Charlie stared at the unconscious man and sighed. He really hadn't given much thought as to what to do. He wanted Steve to pay for what he'd done...he wasn't willing to kill the man though. No, Charlie knew he couldn't kill him and live with it on his conscious. What to do though...

Charlie smirked. Steve was going to pay... and he knew just how to make him. But first he had to wait for the man to wake up.

Steve blinked wearily as he came to. His hands were bound in front of him, and his jaw hurt from the blow Charlie had delivered. He looked around, and he was still in his room on the floor. Charlie sat in front of him on one of his posh recliners awaiting his recovery. Steve squinted hatefully at him snarling, "What is this Charlie? You got my gold; bravo to you. I'm guessing that little tramp you sent to dinner with me must have been John's offspring right? She has his eyes and a lot of his mannerisms you know, but it's been so long since I've seen him… him being dead and all, I guess I missed those minute details."

Charlie started to take a step towards the man but stopped himself. "You're not gonna get what you want Steve. I'm in control here."

Steve snorted condescendingly, "I guess with John out of the picture, you would have to step up and take his place wouldn't you?" Steve was egging him on, he figured Charlie planned on sinking his fists into him again, and he assumed that if he angered the man enough that he would hit him hard enough to knock him out again. Steve thought that would likely be enough to satisfy Charlie's need for revenge, so that when he came to again, this whole scene would be over, and Steve could brood on his misfortune alone.

Charlie said nothing, clenching and unclenching his jaw. He knew what Steve was up to and he wasn't going to allow it to work. Thinking of taking John's place, Charlie couldn't help but wonder what John would do in a situation like this. He smiled, "Wanna see me take John's place?"

Steve frowned momentarily before smirking back at Charlie and responding snidely, "John wasn't a violent man Charlie; I know you're not going to kill me, so what do you want? You want me to say I'm sorry? To say I didn't mean it? Well I'm not. You people all thought you were better than me, and I showed you, no I proved it to you. I bested all of you, and there's nothing you can say that can take that away from me."

"Your right," Charlie agreed. "John wasn't a violent man but he knew how to keep people in line." Charlie grabbed Steve and dragged him over to the bed. "You haven't bested anyone Steve. Let me show you how John dealt with egos."

Steve was confused. What was Charlie doing? He thought of his gun, but it was no longer on the nightstand. Charlie was always the stronger of the two, and Steve struggled to get away from him feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the aura of mystery that Charlie's statement had left him with. He growled angrily, "Let me go Charlie! You want to have an all out slug fest; let's have it. You've already got my hands tied, so you should get to get a good beating in."

Charlie let out a dry chuckle, "John would never beat anyone Steve. You know that."

Without saying anything else he sat on the bed and pulled the still struggling man down and across his lap. Knowing that Steve could unbalance himself, Charlie made sure the man's upper body was on the bed.

Steve's eyes widened in surprise at this unexpected position, but it didn't take him long to devise what Charlie meant to do to him as he hollered nervously, "Charlie? Charlie! What the hell do you think you're doing?" Steve squirmed madly in an attempt to remove his body from off of Charlie's lap.

Charlie said nothing, using his strength to effectively pin Steve down. Once he was sure Steve couldn't get away Charlie pulled out the hairbrush, he'd managed to nick off Steve's dresser, while dragging said man to the bed. With a shrug he finally answered, "I'm doing what John would have done if he'd been here."

With that be brought the brush down with a resounding smack.

Steve let out an undignified yelp not expecting the pain the hairbrush could deliver. He froze in his struggles momentarily shocked before responding, "What?! No… you can't do this to me! Charlie! I mean… come on! This is crazy!"

Charlie shook his head, "I don't think so. You know John. He always did believe that a big ego should be deflated as soon as possible."

He didn't stop in bringing down the brush liberally on the backside before him.

Steve was blown away. There was no way this was happening to him! But it was, and the lack of control was killing him. He struggled again in vein, and when he realized he wasn't going anywhere until Charlie decided he was, he tried to compromise, "Charlie? Okay, let's talk! Ow! Shit! Come on! I get you're pissed… Ah! Damn it! Stop hitting me with that thing!"

"I'm not hitting you Steve," Charlie corrected, "Hitting was what I did when you lunged for the gun. That's besides the point...you wanna talk; talk."

Steve spat, "Not hitting me?! Are you out of your mind? Ah! OW! Ow!" He was starting to get desperate, "Talk! You said talk! Ah! Stop! I can't with you… with you doing this!" This was humiliating! Not only had Charlie taken all his gold, but he had him pinned over his knee spanking him like an errant child, and there was nothing he could do about it.

"With me doing what?" Charlie asked with feigned innocence. Charlie knew a little of what Steve was feeling. The embarrassment of a child's punishment...the feeling of being helpless to do anything.

"Let's talk," Charlie didn't stop swatting but he did lighten them a little. "Where would you like to start? Killing John? Stealing the gold? Lunging for the gun maybe?"

Steve's throat tightened as he growled, "You know what!" When Charlie didn't stop, Steve listened to what he said. He didn't want to talk about John, and he didn't want to talk about the gold. He hadn't planned on killing John when he'd robbed them of the gold, but when John had told him that they would never stop looking for him; he did so out of fear. He had to say something, so he chose the less sensitive topic, "What did you expect me to do when I saw you? OW! Of course I was going to go for my gun! Ah!" After what Charlie was doing to him currently, he wished he'd reached it.

"And do what Steve? Kill me?" Charlie laid three blistering swats in a row. "Put more blood on your hands?"

Steve screamed out in pain bucking to avoid the harsh swats as he justified, "You've taken everything from me Charlie! What more do you want! All of you! Ow! OW! Ow! You always thought you were better than me! I was just there; I had no special skills, and I was never part of your little clique! Ahaaa! Stop! Charlie!"

Charlie did stop swatting at that point. His hand stilled, still raised as he eyed the person over his lap. "You mean to tell me that all of this was about not fitting in!?"

Steve's stomach tightened at Charlie's tone. He'd said too much, and he felt the need to back peddle, "It doesn't matter! What's done is done! I can't take it back Charlie. Just… just stop already! If you want to knock me out, use me as a punching bag, whatever, but this …this just isn't right! I'm not a child!"

"No, you just acted like one," Charlie scolded starting to swat once again. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe if you stopped scowling at us or acting like you were better than us then maybe we would have been more accepting?"

Steve squealed out in pain at the reemergence of another hard smack. He'd hoped Charlie was done with that, and when they continued to fall he realized that he'd have to try some other way to get Charlie to stop as he yelled out, "OW!" Steve tried to block the swats with his feet as he twisted to look at him, "I… I wasn't… it wasn't like that! I… I just wanted the gold! No one was supposed to die!"

"You shouldn't have even tried to steal it to begin with!" Charlie replied with sternness in his voice that surprised himself. "And if no one was supposed to die then why did you pull the trigger?"

Charlie tilted the man over his knees and started to aim at the tender under curve. "And it was about that. You robbed us to prove that you could run a heist. You were pissed cuz John trusted me to lead the heist! Guess what Steve; that trust was something I earned! It was him testing me. Making me prove that I was worthy enough to lead when he retired. I may have called the final shots up front but behind the scenes he was still in charge. I did earn that right Steve. I worked with John since I was a teen. I paid my dues."

Steve whimpered as he was readjusted to be spanked on more sensitive flesh. He couldn't handle it anymore the embarrassment and pain coupled with the guilt he'd never wanted to feel again. He'd buried those feelings over several months worth of justifications, and here Charlie was forcing him to face them, to face him and his righteous fury. He countered, "I pulled the trigger because I got scared Charlie! Aaahh! Ow! Ow! I knew you'd come for me! Aaahh! Ahaha! I got greedy! And I was jealous okay?" Charlie wasn't stopping the heavy barrage of swats, and as much as Steve hated it, tears pricked his eyes. He twisted violently with all his might in an effort to remove his rear from being such an easy target, and it had worked enough to scoot himself up onto the bed as he desperately tried to crawl away from Charlie.

Charlie reacted quickly as he grabbed the crawling Steve and brought him back over his lap. Though part of him wanted to stop, the other part of him wanted to see things through. He recalled how John had reacted when it had been him in this position and John had been the one smacking some sense into his backside.

With that thought in mind, once Steve was repositioned, he swiftly yanked down his pants and started swatting once again on his upturned bottom.

Steve let out a strangled grunt as he was pulled back into position and completely freaked when he felt his pants being yanked down, "Charlie! Charlie no, no, no!" These swats hurt ten times more without his jeans to help cushion the sting, and this time Charlie had gotten a good grip on him, so there was no escaping his lap. He couldn't believe this was happening to him, and the tears that had pricked his eyes began to cascade down his cheeks as he whined, "Stop! Charlie! Please! That really, really hurts!"

"Do you get what you did?" Charlie asked, lightening up on the swats but not stopping. "Do you get why we're here Steve?"

Steve couldn't answer; he didn't want to admit what he'd done and how bad he had felt about it especially to Charlie of all people. No one wants to be the villain, and Steve was no different. He had justified to himself that they were all thieves, and they would have likely screwed him over like he had them. He had to say something though, and so he reasoned, "I fucked up okay! Ahh! I know what I did! Ow! Stop! I can't change the past!"

"You know what you did?" Charlie asked. He knew the other man didn't want to admit what he'd done but that wouldn't do. "Tell me what you did Steve."

Steve gritted his teeth as swat after swat landed, and he couldn't avoid the question any longer. His voice cracked, "I killed John, and I betrayed you over money. Ah! Ow! I wanted to be better than you! Ow! You don't know what it's like to live in everyone else's shadow!"

"Yeah Steve, you're right," The reply came out with as much sarcasm as Charlie could muster. "I don't know what it's like to have everyone talking behind your back, to have everyone waiting for you to mess up, to have everyone point out that you're not the person whose shadow you're under. Very true Steve. I don't know."

Steve frowned at Charlie's sarcasm hating him for pointing out the truth. Maybe he did deserve this and deserve to have his gold taken. He mumbled, "You don't have to be so condescending."

Charlie growled silently to himself. A part of him wondered if Steve was being difficult on purpose. However the other part of him knew that Steve wasn't. He truly wasn't. "I'm not being condescending. I'm trying to make you understand." Charlie stilled the brush, letting it rest against his red backside. "You think you're the only one living in other people's shadow, but your not. We all are. We've all started at the bottom; we've all been pushed aside; we've all been looked over. You don't get to have a monopoly on feeling sorry for yourself."

Steve noticeably cringed feeling the presence of the brush lying against his tender flesh. He wanted the spanking to be over, but he realized Charlie wouldn't stop until he'd made his point, and so Steve sniveled out, "I understand Charlie; I understand… You think I don't think about what I did? That I don't question myself for going down that road? It's too late; I can say I'm sorry, but I can't take it back. I can't expect you to forgive me; hell, I can't even forgive myself."

Charlie let out a sigh, "You're right Steve. You can't expect me to forgive you. I know John though. He wouldn't want me to hate you or keep a grudge. Steal back the gold yes but nothing else. I can't tell you when I'll forgive you, but you need to be able to forgive yourself before you do something that gets you killed."

With that Charlie started to swat at the upturned rear; his swats were no where near as hard as they had been but on the already red bottom he could only imagine how harsh they felt.

Steve groaned pitifully in dismay when Charlie started swatting again; he couldn't believe how much a spanking could hurt not only his ass but his ego. He couldn't take it anymore; between the pain and the guilt he let out a strangled sob, "I'm sorry Charlie! Please stop! I'm really sorry!"

Charlie kept silent as he continued to bring the brush down. He knew that to say anything would only bring around another wave of 'discussions' and he also knew that Steve did understand what he'd done wrong. It was time to finish up, so he made the last set of swats count; bringing the brush down harder on his very red backside.

Once the sobs had been let lose, Steve couldn't stop them from coming as he pleaded for Charlie to stop spanking him. Charlie didn't, and with no reply to his pleas, Steve was left to just face hard stinging swat after hard stinging swat in solitude. He knew he deserved this and much more for all the bad choices he'd made. It hurt so badly, but his energy had left him now, and he only twitched and jerked when the paddle made contact fully giving in to Charlie as he cried into his comforter.

"It ends now Steve," Charlie responded. "Got it?" Charlie stopped the spanking and waited to hear the other man's response.

Steve let out a strangled and watery, "Yes! I understand! I understand! Please, just no more!" He wanted nothing more than for this incredibly shocking and humiliating experience to be over with. His ass stung horribly and he wanted to get up, but he didn't want to provoke Charlie into thinking he was fighting him, so he humbly awaited Charlie's direction.

Charlie was at a quandary as to what to do so he did what he did the last time he'd wondered...he thought of John. With that in mind he carefully pulled up the man's pants with a warning, "If you're lying, next time this, will seem like nothing."

Steve was grateful to have his sore bottom covered and embarrassed at the reminder that he had been bare-assed getting spanked to begin with. He cringed inwardly at Charlie's threat and responded demurely, "You'll never see me again… I swear." Steve definitely didn't plan or want another encounter with Charlie any time soon!

Charlie said nothing as he helped Steve to stand. He wanted to leave and forget everything that had happened. In his mind though, he could hear John scolding him for even thinking it. Instead he got up and went to the dresser and pulled out a pair of sweatpants and a shirt. "Put 'em on; get in bed."

Steve blinked in surprise at Charlie's action not sure how to feel. The whole situation left him conflicted. He decided it was best if he just did what he was told, so he held out his tied wrists for Charlie to untie as he mumbled, "I can't put them on like this."

Charlie was half tempted to tell the other man to deal with it but knew that would be mean. He walked over and slowly untied the bound wrists, "Try anything..."

He let the warning hang, wanting Steve to use his imagination with what he would do.

Steve pouted as he rubbed his wrists shaking his head no, "I'm not going to try anything Charlie." As far as Steve was concerned, Charlie had already proven that he could easily overpower him, and testing Charlie was something he was definitely over. The last thing he could deal with right now was getting spanked more.

He turned away to the clothes Charlie had set on the bed for him and took his shirt off replacing it with the clean one. He was more reluctant to pull his pants down again even just to change, but he did wordlessly as fast as he could. Not that he would admit it, but the sweatpants were a hell of a lot more comfortable on his bruised bottom.

He peeled back the sheets and climbed in to lay on his stomach letting out a sad sigh as he pulled the covers up over his head and buried his face in his pillow.

Charlie stared at the other man before wordlessly handing over some tissues, knowing from experience the other man would need them. Looking around he spotted a chair and dragged it over to the side closest to Steve. He ordered a tad gruffer then he anticipated, "Close your eyes, and stop thinking."

He sat on the chair and let one hand drum a cadence on the other's man's back, remembering a time that didn't seem so long ago when John had done the same thing. With a start Charlie realized that it had indeed been longer then he thought...he shook himself of his thoughts waiting for the other man to fall asleep, knowing that come morning the only thing Steve would have to remember the night would be a sore backside, an empty chair by his bedside, and the note he'd leave on it.

Steve didn't understand why Charlie was being nice to him now, and it somehow made him feel worse about what he'd done. He'd made a lot of bad choices in his life, maybe this was a wake up call to do something different. He still had a couple hundred thousand dollars in the bank, and had bought a couple businesses that would keep him well enough off to survive comfortably. He thought of these things as he finally drifted off more from emotional exhaustion than anything.

Charlie stayed in his spot, long after Steve had finally fallen asleep. When he finally got up he grabbed a piece of paper and pen from the dresser and scrawled three words 'I'll Be Watching'.

Placing it on the chair he walked out of the room and went to join the rest of his team.