John and Meredith weren't strict people. Their motto: live, laugh, love. Typical, I know. But this was how they were. Adding strictness and discipline into the mix put a bit of a wrench in their fun, but they knew it was important. They married when they were both young; almost immediately after graduating university. Not the same university, but around the same time. A mutual friend had a party and they noticed eachother right away- they were the shortest people in the room, and saw eachother through the crowd. They have been inseperable ever since. They both stand at about 5'2. Needless to say, if they had kids, they would seriously be vertically challenged. But this is beside the point I suppose.
They knew from the beginning that they didn't want kids. It wouldn't be fair; they were both far too busy. Meredith was managing a resteraunt, and John was just starting out as a lawyer. They hardly had enough time for eachother, let alone a child. They knew it would be far better to stick to being "fun aunt Meredith and uncle John," which was easy, since John had 5 older siblings who all had kids. Meredith was the oldest in her family. Her two sisters were far too young to have kids. But she was sure they would one day, and when that day came, she would embrace her role as "fun aunt Meredith" fully. What they didn't know from the beginning was that they would be forced into being parents (though they wouldn't have had it any other way), to Meredith's sister Leah, who was a full eighteen years younger than she was. But when Meredith's parents showed up at her door one morning announcing that they were cast in a television show and wouldn't have time or energy to raise eight year old Leah.
It was clear that Leah was going to have some issues, due to the sheer fact that her parents abandoned her. But she did well. They didn't have to discipline her often, and when they did, it wasn't serious. At first. But when she started to get older, her actions demonstrated that she would need more serious discipline. This was hard for them because, as I said, they would rather just laugh and have fun than be strict. So, dealing with things like disobedience, rudeness, bullying, greediness, and most recently, smoking, wasn't fun or easy for them. But they knew it was for the best; they realized that you can't just fake your way into having a polite, well-behaved child, which was what Leah was most of the time. But not always.
Leah had turned thirteen only a few days earlier, which Meredith and John celebrated by taking her out for dinner the night before, buying her quite a few gifts, and taking Leah and five of her best friends out to a trendy little shop in New York where Meredith bought them all make-up, jewelry, and hair accessories, which were put to good use that night at a sleep-over party. Meredith and John thought that it would be a good way to reward Leah for having been so good lately. They hadn't had to spank her in almost four months, which they thought was excellent.
The night of the birthday party Meredith had brought her friend Abby along so that she would have someone to chat with without hovering over the girls, since they were, after all, thirteen. Meredith didn't think it was all that old, but she knew it was important to give Leah her space. This must have been the reason she missed the most important and dangerous thing that had happened that night.
As I said, it was three days after Leah's thirteenth birthday and Leah was at a friend's house for the afternoon. It was a Sunday, and Meredith and John had a rare few hours together. Typical of probably only them, they cooked for fun. So they chose a few things to make and would freeze the meals to eat at a later date. So as they were chatting, sipping on wine, and enjoying themselves, they were rooting through cupboards for different items.
"Sweetie, do you know where the saffron ended up?"
"Ummm the spice rack?" John said sarcastically.
"Obviously I looked there. Any other bright ideas?"
"When was the last time you used it?"
"I have no idea! I do remember that it was so long ago that when I ran out of room on the spice rack I moved it somewhere else. It could be anywhere." They both started digging deep into drawers and cupboards. They were silent for a few minutes as they looked, which was broken by a horrified gasp. John turned around.
"What?" Meredith was holding a package of cigarettes.
"John! I can't believe you smoked, and then hid it from me!!!" Meredith exclaimed.
"Hey, they aren't mine! They're your cupboards and drawers! You're the one who keeps your stuff in them, not me!"
"Well, they're not mine."
"They aren't mine!" They were silent for a minute.
"Maybe they're Jeremy's. He and Addie were here the other day. Maybe he threw them in here so she wouldn't know he had them. That's really the only other thing I can think of." Meredith said.
"Well...if they're not yours, then your guess as to who they belong to is as good as mine." They thought about it for a few minutes, then pretty much forgot about it, until later that night.
Leah arrived home from her friend's house shortly after supper. While there, she and her friend had discussed a certain event of Leah's birthday party that she had forgotten about. She hadn't forgotten about the event, rather about the left-overs of the event. The event: smoking. The left-overs: cigarettes in a cupboard she knew Meredith never used. She stored stuff there that she only used once in a blue moon. So she waited until Meredith went out to pick up some papers from her assistant for the next day's work, and John was upstairs in his office doing a bit of work. She quietly went to the cupboard where she and her friends had left them and starting to look behind items. She couldn't remember exactly where she left them, but she knew it was somewhere near the back. She started to panic a little when she didn't see them, but decided to just keep looking.
Meanwhile, John had come downstairs for a drink and caught Leah practically up to her shoulders in the cupboard. He watched her for a minute, then it clicked: she was looking for something...cigarettes perhaps? He waited for her to realize he was there. She sat back and ran her hand through her long blond hair and sighed. Out of the corner of her eye she saw John.
"Leah." he said nonchalantly. After a moment of silence he spoke. "What are you doing?"
"Oh...I'm just looking for something."
"Oh yeah? What? Maybe I can help you find it."
"Um...." she was quiet for a minute. He could almost see the wheels of her brain turning, trying to think. She looked back toward the cupbard and pulled out a box of orzo. "This. This is what I'm looking for."
"Orzo? Why? Didn't you eat at Sarah's?"
"Yeah, we did....I just....I have to make a...diagram for a class...and I was going to use it."
"Oh really? That's cool. What is it?"
"It's a diagram of an animal cell."
"Can I see it?"
"Well...no....I haven't started yet. I...I just wanted to make sure we had the stuff I needed."
"Really. Didn't you take science last semester? You're not taking it again are you?" Leah was silent. She always found it a lot harder to lie to John. She always felt like he could see right through her. Maybe it was the lawyer thing. Maybe not. She didn't know.
"Ya know what's weird? Meredith and I found a pack of cigarettes in that very cupboard earlier today. We assumed they belonged to Jeremy. Were we wrong Leah?" John asked calmly. He had this asset over Meredith; he was able to stay much more calm and rational, where she tended to flip out easily, according to Leah....and John...and everyone else that knew her.
"Um....you might have been wrong." Leah said.
"So...do you know who they belong to then?" Leah nodded her head. "Would you mind sharing?"
"They're mine." Leah said, without looking directly at John.
"Leah" he said disapprovingly.
"John, please, please don't tell Meredith!" Leah pleaded with tears growing in her eyes, and eventually dripping down her face.
"Why? Because you don't want to get into trouble?"
"No! Because I don't want her to be disappointed! She keeps saying how proud she is of me and now she's going to hate me!"
"She would never hate you Leah."
"Just don't tell her, please!"
"Leah, you know that I have to tell her. Would you like to tell me why you have them? It might be easier to answer my questions than hers." He was right about that. Her demanding, disappointed and mad tone often scared Leah so much that she wouldn't say anything, or make up endless lies to try to stop her from being mad. John took hold of Leah's hand and helped her up off the floor. He lead her to the island and lifted her tiny body up onto a stool. He stood infront of her with his hands on her knees.
"So...why in the world would my thirteen year old sister have cigarettes?"
"They're from by birthday party."
"I'm going to need a little bit more information than that."
"We found them outside and one of my friends picked them up...then we dared eachother to smoke one. We were outside for a while when Meredith and Abby were getting my cake ready....we did it then." There. She told him everything. She didn't even need any prodding. She regretted it though, she really didn't want Meredith to know.
"Smoking is so bad for your health, I can't believe you would do that! Not to mention illegal. You're thirteen! And to just pick them up off the street? They could have been anything, could have belonged to anyone!"
"Please don't tell Meredith John. I'll do anything you want, just don't tell her!" Leah pleaded once again.
"You are in serious trouble Leah, this is inexcusible. You know better than to just take something off the street. Would you pick up a half eaten bag of chips and eat the rest?" Leah shook her head. "It's the same thing, but worse! And you most definately know better than to smoke. We've talked to you about drugs and alcohol before Leah, several times. Did you listen to us when we were talking to you?"
"I did listen, and I know it's wrong!"
"Then why did you do it?"
"Because...all of my friends were. I know...it's not a good excuse...but it's true."
"I understand that you want to fit in, but there are some things that you shouldn't do for any reason."
"I have to go finish e-mailing a document to my boss. You stay here until Meredith gets home and we'll talk to her. Okay?" Leah nodded her head, and wiped her eyes. John went back upstairs.
Leah instantly regretted trying smoking with her friends, and regretted even more that she forgot to take the cigarettes out of their hiding place and destroy them earlier. This could have been avoided entirely. Smoking was right up there with stealing, lying, and probably even murder for Meredith and John. They saw no sense in killing yourself.....and especially no sense in starting smoking so young. Was this a spankable offense? Most definately. That pit that appeared in Leah's stomach when she thought a spanking might be in order arrived in perfect timing. She sat on her stool fingering the hem of her hooded cardigan sweater, staring at her knees. She could run. That would get her nowhere. She could lock herself in her room, which would probably land her in even more trouble. It might be best to stay put and hope for the best.
She didn't have any more time to debate her next move because she heard the front door open, and close, and moments later Meredith appeared in the kitchen.
"I'm back. I'm back and I'm alive. People get crazy when it starts to rain." Meredith said. "Whatcha up to tonight, wanna watch a movie?" Leah didn't say anything. Meredith finally stopped shuffling things around in her bag and looked up.
"What's wrong sweetie, you look like you've been crying." With those words Leah burst out into tears. She didn't want Meredith to know what she did. Not only because she didn't want a spanking, but because she didn't want her to be mad or disappointed. She had been so proud of Leah for behaving so well for so long, Leah didn't want to ruin it. Meredith went to her sister and wrapped her arms around her. She moved a few stray hairs behind Leah's ear.
"What is it? You can tell me." Leah only cried harder. "Okay, sweetie...you're scaring me. Please tell me you're okay. Are you?" Leah nodded her head. John, having heard the door open and Leah's crying had made his way down to the kitchen as quickly as he could.
"John, what happenend? Why won't she stop crying?" Meredith asked in a slightly panicked tone.
"Mere, we need to talk to you about something. Leah, I want you to try to calm down and tell Meredith what happened." John said calmly but firmly. It was clear that he was serious. Leah was taking too long to stop crying and Meredith didn't have much patience.
"John, what's going on? Just tell me"
"The cigarettes we found are Leah's." Meredith almost laughed.
"No they aren't, she's thirteen, she doesn't smoke."
"They are, she told me." Meredith just looked at them for a few seconds not believing what she was hearing.
"They're yours?" she asked Leah, still not fully believing what John told her. Leah nodded without looking up. "Did you smoke?" Leah nodded again. "Why?" Leah didn't answer. "Did you think it would be fun? You just decided one day that you would try smoking? How did you even get cigarettes Leah?! You're thirteen!"
This only caused Leah to cry even harder, and Meredith turned to John for answers.
"Did she tell you what happened?"
"She did." Meredith turned back to Leah, and firmly gripping her upper arm, she instructed Leah to stand up, which she reluctantly did. Once Leah was on her feet and her crying had subsided a little, Meredith knelt down to meet her sister at eye level.
"Listen to me very carefully Leah. You are going to go straight upstairs to my office, close the door, and stand in the corner. Do you understand me?"
"Yes" Leah sniffled.
"Good. Go ahead" And Leah quickly left the room, eager to get away from them as quickly as possible.
As soon as Leah was out of the room Meredith let her anger out on John, since it would probably be considered poor parenting to lose it on a thirteen year old instead of disciplining her properly.
"She smoked?! Oh my God John, is she doing everything in her power to do the exact opposite of what we tell her?! I can't believe it! After the party we gave her, and all the presents, this is how she repays us? And what about all the times we've talked to her about smoking?! Did she just ignore those conversations completely? What can we do? She worries me John....she seriously worries me!"
"Alright, sweetie....just take a breath okay?" Meredith sat down at the island. "I'm certainly not saying that what she did was okay, because it wasn't. But think about the things we were doing when we were her age. Right? The things she's doing aren't out and out horrible. Yes, they go against the standards we've set for her, but they don't go against growing up. Kids experiment. And I realize that thirteen is young to be doing this stuff, but kids are growing up faster and faster."
"So what? You're saying that we should just sit back and let it go because it's part of growing up?"
"No! That's not what I'm saying at all. She needs to be punished for this, absolutely. And she needs to be spoken to at length about the dangers of smoking, but don't be so hard on her. She begged me not to tell you...not because she was scared of getting in trouble, but because she didn't want you to hate her."
"I could never hate her" Meredith said, her tone softened a little.
"I know, that's what I told her. But it's what she thinks."
"Oh God. How did we screw this up so much?"
"Mere...don't be so hard on yourself! This isn't the worst thing that could have happened. She'll learn from this, and hopefully won't make the same mistakes again."
"What should I do? Do you think I should just ground her? You say not to be too hard on her but don't you think that a spanking is definately in order here?"
"I don't me go easy on her punishment-wise. I just mean, make sure she knows you love her. I would definately spank her for this. If there was ever a time she needed to be spanked, it would be now. And I might even step it up a notch...when her behaviour becomes self-destructive we have to make sure she doesn't do it again."
"You're right. Ohhhh man. What do you think.........what do you think about using a belt?"
"If that's what you think is the right choice here, I'm behind you one hundred percent."
"Okay...so...what's the story? How did she get cigarettes?"
John told her the entire story and by the end Meredith was completely horrified that Leah and her friends (who were all such well-mannered and sweet girls), would take cigarettes from the street. They were smarter than that.
"So...do you think the responsible thing would be to call the girls' parents and let them know what happened?"
"Say the situation was reversed. Say this happened at Sarah's house. Would you expect a phone call from her parents telling you what happened?"
"Then there's your answer."
"Well...that'll be fun" Meredith said sarcastically. "I'm going to take a shower, calm down a little bit before I talk to Leah. Maybe you could have a talk with her."
Meredith went into their bedroom, and subsequently the bathroom attached and tried to relax. Meanwhile John went to his computer, looked up the most horrifying pictures of smokers' lungs and other organs and printed them off. He was so involved in this task that he didn't hear the shower stop. As he was leaving his office with the papers Meredith was leaving her room carrying a folded up belt in her hand. She shrugged, holding up the belt as if to say "I don't know about this, but I guess I have to." Together they went to Meredith's office and opened the door. Leah was still standing in the corner. She could hear the door open, and heard them both enter. She could certainly feel them standing behind her, but didn't dare turn around. Her stomach was filled with butterflies as she anticipated what was sure to be the worst spanking she's ever had, and she felt sick with guilt.
"You can turn around" Meredith said. Leah immediately saw the belt in her hand and her eyes widened, her face growing pale. Meredith noticed this and decided to address it right away instead of letting Leah worry.
"John and I decided that what you did was very serious, and that you should be spanked with a belt...but you know I'm here for you, and I'm not trying to hurt you, I'm trying to teach you a lesson because we love you." Leah nodded. "But first we want to talk to you." John and Meredith both pulled chairs toward the big stuffed chair by the window that Leah was placed in.
"John told me what happened."
"Meredith...can I say something first?" Leah asked.
"Yes you may."
"I'm so sorry, I really didn't want you to be disappointed in me. It just happened so fast, I didn't think. I know how stupid it was, and I swear, I'll never smoke again."
"We accept your apology sweetheart, but you still have to deal with the consequences of your behaviour."
"I know, I just wanted you to know that I didn't do it on purpose to make you mad."
"Thanks sweetie" Meredith said, rubbing Leah's leg.
"We wanted to show you some pictures Leah...of what happens to people who smoke" John said, holding out the first picture for Leah to see. She made a disgusted face. "This is the lung of someone who's smoked for only five years. And this" John said holding up a second picture "is what someone's lung looks like who doesn't smoke."
"That's gross!" Leah exclaimed.
"Yeah, it really is." John said, holding up the next picture. As he continued Leah grew more and more disgusted, and by the time he reached the final print-out of a man in a hospital bed obviously very sick and dying of cancer Leah started crying.
"That's horrible!" Leah exclaimed through her sobs.
"Yeah. Is it maybe a little scary too?" John asked kindly, and Leah nodded her head yes. "We're not trying to scare you, but you should know the reality of what can happen. I know you're told about people dying from smoking, but actually seeing it is very different...we just want you to understand." John said, stroking Leah's back.
"So you understand why we're so upset then?" Meredith asked.
"I do! I know you would be, and you should be...I'm so sorry."
"It's alright...just please...don't do it again."
"I won't." Meredith and John both believed this whole-heartedly, and she seriously meant it.
"Well, I'm going to take Shep for a walk...I'll leave you guys to talk" John said, and left the room, closing the door behind him. Meredith turned back to Leah.
"Do you understand why I have to use the belt?"
"Yeah...I do." Leah said quietly.
"Good. Because you know I love you more than anything, and I hate to do this...but I have to."
"I'm gonna have to call your friends' parents to tell them about this."
"Leah, I have to. If you were at their house and something like this happened I would want to know."
"They'll hate me! You can't do that!!"
"They won't hate you. I don't want to do this any more than you want me to. Those parents are going to be mad at me for letting it happen and will want answers. That isn't fun for me ya know. But I have to do it." Leah didn't say anything. "So we'll take care of that after your spanking. Okay?" Leah nodded again with tears welling in her eyes. Meredith was relieved that Leah was wearing a fluttery knee-length skirt. It eliminated the embarassment that Leah surely felt at having her pants pulled down by Meredith. "Okay...come on, get up" Meredith urged, and Leah slowly did, and allowed herself to be led by her hand across the large room. Meredith pulled out a chair from a corner of the room and sat down, placing her belt on the desk beside her.
She placed her hands on Leah's small waist and pulled her close.
"Why are you being punished?"
"For smoking, and then hiding it from you...I'm sorry."
"Thank you. I love you" she said again, making extra sure Leah understood.
She pulled Leah up and over her lap, flipped her skirt up out of the way and lowered her panties. Leah knew this was serious; Meredith almost always spanked her on her panties first. She obviously meant business. She pulled Leah closer to her and gripped her waist with one hand and brought the other one sharply down on Leah's small bottom. She continued to spank her for several minutes, slowly, which resulted in a pink glow and soft cries accompanied by promises to be good from Leah. She then began to spank Leah's upper thighs, equally as slowly, but with added emphasis. By now Leah's bottom was stinging considerably and she had began to wiggle and kick and try to get away, all the while crying softly. When Meredith started to spank a little faster but just as hard Leah's hand shot back and she covered her bottom with it as best she could. Meredith stopped..
"Move your hand Leah" she said sternly.
"Please.....please just stop"
"We've been through this Leah, and you know that reaching back is not allowed, and neither is telling me to stop. I don't want to have to add to your punishment, so please move your hand" she said calmly, but emphasizing her point with a firm slap to one of Leah's upper thighs. Leah immediately moved her hand and cried out in pain.
Meredith continued until Leah's bottom and thighs were a bright pink colour, and, just as she was about to pick up the belt the doorbell rang. She stopped. This had never happened before...what should she do? She lifted Leah onto her feet, letting her skirt fall over her bottom, the contact clearly hurting poor Leah, told her to step out of her panties, and put her in the corner.
"I'm going to get the door, I'll be right back..don't move please" she said, and left the room. The jogged downstairs and opened the door to find Leah's friend Hannah and her mother standing at the door.
"Hi Hannah! Maria." Meredith said with a friendly tone, hiding the stress of the situation she was in the middle of.
"Hi Meredith" Hannah said quietly.
"Hello Meredith. Can we come in? I'd like to talk to you about something."
"Sure, of course" Meredith said, stepping aside to let them in, and leading them into the kitchen.
"Can I get you a cup of coffee? Water?"
"No thanks" Maria said. She was friendly, but it was clear she was on a mission. They all sat down at the table. "I was doing the laundry today and found one of Hannah's sweaters from Leah's birthday party on the weekend...and it smelled very strongly of cigarette smoke. Now I know you and John don't smoke, so when I asked her about it...after quite a bit of prodding, she told me that the girls found cigarettes on the street and they all tried smoking."
"Yes, I'm aware of that...Leah and I were just upstairs discussing it right now actually, and when we're finished I'm planning on calling all of the other parents. I'm so sorry Maria, I know I should have been watching them closer, but I never imagined something like this would have happened. I only left them outside for a few minutes while I got Leah's cake ready....again, I'm very sorry."
"Oh Meredith! Don't be ridiculous! You have nothing to apologize for! This could have happened at any of our houses. I brought Hannah over to apologize to you and John, and to let you know that her behaviour is being dealt with severely." Hannah looked at the ground, embarassed.
"Hannah, go ahead. Tell Meredith you're sorry."
"I'm really sorry for smoking at your house Meredith" she said without looking up. Hannah was probably the most shy girl of the group that Leah hung around with, and this must have been killing her.
"Thank you for the apology sweetie. And you're forgiven" Meredith said, hugging her. "And for the record, I'm also dealing with Leah very seriously. John and I aren't taking it lightly."
"Well that's good to know dear" Maria said. She said goodbye and they left.
"One down, five to go" Meredith thought as she made her way back upstairs. She doubted the other parents would be as understanding. Hannah's parents were quite a bit older and more strict than the others, and it was only natural, given her old-fashioned nature to hold Hannah accountable for her actions. The other parents were likely to blame Meredith.
She went back into her office to find Leah where she had left her, gently rubbing her bottom. As soon as she felt Meredith's presence in the room her hands flew away from her bottom.
"Were you rubbing?" Meredith asked.
"Yes" Leah said, and sniffled. Meredith gently turned her around.
"And what's the rule about rubbing?"
"I'm not allowed to until my punishment is over"
"Right. So I guess you won't be rubbing for twice as long after this punishment then?"
"I guess" Leah said glumly.
"That was Hannnah and her Mom at the door, they came to apologize, her Mom found out about the smoking"
"Yeah. And I'm guessing she's probably in a lot more trouble than you are, so consider yourself lucky."
Meredith walked back toward the chair and sat down. Leah obediently followed her, knowing that fighting was totally out of the question. She had never been spanked with a belt before, but she imagined that it would hurt a lot more than anything else, and running from her sister or strugling with her would only make it worse. Her eyes welled up with tears again, and she allowed herself to be pulled back over her sister's lap. Meredith flipped Leah's skirt up again, revealing her glowing bottom. She picked up the belt, doubled it over and held the buckle-end in her hand.
"Give me your hand please" she said.
"Give me your hand. I don't want you reaching back and getting hit with this by accident, it could really hurt you" Leah reached her hand back and Meredith pinned it at the small of her back. Then she adjusted Leah so that her two legs, instead of dangling over Meredith's lap, were pinned between Meredith's legs. She was completely trapped, and she knew that.
Without further discussion Meredith brought the belt about two feet above Leah's bottom, and then slapped it back down. With a resounding crack the belt landed right in the middle of Leah's bottom. She immediately cried out and tried to move, but was unable to. Meredith was able to judge by the strength of her spank and Leah's response that this wouldn't take very much to make her point. She continued to bring the belt down on various parts of Leah's bottom, and before long Leah wasn't fighting her anymore or pleading for her to stop. Rather, she was just crying and struggling to breathe. Meredith noted that small bruises were forming and decided that it would be best to stop. So she shifted her focus to Leah's upper thighs. She knew this would hurt the most, so she strengthened her hold on Leah. Leah slapped the belt down at the upper-most spot on Leah's thighs, and worked her way down to her knees. The only response this got from Leah was a loud cry of "Nooooo" between her cries. Meredith worked her way back up, noting how loud each crack was against Leah's skin and imagining how much it must be hurting her. She spanked her upper thighs a few more times for emphasis, knowing that if she left marks, the area would be covered by a skirt or pants. She decided that Leah had learned her lesson, and set the belt down on her desk. She flipped Leah's skirt down into place and rubbed her back in a soothing way. After a couple of seconds she lifted Leah up and onto her lap and held her in a big bear hug. She didn't know how long they stayed like that, but she didn't let go until Leah's crying had mostly stopped.
When she released Leah, Leah's arms flung around her sister, and apologies poured out of her.
"It's okay sweetie. It's okay, I forgive you!" Meredith said, laughing. "Did that hurt more than the hairbrush?"
"WAY more!" Leah exclaimed, sniffling. "I'm sooo sorry!"
"I know you are, and you're totally forgiven."
"Please don't call my friends' parents!!!"
"Leah, I have to, and if I hear another word from you about it the belt is coming back out."
"Okay. When are you going to call them?" This wasn't an arguement, so Meredith let it slide.
"Right now. And I want you to sit with me while I do it. Okay?" Leah nodded and stood up, rubbing her bottom. Meredith caught her arm and gave her bottom a sharp spank. Leah jumped and cried out. "Did I tell you your punishment was over?"
"No" Leah sniffed.
"Then no rubbing. Your punishment will be over when I've called everyone." She picked Leah's panties up off the floor and held them out. Leah didn't take them.
"Can't I just...not put them back on?"
"No you cannot. Let's go." Leah took them and Meredith watched as she slid them up and over her bottom as carefully as she could, wincing in pain. Together they went downstairs to the kitchen. Meredith pulled out a chair for Leah to sit on, and even though she really didn't want to, she sat down, and struggled to find a comfortable seat. Meredith sat down beside her, put her arm around her, kissed her, and took out her phone book.