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Part Eight

Here's a new Navigating story. I tried writing first person again but this time
from William's pov. Thank you Natasha for betaing for me.

Pairing: Reed/William
Implements: hand
Type: slash
Series: Navigating the World and Relationships

Part 8

The bus was noisy and crowded. I'd asked the bus driver to announce my stop but
it was so noisy I couldn't hear him. I didn't know if the ride felt so long
because I'd missed my stop or if I was just anxious to get home. Reed and I had
been living together for a week now, and I wanted to prove to him that I
wouldn't be a burden. I was planning to make dinner for him tonight, a way to
prove to him that he wasn't going to have to take care of me. Reed had helped
me so much when I had moved into his apartment. I had packed everything in the
boxes that Chase had brought from work, but I needed help to move the furniture.
Reed called a few of his friends to move the desk, sofa, and end tables to his
apartment. Reed's sofa went the way of Goodwill as it had been a hand me down
from his older brother. This week had flown by with organizing the apartment;
we had ordered out or had sandwiches, so I wanted to cook a dinner for Reed.
Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer and turned to the man sitting next to

"Excuse me, but could you tell me what street we're on?"

"The next stop is Elm and First," the man said.

Damn it. I'd missed my stop. I'd have to get off at First and back track. The
intersection at First was not one of my favorites. It was what an O&M would
call an uncontrolled crossing, and it was a curved road. I couldn't hear the
traffic well, and on a Friday night, drivers were always in a hurry to get home.
I heard brakes squeal and someone yell, but I did make it across the street. I
was tense and angry by the time I arrived at the apartment.

"Reed? Reed, are you home?"

Good, Reed wasn't home yet. I hurried into the kitchen; I placed the chicken
into a frying pan and felt around the refrigerator trying to find the vegetables
I needed. I could make a casserole, get it in the oven, and then take a shower.
By the time Reed walked in the door, I would be all right. I would be a loving,
capable partner. I would not be some needy person depending on Reed to take care
of me.

"Hello, William, you home?" I heard Reed call out. Damn it! He could have been a
few minutes late! And he could have had canned potatoes instead of the fresh
ones that needed peeling!

"In here," I tried to keep my voice calm.

"Hey, what are you doing?" Reed asked, kissing me on my neck.

"I thought I would make dinner tonight."

"Here let me peel those for you. What are you making?"

"No! I don't need your help."

"Hey, tone."

I stopped a moment and took a deep breath. Damn it! I didn't want Reed to help
me make dinner. I wanted to do it myself, not have Reed do it. It wouldn't be
special if he had to help.

"Sorry, just I have everything where I need it."

"I can peel the potatoes. Is that chicken on the stove?"

Damn, the chicken! I reached to grab the frying pan and misjudged the distance.
It crashed to the floor. Then flew God only knows where I as kicked at it.

"Hey!" Reed said sternly. I felt his hand on my arm. He turned me and "whap"
his other hand landed on my behind. I went where he steered me and stopped at
what had become my corner.

"Stand here."

When Reed had first brought up standing in a corner, I'd thought it was beyond
ridiculous. What possible good could it do me? It wasn't like I could see the
paintwork, which Chase assured me was impossibly boring. I'd only been sent
there a few time, but much to my surprise and chagrin it had helped. Tonight was
no different. I could hear him sit down on the sofa in the living room and the
familiar noise of the TV new's anchorwoman droning on about the latest city
budget crisis.

"I turned the stove off. When you have calmed down, you can go clean up the mess
you made."

"I'm calm." I cringed as I heard how that came out. "I am."

"You don't sound it. Stand there a little longer and calm down; the mess you
made isn't going anywhere."

As I stood in my corner, I couldn't help thinking of Reed's steady composure. He
had a maniac snapping at him and kicking cookware around, yet he sounded as if
he didn't have a care in the world. I loved the timbre of his voice. His quiet
words flowed over me, soothing my heart and soul.

"Are you ready to clean up your mess?" Reed asked

"Yes," I replied. "Sorry."

"We'll talk about it after you clean up the mess you made."

I could feel Reed's presence as I awkwardly knelt on the floor. I was using my
hands in a sweeping motion, trying to feel for the chicken. As my hand slid
along the floor, I felt the potato peelings that I'd dropped. I felt humiliated.
Reed had seen the peelings. I had so wanted to show him that living with me
wouldn't be a burden, but all I had done was shown him the opposite.

"This is a mistake," I was startled to hear my voice that was supposed to be in
my head.

"Everyone makes mistakes; you just have to learn from them."
He'd agreed this was a mistake! Now what would I do? I'd let the lease go on my
apartment. I could get another, but not on a Friday night.

"I'll have to stay the weekend. I can't get a new place on a weekend, but by
Monday afternoon, I'll have one." I told him. I felt the tears starting to burn
my eyes. I had to get out of here before I made an even bigger fool of myself. 
I stood up and tried to rush to the corner of the kitchen where I'd left my
cane. I ran straight into Reed.

"Hey, stop a minute." I felt Reed's arms close around me. "I'm missing
something, here. What do you think is a mistake?"

"Everything," I choked out. I could feel the tears start to fall as Reed's arms
tightened even more. Reed pulled me with him into the living room. He dragged me
down onto the sofa, forcing me onto his lap.

I thought of pulling away, but my body curled into his lap. The tears poured
down my face. Instinctively, I wrapped my arms around him.

"OK, William. You're OK. Let's just sit here."

Finally my tears stopped, but I still didn't move. I loved how solid Reed felt,
like I was safe from everything. I didn't want to lose that feeling. I felt the
rumbling of his voice as he talked to me.

"You want to tell me what's going on inside that beautiful head of yours?" he


"I guess, I asked for that. Let me rephrase it. TELL me what this is all about."

"You want me to move out."

"What? No, I don't, you just moved in. What would make you say that?"

"I said this was a mistake and you agreed."

"Kicking the pan was a mistake, a temper tantrum. Not you moving in. Is that
what you meant when you said this was a mistake? Why would you think moving in
here was a mistake?"

"I don't want to be a burden. I don't want you thinking you have to take care of

"William, I want to take care of you. I like taking care of you. Remember, we
talked about how I'm a top. I like having control, taking care of you."

"But I don't want you to think I'm disabled. I'm not. I've lived on my own for
seven years. I wanted you to see me as a man, as an equal; even though I'm

"William, the only one who keeps bringing up the blind card is you. I don't
think you're disabled. If you don't think I'm treating you as a man, I'm not
doing something right in the bedroom."

"No, the bedroom activities are fine," I felt myself blush. They were fine,
better than fine. I'd had one serious boyfriend in college. We never got as far
as penetration. Reed had been so gentle and loving the first time he had
penetrated me. I felt such completeness that first time and every time since
then. No, the bedroom activities were better than fine.

"It's not you, Reed. It's me. I just wanted to fix you a dinner. Show you that I
can be a help to you. But everything went wrong."

"Tell me what went wrong. You seemed to be doing OK when I got home."

"I didn't hear my bus stop called, so I had to cross at First and Elm. You know
what that intersection is like. The potatoes are fresh. You saw the peelings on
the floor and didn't even tell me I was making a mess," I said.

"Do not raise your voice to me; talk to me."

"Sorry. I wanted to make your dinner, to show you that I wasn't some helpless
person, that you didn't have to take care of me."

"William, you are a smart, capable man. You have a career that requires a lot
from you. But here in this apartment, you can let all that go. You can lean on
me; let me take care of you. That's part of being a brat. It's OK to need me. 
I need you to need me. It's a two way street here. We both get what we need,
and no one will judge us. This is just between us and fills a need that each of
us has. I want and need to have some control over you, to take care of you, and
yes, to punish you when you push those boundaries that we've agreed upon. Do you

I did understand. I wanted that, but I didn't want him to think he had to take
care of me.

"I know it in my heart, but in my head I think I have to show you how capable I
am," I told him.

"I think I know what you're saying. William, we are both new to this, but I
need you to trust me. Can you try to do that?"

"I do trust you. I told you that!" I yelled.

"Tone. The conference is in four weeks. For those weeks, I want you to focus on
your new position at work. At home, I want you to give into those wants and
needs. You have to let me be in control. I'm not trying to take away your
independence. I'm trying to help you."

"I'll try, but what if I slip up?"

"I'll be here to remind you. That's what I want you to know. That I'm here for
you, and you're here for me."

I could feel the tension flow out of me. This was what I wanted. The ability
to let go and have someone there to catch me. I didn't know why I was getting
so upset in the first place.

"I'm trying. Why am I such a mess? I should be able to do this." I hunched my
shoulders and tried to keep my voice steady. I wanted to be an adult, but I also
wanted to throw myself at Reed and pour out all my inadequacies.

"You are stressed over all the changes. You've moved in with a new partner, a
top, and you are starting a new career. You have a lot to be stressed over. But
my job is to make life easier on you. You need to talk to me, tell me when you
are getting stressed. It's OK, everyone does."

"I will. I promise."

"Great, then all we have to do is take care of your little tantrum tonight. I'm
going to spank you. That is one of our boundaries. When you place yourself in
danger, you get spanked."

"But I didn't! I crossed the street safely," I protested.

"If you had talked to me about feeling like a burden, you would have been paying
attention to the bus driver. You wouldn't have had to cross at that
intersection. You also wouldn't have missed the pan on the stove. You could
have been burned."

Yes, I understood it, but I didn't want to tell him that. He'd only spanked me
one time before, and that time I'd had a few hours to prepare myself.

"Come on; let's get it over with. You'll feel better."

Feel better? I had no idea what he was talking about. How would I feel better
with a sore butt? He had spanked me before, and I remembered my butt hurting
every time I sat down that evening.
I felt myself being turned from on his lap to over his lap. I didn't protest or
wiggle too much, after all I deserved this. Reed unbuttoned my pants, and all
too soon I could feel a cold breeze over my bared rear end.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! He was not wasting any time; his hand kept raining down. The
tears that had dried while we were talking were now falling freely again. Yes,
it hurt, but they also felt like tears of relief.

That thought kept going through my mind. Why would I feel relieved? Why was the
tension flowing out of me with each swat of his hand. The hand that was
lighting a fire on my butt, also felt like it was wiping the stress and the
panic that I had been feeling away. Soon, my body was lying limply over his
lap, his hand slapping down, reminding me in some odd way that he was still

The hand finally stopped and became a comfort as it stroked and soothed the fire
it had started. Reed didn't demand that I sit up; he let me lay there and sob. 
After a while, I became aware of the cool breeze reminding me that my pants were
still around my ankles. Reed helped me straighten out my clothes, but pulled me
back on his lap. Again, I curled into that lap and laid my head on his chest. 
We stayed like that for a long time. I felt better. I should have felt squashed
and demoralized, not calmer. I'd just let this man spank me and scold me. I
wasn't a child; I was an independent man. I shouldn't want this. But no, all I
wanted to do was curl up against him and feel protected and loved.

Finally Reed shifted me, and I heard him puttering in the kitchen: the crinkle
of the bread wrapper, the sound of drawers sliding open, the clatter of knives
on the counter. He came back in with sandwiches and milk. It wasn't the
casserole, but that didn't matter. We ate together, sharing our plates on the
sofa. He ate my pickle, and I ate his chips. At least for tonight, I felt like
his. I drank the last of my milk and snuggled up against his chest. Even with
the spanking, it was a good night.


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