Grateful thanks to mahaliem and green_luv for being my beta readers.
Giles pressed the intercom, rubbing at his tired eyes. “Miss Strickley? I’m ready to see the final applicant. Oh, and you might as well call it a night. We seem to be running rather late. Again.”
She was probably out of the door before the applicant had got to his feet, Giles reflected, knowing that she would have to be replaced. Hers wasn’t the sort of job that came with regular hours and she wasn’t fitting in.
He arranged a polite smile on his face and stood to welcome the final would-be researcher for the newly reformed Watchers Council.
“Hello, Ripper,” said Ethan, standing in the doorway, a familiar smile curving his lips.
Giles sank back in his chair. “Oh, that’s all I bloody need.”
“I am? So the job’s mine then? Saves all the boring interview questions and we can push off to the pub.”
Giles did the most irritating thing possible and said nothing. Ethan studied him for a moment and then nodded slowly. “Still saving your grudge for a rainy day? Not like you, old friend.”
Giles rolled his eyes. “I’ve had more important things than you to think about, Ethan. I can honestly say that after you got carted off by the soldiers I never once – how did you escape anyway?”
Ethan smiled, perching himself on the corner of the cluttered desk, looking down at Giles with amusement brightening his dull eyes. “Would you be terribly surprised to discover that the man in charge turned out to be an acolyte of Chaos? I outranked him as it happens and he arranged my early release and a hefty compensation too.”
Giles pursed his lips reflectively, “No. It doesn’t surprise me at all. The Initiative soldiers were shortsighted, incompetent fools and Chaos tends to appeal to people like that. None of which explains your presence here and you know, unless you do, and quickly too, I’m going to get rather...unpredictable.”
Ethan shrugged. “The money’s long gone, you changed the demon world with your little landslide – and that’s a story I really want to hear – and I’m looking for work. I want back in, Rupert. You know I can do the job. Think of it – us working side by side again, just like the old –”
Giles interrupted him, choosing his words carefully. Ethan had only been in the room for a few minutes and Giles already felt angry, aroused and alive, his tiredness forgotten. “’Side by side’? Not really. Your position would be...beneath me, considerably so. I’m in charge here. Or had you forgotten that?”
Their eyes met and a thousand words became unnecessary, irrelevant as they slipped easily into roles they’d learned by heart in the past. Giles wondered if the flash of savage anticipation he saw on Ethan’s face was mirrored on his own. Probably. He waited, feeling the tension build as Ethan studied his face, looking for a clue, a hint as to how Giles wanted this to play out. Giles let his gaze wander down Ethan’s body, openly assessing it and then moved his head, just slightly. That was all it took.
Ethan walked around the desk, moving with an angular grace, and stood waiting, eyes lowered, lips parted slightly. Giles pushed his chair away from the desk and swiveled it to face him. “Very well. You may consider your interview to have begun.”
Ethan fell to his knees and reached for the zipper on Giles’ trousers. A hand smacked against his wrist, the fingers curling around it and digging in painfully. “Have you forgotten that much?”
Ethan drew in a shaky breath and bit his lip, raising his eyes to meet Giles’. “Please...” he murmured. “Let me show you how well I can perform.”
Giles shook his head. “Spare me the ritual,” he said quietly. “That was always more your style. I don’t need it.” He savoured the look of confusion that made Ethan’s face look suddenly vulnerable and then, still in a soft, level tone, said, “Hands behind your back, wrists crossed. Don’t break position.”
When Ethan had obeyed, Giles casually undid his trousers enough to release his cock, already hard, as it had been since Ethan’s first words of greeting.
As Ethan watched, he gripped the base of his erection, enjoying the mild thrill from the familiar action in the unusual surroundings. His other hand went out and curved around the back of Ethan’s neck, pulling his head down in one firm, strong movement, keeping his hand there; controlling or comforting, the interpretation was Ethan’s to make.
He kept the touch light after that, signaling to Ethan that it was up to him to use his imagination. He wondered if he still did that thing – oh, God, yes he did. Ethan had delighted in using feathery, teasing, unexpected brushes of his tongue and fingers for long minutes until Giles had been unable to keep still, hips jerking upwards or backside frantically grinding into the mattress, futilely trying to escape...but he had always begun by taking in the length of his partner’s cock in one rushing, tantalisingly swift swallow, making sure that Giles knew just what he was being denied as the torment spun out.
That was a different game though, different rules, and Giles wasn’t surprised that Ethan contented himself with a series of flickering licks after that first comprehensive taste, exploring, getting reacquainted with his body.
Giles sighed, relaxing back in his chair as Ethan’s mouth moved on him, anticipating the moments when Ethan’s tongue would flash across the head of his cock, stimulating it in a burst of sensation before the relentlessly strong lips locked tight around him again. He had missed this. That was his last coherent thought because Ethan decided it was time to add some pain to the mix, letting his teeth bite in gently as he pulled up and then sank back down. Giles cried out, feeling Ethan’s lips twitch in a triumphant smile. He grabbed Ethan’s head with both hands and then, standing up, rammed forward into the wet, hungry mouth in front of him, fucking it hard, seethingly aware that Ethan had won this round and then not caring about that as he began to come, spilling into another body, for the first time in far too long.
He made Ethan choke, made him gag, and took pleasure in the small victory. Ethan used to boast in the pub that he never spilled a drop, with Giles smiling, knowing that he didn’t just mean the pint of bitter he was tipping effortlessly down his throat without pausing for breath.
Giles stepped back, the zipper going back up, his public face firmly in place. With a nod he released Ethan from his position, watching him as he stood, his own erection visible through his clothing, and looked expectantly at Giles.
“The position is filled,” Giles said abruptly, tired of the games. “A protégé of Wesley’s. The interviews were for appearance’s sake.”
Ethan let his emotions show to the extent of a twisted, cynical smile. “Nice one, Ripper. I suppose we’re even then.”
Without waiting for an answer, he turned away. As he reached the door, Giles put his hand on his shoulder, halting him. “I need a replacement office manager though.”
“You want me to take over from the dimwit on the desk?”
“Would I have to call you ‘sir’?”
Giles pulled him around into his arms and kissed him briefly, just long enough to feel Ethan’s lips part under his. “Only in private. Come on. Got a spare bedroom you can use.”
“To sleep in?”
As they left, Giles made a bet with himself.
He won. Ethan left town without a word before Miss Strickley had even worked out her notice.
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