Fic: Watcher’s Keeper
Writer: WickedFox
Notes: You know them by now. If not, see the previous parts.

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Part 7: Moments Like These
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A new day, a fresh new outlook, or at least that’s the mantra Buffy repeated in her head as she went about her normal daily routine. She’d not said more than a few words to Giles for most the morning, giving him polite acknowledgements as they intersected throughout the small flat, but nothing of any substance. And though she told herself she was only being professional, keeping idle chitchat to a minimum, she couldn’t shake the feeling she was purposefully avoiding him. But why?

With Giles tucked away in his bedroom as part of his mysterious midday disappearance act, Buffy decided to take the moment to flush things out, particularly her strange overreaction to her Watcher the day before. Suddenly she missed her sister more than ever. Awkward emotional responses called for consultation of a female perspective and she’d learned to count on Dawn for such sisterly bonding. Just as she reached for the phone, it rang, startling her.

Buffy sat back, watched and listened. The phone was going on its third ring with no sign of Giles when she considered answering it. She eyed the answering machine, waiting impatiently for it to pick up the call but it seemed determined to ignore her wishes and its intended duty. Finally, with a sigh, she gave in and reached out, snatching up the receiver.

“Giles residence,” she answered a bit too gruffly and cursed herself under her breath.

“Miss Summers?” the polite male voice asked.

“Um… speaking,” she squeaked, unsure of how she should respond.

“It’s Roman, Buffy, is everything alright with Rupert?”

Buffy sighed with relief. “Oh, hi Roman. Yeah, he’s fine. Just taking his sweet time getting to the phone. Plus, the answering machine is apparently on strike. What’s up?”

“Nothing really, just thought I’d check in. How are you two managing?”

She considered spilling her guts out to the friendly stranger but held the urge back, shrugged and settled onto the couch with a frustrated sigh. “Same old, why?”

“Well, it’s probably nothing, really, but he hasn’t phoned in a while. A short while but still, he’s uncharacteristically quiet these days. Anything I should know about?”

“Not that I know of,” Buffy shrugged and started shuffling through some magazines littering the table. “Maybe he’s nervous about the coming conference.”

“Speaking of which, how did it go the other night? He gave me the official report but I much rather hear the sordid details.”

“Went fine,” she said quickly, unsure if she should offer any further information.

“As with Rupert, I can tell you’re going to be a wealth of information.” Roman sighed in disappointment.

“Demons, strange food, strange customs, no death… I’d say it was a success.”

“Good to hear it. He seemed a bit distracted in preparing for it. But I must admit the dress he selected was quite lovely. Took him long enough to decide.”

“Never thought Giles would be such the picky shopper.”

“I think it had something to do with whom he was shopping for.” Roman said craftily. “So tell me, how do you like the room, then?”

Buffy sat for a moment, uncertain what he was referring to. “Um, what room? I’m staying on the couch?” She glanced behind her, checking if a room had somehow mystically appeared out of nowhere.

There was a chuckle over the line. “Of course you are. That wasn’t what I meant. Surely you’ve seen it?”

“Seen what?”

“Oh…” There was a long silence and Buffy was just about to check if Roman was still there when he finally continued. “I thought I remember Rupert mentioning that you’d seen the training room. I’m sorry.”

“Oh, the training room… yeah, I’ve seen it,” She responded, relieved that her conclusion jumping mind was way off base. “It’s great. He thought of everything. I’d kill for a training room like that. Well, not really. Maybe just a little maiming.” She smiled. “It just too bad that after all the trouble it must have taken to fix it up, he doesn’t use it.”

“Yes, well, it was never intended for him, was it?” Roman dismissed easily. “I can only hope your getting some use out of it currently.”

Roman continued on but Buffy ignored him as she puzzled over the phrase ‘it was never intended for him’. Never intended for Giles? Of course it was, who else would it be intended for? And then it hit her like a runaway freight train just as she heard the latch of Giles’ bedroom door open and his footsteps coming down the hall.

“Gotta go!” she quickly hung up the phone and tried her best to gather her wits about her as Giles appeared from around the corner. “Hi!” She said much too brightly, immediately receiving a curious glance from the Watcher.

“Hello,” he responded suspiciously. “Who was that on the phone?”

“Who, what, phone?”

“Yes, the phone, Buffy, I gather you answered it?” Giles asked, making his way into the kitchen. “Surely you noticed the machine is in disrepair due to an unfortunately place soda so you must have answered it?”

“Oh… yeah…” Buffy’s mind drew a complete blank. “It was… it was no one.”

“Ah… well, in that case, I hope you had a lovely conversation,” he offered sarcastically. “Would you be up for some lunch or were you waiting for another call from your nonexistent friend?”

“Lunch?”

“That would be the meal following breakfast and preceding dinner. Unless you’re Xander, in which case all the customary constraints of dining cease to apply.” Giles joked and in getting no response from Buffy, peeked back around the corner at her and asked, “Are you quite alright? You seem rather distracted lately.”

“I’m fine. Good. Never better,” she answered nervously, her gaze shifting toward the hall leading to the training room then back to the inquisitive Watcher. “Lunch would be good. Let’s do that.”

~~~~~

‘Roman is wrong, it’s as simple as that,’ Buffy thought as she directed her leg forward with a slow, deliberate motion and brought her arms swaying fluidly forward. ‘He was reading too much into the whole thing, is all.’ She pivoted slowly toward the large window and stared out at the rainy night sky. ‘But what if he isn’t wrong? What if there’s something more going on here? What if I’m schizoid girl around Giles because I sense there is something more here?’ She froze for a moment, contemplating. ‘What if I’m just a freak who’s imagining things? I gotta stop this. It’s Giles and I have a job to do. Stop acting like a complete dweeb and get over it!’

Giles quietly stepped up and stood at the doorway, pausing at the sight of Buffy concentrating on her workout. He reflexively combed his fingers through his dampened hair as he watched her move with grace and precision through her Tai Chi routine. He couldn't help but be impressed; she'd perfected it within a very short time. Then again, she always had been a fast learner. Though he respected her dedication, he thought it odd that she was going through the same routine for the second time in a day. It was as if she was avoiding him. His concern soon shifted as she slowly lifted her arms and arched her back, stretching just enough to reveal a glimpse of her taut abdomen from underneath her short grey tank top. A spattering of small circular scars just off center of her navel caught Giles' notice.

"Wanna join me?"

“Pardon?” Giles awoke from his daze, "Oh...um, I'm sorry. I've made it a habit of wandering in to interrupt your workout. I'll leave you to it."

"You don’t have to. I’m just about done with…" She turned to face him, surprised to see his tall frame draped again in his attractive burgundy robe. It was untied, falling open to reveal black silk pajama pants hugging pleasingly along his hips and long legs. Above was his broad, exposed chest still glistening fresh from the shower he’d just come from. “Uh-oh…” she winced quietly. “I mean, I’m done. You can stay if you like.”

‘You can do this. It’s just Giles,’ she silently commanded herself, trying to pry her eyes away from his invitingly formed torso speckled with the most fascinating peppered hairs. "You look comfy."

He glanced down, suddenly sensitive to the fact he wasn't fully dressed. "Um, quite..." He muttered and retightened his robe, "I-I was just getting ready for bed and thought I'd offer you a nightcap. But I can see you're busy so I'll just..."

"I'd love one, if you'll join me."

“Oh… alright,” he answered with a trace of surprised satisfaction. “Go on with your exercises. I’ll return shortly with… with something,” he shrugged.

“Beer.”

“Pardon?”

“How about a couple of long necks?”

His brows lifted quizzically for a moment then he grinned with amusement. “Alright then. I’ll be back.”

“I’ll be waiting.” She smiled, watching him turn and walk away. She noticed something off, suddenly realizing he wasn’t sporting his cane though his limp was still evident. He was rarely without the concealed weapon and she wondered why he decided to abandon it then.

Once he’d turned the corner, she glanced around the room, taking the moment alone to remove a small pile of papers and clothes off the stacked floor pads, making room for them to get comfortable on the improvised couch. Giles returned a few minutes later with two uncapped bottles of a malty, dark beer and offered one to Buffy.

“It’s all I have, I’m afraid.”

“Perfect,” Buffy said, briefly admiring the hint of his chest once again peeking out from his slackened robe. She pulled her gaze back to his face, relieved to see he hadn’t noticed her ogling, and motioned to the stack of pads she’d prepared. “Wanna take a load off?”

“Think I’ll stand,” he said softly, taking a swig of his beer. His eyes drifted to the drizzle spreading along the window. “Been rather inactive today. I’d hoped for a walk but it seems the weather isn’t cooperating.”

Buffy took a seat and sipped her beer. “If it’s a workout you’re after, you could try me… I mean join me…” she suggested then with eyes wide, added, “…for some stretching. I need to cool down.”

“Perhaps another time,” he responded graciously, glancing down with regret to his leg. “You’re rather committed as of late. I don’t remember your physical regimen being so extreme before.”

“Making up for the slacker attitude of my youth.”

Giles turned toward her with a patient grin. “You were never a slacker, Buffy. Spirited perhaps, but never a slacker.”

“That’s not what you said back then.” She set her bottle to the floor and leaned back on the pads, comfortably stretching out her back. “Then again, you were never really the motivational type. More of the nagging, scolding, hairy eyeball brand of inspiration. But it was for my own good. You were right.”

Giles’ gaze again shifted to the smattering of circular scars peeking out from under her shirt and he couldn’t help his curiosity. "If you don’t mind me asking, how did you acquire those?"

Buffy sat up and noted where he was looking. "Mid range shotgun blast, wide spray, not too deep but a bitch to extract." She stood and gathered up the shirt to offer him a better look. "Hurt like hell but not as bad as the others."

"Others?" He winced, brows creased with concern.

The alarm in his tone didn’t slip past her. "Part of the job, Giles. I've been shot eight times.”

“Eight?”

“Once in the thigh, twice in the stomach, twice in the chest, once in the right arm, once in the left and once in the right shoulder." She slipped the spaghetti strap of her thin shirt down over the ridge of her shoulder and moved in closer to allow him a better view. "Practically Swiss cheese. See for yourself?" She turned around, directing his gaze with her hand to a spot on the back of her shoulder.

Giles examined her with a macabre curiosity. Sure enough, he saw one perfectly rounded scar, almost resembling a tattoo more than a wound. Impulsively, he reached out, needing to feel it to make it real, and placed his fingers lightly to the scarred skin.

Buffy's breath caught with the unexpected touch, a closeness she hadn't predicted but once experiencing it, craved more. She closed her eyes as he drew his fingertips along her shoulder, tracing the raised skin of her old injury. It was agonizingly gentle, as if he wanted to erase the mark but couldn't bring himself to try. The soothing caress mixed with the soft, warm breeze of his breath along her neck sent shivers up her spine. And in the tender moment, Buffy prayed he'd never stop. As soon as the thought crossed her mind, his fingers left her.

“And here too,” she said quickly gathering up her shirt as she turned to display the scar to her abdomen, hoping to encourage his touch to return. And it did, just as gentle and enticing as before.

With the slightest stroke, he could feel the warmth of her tensing muscles against his uncertain hand. Delicate but powerful, akin to wind, able to devastate those who would dare cross her path and yet be as gentle as the breath she sighed past her pouted lips. Her skin was so beautiful, smooth, except for the slight textured bump of the gunshot wound, and Giles wanted to take it away, the scar as well as the pain that receiving such a wound must have inflicted.

"And… here,” she breathed, gliding her fingers over the blemish dimpling her right bosom just above the border of her shirt. And with the hopeful direction, he delicately brushed along the mark with his velvet textured thumb, sending a ripple of heat pulsing out from the contact. Then with a discomfited glance, he realized what he was doing and drew back, suddenly shy. Buffy acted casually, ignoring his retreat though pained by it.

"I seem to be scarring easier these days. Looks like one Slayer perk is a limited time offer." She shrugged it off.

“I’m sorry.”

"Don’t be, makes for great stories.” She watched a smile pass his lips then fade quickly away as silence filled the room. They stood there, exchanging nervous glances as they considered how best to proceed with the awkward moment.

“I noticed you're limping." She cursed herself for how loud and harsh her voice sounded, immediately regretting bringing it up. With a heavy sigh, Giles stepped away, glancing out the rain freckled window. She followed, watching as depression seeped into his poignant stare and feeling all the more remorseful for prying. "I'm… I’m sorry. I don't mean to be nosey. It’s just with the injury inventory and all… I thought…"

"Shrapnel wound from a bombing in Deli last month."

"Wow! Bombing? Can I see?" She couldn’t help her strange enthusiasm for such a thing. She always loved locker room talk with the guys, swapping stories with gruesome details of on-the-job hazards like some brutal pastime.

"It's nothing, really." He dismissed the request with a subtle shake of his head.

"Then let me see. Come on, I showed you mine, now you show me yours." She said it playfully in a tone he remembered from so long ago.

"Unlike your stories, mine hardly makes an entertaining tale..."

"Come on. What’s the big deal? It's not as if I haven't seen you before, Giles. We used to train together, sweat together, and wrassle together,” she teased, trying to make light of the request. “Don't you remember?"

"All too well." He glanced quickly to and away from her, his insecurity getting the best of him when he realized what he'd admitted.

The deafening silence returned. Buffy went to speak only to find herself with nothing to say. All evidence seemed to support what Roman said to be true. There was something happening, she felt it and it was fairly obvious Giles was feeling something as well. But neither one of them was willing to step beyond that imaginary boundary they’d set for themselves so long ago. Buffy pivoted uneasily on her heels as she admired her surroundings once again. She couldn’t stand it any longer; she needed to know the truth.

“It’s for me, isn’t it?” She asked, carefully watching his reaction in hope for some signal she wasn’t crazy. His jaw tensed with restrained emotion and she knew the answer. But would he try to deny it?

“This room, the equipment?” She persisted. “Why, Giles? Why didn’t you say anything?”

He let the question hang for a long moment, searching the starless night sky for strength. Defeated, he let out a sad sigh.

“I’d settled for a smaller flat than I’d anticipated,” He started quietly. “The market was vicious at the time Willow had returned home to Sunnydale… returned home to you. Though I searched quite thoroughly, there were none to be found with more than two rooms within the commute distance I required. Roman actually found this one for me, suggesting that the largest room could be renovated to suit my purpose. Reinforced floor and ceiling with sound dampening materials installed, various wall mounts to hold the weapons racks.” A faint smile curled along his lips. “The contractors thought I was insane and finished the job surprisingly fast.”

Giles’ head bowed forward as his voice grew solemn. “Then the First began its reign of terror and we were all thrown headfirst into war. The Council fell, a rather sobering casualty and I realized there was no security to be found anywhere here or abroad. Then came the Potentials and with them, the Bringers. Then the Turok-Han, and Wood, and then Spike.” He swallowed down his regrets, trying to forgive a past he couldn’t change but still answered for.

Spike. The name sent an ache through her. Anger and pain and regrets all came flooding back and Buffy gnawed at her lip in reflection.

“And in a single, regretful night, what we’d built together collapsed and with it, my hopes of…” His voice weakened to silence, unable to go on any further.

“And then Sunnydale was gone, and Spike was gone,” Buffy continued. “Or at least I thought he was. And then Los Angeles and Wolfram and Hart and Angel and Rome , then… then years and more years and then this…” she said with a breaking voice, “… then now.”

Buffy just wanted to make it better, obliterate those trouble times they both regretted.

“It was never meant to be this way,” Giles urged gently, his eyes pleading to her. “If I’d known you where coming, I would have boxed all this up; erased it from this place.”

“You didn’t want me to know?”

“What good could come from you knowing?” he asked sorrowfully, his gaze seeking escape back out the window. “It was foolishness. I just couldn’t bring myself to face… If only…“

“Don’t,” she interrupted. “No ‘if only’s’. No ‘if I had to do it all over agains’. I know now, Giles, and this place is… well, it’s perfect. You have no idea what this means to me. Thank you so much.”

Giles stared out the widow but lacking focus, his mind still lingering in the past and unable to bring himself back from the hard memories of what once was. It was the gentle touch of Buffy’s hand to his hip that made him flinch, bringing him back to her. Her curious fingers retreated for a moment when his eyes shot down to question the intrusion, but then returned, determined. Giles' face bowed forward, shyly surrendering to her inspection. He watched her fingers slip inch by excruciating inch until his body ached to escape the feelings she stirred within him.

"Let me see," she asked softly, her fingers traveling around the curve of his hip to slip beneath the folds of his robe. "Please."

He turned a sliver towards her, eyes heavy under the weight of unspoken emotion, and with a tug at the fabric, let his robe fall off his shoulders, down his arms and to the floor. He stood motionless, his gaze locked on her fingers brushing along the hint of what lie beneath his pajama bottoms.

Buffy let her eyes roam, taking in the sight of the man she'd once known as physically as any of her lovers. His torso was fit, more developed than she'd remembered yet lean. She wondered how he managed to be in such good condition knowing he didn’t use the training room he’d built for her. ‘That he built for her,’ she thought, swallowing down the emotions. ‘Built again, for her.’

Giles slowly began to curl the waist band down just enough to reveal the rest of the ghastly scar crisscrossing the rough textured skin of his waist. Buffy heard a wince, not realizing it had come from her as she pulled away.

"My god, Giles," she muttered. The scar ran along the line of his hip and continued down beneath the fabric.

"I almost lost the leg altogether. If it wasn't for the coven's healers, I'd still be in physical therapy." He explained softly. “ Midday , everyday, I have to meditate to encourage the healing process.”

“Your mysterious disappearance act,” Buffy nodded her understanding. "I’ve seen Willow do that type of meditation. Took a lot out of her. I had no idea."

"Seems to be a lot of that going around."

He reached out and tenderly cupped her shoulder. Slowly, his fingers migrated behind to brush along a scar once more, as if a silent apology for not being there when it happened. Buffy welcomed the return of his emotive touch, unconsciously moving in closer.

"Does it hurt?" She asked, glancing briefly to the scar.

"It aches in damp weather, just as that old cliché dictates."

"Aches...?" Her voice was barely a whisper as her fingertips gave into temptation, reaching out to draw along his raised skin. "Does it ache now?"

Giles felt a rush of blood course through him, waking every nerve within as her face lifted to his. Her beauty was breathtaking. "Not anymore."

Buffy moved in the blink of an eye, her hand tugging at his neck to draw him down to her. It was a shift from a longing gaze to apprehensive lips pressing to his face. Innocently clumsy in missing his mouth but so sweet as they touched down just shy of his lips, lightly grazing his beard. The contact was nervous, just as he was, and soft in their mutual trepidation for the line they were daring to cross. Giles held his breath, locked in denial as she ventured to find him. Sightless caresses revealing hunger, nose searching along nose, cheek to stubbed cheek, chin nestling to chin, until finally, with mouths parched with anxiety, they met.

So brief, minimal but insanely potent, their first kiss was glorious; the instant they connected more intimately then ever before. Reluctantly, they separated from one another, each staring thoughtfully at the other with no intention to go blindly into this unknown. Giles cupped her chin, gliding his thumb tenderly along her cheek with a rueful gleam in his eyes.

"Forgive me," he whispered.

"For what?" she asked.

"For this..." He pulled her to him, dipping his face down to lure her mouth to his once more.

She stretched to meet him, pouring everything she felt into that single, illuminating kiss.

Adrift within the gentle taste of each others tender touch, Giles and Buffy moved deliberately, calculatedly, every motion meant to explore the other further as fingers moved to join in on the unfolding experience.

Giles gathered her shirt up above her head and tossed it aside, dipping down to place a tickling kiss to the nape of her neck. Buffy nuzzled into him, twisting her fingers through his hair and bringing him down to bless her bosom with his exhilarating affections. He eagerly followed her silent request, cupping her silken bra with a firm hand as his lips pressed to the bare skin above.

“So very lovely,” he breathed against her, whispering kisses as he traveled further down. He traced a finger along the seam of her bra, barely skimming her covered nipple with a single affecting stroke.

“Again,” she moaned, leaning into his touch and guiding his face to where his hand teased. He nuzzled to her fabric wrapped breast, the fine hairs of his beard tickling through the material sending her shivering beneath him. “Touch me, Giles, please.”

His broad hand glided up her back; rediscovering her body in a new light as he pressed her closer to him. He knew every inch of her petite figure but that which lay hidden away under the shelter of a weave of silken threads. As her firm body rocked into his, unmistakable heat welling between them, he found himself consumed by the desire to learn of those mysteries as well.

“What you inspire within me, it’s astounding,” Giles rumbled as her hand raked through the sensitized hairs of his chest.

“How do you do that?” She asked, eyes darkened with passion.

“What?” He asked with a smile.

“How do you make me melt with your voice… with your lips and touch?” She strummed her fingers along the tensing muscles of his abdomen, seeking out his acceptance with every faint stroke.

He answered with a passionate kiss, silencing her to mere groans and winces as his hands took to exploring her body again, leaving no bend unnoticed. A tingle chased his touch up her spine as she deepened the kiss, leaning into him. His mouth spoke wordlessly to her, every pinch and suckle admitting his need while she expressed her passions with her hands, urging fingers creeping beyond the margins of his pants.

The passionate kiss evolved, turning ambitious as Buffy slinked her tongue along his parted lips, begging entry. Giles received her, encouraging her with his own savory licks. She began to shuffle backwards and he pursued her, his mouth never leaving hers as she came to rest with her back against the wall. She felt his thigh slip between hers, pressing against her overheated curves, eliciting a grunt of pleasure she was powerless to hold in any longer.

He wanted to hear it again, that delightful sound of liberation. He began to sway, hips moving in a gentle cadence, his firm thigh stroking along the crux of her legs.

“How do you make me feel like this? To need to feel every inch of you touching me, rubbing against me… burying inside me?”

She could feel him stiffen along the inside of her thigh, thick and demanding as he pressed his desire to her again and again. It was frictional sex, a union of rhythm and rubbing that spurred their hunger with every motion. Her mouth fell loose, lost within the sensation of such a basic touch. She'd never known anyone who could drive out such pleasure from her by the sheer pressure of his intuitive tempo. She clawed at his waist, urging him onward as she wrapped her leg up over his hip. A wince made her eyes shoot open and she could see Giles' face twisted in pain.

"What is it?" Her eyes darted between his clenched teeth and his midsection. He buckled forward, hand pressed to his scarred hip.

"It's nothing," he whispered choppily, straightened with a grunt and moved in to claim her mouth again.

She pulled away. "It's something."

"Buffy, I'm fine." He nibbled again at her lips only to be denied.

"You don't need to prove anything to me. I'm not going anywhere, Giles," She insisted gently and his face fell with disappointment. “Talk to me.”

“This is… you don’t …” he mumbled, eyes unable to look at her. “I… I should go.”

“No, you shouldn’t.” She stopped his retreat, slipping her hand in his. “Come here.”

She slowly maneuvered around him and toward the stacked pads, guiding him along with her. They walked together, Buffy giving him all the time he needed to work his aching leg. She directed him to sit, knelt between his legs, and gazed up at his face glistening with sweat and strain.

“Talk to me,” she pleaded gently.

He shook his head in shame and reached out his hand to stroke her cheek.

"I don’t deserve this, deserve you. I should have known," he said quietly, pulled away to run his fingers fretfully through his hair, face wrought with disappointment. "I'm not the man I once was, Buffy. I'm... I'm broken and old..." he sighed, "And I can't believe you honestly want this."

She reached up, caressing his scruffy cheek with her hand. "Don't you ever say that! You're not old, Giles. Everything about you is new; beautifully, excitingly new. And I've never wanted anything more in my life."

Buffy leaned forward to grace him with a kiss, gentle lips pressing to his with such sincerity and hope he couldn’t deny the tang of passion presented there.

“Let me show you,” she said with a whispering kiss and her hip pressed firm to his groin, reawakening his flagging erection with an urging nudge. And as her tongue sought out his and her fingers crept beneath the waist band of his pants, he felt wanted and it excited him.

Giles’ hands strayed as if exclusive of one another, one working to release the hooks of her bra, the other guiding her rocking hips to hasten the tempo, all moving to build upon his growing desires. With a skillful twist and flick, Buffy’s bra loosened.

Buffy’s lips smiled along his, giggling faintly as he slipped the strap of the bra down over her shoulders. He smiled in turn, nipping playfully at her bottom lip and continuing on down her neck. His teeth grazed along her collar bone, changing to tender kisses on her chest until he reached the slack fabric still cupping her breast.

She gasped as his teeth gently bit through the material and scrapped it off, revealing her naked breasts to his awaiting lips. He leaned in to tempt her with a feathery blow, admiring the budding nipple that resulted.

“So beautiful,” he whispered and pressed a soft kiss as a preface to bathing it with a tantalizing lick. Soon, he claimed her nipple full within his mouth, arousing her with sultry suckles.

The hot, moist embrace of his mouth to her nipple sent her pulsing with need. Every cell wept for him and with a wrenching grip of his damp curls, she held him to her, forbidding him to escape.

“God yes,” she hissed as his tongue swirled around her. She winced as he pulled back only to groan with his return to the neglected breast. “So good.”

The panted praise was addictive and Giles sought out more with moan provoking kisses as he dipped his fingers beneath the elastic band of Buffy’s sweat pants. With an uncontainable gasp of glee, he saw the awe inspiring sight of her golden head falling back as he introduced his fingers to her, one meandering stroke at a time. Her face flushed a rosy glow, her mouth falling open in a silent cry for more, and her eyes clamped shut, locking herself away in the sensation of the moment.

“I want you,” she grunted, slipping quickly off him to strip bare. “I need you.”

Giles worked his pajama bottoms and boxers down his legs and tossed them aside, remaining supported on the pads all the while. And in that instant, both naked and exposed, each paused to consider the other.

“Are you sure?” Giles asked with an expression void of expectation.

Buffy responded only with a confident smile, dripping sensuality as she moved towards him. When she reached the edge of the padding, she lifted her leg up and stepped forward, leaning into him as she placed her thigh on one side. Giles took the opportunity to offer a kiss to the smooth, inviting skin tempting him. She shivered with his touch, caressing his cheek as she braced his shoulder and brought her other leg up.

He carefully balanced her as she straddled him, tucking her legs behind to encircle his waist. She inched down, slowly lowering herself to blanket his groin with her eager flesh. His eyes closed as his forehead dip forward to rest on her welcoming lips, overwhelmed by the pleasure of her actions. Buffy smiled against his hot skin. He was so unbelievable handsome, so real.

“Look at me, Giles. Please, I need to see you,” she instructed him tenderly, directing his face up towards hers with a caress. His eyes opened, glossed over with desire. She kissed him lightly as a reward. “I need you to see me.”

He watched as she began to move, hips shifting, core grinding against him, the most exciting woman he'd ever known slicking him with her glistening flesh. She smiled dreamily as she felt him pulse along her rubbing skin, a ricochet of pleasure to unquenched desire. His shaft, hardened and undaunted, pushed up to claim more of her, searching boldly as she rocked forward and back.

Flesh within and enfolding flesh, bodies taut like bows, ready to fire with the slightest of triggers. The pair concentrated on breath and sight, focusing on each others bodies reacting. Then with a ragged breath, their eyes meeting in one final act of consent, Buffy thrust forward as he dove within her. At last, fused together as one.

Buffy let out an uneven gasp with accepting him, rejoicing in the fullness she’d discovered and never wanting it to end. Giles released the breath he'd held with entering her, savoring being sheathed within intoxicating flesh. They steadied their breathing, refocused their minds, and met each others gazes. With the sweet exchange of mild smiles, his hands curved along her hips and guided her to move.

Buffy followed his request with unhurried and controlled motions. Forward and back, inward and outward, tensions mounting and sensations flaring. He rose to her, wanting depth and she gave into him, sinking until he touched her so deeply she could feel the echoes of his touch ring through the entire length of her body. Increasingly, rhythmically, they came together and pulled apart, bodies working in unison to build upon the already feverish pressures.

They learned from each other with every thrust, chancing new angles of penetration to reach every recess within her. She moaned as he reached deeper still and the sound was like a drug, inspiring him to sample her further. Soon, he was beyond pain, beyond his own pleasure and savoring hers. And with the immersed friction, impulse took hold and drove them onward, shedding all restraint to embraced only desire.

"Giles... so.... close..."

"Lord you’re beautiful," he gasped as he worked to drive them toward release. "I want to feel you wash around me."

"Oh god... so good..."

"I'm begging for you, Buffy... please." His thrusts lifted them from the padding and Buffy moaned with the blissful force.

"Harder, Giles... so... hard..."

"Only… for… you..."

It swept them both up like an uncontainable tornado; muscles contracting, flesh gripping flesh and bodies drenched with sweat and desire. Giles and Buffy cried out in the ecstasy of their orgasms taking them. Their bodies went stiff, shuddering and arching.

Giles groaned, declaring his release as he poured out every drop of what he’d kept hidden away for so long.

Buffy drowned inside, flooded by him and the raw emotions suddenly consuming her. And with his release, she realized her own.

"I love you."

It was said in the heat of the moment, inspired by the throes of passion and it took a moment for either to comprehend who'd actually spoken the words. Giles eyes opened to see Buffy's wide with shock.

"Oh… oh my god. Giles, I... I..." she stammered as realization sank in. "I didn't mean ..."

His face seemed to sink.

"Buffy..."

"Don't, please." She separated herself from him, quickly gathering up her things and rushing to cover herself.

"Buffy, we need to talk."

"I didn't mean it. It was just the..."

"Truth?" He finished softly.

"God, I don’t know.” She shook her head vehemently, clothes filled hands waving wildly. “Forget it. Forget it all."

"Never." He stood, folding slightly with a tremor of his injury but working through the pain to straighten tall. "I could no more forget this than forget you. Buffy, I lo..."

"Don't say it, Giles, Please!" She interrupted him, shaking her head frantically. "Just... just don't." She quickly escaped from the room.

"I love you, too," he finished softly to the empty space before him.

part 8...

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