lips against the small triangle of satin covering her ass. “Already working for top spot on the Naughty List next year?” He moves her hand away and begins to unbuckle his pants.

“If we’re gonna get arrested, might as well do it right.” Her eyes gleam. His eyes never leave her reflection, his gaze dropping to her hand squeezing and pulling her breast, teasing her fingers over the lacey cup. The nipple underneath pops up and Chris wants to grab it between his teeth. “Uh, uh, uhn…” she clucks quietly.

Wondering about the soundproofing of the tiny fitting room, he listens for other customers, realizing a clerk hasn’t been back in ages to check on them. “What makes you think we’ll get caught?”

Feeling the tip of his head against her rim, she slides on his stiff cock, spreading her juices before pushing back on him, sinking around him. He grunts and she giggles. “You make more noise than I do.”

She’s not wrong. He loves it when she’s confident, demanding, in charge. It’s such a turn on for him, and he can’t deny it makes him feel powerful to bring out this side of her personality. With his hand on her hip, he thrusts in and out as she rolls against him. In the mirror, he can see her flush, her freckles popping under her blushing skin, the flutter of her pulse at her neck. She spreads her legs further apart and he steps in closer to her as she drops her head and grasps the mirror with both hands for support.

His hand pushes down on her back, sliding up her spine and grabbing her braid, twisting it in his hand. The squishy sound of his cock plunging in her juices, soaking him, fills his ears, as does the tightness in her breath as she holds in her whimpers and whines. Each time he pulls away, she slams back on his cock, pushing him balls deep, skin slapping against skin. Each thrust sends pulses of delight rippling through his veins, strengthening him, as a deep guttural groan escapes his throat. God, how much he’s missed her! She tenses with every drag of his dick in and out, the head hitting against a particularly sensitive spot. His breath is hot against her neck and he smiles at the peppermint scent, remnants of the candy canes he’s sucked on all morning. Her knuckles whitten as she grips the edge of the mirror tighter, dropping one hand to flick across her clit. Her nails dragging across his sliding cock elicits another gasp from him.

“So close,” she whispers, her voice dripping with need.

He gently tugs her hair, lifting her head higher to look at him in the mirror, a sheen of sweat along her hairline, little curls popping free from their hold. His hand slides down over her belly, resting at the cusp of her mound. “You can do it,” he cheers, speeding up his thrusts as her hand vigorously punishes her exposed clit.

Through gritted teeth, she pants. “No, I can’t. Help me,” she whines. “It’s not enough.”

Sliding his hand down over hers, he pushes down on her fingers, adding more pressure against her clit. Her thighs tremble as her orgasm builds and he can feel the electricity flow through her as she comes, a wave of pleasure that knocks him backwards onto the bench. He doesn’t lose his connection with her as she falls into his lap and he continues thrusting upwards, pounding her sopping pussy as her slick washes over their hands. Her head rolls back against his shoulder and he can see pure bliss on her face, the tension leaving her body. He hears her mumble something, but can’t make out the words. Down from her high, her hands still and he slows, settling under her.

“A+, Professor Evans,” she critiques, “Attacked with gusto, completed in-”

“C-, Miss Bareo,” he chuckles in her ear, washing away the salty sweat on her neck with his tongue. “The task is incomplete,” he whispers as he slides out of her. He shakes his head at her look of confusion. “I’m not satisfied with the conclusion.”

“Oh, well, I guess I need to put in some extra credit then, don’t I, Sir?”

He shakes his head, fisting the leather skirt in his hand. “Hate that, it sounds so pompous.” He blocks all negative thoughts from his mind concerning her and that… that word. “‘Professor’ will do,” he chuckles darkly as she rolls her eyes.

Standing quickly, Thalia shimmies out of the offending article of clothing, kicking it to the side. She peeks out the curtain and smiles to a customer entering a room across the hallway. She puts her hands to her lips, motioning for him to be quiet as he slides a condom over his glistening cock. Her hair falls from it’s braid, wild curls sticking out around her head. Her chocolate brown eyes are blown black from lust. Her swollen lips are a bright pink, begging for more kisses. Chris loves knowing she’s so undone and he’s the cause of it. He grins when she looks down on him as though she’s famished and he’s the only meal she’s had in weeks.

The dark haired beauty straddles him, lining herself with his stiff rod. His eyes roll back as her hands wrap around his girth, sliding the tip of his head in her waiting slick. She drips down over him, and he can’t wait to be engulfed in her heat again. “Fuck me, Thalia,” he moans quietly, pushing down on her shoulders, impaling her in one slow thrust.

He pulls his sweater back, away from their mess and exposes his tummy as she grinds up and down on him, teasing and tugging at the little hairs on his lower belly. She rocks back and forth, pushing her endowments in front of him. Chris buries his face in her chest, wishing there was more time to rip her free from her bra. Again, she mumbles something he can’t hear and he smiles when she gasps as he latches onto her nipple, covered by the delicate lace. A loud sigh is pushed out of her as he thrusts up into her repeatedly. His large hand moves up her throat, squeezing gently before covering her mouth, the other continuing to hold her breast in place as he lathes and suckles her nipple, soaking the fabric.

Thalia shifts and drops her weight on him, pinning him to the bench and taking control. Her force and determination rattle him and his head thumps back against the wall. She leans forward, rubbing her clit against the base of his cock, pulling him in deeper.

Resting his head in the crook of her neck, he bites and sucks her flesh, anything to keep from making a sound. Bottomed out in this position, the pain of it so fucking good when she clutches his shoulders, rolling and twisting her hips to feel him right where she wants him. Chris drops his hands to her hips, guiding her into the rhythm they both need: long, slow strokes, her body rising all the way up until he almost slips free, then back down again. Her hips pick up speed until he swears under his breath.

“That’s it babe. Make yourself come all over my cock. So fucking good…”

She stills and looks down at him. Chris holds back a laugh and shakes his head. They both hear a rumble in reply, a series of small squeaks and a mirror rattling a few doors down. Her eyes open wide as he pulls her down against him, grinding her against his cock. The panting sounds of another couple fucking just a few feet away fill their space. Chris pulls Thalia’s mouth to his, whispering, “Ignore it. Come for me.” He kisses her with reckless abandon, trying to keep her in their moment.

The spell broken, he watches her teeter on the edge. She shakes her head, afraid she’s losing her momentum, but he wraps his hands behind her back, holding her heavy form and leaning her down towards the floor. Taking her offered nipple between his teeth, he clamps down with a tender bite and thrusts into her. She arches her back, pushing her chest to him. He shakes his head back and forth, his beard scraping her chest, pulling at the covered nipple, delighting at the small tear of fabric and her free flesh. He sucks harder, pushing into her as she holds tightly around his neck, biting into his sweater covered shoulder. The sounds of the other couple climaxing stirs him, turning him on even more than he imagined possible.

He can feel her pulsing around him, tightening and convulsing. Holding her tight, he pulls out and pushes in again, flicking his tongue over her exposed nipple, rolling it around. She bucks against him, her cries muffled into his sweater.

Getting a second wind, he stands tall, shifting her weight, resting one booted heel on the ground and one on the bench. She smiles at him lazily and nods her okay as he pumps into her faster, harder, pulling her down on his cock, her juices soaking them. He begins to unravel, pushing into her as fast as he can, spurting and filling the condom. Chris collapses against the wall and she leans against him, affectionately kissing him-

“Excuse me,” a pinched voice rings through the air. “You’ll need to exit the fitting rooms immediately. This is inappropriate behavior and you need to leave the premises before we call the police.”

Chris chokes on his laughter as Thalia’s eyes grow huge. He shakes his head, putting his finger to her lips. A commotion ensues down the hallway, and Chris quietly cleans them up with a t-shirt they purchased in another store, wadding it back up and putting it down in a bag. Thalia bites her lip to keep from laughing as they listen to two employees.

“When was the last time you checked the fitting rooms, Jessica? They’re a mess! And that couple was obviously fucking. Go get the the bleach spray and cleaners. You’re responsible!”

“Everyone was swiping up bargains, no one’s been back here to try on clothes.”

“No!” The older woman shouts. “They’ve been back here fucking! You’ll need to clean all the rooms.”

Dressed, hiding her guilty face, Thalia slides from the room unnoticed, items to be purchased in her hands. “Great bargains ladies,” she says when they turn to look at her. “Thank you for providing a wonderful shopping experience.”

A few minutes later, Chris meets her at the checkout counter with a few more items, including the leather skirt. “Don’t wanna forget this… All on my card, please,” he says to the clerk as he hands her the plastic. “Money well spent, don’t you think?” He winks at Thalia, playfully slapping her ass as she turns away from him, moving to wait for him at the door.

On the busy sidewalk, she wraps a scarf around his neck, shaking her head. “Is that off the little sex-list now? Exhibitionism, check! Voyeurism, check!”

“Oh, my God, Thalia! Were you as turned on by that woman’s whines as I was, that was fuckin’ hot!” His cheeks are still flushed from excitement.

She throws her head back and laughs, hitting against his chest. “Shit, what a fuckin’ perv you are!”

“Come on, how lucky was that? We coulda been caught, if it wasn’t for that couple. That was awesome.” He fist pumps the air while she shakes her head at him. “And you weren’t the person I kept hearing, it was her, wasn’t it? She kept talking, but-” Reading Thalia’s expression, he rolls his eyes. “Fine, yes. It’s off the list. I mean, not totally. Do we have a list? Like an official list, cuz there’s a few things we haven’t done yet, that I’d like to try, so-”

Laughing she motions for a cab. “Come on. Stacey got last minute tickets this afternoon and they went to see the Rockettes, so we have time to take our things back to the hotel. I could use a hot shower and clean up and-”

Opening the door for her when a cab pulls to the curb, Chris laughs. “A shower sounds good. I’ll join you,” he whispers in her ear as he pinches her ass while she crawls into the car.

******

“I’m really sorry that we’ll leave town before your daughter arrives, Chris. We were hoping to get to meet her,” Stacey smiles, resting her fork on the side of her plate. “I hope you don’t mind, but we picked up a few little things for her, as a gift. You said she liked sketching, and I found a little gift set with a sketch pad and pencils.”

Gulping his drink down, Chris rests his glass on the table. “You didn’t have to do that, that’s very kind of you Stacey.” He smiles hopefully at Thalia. “Maybe this summer, when Thalia visits, we can get out to Chicago. Avery’s always wanted to see Sue at Field Museum. She’s fascinated by archeology right now-” He laughs when Thalia mumbles, ‘I have no idea why,” and continues, “and I’ve been craving Portillo’s since the last time I was in Chicago, so-”

Everyone at the table jumps when Carlos Bareo thumps his fist down on the table. “You won’t come visit; she’s still with that other man, don’t fill your head with lies. Hombre, don’t you have the cajones to put a stop to this nonsense?”

Thalia shrieks in astonishment, “Dad, stop! We’re in public!” She looks around, grateful to see the quiet roar of the room drowns out her father’s outburst. From the side of her, she watches Chris grip his napkin, wadding it up in his first, but she’s too embarrassed to look at him.

“No, no I won’t,” he gestures wildly, his accent tired and thick. “I won’t ignore the elephant sitting in the middle of the table.” He shifts in his seat, looking sideways to his daughter, as if peering around the creature and pointing to Chris in the seat next to her. “He’s the one I’d pick for you, mija, a stable, hard-working man. A family man. Not someone with his head in the clouds and a stick up his ass.”

Thalia shouts, “Papá!” as Stacey places her hand on the man’s arm, calming him with his name, softly worded on her lips. “Carlos, it’s not for us to say.”

Rage rolls through her body. She hisses quietly. “Dad, it’s none of your damn business what I decide to do with my life. I have a good job, I make good money, I travel.” She avoids Chris’s stare. “I’m loved, and I’m happy. It’s not for you to decide if it’s right or wrong. You want me to be like Mom and just take off, leaving-”

Clearing his throat, Chris interrupts. “Carlos, I’ve gotten used to that elephant.” He gestures to the center of the table. “I’ll be the first to admit it’s not an ideal situation. I don’t like the idea of… of another man in Thalia’s life anymore than you do, but our ‘arrangement,’” he states, using air quotes, “allows her to live the life she wants. It lets me do what I need to do as well. I can’t just take off, and leave my daughter. So we have these stolen moments, like this holiday here with you both, and we can forget the outside world for a few days. And it’s enough. It’s enough till-”

“It’s not. It’s no good. You need to stop this,” Carlos rounds on Chris. “Marry her, and put an end to this. Take care of her.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Papá. I don’t need to get married to be cared for, or to have someone look after me-”

“Marry her,” Carlos demands.

Defeated, Chris folds his hands in his lap. “I’ve asked, Sir. I can’t make her-”

“Dammit,” Thalia pushes her chair back, stunned by this whole exchange and the anger filling her. “This isn’t 1952, with me in heels and pearls, needing to vacuum shit all day, waiting for a man to get home to make decisions. Fuck it, I’m out.” She stands. “Sorry, Stacey.” Turning to Chris, she drops her voice, “I’m really sorry. I just need to get some fresh air, alright? I’ll see you back at the hotel later.”

Chris watches her leave, unsure of what to do next. Lifting the napkin from his lap, he sighs deeply and lays it next to his plate.

“Son, I’m sorry. That was rude of me.” The older man clears his throat, followed by a hacking cough. He takes a drink and catches his breath. “I’m sick. She doesn’t know yet. I want more information before I tell her.” The man’s voice chokes. “I just want to know she’s in good hands.”

Somberly, Chris nods his head. “I know where to find her.” Reaching inside his suit coat, he extracts his wallet, leaving enough cash to cover the bill. “You raised an independent one… You should be proud of her, Sir. She’s in the top of her field, so many opportunities ahead of her. It’s not in me to tie her down, to hold her back.” He bows his head, images from the night before flooding his mind’s eye, tied to the bed, denying her orgasms. He rises from the table, hoping his blush and his memories aren’t written on his face for her parents to see. “This is the sacrifice I make, to love her. She’s right, it’s not for you to understand, but you have to leave her be.” He pats the old man’s shoulder and tilts his head towards her stepmother. “We’ll see you two at breakfast tomorrow, before we take you to the airport.”

****

A cup of hot chocolate thrust in her face, she looks over her shoulder as she takes it in her gloved hands. “How’d you find me?”

Walking around the bench, he motions with his cup to the open space beside her. She waves her arm to the side, inviting him to sit.

He looks to the grand building in front of them. “It’s New York.” He tilts his chin up. “You always said you wondered if the exhibits come to life.”

Thalia pushes against his shoulder, staring up at the Museum of Natural History. “Just a silly movie, I know it’s not real.”

“Maybe you just haven’t uncovered the right cursed item in your archeological finds,” he teases.

The couple sit in silence, watching the crowds meander down the streets, the horse drawn carriages weaving in and out of traffic before entering Central Park. The crisp night air sends a chill to her bones.

His soothing voice, raspy from the cold, breaks her reverie. The pain she hears in it cuts like a knife. “What is it you want? Why do we keep stepping around this? The pile of elephant shit gets too big to handle sometimes, Thalia… What do you want?”

She ponders his question in silence. Not that she hasn’t asked herself the same thing a dozen times. How the two men, such opposing personalities, have allowed this to continue for so long, is beyond her scope. In the cold, dark night, her shoulders sink. Her voice sounds small and child-like. “I want someone to tell me what to do, I’m tired of going back and forth. I don’t wanna hurt anyone, or get hurt. But I don’t wanna make the decision either. Someone always ends up hurt in whichever scenario I choose.” She turns on the seat to look at Chris. “I don’t wanna hurt you. If I was adult enough, strong enough, I’d walk away from you both. But instead, I want it all and I just want someone to give me a painless solution.”

He runs his tongue over his teeth, stretching his legs in front of him. “Fine, you want a solution? Marry me. I know I asked before, but this time I’m saying it. I’m telling you. That’s what I want. Marry me. Stay here, in America. Raise Avery with me. We can move here, to the city. You could work there,” gesturing to the building, “see if it really happens, if they come alive at night.” Before dropping his hands, he pushes her hair from her face, tears stinging her cheeks in the cold. “Marry me. Pick me.”

She sniffles, turning her face in his hands to kiss his exposed palm. “It’s not that easy. It’s never been that easy.”

“Yes it is. Just walk away… I’m tired, Niña. You are too.” He chokes. “He… He is too. Gotta be… I know the University has offered you a spot next fall. They want you back in the states. I want you back, all mine. No more sharing, Thalia. You’re never gonna grow up as long as you keep playing this game.”

She rests her fists against his chest. “Threatening to walk away from me again, Evans?” Deflecting with humor, Jesus, Thalia, you honestly don’t deserve this man…

He chuckles. “Never works when I do. I always come running back, like a dog with my tail between my legs.”

She leans forward, her forehead resting on her fisted hands, her hair tickling his nose. “God, we’re so fucked up,” she chuckles.

“I meant it, Thalia. I’m not down on my knees. I don’t have the ring this time, but I mean it. I can give you a happy life. I know you have to go back to Paris, I know you’re contracted through the summer. But the teaching position is only the Fall semester while Lin-Hu is on maternity leave.” He rubs his hands together and tucks them under his folded arms. “Just promise me you’ll think about it?”

As his hands run over her back, caressing her and holding her close, she mumbles into his shirt, “I will. I’ll think about it. I promise. You’re too good to me, Evans, you really are.”

***

To keep with the timeline of the story, read the prologue stories, Goals and The Bet (written summer 2018) while waiting for the series premiere on January 2, 2019!

Copyright © 2018  avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom

Chasing Winter


The real life couple who inspired my published novel, Chasing Winter, are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary soon! Help them celebrate by downloading their story FREE!
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Dear Santa,
I think Daddy needs a girlfriend. He needs someone to take care of him. She has to cook and like outdoor stuff. She has to like kids, ‘cause I have a little brother. And she has to be pretty, like the Christmas Princess. I love that movie! I want Daddy’s girlfriend to be nice like the princess and be good to everyone. She can’t be mean, like the Ice Queen!
Oh, and there’s another thing I want. I’ll tell you when I see you at the Christmas Pageant!
Love, Jennifer
Grading the students’ papers, Noel Winter lays the child’s Christmas letter down on her desk and wonders exactly what surprises might be in store this Christmas… Jennifer’s father, Rex Presley, made quite an impression at Parent Conferences. And it had nothing to do with his plaid coat or ruggedly, handsome good looks. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and his hands full, raising two kids on his own. So why can’t she stop thinking about him?

 

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The novel includes my writer ‘trademarks,’ a strong, sassy female character, a handsome male hero who needs rescuing, humor, fluffy smut, and yes, even a shower scene!

Please download your FREE COPY today!

 

All my readers have been so wonderfully supportive! I’d love to see this novel push to the top of the charts in the next few days! Share the love, spread the news! My gift to you for encouraging me to keep up with my dreams- Chasing Winter for FREE!

Thank you!

Love,

Cass