Willow glanced at the closed door of Giles' office and sighed. Nothing was going the way she'd planned it. She'd done everything she could think of to make sure that when she got here that door would be open. And instead it was tightly closed and, as sure as she was pacing the Hellmouth, it was locked tight.
Which meant that Jenny was in there with him.
She sighed. It wasn't that she didn't like Miss Calendar. She did. She liked her a lot. She looked up to her. She tried to be more like her. And, more than anything, she was jealous of her.
Jenny had Giles.
And Willow wanted him.
The lock clicked and the door swung open. Willow turned to watch as Giles' head bent, his lips brushing across Jenny's as she started to make her way out. Her heart hurt at the sight, so comfortable, so casual with one another. For an instant, she wondered if they'd progressed any farther in their relationship, then hated herself for the thought.
Now the image of Giles, bathed in candlelight, completely nude and slightly sweaty was burned into her mind. "Great," she sighed.
Jenny looked away from Giles and smiled in Willow's direction. "Hi, Willow. What brings you back here?"
"Giles." Whoops. "I mean, Giles was helping me on my magic this afternoon and I had some more questions that I needed answers to." She took a deep breath. "And so here I am. At the library. Where Giles is. Hi Giles."
"Hello Willow," he chuckled. "Let me get the book." He bent his head and placed a kiss on Jenny's nose. "I'll see you tonight?"
"Barring any world-ending, cataclysmic prophecy, of course," She laughed.
"Of course. Or any other life-threatening things. Such as teen-aged angst."
Willow felt that sentence like a blow to her stomach. Teenager. That's all Giles saw her as. That's all he'd ever see. That's what she was in his eyes. "You know, if you guys have plans, I could come back later and not disturb you. During your plans or anything."
"That's all right, Willow. Although it's appreciated." Jenny moved away from Giles, walking toward the door, much to Willow's relief. "I've got a class. And Rupert has you."
A sweet ache started in Willow's chest. If only that statement were true. "I'll see you later, then."
"You will," Jenny nodded and blew a kiss in Giles' direction. "Later, England."
He stared after her, deliberately keeping his eyes on her retreating figure. It was difficult, knowing that Willow was watching him all the while.
Willow. Whom he loved and, who he was sure was in love with him. Something in her eyes, in the way she watched him. Something in the possessive way she stayed near him. Something in the way she glared at Jenny's back as she left the room.
"Well then, shall we get to work?" Giles asked as the door shut behind Jenny. He turned toward Willow, more quickly than she anticipated, catching the hurt look on her face. "Willow?"
He moved to her side, tilting her head up so that he could look down into the clear, green eyes. Willow caught her breath at his touch, wanting to push herself up onto her toes and press her lips to his. The desire was growing, her eyes locked on his mouth, her tongue darting out to wet her lips as the need swirled around in her mind.
Giles felt as though his chest was being crushed. His heart was hammering, his breath was short. All because he was staring down at her, seeing the need and desire, the want and the love, in her eyes. He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to lower his lips to hers and capture her mouth, devour her, taste her, make her his.
But he knew that he couldn't. He knew that one touch would never be enough and he would regret the day…or she would.
He released her chin and stepped away, struggling for air. "You're all right?"
"Fine," she whispered, tears filling her eyes as she realized she'd missed her chance yet again.
Cursing himself, Giles took her arm. "Why don't you come into my office? I think we should have a talk."
She nodded, focusing on the feel of his hand on her arm, the warmth that encircled her. They walked into the office and he shut the door behind them, locking it as well. A brief grin lit Willow's face as she realized she was now in Jenny's domain. It faded, however, when she looked over at him, leaning against his desk, his arms crossed over his chest.
She nodded and sat opposite him on the low couch. "What did I do this time?"
"Nothing." Giles admitted. "I just think that we're treading on very thin ice and we'd best get back to dry land."
"I'm not following you," she hedged.
Squatting down so that he was looking into her eyes, Giles stared down at his hands. "I've been forced to realize that you have feelings for me, Willow. It's becoming more and more obvious, especially as I spend time with Jenny."
"And I want you to know that, while they're appreciated…"
"Appreciated?" She laughed sadly. "While you're flattered? While it's nice to know that a young *teenager* might find you attractive, it's only fair that you tell me that I'm wasting my time?" She stood up and started for the door. "I've got the message."
"It couldn't work."
She stopped, turning slowly. "What?"
"It could never work. You've your whole life ahead of you. I'm an old man by your standards…by society's standards. And, while we both might wish that we could explore whatever this is building between us, it's simply not possible."
"We both might…?"
"Willow," he straightened and walked to her side. Standing next to her, the heat from his body warming her, he reached out slowly and stroked her soft hair. "What you want is unethical, dangerous and more than slightly illegal. Besides, you have Oz, don't you?"
"He's not you," she whispered.
"Nor is Jenny you. But she is an important part of my life, just as Oz is in yours." His hand tangled in her hair and he turned her to face him. "I might wonder for the rest of my life what might have been, Willow. But I'm afraid neither of us can afford to pay the cost for finding out."
"You…you want me?"
He chuckled, the hand in her hair tightening slightly. "An understatement, if I've ever heard one. But what I feel for you…I still have feelings for Jenny. Far less complicated ones."
He touched her bottom lip with the ball of his thumb and parted her lips. "I need something simple in my life, Willow. Do you understand?"
She nodded, her gaze locked on his as his head moved slightly and his lips brushed against hers. When he pulled back, she was breathless, despite the brevity of the kiss. "You'll…you'll let me know if you need some complications?"
He nodded as well, stepping back before the need to kiss her again became overwhelming. "The very second the need arises."
She smiled, her green eyes sparkling. "You think you'll need complications somewhere down the line?"
"On the Hellmouth?" He asked with a smile. "I'd go so far as to guarantee it."
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