Paying the Price

Giles looked thoughtfully at his hand, turning it over and contemplating his palm. Adequate for the task ahead but did he really want that much intimacy, that much of a connection? This wasn’t the prelude to anything but pain after all. At least not until he was alone, because self deception was one sin he’d long since purged from his soul, and he knew that whether or not his hand rested, in brief, sharp moments split like kindling from the whole, against Xander’s body, he’d still let this encounter be the spur that drove him to climax and come. Of course he would. And so would Xander, or he wouldn’t be here, bent over, legs spread and quivering. Giles really doubted his opinion of Xander weighed that heavily with the boy. So; not his hand. Neither of them had earned that, perhaps.

 The figure beside him stirred. Giles didn’t think that it was impatience causing the shift of feet and the corresponding loss of position; mounting apprehension? A not unnatural need to have it start because until it did, it couldn’t end? Who cared? The result was what mattered.

“You moved from where I placed you. That’s not acceptable.”

“I’m –”

“Talking isn’t either. Please do as you’re told.”

He watched the shudder travel from shoulders to backside as his words, cool and mild, had their effect, and wished, with a true, pure regret, that he dared risk stripping him. Not completely; that wasn’t necessary at all. The indignity of trousers pooled and tangled around ankles, of a shirt tucked up so that the bare, exposed flesh felt that much cooler by comparison – for a short while at least – the shifting, soft, irregular caress of cloth against thighs and cock; again, such an interesting contrast with what was happening elsewhere ...Couldn’t be done, not here in the library with the inconvenient swing doors...

He rested his hand against the bared, bowed neck and gripped it loosely. “Come with me.”

Not allowing Xander to straighten, he walked towards his office, pushing the door open and thrusting him through. Once the door was locked, a certain tension left him. He spared Xander a sideways glance as he cleared his desk with a brisk efficiency and saw that the same couldn’t be said for the boy. Xander was trembling visibly, his eyes wide and his lips parted. He looked terrified but Giles didn’t need to let his gaze travel anywhere past that mouth to know how hard he was. Teeth on lower lip, digging in, tongue following them, soothing the damaged flesh in an unconscious rehearsal of what was to come...

Xander wanted to belong, wanted to be Mercury, not Pluto, to the Slayer’s sun. That came at a price, as they both knew, but Giles didn’t care much about that at the moment. His Slayer would most likely be dead in a few years; what Xander had caused with his spell had come so close to robbing her of that brief span...and once she was gone, Giles knew his time in the sun would be over too. The shadows that knowledge cast were long enough to swallow one stupid, thoughtless boy, to engulf him in their darkness. If Xander had offered himself up because he cared, well, Giles, in this mood, couldn’t find it in him to return the favour.

Giles lifted the ruler he used from the desk and showed it to Xander silently, holding it out in clear view. It lay balanced on his palm, smooth oak, notched with measurements that meant nothing in this context. Inches and feet to measure an undetermined number of blows, a far from infinite but wide range of moans and mewling gasps? Hardly.

Giles stepped back and nodded towards the desk, not taking his eyes off Xander as he shuffled forward, face suffused with heat, eyes wild and scared. He waited until Xander had leaned forward, awkwardly bracing himself, the desk cutting into his thighs, and pursed his lips. Did he want to touch Xander even for the scant moments it would take to pull down jeans and shorts? Risk a misunderstanding as to his intentions?  Present intentions that was...When anger and fear – yes, he’d been afraid, and that rankled – had died away, in a day or two, he rather thought Xander might find himself in exactly that position again because really, Giles didn’t see why he should deny himself the pleasure of fucking him while the bruises still dappled his skin. Xander would understand completely, he felt sure. Life was short. Gather ye rosebuds...and that image, linked with his previous thoughts, was enough to make Giles’ lips twitch in a cleansing flood of unholy amusement, wiping away the need for revenge. Because really, he liked the lad, he really did.



“You’re a fool.”

“I know. I’m sorr-”

“And I doubt beating your arse will change that.”

“So...we’re good then? I can just...go?”

Hopes rising or dashed? Giles didn’t really care. Moving swiftly, he slammed his hand down in the middle of Xander’s back, as the boy began to rise – breaking position again for God’s sake - pinning him firmly as his other hand darted busily here and there.

“Oh, no, I don’t think so, do you?”

The lad had enough sense not to answer that. Giles stepped back, admired the view with an appraising, cheerfully lustful eye and reflected that really, it was better this way.

He might have hurt Xander if he’d done this in a temper, after all. He brought the ruler down, pausing its air-cleaving slice at the last moment so it tapped gently against the rounded skin, bringing it back up and down in one swift, merciless strike before Xander had time to process the surprised relief that had followed that diversionary, cruel tap. Xander grunted; an appalled, disbelieving sound as the pain sunk in, bit deep, flamed out. Giles sighed. The second stroke would hurt more, the third even more...but nothing marked as well as the first blow.

As he raised his arm again, he wondered idly how many strokes it would take to bring Xander to the verge of coming, and if he should let him.

Seven, as it happened...and he didn’t. He’d wanted to give him ten at least. Xander had let him down a second time.

For some reason that thought made Giles smile.

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