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Sunday, January 3, 2016

TLR Chapter 46

At 7:30 pm Harry had just finished his loop around the dog park and was heading back toward the lodge when he spotted Ryan slowly walking along the path.  He pulled up next to the younger guard.  "Hi Ry, how're you doin'?  Aren't you supposed to be home with your man? Harry asked.

Ryan looked up at Harry. "Yeah, I'm supposed to be home, but I'm takin' my time gettin' there."

"Takin' your time?  Does he know where you are? Won't he be worried?" Harry asked.  He knew that if it had been him just wandering, that Brody would be worried sick about him.  "Somethin' wrong, Ry? Want to talk?" he asked.

Ryan pouted and grumbled. "Coral grounded me just because I was late gettin' back from work the other mornin’. I ran into Cary and we talked and I lost track of the time. Have you ever been grounded? It sucks." Ryan griped.

"Um, no." Harry replied quietly.  "What... what's it like?  I mean," he shrugged, "How does he do that?"

Ryan scowled. "Well, when you get grounded you can't go anywhere or do anythin' but go to and from work. Anywhere I go Coral has to come with me. I can't visit with any of my friends and they can't come visit me either." He explained.

"That sounds terrible.  But... now you're out by yourself. Ain't he gonna get upset if you don't go straight home?  I mean, there's worse things than groundin'.”

Ryan bit his lip at Harry's words about worse things. "I'll get there soon enough." He told Harry.

"I'd head straight home if I were you." Harry replied.  He shook his head trying to understand Ryan's logic.  "Honestly, Ry, what's goin' through your head right now? Why risk gettin' Coral mad at you for breakin' your groundin'?"

Ryan said, "I don’t like Coral to be mad at me. I’ll get back in enough time so he won't get mad."

"I'd still go straight home if it was me." Harry maintained.  "But... I'm curious.  What sorts of things do you do that get you in trouble?"

Ryan looked at Harry. "Well the things I can get into trouble for are making messes and not cleannin' them up, not keepin' my room clean or changin' my bed regularly, not doin' things the way Coral shows me and procrastinatin', tellin' him I'll do whatever it is he tells me later because I'm in the middle of a video game or somethin’ I want to do instead. When I get into trouble I like the cuddles and sometimes the love makin' afterward when it's all been forgiven. When Coral holds me I feel safe and secure."  Ryan told Harry. "It lets me know I'm loved and that someone cares enough to rein me in from my bad decisions, habits or poor behavior."  Ryan looked at Harry. "Like the first time I had a bad cravin' and sneaked out to the bar at the lodge and began to drink. Both Duke and Coral showed me how much they cared for me and loved me by rescuing me from myself although the spankin' I got hurt lots."

Harry nodded thoughtfully.  "Yeah, I like that Brody takes good care of me too, afterward. I feel the same way.  But are you tryin' to get into trouble?  I only got spanked once and I don't really want it to happen again, if I can avoid it." 

Ryan nodded. “I can understand that. Sometimes when I'm not sure how somethin' is done I'll act like I have absolutely no idea about it, like when Coral asked me to iron things. I'd never done it myself, but I'd seen my mom do it and I asked him if I was supposed to put somethin' iron on top of the clothes. You should have seen his face." Ryan grinned. "He couldn’t get me away from that fast enough. He showed me how when he got back from gettin' groceries. The same thing when he was tryin' to show me how to fold the clothes.  I fold them a bit differently, but mostly when I was livin' alone I didn't bother and balled things up and shoved them in a drawer."

Harry looked at Ryan in amazement. "You got away with that?"

Ryan said, "Well, I didn't exactly get away with it, I did have to do the things, but doing them together brought us closer together.” Ryan chuckled. "It made him think I needed him and it was more fun to do the things together."

Harry looked at Ryan with a bit of interest now. "I usually do as Brody asks me and in a timely way." He was thinking that if he didn't though that perhaps Brody would feel needed if he tried some of those things.

Harry asked as a thought hit him.  "Ry, you don't... like gettin' spanked, do you?"

Ryan looked at Harry and shook his head. "No, I don't like getting’ spanked at all and I don’t deliberately get into trouble, I just have a habit of not thinkin' before I act. Sometimes Coral will tell me no and I'll argue with him because I want it my way.  I don't realize that Coral has my best interests in mind until a swat on the backside reminds me of that.  I'd never do anythin' to deliberately anger or hurt Coral."

"Um, I guess." Harry replied uncertainly.  "When Brody tells me to get home at a certain time I make sure I'm there. I don't want to worry him.  And uh... how much time've we been sittin' here talkin'?  Am I gonna make you late? I don't want Coral mad at me either."

Ryan said, “Coral won’t be mad at you, he’d say it’s my responsibility to get home on time.”

"Then why're you takin' your time gettin' home this mornin’?  Ain't you worried that he's gonna get mad."  He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the steering wheel.  Ryan was something of an enigma to him right now.  He couldn't understand why Ryan was doing something that was likely going to get him into trouble with Coral once he got home.

Ryan shook his head. "No, I’m not worried. Coral doesn't want me in trouble any more than I want to be and he knows me well enough to make sure I don't get into trouble when I'm given a consequence. He gives me fifteen minutes to make it home when he knows it takes only ten. He knows me and that I'm reluctant to be grounded, so he fits the time to me, if you understand."  Then Ryan said, "I don't take advantage of it either, I don't deliberately try to push the limit."

Harry nodded in understanding.  "Yeah, I can see how that would work.  I wonder if I should try that with Brody?" He wondered aloud.

Ryan smiled at Harry. "When I end up in trouble Coral shows me how much he loves me by correctin' me. It helps him because he knows I need him to keep me out of trouble and even though I don't like the consequences I do like that he needs me."

Harry raised his eyebrows, uncertain of Ryan's logic.  "So... he likes it when you disobey him?  It makes him feel useful or somethin'?  I'm sorry, Ry. I just don't get it, I guess."

Ryan said, "When Coral has to correct me it brings us closer together. I don't like bein' corrected, but when I'm forgiven and it's over it feels good between us. I know that I have a quick temper and trust that Coral will be there when I need him to rein me in.  After I've done somethin' I shouldn't I get anxious about what's going to happen, but Coral always explains things to me and then we get whatever the consequence is over with, but it always brings us closer together. The more I understand about Coral and our relationship the closer we get.  We complete each other and well, sometimes it's even fun."

"Being with Coral has been an adventure...I don't understand things a lot of the time and when I mess up he helps me to understand. Like when he was trying to teach me to do the laundry and bought me Tide pods. I didn't know what they were and asked him if they were something we did at the ocean. He laughed and explained to me what they were and what they were used for."

Harry grinned and suppressed a laugh.  It did sound pretty funny the way Ryan explained it.  "I already know how to do laundry though," he replied.  "Been doin' it a long time now."

Harry frowned in thought he didn't want to make the young man any later than he already was.  But he couldn't help but to wonder if he wasn't doing right by Brody, by not acting out a little more.  But he also didn't want another spanking or to be grounded.  He pondered what sorts of things he could do to make Brody feel more needed.

"Well it was nice talkin' to ya, Ry. Good luck at home."  The older man said as he eased the cart along the path again.

Harry was worried about Ryan being late but he couldn't contain his curiosity about what sorts of things Ryan did that made Coral feel needed.  He turned the cart around and drove back up to Ryan, preparing to ask him what he might be able to do to make Brody feel more needed and appreciated, when Coral strode up toward them.  The man did not look angry but it was often hard to tell with Coral who usually wore a very placid expression.

Ryan's green eyes widened as he saw Coral heading his way. "Umm...hello Coral."

"Ryan, nice to see you. Would you like to tell me where you've been for the past 45 minutes?" The large man asked as though just passing the time of day.

"Hi Coral," Harry said cordially.  "I'm sorry, it was my fault. I got to talkin' and wouldn't shut up, I guess," he said, trying to cover for Ryan so that Coral wouldn't be too angry with him.

"Your phone isn't turned on, it goes straight to voicemail." Coral added.  "Would you like to explain that as well?"

Ryan squirmed nervously. "Yes Coral, I was headin' home when Harry came up and we started talkin'.”

"Be that as it may, you still have a functioning watch and you were supposed to be home a minimum of a half hour ago. This is the same thing that happened the other morning that got you into trouble in the first place.  I doubt that you tied him up and prevented him from getting home on time, Harry?" Coral asked, still with that placid expression that made Harry a little nervous.

"I suggest that we go home now, Ryan.  Harry, it was nice to see you." Coral said as he took Ryan by the arm and led him away.

Ryan bit his lip as Coral led him away. "How much trouble am I in?"

"Obviously grounding you wasn't enough to get it through your head that when I say to be home by a certain time, I mean it. Add to that the fact that you had your phone turned off so that I couldn't contact you.  How much trouble do you think you're in?" Coral asked, finally turning toward Ryan with an irritated expression.

Ryan bit his lip and said quietly, "Lots."

"We have rules, and phones, for a reason. Since you don't seem able to remember either I'm going to have to find another way to impress the importance of them on you."

"Let's get going. Breakfast is most likely cold by now. We'll decide which order to go in once we get home.  Cold breakfast and then a hot backside or visa versa."

Ryan bit his lip. "Yes Coral." He said and trudged along with him.

As Harry watched Coral and Ry walk away he thought about what the young man had said.  He started off in the golf cart once again and continued on his way. His mind was only half on what he was doing.  Did Coral really feel more needed when Ryan misbehaved? Would Brody feel the same if he did something he shouldn't?


Instead of going home for lunch as he usually did, Harry decided to stop at the lodge for his meal. He turned his phone off and ordered lunch, wondering if he was doing the right thing but also wanting Brody to feel as needed and wanted as Coral apparently did. 

He was lost in thought when Adam and Mutt walked into the lodge for their lunch and saw him.  Mutt frowned and looked around for Brody but there was no sign of him.  He got Adam's attention and nodded toward Harry. The two men approached him with smiles.  "Mind if we join you, Harry?"

Harry looked up in surprise.  “Um, sure, have a seat.”

"Heya Harry.  Where's Brody today?" Mutt asked conversationally as he sat down across from his friend. 

Harry shrugged. "He's at the bungalow I guess."

Adam nudged Mutt over with his hip until Mutt moved over and sat down beside him so that he could also look at Harry.

"Ye guess?" Adam asked with a laugh, thinking that Harry was joking. 

"What happened, Harry?" Mutt asked, concerned.  "You two didn't have a fight, did you?"

Harry shook his head. "No but I was supposed to go home for lunch, but I decided to come here instead."

Adam frowned in thought.  "Without Brody?  That's not like you.  Everythin' ok at home?"

Harry said, "Yes, I just want him to feel needed."

"Huh?" Mutt asked, his eyebrows rising.  "How does blowing Brody off for lunch make him feel needed?"

"Well, if he needs to correct me for somethin' then he'll feel needed and we can grow closer together."

"Well, yeah," Adam said slowly.  "I can see where makin' 'im feel needed is a good thing, and gettin' closer is definitely a good thing, but ye want him to get upset with ye?"

"Well I don't really want him to get upset with me, but if I show him I need his guidance more then he'll feel more needed." Harry tried to explain. "Ryan told me it's the way things work."

Mutt thought about Harry's words for a moment.  "It's always a good thing to make them feel needed, I do that all the time, but not deliberately to where Jeff might wallop me.  So, Brody doesn't know where you are?"

Harry shook his head. "No and I turned off my cell phone too."

Adam laughed.  "Boyo, yer askin' for it but good, aren't ye?  There's lots of other ways ta make Brody feel needed... and ones that won't end up wi' you gettin' yer tail toasted."

Harry looked a bit worried at Adam's words. "What other ways?" He asked.

"I do little things kinda like that, now and again." Adam said.  "Like when I told him I didn't know how to fry chicken.  It ended up wi' Eric takin' time out of his schedule ta give me a cookin' lesson.  Made him feel needed and didn't end up wi' my tail in a sling."

“Yeah,” Mutt added, “I tried to cook something for Jeff and it didn't turn out the way Jeff does it but he was a good sport about it and showed me how he does it.”

"Ryan told me that when he lets Coral help him with things he hasn't ever really done, even though he's seen it done it makes him feel needed. He told me that when Coral wanted him to iron he asked if he should put a piece of iron on top of the clothes. He said I should have seen Coral's face. He wouldn't let him near the clothes until he came back from wherever he'd gone to show him how." Harry grinned at that thought.

Mutt and Adam both laughed at that.  "Leave it to Ry to come up with something that excellent." Mutt said with a grin.

Harry said, "Oh...I guess I didn't do this right. Do you think Brody will really umm...discipline me for this?"

"Not telling him where you are? Turning off your phone? I don't know what kind of Top Brody is but he's not going to be happy.  Yeah, he might feel needed but you might end up needin' a block of ice to sit on if he does get upset enough to whallop you." Mutt replied.  "It's like Ad said, there are lots of other ways to get his attention."

Harry shook his head. "Boy am I dumb...I never thought he'd be that upset...I hope he understands what I was tryin' to do."

"We'll give you a little lesson in Brat 101." Mutt laughed.  "How to make your Top feel needed."

"Tell me some of the other ways that don't get me into trouble."

"Little things like asking for help doing something. Even if you already know how to do it, Brody'll feel that you need him to show you, or help you.  Like when I ask Jeff to help me figure out my phone.  It makes him feel good to help me, and it makes me feel good that he feels good.  Understand?"

Harry nodded, "I think I understand a bit better now, little things, but not major things."

"It's spendin' that one on one time that brings ye closer together, too." Adam continued.

"There was that one time I twisted my ankle on some loose gravel.  It wasn't something I did on purpose, mind you, but Jeff got all protective.  He carried me to see Heath even though I told him that it was just a sprain.  Brody'll probably be the same way.  I'm not sayin' to go out and hurt yourself, but if you do get hurt, even a little bit, don't be afraid to go to Brody with it, and let him take care of you."
"Well," Mutt considered.  "I wouldn't suggest going out and deliberately getting yourself hurt, but if you do happen to get hurt, don't be afraid to go to him with it.  If Brody is anything like Jeff he'll be all over protective of you."

"Asking for help with little things, even though you already know how to do them, like with the chicken and the phone helps with that."

"I think ye'd better turn on your phone and let Brody know yer alright." Adam suggested.

Harry nodded and turned on his phone to call Brody.

Brody grabbed his cell phone on the first ring, "Harry, are you ok?"

Harry said, "Yes, I'm at the lodge havin' lunch with Mutt and Adam."

"Oh I see," Brody all but growled.  "Why didn't you call me and let me know."

He said to Brody, "It's a bit complicated, but I'm sorry Brody. I didn’t' mean to make you worry or mad."

“I'm not mad, Babe but I was worried.  You usually call."

Harry said, "I know and I'm sorry. I'll try not to do that again."

"OK Babe, I guess I'll see you for dinner then," Brody said, then added, "Have fun with the guys."

Harry smiled and said, "Yes, I'll be home for dinner and thanks I plan too."

He said bye to Brody and turned back to the other men at the table. "Thanks, guys. That could have turned ugly." Harry said. "I don't understand why Ryan would tell me to do somethin' like that though, especially if it would've ended up with me in trouble with Brody."

"And as far as Ryan goes," Adam interjected, "There're different kinds of brats, and different kinds of tops.  Ry is what Mutt and I call a fixer upper." He laughed.  "Ry is a high maintenance brat... and I mean really high maintenance.  Take it from maintenance men; we know what we're talkin ' about." he joked.

"And Jax, well, Jax is low maintenance but we're working on that," Mutt laughed.

"I don't understand, low maintenance... high maintenance?  What does that mean?"

"It means that some brats need more care and attention from their Tops than others.  Some brats crave and want more attention and will do whatever they need to do to get that attention, even if it means that the attention they get is not what they'd wanted, like irritating your Top to the point that they spank you.  Ryan is like that.  At least now I understand what's going through his head." Mutt laughed.

Harry said, "But he told me he doesn't deliberately make Coral mad or like being's confusing when it's the end result."

"In his head he's not deliberately doing it, but he is.  The way he rationalizes his actions is kind of skewed but that's typical high maintenance brat for you.  I'll sometimes push the boundaries to see how far I can get without getting a spanking, but that's a different matter." Mutt continued.

"Aye," said Adam, "Sometimes I need Eric ta show me that he still loves and cares abou’ me.  I'll push a little, ye see, talk back, a little foot stomp here, a pout there.  He's pretty good at readin' me so he knows when I'm askin' for lovin' or somethin' a little harder. He reads me like a book, Eric does."

Harry said, "I don't like gettin' spanked. I only want Brody to know he's needed by me."

Harry nodded. "Yes...I can see those kinds of things. Why doesn't Ryan do that?"

"Ryan, like the rest of us, doesn't think ahead all the time. As you said, he wants Coral to feel needed, that's his rationale, and guys like us, low or no maintenance brats are almost a different species." Mutt laughed.

Harry looked at him quizzically. "How is that??

"Yep," Adam agreed, “There's testing boundaries and outright breakin' 'em with a sledgehammer." He laughed, "And Ryan is your typical sledgehammer."

Harry nodded. "So he has to make a lot of noise to be noticed."

"Noise?" Adam laughed, “Ryan is a full 100 piece orchestra, playing loud enough to make your eardrums bleed."

"I think some of it might be because his parents didn’t show him much love growing up." Mutt said.

Harry nodded. "Poor guy."

"So what do you two suggest I do with my guy?" Harry asked.

"Ask 'im questions." Adam suggested, "Ask him for help with stuff even if it's somethin' ye already know how ta do."

"And pull a Ryan now and again, just so that he feels the need to draw a line.  You just have to remember not to cross it yourself."

Harry nodded at the other two. "How do I know where the line is so I don't cross it?"

Mutt laughed, "If Brody growls don't put your foot down.  The more you get to know Brody the easier it'll be to tell." Mutt said.  "See, there's this transition period between living on your own and taking care of yourself to living with a Top who loves to take care of you.  You have to let him do his 'job' and take care of you.   Stop being so independent all the time.  It's ok to mess up now and again."

"Aye, and while it's his job to take care of you, it's also his pleasure.  He likes to take care of you.  Eric loves ta take care of me an' Tor. "

Harry bit his lip. "I don't like messing's not what I do...I'm very responsible."

"Time ta let loose a little bit, 'arry." Adam said.  "Do a little foot stompin', a little poutin', let 'im see the real you, the deep down you.  You might get a swat if ye cross the line, but that'll just bring ye closer.  Besides, it's not messin' up, it's lettin' Brody do 'is job."

Harry nodded. "All right...I think I can do some of that and a swat ain't too bad."

"I don't mouth off like Torren, who by the way is another example of a high maintenance brat, but now and again I'll 'brat' at Jeff.  We've been together for years now so he knows when I want attention and when I need a little more than what I'm actually able to ask for."

"Relax aroun' Brody." Adam said.  "Let yer hair down so ta speak.  Let out some of those insecurities, some of those fears, those questions that yer afraid ta ask normally.  Let 'im in, if ye catch my drift."

"Once your own walls are down, Brody can climb over the rubble and get closer to you.  Learn to read your tells, learn to know what you need when you need it." Mutt added.

Harry took all this in. "It will be difficult to let him in that way, but I can try."

"So what are you boys plotting?" Jeff asked as he walked over to the young men who were all sitting with their heads together.  "Mutt, have you been talking Harry's ear off? He's going to be late getting back to work."

"We've been giving him a crash course in Brat 101." Mutt smiled.

Harry smiled. "It's been very informative."

Jeff raised his eyebrows.  "Brat 101?  I knew you guys had a little secret society we Tops didn't know about." He laughed.  "I'm glad you found it informative, Harry." Jeff said.  "Just be careful.  I don't know if Mutt warned you he can push the boundaries sometimes."

Harry smiled once more. "Yes, and that he does it just enough to have you draw the line, but not cross over it."

Mutt face palmed himself at Harry's words.  He'd forgotten to tell Harry that Brat 101 was for Brats only.  It was too late to do that and to warn Harry not to give away too many of their secrets, so he nudged Harry's leg under the table.

Jeff looked quizzically at his brat and then at Adam who both blushed and grinned.  "Now boys, you're all late getting back to work, so I suggest you get going."

Harry said, "Yes Sir." He gathered up his things and went back on his patrol.

Adam laughed, "See he needs our help Jeff a real brat wouldn't have just left."

"Brat 101?" Jeff asked Mutt as he and Adam stood up to leave. 

"Can't tell ye more, Jeff, it's against brat code." 

"Yep, we've already leaked too many secrets.  We'll be kicked out of the secret society if we say any more. Come on, Ad.  Let's get back to work before the boss here drags out the cat o' nine tails."


Harry got off his shift and made his way home. He had been thinking of the things Mutt and Adam had told him. He entered the bungalow and tossed his things onto the table then went into the kitchen to start dinner for Brody.  Thinking about his conversation at lunch he left the kitchen and returned to the living room.  Harry decided to watch TV instead of making the dinner for both of them.

When Brody arrived back at their home he was surprised to see Harry on the sofa.  "Hi Babe, are you feeling ok?" he said as he kissed Harry's forehead.

Harry nodded. "Yes, I'm feelin' fine. You're interruptin' my program Brody."

The top raised his eyebrow and looked down at his brat.  "Excuse me, want to try that again?"

Harry turned off the TV. "Sorry." He said.

Harry's behavior wasn't like him so Brody asked again, "Are you sure you are feeling ok, and Babe?"

Harry said, "I said, I'm feelin' fine!" He stomped his foot.

Brody was taken aback by the outburst.  He looked at the older man in front of him.  Harry almost seemed to be waiting for him to do something.  Brody just wasn't sure what.

Harry said, "You can make dinner for us this time."

"OK, I can do that," Brody half smiled.  "What would you like?"

"Do I have to tell you? You should know by now." Harry grumped.

Brody walked in to the kitchen pulling out his phone as he did.  He called Jeff.

Jeff saw the name on the caller ID and picked up his phone.  "Brody? Hi there.  What's up?" he asked.

"Well to tell you the truth I'm not sure but is it ok if I have the rest of the day off?" the accountant asked his boss.

"Sure, Brody. Is everything alright? You sound a little off."

"I'm not sure, Jeff.  Harry is acting out a little and it's got me confused."

Jeff sighed; he should have known something was going to hit the fan.  "Well, I'll tell you, Harry was talking to Mutt and Adam at lunch.  Mutt said that they were giving Harry 'Brat 101' lessons.  He might be acting on whatever it was they told him.  I didn't get the whole conversation though." he admitted.  "And if this is the result I'm going to have to have a chat with Mutt about whatever they told him."  He continued, not sounding nearly as irritated with Mutt as he actually felt.

Brody chuckled, "Don't be too hard on the boys, Jeff.  This is actually the first time Harry has tried to brat on his own.  This could be a good thing for him."

"Well, I don't like that whatever they told him ended up with him going home with a bad attitude.  You know your brat, Brody.  I know you'll do what's right." Jeff tried to smile as he thought about his upcoming discussion with Mutt.

"Now all I have to do is figure out what the right thing is, Jeff.  I don't want to squash this bit of rebellion." Brody said.  "Thanks for the info and see you tomorrow."

"See you tomorrow, Brody. Good luck." Jeff grinned before hanging up his phone.

Brody pocketed his phone as he walked back into the living room.
Harry looked up as Brody came back into the living room    . He had flipped the TV back on. "Dinner ready yet?"

"No, not yet," Brody answered then plopped down on the coffee table between Harry and the TV.

Harry shifted to the left to watch the TV around Brody.

"Please, turn the TV off, Babe."

Harry said, "When this is over Brody."


Harry pouted. "I don't see why you can't wait until it's over."

"Now," Brody repeated firmly without raising his voice.

Harry huffed and flipped the TV off. "What's so all important that you couldn't wait?"

Brody actually growled.  He needed to think before he answered Harry's question.  Like he told Jeff this was the first time he was actually asking for Brody's attention.

Harry looked at Brody, trying not to get nervous or laugh at his partner's reaction.

"Tell me what's going on, Babe." Brody finally said.

Harry said with an innocent look, "Nothin'."

"OK," Brody said standing up.  He held out his hand and said, "Come on then."

Harry looked at Brody confused. "Where?"

"In to the kitchen of course."

Harry said, "Oh." He was thoroughly confused, but went with Brody into the kitchen.

Brody pulled out one of the Kitchen chairs and turned it away from the table.  "Are you sure you don't want to talk to me, Babe?" he asked his worried brat.

Harry asked, "What are you doin'?"

"Giving you a chance to explain your attitude before I help you."

Harry said quietly, "Oh."

"Last chance," Brody said sitting down on the chair.

"Um...I only wanted you to draw the line, not cross it." Harry said quietly.

Brody bit back the laugh that almost escaped his lips.  "Draw the line?" he said instead.  "I think I need more of an explanation than that, Harry."

Harry sat down on one of the chairs and looked a bit miserable, "I'm not good at bein' a good brat."

"Oh, Babe," Brody gently laughed, "is that what this is all about?" He stood and pulled Harry back to his feet and into a hug.  "You are the perfect brat for me."

Harry shook his head. "No...I want you to feel needed as a top."

The younger top kissed the top of his brat's head.  "I'm not sure where this is coming from, Babe, but you do make me feel needed."

Harry asked, "How?"

"Just because you are part of my life I feel needed." Brody said.  "I know you are capable of taking care of yourself but I love helping you.  I love being here for you to support you." 

Harry sighed. "But you don't really help me like doin' little things for me...I probably should have told you I couldn't cut up the lettuce the way you like it and asked you to show me how."

Brody was more confused than ever.  "I think you lost me again Harry."

"Well we need to do some small things together so you'll feel if I told you I didn't know how to cut up the lettuce you'd do it with me."

"We do some things together all the time, Babe." Brody murmured into Harry's neck.  "Tell me why you are worried about me needing you all of a sudden."

Harry snuggled into Brody and said, "I just want you to be happy. I was talkin' to Ryan, Mutt and Adam and they said...well I can't tell you, except maybe Ryan, but he said it brings us closer together, especially if I'm corrected."

"So according to Ryan and possibly Mutt and Adam, I can only be happy if we do things together that will cause me to correct you?" The younger top paused then added, "What about you, Babe, what about your happiness?"

Harry shook his head. "Not always to correct me, but to do things for me...take care of me when I'm sick or little things for me that maybe I can do for myself, but would rather you help me with so we can feel closer." He tried to explain.

"Oh, Babe, I love helping you, doing things for you." Brody explained to his boy.  "But now I'm wondering if you don't feel close to me, if maybe you are having doubts about us being together?"

Harry's eyes widened. "No...I have no doubts...I want us to grow as close as we can is all. I want you to be happy!"

"Babe, I am happy, happier than I have ever been in my life." he said kissing the head on his shoulder.  "You truly are perfect for me, Harrison Wendell Forrester.  I don't want you to ever forget that."

"If I do what will you do to remind me?" Harry asked a mischievous look in his eyes.

Brody laughed and flipped Harry over his lap.  He landed three quick slaps then tickled his boy.

Harry squeaked as he was flipped over and yelped at the smacks and then laughed as he was tickled. "Uncle!"

Righting his boy, Brody kissed him soundly on Harry's lips.  When he finally pulled away he said, "Babe, if you ever feel like I'm not needing you enough talk to me.  I know you value your friend’s advice but I love you because you are you.  Not because you are Ryan, or Adam or even Mutt."

Harry blushed at the scolding and said, "All long as you don't spank me."

"I thought you wanted me to correct you?" Brody laughed at the blush on his boy's face.

Harry blushed even redder. "Umm...yes, but I don't like bein' spanked." He pouted.

"Then answer a question for me."

“Ok, what’s the question? Harry said.

"What do you want for dinner?"

Harry laughed. "A grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup."  Then Harry added, "And after that you.”

"I think I can arrange that, Babe."

Harry said quietly, "Brody? Umm....I'm sorry I'm makin' you late to get back to work."

Brody looked at Harry.  "You aren't making me late, Babe.  I called Jeff and asked for the evening off because," he said walking over to Brody and pulling him up into another hug, "my brat needed me."

Harry smiled then and hugged Brody tight, then kissed him passionately. He broke the kiss and said, "Let's forget the dinner and go directly to you."

What could he do?  After all his brat needed him so Brody allowed Harry to pull him into their bedroom.

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