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DHW ([personal profile] dhw) wrote in [community profile] summer_of_giles2017-07-08 09:45 pm

Sanctuary IV: Labyrinth (Buffy/Giles) FRAO

Title: Labyrinth
Author: [livejournal.com profile] darkheartwalsh
AO3 Mirror: HERE
Rating: FRAO
Setting: Several years post-Chosen, no comics
Pairing: Giles/Buffy
Word Count: Approx 7,000
Warnings: Mild kink, explicit sex (you know the drill…)

A/N: The continuing saga of the PWP that ran away and developed some semblance of a plot. Apologies for posting this in two parts rather than whole, as I had originally intended – I’m being beaten by RL like a naughty schoolboy. Life, eh? *sigh* I’d also like to apologise for falling so behind on my reading. I will catch up and comment soon, I promise!

This is chapter 1 and 2 of Part IV in the Sanctuary Series. You can find the other parts of this series linked below. The remaining chapters (3 and 4) will be posted next Saturday (15th).

PART I – Sanctuary
PART II – Anchor
PART III – Confluence

Summary:
Dating is a minefield. And that’s just when you’re single, nevermind in a definitely-not-a-relationship with a man who might technically be your boss.

If Buffy were a betting woman, she’d put money on Giles being jealous. But she isn’t, and he’s definitely not.

Apparently.


PART IV – Labyrinth




ONE



She was going to kill Giles.

Buffy looked at her reflection in the dimly lit mirror. It frowned back at her as she washed her hands, a picture of perfectly executed make-up and barely restrained irritation. Giles was a dead man walking. She was going to kill him and then she was going to bury his body where no one would ever find it.

The git.

“I just want you to be happy, Buffy,” she mimicked nastily to her reflection, drying her hands upon a paper towel. “But you need to go out and meet people your own age. Date.”

And just how well was that going?

A grim sort of satisfaction filled her as she imagined staking her former Watcher, current boss (though only technically), and sometime not-quite-her-lover through the chest. It would possibly be more cathartic, she thought, if he would then disappear in a puff of dust, but given that he remained firmly in the land of the living, simple blood splatter would have to suffice.

With a growl of annoyance, she reached into her handbag and pulled from it a tube of violently red lipstick. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she applied a fresh layer, blending away the patches until her lips were a uniform red. Baring her teeth, she checked for transfer, before blotting away the excess with the corner of a tissue.

Next, she checked her dress, smoothing out the creases, then her hair, playing for time. Tonight she was wearing a rather impressive little black number, because really, could you ever go wrong with a classic LBD? Buffy thought not. High necked and cap sleeved, it skimmed over her curves, fitted but not tight, falling to her mid thigh in a swish of silk. Her legs were bare, and upon her feet were a pair of pointed stiletto heels, fire engine red to match her handbag. Long blonde hair, the ends curled to painstaking perfection, cascaded over her shoulders in shiny waves.

She looked fantastic, even if she did say so herself. Pity, then, that it was entirely wasted upon her dinner companion.

It wasn’t that James Beckwith was a bad person. Or even that he was bad looking. Quite the opposite. Perfect hair, chiselled jaw, muscled but not overly bulky; he looked like one of those models she’d seen on the front of GQ, all designer stubble and perfect tailoring. She’d say one thing in his favour: the man knew how to fill a suit, and an expensive suit at that.

No, on paper, he was perfect Buffy boy candy. He ticked all the boxes. He was even aware of the more supernatural elements of her existence, he too working for the Council, only in the Finances Department. It was just that he was deadly dull. So dull, in fact, that she had spent most of the previous hour trying not to poke her own eyes out with the cutlery just for a bit of excitement.

Over the course of an admittedly rather excellent three course dinner, they had broached such fascinating topics as the weather, the weekend engineering works on the Victoria and Central lines, his seemingly endless list of pet peeves regarding the upgrade to the Council’s accountancy software, and his predictions for the upcoming Premier League season. They did, at one point, stray briefly onto the topic of the coming season’s menswear, sartorial standards being of distinctly more interest to Buffy than either football or the recent heat wave. But it didn’t last, the conversation segueing, despite her best efforts, into one focused more on the range of the lunch menu in the Council canteen.

Almost bed-wetting excitement for James seemed to be more along the lines of finding pickle unexpectedly on a cheese sandwich. For a woman who spent her spare time hunting and subsequently dispatching some of the deadlier creatures in existence, it didn’t exactly make for stimulating conversation.

Not, she supposed, that he could help it. He was an accountant, after all.

Buffy sighed heavily, glancing at her watch. It was 9.30pm. The night was still young, and she was almost certain that James’ next topic of conversation would be about which bars in the vicinity were worth being ‘seen’ at, and which were not. Not that Buffy didn’t regard this as useful information, deep at heart she was still a Valley Girl, she just didn’t think the effort of suffering through several more hours of jejune James was worth it.

But what to do? It was too early to feign tiredness, and being a Friday evening, there was no excuse to be had regarding work the following morning. She couldn’t lie about patrol. As a Councilman, albeit one who worked in Admin, he probably knew the extent of her Slaying duties, so that was out.

‘Sorry, I find you super boring,’ was out, too. Besides, he was nice enough, just dull. She didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

Leaning against the sink, trying to work out her next move, Buffy heard the buzz of her phone as it vibrated against the countertop. She fished it out from the depths of her handbag and opened it with a flick of her wrist. On the screen a little icon bobbed up and down, indicating a new text message. It was from Rona.

Need files on polgara asap. 4 in NYC. Thxs.

Buffy grinned. The digital copies of those files were on the Council system; she’d need to be at her desktop to send them, which meant a trip to the office. Excellent.

Saved by the bell. Or, rather, the buzz.

She fired off a quick reply. Then, armed with the perfect excuse, she returned to the restaurant and her waiting date to give him the bad news.


***


It took Buffy twenty minutes and two changes on the Tube to get back to the office. The recent heat wave had made traveling on the Underground almost unbearable; even now, the temperature dropping as the evening progressed and the train carriages almost deserted, it was unbearably hot and stuffy below ground. She was sweating when she emerged into the fresh evening air at Charring Cross. Thanking every deity could think of for the blessedly cool breeze, she began to make her way towards the Council offices.

After the destruction of the previous Council buildings by the agents of The First, the Watchers’ Council had relocated, taking up residence in Whitehall at the behest of the British Government. Though it still retained its independence, the new Watchers’ Council worked closely with the Secret Service and MoD, actively consulting on situations with more of a supernatural element than either organization were used to. It had been one of Robson’s bright ideas; secrecy was all well and good, but collaboration was better. It got things done. And so, as payment for their services, the Council had been given new offices right in the very heart of power, along with the freedom to operate as they saw fit.

It was a deal that had worked out very well for all parties concerned. The streets of London, and the wider world, were safer than ever before.

Passing through Trafalgar Square, tourists still milling about by the great fountains despite the late hour, she turned onto Whitehall then down a small, pedestrianized side street towards her destination. She passed the barriers and the glass security booth that guarded the entrance, flashing her ID as she went. Up the large stone steps to the mahogany doors that concealed a layer of blast-proof steel. The great, white edifice of the Council headquarters towered above her as she swiped her card for entry, the stone that made up its façade intricately carved around the windows and doors. The sound of clunking metal filled the air as the locks released, the door swinging open with an electric hum.

Stuffing her card back into her purse, Buffy walked into the foyer, her heels clacking noisily against the black and white tiles. Geoff, the Night Porter, gave her a cheery little wave from his desk as she made her way towards the lift and her office on the second floor. In his mid fifties, his hair a shocking white and his breathing laboured even at rest, Geoff Cowan had been one of the few to survive the bombing five years before. It was from the smoke, he’d told her when she’d asked about the wheeze, though she suspected the real culprit was the 40-a-day habit he’d had for the past twenty years, and probably the twenty before that. He reminded Buffy a little of her grandfather, albeit a stocker and with a Devonshire accent; both charming and sweet with a core of steel.

“Mr. Giles was looking for you earlier,” he said, leaning back in his chair and taking a sip from his steaming mug of tea. “Told him you’d gone home.”

Buffy paused, finger on the lift call button, turning to face the elderly Porter. He gave her a sympathetic smile, the white whiskers that decorated his upper lip bristling with the movement.

“Do you know why?” she asked carefully.

“Not a clue, Miss. I think he’s still here, though, if you want to ask him yourself.”

The man in question had been in a snit, according to the other Slayers, for most of the day, though god only knew why. Nothing the poor girls had done today had been right, with even their best efforts merely serving to add fuel to the fire. If Buffy were a betting woman, she’d have put money on it being something to do with her date this evening, as nonsensical as that was. After all, if had been Giles who had insisted she date; Buffy was merely following orders, if a little reluctantly. It helped keep the peace between them.

Only it didn’t, if today had been anything to go by.

The loud ding of the lift echoed through the almost empty foyer.

“Ground floor. Lift going up.”

Buffy sighed heavily. “Thanks for telling me.”

The lift took Buffy to the third floor of the left wing, the speakers set high into the walls playing The Girl from Ipanema on a crackling loop. She emerged into the high-ceilinged corridor with a purpose to her stride. Burgundy carpet stretched out beneath her feet, and from the ceiling hung warm lamps beneath cream shades, the fittings a burnished rose-gold. Upon the walls, portraits of long dead Lords, Ladies and other characters of notable rank hung in ornate frames, their names etched into brass plaques below. Doors to the offices of the high-ranking Watchers were spaced at even intervals down the hall, mirroring those below that belonged to the more senior Slayers. And, as with those below, they were dark and empty, their occupants having retired for the night, either to sleep or to slay.

At the very end of the corridor, behind a heavy oak door with a golden plate bearing the name ‘MR. R. E. GILES, a light was shining. Giles was still working, it seemed. As she drew closer to his door, she wondered whether his mood had improved.

Only one way to find out.

The knock sounded dreadfully loud in the deserted hallway. Buffy brushed her hair out of her face as she waited for a reply. It did not take long.

“Yes,” came the barked response.

Apparently not.

Steeling herself for the inevitable argument that would surely follow, Buffy opened the door, stepping inside his office with her head held high. She was still mad at him over her disastrous date. Not that it was really his fault. He hadn’t specifically chosen James as a potential paramour; that was something she had done alone. Indeed, Buffy wasn’t sure he even knew who James was. Nor had he made her fall dangerously close to being in love with him; she’d done that all by herself, too. But he had insisted she date, which was more than enough to provoke her ire, however displaced.

He was sat as his desk, frown creasing his brow as he glared down at the notepad on which he was hastily scrawling. Buffy could see the tension in his frame, in the way he held the pen, the point pushed deep into the paper as he wrote.

“Giles,” she said tartly.

“Oh, hello, Buffy,” he replied, his face softening as he looked up, placing the pen and the piece of paper he held in his right hand down upon the large box file that took up most of his desk. “You look nice.”

The complement caught her off-guard, knocking the wind from her sails. She felt her heart skip at his words, her stomach filled with butterflies. She willed the feelings away, well aware he meant nothing by it beyond mere friendly politeness.

“Er, thanks,” she said, irritation momentarily forgotten, letting his office door close with a soft click behind her. She stood frozen, trying to remember exactly why she’d knocked to begin with. After a moment, it came to her. “Geoff said you were looking for me.”

He waved away the statement with an air of casual dismissal, taking a large gulp of tea from the cup sat beside the keyboard. He grimaced, glaring down at the cup as he set it back down upon its saucer as though it had done him a terrible injustice.

“Urgh, cold,” he said, making a face. He blinked owlishly, giving his head a little shake as he did so, as though he were clearing out the cobwebs. “Geoff, did you say? I honestly can’t remember now. Probably wasn’t all that important.” His eyes seemed to refocus, coming to rest on her. “Off out for the evening?”

“Just came back, actually. Date night, remember? Had to bail,” she said, approaching his desk. “What are doing?”

“Nothing of any great significance,” he replied, snapping the open file shut before she had a chance to snoop further. “General admin, answering emails, that sort of thing.”

Buffy paused, thinking. He looked dreadfully tired. His hair was in disarray, its current state the product of weary fidgeting rather than any deliberate attempt at style; his tie hung loosely about his neck, the top two buttons of his creased shirt undone; there was a drawn look to his face, and what she suspected might be the beginnings of a tension headache. The last of her irritation evaporated.

“Well,” she said slowly, an idea forming, “if you’re not doing anything important, fancy playing hookey?”

He frowned. “Pardon?”

“Hookey. You know, bunking off. Truant.” She perched upon the edge of the desk, careful not to topple the precarious towers of files and books that littered its surface. “Wait, what did you call it at that meeting last week? Skiving?”

Giles rubbed his face, pushing his glasses up to his forehead.

“I don’t know, Buffy. I do have rather a lot to do.”

“It’s 10pm on a Friday. It’s practically the weekend.” She gave him a nudge, fishing the keys to his garden out of her purse. The jangled merrily between her fingers. “Live a little.”

Giles let out a long sigh, slumping back in his chair gracelessly.

“Well, I suppose I could come down with a terribly convenient case of skiveitis for the weekend,” he said thoughtfully. He gestured at the mess of his desk. “It’s not as though any of this is going anywhere anytime soon.”

“That’s the spirit.” She flashed him a toothy grin, sliding from her perch. “I’ve got to go and send some stuff to Rona. Something about Polgaras in New York. Ten minutes?”

“Fine,” he said with a nod. “But we’ll stay at mine tonight and head over to Gloucestershire in the morning. I’m not entirely confident I’ll manage the drive without incident.” He gave her a tired smile. “The spare room’s made up, in any case. And it saves me coming to pick you up in the morning.”

She tossed the keys towards him. He caught them deftly, sliding them into his trouser pocket where they jangled merrily against the change he kept there.

“Sounds good to me.”





TWO



“I’ve been thinking,” said Giles as he stepped into the kitchen, large silver bowl full of strawberries in his hands.

“Don’t hurt yourself,” replied Buffy from her spot on the kitchen counter, fanning herself lazily with a dog-eared copy of Vogue.

It was sunset and the heat of the day was just beginning to ebb. The cool evening breeze blew in through the window from the garden, bringing with it the heady scent of the honeysuckle that bloomed in the beds that lined the wall.

Having arrived early that morning, the pair had spent the vast majority of the day out in the faux sunshine of the garden; Giles tending to the flower beds over by the far eastern wall, Buffy splitting her time between harvesting the ripened fruit from the strawberry runners and raspberry canes, and making daisy chains as she sat sunning herself upon the grass beneath the wisteria.

Giles made a sour face, casting a half-hearted glare in her direction. “Yes, yes, very droll. However, I have been thinking,” he said, placing the bowl in the sink beside her. “And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s high time I gave you a bit of the garden to call you own. Somewhere you can plant, well, anything you want really.” He looked down at his hands where they rested on the lip of the bowl. “I-If you would like that, that is,” he finished shyly, unwilling to meet her gaze.

Buffy blinked, taken aback. Though he had given her a key to the house and the garden within, a key that had been in her possession for well over a year, she still thought of it as very much Giles’ sanctuary. It was his place away from the world; a place where he could hide from the various trappings that came with his role as Head of the Watcher’s Council, for a little while, at least. She felt as though she were merely an interloper, intruding upon the quiet haven he had made for himself, despite his frequent protestations otherwise.

And yet, here he was, offering a piece of his sanctuary to her. A piece she could truly call her own.

“I don’t think I’d know where to begin,” she said dumbly, a little overwhelmed.

“Well, I could always help. I have plenty of books on the topic, and more than a little practical experience.” He frowned, then added, “Not that you have to take me up on my offer. I’d understand if you’d rather not. I invited you here to enjoy yourself, not to add to your responsibilities.”

“No,” she said quickly, placing a hand on his arm. She felt a jolt of heat flash through her as she touched him, but willed it away. Or tried to, at least. “I mean, thank you. I’d really like that.”

Giles brightened, a small smile curling at the very edges of his lips as he met her gaze. Buffy felt her breath catch in her throat as she saw the wealth of emotion there. Not in his expression, which had remained one of quiet contentment, but in his eyes. She watched as his pupils dilated, his irises becoming mere rings of green around deep black centres. Time seemed almost to pause for a second or two, and she could have sworn Giles had leant closer. Her skin prickled with heat, an odd sort of tension settling low in her belly. She felt her heartbeat begin to pick up pace, and an answering throb settle between her thighs. Her mouth went dry and she felt herself moving closer.

Then Buffy blinked and, just like that, the moment was broken. Gone, almost as if it had never been.

“You’re welcome,” said Giles softly, his attention returning to the sink and to the bowl of strawberries therein.

Buffy took a deep breath, her eyes closing briefly as she fought to gather her scattered wits. This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. Indeed, moments like this were becoming somewhat of a common occurrence between them, their frequency increasing with each passing week, the tension between them becoming almost palpable at times.

It had started not long after their last fight, months ago now; the fight that had ended up revealing a great deal more than merely bruised egos. Quite literally, in Giles’ case. She bit back a smile as she remembered the sight of her former Watcher, naked and achingly hard beneath her, begging for her touch. It was a memory she revisited often, especially on lonely nights when she had nothing save the TV for company.

Only, now that she thought about it, maybe it hadn’t begun then. Maybe there had been such moments earlier in their, well, their not-a-relationship, and she simply hadn’t noticed, chalking them up to wishful thinking on her part.

But now? Now she was certain this wasn’t just wishful thinking, or willful delusion. No, this was as much his doing as hers. And, were it anyone else, she would have sworn that these moments meant… well, something. But this was Giles, a man who refused even the barest hint of a kiss, who confessed only a platonic sort of love for her, despite the base nature of their arrangement. A man who barely touched her at all, never mind intimately, when her neck was bare. A man who went to great pains to stress the nature of their relationship, both what it was and what it was not, who encouraged her to date, to be free with her affections. To find love elsewhere.

So who knew what it meant? What any of it meant?

It was simultaneously exhilarating and confusing. And Buffy didn’t like to dwell on it.

“So what’s for dinner, Watcher-man?” she asked, peering down at the bowl in the sink, trying to ignore the low ache that had settled between the crux of her thighs. She shifted position, hoping Giles wouldn’t notice her sudden discomfort, nor guess the cause. She could do without a re-hash of the whole ‘I don’t love you that way, Buffy’ argument. Once was more than enough.

She felt like a teenager all over again. A mess of hormones, suddenly unable to control her body’s reaction to even the merest hint of affection tossed her way. It was embarrassing.

Stupid Giles and his stupid moments.

“I think there may be some smoked salmon in the fridge,” he said, expertly hulling the strawberries, seemingly unaware of her predicament. “Would some sort of salad be acceptable?”

“Very acceptable,” she replied. “And the strawberries?”

“For later.”

Buffy reached into her pocket and pulled out a fine golden chain and lock, letting it swing from her index finger, questioning.

Though they had not gone back to their use of sobriquets, Giles no longer deeming it necessary, the illusion of separation between themselves and their alter egos utterly shattered, he still insisted upon the collar. It was a symbol of his control, of their dual lives: a mark that divided Buffy the Slayer from Buffy the submissive. He would not touch her without it. It was his line in the sand, and it was a line he did not cross. Would not cross.

Only, that line seemed to be becoming a little blurry of late.

“Same goes for that.”

Buffy rolled her eyes, letting the chain drop to the countertop with a metallic clink.

“You’re no fun,” she said with a pout. “Fun killer.”

She reached into the bowl, but Giles batted her hand away with a tut. Removing his watch, he turned on the tap and began to rinse the strawberries, giving the bowl a deft little flick as he did so.

“How did your date go with… oh, what’s his name? John?” he said, changing the subject.

“James,” corrected Buffy, grimacing. “And badly, if you must know.”

“Oh?”

“So. Dull.” She sighed heavily. “Would not shut up about this sandwich thing he bought in the Council café last week. Highlight of his life, apparently.”

“So no second date on the cards, then?” he asked carefully, suddenly very intent on the contents of the bowl.

“Absolutely not.” She paused, thoughtful. “I couldn’t, by any chance, convince you to be my date for this Council thingy-whatsit next Saturday? Save me from the snoozefest?”

The following weekend was the Council’s annual Phoenix Ball, renamed after the bombing. So far, in the four years she had spent employed by the Council, she had managed to avoid each one under the pretense of essential, and more importantly top-secret, Slayer business. The fact that she had instead spent said evenings in her flat watching telly was information only Giles and Dawn had been privy to, the former turning a blind eye, and the latter making an effort to join, arriving at her door with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in hand.

This year, however, her attendance was mandatory. Even Giles had said so, albeit with more sympathy than either Robson or Sirk had done. It was not something she was particularly looking forward to. Though, in theory, the dressing up and the drinking and the dancing was very appealing, she knew that her evening would be dominated by making polite and boring small talk with other senior Council members, her every move painfully political. There was no amount of pretty silk dresses and horrendously expensive shoes in the world that could make up for that amount of aggravation.

Giles shook his head, pressing the back of his hand against the tap to shut off the water. “I’m not entirely sure that would be appropriate, considering our respective positions within the Council.”

“So I take it that’s a whole ‘no’ on the pity date front.”

“You take correctly,” he replied, carefully draining the strawberries and setting the bowl upon the countertop beside her.

“And there was I thinking you’d be my knight in shining armour.”

“Chivalry’s dead, or so I’ve been told.” With a small smile, he plucked an overripe strawberry from the bowl and moved to stand before her, the fabric of his midnight-blue shirt brushing against her bare knees. He tapped her knees and she widened her legs, Giles moving to step into the gap. “Besides, I’ve always been of the opinion that you are far more suited to shiny armour than I.”

“Well, I do look fabulous in chainmail,” she said with a grin.

“Doubtless.”

“Though I think that would make you the damsel in distress.”

She poked him accusingly in the chest with her index finger. Quick as lightening, he grasped the offending digit, pushing it away, his fingers lacing with her own as he did so.

“I prefer to think of myself as more of a bloke in a bit of a pickle.”

Buffy felt her heart skip a beat in her chest. She swallowed, trying to concentrate on the conversation rather than the feel of his hand in hers, or the heat of him against her skin.

“But what about the chiffon?” she said with a tilt of her head, forcing her voice to remain light and playful. “No damsel, no pretty dresses.”

“We all have our crosses to bear,” he replied, taking a step closer, the tops of his thighs now flush with the countertop.

Slowly, he raised the strawberry in his free hand to her lips, questioning look upon his face. Buffy leant forward, taking a bite from the ruby-red fruit. Her eyes fluttered closed in pleasure as the full, fresh flavour hit her tongue. Perfectly sweet and juicy, it tasted like heaven, nothing like the sharp, tasteless strawberries bought at horrendous mark-up at the supermarket.

She felt Giles sweep the pad of his thumb over her bottom lip, wiping away the juice that still lingered upon it. Her eyes flickered open. She heard herself make something that sounded suspiciously like a whimper as her she watched him bring his hand to his mouth, his lips wrapping softly around the tip of his thumb, his eyes never leaving her face.

He quirked a dark eyebrow, the beginnings of a self-satisfied smirk beginning to curl at his lips as he slowly withdrew the digit.

“Shut up,” said Buffy, blushing.

“I said nothing,” he protested, unlacing his fingers from her and placing his hands upon her bare knees. She could feel the slight dampness of his spit-slicked skin where it pressed lightly into her flesh. It was oddly erotic.

“Maybe you should let your face know that, huh?”

Giles ran his hands up the tops of her thighs, his touch light until he reached her hips, where it became firmer, his thumbs rubbing against the twin ridges of her hipbones through soft fabric of her dress.

“How rude,” he said, and with a sudden jerk pulled her forward until she sat perched upon the very edge of the countertop, her dress ruched up to the crux of her thighs, her lips inches from his own. “You cut me to the quick.”

The sheer closeness of him was intoxicating. She could feel the heat that radiated from him through the light cotton of her sundress; smell the scent of his aftershave, sandalwood and vetiver, smoky and deep; practically taste the tea that sweetened his breath. A few inches more and their lips would touch. But neither of them moved to close the gap.

“Giles?” she said, her voice a little shakier than she’d have liked.

He blinked, then took a step back, his hands sliding from her hips to rest on the countertop. And, just like that, the blurred line between them began to sharpen.

“The lock,” he said, eyes averted. She watched his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed roughly. “Please.”

Buffy reached down onto the countertop, plucking the delicate chain from its place upon the marble. With shaky fingers, she looped the chain around her neck, the lock snapping shut with a little click. It felt pleasingly cool against her throat, her skin now tingling with heat.

Giles’ nostrils flared as he took a deep breath, his eyes once more locking with her own. He was so close she could see the small fleck of brown that marked his muddy green irises, see the way the light glinted off the lenses of his glasses. He did not, however, move to touch her, his hands remaining firmly upon the counter.

“First rule of the evening,” said Giles quietly. “I want you to put your hands on the table.”

Buffy complied, pressing the flat of her palms against the smooth marble surface of the countertop beside his own. She let her little finger brush against his index, delighting in the slight hitch in his breath as she did so. She rolled her shoulders, giving a slight arch to her back. She swallowed as she watched Giles’ gaze dip briefly down to her chest before locking once more with her own, his pupils dilated.

“Second rule,” he said, leaning closer. “You are not to close your eyes.”

Buffy bit her lip, feeling a wave of heat roll through her at his command. This was one he rarely made; generally he preferred to blindfold her, making her rely on her other senses, ramping up the anticipation as he waited, unseen, until she begged for his touch. But, as much as she enjoyed their more usual games, there was something about watching him that she found more stimulating than anything else. The sight of his skin, exposed here and there in the barest slivers, peeking through undone buttons and rolled up sleeves, slick with sweat and glistening; the way he moved, each manoeuvre powerful and precise up until the final moments; the expression on his face as he lost himself to the pleasure of touching her. Watching him was almost unbearably erotic. Even the suggestion alone left the folds of her sex shamelessly slick with anticipation.

Buffy shifted upon the countertop, seeking friction, pressure, anything to ease the throbbing ache that pulsed through her clit. God, she was so close to orgasm already it was embarrassing; she both hated and loved that he could do this to her with nothing more than a few choice words.

She wanted him to touch her, her expression one of pleading, but still his hands remained upon the counter.

He leant closer.

“Third and final rule,” he whispered, his breath hot against her neck, his lips a hair’s breadth from touching the shell of her ear. “Tonight, you are not allowed to come until I tell you.”

“What if I can’t help it?” she gasped.

Giles stepped back, peering at her over the tops of his spectacles in mock severity.

“Then I’ll have to punish you,” he said, placing his hands gently upon the bare skin of her thighs, his smirk widening she fought not to moan.

Fuck.

He’d barely touched her, and still she’d felt the muscles of her belly tighten, her cunt twitch, as if on the verge of coming. And the thought of punishment wasn’t helping.

She took a deep breath, then a second, forcing herself to calm down.

Okay. She could do this. Mind over matter, right?

“What you gonna do?” she said, aiming for a teasing tone, but didn’t quite manage it. “Spank me?”

A small, rather curious part of her mind hoped the answer would be yes. She tried her best to ignore it.

“I think not.”

“I bet you’d enjoy it, though,” she said, slightly disappointed.

“That is rather beside the point, don’t you think?” Giles tilted his head, his expression thoughtful. He flexed his hand, nails digging briefly into her soft skin before his grip loosened once more. A satisfied little smile graced his features as she gasped at the sudden sting. “There are better ways to explore the fine line that exists between pain and pleasure. Should you decide that sadomasochism is something you wish to investigate further, then I’m confident I will be able to adequately cater to your needs without resorting to something so mundane as a spanking.”

“Kinky.”

“Shocking, I know,” he drawled, smoothing the flat of his hand across the inside of her thigh. “Whoever would have thought?”

“Is that what you’re into, then?”

“What, sadism?” he said, his hand moving higher. “Good Lord, no. Whilst your use of the term ‘kinky’ is quite apt, sadism has never been something I have found a particular pleasure in beyond a very superficial level. Other things yes, but not that.”

Buffy tilted her head, curious. “Like?”

“Surely, given the evidence before you, you can answer your own question.”

His hand was now at the crease of her thigh, his fingertips tracing the soft skin beneath the lace edge of her knickers. His touch was light and teasing and so very distracting. She shook her head, willing herself to concentrate.

“Dominance?” she said.

She gasped as his fingers slipped beneath cotton and lace, and brushed lightly against the folds of her sex in reward. A low moan rumbled from the depths of her chest. She tilted her hips, allowing him better access, but still his touch remained feather light.

“And?”

It was so hard to think with his hand there, the tips of his fingers occasionally catching her clit, sending shocks of pure pleasure coursing through her. She felt her nipples tighten into hard little pebbles, brushing sensuously against the fabric of her dress as her back arched.

“Bondage?” she said with a gasp.

“Appreciated, certainly, but not, as you put it, something I am into.” His hand moved higher, away from the folds of her sex, threading through the neatly trimmed hair that decorated her mons. “Try again.”

“Discipline?”

“Do you think yourself particularly disciplined?”

Buffy snorted. He had a point.

“Think.”

Slowly, his hand moved lower once again, the tip of his middle finger dipping briefly into her cunt before descending lower still to stroke the sensitive skin of her perineum. He had never touched her there before, but the intense sensation it created was not an unwelcome one. Quite the opposite.

“You’re making it kinda hard, here,” she said, a strangled sort of sound emerging from her throat as a second finger began to circle her entrance.

“At the risk of sounding flippant, ditto.”

“Giles!”

Unable to help herself, her eyes dropped to the rather prominent bulge in the fabric of his dark jeans. Her mouth went dry at the sight.

“It was too good an opportunity to miss.” He grinned. “Well, any further thoughts?”

‘I…” she said, her head lolling back as his second hand moved to cup her breast, “I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do.”

She felt him press his lips against the chain around her neck, the tiny lock that nestled in the hollow of her throat. In the haze of her mind, what little concentration she had left fighting against the almost overwhelming urge to come, she began to put two and two together.

“Control,” she said. “It’s about control. And not just over me, but over yourself, too.”

“Full marks,” he whispered against her skin, pressing a long finger into her.

“Fuck! Giles!”

Buffy squeezed her eyes shut, her breath hissing out from between her teeth. She was so close. So close.

“Look at me.”

With some effort, she complied with his request. She swallowed roughly as she took in his appearance; his eyes were wild behind his glasses, his face flushed, his skin holding a faint sheen of sweat. He looked dangerous, as though he were about to pounce, he a beast and she his prey. And yet, despite the lust that so clearly coursed through him, he held himself rigidly in control.

“You are not to come until I tell you,” he said, his voice tight. He withdrew his hands completely, placing them back upon the countertop beside hers. “And have I told you?”

“No.”

Buffy watched as Giles blinked, breathing deeply.

“Good girl.”

Nodding to himself, he took a small foil packet from the left hand pocked of his jeans. With almost ruthless efficiency, he unzipped the fly of his trousers, tore open the packet and rolled the condom over his rock-hard cock. Fingers dipping beneath the sodden fabric of her knickers, he pressed his hand against the wet folds of her cunt before taking himself into his fist and giving two quick strokes, leaving the latex slick and shiny.

An intense look upon his face, Giles pressed a hand against her shoulder, pushing her back until she rested upon her forearms, her palms still firmly flat upon the counter. Buffy moaned as she felt his hands smooth up the insides of her thighs to her hips, fingers hooking beneath the elastic of her knickers. She lifted herself up as he tugged them from her, casting them carelessly upon the kitchen floor.

“You are not to come until I have done so,” he said, sliding his hands beneath her now bare buttocks, the tip of his cock pressing against her entrance.

And with that he thrust into her in one powerful stroke, his moans drowning out Buffy’s own.

She felt herself clench tightly around him, her cunt twitching involuntarily from the friction as he withdrew and thrust back in harder than before. Her legs came up to wrap around his waist, drawing him tighter to her, changing the angle. She groaned as it brought the still-fastened button of his jeans against her clit, sending shocks of pleasure through her. She was so close it hurt. Her skin felt as though it were on fire, her breath coming in sharp little pants. Her hands clenched upon the counter, nails biting into the flesh of her palms, the pain the only thing preventing her from careering over the edge into sweet oblivion.

“I’m going to – I – I’m going –”

“Don’t you dare,” he growled, cutting her off, his nails digging almost painfully into the soft flesh of her buttocks.

Buffy watched as his muscles began to tense, his next thrust more erratic than the last. His face was a picture of concentration, his green eyes, now so dark they were almost black, boring into her own. He was close, too.

“Giles, I can’t. I can’t.” It was practically a sob. “Please.”

A shaky thrust, deeper than before.

“Not yet!”

And another.

“Please!”

“Jesus, fuck!”

Buffy watched his face contort as he came, the sight triggering her own orgasm. It hit her like a freight train, the sudden release of tension making her whole body shake, her mind almost short-circuiting. She was floating on a wave of pleasure. No, not floating, drowning, gasping for air as her world faded out around her.

It took her a moment or two to regain her wits. Her body felt like it was made of jelly. She was shaking, exhausted and aching, but sated. A grin rose involuntarily to her face, the endorphins that coursed through her system making her feel slightly lightheaded.

She went to push herself back up onto her forearms, having collapsed back as she came, but found her movements obstructed.

Oh, yes, Giles.

It appeared he had slumped on top of her, his head resting between the valley of her breasts.

“Hello,” she said, threading a hand through his hair. It was silky soft and ever so slightly damp.

She felt him stir. Slowly, he pushed himself up, bracing himself against the countertop. A faint blush coloured his cheeks.

“Well,” he said, eyes averted. “That was a little embarrassing. I, er, I’ve not done that since I was a teenager.”

Buffy frowned, wondering what on earth he meant. And then it clicked.

“If it helps,” said Buffy, pressing a hand against his chest, feeling the pound of his heart against his ribs, “I don’t think I could have lasted much longer, either.”

“Still…”

Balancing his weight on one, shaky hand, he pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose, still unwilling to look her in the eye.

“Hey, so what? One satisfied lady here,” she said, clenching her inner muscles, a wide grin spreading over her face as he gasped. “Quality not quantity, right?”

Giles snorted. “Yes, however, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.”

Buffy rolled her eyes.

“If you say so.”



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