**Part Three**

Giles had done quite a few cowardly things in his lifetime, but avoiding Buffy for the past few days was one of the worst. He wasn't sure why he was doing it, beyond the fact he wasn't sure what she wanted from him. And he was afraid he was willing to go along with her no matter what she wanted. He had over the years engaged in a mutually beneficial affair or two, but there was no way he could or would settle for such a thing from Buffy. There were a multitude of reasons, most important being he had to work with her. He couldn't ask to be reassigned without a legitimate reason and a love affair gone bad would not go over well.

She would never know how difficult it was to send her home Halloween night untouched. And the following day when she had come to him, wearing her heart on her sleeve. As forthcoming as she was capable of being about anything emotionally rooted. He had restrained himself, keeping their encounter to kissing. He had been a teenager the last time he could remember kissing someone for so long without it ending with clothes being shed by both parties.

Oh, he had been tempted. She had worn a cream-colored dress that fell just above her knee. It had slid temptingly higher along her thighs when she pulled him on top of her on the couch. He wasn't used to having to keep such a clear head about him. He had used every ounce of willpower he had to keep his hands from pushing the skirt even higher.

He could imagine what her thighs would feel like. It bothered him to no end to discover she'd fallen victim. From what he had discovered from Willow, the young fellow was a player using lines as old as time to hook and reel them in. He had asked, discreetly of course, under the guise of needing to know what was affecting his slayer. Willow normally took the best friend confidences rule quite seriously, so she must have been worried about her friend for her to divulge as much as she had. Not that it had been much.

Giles wasn't certain of Buffy's class schedule and didn't believe she and Willow had an answering unit at their dorm room. He had a few errands to run, including a stop at the grocery store and the bookstore. So, he decided perhaps a trip to the campus was in order while he was out anyway. He had avoided her successfully for three days now. It was time to act like a man. Perhaps the few days without having to see or talk to him did her some good.

It certainly wasn't that he found the idea of socializing with Buffy abhorrent. On the contrary. He was struck by how attractive she was the first time he saw her. Of course, she had been under age at the time, but that no longer applied. She'd only grown to be more attractive during that time. No, that wasn't it. The age difference while not insurmountable would be viewed as a problem to many, including perhaps her mother.

He was putting the cart before the horse here, he realized. This was assuming they got to the point of having to tell her mother. And theirs was a strange relationship, one not many would understand unless they had to live it.

He walked to his car and drove to campus first. It was early enough he might catch her without having had lunch. Lunch was neutral, informal. And he was thinking like a schoolboy rather than a grown man.

He knocked on her door and was rewarded with her answering it.

"Giles. Hi."

"Have I caught you at a bad time?"

"No, I just got back from class. Come in. Is there something wrong?"

"No, not at all. I just realized it had been a couple of days since I'd seen you."

She turned the volume down on the TV she was watching, some daytime soap opera he noticed, and sat on the edge of her bed. "Yeah, I'm sorry. I had tests this week I had to cram for. With patrolling, I haven't had much time."

"No reason to apologize," he said quickly. He was grateful that she hadn't realized he had been avoiding her, but at the same time irritated. "Willow's not here?"

"No. We usually meet for lunch. Do you want to come? There's nothing like campus food to ruin your appetite."

"I appreciate the tempting offer. I have a few errands to run really. I was thinking perhaps you'd like to join me for dinner."

"Dinner? Uh sure. You sure nothing's wrong?"

He smiled. "Quite positive. A man wants to take a woman out for dinner, that's not apocalyptic stuff, Buffy."

"You've never asked me to dinner before."

"I don't suppose I have."

She uncrossed her legs and stood so fluidly he wondered if women practiced such movements. Or did it just come naturally to them? She walked to him and put her arms around his neck. "So is this like a date?"

"I had that in mind, yes. If that's acceptable to you, of course."

"Hmm, I have to think on that a minute," she said in a haughty tone he recognized as being a cross between teasing and pouting. It was hard to believe she was upset with him judging by the way that she looked at him. She looked besotted. By and with him. It floored him, really. She reached up and kissed him. There was an air of innocence to her that warmed him. It was a nice kiss despite its brevity, full of promise. Promises meant for later. She licked his lower lip before drawing away.

"Was that a yes then?"

"Yes, it was a yes."

"Great. I'll pick you up at five?"

"You don't have to pick me up, Giles. I can walk."


"Okay. Five is fine."

"Very well. I'll see you then. Greet Willow for me."

"Sure," she said, though she still hadn't released him. She kissed him again. This was a bit more intense than the first. She parted her lips and dipped her tongue into his mouth, searching for more of him. It was good that she found being the aggressor acceptable, because if it weren't for her they wouldn't be standing here now.

Attractive or not, feelings or not, he would never have initiated a relationship between them. It just wasn't in him to do it. She apparently found it acceptable and as they were both adults, capable of making a rational decision why fight it.

He broke the kiss, not at all pleased to do it but he had to remember where they were and that Willow could walk in at any moment. He had no idea if her thoughts had ventured past him and to how this might affect the others they knew.

"I'll see you at five then."

"Any hint on where we're going? How I should dress?"

"I trust your judgment, you're always quite fashionable."


"Of course dresses are always nice."

"Hmm, I'll see what I can work out."

"Enjoy your lunch then. Or were you leaving right now? I'll walk with you if you'd like the company."


He opened her door as she grabbed her purse and followed him out, drawing the door closed behind them.

"Can I ask what brought this on?"


"Inviting me to dinner."

"I need an excuse?"

"Well, no, it's just that you haven't ever before."

"No, I suppose I haven't. I just wanted to."

"Okay, good enough. Far be it from me to look the gift horse that is anything but on-campus food in the mouth."

"Yes, we'll come up with something better."

"This is where we split. Food is that way."

"Okay, Buffy, I'll see you later then."

She kissed him on the cheek. "I'm glad you came by. See ya," she said with a casual wave before heading in the direction opposite the way he needed to go. He watched her for a moment, wondering if she had any idea how many heads she turned. He doubted it. She wasn't vain, at least not overly so and didn't have confidence enough to be conceited.

He returned shortly before five o'clock and made his way once again to her dorm room. For a town with Sunnydale's rather average population the campus was bursting at the seams with activity each time he'd had occasion to visit. He was surprised when Willow answered the door. It made sense she would since she was Buffy's roommate so he wasn't sure why it surprised him.

"Willow, good evening."

"Hey, Giles." She frowned, glancing at him as if confused.

"Hi Giles," Buffy called from where she sat on her bed. He watched, intrigued as she slid a pair of boots over her feet one at a time.

"Buffy, good evening."

"Is there something wrong?"

"What? Why would you think that?"

"Well, I know I've been busy and not helping so much lately, but you know if something's going on I'm happy to pitch in. Oz, too."

"Oh, no, nothing at all, Willow. You're fine."

"I'll be back later, Will," Buffy said as she grabbed a jacket and draped it over her arm.

"Yeah, um, okay. Have fun."

"So, do I pass inspection?" Buffy asked once they were outside of her dorm.


"My outfit."

"Oh, yes, of course." It was more than suitable. The white tank top fit her like a glove. The black skirt was about the same and much shorter than the dress she'd been wearing the other night. Lord, help him. The jacket she had brought wouldn't offer her much warmth. And the boots he doubted were designed with comfort in mind. All together, though, she made a fetching picture. "You look very nice."

"Thanks. So do you."

"Well, I'm not wearing anything I don't normally wear."

"Me neither really."

"Did you tell Willow we were having dinner?"

"I told her I was going out for dinner. I didn't mention who with."

"Any particular reason why not?"

"No, other than not wanting to make her feel left out."

"Ah, yes, right, of course," he said and opened the door for her when they got to his car.

"So where are you taking me, Giles?"

"You'll just have to be patient."

"Patience isn't my strong point."

"Don't I know it," he muttered with a smile as he closed the door once she was seated.

He hadn't been sure what Buffy expected from his invitation. He had thought about where to take her while running his errands. He had finally decided while at the grocery store that a dinner at home would suit them. If she was surprised when he brought her there, she gave no indication of it.

She had draped her jacket over the back of his desk chair and walked to the table. He had set the scene quite perfectly. Or so he had thought. She seemed to think so, too. He had watched from the door as her fingertips grazed the stem of a fork and the ridge of the dinner plate. He had set the table for the first time in quite some time. Place settings for two, candles, a fresh tablecloth with napkins that matched, and fresh flowers in the table's center all served to complete the picture and the mood he had aimed to set. He had chosen Ella Fitzgerald for dinner. Normally, he would have chosen classical, but figured Buffy might find it tedious.

"It was very good, Giles. And everything looks great. I can't believe you went to all this trouble for me."

"I'm glad you approve. And I assure you it was no trouble."

"I can't say anyone's ever cooked dinner for me before."

"Well, we had to eat, right?"

"Right," she said. "Can I help with anything?"

"No, the dishes can wait until later."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive, Buffy, I invited you to dinner not to work. I hope you don't mind I opted to cook instead of taking you out."

"Not at all. Why would I?"

"I asked you to dinner."

"This is dinner."

"But my invitation implied out."

"I'm out." She shrugged and spun the wineglass in her hand by the stem. "I think you're worrying too much."

"I'm afraid I'm not very good at this."

"Maybe you're thinking or trying too hard."

"Perhaps you're right."

"I mean, it shouldn't be like a job or anything. If that's what it seems like."

"No, it's not that. It's just picking you up tonight, I realized it might cause some interesting situations with the others."

Buffy shrugged. "It's not like we're picking out curtains or anything. They don't have to know anything until we know. Do they?"

"I won't lie to them."

"I'm not saying we should, but people don't always instantly tell their friends the minute they start dating someone."

He quirked an eyebrow at her and refilled their glasses.

"Well, okay, sometimes they do, but we're entitled. Besides, it's you who's been ingrained in my head not to hide things from."

"Very true."

He stood then, pulled her chair out for her and walked with her to the couch. He left the lights out, instead lighting more candles he had bought earlier.

"I suppose you would probably be ending this date at The Bronze or your campus' equivalent."

Buffy shrugged, gripping her glass with both hands. "I guess, yeah. Last one was a frat party. If I never see another one of those I'll be happy."

"Yes, rather trite, aren't they?"

"Well, we weren't summoning demons to possess us."

He rolled his eyes, though he supposed he deserved it. "Touché, Buffy."

He was startled when she leaned against him. He wasn't sure why that would at this point when she'd kissed him more than once. It suggested intimacy whereas kissing didn't so very much. He slid his free arm under hers, resting it at her abdomen.

"I like this."

"What?" he asked, not sure what she was referring to.

"The music."

"Oh, yes, I admit I was in a bit of a quandary choosing the music. Classical I thought you might find too boring, at least the choices I have that are suitable for dinner. Ella is one of those artists that are rather suitable for most occasions. Transcends time."

"I guess you're not so stuffy after all. I didn't picture you'd have anything like this."

"I'll have you know, I have quite the record collection. Vinyl I mean. I've been told by Oz and others that some are worth quite a bit of money."

"Huh. Would you ever sell them?"


She leaned up slightly, regarding him over her shoulder. "Not even if you were desperate?"

"No. I'd be selling a piece of my past, my life. I couldn't do that."

"Good," she said and reclined against him once again.

It was times like this he wished he was witty or full of mundane topics. He had always been fond of Buffy, but slayer activities aside they'd never had much occasion to talk. Who was he kidding? He failed miserably when dealing with Jenny as well. He just wasn't an overly confident man when it came to women.

"I'm glad you approve."

"Well, I wasn't saying it like that. I just meant, that's good. I don't have a lot of stuff left from LA. We moved, downsized. You know how it goes. There are a few things, pictures mostly. Stuff is important."

"Hmm, I'm surprised you realize that already."

"Well, I guess it's being around you, seeing the books and things you have. And Mom's art gallery."

"Yes," he said and kissed the top of her head.

She turned ever so slightly, enough so that she was nearly facing him while still resting against him. She smiled, tucking some hair behind her ear. He saw a little shyness in her eyes and was baffled she'd feel that way in his presence. Then again, he did, too. Her shirt rose slightly with the movement and he felt the warmth of her skin under his hand.

"Hi," she whispered.

"Hello. Are you well?"

"I could be better."

Her answer couldn't have surprised him more. "I'm sorry?"

"Set your glass down."

"All right," he said, doing just that. She handed him hers and he set it aside as well.

"That's better," she said as she closed the distance between them and kissed him. It was like a jolt of electricity coursing through his system. They'd only kissed a few times, but he doubted the feeling she generated in him would lessen if it were the thousandth time. She was hesitant, not overly confident, and a little frightened all at the same time. He found it both endearing and oddly arousing. How long had it been since he'd been with a woman with virtually no experience.

World and life experiences, Buffy was ahead and then some. But physical experience that was not the case. He relished it, like an intoxicating beverage. He waited for that intoxication to take over. Answering his silent prayer, she deepened the kiss. Their lips parted and he welcomed her into his mouth.

His hands slid along her abdomen and waist. He heard a soft groan as he grazed the underside of a breast with his thumb but couldn't be sure who it had come from. The fact that with the touch he'd discovered she was not wearing a bra made him believe it was him. He could feel how toned her body was. She was strong, deceptively so, yet she was soft and smooth to the touch. There was nothing remotely hardened or unfeminine about her.

She murmured his name as she turned into him, her fingers working the buttons on his shirt with a bit of difficulty. He felt her absence immediately once she'd broken the kiss. His lips felt cold, his mouth empty without hers.

"You're not going to accuse me of being drunk tonight, are you?"

"No," he whispered with a slight chuckle. "I'm a gentleman, but I'm not so sure I'm that much of one."

"Mm, good to know," she whispered before taking his lower lips in between her teeth. This time he was sure he groaned as she rolled his lip between her teeth, grazing it with her tongue as she did. His shirt unbuttoned, she slid her hands from his abdomen up his torso peeling the shirt away as she went.

Her mouth dropped to his chin, his jaw, lower still leaving a trail of damp kisses along his throat to his collarbone. She shifted again, lifting her lithe body off the couch. He didn't need her prompting to slide further onto the couch. On the same wavelength, she straddled him almost immediately after he moved.

He prided himself on being able to exercise a great amount of control, but feeling her body pressed against his, her lips dancing intimately on his skin negated that. He slid the tank top she wore up along her torso, his fingertips grazing her skin. Straddling him as she was he had no doubt she knew what this was doing to him. Her gentle shift, wiggling of her hips was just about his undoing.

She drew away, crossing her arms in front of her and shedding the tank top. She dropped it to the floor, not seeming to be at all embarrassed or shy about him looking at her. She was a remarkable sight and certainly knew she had no reason to think otherwise. Not entirely sure he had the right to, he reached for her, cupping her breasts with his hands.

She let out a soft gasp as he stroked her. Her head fell back and she arched into his touch. He smiled, finding her response arousing as hell. She had just enough to offer a man. Some men went for breasts that could serve as life preservers. He was of the mind that enough to fill your hand was more than adequate. Really, what was there to do with more?

Her fingers traced random patterns on his chest. She had a disadvantage, though, in that she'd have to remove his button-up shirt before his undershirt could come off. That meant unless she wanted him to stop she was stuck with him fully clothed for now.

"That'll work," he said with a soft chuckle when she became resourceful. Who needed to remove a shirt when it could just be hiked up as high as possible? She was aggressive in a gentle sort of way.

"I just need to tell you, Buffy, I didn't bring you back here, make dinner here instead of taking you out somewhere for this purpose."

She laughed then, her head dropping back into place so she could look at him. "I wouldn't care even if you had, but I know. Thank you. And I'm not drunk. I do have a confession to make, though."

"What's that?"

She leaned forward, pressing her bare chest against his. "I dressed with you in mind."

He swallowed and she laughed softly, kissing his Adams apple. "Really?"

"Yes. No bra."

"You hardly need one."

"Thanks a lot," she murmured, placing another kiss at his throat.

"That's not how I meant it. You are quite fit, a restraint is not necessary."

She slid her mouth to his ear, "I know," she whispered, the words breathy and seductive sounding.

"Of course you do." He wondered what else she might have worn, or not worn, for him but refrained from asking. For the time being anyway, he had to let Buffy set the pace. With her lying on him as she was, he slid his arms around her waist, tracing her spine with his fingertips. He chuckled softly when she shivered under his touch.

He ventured lower, cupping her bottom with his hands. She bit his neck when he did. It wasn't hard enough to cause pain or discomfort. Still he slid his hands lower, thoughts of her setting the pace vanished for the most part. He was giving into the moment, the feeling, both things he rarely did. He felt her thighs, bare to his touch and groaned softly, his arousal growing even more. Her mouth was busy against his neck, sucking and nipping.

Only when he slid his hands up again, pushing the hem of her skirt up in the process did she still. His thumb grazed a buttock and his eyes shot open when he felt nothing but skin. She was watching him and smiled when he looked at her.

"You didn't?"

"Not completely, no. I'm not that daring."

He glanced over her shoulder, was able to see her bare bottom with a string of fabric between her cheeks. "Daring enough."

"You don't like it?"

"I didn't say that."

She chuckled and sat up again so all that only a thin piece of satin kept her from being bare to him. "Hmm, you sure? Because I can take back all the other pairs I bought."

"No, no. We wouldn't want to put the saleslady out."

"We wouldn't want that."

"Would you like to move upstairs?"

"I thought you'd never ask."

"Yes, well, I can be rather dense at times."

"No kidding."

"You don't have to agree so quickly," he said as she slid off the couch. She picked up her top but didn't put it on, which he was glad of. She smoothed out her skirt, but didn't really bother pulling it down more than it had fallen naturally when she stood.


Buffy ran her fingers through her hair and watched as Giles headed up the stairs leading to his bedroom. She really hadn't planned on things going this far. She had been open to the idea, sure. It's not like she just met him or anything. And he didn't seem to mind.

She dropped her tank on a chair when they got to his room and sat on the edge of his bed to take off her boots. She shut her eyes, mentally chiding herself for just about making love to him on the couch with half her clothes still on. Just a quick flick of her wrist, his pants would have been unfastened and it would have been easy.

That wasn't what she wanted, though, and Giles didn't either evidently. That made her happy. Her boots off she regarded him as he pulled the comforter and sheet back on the bed. Realizing she probably looked stupid standing there with just her skirt on she reached around behind her to unzip it, letting it fall to her feet. She didn't bother picking it up. Instead, she walked to the bed and crawled onto it, padding across it on all fours like a cat.

"I think you're way overdressed." She slid his outer shirt off, laughing when she had to undo the buttons at his wrists to get it all the way off. His undershirt came next and then she reached for the waist of his pants.

Her eyes met and held his as she unbuckled his belt, sliding it through the loops and dropping it to the floor. "So formal," she whispered and kissed his stomach. He breathed in sharply when she circled his belly button with her tongue, working the fastening of his pants.

Once she had gotten Angel past the point of insisting they shouldn't she had pretty much relinquished control to him. With Parker she'd been trying too hard and hadn't been herself. Tonight, she was Buffy and Giles accepted that. Accepted her.

She took him into her hand, cupped and stroked him. She watched as she did it. This was no time to be shy or pretend to be coy about anything. He was hard and felt good in her hand. She could feel the veins as her hand stroked him. It fascinated her.

A hand slid to his thigh and she leaned in, taking him into her mouth. She heard him cry out and her body reacted. It was a turn-on, knowing she was turning him on. She'd never done this before, so while it was all guesswork it seemed fairly logical. His hands moved through her hair as she sucked and licked his length. After a few minutes he drew her mouth away.

"Buffy," he said and sat on the bed.

"Was I not doing it right?"

"No, no, God Buffy," he let out a light laugh. He touched her cheek, sliding his hand to her neck and drawing him closer. "On the contrary you were doing it very right. I'm afraid it's been some time, I'd rather make love to you."

"Oh, okay." She believed him. Anyone else she might have wondered or held onto a little sliver of doubt. Giles had no reason to lie to her. She slid her thong off before she slid next to him on the bed and stretched out beside him. "Better?"

"Yes, much. You're lovely, Buffy, beautiful. I can't recall anyone as beautiful."


"It's the truth," he whispered before leaning in to kiss her. It was the first kiss he'd initiated. Her arm went around his neck and she rolled onto her back, momentum taking him with her.

"Whoops. How'd you get there?"

"Hmm, how indeed."

"Since you're there."

"You had something in mind?"

She lifted her hips, arching into him so he could feel how ready she was for him. It seemed like she'd been waiting for this forever. And maybe she had been. She groaned when she felt his hand slide between their bodies, cup her before entering her with a finger.

"Ah yes, you definitely had something in mind."

"Uh huh," she murmured. She didn't think it was possible to be more ready, but the more he stroked the readier she became. He knew what he was doing, too. Sliding deep into her, pulling out until little more than the tip of his finger remained in her. She shifted her hips in an effort to get him back in when he did that. Meanwhile, his thumb was working her nub, bringing her closer to the edge.

It was only after he'd brought her release twice that he entered her. If she'd told him she felt like she'd come home it would have sounded incredibly cliché. But she felt that way, felt a connection to Rupert Giles she'd never felt before. Having him in her, making love to her, kissing her only served to bring him closer.

"Mine," she whispered once he had achieved his release.


She kissed him, running her fingers along his lips. He was still on top of her, inside of her. "Mine," she repeated.

He smiled then, nipped her fingertip. "If you want me to be."

"I do."

"Very well, if you insist."

"Mm, I do. And if you don't give me what I want I can beat you up."

"Lest I forget."


He lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her. It was gentle, light, barely a graze of his lips but it spoke to her clearly. He wasn't going anywhere unless she wanted him to.

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