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The library at night was more ominous then Joyce expected. It was dark and shadowy, lit only by the glow coming from Mr. Giles’ inner office. Glancing at her watch, she frowned and pushed through the swinging double doors. It was a little after eleven, Buffy should have been home over an hour ago.

She tried to be grateful that the British librarian put in so many extra hours helping Buffy study. But it wasn’t as if her grades were improving because of it. To be truthful, Joyce wondered at the older man’s intentions.

“Buffy?” Joyce called, more softly than she had intended. Maybe she could catch them in the act of something and confirm her suspicions. Quietly, she tiptoed towards the partially open office door. Sticking her head in, she saw them and her resolve softened. They were on the sofa, Buffy curled into his side, her upper body against his broad chest. She was sound asleep, her fingers curled into the vee of his sweater vest. He had a book on his lap and his glasses were sliding down his nose. He too was asleep. He must have been reading to her. The picture was sweet, too sweet for her to be angry. While they were close, and obviously comfortable with each other, it didn’t look inappropriate.

She backtracked to the doors and came in again, more loudly this time.

“Buffy?! Mr. Giles?” She called, her heels clicking on the tiled floor. She pushed on the door. “There you are.” Buffy was rubbing her face, Giles already standing up, the book fallen to the floor at his feet.

“Mrs. Summers.” He greeted, somewhat awkwardly.

“Buffy, you said you would be home by ten.” she scolded. “I was worried!”

“What time-?”

“11:15.” Giles supplied, glancing at his watch.

“Mom, you shouldn’t be out this late, it’s not safe.” she said, standing. “Giles was reading, I guess we got distracted.” she offered to her mother’s stern expression.

“Just try to be more responsible, for my sake. You could have been wandering the streets for all I knew.” her mother said, missing their guilty expressions. “Get your things.”

“Bye Giles, thanks for the help.”

“See you tomorrow.” he said, his head low to Joyce’s questioning glare. Tomorrow was Saturday, after all.

In the hall, Buffy stopped her mother.

“I left my jacket. Don’t go outside without me.” she ordered and jogged back to the library. He was standing in his office, holding the jacket, waiting for her.

“How careless of you.” he smirked.

“Oh, Mr. Librarian, how ever can I thank you?” she said in an innocent, breathy voice. She grabbed the jacket and brought her lips to his. He kissed her hungrily but all too soon she pulled away. “I gotta go.” she pouted.

“Be on time tomorrow, perhaps.” he suggested.

“Yay for studying!” she cried and her shout filtered down the hall to Joyce. Her mother frowned. Now she was SURE something was going on.
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