Buffy slammed her fist into the emergency stop button and the elevator thumped to a stop so fast her knees bent. Somewhere above them a bell started ringing. An actual bell, ringing an obnoxious ancient alarm in this stupid ancient elevator.
“We’re talking about this now,” she said, raising her voice.
Giles’s back straightened and his chin thrust out. “No, we’re not.”
He jabbed a finger at the ground floor button. The bell stopped ringing and the elevator wobbled in place. It didn’t move, though. Another wobble. The ceiling lights in the elevator flicked off and the fan died. Then a dim emergency light wavered on from the back corner of the elevator. The silence made Buffy’s ears hurt.
“Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.”
Giles dug into his jacket’s breast pocket and came out with a tiny black cellphone. He snapped it open and displayed what was, to Buffy, a surprising skill with stabbing at it and barking into it. He had a short conversation that didn’t please him, which in turn didn’t please Buffy.
“The repairmen are on their way. Nothing to do but wait.”
He glared at his wristwatch. Buffy glared at him. “Awesome. You got us stuck in an elevator.”
“I got us–”
“You stopped the lift.”
“I had to. Because you were being a butt-head. As usual.”
“I am not.”
“Look, you need to beat something up every couple of days. I get that. Too much time with those stuffy shirty museum pieces and I’d go crazy too. But you’re not going vamp-hunting without me again.”
“It’s none of your concern.”
“Three stitches in your forehead says it’s my concern.”
“You used to get worse twice a week.”
“I’m the Slayer!”
“You’re not. You can’t handle it.”
Giles slammed his fists into the elevator wall on either side of her head. He leaned into her. His nose was nearly touching hers. His eyes really were green. He was the only person she’d ever met who had green eyes. Oh god. He wasn’t backing away, either.
“Do I seem feeble to you? In my dotage? In need of a nursemaid?”
His breath was hot on her face. No, he sort of did not seem feeble or anything within a thousand miles of feeble. He felt sort of macho and forceful and testosterone-soaked, despite the nice suit and the nice striped tie and the cologne. Which was not wussy cologne. It was spicy and sort of masculine and forceful and testosterone-soaked and edged with his sweat and about as sexy a way a man could smell as possible. It was the cologne he’d always worn, which she’d always liked in a bad-Slayer-don’t-go-there kind of way. And under that was a whiff of cigarettes, and Buffy’s reaction to that scent was something she’d never ever admit to in public.
She could climb out the emergency hatch. There were ladders, or something like that. Or maybe cables she could shimmy up. Anything that was not standing here in an elevator with Giles in her face, Giles who smelled like cologne and cigarettes and a tiny bit like sweat.
Buffy straightened up and stared at him right back. He didn’t flinch, but she could outlast him. Maybe.
“No,” she said.
“My life to risk if I want.”
“Not without me.”
“Why the hell not?”
“Because I couldn’t stand it if you got killed, you stupid sexy idiot!”
Oh shit, she’d blurted. She’d been going for distraction, but instead she’d done blurt. Nothing for it. She grabbed his tie and yanked him down so his mouth was in reach and kissed him hard. Then she shoved him away.
“Look what you made me do!”
Shock, then his brows came together.
He was on her a second later, throwing her back against the wall. Buffy swung at him in a wild haymaker but he dodged back. He sprang at her while she was off balance and slammed his fists against the wall on either side of her head. And then his tongue was in her mouth, and she wasn’t going to risk losing that even for the pleasure of punching him out. There was no problem a little violence couldn’t solve, but this might not be on the actual problem list. Not yet anyway.
Giles lifted her and set her on the handrail and then it got serious. He could kiss and he wasn’t wussing out and going gentle on her. Maybe it was a problem. He shifted and dug his hand into her hair and pulled her head backward. Buffy let him, because the next thing he did was kiss his way down her neck. He used his teeth, nipping hard enough to make her moan. Oh boy, problem, but not the punching out kind any more.
She gripped him by the hair at the back of his neck and held him in place, just so he got the idea. He caught on pretty quick and bit down harder. Say what you like about Giles— and Buffy had said a lot in the years she’d known him— stupid he was not. Brainy, geeky, obsessive, reserved, repressed, but not stupid. Repressed? The hell he was repressed. Giles was lifting her skirt. Giles. Her skirt. Lifting. And his hand was chasing it right on up, between her thighs.
Now would be the perfect time to haul off and punch him. But Buffy didn’t. Instead she said “yeah” and shifted to part her thighs to let him all the way up. He wasted no time getting his hand up to where he wanted, right where Buffy wanted it. No denying she was turned on now that he had his hand right on the evidence, exploring it, exploring her, pushing her panties aside to touch her bare flesh. He slid a finger deep inside her and Buffy moaned. He pulled it out and she thought seriously about punching him, but then he made up for it by finding her clit.
Finger and thumb in exactly the right places, the bastard, and he was moving them fast and not letting off even the slightest. Buffy’s head slammed back against the elevator wall and she dug her fingers into his shirt hard. He bit again and she came. Not enough of an orgasm, just a little one, almost a tease, and his hand went still right away without driving her into a second one.
Buffy opened her eyes again to find him right there. Eyes still green, check. Masculine, forceful, check. A little sweatier than before. Still angry.
“Yeah?” he said. He looked faintly smug under the glare.
“Shut up,” she said. “Kiss me.”
He kissed her again, but took his hand away. Before she had time to get annoyed, he’d pulled her skirt up the rest of the way, all the way to her waist. Buffy spread her thighs to let him stand between, as close as he could get. His thighs had muscles in them, underneath those nice wool trousers. And there was something else in those pants, too, grinding against her. Somebody else was turned on. He was making no effort to disguise what he was doing, either. Giles was dry-humping her.
To hell with that.
Buffy undid his belt buckle one-handed. His trouser buttons gave her fits, though. He straightened up just long enough to undo them and shove his pants open. He didn’t even bother to take her panties off, just tugged until they ripped and went right in. Not that she was complaining. He felt good. Thick enough that she could feel him, not so thick he was painful. Just right, in fact. Buffy locked her legs around his waist and pulled him in all the way. He grunted and stayed there for a few seconds, just pressing her against the wall. His mouth was against her neck and she could feel his teeth grazing her skin. Not biting, just nipping, while he settled in.
She made an annoyed noise at him and rocked against him as much as she could, given that she was pinned up against the wall. Once again the brainiac took the hint right away. He pulled back from her slowly then pushed into her again. He grunted.
Buffy dug her boot-heels into the backs of his thighs and she didn’t care if it bruised him. “Faster,” she said, and he gave it to her. Hard and fast, no time for exploration or finesse or anything other than crashing together, over and over. There was power in his broad thighs, in those hips driving her against the wall, slamming into her with all the delicacy of a man whose nickname had been Ripper. His mouth was on hers again and if he took it away they’d have an apocalyptic problem, because he sure knew what he was doing with his lips and his tongue and his body and his hips and that amazing body inside her and rubbing against her perfectly. Like she’d known it would.
Buffy came and that did it for him, too. Giles pressed her hard into the wall and held her there and shuddered. Then he blew out a long breath and his shoulders slumped. He eased back enough that she could breathe again, but didn’t let go or pull away. He was nuzzling at her cheek and neck, kissing her and licking her skin where he’d bitten her, just a little bit, just enough that it was sort of cuddly and sexy at the same time. Buffy massaged his shoulders. Nice shoulders. Definitely lean-able. She leaned her head to test out this theory and sighed. He was softening inside her, which sucked because it meant it was all over.
Giles lowered her to the floor and took a step back from her. He pulled up his trousers and buttoned them. His face was red. His hair was mussed, sweaty at the temples and rumpled where she’d dug in. And his tie was crooked. Buffy found herself straightening it and tidying the knot. He looked down at her hands on his chest, blinking at her, and she had absolutely no idea what was going on in his Watchery head. He said nothing to clue her in, merely passed her his handkerchief and turned away to buckle up his belt.
Buffy’s knees weren’t completely stable. She sank down to sit on the elevator floor, back against the wall. She contemplated digging in her purse for her comb and a mirror, but her hands probably weren’t steady enough yet for makeup.
Giles plunked down next to her. He was still breathing hard. He ran his fingers through his hair a few times. His brows were still pulled together in that patented Giles glare.
“What?” she said, though she wasn’t sure she had the energy to stay pissed off.
“I’ll hunt vampires when I damn well please,” he said.
“And I’ll go with you if I damn well please.”
After a second, he nodded and the glare vanished. That was settled, then. Buffy fidgeted with the strap across the instep of her boots. Giles pulled his sleeve back and checked his watch. He opened his mouth, and at the moment something clicked and went woosh. Fresh air blew down from the ceiling. Fresh, cool air. The emergency light clicked off and the car ceiling lights winked on. Buffy looked at Giles, and he looked at her. He stood and offered her a courteous hand up to her feet. The car shifted, bumped, shifted again, then shuddered into motion downwards.
Giles let go of her. Buffy could still feel his fingers on her, his body in her. She rubbed the hand he’d just been holding under her nose. Cologne. Sweat. Sex.
Giles was staring at the elevator doors, not at her. “Are you free tonight?” he said, apparently to the place where the doors banged into each other.
Buffy blinked. “You want to go hunting tonight?”
The elevator wriggled to a halt and the doors creaked open onto the lobby. There was a guy in blue overalls with a toolbox just outside the door, ignoring them completely while he poked at the control panel. Giles didn’t move, and neither did Buffy.
He said, “I was thinking we could stay in.”
Buffy smoothed her skirt. “Yeah, I could do that.”