Learning Curve – Chapter 2

What happens when a student falls for her professor? What happens if that professor is interested in his student?
Written by: Sil and Odogoo

AU Tom Hiddleston X OC Fan Fiction

Teacher/Student | ​Adult Themes | Dom-Sub Relationship | Punishment

Thomas sat in his new office chair, and reached for the cup of coffee he had made. He wiggled in the chair a moment, trying to find the perfect way to sit in it. While he had indeed needed a new chair, this one, while comfortable, would need to be broken in. He sat back for a short time just enjoying the rich taste of his coffee as he drank it. It was the perfect temperature in his mouth and rolled easily down his throat to pool in his belly, spreading its warmth throughout his body.

This was his morning ritual. A nice cup of coffee as he graded papers and projects or reviewed possible subjects to cover in his lectures. Today was a grading day. Most of them had been finished over the weekend, but he wanted to review a few of them. Flipping through the stack quickly, he frowned when he located Caro’s. That was the one that had given him trouble. He must have reread it ten different times. There really was no getting around it, it was utterly horrible and quite unlike the girl.

Unlike some of his students who would think nothing of turning in half-composed drivel pulled directly from Cliffs or Spark, Caro was one of his bright stars. She was a student that, when he gave a project, he looked forward to seeing what she would come up with. However, this was pure rubbish. It looked rushed, had no sentence structure, and she reversed her premise at least three times in one bloated paragraph. He frowned as he wrote the failing mark and added it to his master book. He also added a note in the top corner of her paper to see him during office hours.

He sighed reaching for his cup, only to sigh again upon seeing it was empty. This wasn’t going to be a good day. He put the papers in to his messenger bag, and swung it onto his shoulder. He wouldn’t be able to fully relax until this new chair was broken in or he had obtained more coffee. He couldn’t do anything about the chair right then, so he left his office to grab more coffee before his lectures began for the day.

It had rained during the night and into the morning, leaving everything freshly dripping and bright when the sun came through the dissipating clouds. He had already fended off one possible disaster this morning, when he anticipated the bicyclist splashing through the puddle just as he was to reach that same area. He had narrowly avoided getting drenched by the unobservant pedalist, but his coffee had spilled, causing him to need to purchase a cup from the campus café. This would be his second foray to the little shop this morning. At least the coffee was of good quality.

Distracted as he was by the morning’s near miss, and puzzled over Caro’s sudden change in writing style, he didn’t spot the puddle until he was stepping into it. It instantly soaked through and into his grey suede boots, carrying suspended muck with the water, and leaving his feet cold, slimy, and wet. He had a change of socks and shoes in his office, but he would have to make his way back there in his sodden pair. He glanced at his watch to assess the time and determined he should be able to just make it if he hurried.

He reached the counter to order his usual brew, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. Turning around he saw it was one of his students. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Despite many of them being complete morons when it came to interpreting Shakespeare, Beowulf, or Chaucer, he actually liked his students and enjoyed interacting with them. Unfortunately, this was Alice.

Now, Alice wasn’t a bad sort. She was really quite sweet and caring. She never missed a lecture and was always offering to clean his blackboard for him. It wasn’t her fault that she lacked comprehension of the subject matter. Surely it couldn’t be her fault that she could barely string two written sentences together to express half a thought. Even worse though, she couldn’t take a hint that he wasn’t interested in seeing her outside of class. He steeled himself for what was likely going to be yet another attempt to ask him out, but was relieved when the barista called her name for her order. That allowed him to turn his attention to placing his order with a hastily muttered “I’ll see you in class.” When he turned around after paying, she was gone. What a day this was turning out to be.

He ended up having just enough time to get back to his office to change out of his wet shoes and socks before his first lecture was to begin. He had set a very strict rule of “tardiness will not be tolerated.” What would it look like if he, himself, were late to his own lecture? That would not do.

The first of his students filtered into his auditorium, quickly taking to their seats. As he began his lecture, he felt himself slip into the familiar groove of teaching, knew the flow of words from his lips, and the thrill of a captive audience that would bend to his will. These students were in his domain and learning how words were another form of artistic expression to be wielded with thought and purpose.

The day began to look up, passing smoothly from one lecture to the next. He slipped off campus just before noon for lunch at a nearby trattoria, bagging a slice of lemon crème cake to have with afternoon tea. That wouldn’t be until after his final lecture of the day.

He both loved, and loathed that particular class. It had his best and his worst students in it. He had recently learned the pair both rented rooms in the same off-campus house. He couldn’t imagine how that worked for them. These two girls were opposites of one another in almost every way.

He watched as the seats filled, frowning as Caro’s remained empty, until finally, Alice entered the room and took a seat in it. Caro’s absence was as uncharacteristic for her as turning in a bad paper. Ordinarily, she was early to class. She was always prepared for the lecture topic, with answers to his questions at the ready. Some of her comparisons were novel ideas that made him rethink his own analysis of the work in question. Most of all, she was passionate and enthusiastic. Maybe something had happened to cause her to turn in the substandard work and miss his class? He pushed her aside in his mind and began his lecture.

Ten minutes into his lesson, the rear door opened. Caro stepped through it, glancing around for a seat. She narrowed her eyes when she spotted who had claimed her usual spot. However, instead of taking one of the seats at the rear, as he expected her to do, she was walking, nay striding, up to the stage where he was presenting today’s material. ‘What was she doing,’ he thought, as he tried to keep an even tone for the class. He couldn’t let the other students know that anything was off about this.

Once she reached the front of the room, she perched her pert little backside on his lecture stage, as if it were her right to do so. She pulled out her notebook and pen and acting like nothing was amiss about her sitting on his stage for class. Despite his shock at her nerve, he had to admit he was equally impressed by it. His estimation of her character rose a bit more at that point.

He did his best to ignore her as he continued his lecture. It wasn’t easy with her sitting so close in her blouse and skirt, her hair tousled like she just got out of bed, her face damp and flushed, and her feet bare of shoes. Had she rushed here from some tryst with another student? He did his best to shake off the thought, and the irrational feeling of jealousy that followed it. This was his student he was thinking about!

His troubled feelings continued through his lecture, intensifying when he noticed Caro wasn’t paying a jot of attention to his words. She was instead drawing hearts in her notebook and looking at him with a wistful expression. Was that his name inside the heart? He couldn’t see a single notation about today’s topic. This was not his brilliant girl. Something was definitely off with Caro today.

At last the period was done. He assigned a short reading and summary, due at the next lecture, and dismissed the students. Alice, predictably, approached him as he was packing up. Other students came to quickly to drop off assignments for him to review before leaving the lecture hall, but Alice lingered. What was she saying, and why was she suddenly touching his arm? His main concern was currently headed toward the nearest door.

“Miss Miller,” he called out, “I need to speak with you.” That stopped the girl in her tracks, causing her to turn around with a “Yes, Sir, Professor,” that went straight to his groin. He barely suppressed a groan as he continued to address her. “You were late to my class Miss Miller. You disrupted my lecture with your tardiness and then had the audacity to sit on my lecture stage while you daydreamed. Did you bother to take a single note from my lecture today? Show me your journal.”

Caro was obviously flustered by his demand. The normally controlled, well-spoken young lady was stammering and blushing. Thankfully, Alice had decided to depart at some point. There was no sense in subjecting Caro to Alice’s scrutiny. “I’m sorry, Sir. It won’t happen again. I’ll be on time. I was distracted and didn’t take any notes, just as you said, Sir. I will be more focused next time,” Caro quickly uttered, looking down at her feet.

“There are consequences for your actions, Miss Miller. You won’t get off with a hasty apology with me. That may work for your other professors, but I know you need to be punished to make you remember.” What was he saying? It was the ‘Sirs’ she had used in her statement. There was no way she knew how it affected him. Yet, he had just told her he intended to punish her. The thought of following through with it was exciting him, and, from the look in her eyes, she had noticed its effect.

Before he could stop himself, he moved close to her so that he could speak low into her ear. “You will wait for me in my office. Do you understand me, Miss Miller?” He waited for her response, wondering if he was committing a career ending mistake. He knew not to get involved with his students, but Caro was so delectable, and something was definitely off about her today. He had to find out what it was.

So soft, he could barely hear it, she finally said, “Yes, Sir.” The surge of arousal to his groin had him nearly coming undone like a nervous school boy. He tamped down the urges to grab her and take her against his blackboard, and watched Caro leave the auditorium through the rear door. The professor finished packing up his notes, grabbed the students’ work to shove into a pocket of his bag, and quickly made his way to his office to await his errant pupil.

As he slammed back a whiskey on the rocks, he pondered if he was really going through with this. Could he initiate an intimate relationship with his student? Was she even interested? Had he misread her body language? Reaching for the bottle to pour himself another, he registered a timid tap on his door. Hastily sitting down, he called out “Enter.” That second drink would have to wait.