Giles walked past Willow just as she squeaked and bent over to catch a book, slipping sliding, falling floorwards, ancient, yellowed pages crackling in panic. She ended up bent in two, hairpinned and stretched, her short skirt wriggling up, her thighs spread open, thin tights cherry red and cheerful.
His slap, open handed, landing squarely across the less protected half of a bottom bisected by layers of cloth, was absent minded and automatic, involuntary and unplanned...and much harder than it should have been. Willow squeaked and her head twisted around as she grabbed at the arm of a chair for support.
Giles met her eyes and refused to allow a glimmer of apology to cross his face.
“Please be careful with the books, Miss Rosenberg.”
The sound of a page tearing a moment later was music to his ears, even as he winced with pity for the book.
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