This weekend, it was Giles’s turn to decide what happened, and Xander’s turn to relax and be done to. “To enjoy the ride on the Giles-coaster,” Xander said, before Giles could bring the glare to bear on him and silence him. Xander had treated them all to a weekend at Cedar Point, back in the autumn, and coaxed Giles into riding with him. Giles would never admit to a soul that he’d enjoyed it. Not that Xander had needed admissions from him to know.
Giles commandeered the upstairs bathroom for a fast shower. Xander had already taken his when he got home from this week’s construction site. He would be waiting in their bedroom already, naked and wearing his cuffs if he’d followed instructions. He’d have lit candles and pulled the shades and hung the marker on the doorknob that meant the Slayers were not to interrupt them for anything short of a demon invasion. He would be half-aroused already, but refraining from touching himself out of good manners. The image of Xander, eager and happy, dancing around the room from sheer overabundance of energy, was an exciting one. Giles’s nerves were tight with anticipation when he got out of the shower, merely from that vision. He pulled on worn jeans over bare skin and buttoned up carefully. He shouldered on one of Xander’s t-shirts, a frayed thing with the logo of a bowling supply company, and he was ready. Time for Xander’s surprise.
Giles entered their room and slid the bolt home before he let himself look at Xander. He was indeed naked, and the room was sweet with the smell of beeswax, but he hadn’t yet cuffed himself. Giles advanced on him and took the collar from his hands.
“Allow me,” he said, with grave courtesy, and Xander grinned.
“Sir,” he said, and bowed to Giles with his head up and that silly look still on his face. Giles kissed him as he fastened the collar tight around his neck. Velcro and neoprene, Xander’s own handiwork, and infinitely practical. Giles looked absurd in them, but Xander always looked wonderful. That powerful body, tamed for him. And his tattoo, across Xander’s shoulders and down his spine, half-hidden under that fantastic mane of hair, hanging untamed down Xander’s back. The same marks on Giles’s own back, hidden under his shirt.
“Strip the bed, please. Pillows and blankets on the floor.”
Xander leapt onto the bed and kicked the pillows off, then enthusiastically tugged the blankets away and mounded them over the pillows.
“I should make you do that properly,” Giles said, but he didn’t bother. He was starting to feel just as excited as Xander. Over-excited, possibly, and nervous. He didn’t know if Xander would like this. “Never mind. On the bed, please, on your back.”
The house had a good supply of climbing equipment: ropes and carabiners and spikes and hammers. The Slayers needed to scale buildings more often than they had in Sunnydale, where there was nothing over three stories, and so Giles had outfitted them to do so. And he’d thoughtfully added extras to their last order with the climbing shop, and scraped up the money for it by sacrificing his next bottle of single malt. He’d given up a host of vices so that he might afford this single weekly vice with Xander.
He put the ropes and carabiners to use now. Cuffs clipped to rings Xander had installed on the iron bedstead, splaying Xander’s arms out. Rope looped around his chest and secured with carabiners on both sides of the bed, and another loop around his waist, tightened so that Xander was held down fast.
“Raise your knees,” Giles said, and Xander obeyed. Leather straps for the knees, because the ropes would bite and leave marks, which Giles was uninterested in tonight. More ropes, pulling Xander’s knees up and apart, until he was splayed out and exposed. Then folded towels slid under Xander’s backside, to hold him and make the position more comfortable. Finally, a short line through the rings in the collar, to hold his head down.
Xander strained against his bonds, testing them. Giles did the same whenever Xander bound him. The goal was to find the weaknesses now, before they’d begun serious play, so that Giles could correct them, and later he could struggle all he wished to. Not that he would find one. The habits of a lifetime as a Watcher came in handy at the strangest times. Giles methodically checked each tie point and tightened the ropes so there was no slack in them. Xander was held fast. Giles watched his muscles bunch as he tested the ropes one last time.
“All right?” Giles said, when he’d relaxed again.
“Yeah. Good this way for a couple hours.”
They exchanged nods.
“You’re going to spend the evening bound tight, either like this or in another position if I choose to shift you. You may come as often as you like. But I do require one display of self-control from you.”
“Your silence. Do your best to contain any cries you might make. I don’t wish to disturb the house with your racket. If you can’t, I’ll gag you.”
Xander’s eyes went wide then settled into anticipation. Everything he felt showed on his face immediately. That was the joy of Xander. Giles always knew where he stood. No mysteries, no insecurities other than what his own impoverished spirit brought to their partnership. He knew Xander was fond of him, and he knew Xander enjoyed his company in bed. And he knew Xander trusted him utterly. He wanted whatever Giles had chosen to give him.
Giles stroked over Xander’s arse, so unprotected and exposed. This was a perfect position for penetration, if he chose it, or for harsher entertainments. Perhaps Xander expected him to choose one of those possibilities, to produce a whip or a vise. But Giles had no taste for games like those; he would endure them if Xander wished, but he would never choose them. He had something more subtle in mind.
He went to the far corner of the attic and picked up the tray he’d prepared earlier. The votive candle he’d lit an hour before was still burning under the little pot. Giles carried it over and set it carefully on the nightstand. The only freedom of movement Xander had was his head, and he turned it to peer curiously. Giles deliberately shifted himself so his body was between Xander and the pot of wax. He put on the latex gloves.
Buffy had given him instructions, but he hadn’t ever done himself. He’d had it done once, by a professional, some years before, while in the grip of a short-lived mad affair. Well, if he couldn’t manage it on the first go, Xander would have to lie still while he worked it out. Giles curled his lip just enough to show teeth.
Giles chose the trail of hair down Xander’s belly, that line pointing downward to heaven. Dip the stick in and give a good stir. Spread the wax quickly, while it was still hot. Press the muslin strip over it. Let it harden for a moment.
Xander strained upward, but the collar kept his head back. “Wax? Isn’t it supposed to be hotter? I–”
Giles pulled the ball gag out of the nightstand drawer, taking care to make sure Xander saw it on the way past.
“I hate that thing.”
“Then I suggest you remain silent.”
Giles took firm hold of the strip of muslin. A brisk pull, Buffy had said, against the direction of the growth of the hair, with his other hand keeping the skin taut. Giles braced and pulled.
Xander struggled against the ropes in earnest now, but it was far too late. The bedstead creaked and held, as it always did. Giles watched him and fought to hide the fierce joy he felt. This was the sensation Xander sought, though not in the form he’d expected it. Pain, pleasure, helplessness, intensity. Xander had reached the top of the first hill of the rollercoaster, and was looking down at the first drop.
“Silence, please,” Giles said, with patience, after Xander had come still again.
“You bastard. I’m going to get you for this. Next Friday you’re gonna be tied up, and I’m gonna get my revenge.”
Giles picked up the gag and dangled it over Xander’s face. This was, as usual, enough incentive for Xander to shut up, but his face still spat defiance up at his captor. Giles turned away, back to the pot of wax, and hid his own smile. Provoking Xander had been half the point of this exercise. Giles could spend the week in happy anticipation of Xander’s revenge. The other half was, of course, the result: the smooth bare skin revealed as he worked.
Giles stirred the wax and coated the stick well. Xander watched him. His face was sweaty. He chose a spot on Xander’s chest. Xander flinched when the wax touched him.
“I want your chest bare,” Giles said. “For the next time I use the knife on you. I want to cut patterns in your skin, and I don’t want to have to shave you bare first.”
Xander nodded, and he seemed to relax. He’d loved the knife-play, and Giles knew he’d be asking for it again soon. Giles watched his face closely as he pulled the next strip: a soundless contortion. This wasn’t the most painful thing Giles had done to him, then, nor even close to the most painful thing Xander had done to Giles. It was more the shock of it.
“We’re not done yet. I want you completely bare. You’ll be naked under your clothes for me. Smooth.”
He spread hot wax deftly across the top of the triangle of hair, pressed on a strip of cloth, waited a moment, and pulled. Xander jerked against the ropes and groaned through his gritted teeth. Again, and another patch of pubis revealed, another choked-back gasp. Xander had just enough self-control to manage his voice, not enough to control his body. Though he did not need to, which was the point of the bonds.
As Giles continued along the edges of his thighs, Xander settled. He tensed with every pull, but no longer struggled or made noise. The pubic thatch itself was the most painful, it seemed, or Xander had drifted far into endorphin haze. Giles worked his way back, to Xander’s arse. Xander seemed to wake when the heat of the wax touched him there, near where Giles would enter him later.
“You’re gonna, you’re gonna–”
Giles pulled. Xander’s whole body tensed, and the iron bedstead creaked. The straps held, and Xander relaxed again. Giles didn’t give him any respite, but kept moving fast, not giving Xander time to think about it or coil himself against it. He was nearly done, however. Just the ballsack to go. Heavy, dark, sensitive to every touch, and bare after just a few goes. Xander made noise then, through clenched teeth.
Giles removed the gloves and blew out the candles under the pot of wax. Xander did not relax, but craned his head up as far as he could to watch Giles cautiously. Not that he’d would be able to help it if Giles had any further tricks up his sleeve tonight. Giles smiled at him blandly. The rollercoaster had slowed, though Giles would happily mislead Xander into thinking there were no hills left.
“We’re done,” he said. “You can talk now.”
Xander sighed. “Man, that was… Buffy gets that done every month?”
“Some men do as well,” Giles said.
“They’re all more macho than I am.”
Giles knelt on the bed again, between Xander’s raised thighs, with the jar of moisturizer handy. Buffy had been insistent that he use it. He smoothed lotion over Xander’s reddened outraged skin, his touch now as soothing as he could make it. Xander slowly relaxed under him and he came fully erect again. Giles liked the show it made over that bare belly. He was careful not to touch Xander’s penis directly, to give him no help reaching the orgasms he was allowed to have. He wanted Xander coming later, much later, with Giles inside him.
Giles undid the ropes holding Xander’s legs up. He groaned and stretched them out straight. “That was murder in at least three different ways,” Xander said.
“I went easy on you by doing this instead of shaving you, you know.”
The ropes around his waist next. Then his chest. Xander wriggled on the bed, still pinioned at neck and wrists.
“I’m having a hard time believing that. Shaving: buzz buzz, done. This: yank yank yow!”
“You’ve never shaved yourself, I take it.”
Giles chuckled. “You’d have been cursing me two days from now instead of cursing me now. Then cursing me again in a week, because you’d have to re-do everything in just a few days. This way it’ll be at least three weeks before I have to do this to you again.”
“Assuming I agree to stay clean-shaven, an assumption bad boyfriends like you should not be making.”
Xander pouted, but Giles could tell he didn’t mean it. Giles released his wrists from the bed, only to fasten them to the collar at his neck. The ride was not yet over, though the rest of it would be familiar to Xander.
“Wait until we make love, then tell me what you think of it. In the meantime, I have no regrets. You look magnificent. Even sexier than you did before. That chest. Look at your chest, bare, muscles on display. Lord.” Giles ran his hand over Xander’s chest and down his smooth, clean stomach.
“Freakin’ Watcher. Gets off by looking at people.”
“Never denied it.”
Xander’s face went serious and thoughtful, and he nodded, more to himself than to Giles. A thrill of fear shot through Giles. His stomach dropped away. Xander was the one bound and helpless in their bed, Xander would be receiving him in whatever way Giles chose in another few minutes, but Giles was the one trembling in anticipation. He stood abruptly, to cover it.
“Up on your knees, turn and grip the headboard, my lad. Find a comfortable position, because you’ll be in it for a while. You made quite a fuss. How many times did I need to tell you to be silent?”
Xander rolled himself over onto his face and pushed himself up onto knees and elbows, showing more grace than Giles had expected. Giles admired his arse as he moved. Smooth, bare. His.
“Three times,” Xander said.
“I counted four.”
“You big liar.”
“What do I have to do to get you to call it ten?”
“What makes you think I’m going to bother counting?”
Giles grinned, and brought his hand down hard.