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MASTER CLASS

by suricata



She was pretty sure that she was coming down with something. Something nasty. Fatal even. An exotic virus that was starting by melting her brain.

Why else would she suddenly find herself obsessing about some old guy's rear?

And not just any old guy -- a librarian.

Although, she had to admit as her mind unwillingly rewound the visual, it was a very nice rear. Why hadn't she ever noticed it before?

"I'm losing my mind," she decided.

"Did you have something to contribute, Miss Chase?"

"Um. No, sorry."

#

And it only got worse. She found herself watching him, when they did the Research Thing in the library. How his hands moved when he talked, holding his glasses or tugging at his ear, rubbing the bridge of his nose or holding one of his old books so reverent-like. And she found herself wondering what those hands would feel like in her hair, touching her skin...

He'd be firm, not fumbling. Maybe a little hesitant -- or maybe not, remembering the scene in the library with whats'is'name, Ethan. Maybe he would be rough, forceful...

But in a good way. Nice, not scary. Well, maybe a little scary.

Oh god. She'd lock herself in a bathroom stall for about an hour, if she could be sure her legs would hold her up long enough to get her out of there.

No. Calm down. Get your mind of out of there. Think about something peaceful. Something gross. Something not quite so squidge-making.

And how dare he be squidge-making, anyway! He was old!

And, of course, just as soon as she managed to get her breathing down to normal, he'd take off his jacket, and she'd hope silently for him to turn around, bend over. Like guys obsessing on the whole cleavage thing. God, how humiliating. She was obsessing over a rear.

A very nice, rounded, firm rear. Oh god, the way the fabric molded when he did that... A part of her brain not whimpering noted that no matter how painful his clothing choices, those pants were always quite nicely tailored. Then her mind re-dressed him in a nice Hugo Boss, or Polo, and her rationality shut down in favor of horrified, shameless lust.

I'm losing my mind.

#

They were practicing swordfighting in the library. For once, Giles seemed to be having the better time of it. Buffy was sweating lightly, her face set in grim lines. The Watcher, on the other hand, looked as though he were enjoying himself, His movements were loose, almost languid compared to her more measured attacks, and the way he moved across the floor reminded Cordelia suddenly of one of those big tigers you saw on the Discovery Channel. Were anyone ever to admit to actually watching those shows. A little worn, a little out of shape maybe, but still a predator.

Still dangerous, if he put his mind to it.

Still Ripper, a little voice in the back of her mind said. The glimpses she'd had into his "other" personality still gave her shivers, and made the flesh of her thighs and groin ache. Which annoyed her -- she was shopping for a babe, not ...whatever. But she still couldn't look away.

Buffy attacked again, clearly expecting to land a blow, and he sidestepped cleanly, the corner of his mouth turning up in what on another man Cordelia would have called a smirk.

Did Watchers smirk?

This one did, she finally decided, enjoying the way the expression gave his face an entirely new cast. Full lips were so..passe, she decided. Thin, flexible lips were much more intriguing. And he had good teeth for a Brit.

Not up to Los Angels' standards, of course, but those boys were so plastic, most of them. Like they came from the same mold. Even Angel, as tasty as he might be, started to wear on you after a while. There was such a thing as being too pretty.

For a guy, that was, she amended hastily. Guys should have as much character as good looks.

She looked up again from the homework she was theoretically doing, in her little corner of the library as far away from Willow, Xander and Oz as she could get while still remaining part of their group. Xander had some character, she could give him that. But the way he was moping after Willow, it just really ruined it. And no way he was in Angel's class of pretty. So two strikes against him. Third strike -- he was about as faithful as a snake.

Giles, on the other hand... okay, so it wasn't quite the same, the Watcher/Slayer thing, but he knew about caring for someone. About not hurting them.

He had removed his jacket and sweater for practice, and the cotton of his shirt was showing a faint dampness under the arms and across the shoulderblades. Her eyes glazed over. Sweat-slicked skin, muscles warmed from exertion.... Having decided days ago to go with the flow of this weird obsession thing -- maybe she was under a spell? -- Cordelia let her mind wander down paths that would have given the school board a collective coronary had they known. The one about the locker room shower, she decided, almost able to feel the warmth of the water against her skin...

A tinny -clink- of metal on metal drew her attention again. They were standing up next to each other, his size almost dwarfing her, their blades sliding against each other until they each fetched up against the other's hilt. A pause, Giles looking down into his Slayer's eyes.

Definitely a smirk

But then he was backing down, back into flustered Watcher-guy mode; showing Buffy where she had made her mistake, correcting her stance and soothing over her wounded pride. And it was then that Cordelia made her decision.

#

Cordelia stood outside Giles' apartment, her heart thudding so loudly she was convinced every vampire for ten miles must be homing in on her. "This is crazy. I mean, this is really crazy." Drawing a deep breath, she ran her hands down the length of her skirt, trying to wick the perspiration off her palms.

She had thought about dressing more to his tastes, but in the end -- and after trying on every outfit in her closet -- she had gone with a black velvet skirt that hit at mid thigh, a cropped red cashmere sweater, and low boots with a three inch heel.

Confidence clothing An outfit that said "I am the best there is; be aware of me."

The hell with the clothing. She was terrified.

"What is your deal, Chase? Are you going to do this, or not?"

A faint breeze prodded her back, reminding her that she was outside, at night, in Sunnydale. Never a good idea. Giving one last look at her car parked miles and miles away at the curb, Cordelia gathered her courage, and knocked on the Watcher's door.

"Cordelia."

He was surprised. He had expected Buffy. Or Maybe Willow. Even Xander or Oz. Not her.

"Can I come in?"

"Oh, of course."

Ever polite. She hoped it wasn't just being polite. He stepped back, trailing the scent of Scotch. He had dumped the jacket and vest, his shirtsleeves rolled up at the cuffs. Once again, her gaze was drawn to his hands. Capable, strong, sensitive -- deadly. She was trusting herself to those hands.

She cast a quick glance around the apartment. He had only one lamp on, giving the entire room a shadowy feel. It was..nice. Her taste was more for glass and light, but this was..

Nice. Warm. Giles-y.

"Yes. Cordelia. Is there, um, something I can do for you?"

Okay, Cordelia. This is it. Oh god....

The brunette took a deep breath, mentally preparing her speech the way Willow had told her to. Not that she had so much as hinted to the other girl what the actually speech was...

Giles coughed politely.

"Yes. I mean ...oh god. I can't do this. I'm sorry..."

She turned, ready to bolt for the door. But he moved faster than she expected, his hand coming down on her shoulder, holding her there.

"Cordelia? I know that we have never had, exactly the, um, most cordial of relationships, but I would hope that you know that you can trust me..."

Taking a deep breath, Cordelia nodded. After that whole Graduation thing he had been there when she couldn't go on, couldn't pretend it had just been normal, routine, hooray we survived. He had bought her a cup of coffee, just the two of them, while he maybe-on-purpose didn't notice how she was shaking; first with fear, then anger -- god, Wesley was such a wimp! -- and then with the slow release of adrenaline. And only when she had stopped clenching her jaw did he let her go home.

Yeah, she knew she could trust him. It was the talking part that was giving her jeebies.

"Cordelia?"

His voice... god she loved listening to his voice. Right now it was low and quiet. The same voice he used on Willow, when she looked about to bolt. Still, that's what it was. A stillness, like he was trying to calm a skittish horse.

The amazing thing was, it worked.

"Okay. This is stupid, I know, but just -- just let me say it, okay? It's -- I'm going to LA, right? And I know it's what I wanted, but Sunnydale's not what you call a big city and -- and I'm scared, Giles. Not of going there, but..

"But dating there... all the rules are different. And I'm still a -- you know. And I want my first time to be, not with someone who's going to look at me like a conquest. Or a one night stand. Or a -- a slut.

"And...and someone who knows what they're doing. Who I can trust to listen...to..to make sure it's not like this total disaster."

She stopped for a breath. Behind her, there was absolute silence.

Oh god, come on Giles, say something!

The silence built, until Cordelia could feel her nerves about to explode like one of Buffy's messier stakings.

"God. Kill me with the suspense her, why don't you?" she finally said, not turning around.

"I, erm, that is... Are you asking me to --"

"To be my first. Yeah. What, is that like such a horrible thing? I mean, you're a guy -- and I know I'm not a total bowser -- so it's not like an impossible thing..."

"Ah. No. It's just that. Well. Although I'm flattered, I think, I'm not sure that this is -- that is, I --"

She could feel herself starting to cry, and shoved it all deep inside, with everything else she didn't have time to deal with now.

"Stop it, Giles. Okay? Just...stop it. Say yes, or say no, and let me get out of here with whatever dignity I've got left, all right?" And to her complete mortification, her nose began to run.

Great. Bet my mascara's running, too. Good look, Chase. Total water rat.

Another silence from behind her, heavier this time.

*sniffle* "I never asked for anything from you. Well, not much, anyway. But just this.. this once. I'm asking."

Oh god. Beg much, Cordelia? Could we get any more pathetic than this? She was just about to break for the door, and maybe not stop moving until she hit New York, when there was the faint sound of movement behind her. The faintest touch of something against her hair, them warm fingers against the skin of her neck, sliding under the weight of her hair to stroke the nape of her neck. She shivered, leaning almost instinctively back against that caress.

"Are you sure, Cordelia? Are you very, very sure?"

She swallowed, and her "yes" came out in a whisper.

Then his hands were turning her around, making her face him, one hand lifting her chin so that she was looking up into his face rather than staring at his chest. His eyes were so green, and so sad, that she started to cry again, for no reason she could name.

"Shhh... it's all right," he whispered back, soft fingers stroking the salty drops off her cheek. "It's all right..."

And then his mouth had replaced his fingers, those lips brushing her skin like a spray of static electricity, drying her tears and making her entire body tighten in anticipation...

She had been expecting.. well, she didn't know, really. Contrary to her reputation, Cordelia Chase hadn't been to Lover's Lane with that many guys. Okay, three. Four if you count the time the cops had come by before anything could happen. That had pretty much killed the mood. What had his name been, again...?

Her wandering thoughts were brought back to the present by the fact that Giles' lips were passing over her own now. Soft, firm, dry.. much nicer than the usual wet slobber she had gotten from Xander. And Wesley ...

Don't think about Wesley. Matter of fact, Cordelia, stop thinking. Right now.

His hands went to her shoulders, holding her steady as he slanted his mouth a little, catching her lower lip between his teeth, and Cordelia felt her knees weaken suddenly. No thoughts. Not a problem.

Now, with him so close, she could feel the heat that rose off his body, the smell of warm skin and the Scotch on his breath making her dizzy. Or maybe it was the feel of his hands that was doing that. Hands that were holding, stroking, caressing her back until her shoulderblades felt like melted wax. Then those hands were sliding down, touching the skin of her back under the sweater, sliding back up...

She shivered, and he stopped, pulling away slightly.

"Are you --"

"No," she practically moaned. "Don't stop..."

She felt more than saw his smile. Greatly daring -- afraid, but even more afraid of him stopping -- Cordelia raised her own hands tracing the line of his jaw, drawing his head down to her for another kiss.

She knew she was a pretty good kisser; careful of the teeth, just enough nip and play. But her confidence level rose another notch when she heard him moan, just a little, deep in his throat as her tongue swept the inside of his mouth, tasting the toothpaste he had used that morning, the acrid taste of that tea he was always drinking not quite hidden by the alcohol.

And then, suddenly, his hands were at her hips, pulling her body in close to his. The feel of his erection pressing against her stomach was exhilarating. So much for worrying he might not be able to --

Well. From the feel of things, he was very much able to.

Her hands slid around his waist, her lower body grinding up against him in an instinctive reaction. If she could just press against him hard enough, rub just the right way...

"Gently," he said in her ear. He sounded... amused. And a little out of breath. "Gently, 'delia. No need to rush things."

He stepped away from her, looking at her face for something. She squirmed in place, her heart beating too fast, the ache in her crotch matched by the wetness she could feel drenching her underwear.

Whatever he saw in her face must have satisfied him, because he took one of her hands in his own, and tugged. "Come with me."

"Wha?"

He laughed, a low, amused laugh. "Standing up is something best left for later lessons," he said, and she flushed, letting him lead her up the narrow stairs.

She had never been upstairs before. Not even when they were here, looking for him after.. Well, when Angel... That. Buffy said the last time she was here he was doing a major redecorating thing. A part of her shuddered, wondering what he considered bedroom decor. The other part was so focused in on the warmth of the hand holding hers that she barely took in the rather pleasing view preceding her up the stairs.

Not that she hadn't already memorized it.

The bedroom was cloaked in darkness, the only light coming from the streetlamp and moonlight coming in through the single window. He released her hand in order to reach for a lamp on the bedside table, but Cordelia reached out to stop him.

"I'd rather not..."

"Why? Do you not like the way your body looks? Or do you not want to see mine?" He was using his Watcher voice again. The one that said you know, if you'll just stop and think for a moment.' So she did.

"It'll be easier, in the dark."

He shook his head. "This isn't about easy, Cordelia."

No. It's not. If it were.. This'd be over already. In the back seat of some guy's car wham bam thank you what's your name again?

He stepped away from the lamp, away from the bed, and stood there. In the darkness, she could feel him. She could smell him, too. Her nostrils flared once, taking in the scent. Musky, with a tang of something...

" Guys stink" she recalled hearing Harmony say. " After they, you know. You can always tell when they're horny. Like goats."

Cordelia had smelled goats before, when they made them go to that awful petting zoo in fifth grade. Giles didn't smell like a goat. He smelled...like a man.

She reached out and turned the lamp's knob one click. The bulb flickered on, illuminating the room in a gentle golden glow.

Turning back to look at Giles, she saw that his lips were curved in an approving smile. Unable to stop herself, she reached out to touch that smile, her fingers tracing the lines of his face again, like some kind of Helen Keller wannabe. Stroking the rough-scruffed sides of his cheeks, the softer textured hair of his sideburns, up into the delicate crevices of his ears.

He laughed, ducking his head slightly, and she smiled. "You're ticklish!"

Somehow, this seemed the most important thing she had ever learned.

"Yes. Do not spread that around, Cordelia," he warned her sternly.

"Ooo, big bad scary threat..." She advanced on him, hand reaching for his ear again, and he backed up a step, then another, until he was standing with the back of his legs against the bed.

It was a very nice bed, she noted. Narrow, but nice. A quilt was thrown over the top of it, in a pattern of peach and brown squares.

She took another step closer, their knees bumping, her hands going to his shoulders...

And then they were falling backwards on the bed, Cordelia laughing hysterically as Giles took his revenge, pulling her forward and tickling her mercilessly on the ribs.

Cordelia squirmed, trying to get sway, and instead found herself on top of Giles, knees on each side of his hips, her body perched over his midsection. His eyes glittered up at her, a lock of hair plastered to his forehead with sweat.

"Hi," she said, suddenly shy again.

"Hello."

He let his hands fall to his sides. She understood immediately what he was telling her. She was on top, literally. She got to call the shots.

Her fingers found themselves unbuttoning his shirt, sliding over the warm skin underneath. He had a light scattering of hair on his chest. Not gross furry, but not patchy either. Just right. His shoulders were nice; firm and you could see the muscles when he moved, but not bulky obvious like those icky bodybuilders who oiled themselves and stuff.

The shirt slid open further. His stomach wasn't washboard flat either. A little rounded, soft and smooth to the touch. Well, okay. Not bad for an old guy.

An older guy, she corrected mentally. She could feel his heart beating underneath her questing fingers, and the power of that made her heady. I'm doing that. I make him react that way.

Her fingers hooked into the waistband of his slacks, and she stopped. For some reason, the contrast of her nails, painted Cool Red, against his skin, was more sobering than anything else. More... real.

She flexed her fingers, letting her nails draw down across that skin, and was rewarded by an involuntary buck of the body beneath her.

Her gaze flicked up to meet his. Those green eyes met hers steadily. A little amused, a little pained.. and a lot hungry.

Sliding her hands back up his now-bare chest, she leaned down to capture his mouth with her own. There was a moment of awkwardness, then they found the right fit, mouths open, their tongues flickering and tasting and teasing each other. His hands reached to her hips, pulling down sharply even as he rose to grind into her.

Cordelia broke off the kiss with a gasp, arching backwards, her hands bracing against his shoulders.

"Mmmmmm...." She could practically hear herself purr. She knew this feeling, the friction and pulse of fabric scraping on fabric. But then his hands were on her ass, on her thighs, slipping underneath the skirt to find the dampness there. Then those fingers were underneath her panties, the awkward angle hampering him slightly.

With a frustrated grunt, he flipped her over, moving with the surprising swiftness that allowed him to train with Buffy. Flat on her back, she instinctively brought her knees up, allowing him better access.

Her underwear was off before she had time to be aware of it sliding down her legs, followed quickly by the skirt, which buttoned off easily. The cool air hit her overheated skin, and she shivered. He worked the same magic with her top, pulling the $200 cashmere sweater over her head and tossing it on the floor like a K-mart special. She hadn't been wearing a bra, and his gaze lingered on her breasts until she felt an instinctive desire to cross her arms over her chest to protect herself.

Then his fingers returned to their explorations, and she was shivering for a different reason, her fingers instead clenching the quilt beneath them..

"Tell me if you like something. And tell me if you don't, as well. I can only gauge so much from your reactions --"

He broke off as she rose into his hand, her head pushing against the mattress

. "--although that was remarkably eloquent," he admitted, chuckling slightly.

"You really do talk too much, Giles," she said. Then he slid a second finger inside her, turning his hand so that his thumb rested against her clit, and her complaint turned into a faint whimper. She had been right, he did have incredible hands...

one thrust, then a second, and a third, all so slow and deliciously teasing, Cordelia thought she was going to have to start beating on him to satisfy the urges that were building inside her. It was weird, not like the usual itchy ache dry humping left her with. This was... almost painful, actually. But in a good way. She could feel the moisture running down the inside of her thighs, and would have been embarrassed if she'd had the attention to spare for it.

"Giles?"

"Shhhh... let it go. Let go, 'delia. Come on, just feel yourself, feel me..." and his other hand stroked the hair away from her forehead, sliding down to caress one breast.

Okay. Hands. Check. Nice. Oh! as he tweaked one nipple, the pain more of a turn on than she would have believed, reading all those trashy romances. Her body twitched and hummed under his ministrations, and her attention focused inward, spiraling down to someplace, something new...

Then he did scraped and pushed with his thumb at the same time, somehow, and her body jerked forward, her legs practically spasming up.

And it was gone. Wherever she had been heading too, whatever was coming.. wasn't. Disappointed, she tried to get up.

So much for that. I mean, nice and all but...

But then Giles sat back, wiping his fingers slowly along the inside of her thigh, and stood up long enough to remove his pants and boxers.

Oh. her mouth suddenly went dry, and her cunt got even wetter. Oh... niiice.

She had seen naked men before, d'uh. Playgirl, and on-line. But they had all been plastic-y. Waxed and posed and really kinda boring. Giles didn't have that chiseled perfection, the pouty, sullen-boy looks...

But what he had was ...

"Wow."

He flushed a little then, a remnant of the stammering librarian. "I'm hoping that's a compliment?"

"Yeah. Compliment. Non-verbal type."

Feeling a sudden desire, she sat up on the edge of the bed, reaching one hand out to touch his erect cock. It was warmer than she had expected. And a lot softer. Not soft, she quickly corrected herself -- hard as a rock, really. Maybe even harder. But velvety. Smooth. It invited you to stroke along its length, slide your fingers up along the slightest curve, to the paler, redder head, rub your thumb across the tip...

She smiled in accomplishment as his cock jerked under her touch, and he moaned, this soft, breathy kinda pained moan. She'd heard that noise before....

"Cordelia...stop."

"You don't like? Losing what little touch you had, Chase?

"I...like...very much. But it's been a while since anyone but I did that and...I'm not eighteen any more. Bloody Christ, I'm not even thirty. If you make me come now, we may as well stop for dinner."

"Oh."

A little taken aback -- so fast? -- her hand faltered, then let go, moving a little to allow him to sit beside her on the bed. Part of her mind threatened to giggle at the visual of the two of them sitting there bare-assed naked. But her body was in no mood to laugh.

As though sensing her mood, Giles lay back down on the bed, stretching his full length on his back. Reaching out his left arm, he opened the drawer of the night table, and pulled out a small, flat packet. her breath hitched as she recognized it as a twin o the one she had in her purse. Which was downstairs.

Well. At least you know he comes prepared... so to speak. Wonder when the last time he had to use them was? And with whom? And how come he keeps extras...

He shook his head, and crooked his fingers at her in a 'come here' gesture.

"Um.. shouldn't I..." and she made a helpless gesture meant to indicate her being underneath him.

"Who is teaching this class, Cordelia? You or I?"

He tugged her forward, positioning her so that he once again straddled him. Her legs clasped the sides of his torso, like riding a horse, in half-seat, like she had been taught to crouch just before going into a jump.

Well, d'uh. I guess that's why they call it riding... And all of a sudden she wanted to laugh again.

"Good. That's right." His hand stroked the side of her face, lingering on the edges of her smile. "Enjoy yourself..."

She looked down at him, then further down, seeing how her darker curls contrasted with the paler tufts trailing down from his belly button.

An innie, she noted with relief. Outies gave her serious grossness.

She settled in, adjusting her weight, jumping a little at the warmth and pressure of his cock against her rear.

"Being on top, you have more control," he explained, one hand tracing the skin of her hip idly, then reaching down to tangle his fingers in her pubic hair. She squirmed a little, uncomfortable with the fact that she was so drenched that each hair practically glistened, but he seemed to enjoy the feel of it.

"The disadvantage," he continued, "is that you have to do a little more. It's easy to just lie there and spread your legs, and let your partner do the work. But it's not --" he paused, searching for the word " --not good sportsmanship."

His hands were cupping her ass now, curving around each buttock, then stroking up slowly along her spine. Cordelia felt a shiver run through her, just head of his touch. Like someone had walked over her grave, only.. not.

"And then of course there's the commonly-named 'doggie style,' which has its own appeal... But for now, we'll begin with this."

He indicated the packet he had taken from the drawer.

"A condom.. well, I won't go into the lecture about safe sex. But it is possible to incorporate it into foreplay, without any loss of mood. You merely have to retain a... a sense of humor about it."

"So..." she picked up the packet and looked at it. "Is it flavored?"

His laughter made his body move against her in ways that were not at all ick. "Sorry, no. I will endeavor to --"

"Shut up, Giles."

Ripping the packaging open with her teeth, she carefully extracted the sheath. She'd seen them before, of course. And there was the great condom water balloon fight in seventh grade. But now, knowing it was going to be used for, well, what it was supposed to be used for.. that made a difference.

Big difference.

As though sensing her hesitation, Gives took the condom from her, showing her how to unroll it just enough.

"Like a ski mask," she said. Oh, great going. Inane, much? But then his hands were around hers, guiding her as she rose up onto her knees and reached back to slide the condom down his length, slowly and carefully unrolling it as they went. It might have been easier, if she had gotten off him entirely, but...

But nothing. Your legs wouldn't be able to hold you, anyway.

He hissed once, sharply, and she stopped, afraid she had done something wrong..

"No. Go on. Just... a little more slowly."

"Right." Biting her lower lip in concentration, she rolled the condom the rest of the way down, feeling his cock jump gently under their hands.

Task completed, she shifted her weight again, kneeling over him, with her hands braced against his chest.

"Relax, 'delia. I've got you."

And he did, his hands sliding back up her spine, coaxing a stuttering purr from her throat even as she felt every goosebump on her body rise to attention. Now? Now. Oh god, now...

Almost without conscious thought, she lowered her body down, feeling one of his hands move down as well, holding himself, guiding it into her, cool from the latex, but still warm, somehow, and throbbing and bigger than she had expec-- ah!-- ted...

Then he was fully inside her, filling every available sliver of space. The pain she had been braced for didn't come, and he smiled up at her obvious confusion.

"Someone as active as you -- how many years have you been taking horseback lessons?"

"Ten," she answered, flushing. Was it that obvious, that she was a rich little horsey-set girl? But he was right. Everyone always said..well, never mind now what everyone always said. She had other things to think about. Like the feel of him between her legs. The feel of him inside her. Oh god, that felt good. Achey, but warm at the same time. Wet and sticky and thrilling, all at once.

And then he shifted, pulling her away and then bringing himself home again with a gentle thrust.

Oh. Jesus.

"Do that again!" she demanded.

He laughed, and obliged, his hands holding her steady as she braced herself, hands flat against the pillows.

The sensations... there were so many, it was difficult to break them down into any kind of order. The ache of her legs and knees, the burn in her arms as she supported her own weight. The cold shivering down her back, whenever his hands stopped touching her. The heaviness of her breasts, teased into hard-tipped peaks by his tongue and teeth. The faint pain, where his fingers were gripping the flesh of her hip hard enough to leave bruises. And, overriding everything else, the slick friction of him sliding within, building her back into that spiral of tingling sensation, as though every nerve ending in her entire body had somehow migrated into her vagina. Again, she had the sensation of being on an amusement park ride, spiraling up in absolute darkness, feeling the tension build heavy in her belly -- and lower -- until she needed to scream with the weight of it.

This was what the big deal was about. This... this was what she had wanted to know. Not onetwothree in the back of someone's car, not a drunken fumble in a dorm room somewhere. But the adoration she could feel in his touch, the fire sparking between them, the mutual music they were creating in the slow stokes of their bodies, and frantic squeaks of the bedframe.

She had a suspicion that he liked her to talk -- probably the only time in his life he wanted to hear her talk. And she wanted to say what he wanted to hear, but didn't know what the words were. Not that that had ever stopped her before, but...

She forced her eyes open enough to look into his eyes. They were wide open, the pupil dialted so much she felt as though she were falling into them. He grinned, for once showing all his teeth in a gesture that was as much a growl as a smile. Ripper. There was 100% of Ripper in that smile, and the fear that shivered through her was a completely pleasurable, completely feminine one. He saw that, must have seen in her face that the spiral was reaching its pinnacle, and changed his angle slightly.

"Oh! God...Yesssss, like that, there...right there..."

Apparently, those were the right words.

Her head went back, exposing her throat, and Giles rose to meet her, fastening his mouth to the pale flesh there. His teeth clamped down at the same time he thrust once more, hard enough to fracture something, and the spiral up turned into zero-g, and the sensation of dropping straight down off an endless cliff.

#

"Um, wow?"

They were sprawled together on the bed, the pillows on the floor, and the covers askew. She had been afraid to move, after that initial collapse, but he had shifted, making room for her to curve into the sweat-slicked warmth of his body, his arms closing securely around her. Even the stickiness between her legs, sweat and blood and her own come mixed on her thighs, wasn't incentive enough to move. Although the thoughts of a hot shower was an appealing one...

"Wow?" he asked, his voice muffled by her hair but still clearly amused.

"Wow. As in, I see why people do that. A lot."

"Ah. Then this audit was a successful one."

He was back in pompous lecture tone again. Any minute now, he was going to start telling her the proper way to take off a condom. Which, okay, wouldn't be such a bad thing to know, but just not right now.

"I will admit that my, um, ego has benefitted enormously from this..."

She rolled over then, propping herself up on her elbows and looking down into his face. "Only your ego?"

"Hush, Cordelia. Don't interrupt the lecturer. Um, where was I?"

"Your ego," she reminded him, one hand tracing the inside of his thigh. Guys had the most interesting hair there, all wiry and springy...

"Ah. Yes. I just want you to know that...sex is a very physical act, yes. But the sexual act isn't just a means to an orgasm," he said, catching her hand and holding it away from him with an obvious effort.

"No?" She play-struggled with him for a few moments, then gave in.

"No. I mean, yes, it is, but it's more. It's... sharing yourself with another person. It's playing, and it's comfort, and sometimes, it's just as simple, and as complicated, as merely reaching out to another human being. Saying 'we're here. We're alive.'"

"Like after a battle, huh? They say soldiers always get horny afterwards.. does Buffy? I mean --"

"From what I've been able to pry out of her, she tends to subliminate all that into food. Her metabolism was an amazing thing. Faith, on the other hand..."

He stopped himself, pressing his face against her hair, shaking with what she suspected was laughter.

"What?" Not that she minded. The way he was holding her, his breath warm against her scalp -- it was nice. Not as nice as before, but...

"Nothing it just struck me as.. Inapprpriate to speak of another woman right now."

"Why? It's not like, well, I'm going to get jealous, or anything."

"True." He tightened his arms around her, until she squeaked, then released her slightly.

God, he smells good. I wonder if they sell that smell -- and if not, why not? Eau d' rut. Could have made even poor Snyder appealing. Okay, not. But anything still human.

"I thought guys didn't like the, you know, the..."

"Post-coital cuddle?"

"Yeah. I guess. Shouldn't it be up-and-out the door? Or at least shoving me into the shower?"

He pulled away enough so that he could look her in the face. His eyes were clear, his face carved in lines that should have been off-putting, but were somehow...

Dear. Sweet.

Caring.

And because of that, deeply seductive. Okay, there's a lesson. Sexy is as, well, sexy does. And he does sexy like a pro.

" delia. Dear heart." He placed a kiss on her lips; no passion, but a tenderness that brought tears into her eyes. "A man who doesn't find staying with you a joy in and of itself, is not a man you should take to your bed."

She shifted, to better lay her head against his warm chest, and made a face as the stickiness between her legs became intrusive.

He rolled away from her then, and she missed the warmth of his arms immediately. He got out of bed, one warm hand on her bare shoulder pushing her back down into the mattress. She admired the view as he walked out the bedroom door, and then again as he came back. Men really weren't as attractive as women, aesthetically speaking. But there was a goofy kind of charm to them...

He got back into bed, pulling the covers away from her body, and only then did she realize that he held a washcloth in his hands. A warm, damp washcloth, that he used to gently wipe down the inside of her thighs, stroking the come and blood away with careful attention. She sighed, laying back to enjoy his ministrations. It felt wonderful: the warmth, coupled with the raspiness of the terrycloth, against the over-sensitized flesh.

Then the cloth landed with a wet thud on the floor, and he was crawling back to pull her into his arms, tugging the covers back over them. She turned to curl into his embrace, and for the moment could almost forget that they were here, not as lovers escaping the outside world, but just a one-night stand, teacher and student. That when she left the apartment, it would be over. Probably never to be referred to again.

"Giles?"

"Hmmm?" he asked, already slipping into sleep.

"Thank you."

""My pleasure, delia," he said sleepily, catching her hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. "My pleasure."

Yeah. Mine too. I'm going to miss you, Rupert Giles.

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