“You disobeyed my order,” Buffy said.
“I did,” Giles said. He’d been on edge all night, finding fault in her tactics. He had seen what he’d thought was an opening against the second vampire, and taken it instead of holding himself in reserve. It had been a mistake. It had worked against Buffy’s plan, and as a result he now had a black eye, courtesy of the third, the one he hadn’t seen. A badge of his shame.
“You endangered yourself.”
“I did.” He stood before her head down, hands loose at his sides.
“Go upstairs and wait for me.”
Giles immediately turned and climbed the stairs to the loft, where their bed was. He stripped himself, put his clothes away neatly, then knelt by the bed, with his arms folded behind his back. She hadn’t given him any orders, but he thought he’d best make his submission and contrition entirely clear. Though he doubted it would earn him any reprieve. Did he want a reprieve? He knew the answer already, but couldn’t look at it head-on. He wished it weren’t up to him.
By the time she finished with the chores downstairs and came up to him, he was shaking and drenched with sweat.
“God, Buffy, please…”
“Shh.” She walked around him, taking him in. “You’re upset. What’s going on?”
“I’ve displeased you.”
“I–” Giles hesitated, wrestling with himself. He knew what would ease the jagged misery of his disobedience, but he was afraid. God, what had possessed him, to think he could ignore her orders with impunity? He drew a deep breath. Might as well get through it. “Buffy? I think, I… I need to be punished.”
She ran her fingers through his sweat-damp hair, then released him. “Don’t just tell me what you think I want to hear. Tell me what you need me to do for you.”
“I need it.”
She lifted his chin until he met her gaze. “Then ask for it, clearly. Tell me why.”
“Buffy, I disobeyed you. Please punish me. Remind me that I belong to you.” His voice shook only a little.
“Bring me your belt.”
Giles rose to his feet and went to the closet, where his belts hung. He owned several, but the one she meant was a wide black leather belt she’d bought him as a gift. He unhooked it and shut the closet door. His mouth was dry.
He had no taste for pain. She knew that, as she knew why: the legacy of Angelus. So his pain was not part of their usual play. This was not for his pleasure, he reminded himself. This was punishment. Not a game. And he’d earned it. He went to his knees and presented his belt to her.
“Do you want to be bound?”
He shook his head. “No, please, Buffy.” Bondage was pleasure, and he didn’t deserve it.
She arranged him bent over at the foot of the bed, his chest against the rail where his hands gripped. His legs were spread. She took his left hand and cupped it around his genitals, encouraging him to hold himself out of the way. He had no idea how many she would give him, or how seriously she would punish him, but this promised it would be serious. She caressed his backside gently. He shuddered in fear.
“Count for me,” she said.
He waited, trembling. He heard it coming, and then it cracked high across his backside, white-hot. Giles gasped in shock. She’d used Slayer strength on him. “One,” he said, when he had his breath back.
The whistle of the belt, and fire exploded just below the first stripe. He gasped again, and choked out the word “two”. Then the third, landing even as he spoke, exactly where the second had been. He cried out and it took him a moment to gather himself enough to get the count out. The fourth was lower down, and the fifth across his upper thighs.
Buffy did not insult him by holding herself back. Each blow came Slayer-hard and unrelenting. He was weeping freely already. But each stroke was release, and relief of his guilt.
Two on his left thigh. Two on his right. The last across his back. Ten altogether. They blurred into one burning throb across his back and thighs.
She left him bent over, exposed, shaking in aftermath, breathing in great sobbing gasps. He held himself in place, waiting for whatever his Slayer would demand of him next. She ran her fingers over his thighs, along the places where it hurt most. Her hand was cool against his backside. Her fingers teased at his arse, then cupped his balls. His cock slowly hardened in her hand, even as the tears dripped from his nose.
“Is that what you needed?”
“Y-y-yes, thank you. Oh, God.” He moaned.
“You won’t be able to sit down tomorrow,” she told him, a little amused.
“Going to pull a stunt like that again?” She slapped at his thigh lightly and he whimpered.
“God, no, oh God, Buffy, please, no.”
She was stroking his cock now, both hands on him, touching him in all the ways he liked. He was entirely aroused, and confused. Pain and pleasure mingled.
“Good. I need my Watcher alive, not dead from vamps. You have to trust me, Giles. I know what I’m doing. I’m good at this. When I give you an order, obey me.” A firm squeeze of his balls.
“I’m yours, Buffy. Yours.” Giles tried to put every bit of the sincerity he felt into that response.
“Would you like to come now?”
She slipped down below him and licked at the tip of his cock. Giles’ head was still reeling, his body still throbbing with pain. He almost couldn’t make sense of the pleasure of her tongue on him. She took his cock into her mouth. She let him thrust deep, finding the back of her throat, while she pressed cool fingers along the blazons across his flesh, then inside him. He cried again when he came, but that time it was from relief that she still loved him.