From Miles Away
written by Adele


Rating: FRAO
Spoilers: Late Season Five, post The Body and Checkpoint
Summary: An unexpected Council assignment sends Buffy and Giles out of the country.
Thanks: To my wonderful beta Kate - who did a tremendous job on this fic - I don't know what I would have done without her! Thank you!
Author's Notes: * Emphasis *
Feedback Author: Adele
Author's LJ: www.livejournal.com/~aheiden/


". . . and then the little pimple-faced bastard said to me that I looked a little too old to be walking around in pink pants that were too short. In front of everyone, Giles! Can you believe that?!"

Giles merely hmm'ed, and proceed to swipe the quarterstaff at Buffy's waist. She easily avoided his attack.

"Yeah, rude much right?" Buffy responded. "They're called Capri pants, and I'll have you know that pink is *the* colour for this summer. I was totally in style."

Giles hmm'ed again, and this time Buffy dropped her guard and gave him an exasperated sigh. "Giles? Are you even listening to me?"

He lowered his quarterstaff with a mixed expression of annoyance and amusement on his face. "Buffy, in case you haven't noticed, you *are* here to train, not to talk about the latest fashion trends."

"But Giles," Buffy whined, "training is boring! You never want to talk while doing it. To be frank, it's not like this is actually a challenge. I know all your moves and could probably fight them - ommpf."

She gave him a stunned look from her new position on the floor. "-in my sleep," she trailed off slightly embarrassed.

"That's why, Miss Summers," Giles answered with a laugh, "concentration is not what I would call one of your strengths." He gave her a big grin, then offered her a hand, and pulled her up.

She grumbled a bit while getting back on her feet, especially when she saw his smug face.

The next thing he knew, she had retaliated, and now he was the one on his back, with a grinning Slayer standing over him.

"And that, Mr. Giles, is what gloating gets you!"

He used his position to swipe her feet from under her, but had clearly not thought his attack through. Buffy landed smack on top of him. Both started laughing, but to Giles' delight she didn't seem too eager to remove herself.

She merely straddled him and gave him an adoring grin while looking down at his face. "See Giles, now this is fun. Unproductive? Definitely! Waste of time? No way! Watcher-Slayer bonding is important, you know."

Giles heartily agreed, but refrained from saying so. Encouraging Buffy's playful behaviour could lead him to places he was not quite ready to deal with. He had seen the lingering looks she had been giving him no matter how hard she had tried to hide them. He was beginning to believe Buffy didn't think of him as merely her Watcher. Furthermore, he was damn sure Buffy had some idea of his feelings for her. Lately, the line between playful banter and flirting blurred more and more between them, and he wasn't sure how to deal with it.

He had realized several weeks ago that Buffy had started gently flirting with him. At first he hadn't really noticed it was any different than her normal teasing, and had responded in kind, happy they were forming a bond again. In fact, it had drawn them closer and he valued that. But, something made him realize she was not only teasing, she was flirtatiously interested in more than just his Watcher skills. And it was too late to stop his responses to her now.

His heart beat a little faster as Buffy placed her hands on his chest, and lightly stroked his sides. His hands moved to her thighs, and the air between them suddenly crackled with tension.

He'd responded to her hands without thinking, and it was too late to move them. The fact that she seemed to welcome it made a warm feeling spread through his body, but still he tried to resist her pull.

He knew their current environment wasn't the most natural place to explore a budding romance, for so many reasons. He was afraid that there were too many factors that could hinder a possible romantic relationship. But as time passed, he found it harder and harder to stop from acting on his feelings. Particularly when Buffy was intensely affectionate. This was rapidly becoming one of those times.

The moment between them was shattered as the phone rang. Giles reluctantly lifted Buffy from his body and got to his feet. He gave her a small apologetic smile as he walked out of the training room and picked up the phone.

"Rupert Giles speaking."

Buffy followed him and immediately saw his back tense as he listened to whoever was on the other line. She swiftly moved to his side to place a reassuring hand on his back, and he turned his head and gave her a stressed smile.

Several minutes passed as she listened to Giles attempting to protest whatever he was told, but when he slammed down the phone with a sigh, she knew his efforts had been futile. With a deep breath she braced herself for the news.

Nothing prepared her for his next words. "Pack your bags Buffy. We are going to Hong Kong."

* * * * *

"God, I am so jealous!" Willow said from her position on Buffy's bed, where she was watching Buffy pack her suitcase.

Buffy gave her a smile and jammed her toiletry bag in to her already overstuffed luggage. "Yeah, it will be pretty great won't it? I mean, I know this is kind of a work trip or whatever, but I'm really excited."

The fact that her travelling companion would be her very sexy Watcher, who caused butterflies in her stomach, was something she kept to herself. She wasn't sure how Willow would react to that tidbit of information, and since these feelings were pretty new Buffy decided against telling her best friend. Who knew? Maybe after this trip the tidbit might have evolved into a cause for renting billboard space.

She hid her happy grin of excitement. Maybe Giles finally would make a move on her. She knew he had feelings for her, and she was pretty sure he knew that she had feelings for him, as well. What was taking him so long?

With a sigh she threw herself on the bed next to Willow. Maybe she had to be the one to make a move?

Discarding her frustrating thoughts she looked over at Will. "Thanks for staying in tonight with me, by the way. I knew you had plans with Tara."

"Oh please! Tara and I can be together tomorrow, and I wanted to spend best-buds time with you before you left. If it means getting up at four thirty in the morning to send you off - so be it."

Buffy gave a theatrical moan and buried her head in her quilt. "Please, don't remind me. You would think these flights would be scheduled at a decent hour."

Willow laughed and then plopped her head down on Buffy's pillow. "At least Giles is doing the driving to the airport, so maybe you can snooze while he drives?"

"Yeah, I guess." was Buffy's answer.

"So who is the Council sending over here to deal with the Hellmouth while Giles and you are gallivanting about in Hong Kong?" Willow asked as she inspected a fingernail.

"I don't know. When I asked Giles all that came out was a lot of grumbling and an occasional 'pillock' here and there so I gave up. All I know is that there are four of them armed to the teeth with weapons. Giles refused to let anyone sent by Travers put their hands on his precious weapons collection."

Both shared a grin as they thought about Giles' obsession with his weapons.

"Has Giles told you yet how long you guys will be gone?'

Buffy shook her head. "Nope, he doesn't know. For Dawn's sake I hope it won't take too long. It's tough on her. Our dad still treats her like she's eleven. Still I can't help but hope for some time away - I haven't been abroad before, and I'd like some time to take in the sights. I guess it all depends on how long it will take to check out this so-called new *wonder* potential and her Watcher. But Giles figured a week at the most."

Willow smiled as she heard the distaste in Buffy's voice. Someone was apparently a little miffed that the Council was viewing this potential as top priority.

"What was her name again?" Willow asked innocently. Getting a rise out of Buffy was just too easy sometimes. Giles was the only other person she knew who could make Buffy rise to the bait this fast.

"Ming or Ling or something like that. I don't remember and I don't care." Buffy spat out.

"Hmm, I thought it was Li Wei - it means 'beautiful rose' you know." Willow added nonchalantly.

Buffy immediately glared at her, but her frown disappeared when she saw Willow's playful look.

"Willow! You're enjoying this way too much!"

Willow evaded a stuffed flying pig aimed at her head. "Absolutely. What? You can dish it, but you can't take it? Come on Buffy, just admit it. This new wonder kid really irks you."

Buffy blushed and then gave an embarrassed chuckle. "Okay, she does. I was never considered a wonder kid. I guess I'm a little jealous."

"Well, there's no reason for that. You are the Chosen One, you know, and a pretty amazing one if I say so myself."

That earned her a big hug from Buffy. "Thanks Will, you're the bestest bud a girl can have."

As they settled back down on the bed, Willow continued her questions. "So what has Giles told you about this girl?"

"Not much really, he said he didn't know that much about her. Only that she was 17, and her Watcher is some Italian guy in his early thirties who's in charge of the Council's East Asian branch. Apparently Giles knows him, and he was not referred to as a 'pillock' so I guess that's good."

They shared another smile. Buffy looked at her watch and her eyebrows rose when she saw how late it was. "Come on let's try to get some sleep before Mr. Prim and Proper shows up at an ungodly hour."

* * * * *

Giles drew a weary hand through his hair as he walked up the stairs to Revello Drive. He gave a big yawn as he rang the door bell. He heard Buffy stomp down the stairs, and then the door opened, showing a bleary eyed Slayer watching him with a disgruntled look.

"Grrr, Giles" she grumbled. "I can't believe you actually showed. A small part of me hoped you would take pity on your poor Slayer and reschedule the flight."

"No such luck, I'm afraid," he said with a tired smile. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yeah, all packed, but I warn you I won't be the best travelling companion. I didn't get much sleep last night. Just the thought of how long our trip is going to take is putting me in a pretty crappy mood."

He only gave a slight chuckle and surprised her by pulling her into his arms for a comforting embrace. She immediately snuggled up to his chest and circled his waist with her arms in a tight hug.

"I'm sure you will be a delight," he said into her hair. "Don't worry, we can catch up on our sleep on the plane. The trip is rather long, I'm afraid."

Buffy didn't have the energy to respond, merely snuggled closer. Several minutes passed, and neither seemed to want to let the other go. However, both knew they had to leave soon. Buffy whimpered a little when he patted her back to let her know they should get going.

"I wish we could stay right here" Buffy mumbled into his chest before letting him go.

Whether she was indicating Sunnydale or within each others' arms Giles wasn't sure, so he gave her a noncommittal answer. "Me too, but we should leave."

He stepped away from her and glanced up the stairs. "Willow's not sending you off?"

"Nope, she fought the alarm clock with a passion, so I decide to leave her alone. I left a goodbye note for her."

"Alright then, where's your bag?"

Buffy gave him an incredulous look. "*Bag*? Have you never travelled with women before? A weekend trip requires a bag. Anything longer than that needs a suitcase!"

She pointed into the living room, where a very large suitcase stuffed to its limits stood. Giles rolled his eyes and went to pick it up.

"I can carry it myself you know, hello, Slayer."

Giles hauled the suitcase past her. "Indulge me. I was raised a gentleman."

Buffy followed him with a smile, and closed the door behind her as he complained about the weight of her suitcase the entire way to the car.

Gentleman indeed, Buffy thought.

* * * * *

Soon after settling into his car she fell asleep. Giles woke her when they arrived at the Los Angeles airport, and quickly guided her to their flight for Vancouver, where they would catch a connecting flight to Hong Kong. Had she been more awake she probably would have enjoyed the gentle pressure of Giles' hand on her shoulder as he steered her away from baggage trolleys and grumpy fellow travellers. Still feeling tired and disoriented she promptly fell asleep against Giles' shoulder seconds after the plane had taken off. Whether he slept or not she had no idea. She proceeded to sleep through the entire flight.

Giles woke her as they began to descend. She was a little annoyed that she'd slept through the pleasure of being cradled against Giles's chest. He seemed to have put his arm around her sometime during the flight. He explained that they would have a three-hour lay-over, but that the Council had arranged access to the executive lounge. They would be able to freshen up, get some food and rest while waiting for the announcement that their plane was boarding.

Buffy excused herself to use the bathroom when they got to the lounge, while Giles made himself comfortable in a secluded lounge chair with a newspaper.

Buffy wouldn't have been Buffy if her 'I'll be back in a few' hadn't turned into twenty minutes, but Giles wouldn't have had it any other way. He was more than happy to catch up on current affairs, a luxury he seldom had time for in Sunnydale.

He lowered his newspaper when he heard footsteps coming his way. Buffy arrived carrying a couple of plates filled with a range of assortments, and a shiny smile on her face that made his heart clench.

"Here you go Giles." She put the plates piled high with crackers, cheese and fruit down on the small table in front of him. "I figured you were as hungry as I am, so I brought enough for both of us!"

Before she had a chance to sit down, he got up and took her by complete surprise as he leaned towards her and placed a short but sweet kiss on her lips.

"Thank you" he murmured, grabbed an apple, and without glancing at her, he sat back down and picked up his newspaper with a small smile playing on his lips.

For the life of him, he couldn't make out any words on the page that he was pretending to read. His heart was beating furiously with anticipation, and he tried his hardest to keep his erratic breathing under control. He silently hoped he was holding the paper the right side up. Even though his nerves were strained to breaking, he was certain he'd done the right thing. He would have never taken a liberty with Buffy if he wasn't sure it would be well received. But now he waited for Buffy to respond. Come on Buffy, your move!

Several moments passed before he heard her sit down next to him on the couch. He refused his impulse to look at her, forcing his body to look relaxed to appear completely at ease, even though he had just taken the first step to completely changing their relationship.

When he heard her call his name he concentrated as hard as he could on the words that were dancing in front of his eyes, and answered with what he hoped sounded like a distracted, "mmm?"

"Giles!" she repeated, exasperated, and grabbed the newspaper away from him.

He gave her an adoring smile. "May I help you?"

She looked at him incredulously. "You kissed me."

As he answered he let a finger trail slowly down her cheek, "Yes, I did."

"And..?" she asked as if he was meant to give her all the answers.

"And what?"

"Giles!"

The tone of her voice made him chuckle. "I am sorry, did you not want me to?"

The direct question took her completely by surprise. She decided to give him an honest answer. "Yes, actually, I did, but then you nochantly . . ."

"Nonchalantly," he shot with a grin that earned him a glare, as she continued.

". . . act like nothing happened."

Seeing her frustration he decided to stop his teasing. "I am sorry Buffy; I won't act like it didn't happen, because it did. It was bloody marvellous, and I would like to kiss you again." Thankfully she seemed to forget her frustration. She beamed at him and placed a hand on his cheek.

"I'd like that" she whispered before she pressed her lips to his.

The brief kiss he had initiated a few minutes earlier had been wonderful, but nothing had prepared him for how it felt to have Buffy kiss him back. Her lips were soft and fitted his perfectly.

He felt her hand glide along his cheek to bury itself in his hair. She tugged him closer and increased the pressure of their pressed together mouths. He twisted slightly in his seat so he could place an arm around her and pulled her body closer to his, then let his tongue trace the seam of her mouth. She immediately opened up for him, and soon their tongues were twisting and tangling together.

The taste of her sent him into a sensual overload. He wanted to whisk her away to a bed, kiss her crazy with desire and bury himself deeply inside her, letting the pleasure rise until they sensed nothing but all consuming passion.

He felt like he was drowning in the heat coming from her, but when she moaned into his mouth he snapped back to reality and regretfully released her lips. He looked down at her, noticing her lips looked softer and fuller than they had just a little while ago. As if she had absorbed some of the passion that had run through him.

"Oh my God," she said breathlessly with a smile, "we are in so much trouble." He took a couple of deep breaths to clear his head and nodded, immensely pleased at the desire in her eyes.

"Can't wait to get into more trouble with you," she whispered mischievously. He laughed and placed his forehead on hers, briefly brushing her lips with his.

"Neither can I."

"But we should probably take this slow huh?" Buffy asked, knowing full well what he was thinking.

"As much as I hate to admit it, I think you're right." He said ruefully.

She playfully whacked his chest. Then she let her hand dive under his suit jacket while she snuggled her face into his neck. Her breath on his skin made him shiver, and he held back a gasp and tightened his hold on her when her hand brushed against his nipples. For a long time they remained within each others' arms without a word. The step they had taken was monumental, but both felt it was the right one.

When their heartbeats returned to normal Buffy broke the silence. "How are we going to pull this off Giles?"

He knew what she was really asking. How would their friends react? How would it affect their professional relationship? What would happen if the Council found out?

"Are you having second thoughts?" he asked, the worry poorly hidden in his tone.

She lifted her head so she could look him in the eyes and calmly answered, "No, not at all. But I'm guessing you can get into a lot more trouble than I can. Giles, you can get fired, again. Or deported."

Touched by her concern, he once again brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. "It's worth the risk." He leaned down to kiss her again.

"Bloody worth it!" he growled when he let her lips go. She gave him a relieved smile and snuggled closer.

They sat like that for the remainder of their wait, occasionally caressing and kissing. Neither let the kisses deepen. They realised how much they affected each other and kept their interactions purposefully light. Wordlessly both knew an airport lounge was not the right time or place for anything more. When the airline announced that their plane was ready to board, both gathered their carry-ons and walked hand in hand to the gate.

* * * * *

Since the plane wasn't full they got a three-seater entirely to themselves. Giles offered the window seat to Buffy, but she hotly refused.

She explained, "Giles, I may be forced to accept being crammed into a small tin can high up in the air to get where we're going, but I will not be forced to watch the ground come rushing towards me if we crash." Giles rolled his eyes playfully, but he was more than happy to accept.

The first half of their trip went by in a hurry. They talked while eating their meal and snuggled together to watch the in-flight movie. The fact that it was a romance seemed only fitting.

When the movie was over and the cabin lights were turned off, Giles felt Buffy shift restlessly in her seat. "Are you alright?" he asked as he pulled her closer.

"Yeah, it's just that I'm wide awake, and I don't want to bother the other passengers by turning on the overhead light so I can read."

Giles got an impish look in his eyes. "I think I can keep you distracted. . . " he whispered against her ear, before he took possession of her mouth.

Hidden by the dark, their kisses turned into a major make out session. This time they didn't stop with mouths, but let their hands roam each others' bodies. They pressed closer as waves of lust came over them, and kissed deeper, harder.

Buffy moaned into his mouth. She'd dreamed of this for so long. Dreamed of kissing his lips. Dreamed of being held in his arms. Dreamed of making love to him. God, she wanted him. Needed him. His hands travelled down her spine, and she could feel one of his moans vibrate through his chest as he pressed her close.

When both became slightly daring with their touches, Buffy grabbed the complementary flight blanket and covered them. Just in case a stewardess passed their way. As soon as they were covered, Buffy immediately went for Giles' shirt, tugging it out of his pants so she could explore his chest. He, in turn, moved one hand under her shirt to stroke the bare skin of her lower back, while the other caressed her upper thigh.

When her hand dropped down past the edge of his shirt, she accidentally brushed against his erection, and he tore his mouth away from hers to draw in a big gulp of air.

"Christ!" was all that came out through his clenched teeth.

His exclamation made her jump in her seat and his hand was pulled from beneath her top. He let it settle on her waist while he leaned his forehead against hers and took deep breaths.

"Maybe we should stop," she whispered in an uncertain voice. "It's not really fair to tease you like this." Looking down she continued, "I've realised guys don't really like that."

Giles immediately took gentle hold of her chin, raising her head so he could look into her eyes. He knew Buffy acted as if she had all the sexual experience in the world, but he couldn't believe the men she'd been with had been so single minded.

"Buffy" he said gently. "Teasing is good. It's sweet. It's a way to take things slow while still being satisfying. I don't know who told you that teasing isn't fair, but I can tell you that he was wrong."

At Buffy's telltale blush, he knew his suspicions were right. If Riley had been in front of him he wouldn't have thought twice about trashing him. After giving her a comforting kiss, he continued.

"You can tease me as much as you want and I promise you, I will never get angry or impatient. I'm not saying that your touch doesn't drive me crazy, because it does." That earned him a smile. "But it's a good crazy. I know you aren't trying to be cruel on purpose."

She gave him a relieved smile. "No, I wouldn't do that to you."

After some internal debate he continued. "You know Buffy, you aren't the only one with insecurities. To have you touch me like this - to have your hands travel restlessly over me - does wonders to my ego. It makes me feel wanted; like you can't keep your hands off me." He finished with an impish smile that earned him a giggle.

"You *are* quite difficult to keep my hands off of." She growled playfully.

They shared a short kiss, before Giles pulled back again. "This kind of teasing is good. We have the perfect opportunity to find out more about each other. I intend to spend a great deal of time finding the places that drive you crazy. I hope you will find mine. Besides, it builds up a passion between us that will make our release so much sweeter."

Her eyes darkened at his words. She pressed close to him and gave him a mind-blowing kiss that left him gasping for air.

When their breathing was under control she laughed, "Who are we kidding? We're riddled with passion. No build-up needed here."

He grinned at her, pulled her body closer to his and softly stroked her hair. For a long time he continued his caresses and let the monotone rumble from the plane's engines ease them both into sleep.

* * * * *

When the plane touched the ground late in the evening, Buffy and Giles felt utterly exhausted. Although they had slept, it had been restless, and their lengthy trip was getting to them. Wearily they got their luggage, made it through the passport control without any delays, and stumbled into a cab.

Buffy was too tired to appreciate the interesting surroundings and luxurious hotel the Council had booked for them. She barely looked out the window of the cab during their ride through the city and she let Giles check them in as she dozed in the lobby. They had two adjoining rooms on the fifteenth floor. They merely dropped their luggage off, without taking a second look, and headed downstairs again to grab a quick bite to eat in the hotel restaurant.

While waiting for their food to arrive Giles gave Buffy an extra keycard to his room. Suddenly she realised why Giles' door was always unlocked back home in Sunnydale. He needed to make sure she could get to him anytime she needed to. Her eyes threatened to tear up at the gesture.

She looked into his eyes and knew he had realised what she had figured out. They both shared a smile. In order to prevent an emotional conversation - unwise considering how tired they were - she decided to break the moment by making a cheeky remark.

"You know Giles, this isn't the subtlest of come-ons."

"Oh, you saw right through that, did you?" he laughed, immediately understanding what she had done. "I am apparently out of practice."

She let her foot run up his calf as she said mischievously. "I'm a more than willing practice subject, you know."

He opened his mouth to respond, but was interrupted when the waiter brought their food, and decided to let her comment lie. For now. The look he gave her made that very clear, and she grinned in response.

* * * * *

After dinner they took the elevator back upstairs. Buffy gave him a brief kiss outside their rooms and told him she would stop by to say goodnight after she took a shower.

When she let herself into his room thirty minutes later, she found Giles passed out on his bed in his boxers; apparently too tired to have put on his pyjamas or get under the covers. Deciding there was no other place she'd rather be, she turned off the lights, crawled into bed with him and cuddled close to his body. In matter of seconds she was breathing as deeply as he was.

* * * * *

He woke in the middle of the night, feeling cold on one side, and it took a few seconds to realise where he was and why. When he got up and looked back at Buffy lying on his bed, his heart lurched at how right it was. He let himself daydream for a second about having Buffy in his bed every night and waking up to her every morning, but snapped himself out of it when he felt his body respond. Now was not the time for such fantasies.

He turned down the comforter on one side and picked Buffy up in his arms. He placed her under the covers before he let himself in from the other side, so he wouldn't jar her. Still, he couldn't help but snuggle close, and fell asleep with a soft smile when Buffy shifted her head to rest on his chest and put her arm around his waist. Yes, he could definitely get used to this.

Giles was pulled from a deep sleep by the ringing of the phone, and gave his watch a quick glance before answering. It was eight thirty, and he wondered who was calling at this hour. Buffy still seemed to be asleep, so he rolled away from her and answered the phone in a hushed voice.

"Rupert Giles."

It was Frederico Galianto, Li Wei's Watcher, a man that Giles had met on a couple of occasions. He was one of the few Watchers that Giles truly liked. He apologized for calling so early, but offered them an early lunch. Both Watchers knew their Slayers were a bit hesitant about meeting and wanted to make it as pleasurable as possible.

While discussing time and place with Frederico, Giles suddenly felt Buffy drape an arm across his waist and place butterfly kisses on his back between his shoulder blades. His body tingled and his penis immediately hardened.

He felt his focus drift from the rambling of the other Watcher; who had begun to excitedly talk about how wonderful Hong Kong was and how much the city had to offer.

Suddenly there was a knock on his door, and Buffy immediately got up to answer it. He could hear her talking to someone, but the chatter in his other ear made it impossible to hear her exact words. Frederico apparently also heard her talking and asked Giles if someone else was there in a curious voice.

Giles mumbled something about the maid, and it seemed to settle the other Watcher's curiosity. He felt bad for lying to someone who was not only a colleague but also a friend, but right now he was not ready to share his relationship with anyone.

He looked over his shoulder when he heard Buffy come back, and saw her bringing a room service cart with breakfast for both of them. He had forgotten he had ordered it last night, while waiting for Buffy to finish her shower, right before falling asleep.

She gave him a sunny smile and took a glass of juice back into bed. She took a few sips and reached over his shoulder to place the glass on his night-table, pressing her breasts against his bare back. His mouth went dry, and quickly reached out for the juice and took some large gulps.

When Buffy returned to her earlier ministrations and began kissing his back, he decided to cut the conversation short, and interrupted Frederico mid-sentence. His voice got strangled when Buffy moved to his neck, and he could feel her smile against his skin as he spoke.

"Frederico. Ah, can we resume this conversation at lunch? I have some rather pressing matters I need to attend to."

The other watcher agreed and confirmed he and Li Wei would meet them at the hotel. Giles managed some last second pleasantries before he hung up the phone and flipped around to pounce on Buffy. His Slayer shrieked in delight.

"Bloody hell woman, are you trying to give me a heart attack?" he playfully admonished before taking her mouth with vigour. She tasted of oranges and smelled like vanilla, and it made his head spin with desire. Nether noticed that the phone wasn't properly placed in the cradle.

* * * * *

Frederico heard their last exchange, and it made his eyebrows almost shoot off his forehead. The last thing he'd heard, Rupert Giles was still single, but there was no doubt in his mind about the man's last exclamation.

Resisting the urge to listen further and maybe find out who this woman was, he hung up the phone and went to find Li Wei. He would find out soon enough.

* * * * *

Buffy felt a twinge of excitement when Giles' breath caressed and warmed her neck. He used his body to push her further into the mattress. She moaned in yearning as the heat from his body ignited flames through her body. Once again he directed her mouth to his, and covered her lips, indicating a longing he didn't even bother to hide. She eagerly parted her lips and let his tongue in.

The need to feel his skin against hers severely threatened all rational thought, and Buffy shivered as a tinge of desperation for him ran though her. Promising herself she wouldn't let it go too far, she pulled away from his mouth and watched him through hooded eyes as she pulled off her tank top.

For a second Giles was worried that things were getting out of hand too fast, but after their conversation yesterday on the plane, he was fairly sure Buffy knew exactly what she was doing. Both had expressed that they wanted to take this slowly, although apparently not *that* slow. He trusted Buffy's control, and he would use his should she loose hers. For now he just enjoyed the feel of her skin and the taste of her mouth.

They took their time as they explored each other. Although both were incredibly aroused they wanted to savour this moment, letting their hands and mouths trail slowly over each other's upper bodies.

At some point Buffy started stroking his back down to the edge of his boxers, and Giles placed a hand on her hip as he rolled her on her back and covered her groin with his. When Buffy pressed herself into his pulsating manhood, Giles raised himself on his arms and lifted his body from her.

"We need to stop," he gasped. Both knew they had reached a crucial point and regretfully stopped before they went any further. They shared occasional slow tender kisses as they willed their bodies to calm, and were surprised when they realised how much time had passed since they had woken up.

Since they were going to an early lunch, they decided to skip breakfast. When Giles told Buffy they were meeting the others in an hour, she shot up from the bed, put on her top in a hurry and headed for the door. She explained over her shoulder that she was heading over to her room to shower and dress.

Just as she reached his door, he called out in a voice that made her stop dead in her tracks.

"WAIT!"

She slowly turned around and watched him crawl to the edge of his bed on his knees. He ordered, "Come back here."

She followed his 'order' and came to a halt in front of him. "Yes sir, may I help you with anything?"

He suddenly grabbed her, pulled her into his bed, and covered her body with his as he growled against her mouth. "I wasn't finished with you. I want another ten minutes."

Before she had a chance to reply her mouth was fully captured by his. Some minutes later his kisses moved down her neck to place a love bite. Surprised, Buffy accidentally kneed him in his groin as she writhed beneath him.

His painful yell bounced off the walls of the hotel room. Instinctively she moved her hand to his penis to soothe his pain, and they both froze.

Despite his pain, he managed to give a tense laugh. "That's not helping."

They both started laughing. She removed her hand and gave him an apologetic kiss.

When she was sure he was all right, and had no permanent damage, she got up from the bed. With a last longing look at his face, she hurried over to her own room to take a very cold shower. Giles decided he needed one as well.

* * * * *

A few minutes before they were meant to meet the others downstairs, Giles knocked on her door. He took her hand as they walked towards the elevator. Inside they shared a last lingering kiss, knowing without discussing it that they needed to keep an appearance of a professional relationship in front of the others, to prevent the Council from finding out the true nature of their feelings.

Although Buffy knew she was being irrational, she couldn't help envying Li Wei. And Li Wei had been sure Buffy was going to be arrogant and act like her worst teacher, with an "I know best, I am the Chosen One" attitude.

Both women shook hands with a little apprehension in their eyes and were pleasantly surprised to find each other... well... kind of cool. From that point on the first meeting between Li Wei and Buffy had gone well. Despite cultural differences they had a lot in common, and in no time Giles and Frederico were being completely ignored at lunch for the sake of a Slayer bonding session.

After their meal Frederico suggested they all walk to their training studio, instead of taking a cab, so the newcomers would see more of the city. Soon enough, Buffy found herself walking by Victoria Harbour next to Giles at a leisurely pace a few feet behind the others.

She had to hold back a laugh as she saw how taken the other Watcher and Slayer seemed to be with each other. She gave Giles a nudge and said in a quiet humorous voice. "Looks like you aren't the only Watcher who's smitten with his Slayer."

To her devastation, Giles snorted. "I am not *smitten* with my Slayer."

When he saw the hurt look on her face, he took a hold of her upper arm to make her stop and look at him.

"Buffy, I am not smitten with you. This is not some kind of schoolboy's crush." He stepped closer to her. "To be completely honest, I am very close to falling head over heals in love with you."

For a short moment he was worried he had revealed too much, but his fear evaporated when Buffy gave him a huge happy smile. She took a hold of his suit lapels and pulled him close.

"You can't say something like that and expect me not to kiss you."

He glanced quickly at Frederico and Li Wei, who were completely oblivious to the fact that their guests had stopped, and pulled her into a hug. He placed a kiss on her cheek.

"Soon enough." he whispered.

With a long look, full of unspoken promises, Giles nudged her to turn around so they could catch up with the others. Both had been so engrossed with each other they had completely missed the wide-eyed stare of Frederico, who had turned around just as they hugged to make sure they were still following.

* * * * *

The sparring session between Buffy and Li Wei was most interesting. Both Giles and Buffy could tell that, although Li Wei had immense potential, she was inexperienced and clumsy. Buffy held back on much of her strength as well, something she was sure that Giles would notice. They trained for hours, testing multiple weapons and fighting styles, until finally Frederico called a halt.

Giles suspected Frederico hadn't appreciated Buffy trying to teach Li Wei the importance of sassing the vampires. With a frantic interruption he had cut Buffy off mid-sentence, and distracted her with the suggestion they meet later for dinner. Giles could tell Buffy immediately saw through Frederico's defences, but with a warning look from Giles she relented and happily agreed to dinner.

* * * * *

The remainder of the day Giles and Buffy took in as many of the tourist sites of Hong Kong they could manage. Since Giles had been in Hong Kong before, he had vast knowledge, and he revelled in the fact that Buffy seemed to hang on every one of his words.

He wasn't sure whether she was actually listening to what he was saying, or just watching his mouth move. Either way it didn't matter, he just loved spending some alone time with her, and when he felt Buffy lose her focus, he brought her back by putting *her* mouth to use.

* * * * *

They returned to their hotel late in the afternoon, and when they stepped out of the elevator on their floor, Giles found himself dragged into Buffy's room.

"Buffy, I thought you said in the elevator you were planning on using the spa before we met Li Wei and Frederico for dinner?" Giles asked breathlessly in between her enthusiastic kisses. Buffy pushed him down on the bed, and launched herself at him.

"True, but you haven't seen my room yet, and that simply wouldn't do."

He laughed against her lips when she brushed them against his. "But I am not seeing your room. I am completely unable to keep my eyes open when you kiss me - it is just too delightful."

Buffy pulled back and straddled his waist. As if she was showing him one of the bedrooms at the Taj Mahal, she dramatically opened her arms and asked playfully. "Seen enough?"

Before he had a chance to respond she lowered her face to his and took his mouth with gusto. He barely managed to mumble "sod your room", before rolling her over so he could return the pleasurable kiss. Within minutes his shirt was gone, and one of his hands was beneath her top, covering one of her breasts. When Buffy started tugging on his pants, Giles reluctantly pulled away.

"This is not the time or place, luv."

Buffy stroked his hair back from his forehead and answered in an intimate whisper that sent shivers down his back. "I know, but like I told you on the plane, you are very hard to keep my hands off of."

He dropped his mouth to hers so he could have another quick taste of her. "So are you." When he had had his fill, he brushed his nose with hers and gave it a quick peck before rising.

"Come on, you have a date with the spa, and I am planning on trying out the gym downstairs." At her playful pout he pulled her into a hug and placed a small kiss on her neck. "And I am sure after dinner, we can resume some of these delightful activities. I mean, I still haven't really *seen* your room. I may need to do some exploring later."

Seeing his wicked grin, Buffy couldn't help but respond with one of her own. "Anything to keep the Watcher in you satisfied."

With a growl he crushed his mouth to hers, but before she was able to change his mind about doing the exploring later he managed to pull away. "I'll see you later, luv."

* * * * *

When Buffy returned to her room after getting a manicure and pedicure, she found a note from Giles taped to her door. He suggested, no, practically ordered, her to take a nap so she would be fully rested for ALL of their evening activities, and noted he would meet her in the hotel bar at seven thirty.

With a mischievous smile, she figured it was time for payback. Rupert Giles would regret the day he almost told her he loved her and then denied her a kiss! And she had the perfect dress to punish him with.

* * * * *

Giles was nursing a scotch as he patiently waited for Buffy to get ready. The vision he suddenly saw coming towards him almost made him choke on his drink. Her smoky red silk dress stopped just above her knee, with a short split on one side. It hugged every curve of her slim figure, but not indecently so. He had never seen anything more beautiful and sexy in his entire life.

He muttered, "Blast it," as he rose form his seat. When she was near enough to touch, he pulled her close and let his hand stroke her cheek as he brushed her mouth with his.

"Giles, what are you doing?" She worriedly asked, glancing around the bar to make sure no one saw them.

He gave her another soft kiss and murmured. "You can not show up looking like that and expect me not to kiss you."

She laughed and met his lips briefly with hers before she took a seat next to him. "Well, now I guess you know how it feels." She said smugly.

For the next half hour they fully enjoyed each other's company, and reluctantly left when it was time to meet Li Wei and Frederico. Ever since they had started this new phase of their relationship there seemed to be constant interruptions, and right now all they wanted was to be alone.

By nine thirty Li Wei and Francesco still hadn't showed, and Buffy and Giles were getting very worried. Since neither had any idea where they should go to look for them, Giles suggested they head to their training studio. After leaving a note with the host of the restaurant they hailed a cab.

* * * * *

When they arrived at the studio, they found it unlocked, but dark. Giles reached for the light switch. Ice went down his back when he heard Buffy's shocked gasp, and he quickly turned to look at her and then followed her line of vision.

His stomach clenched when he saw the unmoving body of Li Wei on a mat in a corner; Frederico slumped against the wall next to her with her head in his lap.

He immediately rushed over and released a breath of air in relief as he realised Frederico was alive, and seemingly unhurt. His relief disappeared when he saw Li Wei's lifeless eyes staring up at the ceiling. She was dead.

Gently he placed a hand on Frederico's shoulder. The other Watcher looked up at him with red-rimmed eyes.

"Frederico, what happened?" Giles asked softly.

The desolated man's only response was a shake of his head before he buried his face in his hands. Giles placed an arm around his shoulder, while Buffy closed the dead Slayer's eyes. Several minutes passed before Frederico was able to speak.

"We were on our way to meet you at the restaurant. Since we were running late, Li Wei suggested taking a shortcut. We were running through an alley when suddenly out of nowhere two vampires jumped us. She managed to stake one of them, but the other one was so much stronger, so much quicker than her. Before I knew what had happened the vampire grabbed her stake and plunged it into her stomach. I tried to help, and eventually managed to stake him, but it was too late. Her wound was already fatal."

He drew in a shaky breath before he continued. "I didn't know what to do. Everything I've ever learned in Watchers' school was completely useless. All I could think about was getting her back here, and then everything would be all right."

He suddenly held his breath, as if to prevent a sob to tearing from his body while he stroked her hair. When he seemed to have some semblance of control he released it.

"She drew her last breath a little while ago."

Giles tightened his hold on him as tears silently ran down the younger Watcher's face. "I am so sorry my friend. I am so sorry." Giles whispered in a strained voice, his own emotions threatening to get the best of him.

After a while he looked over at Buffy, and tilted his head, silently asking that she take his place next to the desolated Watcher. When she pulled Frederico into a hug he rose. "I'll alert the Council. . ."

As Giles placed the necessary calls, he felt like an automaton. It was too close to home. It made him envision the day that Buffy died, and some point in the future when she would die and not come back to him.

While Giles was on the phone, Buffy helped Frederico clean the blood off Li Wei's body and cover her, but he refused to move her head from his lap. She could tell that Giles had withdrawn for some reason she couldn't understand, so she kept throwing worried glances his way. She was startled out of her thoughts by Frederico's voice.

He sat, gently caressing his Slayer's hair. "I never told her how much she meant to me," he said quietly. Buffy gave him a sorrowful and understanding look.

"I thought there was time, you know?" He continued.

Buffy nodded. "I know."

"I was too worried about what other people would say because she was so young. I was so very scared it would affect our relationship. I should have known better."

After a beat he looked at her with a sad knowing smile. "At least Rupert came to his senses."

Buffy's eyes teared and she squeezed his hand. "You noticed?"

Frederico looked back down at Li Wei's face. "I've had a lot of training to notice things. It's the acting thing that always got in my way."

He glanced up at Giles, who were still on the phone. "He will need you now Buffy. Don't hold back on your feelings from each other. Trust me, life is too short."

Buffy nodded. "I promise."

Giles ended his call and joined them. He looked at Li Wei as he spoke. "I called the Council, and they will get hold of your colleagues at your office. They will send them over as soon as they reach them. It shouldn't take too long for them to get here."

With a last look at Buffy and Frederico next to Li Wei's body on the floor, he excused himself and walked out on the veranda. Both watched him place his hands on the railing, his head and shoulders slumping.

Frederico gave Buffy a nudge. "Go to him."

"Are you sure?" she asked.

"Yes. I... would like some time alone with her."

Buffy gave his hand a final squeeze and walked onto the veranda.

Silently she approached him, circled his waist and leaned her head on his back. "I love you Giles," she said softly.

"Oh Buffy" he choked out, and then turned around to wrap her in a crushing hug. Tears fell from his eyes. Understanding he was too choked up to speak, she only held him tight and soothingly ran her hands over his back. Eventually he lifted his head from her shoulder. He placed his hands on either side of her face and looked intently into her eyes.

"I love you too, Buffy."

Neither noticed that Frederico was watching them from the window as their mouths merged in a passionate kiss. The intensity of their kiss rose, until they were interrupted by a discrete cough. They let go of each other's mouths, but Buffy remained wrapped in Giles' arms as they looked over to find Frederico watching them.

"I am sorry to interrupt, but my men will be here shortly. They just called."

Giles nodded, gave Buffy a final squeeze before he let her go. He walked over to the younger Watcher and placed a hand on his shoulder as he followed him inside. Buffy remained on the veranda in order to give them some privacy.

"I am very sorry for your loss, Frederico. Please, let me know if there is anything I can do for you." Giles said when they were inside.

He grabbed a pen and a piece of paper by the phone. "This is my phone and address in Sunnydale. Call me anytime - day or night - it doesn't matter."

He gave Frederico a pained look. "Some time ago I also lost someone very dear to me. Trust me when I say this, I know what you are going through. If you ever need to talk..." Frederico gave him grateful look. Giles softly continued, "You know, you should think about taking some time off. Come to Sunnydale. You should be around people who care about you and can help you. Sunnydale could always use a good man like you."

The younger Watcher looked thoughtfully at the piece of paper handed to him. "I might just do that," he murmured. He looked up at Giles again. "Thank you Rupert."

Giles merely nodded and squeezed his shoulder. Right now, he didn't know what else to say to comfort him.

* * * * *

A couple of hours later, Buffy and Giles were seated in a cab on their way back to their hotel. Neither had spoken a word to each other since Frederico's colleagues had arrived. Both had just given their silent support to the younger Watcher and taken him back to his own apartment when Li Wei's body had been cared for. They had stayed with him until he had fallen asleep, and then silently locked themselves out of his apartment.

In the cab Buffy could tell Giles was still distracted and withdrawn, even though he held on to her hand as if his life depended on it. She worried that he was in shock, and wanted to get him back up to his room as quickly as possible. She cursed the slow downtown traffic of Hong Kong in her head.

When they finally reached their hotel, she led him by his hand through the lobby and into the elevator. Once the door closed she held his body close to hers and watched the numbers climb.

When the elevator reached their floor, she had to tug his hand lightly to get him to move. Just as they reached his room, he stopped and, for the first time since they'd hopped into the cab, he looked directly at her.

"Promise me you'll never leave me!" he begged in a whisper.

She hesitated for a second. She knew the odds were against her.

"Please, Buffy" he pleaded, "even if you have to lie."

Her heart nearly broke as she saw tears form in her eyes, and she had to swallow a couple of times before she was able to speak. She pulled him close to her body and whispered in his ear. "Giles, I'll never leave you - not even death can keep us apart."

He tightened his hold and walked her backwards until she hit the wall, then took desperate possession of her mouth. Heat shot through her body as their tongues battled, and she whimpered when he tore his mouth away from her.

"Buffy... I need you." He whispered his plea against her skin.

"You've got me," she replied huskily.

They stumbled towards his door; trying to keep their mouths connected with each step. After some fumbling, they managed to get the door open and almost fell into his room. Giles slammed the door shut, and managed to keep them upright until they reached the bed. They fell onto the sheets, tugging on each others' clothes.

Giles released her mouth, buried his nose in her neck and got lost in her smell. He wanted to take it slow, but slow was beyond him now. When she circled his neck with her arms and pressed herself impatiently closer to his burning body, all his good intentions flew out the window.

He brought a shaky hand to the edge of her shirt and pulled it over her head, dropping it on the floor. Her bra soon followed. He let one warm and soft breast fill his hand; his thumb stroked her nipple before replacing it with his mouth. Buffy clutched his shoulders and moaned his name.

Never had anything tasted as delicious as her. Never had making love been so seducing as it was at this moment. Her nails dug into his shoulders when he took her other nipple in his mouth, and the way she clung to him made his yearning for her increase tenfold.

He released her nipple and moved to taste her mouth again. He kissed her over and over. Letting his tongue trace the edge of her mouth before plunging inside her lips to tangle with hers. Soon the rest of their clothes disappeared.

When Buffy circled his erection with her hand, he knew she had the power to make his heart stop. He held his breath, before letting out a long shaky moan. She caressed, explored and drove him to desperation. Finally he couldn't wait anymore and positioned himself over her. He fought for his last shred of control while looking into her eyes. "I love you."

"Make me yours" she whispered and buried her hands in his hair to pull his mouth back to hers.

Never in his wildest dreams had he expected that a woman could break down all of his defences with whispered words and silken touches. Now he knew better. She had the power, and he gave it to her willingly. With a long, slow thrust he buried himself inside her. She arched against him with a moan.

If he could have stayed within her for all eternity it wouldn't have been long enough. He feared that when he pulled out, he would discover it was all a dream. But she moved beneath him, whispered his name, and he was lost in her again.

Over and over they moved together, driving each other to indescribable heights with their hands, mouths and teeth, until they reached an earth-shattering climax. Giles continued to rock his hips against hers to prolong the pleasure, but his strength failed him quickly, and his body covered hers as they came down.

When he tried to move, Buffy held him tightly, refusing to part with him. The emotional turmoil and the physical exertion of the evening finally got to them, and within minutes they were both deeply asleep.

* * * * *

Buffy woke in the middle of the night due to a light sensation on her stomach. Giles was gently tracing random design on the flat of her stomach. He seemed completely lost in what he was doing, staring at his hand.

He hadn't realised she was awake, so he jumped when she murmured his name and placed a hand on his cheek. Before he had the chance to speak, she pulled him close and kissed him with all the love she had for him.

She loved the taste of him, she loved the way his tongue searched for hers and played with it.

Completely aware of his body, as well as her own, she felt her nipples tighten and heat rush to her core. The wonderful sensation of his body against her made her feel warm and soft. His hands slid over her body and explored it, stroked the lines of her breasts and hips.

His touch made her tingle, and her heart was pounding hard. She raised her head to his neck and took a deep breath, as if she was trying to inhale the scent of him.

"God, I love you." She whispered.

His body shivered in response, and his mouth enclosed her breast eagerly. While tasting her, his hand moved slowly down her stomach, making her moan and lift her hips towards his hand that finally reached her mound.

Buffy closed her eyes in pure bliss when an orgasm tore through her. Her last coherent thought was that she was indescribably happy the night was far from over.

* * * * *

Next time she woke, Buffy could hear the water running in the bathroom. Trying to reclaim her sleep, she buried herself deeper into the covers. Suddenly they were ripped from her, and she saw Giles standing next to her bed with an impish smile.

"No more, Giles." She moaned and rolled away from him. "Please leave me alone."

He laughed, then picked her up in his arms and carried her into the bathroom.

"Don't worry, luv, I think you've drained me for the next couple of weeks."

At her horrified look, meant to convey that she couldn't imagine waiting a couple of weeks for him to make love to her again, he gave her an amused smile. He kissed her forehead and lowered them both into the bathtub. Giles was a big man, so it took a little arranging to make them both fit comfortably.

Both knew they had to pack and get ready to go to the airport, but for now they would savour their last moments of tranquillity. He stroked her skin, kissed her shoulder, and then finally let his fingers lace with hers.

"Have I told you how much I love you lately?" she murmured contently. He placed another kiss on top of her head.

"About two hours ago, but I adore hearing it. And I love you, too."

Half an hour later they reluctantly got out of the tub. Neither was looking forward to the trip, nor what they would do once they got home. Home, where their real lives and friends were.

* * * * *

Twelve hours later they found themselves back in LA. As they were waiting in the isle to exit the plane, Giles circled her waist from behind and placed a soft kiss on her neck.

"Buffy, let's wait a little before we tell the others about the change in our relationship." She turned and looked searchingly at his face.

"Why? Are you embarrassed about us?" He shook his head.

"No. Not at all. You're a dream come true for me. I would yell from the rooftops how much I love you if I could. Provided I wouldn't be committed to Sunnydale General for doing so. I think you get what I am trying to say." They shared a smile.

"I just want some more time alone with you - without any interferences. Once we tell our friends, our relationship will always be under scrutiny. I'd like to delay that for a little while. Does that make sense?"

"It does," she answered and gave him a short kiss before turning back so they could follow the moving crowd.

* * * * *

Giles had called Xander from Hong Kong, so he met them in a rented minivan. It was filled with the happy faces of Willow, Tara and Anya, who, when they found out Buffy and Giles were returning early, had all wanted to come. They wanted to hear the full story of the trip and had not been able to wait until Buffy and Giles got back to Sunnydale. This prevented details being shared with only Xander.

Giles successfully manoeuvred Buffy with him into the back seat, and while telling their grim tale, he would make sure some part of his body was in contact with hers. A leg, an arm, or even just fingertip would suffice, as long as they were still touching. These emotionally charged days had left their feelings raw, and both wanted nothing more than to draw comfort from each other.

When all their friends piled into Buffy's house with them and announced a relaxing pizza and video night, both shared a disappointed look.

Particularly as Dawn would be back from Hank's the following evening. This had really been the only night for them to be all alone for a while.

* * * * *

Hours later, Giles had fallen asleep on the couch out of sheer exhaustion and Buffy decided to end the video fest. She sent Xander and Anya home. To her disappointment, Willow and Tara had decided to stay at her house since they were so tired, instead of spending the night at Tara's as they usually did.

With a dark and gloomy expression she entered the living room and covered Giles with a blanket, and placed a gentle kiss to his forehead. Then, sad and lonely, she dragged herself up to her room and dropped her clothes to the floor. She didn't even bother with her pyjamas as she crawled into bed.

* * * * *

Not long after Buffy covered him up, Giles woke. For a long time he twisted and turned on the couch.

Finally, he gave up with a disgusted sigh, and pulled off his sweater, leaving him only in his t-shirt and jeans. His body and mind craved the feel of her skin, the smell of her hair. It was almost frightening how used to he had gotten to sleeping next to her. He knew, without a doubt, that he wouldn't get anymore sleep without her.

Finally he sat up, took a long look towards the stairs, and then rose slowly from the couch. Completely focused on Buffy's door, he missed Tara coming silently out of Willow's room with a toothbrush in her hand. She froze, and her jaw dropped when she saw Giles quietly open the door to Buffy's room and slip inside while pulling off his t-shirt.

* * * * *

Buffy hadn't fallen asleep. She turned towards her door as it opened, and sat up when she saw Giles enter and shut the door behind him.

"Thank God. I can't sleep without you here next to me. I felt like I was going insane."

He finished undressing as he approached the bed, and slipped naked under the covers. He pulled her tightly into his arms. "Me too" he murmured into her neck. She tucked her legs around him, twining her thighs with his. Pressing close to him she could feel his penis harden against her thigh.

"You really did miss me" she spoke playfully. He chuckled but didn't make a move.

"Right now, I just need to hold you." He muttered lovingly.

After a long embrace she whispered, "I can't believe how addicted we are to each other. And I don't mean just making love. It's more than that. I constantly crave the most innocent of touches, your voice, your smell - I feel miserable when you're not close to me."

She glanced at him, worried for a second she had said too much. His head was still half buried against her, but he had a small smile playing on his lips. When he didn't speak, she playfully nudged him.

"Aren't you going to say something?" His smile widened and he finally opened his eyes and raised himself on an elbow.

"I feel rather speechless. You managed to put words to my feelings. I've been attempting to find a way to tell you that very same thing all day. I was trying to think of something to say, but I couldn't. Like I said, speechless." She opened her mouth but was distracted when his thumb stroked along her cheek and lower lip.

"But I can show you," he breathed against her lips.

He tugged gently on her lower lip before letting his tongue slide over her mouth, to start an erotic ritual with hers. She moaned into his mouth and her hands wandered across his body. She was beyond anything but feeling, and clung to his shoulders, dizzy with desire, when he moved his hips against hers.

When air started to become an issue for both of them he released her lips, and covered one of her breasts with his mouth instead. His hand moved down her stomach and in between her legs.

When she arched against him he moved his kisses from her breast and down her stomach, and let his hand push her thighs apart. The feel of his mouth against her core made everything around her fade, and as she closed her eyes she saw a symphony of colours behind her eyelids. With a moan she came against him.

When her eyes opened, she saw him posed above her. His teeth were clenched so he could hold on to his control. She circled his neck so he would lower his mouth to hers and push inside her. It felt like they had melted together. He was buried so deeply inside her she didn't know where he started and she ended.

Slowly he started moving, keeping his strokes slow and deep. She felt like he was branding her, a mark that was solely his - binding them together for all eternity.

As they came together, she decided she wouldn't want it any other way.

* * * * *

The dawn arrived and Giles woke with Buffy curled up against him. He tried to untangle himself so he could head downstairs before the others woke, but Buffy wouldn't let him go without a fight. Tightening her arm around his waist, she whined in protest when he tried to extract himself.

He placed a gentle kiss to her forehead. "Buffy, I have to go before the others wake."

With a dramatic sigh that made him chuckle, she lifted her hand, indicating he was free to do as he pleased. He forced him himself to stand and stretched lazily. Glancing at Buffy he could see she was eying him like he was candy, and he shook his head.

"You're incorrigible." She didn't deny it, just rolled on to her back with a smile on her face.

He tried to keep his thoughts gathered and focused, but it was an impossible task. Buffy laid stretched out on the bed, all seducing and temping. His eyes travelled over the blonde hair that grazed the pillow, and the sheet that barely covered her breasts. He could see her hardened nipples through the fabric. He wanted nothing more than to tear the sheet off so he could make love to her again and again.

He shook his head, reached for his clothes and tugged his boxers and jeans on in the early morning darkness.

Still bare-chested, he leaned over her sleepy body. But he pinned her arms so she wouldn't be able to pull him down when he kissed her. He slowly licked her lips, gave her lower lip a small bite, and sucked her tongue into his mouth. He tilted his head so he could get better access, and proceeded to make love to her mouth.

He was shaking with need when he raised his head, and Buffy's eyes were burning with desire. There was nothing he wanted more than to lay down with her, touch her all over, hear her moan his name in pleasure. But it would have to wait.

With a regretful look, he picked his t-shirt up from the floor. "I'll find a way for us to spend the day together before Dawn gets home."

"I'd like that" she murmured, stretching her arms behind her.

He swallowed hard and decided to get out of her room right away, before he changed his mind about leaving. With a last look at her knowing smile, he wrenched the door open and headed towards the stairs.

Right before he walked down, he pulled his t-shirt over his head, and missed the look Tara gave him as she came out of the bathroom. Her eyes jumped a couple of times from Buffy's door to the picture of Giles heading down the stairs. By the time he had descended the last step she was wearing a full-blown smile that followed her all the way back to Willow's room.

* * * * *

Later in the morning they all gathered in the kitchen for breakfast. Willow suggested that Buffy could join Tara and her for a day at the mall. Before Buffy had a chance to say anything, Giles put a damper on the situation.

"Sorry ladies, but Buffy is not going anywhere today. We missed a lot of training this last week, and we have a lot of catching up to do."

He almost blanched at Buffy's mixed look of disbelief and anger.

She couldn't believe him! That was his idea of alone time? Training?! But, when she noticed his intent gaze on her, she realised it was only a cover and had to hide a smile. With a sudden frown she realised she should still play her part and protest loudly.

"Gi-iles! It's my first day back - I can't believe you!" she whined loudly. "Train, train, train, that's all you think about. You know, all this training makes me antisocial - I need my mall fix!!"

He rolled his eyes and completely ignored her. Tara and Willow gave her a 'we feel for you' smile, and headed upstairs to get dressed. When they were out of ear-shot, Giles stepped close.

"Enjoyed that did you?"

She bounced on her feet while grinning. "Most definitely!"

With a slap to her butt he pushed her out of the kitchen. "Go get ready, we leave in ten minutes."

"Aye aye, sir!" She said in a mocking voice and ran up the stairs.

* * * * *

Giles took Buffy on a picnic in a park a little outside Sunnydale, and they spent the day relaxing and trying to take as much advantage of their alone time as possible. But all too soon they had to return to the house so that Buffy would be back when Hank arrived with Dawn.

Giles regretfully returned to his own home - he was not ready to deal with the only Summers male. Particularly because he had been the only male role model these girls had known, and had done a horrible job of it.

Giles wasn't sure if even Buffy would have been able to hold him back, if Hank did or said something to anger him. With a soft kiss to her lips, he parted from her outside her house with the promise that he would join her for patrol.

* * * * *

Soon after dusk he was waiting for her in the cemetery, twirling a stake in his hand to pass the time. He looked up when he heard several voices heading his way. It turned out Xander and Willow had wanted to join them for an old fashioned Scooby patrol.

"Where's Dawn?" he asked Buffy when she was close enough to hear him.

"She stayed behind with Anya and Tara. Apparently she met some really hot guy at dad's and she wanted girl-advice."

They all visibly shuddered at the thought of Anya's brand of advice.

"I threatened Anya with bodily harm if she says anything too delicate for Dawn's ears. I also told Dawn that I wanted to know everything she heard when I got home."

Their laughter was quickly halted as they were attack by a couple of newly risen vampires, on the hunt for human blood.

Buffy, who hadn't fought vampires in several days, revelled in the fight. She spent several minutes taunting and playing around with them, and Giles grudgingly admitted to enjoying her 'show'. Until a third vampire came out of nowhere, aiming straight for her.

Buffy didn't see it coming and, before Giles had the chance to warn her, the vampire had latched itself on her back and sank his fangs into her neck.

Realising he was too far away to reach her before the vampire had done too much damage, he aimed his stake and threw it with deadly accuracy. It buried itself in the vampire's back and pierced right through its heart. A cloud of dust suddenly surrounded Buffy.

Giles fell to his knees in relief when he saw his throw hadn't been too hard; he'd been half afraid the stake could have hurt her too.

She coughed and brushed dust particles away from her clothes as Xander rushed to her side to help her up. "Oh my God, Buffy, are you alright?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Good throw Giles!" she cheered, trying to hide her shaky voice.

That had been too close. The painful holes in her neck brought up ugly memories that flashed through her mind: the grinning face of the Master, Angel's teeth, and a body laid out in a training room in Hong Kong. Shaking her head, trying in vain to get rid of her unpleasant thoughts, she looked over at Giles.

"You're definitely the best Watcher a girl can.." Her voice trailed off as she saw his shaking fists, and realized he was still on the ground panting.

Silently they watched each other, until he suddenly got up and walked briskly out of the cemetery without a word.

Too stunned by his behaviour to move, it took her several moments before she ran after him. But a hand held her back. With an angry look she turned to look back at who it was, and her face softened when she was it was Willow.

"Don't Buffy. I guess it was a little too close to home right now, especially considering what you guys have just been through. Give him a minute, why don't you?"

Buffy wanted to protest. She'd seen the pain in his eyes. She knew Giles needed her as much as she needed him right now, but since they hadn't told the guys about them yet, she couldn't run after him. With a heavy heart she nodded and let Willow and Xander follow her back to the house.

* * * * *

They were all gathered in the kitchen, silently watching Buffy wander around wearing a worried face.

"What's the deal anyway?" Dawn asked. "Giles can take care of himself. Why are you so worried?"

Buffy contemplated answering her. Telling all of them why she was so worried; why she needed to see him. She had seen the look in his eyes in the cemetery. She knew he'd seen the vampire attack her and realized that what happened to Li Wei nearly happened to her. She didn't care anymore. She wanted to let them all know that she and Giles meant the world to each other. She didn't want to waste their time hiding their relationship. Just as she was about to lay it all on the line, Xander's voice prevented her.

"Oh, look, there he is."

They all looked out the kitchen window, watching him walking towards the house over the lawn. All but Buffy, who went flying out of the kitchen and out the front door.

* * * * *

Giles wasn't aware of the eyes on him from the kitchen window. He had finally managed to calm down enough so he could return.

He had seen how rattled Buffy was after what happened, but his feelings had clouded his instincts. The need to touch her after her close call with the vampire had been overwhelming. The only thought he'd had was that he had to get away before he blew it in front of their friends. In a rash moment he had made the decision to run. At this instant he whished he would have trusted his gut feeling and gone to comfort her. He felt like a cad.

His thoughts were interrupted when he felt Buffy slam into him, and he instinctively held her body close to his as they tumbled to the ground. As soon as they stopped rolling, she sat up and started shaking him by his shirt.

"You bastard!" she cried. "How could you do that to me?!! I needed you, and you just walked away!!"

He immediately pulled her close, holding her as tightly as he could. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." He repeated the phrase over and over again as she started to cry into his shirt. "I wanted to stay with you, but I was too overwhelmed. I just couldn't stand not touching you. I needed to get away. Please forgive me, Buffy." Her sobbing stopped, but tears still kept falling from her eyes as she raised her head to look at him.

"I don't care anymore - we can't keep hiding this, Giles. It's just doing us more harm than good. And if our friends don't like it, well tough!"

With that she pressed her lips to his and kissed him with everything that she had. He responded without an ounce of hesitation. With a moan he parted his lips so she could taste him more fully.

She was blind to everything but the need to be as close to him as she could. She stroked her fingers down his face, and she noticed he shivered under the touch. He was so receptive to her that she felt an intoxicating sense of power. Until he took it from her.

* * * * *

"Wow" Willow mumbled as she watched the kissing couple on her lawn. "Never saw this coming."

Xander nodded in agreement.

Tara smiled. "That's because you weren't looking." Outside Buffy and Giles were still kissing passionately, completely unaware of the audience watching their adoring exchange.

* * * * *

No other woman had ever felt as right as she did in his arms. Each nerve in his body seemed to have moved to his lips and tongue, and he pressed her closer to kiss her more passionately and thoroughly. When he released her lips she was clinging to his shoulders, her fingers digging into his skin.

It was Dawn's shocked voice that eventually broke through the fog of desire that surrounded them.

"Oh my God! What are you guys DOING?!"

The hurriedly broke apart with worried faces, and turned to where Dawn was standing on the porch. Both braced for the teenage hysteria that would undoubtedly follow and clung to each other for support.

After a beat Dawn continued. "Don't you know better than to kiss outside after dark? You can get killed!!" And then a smirk appeared on her face.

Buffy and Giles scrambled to their feet with relieved smiles. As they reached the porch Giles arched his eyebrow at the teenager.

"You don't seem too surprised Dawn." She grinned and opened the door wider so they could get inside.

"Oh please, unlike everyone else you know, *I* actually notice things around here. I saw this coming from miles away."

END