Not Yet

ch 27 Not Yet April 7 2019

Not Yet

Being Thalia

Chapter 27

By devikafernando and avenger-nerd-mom

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Word Count: 2660

Summary: While on a job assignment, Thalia finds herself missing Tom late at night. A phone call eases her loneliness.

Previous Chapter, Growing Up

November 2021

Thalia shrugs into the comfy, oversized T-shirt she wears to sleep and pads over to the bed. She casts a longing look at her phone, wishing she could call Tom. But there’s more than six hours of time difference between them, so it would be too early to wake him.

With a little wistful sigh, she snuggles into the sheets, but sleep eludes her. Her brain can’t stop. What if it’s always like this? What if we both have to keep putting work first?

Though they are trying to move forward, to work things out and heal old wounds, they’ve spent more time apart than together. While she was working in the States, he was stuck in London. His troubles with his ex-fiancee stretched out, partly because the woman was trying to ruin his good name and make things worse.

“That’s karma, I guess,” Tom had said during one of their phone calls, sounding tired but also sort of stubbornly determined. “It wasn’t fair of me to do this to her, to be too cowardly to sort my life out proper. Now I’m paying the price. A hefty one.” When she protested, he tutted. “It is what it is. And, darling, in the end, it’s all led me back to you, so I’ll do penance gladly.”

After two weeks of teaching, Thalia was relieved to return to Madrid. She threw herself into preparing for the MAN’s annual fundraiser, saddened they hadn’t been able to make their schedules work.

Kicking her legs out, pulling the tucked sheet loose, she tries to focus on the here and now, to settle down. She watches the moonlit shadows dance on the wall. With the windows open, she can hear waves lapping upon the shore, sounds of far away revelers at a nearby nightclub. A vacation hideaway is no fun without a lover, she thinks, pouting her full lips. When she had been called away to tie up loose ends for an ongoing museum consultation on the Yucatán Peninsula, Tom had been unable to tag along to Mexico. To pay off his debts quickly, he’s been locked into an elite series of seminar presentations at Cambridge.

They’ve been talking every day, sometimes more than once. It’s oddly like the eagerness to talk between two youngsters who’ve just fallen in love

–and in a way, that’s fitting because they’ve only just admitted their love to each other.

Bunching the pillow to make it more comfortable, Thalia turns onto her side–only to open her eyes wide when she hears her cell ring.

At the name flashing across the screen, a huge smile tugs at her mouth. “Tom,” she answers. “I was just thinking about you. Why are you up early?”

His deep voice floats over, wrapping around her like a blanket. “Oh, things to do, darling. And I may have jumped at the opportunity to catch you before you’re asleep. I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“No, I just slipped under the covers.”

Abruptly, his tone changes, and his next words send an anticipatory shiver down her spine. “Is that so? And what are you wearing to bed, Miss Bareo? Something sexy that I could rip off with my teeth?”

She bites her lip at the image, remembering at least two sets of underwear that Tom has already destroyed in his eagerness to get to her body and worship her. God, she needs him here! But she isn’t that easy anymore…

“Phone sex? Really?”

“Oh, but whyever not, love?” His voice is a low, seductive purr now, somehow full of dirty promises. “If I can’t have you in person, at least let me make sure you’ll fall asleep with me on your mind.”

Thalia shifts, suddenly hot and bothered despite her determination not to give in so fast, just from the sound of his voice. “You’d have been on my mind anyway, Tom.”

Silence, then a deep breath. “Truly?”

“Yes.”

Another pause. “Then let me make sure you can really feel me. Almost as if I were right there with you, burying my face between your luscious thighs and then tossing you onto your stomach so I could press myself in deep, so deep you’d feel me for days.”

Fuck. She holds back the expletive, definitely overheated now. “You’re not playing fair.”

“Oh, but haven’t you heard–they say that all is fair in love and war.” His purr is tinged with glee and she can picture his shit-eating grin which always magically makes him ten years younger.

With a scoff, she switches the phone to her other hand.

“All right, all right. Do your worst.”

Again, his voice slips into a lower register, quiet command amping up the arousal already shimmering beneath her skin, waiting to break free. “Oh, you haven’t seen me at my worst yet. Just you wait until we’re reunited, and I’ll unleash my inner monster.”

Thalia shivers again. She feels no fear at his threat, knowing deep down that he wouldn’t hurt her–not like this, at least; emotional hurt is something she’s already steeled herself against.

“Now, tell me what you’re wearing.”

“I could lie and tell you I’m all wrapped up in lingerie but you know me too well for that. Just an old T-shirt.”

“And panties?”

“Yes.”

“Off with the T-shirt.” It’s another quiet order. “Do it quickly, as if I would yank it off you so your glorious tits are bouncing. God, how I need to get my mouth on them. My teeth.”

Holding back a whimper, Thalia complies. She hears rustling at the other end and wonders whether he’s undressing himself. Or is he out of bed already, sprawling in a chair with his legs opened wide and his free hand stroking his cock? She presses her thighs together, then lies back down. For tonight, she’s happy to submit.

“Put your phone on speaker. I want you to be able to use both hands,” comes a husky command.

She does as told, her breath speeding up.

“Now touch those beautiful breasts for me. Be a little rougher than you would normally be, imagine it’s my hands kneading and groping and tugging on your nipples.”

Her fingers are eager to comply, fondling the heavy globes and feeling the tips harden and peak. A soft moan travels across oceans to Tom, and she can hear him groan in reply.

“Does that feel good? Do you yearn for my mouth?”

“Y-yes.”

“Good, I want you yearning. Desperate. All mine even though I’m not actually touching you.”

Her whimper gets cut off by some noise on his end of the line, something like static. Traffic? Does he have the windows open?

“Now be a good girl and suck on your fingers. Lick them. Make them wet, then play with those gorgeous dusky nipples again and imagine it’s my lips and my tongue.”

Thalia complies all too eagerly, exaggerating the noise of her sucking so Tom gets an earful. His hiss spurs her on. She tugs and rolls the hard nubs, her feet and legs shifting and twisting so the soft sheet caresses her skin.

“God, you must be so beautiful now,” Tom forces out, his voice rough and gravelly. “Does it feel good?”

“Y-yes. But…it’s not enough.”

“I know, darling, I know. I promise, I’ll make it better. But first, let me make it worse. Trail your free hand down those gorgeous curves and in between your thighs.”

She does as told, wondering briefly whether she should slide her fingers beneath her panties even though he hasn’t allowed her to. He would be none to wise…

“Nuh-uh, not yet,” he scolds as if he can see her, making her flinch with a tinge of guilt. “Keep those fingers on top of the fabric for now, and don’t stop teasing your breasts. Are you wet enough to soak the fabric yet?”

Fuck, those filthy words in that cultured voice. It’s not fair. Shifting even more, she unclenches her thighs enough to slide her fingers over her panties.

“Getting there,” she pants.

“Mmm, I bet. Rub yourself then. But no real touching until I say so. Soak that fabric until you can smell yourself, your need for me.”

Thalia hears what might be a suppressed moan, some more rustling. Is he touching himself? The thought makes her all fluttery and even needier. Even another bout of noise can’t deter her as she plays with her stiff nipples and presses two fingers of her other hand over the fabric to stroke in tight circles. Faster and faster, but still gentle. When she moans again, Tom breaks the silence.

“That’s it. There you go. Soaked yet? If I bent down and ran my tongue over the panties, would I get a hint of your taste now, tempting me to eat you out in earnest?”

“Yes.” It’s a groan more than a coherent answer. “Dammit, Tom, let me touch myself. I need to cum.”

A chuckle floats over, filled with mischief. She imagines his gleaming eyes, his wicked grin. Imagines it’s his fingers pressing down more firmly until she’s a squirming mess. She should just tug the now damp fabric to the side, slide her digit deeper…but she doesn’t because it’s thrilling to hand him the reins even when he’s not here.

“Beg some more and I’ll let you remove your knickers,” Tom commands in that deep, toe-curling tone. It sends another shiver through her.

“I will, but just so you know…The next time we’re doing this, I’ll be the one making you beg.”

She hears him suck in his breath. “Deal.” It’s so faint she can barely hear him. There’s more static and she uses the slight pause to get more comfortable. Then she begs.

“Please, Tom, fucking please.” She whines. “Let me touch myself properly. Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if you could really see me, smell me? Let me remove my panties, please. I’ll do whatever you say.”

She barely hears something, as if he’s biting off a curse or muttering to himself. So she’s affecting him too?

“All right. But you don’t get to come until I say so. Otherwise there’ll be punishment.”

With a sigh of relief and an eagerness she should probably feel ashamed about, Thalia wriggles out of her underwear and spreads her legs, propping up her feet. A waft of warm ocean air through the open windows hits her slickness and she can almost believe it’s Tom’s breath ghosting over her puffy lips. He’d nibble on her inner thighs now, tease her some more. Kiss closer and closer to where she needs him, then finally lick her but avoid her clit.

Aroused right out of her mind, Thalia bucks up into an imaginary touch.

“Slide those fingers down now, darling. Swirl them, coat them, feel just how swollen with need you are. Only I can make this better, right?”

“Yes, yes,” she agrees mindlessly, doing exactly as told and trying to control her breathing.

“Now impale yourself on one finger only. Let it go as deep as you can and think of how much bigger and longer my finger would be, satisfying you more.”

On a drawn-out moan, she complies. And it’s exactly as he says, she longs for his finger instead. Fuck, she’s always had a thing for his hands anyway.

“Please, I need another one,” she begs, rotating the digit and clenching around it.

He makes a tutting noise. “So greedy. I’m not sure you deserve another finger yet. Give that needy little clit of yours a good rub first, get yourself even wetter.”

Thalia slides her thumb through the slickness and up, circling on a gasp because it feels so damn good and yet she needs more-more-more.

“That’s it. I can hear how slick you are. All because of me. All for me.”

After a while, when she wants to burst out of her skin with need, he relents. “Two fingers now, my love. Find that spot that has you teetering on the edge. But don’t you dare come yet. I’m warning you.”

With a frustrated whine, she heeds his command, her eyes pressed shut and all her muscles tense. She can feel it, her climax. Right there, waiting for her to take the plunge. God, she wants it. Now.

“Please, Tom, please.” She’s past being coherent. All quivering need, at his mercy.

“Hold it right there. I can almost feel your inner muscles fluttering around my soaked fingers, pleading for release. Fuck.” His curse this time is more audible and heartfelt. But his next words surprise her enough to stave off the impending climax.

“Now use your free hand to angle your phone where you can see it. I’ll send you some added visual stimulation.”

Desperate for more, she fumbles with the cell. Will he go on camera? Send her a short video of him jerking off? Just a photo of his glorious cock that she HAS to have inside her right this very moment? She’ll take anything if it means he’ll finally let her come.

When a ding signals an incoming message, she thumbs it open–and blinks, then gapes in confusion. It’s a selfie. Not that she doesn’t think he’s hot as hell, but he wants her to fall apart by looking at his face only? It takes a few moments for her desire-addled brain to kick into gear, to focus on the details. Wait a minute…that background looks familiar. She squints, realizing that Tom’s standing in front of a door. She scratches her head, reaching for her glasses.

Is that… Holy shit, that’s the brightly colored door to her little beach cabana!

Thalia jerks into motion, which makes her impending orgasm recede a fraction, and her phone fall off the bed. With a few choice expletives, she bends to retrieve the phone, mindful not to touch it with her arousal-slicked fingers.

“Fucking hell, Hiddleston, are you standing in front of my door right now?!” It’s a stammered screech of sorts because she’s just too shocked and still not able to get all her brain cells to work.

“Yep,” is his reply, popping the p and sounding mighty gleeful. The next second, there’s a firm knock.

Still swearing a blue streak, Thalia hastily wraps the sheet around herself and hurries to the door. When she opens it, there he is, in the flesh and with a dorky grin and floofy hair, wearing his black coat. She looks at him for a split second more, noticing that his pupils are dilated and he’s breathing harshly. Then she launches herself at him, all extra pounds and tangled blanket, and he narrowly manages to catch her without toppling them both to the porch floor.

“I hate you,” she whispers into his ear, digging her teeth into it sharp enough to make him flinch. “Now make me come.”

“With the greatest pleasure,” he replies and his decadent voice rumbles through her.

Somehow, he kicks the door shut and hauls her to the bedroom, half-carrying her as their lips crash together in a kiss that goes from 0 to 100 in a heartbeat. And then it’s all a blur and magic. Tom tosses her onto the bed and she barely remembers to set her glasses on the rickety nightstand so they won’t get knocked off in the heat of passion. The next instant, he buries his face between her chunky thighs. It takes only a few licks and sucks before she explodes, fisting his hair and chanting his name. The next thing she knows, he’s shucked his coat and unzipped his pants, not even bothering to strip. His strong hands tug her to the edge of the bed so he can lift her legs around his hips and slide home on a groan that seems wrenched right from his heart. Their animalistic sounds mingle as they chase release together and finally find it in a moment of white-hot heat and zigzagging lights behind her eyelids.

Click here to read Chapter 28, Surrender

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

Growing Up

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Growing Up

Being Thalia

Chapter 26

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Word Count: 2779

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

Previous Chapter, Another Step Forward

October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Did you leave because of me?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I love you, Tom.”

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

“I love you too, darling.”

Click to Chapter 27, Not Yet

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

Another Step Forward

chapter 25 Another Step Forward March 31 2019

Another Step Forward

Being Thalia

Chapter 25

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

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

Word Count: 1634

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

Previous Chapter, Second Chances

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The door flies open and he nearly falls into her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And what do you plan to propose?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I hate you’re going to the States.”

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

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

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

“Who needs food?”

They both laugh when her tummy rumbles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read Chapter 26, Growing Up

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

 

Second Chances

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Second Chances

Being Thalia

Chapter 24

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Word Count: 2343

Summary: Thalia comes to some deep realizations.

Previous Chapter, Whatever You Need

Sitting at the table, Thalia looks up from her tablet. Tom is sprawled across the bed, an impish grin on his sleepy face. “I know you’re awake,” she says quietly. “You made that sound you make.”

His arm raises and flops against his chest. “I do not make sounds in my sleep.” His tone is warm and playful.

“You do too. You snorted, like you couldn’t get enough air.”

He rolls over on his side, the white sheet twisted around his hip. “My grandfather makes that noise. Only old men do that.”

“Well, if the big shoes fit, honey-” she ducks when he chucks a pillow at her head. She laughs, tossing back her wild mane of hair. “Your grandfather? He’s still alive? Why did I not know that?” There’s so much about him she hardly knows. She rises from the table, pulling his shirt around her middle, barely getting the buttons to meet.

“He is, living out in the old English countryside.” Tom taps the bed, inviting her to join him. “Maybe you could meet him someday.” Thalia smiles warmly, still struggling with the buttons on his shirt. “What about your grandparents?”

She shrugs, giving up on the shirt. She pushes the sleeves up and tucks up her leg under her before sitting on the bed next to him. “I really lost track of my mom’s family, but mi abuelita, my dad’s mom, still lives in Puerto Rico. Do you remember, I went to visit, did some rebuilding after the hurricane, back in ‘17?” Tom nods, lazily dragging his fingers over her plump thigh. “She’s still there, in the little cabin we renovated. Dad’s sister left her husband and they live together, still running the food truck for tourists.”

Tom lifts his head. “When was the last time you went for a visit?”

Thalia shakes her head, reaching over and pushing back his wayward curls. “It’s been too long.” She puckers her lips. “I should do that in the next year, attach it to one of my trips for work.”

“I’d like to go with you. See the little island that produced such a dynamo as you.”

Thalia swallows hard. “Is that what we’re doing now, Tom? Moving forward? Erasing all the hurt and pain? Making plans for a future together?”

Tom sits up, reaching for the hand worrying the hem of his shirt. Clutching it in his, he holds hers tightly. Looking into her eyes, his soul wide open, he says, “I’m ready to start living again, Thalia. I’ve been given a second chance, if you’ll allow me in. I don’t want to waste a minute of it.” He grins widely. “You keep reminding me I’m not getting any younger.”

Thalia stares intently for a moment, her eyes searching every line of his face. The worry line between his eyebrows has lightened in the last few days. She shifts her body, stretching her leg out in front of her. “Tom, I’m not a girl any more. I’m not the people pleaser I once was, I pretty much do and say whatever the fuck I want.” She scoffs, looking around the room. “I don’t know if I’m really cut out for a relationship. For what you want.”

“Thalia, all I’ve ever wanted was you, and I was a bloody sod who didn’t see it till I left. I fear I’ve left you broken.” He pushes her hair back over her shoulder to better see her face. “If… If I didn’t know you had loved another man for a time being, I would be worried I’d scorned you for good.”

Thalia swallows again, turning to face him. Running her hand up his arm, she rests it against the side of his face, her fingers digging into his gingery beard. “Just because I loved him, doesn’t mean I ever stopped loving you. It was just a different love, that’s all.”

Turning his head, he tries to hide, but she can still see his features darken. His beard tickles the inside of her palm before he kisses it tenderly. “Darling, I don’t know that I ever truly told you I loved you. I love you. You are the very thing that makes me feel capable of caring and showing emotion. Brits aren’t always the best at showing their emotions, saying how they feel. We’re often seen as cold bastards.”

Grinning, Thalia leans forward, running her hand through his tangled hair and pulling his forehead to hers, pressing their heads together. “I never thought you were a cold bastard. But it’s nice to hear ‘I love you.’ I just… I don’t know if I’m ready to say it back.” She lifts her lips and kisses his expansive forehead. She pulls away and throws her arm out to the side, indicating the messy bed. “What if this was just a revenge fuck? I needed to get off and now I’m out the door?”

She moves suddenly to rise, but his arm clamps around her waist. “Don’t go. Where are you going? We have so much more to talk about.”

Thalia swings her leg over the edge of the bed. When she wiggles, the sheet shifts, exposing Tom. She licks her lip. Dropping her voice, she asks, “What do you wanna talk about?”

Blushing, Tom pulls the sheet up, covering himself. “Anything. Everything. Losing your dad… How’s your stepmother doing? Are you still teaching classes? What are you new favorite movies? Children. Do you want children?”

Her eyebrow raises. “All that? What kind of power nap was that? All the energy, such an array of topics… Children, Tom? Really?”

“You said last night we needed to talk about everything and get it out before we leave this room.”

“We also said we were going to use all those condoms, but I think there’s one or two left.” She looks to the side table, trying to change the topic.

“Thalia, I picture a little girl in my life some day, and she always has your wild hair, your beautiful, dark eyes.” His hand closes around her wrist. “Do you want the same?”

Gulping, Thalia rises from the bed. “I don’t know, Tom. I really don’t know.”

“Why are you running from me now?”

Thalia bends down, reaching for her discarded dress. “While you were sleeping, I had a reminder call of an appointment I can’t miss.” She tugs on the shirt tail. “Can I borrow the shirt? I promise I’ll be back in a few hours, and we can talk more then.”

Not waiting for his response, she dashes into the bathroom.

 

***

Two hours later, she paces nervously in her therapist’s office, nearly busting out of his shirt. Paired with the jeans from the bottom of her bag, she looks cute and rather well-fucked.

“So Thalia, dear,” the therapist says in her soothing tone, “if what you’re telling me is all truth, that you do love him, why the hell are you so scared?”

Thalia presses her hand to the window, the rain falling again, blanketing the city in gray.

“If he left me again, I’d have to drown myself in an ocean as blue as his eyes,” she whispers, her eyes filling with tears again.

“Ok. Now we’re getting somewhere,” the tiny woman says, sitting up straight in her chair.

Thalia turns to face her, wiping the tear falling down her cheek. “What’d ya mean?”

“You’ve been coming in here for three months, telling me all kinds of crap.” She chuckles. “Now this is the real meat of it, what we need to work on.” She tosses her notepad onto the coffee table and leans forward. “Thalia, from what I can see, you are an amazing young woman, with a good head on her shoulders. You make the history buffs of this city look like trolls, with your knowledge of everything- thank you for the tour you gave my granddaughter, by the way, she loved it immensely- And, in case you haven’t looked in the mirror lately, you’re a total knockout. So why would he leave you?”

Thalia nervously fingers the buttons on his shirt. “He left before.”

“But he’s back now, apparently ready to lay down his life for you. Why would he leave you?”

“My mother left. Everyone leaves.”

“Thalia, you can’t keep punishing yourself for something that happened to you when you were a child. She didn’t leave you because of you. From what you tell me, it sounds like your mother had her own demons.” Thalia chokes on a sob as the tears fall from her cloudy eyes. The woman rises and steps in front of her, clutching her forearms. “Thalia, your life is probably as grand as it’s been because she wasn’t there to pull you down with her. That was her gift to you, leaving you. You have to believe you deserve good things. Just because you think others failed at loving you, or you left too soon to allow yourself to be loved- don’t give me that look. You would have been happy in the States, but you wouldn’t allow yourself to be happy-” She gives Thalia a mothering shake. “He came back for you. This man came back for you. Not everyone gets so many chances, dear.” She lets go, patting Thalia’s arm before stepping back and resuming her professionalism. “Your assignment for the week is to keep journaling, but this week, look for three good things, happy things in each day, and think about the reason you deserve them.”

Thalia nods, reaching for a tissue. Wiping her nose, she lifts her purse onto her shoulder. “Ya know, Doc, I hate talking this all out. I always leave with such a big headache. But I like you. I keep coming back, cuz you remind me of my stepmother. Thank you. Thank you for providing me with clarity and insight, and a little bit of tough love.”

Walking out of the office, she bounces down the stairs. Hailing a cab, she drives across town to her apartment for a change of clothes and a few necessities. On the return trip to Tom’s hotel, she calls an order into Lucía, making special arrangements for dinner to be delivered later. The younger woman squeals with excitement, hearing the delivery is to be made to the Palacio.

Ay, chica, are you back together?” Lucía screams into the phone.

Thalia laughs, pulling payment for the ride from her bag. “I don’t know, but it was a much needed fuck. I think I hurt my back.” She leans forward, massaging the sore spot.

She tips the driver kindly at the curb, looking up at the grand building. The history alone makes her excited to enter the building, not just knowing she’ll be in Tom’s arms again soon.

Oh my goodness, you’ll have to tell me everything. Was it the Presidential suite, like you guessed?”

Thalia smiles to the porter as he holds the door for her. She stops to admire the Joan Miró painting in the lobby. One of her favorite Spanish artists, the bright colors and shapes always brighten her mood. With a light heart, she walks proudly through the lobby. She decides to forgo the elevators to take the grand staircase up, trailing her fingers over the ornate railing. “Of course it was. It’s the only room with a private library. It’s exactly how I pictured him. Books, clothes everywhere. His glasses on the bedside table. A little messy, which isn’t like him, but people change. He’s a little more flexible now, it seems-”

“Flexible is always good, especially in bed.”

Thalia laughs, walking down the hallway on the first floor to take the elevator up to his floor. Flattening herself against the wall, she waits for a group of businessmen to pass. “That’s not the kind of flexible I meant.”

“But it was still good? Like you remembered?”

Thalia feels her heat rising, already waiting for him. “Better than I remembered. But perfectly matched, like no time had passed. He remembered everything.” She licks her lips, reliving how he’d peppered her back and shoulders with tiny kisses. “He remembered just what buttons to push.”

“Oh, Lord, just hearing you talk makes me want to call Carlos.”

Pushing the elevator, she leans against the wall and waits. “Don’t call Carlos. You know he’s bad news. The new assistant Henrí hired? Flirt with him tonight. Invite him for a drink after your shift.”

“Javíer?”

“Definitely. I’ve seen him watching you. He likes you.” The elevator dings. “Listen, I gotta go. Delivery at eight?”

The women quickly say their goodbyes, and Thalia takes a moment to look at herself in the shiny gold reflective panels of the small oak box. She fluffs out her hair, and tugs down on Tom’s shirt. Her breasts threaten to pop out over the top of her bra, the buttons barely holding the crisp fabric closed over her chest and belly. She turns sideways, catching a glimpse at how her jeans hug her firm, round ass. “Still got it, I guess.”

The door opens and she can’t hold in a little giggle. Tom. Together again after all these years. What was he saying to her before she left, about kids?

She knocks on the door, shifting her weight from side to side, her overnight bag heavy on her shoulder. “Come on, Tom.” She knocks again, louder.

The door opens, and something about his expression, freezes her. Her mood instantly drops. With the phone cradled to his ear, he ushers her inside, but motions for her to be quiet. The room is different, clean. He stands in front of her, wearing only his jeans, hung low on his narrow hips. Tom watches her closely as he listens intently to whomever is talking at him. She puckers her lips, something welling inside her and she pushes him aside, hitting his shoulder as she steps forward.

His suitcase is packed, sitting at the foot of the bed. A few items still lay scattered around the room, but it’s obvious he’s getting ready to leave.

Click here for Chapter 25, Another Step Forward

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

 

Whatever You Need

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Whatever You Need

Being Thalia

Chapter 23

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Word Count: 3052

Summary: Tom and Thalia’s reunion continues…

*****THIS CHAPTER IS NSFW****

Previous Chapter, Beg For It

The taunts of his handyman skills still hang in the air as Thalia turns on the bed, falling onto her palms, with her ass towards him.

“Darling, not to complain… well, you’re still overdressed.” Thankful her position blocks her view, Tom pushes his hands against the table, hoisting himself up, his bones popping and creaking. Tilting his head right and left, he stretches out the stiff muscles in his neck, held awkwardly for so long as he was going down on his woman.

His.

Feeling the tightening in his shorts again, he quickly slips out of them and walks to the bathroom.

“What are you doing?” she calls out.

“Condoms,” he answers, rifling through his shaving kit. Mumbling under his breath, he adds, “Although I’m sure there’s some in the little sex kit in your purse.”

“Like that, do you?” She looks up and their eyes connect in the bathroom mirror. “Go pick out something we’d enjoy.”

“You are a bad girl,” he belly-laughs as he pulls the strip of condoms from the bottom of the bag.

“Me? You’re the one with, what? Like six condoms in your hand.”

“You’re not going anywhere until we use all of them,” he proclaims, dropping a pile of towels on the bed near her folded hands. “And you’re still dressed.”

“Then do something about it, Thomas,” she says, hissing out his name.

Smacking her ass, he looks her over, trying to figure out the lovely fashion. It’s not her usual style with a tie at the waist. “Completely stunning, I hate to ruin it… But if I can’t figure it out soon enough, I’m just going to rip it from your body.”

Gasping at the thought, he sees she’s already dripping between her legs. She’ll be wanting him to hurry up. His cock twitches, and he leans over her, rubbing himself against the slick running down her thigh. He bends to lick it, circling his tongue over the small bite mark from his previous play.

“Zipper’s at the neck,” she whispers.

His hand slides up her spine, gently forcing her down on to her elbows. Draping her wild, curly mane over her shoulder, his long fingers find the tiny zipper and pull down. Leaning over her full figure, pressing his cock between her thighs, he reassures her with tiny kisses down her back as he exposes her skin. “So beautiful, Thalia. All of you; all mine.” She moans appreciatively, accepting his words, as her hands grip and release the bedding, reminding him of a kitten pawing in contentment. “Are you happy, darling? You’ve made me so happy.”

Estoy contenta,” she replies, rocking back into him.

Unable to resist the temptation, he grabs her hip, thrusting his hard cock between her legs, rubbing himself against her and smearing her juices. So wet, he easily slides inside her and she hisses again, moving away from him. “Uh, uh. Nope,” she scolds.

“Three seconds of pure heaven,” he mutters, quickly rolling the condom on, stroking his shaft and securing it into place. “I’ve waited too damn long for this. Your arse; damn, love, you have no idea how I’ve dreamed of this,” he praises, plunging himself into her center, dress still bunched around her waist.

“Fuck,” she cries out, twisting the sheets in her hands, taking his assault.

As if no time has passed, they fall into their rhythm together. Tom bucks forward as she rocks on and off his cock, stretching her, filling her. Her tight walls pulse around him, pulling him in deeper each time. Fumbling with her bra, he finally rips the fabric, pulling the blasted thing out of his way, freeing her breasts. As he continues to pound into her from behind, he reaches around her sides, wrapping himself around her, hugging her tightly and clutching the swinging globes, rolling the peaked nipples between his fingers. Her sounds echo in his ears as the crescendo rises, sounds of a woman, not afraid if anyone knows they’re fucking like animals in his hotel room. No need to keep secrets anymore. He finds his own sounds mimicking hers, an auditory delight.

“Shit, darling, so good,” he sighs, feeling her fingertips drag along his shaft with each thrust. “What are you doing?”

Rocking forward, tilting her ass a little higher in the air, she sighs. “Just needed a little more… playing with my clit.”

“Fucking hell,” he pants, her words already stitching across his memory, forever ingrained. “That’s hot as fuck. Let me help.”

“No! Don’t change anything,” she breathes heavily. “So close.”

Chuckling, a light sweat across his brow, he holds to the rhythm, careful not to change a thing for his lady love as she drives herself closer to her release. He smacks her ass. “Come for me, darling. I beg you. Spill all over me, pinch it. Rub it. Whatever you need.” Lunging himself forward, he pushes against her secret spot, biting at her shoulder as he feels the change in her before she does. “Let go, Thalia, let go. I’ve got you. Always.”

He continues his thrusts as her hands falter and her legs quake. She stills momentarily, before falling to the bed, twisting onto her back and pulling him down on top of her. Grabbing between them, she strokes his cock, guiding it inside. “Do it again, come for me now, Tom.”

He smiles down at her, tenderly kissing her forehead, covered in a sheen of sweat, tiny curls stuck to her skin. “Anything for you, darling. Your wish is my command.” Grabbing her knee, kneading her fleshy thigh, loving the feel of a real woman in his arms, he pins her leg to his side. Shifting forward, he raises his foot up, planting it on the bed near her hip, lunging forward, pinning her to the bed. With each push, she scoots across the bed, till her head nearly hangs over the other side. Lifting her head, she smiles at him and their eyes lock. A million thoughts pass between them wordlessly as he spills into her, filling the condom as she comes again, gripping his ass, her fingernails cutting into him. He relishes the pain, proof of passion he hasn’t felt in ages, the ache inside finally filled as he empties himself into the only woman he’s ever loved.

Hours later, two more used condoms lie twisted and knotted on the floor by the bed. Tom’s grin has locked his jaw and he rubs it, trying to loosen the joint as his other hand twists in her hair. Or maybe it’s not his smiling, but the action it’s had, licking her pretty pussy, or sucking her glorious nipples. Either way, it’s a forgotten pain, one he’ll gladly get used to again.

“What are you thinking about?” she asks, turning her head, digging her chin between his ribs and dragging her fingers through the faint trail of blond hairs on his belly.

“I haven’t fucked like that in ages,” he blurts out. Abashedly, he admits, “I can’t remember the last time I licked a cunt, and never one as good as yours.”

Thalia lifts her head to look at him. “You and your fiancé never-”

He tilts his head, resting it back against the headboard. Shaking back and forth, he shares. “Said it wasn’t cleanly; it just wasn’t something we did-”

“You love eating pussy!” She lifts her head, staring at him incredulously. “You were going to marry a woman who wouldn’t let you go down on her?”

Tom bristles, feeling a need to defend his jilted ex. “Thalia, there’s just some things we shouldn’t-”

“No. No. There’s too many things we never said. From this point on, if this is gonna work, we don’t keep secrets. Right now, we’re in a bubble. We’re gonna talk about things that are damn painful, and neither of us can get mad about it, or jealous. Can you do that, Tom? Not get jealous? Not punch walls?” She pulls herself out from under the blanket, sitting cross legged on the bed next to him. Grabbing a pillow, she hugs it to her chest. “I beg you, Thomas. We need to talk about things. Get it out now, leave it behind us in this room so we can move on.” She shrugs. “And if we can’t leave it behind, can’t not get jealous, then we leave each other alone, for good.”

Reading her face, an icy sneer hides behind her eyes, almost challenging. She doesn’t think he can do it. Fine. He’ll cut his heart out, put it on a platter and serve it up. Prove to her he’s man enough to take it. “Yes, yes, Thalia, I was going into a marriage of convenience, filled with dutiful sex, but no passion.”

“That sounds boring as hell… Tell me about her. Sabrina. How did you two meet?”

Tom shrugs, running his hand down his chest, and pulling the sheet higher up over his belly. “We were childhood friends. Our parents knew one another, and we were always thrown into social situations. I knew she’d had a crush on me when we were teens, but she was a bit sheepish and boring.” He looks up at the ceiling, unable to avoid Thalia’s watchful brown eyes. “I wanted adventure, something wild and untamed…” He twists his fingers in the sheets. “I eventually found it, and ruined it, as you know, because of my own bloody jealousy. Insecurities.” He looks at her, but she’s examining a tear in her stockings, the only article of clothing still on her body. “I was left damaged, and honestly didn’t want to love again. I was punishing myself, in more ways than one. When we ran into one another at a theater production in the West End, she just made things simple. I’m not proud of it; I behaved badly. I’ve left her with a mess to fix, and I do need to get back to London to take care of expenses.” He scoffs. “Cancelling a wedding is almost as expensive as having one.”

Thalia taps her foot against his thigh, pulling off the ruined nylon. “Did you love her?”

Raising his eyebrow, he nods. “I did, I do. More as a friend, a confidant…” He swallows hard. “I think… Well, it sickens me to say it out loud, but I think I settled with her, because in some ways, she reminded me of you. We could talk about the same books and theater, challenge each others ideas on politics. Fit in with the social set. Good box seats at Wimbledon with her family connections… On paper, she’s equal to you in many aspects except where it mattered most, true love, affection, wild abandon. She wouldn’t be the type to lie in bed, eating pizza and watching FIFA.” Reaching across, he lifts under Thalia’s chin, bringing her eyes to his. “No one could ever replace you.”

“So you settled?” She nods, leaning back from his hold. “I don’t know if I’m honored or sad…”

“Well, circumstances somehow found you back here, in my bed. You never settled?”

He doesn’t really want to know her story, knowing it includes Evans, but if getting it out now means they never have to talk about it again, he’d rather rip the band aid off all at once.

“Can you do this? Can you listen and I talk, and it not be an issue?” she asks, placing her hand on his knee with a gentle squeeze.

“I beg you to be honest with me, love, or you’re right, we’ll never get past it.”

She rubs her lips together, thoughtfully. “It wouldn’t have been settling, for me. It would have been right, in so many ways.” Her voice drops. “The ring was beautiful, and I even wore it awhile, but after saying no three times, he never asked again.” She stares at her bare hand, running her thumb over the spot where a ring once sat. His heart chills, hearing she almost married the man. Had she done it, actually walked down the aisle, he may very well have needed to kill himself, simply to end the pain.

She shakes her head, continuing. “I wanted more, adventure, far away places. After traveling a time or two long distance with a kid, it quickly became clear it would be one thing I’d have to leave out…” Tilting her head, she continues. “I was selfish, kept looking for the next challenge, searching museum openings and dig opportunities. Can’t really do that if kids are in tow.” She looks up. “But I’m really happy here. I love Madrid, so many opportunities and archaeology sites are easy to get to throughout Europe; I haven’t done a job search in nearly a year.”

Tom nods, clearing his throat. “And you… you and Evans-”

“Good friends. But he’s got a new life now, getting married soon, to the mother of his newborn son. She’s not too fond of me, but knows we talk occasionally.” She tilts her head, sighing. “Once or twice a week.” She shrugs. “If I’m being honest, we talk pretty regularly, it’s almost as helpful as therapy.” At his glance, she scoffs. “Yes, I go to therapy now…” She wipes a stray hair off her cheek. “I might be going to the States in a few weeks. He’s asked to me to cover his class the two weeks they’ll be gone after the wedding. I can’t, I can’t go see that,” she swallows hard, avoiding Tom’s watching eyes, “but I’d like to meet his son, see his daughter. I like to find little trinkets in the market to send Avery. She’s practically a teenager now. God, she’s so funny, such a dry wit; really keeps you on your toes-”

So Evans is out of the picture? Tom holds the thought, saving his triumphant gloat for later. “And the man at the museum, on the steps the other night? From what I overheard, he seems to think he has a claim on you?”

Thalia rolls her eyes, tugging her fingers through her hair. “That was a one time thing, and a mistake. I think I got my message through loud and clear.”

“Thalia, if he gives you any grief, you let me know and we’ll-”

“Tom, you aren’t my protector,” she warns. “I can take care of myself. I had it under control.” She winks. “I can be very controlling and domineering when I need to be.”

He steeples his fingers and folds them over his chest, absently scratching the little hairs between his pecs. “Mistress, your domme persona could use a little work,” he teases. “And the purse full of toys?” Fuck. He knows he doesn’t really want to know the answer to that.

She laughs, looking to the abandoned bag on the couch. “All mine, things I bought myself. I kind of, well, see when I was young and impressionable, I dated an older guy. He was like a god, on a pedestal.” Tom blushes at her description, dropping his eyes, and wondering where she’s taking this. “Sexy as fuck. All the girls at school thought he would be kinky. Something about his accent? The way he always carried himself so formally. And he was, a little bit, but always so patient with me, when I’d ask questions or want to try something new. Every day I pinched myself that he chose me, when he had scores of undergrads, skinny and shiny, throwing themselves at him.” She smiles up at him. “He gave me confidence, helped mold me into the woman I am today. He taught me about high society, which fork to use and all that, but from him I also learned not to be afraid of things, to keep an open mind.” Tucking the pillow under her chin, she finishes. “I really owe him a lot.”

“It sounds like you do… This man, older, wiser, incredibly good looking?” He grabs the pillow, chuckling when she attempts to swat him with it. “He helped you discover some kinks?”

She nods, biting her lip. “There’s things I’ve tried that I like, things I didn’t, things I have yet to try.”

“Really, like what?” he asks, intrigued. He detests knowing she’s shared things with him, another man, his sworn enemy, but he is curious about her sexual awakening.

“Play with my ass, smack it, lick it; I’ll love you forever.” She throws her head back and laughs at the look on his face. “But don’t you think about trying to get in there. You’re too big, honey.” She holds her hands two feet apart and he doubles over in laughter, blushing. She bites her lip, reading his expression. “Things I’d like to try? A spreader bar, between my feet, maybe ropes? Pushed over the edge of a desk. Never tried that bit of extra. I have a desk kink, no idea why?” She laughs.

The image clouding his brain may never be washed away, Thalia over his desk, in his home office, legs spread wide. His cock twitches, and the words fly out before he thinks. “With a ball gag in that pretty little mouth of yours? Hell, yes, fuckin’ right!”

No puedo hablar cosas sexuales si lo tengo en mi boca,” she whispers, crawling over him.

“Hell, you’re right, you need to be able to say all the sexy things. Only my cock in your mouth,” he agrees, pulling down on her lip with his thumb as she grinds against him. “Hey!” He shouts when she climbs off him, getting down from the bed. “Where are you going?”

“I’m starving. Need sustenance if we’re using up the other condoms!”

Stunned that he’s come this far after he’d nearly despaired, Tom watches his woman pad across the room in all her naked glory. He pinches himself, smothering a small yelp when it stings. So he’s not dreaming. She’s really invaded his hotel room, clouded his senses, reclaimed him in all the best ways. But Tom has learned his lesson; he won’t be too eager, won’t take things for granted. There’s still so much to be said and done.

Content to look his fill as she’s puttering about to get them a midnight snack ready, he wonders what other matters need to be cleared before Thalia will truly let him in again.

Click here to read Chapter 24, Second Chances

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

Beg For It

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Beg For It

Being Thalia

Chapter 22

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Word Count: 4065

Summary: Tom’s past greets him at the door.

*****THIS CHAPTER IS NSFW****

Previous Chapter, Digging into the Past

Two nights later, Tom sulks in his room, attempting to focus on a book he found at the market that afternoon. Hearing the unexpected knock on the door to his room, Tom pulls back the book cover, closing it between the pages and laying it down on the table. The thunder rumbles the sky again as the rain beats against the windows. He murmurs his imminent arrival and runs his fingers through his hair, biting his tongue when he stubs his toe on the edge of the bed. Awkwardly perched in the middle of the room, it’s nearly unavoidable.

           When the knock echoes again, he calls out louder, “On my way!” Scratching his eyebrow in frustration, he looks around the unkempt room. He shrugs, barely opening the door, unprepared to let anyone see his untidiness. He sucks in his breath at her figure, her back to the door, admiring the architectural trimmings in the hall.

She turns when the door opens wider and smiles. “Surprise.”

“Thalia. I wasn’t expecting you-“

“That’s what makes it a surprise, Thomas.” She laughs as she steps forward.

“I just meant… Well you seem…” He stutters, floundering for his words. A thought is just out of reach, something he’s missing…

“The great Tom Hiddleston, at a loss for words?” Thalia teases as she brushes past him, pushing her way into the room, dropping an oversized bag at his feet.

“Well, truth be told, right now, you look like the ghost of an old dream I once had, a wonderful memory.” The coat is shorter, fire engine red, and she’s not in her country boots, but the look of determination is the same. He knows Thalia plans to take what she wants. And he’s ready for it. Desperate for it. His cock begins to stir and he’s thankful for the long shirt-tail hiding the evidence. “A vision of days gone by, of my sweet warrior princess.”

She turns on her heel to face him, like a goddess outlined among the books filing the walls of the room. Thalia ignores his comment. “I’m not surprised you chose this room. It’s almost pedantic. Always the intellect…” She tugs on the belt holding her raincoat tied closed. “I’m not a princess now, Thomas. I’ve worked my way up, earned my title. I’m a professor.”

Thomas. He remembers few occasions when she would call him by his full name, and again his cock twitches.

His eyebrow arches and he understands the stakes as she opens her coat, revealing a vintage polka dot dress. It clings to every curve, dipping low between her ample cleavage and barely covering the tops of her thighs, the lace trim of her hosiery showing, possibly the clip of a garter belt. Sweet and sin, all rolled into one. She lets the coat fall to the floor. He closes his gaping mouth quickly, hoping he doesn’t look like a stunned fish as she spins away, walking towards the shelves. “Stay there.” She commands without looking at him. “I ordered dinner. It’ll be here any moment.”

Watching her wide hips sway hypnotically, his Adam’s apple bobs as he gulps. He’s never wanted to lick the bottom of a woman’s shoes before, but something tells him if she asked tonight, he’d say yes. He’d gladly lick the bottom of those red-soled heels…

The woman before him is no longer the girl he once loved. She’s more exotic, worldly, powerful. She sometimes played at being a domme, but now he wonders where her travels may have taken her, what knowledge she has collected along the way… This woman, he needs to know. He feels it in his lungs, needing her like the air he breathes.

Dismissed, he stands quietly fidgeting with his hands, perching his glasses up higher on his nose to watch as she graces her hands thoughtfully over the spines of the tomes. Many of them are in languages he can’t even pretend to understand. He’d love to discuss them with her, for her to pull a novel, maybe by Cervantes or García Lorca, from the shelf and listen to her Spanish tongue wash the words over him.

When there’s a knock, she doesn’t react, pulling down a book and reading the back. He grins to himself and shuffles to the door. The delivery man in a yellow rain poncho stands with a large silver foiled packet and a tall, thin paper sack in his hands. Tom swings the door open widely and motions for him to put them on the coffee table, in front of the couch.

“The wallet’s in my purse,” she purrs.

Leaving the delivery to be set up, Tom walks back to her bag, picking it up and cringing at the wet puddle underneath. Pulling the handles apart, he looks down inside, thankful he hadn’t blindly reached in and attempted to pull out the wallet. He might have grabbed a vibrator instead. Or a bottle of lube, or one of many other untoward items resting on top of her wallet. He clears his throat, taking out the clutch. The man murmurs the total quietly. Walking to the couch, Tom counts out the Euros, dropping her bag on the modern furniture piece. The delivery man accepts the payment and handsome tip, smiling to Thalia and winking at Tom before exiting quickly.

“Dinner for two?” Tom presents, waving his arm out and drawing her attention to his delivery.

Over her shoulder, disinterested in the food, her shoulder drops and a wicked smile graces her painted red lips. “No clothes. I want you to have dinner with me naked.”

His eyes widen at her request. “But that’s just ridicu-.” Shit. He’d commanded it of her before, on their first true date when he’d pampered her in the hotel, all those years before. She’s not just teasing him, she’s letting him know she hasn’t forgotten a moment of their life together either. Their souls are tied as one. Blushing, he laughs out, soft puffs of air. “Eh, eh, eh.” He shakes his head. “Got me there, love.”

She turns and presses her back against one of the shelf supports, crossing one leg over the other and digging the toe of her heel into the floor. He watches her take a deep breath as she spreads her hands out to her sides, gripping the edges of the shelves. As he slowly unbuttons his wrinkled white shirt, he can’t help his nerves. He’s tried his best to keep in shape, but he’s older now, in his forties. He can’t stop the insecurities flitting through his mind, and his eyes are nearly blinded by shame, as tears well behind them. What if she’d felt that way before? That she wasn’t beautiful enough? She’d been brave, so brave not to hide, to share her voluptuous body with him, with so little coaxing…

A hitch in her breath clears his head and he notices the small, nearly imperceptible wiggle of her legs, crossing over one another. Bloody hell, she’s starting without him. He’d love to call her on it, but tonight she holds the reins. She’s the Professor and he’s simply Thomas. Whoever she needs him to be…

He pulls the shirt off, biting his tongue in frustration when his hand seems to get stuck in the sleeve. It was worth it to watch her crack a smile before her visage hardened again. He quickly unbuttons his pants, pushing them down to his ankles, lifting one foot out and stepping on the fallen leg, pushing the gathered fabric down, to free the other one. In his gray, faded boxer briefs, he’d have been better prepared if he’d known he was going to be the object of a seduction.

Leaning forward from the bookshelf, she nods her approval. Her breasts push forward while she arches her back, resting her ass back in place. Thalia raises her head up. “I can’t reach that book; the one I want. Can you get it for me?”

Holding back, eager to pounce across the room, her voice causes him to ache.

“Which one?”

“The blue leather, with the gold lettering, Romancero Gitano by Federico García Lorca.” He nods. “I’ve actually been looking for older copies, for a study of the Gypsy people, a project for the museum.”

He tilts his head, contemplating dropping to his knees to crawl across the floor to her. Frankly, the idea of the hardwood floors scraping across his old joints stops him. He pulls himself up tall, sucking in his gut a little as he strides towards her. Eyes locked on her face, he doesn’t miss as she visually eats him up, from head to toe, eyes lingering a moment too long on the tattered fabric which barely keeps him covered.

The book in question is directly above her head, and the only way for him to reach it is to stand right in front of her. Even at his tall stature, he can’t reach the edition without lifting onto his tiptoes, brushing his bare chest against her full body. Grasping the tome in his fingers, he slowly pulls it down, pushing his body against hers, whispering, “Oops.”

She runs her tongue over her teeth and smirks.

Stepping back, he can see her quickened breaths, her nipples peaking under the fabric of her sinfully tight dress.

Not knowing, or caring, if she has rules, he speaks out of turn. “You smell wonderful. The smell of orchids always remind me of you.” Retreating another step, he curtsies low and presents the book up to her.

“Thank you, Thomas,” she murmurs quietly, taking the volume from his outstretched hand.

“Will you read to me while we eat?” he inquires submissively.

Thalia dips her head, moving around him to the couch. She perches on the edge of the seat, slowly crossing her legs, allowing Tom a view of her uncovered pussy, already wet and wanting. Thumbing through the book, she ignores the food, chooses a passage and begins reading. Taking his cue, as her manservant for the evening, he walks towards the table, grabbing a pillow from the bed. He tosses it down to the floor before kneeling by the coffee table. He hides his chuckle when he realizes his hard cock rests perfectly on the polished surface, tented under the straining fabric. With a shake of his head, he begins pulling out various containers of foods, labeled in script he can barely read. Identifying the desserts, he leaves those for later, but begins to peel back the covers as Thalia’s lyrical, throaty vocal inflections fill the room. He chuckles at the seemingly American food, the concept reminding him of loaded potatoes. Thalia looks up from her reading, eyeing his personal accessory added to the table and rolling her eyes, a crooked smile gracing her lips.

“Best take out in town, from a little bar called Gandario. They’re tablas; yes, I know they look like potato skins, but there’s thick toasted bread on the bottom.” She points to the tin of what appears to be french fries, loaded with meats and small containers of dip. “Here in Madrid, they’re called patatas, not fries. One is chicken, el pollo, and the other is pork loin, el solomillo. I didn’t know what sauces you might like, so between the two plates, there’s nearly 12 different ones you can try.”

“If it tastes half as wonderful as it smells, I’m sure I’m in for a treat.”

She blushes when his eyes land on the apex of her crossed legs as he speaks and she scoots around on the couch, leaning forward to grab a potato piece with a chunk of chicken before dipping it into a green sauce. “If we were eating in the restaurant, their plates are designed to hold the sauces. If you ordered four, that would determine the size of your plate. If you ordered six, it would have six little dipping wells for the sauces.” He watches as she chews slowly, before licking the cream from her fingers and leaning forward for another piece. “Eat,” she tells him, grabbing a piece of the pork loin. “You’ll need your energy.”

Straightfaced, she resumes her reading as the pair eat with their fingers, delighting in the sinfully good foods. Spellbound, he listens to her words, the poetry telling of the sadness felt by the gypsies of the Andalusian culture, living on the margins of society, oppressed by the government of the early nineteen hundreds. As she reads, and they eat, he stops and asks her questions, words he’s unfamiliar with, and they discuss the metaphors found in the ballads. He’s surprised to recognize phrases in songs of the region that he’s heard on his travels and holidays in Spain over the years. Tom’s eyes well with tears as she reads ‘Muerto de Amor,’ the story of a young gypsy who dies of sadness from a broken heart.

Reaching over the table, he places his hand on hers, rested on the book, holding the page open as she reads. Choking back his tears, he whispers, “Thalia. I always thought that was something people said, ‘to die of a broken heart.’ I didn’t know it was true, it was real, till I walked out on you. I died three years ago; I beg you to let me live again.”
Her dark eyes fill with tears, and she tosses her head back, looking up to the ceiling. She chuckles softly, sniffling back her emotions. “Beg,” she repeats softly. “Dying was a choice. Yours. You left.” Her chest heaves, holding back the pain in her voice, little stabs to his own heart. “But you broke me… shattered my heart. Killed me… Dying would have been easier…” She swallows, tilting her head back and shaking out her hair, regaining her confidence. Looking him boldly in the eye, she repeats, “Beg.”

Wiping his hands on a napkin, he turns away from the table, dropping to his hands and crawling around the table. Pushing it out of the way, he buries his head in her lap, tears beginning to wrack his body as he cradles himself in the little warmth she provides. Despite her hesitation, he lets the tears flow, all the pent up sadness and anger he’s felt over the years. Even if she can only give him this, he feels his spirit healing again.

Not knowing when, he realizes her body has curved over his, her hands running through his hair as she whispers in Spanish, comforting him and telling him everything will be okay. He can feel her own body heave with emotion and he moves his head back and forth, trying to pull away, to stop her pain. Wanting to comfort her. She holds tight, not letting him go from her grasp, and he becomes aware he’s nudged up the hem of her skirt. He continues to move his head side to side, his beard scratching the tops of her thighs, covered in nylons and lace. The sensation seems to slowly dawn on her and she shifts, spreading her legs, pulling his hair, pushing him between her thighs. “Don’t stop,” she moans.

Strengthened, he lavishes small kisses over her olive skin. Running his hands up her sides, he grips her hips tightly in his grasp, pulling her to the edge of the couch. From the corner of his eye, he can see her raise one heeled foot, resting it on the edge of the table. “Let me make you forget all the pain, and bring back all the good we had together, Thalia.” He nibbles at her leg, snapping the top of her thigh highs between his teeth. “We were always so damn good together. Let me show you.” She squirms from his caresses, unaccustomed to his beard between her legs. Truth be told, a beard he grew purely out of lack of care for personal hygiene because he was so devastated by the loss of her. A loss they suffered because of his own doing. “Thalia, I beg you to forgive me for leaving.”

He bites higher on her thigh, first the right and then the left.

“I beg you to forgive me for anything I ever said in anger.”

He washes his tongue over her dimpled flesh, feeling the tight, defined muscles under her full figure.

“I beg you to forget all the hurt I’ve caused.”

He bites again, higher, leaving little marks, his claim on each thigh. His eyes land on the prize, her lips pink and swollen, already throbbing and demanding his attention. Her sweet scent lures him closer, his mouth watering for a taste. Brushing roughly against her skin, he marks her with his beard, little abrasions already forming on her skin. He feels her, tense in his hands, holding back, reining in her emotions, her responses.

“I beg you to let me love you again. I won’t hurt you this time, Thalia. I promise.”

A quiet sob from her throat echoes from the book shelves in the room.

“I’m so hungry, Thalia. Thirsty. Your nectar is what I need to soothe my soul. I’m parched, dry without it… Still a dying man. Save me, I beg of you. Let me have it, darling” he whispers, his breath hot across her mound, his tongue aching to touch between her folds.

Her body unwinds, relaxing finally in his hands and her legs fall open wider. “It’s yours,” she moans quietly.

Swiftly, Tom raises her feet, lifting them to his shoulders, the heels of her pointed shoes digging into his sinewy tendons. A delightful, twisted pain as he lifts her ass from the couch, latching his mouth over her dripping pussy. Sucking intently, he tugs her lips, pulling with his mouth before loosening his hold to slide his tongue through the length of her slit.

“Oh my, fuck,” she breathes out, gripping the edge of the couch.

Tom’s cock is hard against his thigh, twitching with desire. Ignoring his physical needs, he gives to her, washing his tongue over her lips, diving between them into the depth. Losing himself as he drowns in her, lapping her up, literally devouring her. So much wet, welcoming him home. Yes, he’s home, this is where he should be. With Thalia. Between her legs. Forever.

He snickers at the thought, his breath tickling her and she wiggles from his grasp, falling back to the couch, her feet dropping to the floor as she kicks off her heels. “What’s so funny, Thomas?” She asks, roughly pulling his hair, lifting his head.

“Just the laughter of a foolish, old man, realizing he had everything.” His tongue darts out and flicks across her swollen clit. He bites his lip at her response, her eyes wide. “I don’t intend to waste it this time, darling. I beg you to take me back.”

“Mm, hmm,” she hums, eyes rolling back, as he swirls the tip of his finger around the rim of her tight cunt.

He watches as her body contracts, a small gush of wet rolling out between her lips. Wiping it up with his finger, he pushes his long digit inside, curling it to hit her spot. Remembering every inch of her body… Her hands tighten in his hair, pushing his face back to her soaking pussy. Closing his mouth over the tender pearl, he slides his finger in and out, adding another while his beard adds to her pleasure. “Damn, you’re good,” she whines. “Love the beard.” She giggles, gripping his hair tighter. “Not sure about the hair.”

He shakes his head, brushing the curls from side to side, tickling her thighs. Pulling a plump lip between his, he sucks the tasty flesh. “More to grab,” he reminds her.

Lifting her foot to his lap, she presses against his cock, the shiny nylons teasing his sensitive skin. “Other things I prefer to grab,” she taunts, pressing her heel into the head of his rock-hard cock.

Flicking his tongue across her slit again, he pushes it into the tight space his fingers occupy and she sighs deeply. Releasing his mouth from her sweetness, he promises, “There’s time for that later, Mistress.”

The title comes to him as naturally as all the other delicious filth he usually whispered to her. Today, she IS his mistress. And she’s more than that. She holds his life, his joy, in her hands and he doesn’t even consider hesitating.

“Good boy, Thomas,” she praises, dragging her toe up his chest, and pushing him backwards with her foot. “I’m not hearing enough begging though…”

Scissorings his fingers, he watches the pulsing of her pink walls gripping his fingers, glistening with their shine. “Mistress, I beg you to let me push you over the edge. I need to feel you, dripping over my fingers, flooding my mouth. Remind me what a real woman wants; can take…”

Curling his long fingers, he forcefully pushes her walls, proud when her head falls to the side, in a trance. “That’s my girl,” he whispers. “Just relax.”

It registers dimly that he’s called her both ‘mistress’ and ‘my girl’ and she hasn’t protested. And that’s exactly it, that’s the magic of this new Thalia and what she causes in him. They can be so good together, like this. Top and bottom and everything in between, dom and sub and all imaginable bliss contained in one odd but beautiful arrangement.

Tenderly, he squeezes her foot with his other hand, lifting it for a quick kiss to the tops of her toes before gently placing it on the floor. Rising up on his knees, he crawls closer, using the hand to spread her legs wider. Her dress is bunched up around her waist, showing wet spots, evidence of their lovemaking. He’ll worry about the couch cushion later. Inhaling deeply, her scent fortifies him, makes him stronger. Diving forward, his ripe, pink lips wrap around her tight bundle of nerves. His hands work to loosen her, one kneading her thigh while the other caresses the smoothest spot, deep inside. She’s growing wetter and he takes it all as she drenches him, her hands pulling him closer, smothering him as his nose grinds against her mound.

Gracias, salveme Díos,” she moans, rising off the couch and thrashing against him.

He takes it all, licking it up, sucking her clean, his mouth never leaving her pussy till she finally pushes him away. She has the control after all, for the evening.

Rocking back on his heels and slowing pulling his fingers out, he lovingly pats her punished mound. Closing her legs, she effectively pushes his hands away from her sensitive center.

“What now, my sweet warrior Professor?” He laughs, wiping her essence from his beard, licking the side of his lip.

Leaning forward, she tugs the whiskers on his chin, pulling him to her and firmly planting her lips on his in a hard, rewarding kiss. “Don’t ever call me that again,” she giggles, pulling back lightly. “I can be your professor, or a warrior princess, but not both at the same time.”

With a small “eheheh,” he pulls her off the couch, into his arms, tangling his tongue with hers again, covering her sweet face with kisses. He likes that she’s not squeamish about tasting her own juices, and doesn’t complain about his tiny licks, spreading her mess all over. “God, I’ve missed this, more than I knew.”

She nods, understanding unspoken words. “Missed you too, darling,” she murmurs, grinding her ass against his crotch.

Thrusting up, he bounces her in his lap. “You’re overdressed.”

She holds his face in her hands. “You’re not in charge,” she warns with a sly smile.

Bowing his head, he replies, “Yes, Mistress. I beg for you to use me at your will. Any clocks you need hung up? Cabinet doors to fix?”

“You know damn well the landlord had to come fix the doors later that week,” she says, tugging her fingers through his curly hair. “Not as good at screwing things as you thought, I guess,” she teases as she pulls away from him, running to the unmade bed.

“Oh, so that’s how it is?” He laughs, chasing after her.

“Your hammer work was good…” She laughs, crawling up on the bed, wiggling her ass. “Always a good pounding. Why don’t you come over and remind me how good you are at it?”

Click here to read Chapter 23, Whatever You Need

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

Digging into the Past

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Digging into the Past

Being Thalia

Chapter 21

By devikavernando & avenger-nerd-mom

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Gif created from images found on Pinterest

Word Count: 2252

Summary: After a long day together at the museum, Tom and Thalia each spend time digging up old memories.

Previous Chapter, Museum Musings

September 2021

Unable to convince her to join him for dinner, Tom left Thalia at her office, under the guise that she had daily reports to finish. The late summer air is warm and inviting, so Tom decides to meander the city, lost in his thoughts. Taking off his jacket, he casually drapes it over his arm, clutching it to his side. He takes a deep breath, letting his muscles relax from the long day. Being so near her, but not being able to have her had put a harsh strain on his body, and he’s almost relieved she turned down his offer.

He watches a young family cross the street in front of him, and he feels a pang of… something. He can’t put a name to the feeling. Loss? Guilt? Hope?

Could that be him one day? A father, pushing a stroller while a little one toddles ahead, the mother rushing to keep up. Thalia. Would she even want that? He brushes his hand roughly across his forehead. She’s older now, her early thirties. Does she want to have children? It was something they never discussed, actually.

“You fucker, Hiddleston,” he murmurs aloud, crossing to the other side of the street, watching for traffic. She’d said it the other day, at the park, that she’d only been his sexual partner. On the phone, she’d said she felt he’d taken advantage of her. That was her truth, her view. He’d been such a hard, British arse, keeping his emotions in check, she’d never known he truly loved her, would have given anything for her.

No wonder she sought out Evans, and his affections. Bloody hell, the American had been right all along. Evans allowed her to be a partner, whereas he’d always had an air of instructor about him, guiding her and leading her to new experiences. But she enjoyed it, he has no doubt about that. She’s changed though, and so has he. Their needs are different–but they would still counterbalance each other, he believes.

He remembers seeing Thalia and his former colleague together in Toronto. It had been the last stab to his already broken heart. Evans had stayed in the shadows, only moving forward after her presentation. His hands balling into fists, Tom lets his mind travel back to the day when he realized he’d truly lost his beautiful orchid.

**

After her presentation, he’d finally collected his courage and given himself the push to go and congratulate Thalia, share his unabashed admiration, when the other man appeared seemingly out of nowhere. As if they had both waited for this moment, Thalia stepped to greet him and went willingly into his arms. They hugged for what seemed like eternity, and it made Tom recall the way she would always snuggle into his hold and feel as if she belonged there for all eternity. Well, no more.

Tom remembers actually having made a sound of anguish at the pain that sliced through him, as if someone had taken a blunt knife to his intestines, hacking and sawing away until he could almost feel himself bleed. Rubbing his chest, he’d made himself stare until the two of them were seated next to each other, heads bent close together with a devastating sense of familiarity. This could have been him–should have been him, dammit. But he’d fucked it up. It hurt like hell that she’d moved on, and the worst part was that he knew he’d driven her to this.

Vowing he would let her go, Tom had left before the evening was over, finding his way to the nearest bar to drown his sorrows. It had been ages since he’d last sought out alcohol to make his inner wounds more bearable–in fact, after he’d pushed Thalia away. This one time, he’d allow himself to wallow in guilt and regret. It was just too much to handle, as if a vital organ had stopped functioning at the sight.

A few hours later, after nursing his third whiskey, Tom had tried miserably to pull himself together. Paying and leaving a high tip because he’d been such a foul-tempered guest, he wound his way to the exit on not-so-steady feet. He wasn’t piss drunk but the liquor had indeed dulled some of his hurt. He was still wearing the nice dark blue suit he’d chosen for the occasion, as if she would even care what he looked like. Hah, what a fool he’d been, even wondering what she’d have to say about his beard. During his hours at the bar, he’d removed the suffocating tie and opened a few of the buttons on his white shirt, feeling as if he couldn’t breathe properly.

Running a shaky hand through his now longer, wavy hair, Tom took a few deep breaths of the cool night air and turned into the alley that would–hopefully–take him back to the hotel he’d booked in Toronto. Staring at his feet, the shiny shoes incongruous with how damaged he felt, he walked on.

His head snapped up at the sound of laughter, the one he sometimes still heard in his dreams. What he saw stopped him cold as if he’d slammed against an invisible brick wall. There she was, his Thalia–so very much not his anymore. With him, of course. Professor Evans had his arm slung around her shoulders and they were walking side by side, dressed like a couple out for a drink. Thalia was wrapped in a party dress, even wore heels, making her legs look spectacular. She laughed again at something her companion said, then shook out her riotous curls that Tom had loved to feel between his fingers and on his skin.

It felt like a betrayal somehow, although he knew even in his haze that he had no bloody right to such bitterness, no more claim to stake on her. He swallowed thickly, rooted to the spot. The air grew too dense to breathe when the American leaned even closer and kissed Thalia, backing her against the wall, unaware of passersby and watching eyes. Not waiting to see whether she would kiss him back, and half-afraid they would spot him, Tom turned on his heel and mechanically strode the other way. He could feel tears pricking his eyes, and the metallic tang of blood in his mouth as he’d bitten down too hard on his tongue. The numbing effect of the alcohol had been chased away by a cocktail of crippling emotions.

Fuck. She truly was lost to him. And he had nobody to blame but himself.

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**

Shaking off his melancholy thoughts, he vows to do better. On the sidewalk ahead, he spies the perfect little shop, and enters. As the bell rings overhead, a cheerful voice calls out to him in Spanish. He smiles, and points to the display he wishes to order. He’s well aware that a simple gift won’t make it all better. But he also knows that small gestures can amount to something grander, can in this case be a sign that he’s not giving up on Thalia.

Crossing the room with a few strides of his long legs, he meets the shop clerk at the counter. He asks for paper to include a note with the delivery, and he quickly scribbles his ‘thanks’ to Thalia for a lovely day at the museum, and for teaching him so many things. Tom includes mention that he’d like to see her again before he leaves town at the end of the week. He arranges with the shop clerk for the present to be delivered to her office the next morning.

“Lucky girl,” the older woman murmurs in Spanish, smiling at him as he steadies up the bill.

Is she, though? Or is he the lucky bastard because Thalia hasn’t smacked him upside his idiotic head and told him to leave her the hell alone?

***

Returning to her office, Thalia stiffens when she sees the slim, wrapped gift on her desk.

Taking her glasses off and dropping them on top of her planner, she falls into her chair, praying, “Dear Lord, don’t let it be jewelry.” She kicks off her shoes and reaches with pointed toe for the foam roller she keeps under her desk. Rolling her feet over the top, the strain from the heeled shoes begins to ease. Just like him to think everything can be fixed with a fancy dinner or a gift. Not that tapas are fancy…

“Quit being a bitch, Chica,” she says to no one but herself. “You caused the problem by not communicating well, just as much as he did.”

Her printer whirs to life on the side table, indicating the requisition forms she needs to sign from the morning budget meeting are ready. Work should be her focus, but instead she can only laugh, thinking of the silly stories Tom created from the hieroglyphs they’d read together yesterday.

He makes me laugh… I haven’t laughed with a man since Chris.

I deserve laughter.

Picking up the gift, she reads the store label. Shocked he’d discovered one of her favorite stores, she quickly tears off the paper and lifts the lid from the gift box. Thalia gasps, pulling out a beautiful silk scarf, the colors warm and vibrant.

The way he makes me feel- bright and full of life.

A folded piece of paper falls into her lap, and she lifts it up to read it. A blur, she leans forward to retrieve her glasses. She quickly skims the note, faltering when it says he’ll be leaving soon. She sighs. “Probably better that way. At least we can say we’re friends again,” Thalia mutters to herself.

Standing from her chair, she stretches, looping the scarf around her neck. In the mirror above the credenza, she sees the colors pop against the stark black business shirt she’d chosen that morning. She fiddles with the fabric, placing it just so, adding a haughty flair to her style. Picking up the forms, she returns to her desk and settles in to work.

An hour later, her phone buzzes, causing her to jump. Shit, I forgot to text and thank him.

Sliding her fingertip across the screen, unlocking the keypad, Thalia opens her messages. “Is that all I am now to you? Someone you text when you’re drunk?”

The text is punctuated with a smiley face.

“Shit,” she hisses. “Who did I text?”

She squints at the screen. Chris. “Thank God,” she chuckles, opening the actual message thread, enlarging the fonts.

“Sorry I didn’t answer last night. Avery had soccer, two games on Tuesdays. Ridiculous. BTW,  the team sucks since their best coach moved to Madrid. We miss you.”

“Aw,” she whispers, continuing to read. “Miss you guys too.”

“Honey, I can’t tell you what to do. Be happy. And I’ll deny I ever said this, but he makes you happy. I would know you’re safe and loved-”

“Jesus, what did I say to him?” Thalia scrolls up, but the messages are gone, only some old ones that had been locked for safe keeping. Drunk Thalia deleted the messages. “Just great.”

“-and I wouldn’t worry so much about you. Not that you need my permission or acceptance. For a British asshole, I guess he’s not a bad guy.

Running her fingers over her lips, she nods. Man, that had to be hard for him to say.

She types out a quick reply, thanking him- “You didn’t have to say that but it’s appreciated”– and telling him to give her love to Avery, and that she’d be in touch soon. She doesn’t let him know she didn’t remember texting him last night. After finishing at the office, she’d stopped to see Lucía at work and had a few too many drinks at the bar before Henrí walked them both to their respective apartments. She hoped she didn’t drunk text Tom too.

Lifting her head to a knock on the door, the office assistant reminds her it’s almost time for her two o’clock tour with the group from the US. She waves, saying she’ll be ready in a few minutes.

Her fingers open a memo to Tom, tapping out a thank you. “The scarf is lovely; I’ll get one of the staff to take a photo so I can send it to you. I’d like to see you again before you return to London, but not yet. I need time to think. Apparently three years wasn’t long enough.” She inserts a smiley face emoji, even though she hates them, and is nearly a hundred percent sure he does too. She wanted to soften the words so they wouldn’t read as harsh as they seem. She gulps. “Not that I didn’t think nearly every day what I’d do if you showed back up in my life. I just never expected it to happen. A week ago, if someone had asked me what I wanted, I solidly knew the answer. Now I’m not sure. I’ve grown and changed from the young girl I used to be. I’m not accustomed to feeling unsure. Please continue to give me space. You’ve been very kind and patient, and I respect that.” The secretary knocks again. “I have to give a tour to an American group, but I’ll talk to you again soon. Enjoy the sights in the city!”

Leaving the phone on her desk, not waiting for a reply, she slides into a pair of more sensible shoes, ready to go meet the high school students from Philadelphia.

Click here to read Chapter 22, Beg For It

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

Museum Musings

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Museum Musings

Being Thalia

Chapter 20

By devikafernando & avenger-nerd-mom

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Word Count: 3046

Summary: Thalia enjoys showing off for Tom at the museum, sharing her work with him.

Images found on Pinterest

Previous Chapter, Opportunity Calls

Thalia is standing on the grey stone steps in front of the National Archaeological Museum, a grand neoclassical building that seems just perfect for containing such immeasurable wealth. As museum curator, she can practically offer a tour of the place blindly. But today is different. Today she’ll keep her eyes wide open and her wits about herself because experiencing this with Tom will be a completely new experience.

Smoothing her hair back, she checks no loose strands have fallen from the elegant twist she’s finally mastered for her wild mane. Thalia glances at her watch. It’s ten to one. Surely Tom hasn’t changed so much that he’s stopped being overly punctual? Then again, what does she really know about the present version of Tom, as opposed to the one that dragged her under and turned her inside out six years ago? People can change within the span of days, for fuck’s sake. Looking down at her colorfully designed dress, she knows she’s definitely moved on from the person she was. Essentially, though, she’s still herself.

And Tom? Despite her misgivings, there’s a yearning inside her to get to know the man he is now. There’s something in his eyes, in his voice, that takes her right back to where they started, and yet new impressions wiggle their way into their interactions. She’s noticed a new gentleness, almost a cautious hesitancy about him. It makes her itch to take the upper hand for once but another part of her wants to submit, relive what used to be. Fuck if he hasn’t got her tied in knots just like in the past! Thalia grimaces, shifting from one foot to the other. She’s wearing her favorite camel colored shoes, their heels neither too high nor too low, but just right to elongate her legs.

That’s another thing that should annoy her… She spent entirely too much time worrying about her outfit for the day. Normally she wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what she wore to a morning stockholders meeting, but knowing she’d be seeing him after, she’d put a little extra care into her clothing choice. Something fashionable she’d picked up at the market with Lucía, a little revealing, but not too much, just enough so it hints at her voluptuous figure. Thalia wants Tom to look his fill but not to ignore her words because of her body.

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The sound of shoe soles on scuffed stone makes her turn towards the left. There he is, in a navy sweater, a sport coat, giving off a collegiate air, and black jeans, his scuffed grey suede shoes making his go-to outfit complete.

Of course he’s on time. She feels herself smile at him, surprised to realize that she’s genuinely looking forward to touring the museum with him because she knows they share similar interests.

Bienvenido al Museo Arqueológico Nacional,” she greets warmly. She can feel his eyes sweep over her figure, and he turns his head to hide his approving smile before removing his sunglasses and storing them inside a coat pocket.

Tom’s in front of her now, and for a moment she has no idea how to greet him. “Tan colorido, so colorful. Eres bonita, Thalia.” He moves in for a hug, quick and chaste, but she hears him inhale deeply when she returns the gentle pressure.

“Ready to show off?” he asks, his eyes crinkling with his grin.

“Absolutely.” She steps back from his grasp, waiting for a tour group to pass. “I’m assuming you’ve done your homework and informed yourself a little about what to expect?” She uses her best stern teaching voice and sees Tom’s grin widen.

“Sí, Profesora Bareo,” he intones in his best Spanish accent, making something flutter inside her against her will.

“Well, let me hear it then,” she says as they begin walking up the steps to the entrance with its majestic columns and its proud letters spelling out Museo Arqueológico Nacional, which tends to be shortened to M.A.N. by insiders. He chuckles, recognizing her reference to his typical start to a class session, when he questioned the group to know if they had done their assigned readings.

They’re walking so close their arms almost touch. It’s simultaneously exhilarating– because nobody would care if they did touch– and unnerving. So Thalia stomps down on her wayward emotions and focuses on his cultured voice reciting words from heart that he must’ve found online.

“Well, the M.A.N. was founded by the royals in the mid-19th century and covers pretty much everything from prehistoric times to the Renaissance. What’s interesting is that it contains so many exhibits with a religious significance because lots of the items were removed from monasteries and churches.” He pauses as he goes through the motions of buying a ticket while Thalia flashes a badge and exchanges friendly nods. “If I remember correctly, some of the museum’s highlights are the Lady of Elx bust and the prehistoric cave paintings of Altamira, the ones we discussed in London.”

Thalia gives him a nod, unable to keep the teasing tone out of her reply. “I see your brain hasn’t slackened with age. I was a bit worried that the M.A.N. might overwhelm you.”

He puffs out his chest and feigns indignation, a hand rising to his chest as if wounded. It makes the sweater stretch all too fetchingly across his well-defined pecs and abs. Jesus, she can even see his nipples outlined beneath the well-worn fabric.

“I am mortally offended by how little faith you have in me.” There’s a sad undertone beneath it, as if he’s indeed aware that she might be lacking faith in him. “I’m 42, not on the edge of death, dear.”

She chuckles. “This way,” she steers him into the first hall of exhibitions, choosing to let the topic rest.

Tom shoves his hands into his pockets in a move she hasn’t seen often. So he won’t touch her? Or so he won’t touch the exhibits because he is by all means a very tactile person?

Focus, she should focus. “This…” she gesticulates, “is actually what we call the New Museum. Between 2003 and 2013, the whole place was remodeled and renovated. Not only did they refurbish the building itself but they also changed the permanent exhibition and made parts of the M.A.N. more interactive. We’ve now got bigger common areas, better security and modern technical solutions that make the exhibitions easier to understand for visitors from all over the world.”

Tom nods, sticking to her side as they meander along between glass cases and pictures on the wall. She notices him pay attention to every detail, even lifting his head to study the hall, the ceiling, the lighting. It’s so like him to drink in the whole experience, to all but wallow in the details that make it complete.

There isn’t much for her to add to the information displayed so they walk in silence, finding their leisurely way to the second hall.

“Any idea how many people visit the museum annually?” Tom asks, nearly folding his tall body in half to bed over a case and peer at ancient scrolls. His thin lips move silently as he tries to read them.

“Around eight hundred thousand per year, by our estimates. There was a huge increase ever since the M.A.N. reopened.”

Tom gives a low whistle, righting himself. He winces slightly, rubbing his back. She clears her throat, sorry for teasing him about being older.

“So there’s six floors altogether, divided into areas with common topics, right?”

He’d done his homework well.

“Yes. There’s a lot of space to work with, for public and internal uses. The permanent exhibition alone spreads over more than 9000 m2.”

He looks duly impressed before spending a long time reading a board. Thalia uses the moment to study him. His jawline is covered in gingery scruff, looking less razor-sharp. His eyes crinkle when he squints, leaning forward to read, before reaching in his pocket to pull out a pair of glasses. His gaze darts to hers and she giggles as he blushes. She steps back to answer a quick question from another museum visitor before turning her attention back to Tom, watching him, analyzing him, just as she would an exhibit. There are fine lines on his face and she can see a tiny permanent frown etched between his brows. Thankfully, his hairline hasn’t receded more, though his hair looks different now that he isn’t cutting it short. Now it’s her turn to stuff her hands into the pockets on her dress because she’s feeling the urge to touch.

“How many exhibits do you have?” Breaking her from her revery, Tom inquires, ever the inquisitive seeker of knowledge.

“Around 15,500, give or take a few. The largest number of exhibits are for the areas Prehistoria and Oriente Próximo as well as Edad Media.”

She watches the look of concentration on his face as Tom fidgets with his glasses and figures out the translation for the words, such as Middle Ages.

They continue on their tour, Tom’s long legs and never-waning enthusiasm sometimes taking him ahead. But he keeps circling back to her side, asking questions, soaking up the tidbits of additional information that she can offer. Thalia, in turn, pays less attention to the exhibits than usual, making Tom her focal point. His face hasn’t lost its astounding ability to express so much in silence. He reads and looks, his features contorting in shared pain, widening in awe, rearranging themselves to fit the emotions and stories that the exhibits evoke.

The two of them leave the prehistoric areas behind and work their way through the Greek and Roman influence on Spain, which seems to fascinate Tom even more. Now he’s the one who adds little snippets of insight, relying on his knowledge of ancient Greek and Latin. He seems fixated on the emperor Hadrian, the one who built the famous Hadrian’s Wall in Britain.

“I went to see part of it,” Tom tells her. “The Millennium Bridge was rather fascinating, on the eastern side of the River Irthing where the remains of the bridge lie that once carried Hadrian’s Wall across the water.”

She nods. “I’ve visited parts of it too.”

“Of course you have.”

He beams at her, such approval in his velvety purr that it makes her want to press her thick thighs together. Instead, she pushes him on. Statues and busts mix with bronze legal texts, pottery and coins. Tom stares and stares at the well-preserved mosaics like that of a colorful quadriga, a carriage drawn by four horses.

Several halls later, they take a break in the cafeteria, and Thalia has to battle flashbacks of similar situations, even of their hidden conversations on campus and their meals on the outskirts of their former college town.

Tom’s body is sprawled in the smallish chair, his legs nearly tangling with hers beneath the table, his beautiful fingers wrapped around a steaming mug of coffee.

“What’s next?” he wants to know.

“The medieval exhibition.”

His face scrunches up in thought. “Ah, the Arab influence?”

It shouldn’t please her that he knows enough about Spanish history to guess correctly. Thalia nods, taking her own sip of coffee. She’s barely taken more than a few bites out of her sandwich while Tom has demolished two pastries. He seems more relaxed now, but not all of his smiles reach his eyes. Why?

They sit in silence for a while, the sounds of other visitors filling in around them. Suddenly Tom lifts his head, something steely in his grey-blue eyes.

“You’re very good at this, Thalia. Guiding and lecturing.” There’s something about his voice that sets her on alert. “I’m not surprised. I experienced once before that you’re a pro at conferences and presentations now.”

Slightly on edge now, she nods. “Despite some people trying to mansplain things to me occasionally?”

He has the decency to flinch and apologize again. Thalia waits, wondering why he would bring up this topic.

“I went to your first one, you know.”

He’s not talking about their panel in London? She blinks, thinking she’s misheard him. “You what?”

He nods grimly, a tiny muscle ticking in his jaw. “I did. Traveled all the way to your first ever speaking event in Toronto. Not because I thought you’d need moral support, mind you. I was certain you would ace it. But because I had to see for myself.”

Something lodges in her throat at the same time as her heart aches. He came to see her? But… but he never came to speak to her? Her brain is drawing a blank. Why didn’t he approach her that day? It would have made a difference for both of them, wouldn’t it?

“Turns out,” his mouth twists downwards in bitterness or pain, “you already had someone else there for moral support.”

She turns cold, her hands beginning to tremble over her mug. She hides them in her lap and lifts her chin. Thalia fights to keep her voice steady. “What do you mean?”

“I saw you there, with him.”

There’s no need to elaborate. He’s only ever used that tone for one person. Chris. And now the memories come back, of Chris being there at the venue and later taking her out on the town.

Tom’s fingers clench around the cup, his usually ruddy knuckles going white before he unclenches them deliberately and sets his hands in his lap. Sitting back, she can see him try to loosen up.

“You didn’t need me then. I should have known that but it was still a shock.”

Thalia lets that sink in, unsure what to do with that confession. “Do you…do you need me needing you?”

He scowls, then shakes his head. “I probably did, yes. But I’ve realized now that it isn’t just that. I never wanted you dependent on me, Thalia. I hope you know that. But it did wonders to my ego that you were there, ready to submit sometimes, to turn to me. And over the past few years, I’ve taught myself to live without that. But…” He rubs the back of his neck, seeks out her gaze. “But I still want you. Want you to want me.”

She can’t deal with this now, just can’t. Shoving her chair back, she stands, and ever the gentleman he hastens to get up as well.

“Let’s get going,” she mumbles. “There’s still so much to see.”

“And so much to learn,” she hears Tom mutter under his breath, realizing that he means more than the exhibits. She’s caught him looking at her intently several times today, a small proud smile on his face as he watched her in her element. And even though she isn’t actively seeking out and craving his validation, it does feel damn good. After all, she’s worked with him as a student and professional for years; she knows how hard-earned his approval can be because he’s such a damn perfectionist and knows so freaking much that he tends to expect the same from others.

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Strangely, the next few hours pass amicably, without any more tension. It’s as if Tom had been building up towards his confession and can finally live in the here and now. He becomes more cheerful by the minute, swallowing up the knowledge like vitamin pills. He touches her elbow a few times, even snatches her hand once to haul her over to an interactive exhibit. And then he keeps holding it and it feels exactly right. She doesn’t even pull her fingers out of his gentle-but-firm grasp when they meet a colleague of hers and chit-chat for a while. They only let go so they could gesticulate wildly as they were talking with the older gentleman.

They enter the last hall with the Modern Era exhibition, walking closer together now, more relaxed. This one’s very dear to her too because it encompasses the discovery of the New World and the Spanish influences on countries that today belong to South and Central America. Thalia sneaks some insights on Puerto Rico in, Tom hanging on her every word.

“Whoa,” she teeters when a group of bored-out-of-their-mind children dash by so closely that she’s shoved out of the way. Two strong arms grab her as she collides with Tom’s solid chest and fights the urge to snuggle right into his hold. Then he shifts and something pokes her thigh.

Thalia freezes, extricates herself and peeks down. Her cheeks flush.

“Are you so happy to see me?”

Tom blushes even redder, chuckling sheepishly. “I am, yeah. But it’s not just that, I’m afraid. It’s this place, all the wisdom, you giving me lectures…”

“So museums give you a boner?”

His guffaw makes a gaggle of women look over, then give him longing once overs that make Thalia feel oddly possessive.

“You could say that.” Then his voice lowers and his eyes gleam with mischief, sending a hot lick of fire across her skin. “But it sure helps that the knowledge comes wrapped in such a deliciously tempting package.”

He hasn’t flirted with her all afternoon but this single attempt is enough to make her want to combust. Dammit, and she thought she would be immune to him.

Swatting his arm, Thalia steps away to a safer distance. “Well, I hope not all your blood has traveled south yet because we have a last hall to visit.”

Sniggering, Tom follows her. “I swear it’s you and not the…well, ‘busty’ busts of erstwhile queens,” he adds with a wink as they pass by a naked marble sculpture.

This time, she elbows him in the ribs so he rubs his side with a winded ‘oof’.

“Behave, Hiddleston.”

“Yes, professor.” He chuckles when she mumbles under her breath about statue kink.

He blinks innocently at her as they round a corner and enter the last exhibition. And with a sinking feeling, Thalia admits to herself that she’s enjoying this. Even wants to do this again.

Fuck, that wasn’t the plan. But to be honest, it’s not a big surprise either. Whether that’s healthy or not, Tom has always held a part of her happiness in his big hands.

Click here for Chapter 21, Digging into the Past

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

Opportunity Calls

ch 19 full size

Opportunity Calls

Being Thalia

Chapter 19

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Word Count: 1374

Summary: Tom contemplates mistakes he’s made, when a small window of opportunity is presented to him.

Previous Chapter, Open Wounds

Two nights later, Tom is pacing the floor in his hotel room. He’s already been in the city five days, and he’s not getting anywhere with Thalia. What a fool!  How could he have been so self-centered to have believed she’d have welcomed him back with opened arms? If he hadn’t known she’d loved another in his absence, he’d believe she’d been hardened by him… Adding in whatever transpired between her and… and… the American asshole… she has been broken by the men who promised to love her the most. Walking past the table, he grabs the chilled tumbler, carrying it out onto the balcony, watching the late night city, still in motion.

Leaning on the rail, he blames himself for her black heart. He could have easily gone back to the States with her, picked up his old job at the University as well. He’d essentially pushed her back into… He blanches at the name in the back of his throat… Evans. He’d pushed her back into Evans’ arms, simply because he still hadn’t been ready to make the full commitment he felt she deserved. He’d stormed out of their Paris apartment three years ago, never giving her a chance to explain her wishes, never really discussing their lives as a couple.  

He drains the glass, resting it on the metal rail. His damn hurt pride simply took her desire to move back to America as a rejection from her. And she was right with her accusation, about not being able to forget, wasn’t she? He can’t even think about the other man in her life without flinching. Because it hurts, dammit. It hurts as if he’s bleeding all over the place, even though in a corner of his mind he knows she needed the American wanker as much as him. With a sigh, Tom runs his finger along the rim of the tumbler. She’s asked for forgiveness. Can he offer her that? Is that really the one thing keeping them apart? He never-

The ringing phone interrupts his thoughts. Walking back into the room, he traces the sound to his unmade bed. Her name flashes across the screen. Caressing his hand over his spotty ginger beard, the action calms him. He takes a deep breath before answering the call.

With no pretense of formalities, Thalia jumps halfway into a conversation. “What did you mean when you said I wouldn’t like your answer, when I asked why you wouldn’t listen to me?”

In low tones, his laughter, ‘eheheh,’ rumbles through his chest. “Ah, dearest Thalia. So thoughts of me are keeping you up late at night?” He falls back onto the bed, crooking his arm behind his head and crossing his feet.

She scoffs. “Couldn’t sleep, so I started thinking. It happens a lot… It’s not got anything to do with you. Those just happened to be the thoughts in my head tonight.”

He smiles, fantasizing about what she’s wearing, what she might be doing in her bed, alone, late at night. With just the thought of him…. “Mmm… keep telling yourself that.” Chuckling at her denial, he asks, “You really want to talk? It might be painful.”

The silence on the line is deafening.

Her sultry natural tone is low and wounded. “No more pain than I’m already in,” she admits.

Tom’s heart softens. He sighs and carefully thinks over his words. If a part of her ice wall has chipped away, he has to measure his words carefully. If she shuts him out now, all hope of ever winning her back is lost. He mimics her low resonance. “I just… Well, Thalia, it’s difficult to put into words, but I’ve always felt so connected to you, like I could read you… the most beautiful book I’ve ever held in my hands.” He sits up, pulling another pillow close and tucking it behind his head. “I hear your words, telling me to go away. But.. but your body vibrates whenever I’m near, and that hasn’t changed after all this time, and your eyes… your eyes beg me to stay.”

His concession is met with more silence. After a moment, he worries the call disconnected. “Thalia?”

“I’m here.” She breathes out slowly. “You’re not wrong… but you have to respect my words, Tom.”

Tom chuckles. “I’m not a caveman, Thalia. I would never force you to do anything without your consent.” Her continued silence chills him. His tone becomes authoritative. “Thalia? Do you feel I took advantage of you in the past?”

He hears her shift. “I don’t know. Maybe? I wasn’t a child, but maybe I wasn’t mature enough for the decisions I made-”

“Thalia, you were all woman. You always have been and-”

“That’s not how I mean it. But you were the professor, someone a student should trust and depend on…” She sighs. “After teaching, seeing how young those kids are, I started to look at my past differently… I’m in therapy now, looking back on key moments in my life. You definitely rate at the top of the list… I was so attracted to you, intrigued by your intelligence. And you were the first to value that in me. It was sexy and empowering.” She pauses to cough before continuing. “All my life, I was made to feel like an outcast, because of my size, and because I was loud and liked to dig in the dirt. Moving away? Going to college? It saved me. Being around other people like me, having intellectual conversations. It was so freeing. But I was still the fat girl, the butt of the joke, the ‘one night stand’ left over from the drunken frat party.”

“Oh, darling,” he murmurs, hearing the tightness in her chest. He can only picture the silent tears starting to streak down her beautiful face.

She sniffs. “It’s true. It’s like, I’m not proud of it, but I don’t regret it either. I guess you could say those were mutually gratifying exchanges… Do you remember the night you came to my apartment, as a friend, as my mentor, my boss, to check on me after Amy died? That was the last time I ever used rational thought where you were concerned-”

“We’ve talked about that night before, Thalia. You know it took every nerve ending in my body to hold me back from ravaging you then-”

“Why do you keep using my name?” She asks in a whisper.

Tom chuckles again, and closes his eyes. “You’re like a jumpy mare. I’m afraid if I use any term of endearment, you’ll run and hide.” He pictures this conversation, her curled to his side as he caresses over her hair to calm her fears.

“Probably so,” she chuckles. “I might yell at you again… oh, I’m rambling. It’s late and I’m beginning to not understand myself. I can’t keep on the path I’m trying to express. Maybe we should continue this later.”

He nods, although she can’t see him, sitting in her own apartment, halfway across the city. “Another time then. There’s still much to discuss.” He licks his lips nervously. “Thalia, I think I made a mistake by coming here, and trying to… well, whatever it is I’m trying to do. I’m thinking I should go back to London soon. I have arrangements I need to make back home now that my life path has changed yet again.”

She sucks in her breath, before letting it out slowly. “Would you like a private tour of the museum tomorrow afternoon?”

Shocked she’s offered to spend more time with him, he happily accepts the invitation. “I thought you’d never ask! Tomorrow around eleven?”

“Make it around one. School groups will clear out by then and it will be quieter.” She yawns. “I’ll see you tomorrow then? Sleep well.”

“You as well, Miss Bareo.”

Tom wants to add a million other things, take them back to the past. She should dream of him, as he will of her, inevitably and always. But he hasn’t got the right to do that anymore, does he? And it’s mostly his own bloody fault.

Looking dejectedly at the blank phone screen, he clings to what little hope her invitation has sparked in him.

“Don’t fuck this up, Hiddleston,” he mutters to himself. “You’ve already hurt her more than enough.”

Click here to read Chapter 20, Museum Musings

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

Girls’ Night

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Girls’ Night

Being Thalia

Chapter 17

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is growing up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job in Madrid as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Word Count: 856

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

Previous Chapter, Facing Demons

September 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dear Thalia,

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

-Tom

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucía ducks when Thalia throws a pillow at her head.

Click here for Chapter 18, Open Wounds

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