Naked. Giles lay motionless, draped in nothing but a warm veil of early morning sunlight.
My mouth went dry as my stomach immediately tensed with knots of embarrassment for catching a candid glimpse of the intimate body of my Watcher. I looked away, eyes searching out anything to refocus my uninvited attention. My first thoughts were if he’d intentionally left his room unlocked. Then I noticed the messy heap of clothes beside the bed, the carelessly tossed leather jacket, the sloppily discarded shoes, the uneven stack of books spilled along the floor; all symptoms of fatigue and a fast surrender to sleep. And though I fought the temptation, I was drawn back to him, strangely powerless to resist the undeniable attraction. So I gave in and looked.
A striking, masculine body sculpted from the earth of experience was spread out before me. His position was that of utter contentment, not a care of consciousness, not a worry of the world. Giles was finally asleep and it was beautiful.
Though I felt nervous guilt at my intrusion, I couldn’t bring myself to leave. My eyes remained on his bare skin, moving along his exposed limbs stretching over the cloud-like blankets. Wishing for just a few more moments in such a rare presence, I quietly took a seat across from the well messed bed. I couldn't help but grin, admiring how he’d managed to slip out from under all cover, denying concealment. I’d seen many body types before, from the thick and tall to the compact and solid, from the cut and muscled to the broad and dense, all perfect specimens of what the male body had to offer. But nothing prepared me for this.
Giles’ physique was a reflection of the man. Not particularly muscle bound but shapely athletic from use and abuse. Not sexy as the airbrushed perfection of a centerfold but beautiful in it’s humanly flaws. Scars of skin and ink marked the length of him; representations of battles fought and chaos welcomed. Like a river stone, there was no surface left untouched by the currents of time. But every line told of his character, every crease revealing his spirit.
He shifted slightly, nuzzling to the satin sheets wrinkled beneath him and I heard a sound that melted my heart. A sigh. Not one of frustration or sorrow but a charming sigh of bliss sweetened still by the faintest curl of a smile on his lips. It made me wonder what he was dreaming of, better days of past or future and whether I was there with him in his thoughts. I could only hope so.
It was then I realized how everything had changed. How a man I once saw as my Watcher had somehow transcended titles such as teacher, surrogate father, partner or friend and now become something I couldn’t yet define and honestly wouldn’t want to. No word could express what he meant to me, failing to represent the emotions I struggled to understand myself. He was never what I expected, seldom what I sought but always what I needed. And watching him then, sleeping soundly after days without rest, I realized the tables had turned. No duty or responsibility made me feel what I was feeling. My Calling was all but lost as I finally saw him for what he was. And for once, my thoughts were of him and him only.
I stood, careful not to make a sound, and stepped gently toward the bed. I took up the small notepad sitting atop the bedside table and wrote a note, placing it to the ignored pillow just next to Giles’ slumbering face. With one final selfish glance, I turned and left.
Now I wait for him to answer my note. A paper scratched with a few vague and simple words, an open-ended invitation without commitment but full of hope.
9:00 pm, my room.
I do, do you?