Papa Werebear Stories


By Bjorn Torson


I drove by my old high school in the car I had rented. I was back in my old neighborhood. Iíd just purchased a new house built on a lot where an older house had stood and was here to move in. Being a novelist, and a rather successful one at that, I could afford to move away from the city and back to my hometown. The best part was that since I write under the pen name of Arthur Nelson and my photo does not grace the back of my books, I could remain anonymous. I write science fiction and fantasy novels and with the advent of laptops and modems my life became even more Ďstay at homeí. I could conduct most of my business by telecommuting. I needed a better place, a quieter place, to write.

Tonight, I couldnít sleep, so I went for a drive around the neighborhood to see what I remembered and what was unfamiliar. It was one oíclock on a Saturday morning. Many memories, some good and a lot bad, came to the surface of the dark pool that was my childhood. I pulled into the parking lot of my high school and parked in an area that wasnít well lit. I turned on the radio and found an oldies station. I sat, just looking at the place, hearing the phantoms of my childhood echoing through those halls in my memory.

As I said, the bad memories outweighed the good. I was one of the kids that regularly gave my lunch money to the bullies. We were the nerds, the geeks, the wimps, and fatsos that usually fall prey to the strong or popular. Every kid had something that caused him to be picked on. Some kids had "coke bottle" glasses. Others were skinny and odd looking. I was picked on because I stuttered and was under-muscled and overweight. I had a double helping of handicap that just ached to be ridiculed by the brutes that ruled the campus like lords. Going to the teachers didnít help because if one of the bullies got detention, one or more of us suffered. As a result, your fellow victims would squeal on you to avoid a beating. Theyíd make a game of hunting us down after school. I was prey to one bully in particular. His name was Hank Dodson and he sort of ruled the bullies. He was the one who thought up the ĎHunting Partiesí that came after squealers. The bullies divided us up as prey. Some bullies had fewer kids paying them off and others had more. Hank had the most and wouldnít let any of the other bullies beat up on us, as long as we paid him, of course. It was a nice little ĎJunior Mafiaí type protection racket for him. Hank was a sophomore and I was a lowly freshman when this started and he had at least eight to ten of us contributing to ĎThe First Bank of Hank the Tankí. His nickname was appropriate; he was a tank. He was huge and damned near a man. I wouldnít have been surprised to learn that the other bullies were giving him a cut of their take. By his junior year, Hank was bench-pressing 200 lbs. and was dating a girl who seemed extremely impressed with his physique. Hank would buy her stuff with the money that was meant to buy our lunches.

Hank was big and tough and all of us were afraid of him, especially in Phys Ed. He was the coachís favorite. He wasnít the star of the football team; he was the wall of muscle that bulldozed the other teamís guys into the dirt. The coach gave him duties over us in our PE class. Coach was fond of reminding us that if we didnít toughen up our bodies, weíd grow up to be Ďpencil neck geeksí. Hank, of course, abused his position and the coach didnít seem to care. When one kid complained that Hank was pushing him around in class, Coach said that he "Öshould just duke it out with Hank." When the kid said that he couldnít, that Hank would beat him into pudding, the Coach just laughed and said, "Well, toughen up then, this is what Iíve been trying to tell you. If you donít, the Hanks of the world are going to push you around all of your life." Coach seemed to be big on physical Darwinism. Survival of the strongest, not the one that best fits into his niche. Itís the common misunderstanding of Darwinís concept that the Ďbest adaptedí pass on their genes.

Hankís presence in my life, I admit grudgingly, was valuable in one way. His apparent muscular invulnerability was what inspired me to begin to work out. I saw that the big guys never got picked on and now, years later, I was a large enough man that most people didnít want to try to bully me. Perhaps Coach was right, if in a limited way.

In my junior year we contributors to ĎThe First Bank of Hank the Tankí, got a rather pleasant surprise. Hank would not be returning for his senior year. No one knew exactly why. Rumor had it that his dad had sent him to military school to knock some sense into him. Hank had apparently been doing some wild stuff that wasnít exactly legal it was said. The same rumor said Hank had gotten into trouble with the law and thatís why he was being sent off. Other rumors said heíd seriously maimed another kid in a fight because Hank was using strength he had underestimated. That rumor said Hank had been sent off to jail. Yet another said heíd got his girlfriend pregnant and they were both living out of state with an aunt until after sheíd had his baby.

No one knew what the truth was. Hank really didnít have friends. He had associates and victims. No one ever got close to him or knew too much about him. I had personally overheard a couple of the other bullies talking, but all they said was that they were glad they hadnít ended up like Hank.

As I sat in my car, lost in dark nostalgia, a police car pulled up to mine. I hadnít noticed the patrol car. The lights werenít on and it ran very quietly. So quietly, that the music covered the sound of the engine. I hadnít noticed the officer getting out of his patrol car. He turned on his flashlight and looked me over through my rolled up window. I was more than a bit startled, as I hadnít expected to be interrupted in my reverie.

I couldnít see his face as he motioned me to roll down the window. I rolled my window down with the light still in my face. Itís a control thing most police do.

"Can I see your license and registration sir," the very tall and very burly policeman, from what little I could see, said in a deep bass voice. "Yes, sir; this is a rental, but I think I have all the proper paperwork." I said in a friendly even tone; I was surprised I could muster that kind of control over my voice, given my level of unease. I noticed that the strap was open on his service pistol, ready should he need to use it. I dug around in my glove box for the rental papers. I got them from the glove box without too much fumbling and dug the license out of my wallet. I was just a bit more nervous and I guess it showed because he looked over the paperwork and driverís license with more than just a casual glance. While he examined the papers, I stared straight ahead, over the steering wheel. I thought to myself, "I havenít done anything wrong." I was having the normal reaction most people do when confronted by an armed, very tall, physically powerful officer of the law. I reined anything that might be considered threatening in my voice or mannerisms.

"Mr. Gregory," the great bear of a man said, coolly, "what are you doing out here at this hour of the night with your lights off?" The question made me feel like Iíd been strapped to a chair and I was being grilled for information. I looked into his face. The flashlight was just enough out of my eyes that I could see his face from the reflected light. His blue eyes seemed menacing and he wasnít smiling. I felt like I had all those years ago when Hank had extorted lunch money from me. I began to speak with the nervousness in my voice probably quite evident to the policeman, because it had risen slightly in pitch.

"I yoo-used to go to this sk-school. Iím moving back here after being gone since I

g-graduated. I couldnít sleep, so I thought I might cuh-cuh-come by and look at the old school." I said, trying to sound as truthful and innocent as possible, but the stuttering made it obvious that I was nervous and possibly had something to hide. I hated being nervous, my handicap returned when I became nervous.

"Really?" the officer said. The friendliness in his voice had risen by extremely small increments. "What years?"

Feeling as though it was vital that what I said sound truthful I replied, "Nineteen-seventy-f-five through seventy-nine. Itís been a long time." I hated that I stuttered; I hated that I was scared.

The officer smiled broadly and his eyes flashed. His thick, bushy, black moustache more than hid the corners of his smile as he did. Now his face was alight with much more friendliness and, perhaps because he was less stern, he had relaxed his stance a bit and moved his hand away from his pistol. Perhaps, because he was less threatening, I could notice just how handsome he was.

He had a nice looking face, rugged, with a small scar to the right of the dimple in his cleft chin. His well-muscled arms were covered thickly in black hair and his black T-shirt under his crisp black uniform had hair poking out over the top of the neck collar. I could see that he shaved from his cheeks all the way down to that line of hair. He was a very good-looking bearish man and I leaned a little out of the window, shifting my body so that he couldnít see the erection that was growing down my right pant leg.

He chuckled a little and said, "Well, I went to this school too, but I didnít get to graduate with my class, like I wanted to. He grinned widely, showing perfect white teeth and looked deeply into my eyes. Itís nice to see you again, Tommy; youíve changed quite a bit."

That last bit shocked me out of my lustful musings and sent a chill down my spine. My heart leapt and my growing erection shriveled. The policeman looked me over as if judging my physical capability. I looked at the officerís nameplate to find out who it was that knew me well enough to call me Tommy. He noticed me checking out the nameplate and chuckled again. "Thatís right Tommy, itís me. Iím really glad you came back."

What I saw filled me with horror. The nameplate read ĎH. Dodsoní. My worst nightmare had just come true, ĎHank the Tankí was a policeman and he had recognized who I was. If the name on my license hadnít betrayed me, the stuttering certainly had.

Seeing the horror on my face, Officer Henry Dodsonís smile turned more wicked than friendly, I thought, and the gleam in his eye was not a merry twinkle anymore. His jet-black hair in a crew cut with the distinctive widowís peak seemed extremely severe and the image of Hank as a sadistic drill sergeant or prison guard came to mind. I was stunned that I hadnít noticed something so obvious before. How could I have been so stupid? Had I come to the realization beforehand, I would probably have sped off as soon as I had recognized him. He hadnít changed that much. Some wrinkles and a touch of grey at the temples, the big black moustache, but he really didnít look too much different than he did in high school. Why hadnít I seen it earlier? Perhaps because I had indulged the fantasy since high school that Hank was locked away in prison for life or getting the electric chair for killing some skinny mousy little man. Speeding off was definitely not an option and neither was getting out of the car and running, so I sat, paralyzed with fear.

Then he said, and it sounded so very menacing, "Well, well, well, Thomas Ulysses Gregory. Good olí ĎTugboatí! Youíre looking good. Youíve been working out I see; you finally heeded olí coach Silvaís advice! Iíve always hoped weíd meet again. I have some unfinished business with you. How have you been all these years, Tommy?"

I was in Hell. I was sweating all over and the air was very close. "I-IímÖ Oh-OK." I stuttered; I kept my answers short so I could actually get them out, just like when I was a kid. I had huge bruises for weeks after Hank was finished with me. The bruises were bad, but it was nothing compared to the teasing I got for sharing the name of a long dead U. S. President. Hank knew my middle name because he had punched me as hard as he could in the shoulder and leg until I told him, then he made fun of it. He used my initials as a joke or called me "U-sissies". The latter name was the worst and haunted me until after graduation.

Though logically, I knew I was about Hankís size, I had taken plenty of self-defense classes and knew that he probably couldnít beat me up so easily anymore. Hank had a new way he could bully me if he wished. He seemed extremely aware of it, too.

We were in a secluded parking lot and in the darkest section of that lot. There were no witnesses at one-twenty in the morning and striking an officer was a really serious offense. Hank could beat the shit out of me and if I laid a hand on him; I would be in real trouble. I remembered the stomach punches I got the time I didnít have the money to give to Hank. That was the time Eli Sanders took it from me first and swore heíd kick my skull in if I told Hank. Suddenly, I was fourteen years old and Hank the Tank was taking my lunch money all over again. I was sweating like Iíd just run five miles; my undershirt was soaked.

"I see your stuttering problem resurfaces under stress," he said. The smile had faded from his face and Hank looked pained.

I had no idea what it meant.

"Iím sorry I make you stutter." Hank said.

He smiled again, but there was sadness to the smile. He gently patted me on the shoulder. "Relax, Tommy, Iím not going to steal your lunch money and Iím not going to beat you up. Just because Iím a cop and weíre alone doesnít mean that Iím going to revisit our old predator-prey relationship." Hank handed me my license and papers. "Iíve changed a lot since you saw me last, more than you could probably imagine." He said the last a little softer and an odd look was in his eyes. He cleared his throat and continued. "Iím not a bully anymore Tom. Iíve learned some tough lessons from life since last we saw each other."

I relaxed a bit, but just a bit. I was sure this was some sort of trick.

"Listen, Thomas." He said my name formally with respect due an adult and he said it with a genuinely friendly tone in his voice. "I feel real bad about how I treated you and the other kids, way back when. Iíve made it up to some of the other guys. Itís a promise I made to myself, years ago and Iíve been trying to fulfill it. Iíve mostly helped with small loans or helped them build onto or refurbish their houses. You know, Ďsweat penanceí for my sins. I even went easy on Jimmy Swansonís kid. You remember Jimmy Swanson? He was the skinny redhead with buckteeth and big ears? I used to call him ĎWhat Me Worryí?"

I sort of nodded my head. I remembered Jimmy Swanson and that he really did look like the guy from MAD magazine.

"Anyway," Hank continued, "when I caught his kid Justin vandalizing the school over there, I dealt with it privately; with Jim. Jim gave an anonymous donation to the school to have the graffiti painted over and I didnít report that I caught his kid so Justin didnít go to juvy. Justin was becoming quite a little bully himself and he and I had a long talk about being a bully. I figured that since Iíd been in his shoes, it was logical. His dad made him work off the cost of the paint with the nastiest shit jobs he could find and insisted that those paying him give him only half of what theyíd regularly pay for odd jobs." He laughed ruefully at that last bit. Perhaps he was thinking it would have been better for him if his father had done something similar when he was a kid. Hank had sort of traveled down the road to ĎTangentvilleí and came back abruptly.

"So!" Hank said in his deep booming voice and then reduced his volume for the next, "Back to what I was getting at. The ones I havenít made it up to, have moved away like you. Iíve tried to make it right with all of them that I could contact and Iíd like to make it right with you, if you wouldnít mind."

I was stunned and didnít know what to say. "OK." I said the next hesitantly. "What did you have in m-mind?" I was still suspicious.

"Well," Hank said, "you said youíre moviní back, right?"

"Yeah," I said, not knowing where Hank was going with this, "Iíve got movers coming in next Thursday; Iím not physically moving myself."

"Have you got a place to stay while youíre waiting for your furniture and stuff?" Hank asked.

"Iím staying at the Hyatt Regency." I said.

"Nice! Are you married?" Hank asked.

"No. Why?" I asked.

"Because," he said, "I could help you get settled in when your stuff gets here and Iíll put you up until youíve got your house straightened out. Howís that? Iím sure you remember; itís the house I grew up in a couple of blocks from here. Youíre single, so I donít have to worry about making the place too pretty for your wife. Iím not married either, so when Iím on duty youíll have the house to yourself. I sleep like a rock, so even when I am home itíll be like Iím not there. Youíll have a lot of time to get things arranged with your new house, without having to worry about getting it all done on a schedule. It will save you from spending on that hotel, too. Iím a pretty damn good cook too, so you wonít have to go out to a restaurant every night."

Hank really had changed in the last twenty-five years. I figured if he wasnít in prison, heíd be married to that girl he was supposed to have gotten pregnant with twenty or so mean kids just like him. I was sure heíd have a wife who would dote on him as much as the girls used to fawn on him in high school. I never figured heíd be single and have to learn how to cook.

He used to make fun of the few guys taking home economics class and I was one of those. He used to say the guys taking that class were all fags. One day, just after class, he asked me if Iíd like to wear a French maidís outfit and suck his cock. The other bullies standing around got a huge laugh out of that one, as did Hank. I blushed furiously, but it was weird. The thought of sucking his cock sort of turned me on, even as I was being humiliated.

Of course, I never let on that I really was a Ďfagí. That would have been suicide. I didnít even really fully admit that to myself until I was half way through college. Even now I only feel comfortable being a bear in larger cities; I know the value of discretion. I know enough not to let on around most overtly masculine men, like Hank. It just isnít worth the trouble. Thinking about being here in a small town in Pennsylvania near the New York border made me aware of how I missed the bear den in Philly. Still Iím close enough that I could road trip if I needed my fix of bear fur. New York City has plenty of bear clubs too and Iíd been to a few of them and knew some of the fur-balls there.

"So, Tom," Hank said formally, "what do you say? Is it a deal?" Hank offered his hand and I considered the offer briefly. I looked up into his passive face, took his hand and shook it. Hankís grip was warm and firm and I returned it as best I could.

"Itís a deal," I said.

Hank smiled. I noticed that he really was handsome, now that I was over my fear.

"Alright then," he said jovially, "I go off shift in a couple of hours. Thereís a spare key taped to the underside of the first step up to the house around the back. It fits the front or back door. You can go around back through the side yard. There isnít a dog and the gate isnít locked. If you come in through the back door, youíll go through the laundry room first, then the kitchen. Thereís an alarm keypad in the laundry room and also just by the front door. The code is #-4-2-6-5-*-#. Youíll have 60 seconds to enter the code once the door is opened. Iíll write that down for you. From the kitchen thereís a hall that leads to the front door and to the left of the front door is the living room. Go on in and stretch out on the couch. When I come in, Iíll wake you and we can work out sleeping arrangements."

"OK," I said, "Iíll do that. The key is under the first step to the back door, right?"

"Yep," Hank said, "Iím writing down the address below the code, just so you donít get lost. Be sure to tear this up and throw it in the kitchen trash can when you get in." As he scribbled, I peeked at him again. He was still a tank and my erection was returning. "Here you go," he said as he handed me the scrap of paper with the code and address.

We shook hands again and he went back to his patrol car. I started up my car. He drove up and rolled down his window.

" And help yourself to whatever you want in the fridge, unless it looks like a science experiment." He laughed and drove off.

I was very impressed with Hank. He seemed to have changed dramatically. He was no longer the sadistic beast he was in high school. He was decent, kindly and helpful. He also trusted me, a person he knew only from years ago, as a guest in his house.

I found the place in minutes. It was well kept and looked recently renovated. I knew the house was a tract home and dated from about the early Ď50s. It looked like Hank had added onto the place since his house was not an exact twin of those on either side of it. For one thing, it had a second storey and an attic with dormer windows. At what was now about two in the morning, the neighborhood was quiet. A dog barked across the street. Still, it looked to be a quiet neighborhood and I suspected, even at its most active, it was a nice place to live. I found the redwood gate with a latticed arch covered in roses. It opened up to the side yard and I followed along the wall of the house around to the back. I saw the dimly lit sunken pool and Jacuzzi in what turned out to be a huge, well-landscaped back yard. There was nice redwood decking all around the pool and this continued up to the back door. The redwood latticework and roses were repeated as walls around a portion of the pool and around the back porch. On the other side of the pool was a nice gazebo covered in what looked like honeysuckle vines that must provide a nice shady spot during the day. I found the first redwood step up to the back door and the key duct taped to the bottom. I let myself in. The door opened onto a small laundry room and that, in turn opened onto the kitchen and what looked to be the basement from an open door that led down into inky darkness. I found the keypad and entered the code. The green light went on and I knew then that the system was disarmed. It was dark, so I fumbled around the doorframe for a switch and found one. The kitchen was tiled and had a nice butcher-block island. Off the kitchen, there was a door that led to a pantry and on the other side of the kitchen I could see what looked like a den or office through an open door. I tore up the scrap of paper and threw it in the kitchen garbage, as Hank had asked.

I couldnít resist looking around, just a bit. I went into the den and flipped a switch that turned on a floor lamp. The room was in earth tones and had a comfortable looking leather recliner in dark chocolate brown by the floor lamp in the corner. I looked around the room. There were nice hardwood bookshelves and a hardwood desk with a computer under the window that looked out on the swimming pool. It was sturdy furniture and the solid wood looked like it would weigh a ton. The desk had a rather nice leather swivel chair of the type used in the offices of upper management. Across the room, on the other side of the recliner was a small oak table with an ashtray and cigar humidor. Hank liked cigars, which wasnít unusual. The few times I saw Hankís dad heíd had one clamped in his mouth. There were a couple of videotapes on the table: American Werewolf in London and Die Hard and DVD editions of Terminator and T2. The recliner was opposite a large TV and a stereo in an entertainment center on the wall with the door. The entertainment center matched the desk and bookshelves. The collection of DVDs and VHS tapes were mostly action flicks as I could have guessed by what Iíd seen on the table; Hank obviously wasnít into the slow paced stuff. This suggested to me that he either had a short attention span or watched this genre because he didnít want to have to pay close attention to the movies while he relaxed or perhaps he was just your typical macho guy and only liked action flicks. Overall, the room was comfortable and showed Hank had really good taste. I looked at the pictures on the wall; the police photos, photos of Hank getting awards or promotions, the plaques that were in the photos of the ceremonies and other things of the type that decorate the walls of a copís house. The photos of the "Pirates", "Aís" and "Cardinals" with mustachioed Hank as the team coach or manager and the little league baseballs signed by the kids in three separate years on the bookshelves surprised me. I couldnít imagine him being gentle enough to handle kids, but apparently heíd been coaching or managing a team for at least the last few years. I also saw some things that cleared up a mystery about Hank. On the wall was a picture of Hank at about eighteen or so. He was in a Marine dress uniform and there were medals and other military memorabilia on the wall in frames. Apparently, Hankís dad had either sent him to military school or he enlisted in the Marines in his junior year. I turned out the light and went back into the kitchen.

I found the door to the hallway and went past the stairs to the door that led to the living room. I again found a switch that turned the lights on in the living room. Across the hall by the bottom of the stairs was a small guest bathroom and since it had been a couple of hours, I made use of it.

Hankís living room was nicely furnished in large comfortable sofas and chairs and it seemed that heíd had the place professionally decorated. Everything in the living room was brown, forest green and beige with stained oak wood floors, and reflected the denís Ďmanlyí touch. The comfortable green leather furniture had stained oak accent pieces to match the floor and bookshelves. A large fireplace with a generous granite hearth and mantle was the focal point of the room. It was a very neat and comfortable home, despite what he had said about needing to make the place presentable for potential female guests. There was no mistaking it, Hankís home was a reflection of him; the living room was very well ordered and I suspected the rest of the house was as well.

I looked through his library in the living room. A sort of occupational hazard, I suppose. His books were nice and it spoke to me of Hankís tastes. He had quite a collection of classical literature and it wasnít just for show. The books were recent editions, but they had the wear of being read much more than once. His collection of science fiction and fantasy, I noticed, had everything Iíve ever written along with extensive collections of authors from Asimov to Zelazny, all hardback editions.

I went back to the kitchen and looked in the fridge, grabbed a beer and the makings for a ham sandwich and turned out the light as I left the kitchen. I sat down on the couch and pulled off my shoes and turned on the tube in the living room. I watched a little TV as I drank the beer and ate, I was careful to use a couple of paper towels as a coaster. When I was finished and I was relaxed a little from the beer and satisfied by the sandwich, I turned off the TV and the light. I stretched out on the couch using my light jacket as a blanket and soon I was sound asleep.

I was woken a little while later by Hank, gently shaking my shoulder. My jacket was over my head, so I guess thatís why the light of the living room hadnít roused me.

"Hey, Tom," he said quietly, "itís time to get you into a real bed." I looked into Hankís blue eyes, a bit disoriented, not knowing exactly where I was or why a big handsome stranger was waking me. For a brief moment, I thought he was taking me to his bed and I smiled at the thought. A second or two later it clicked and I realized what was going on. I noticed Hank had removed the outer uniform shirt and was holding it in his hand. He was just in pants and his black T-shirt. I noticed the bottom of a Marine insignia tattoo on the outside of his right bicep, the bottom portion of the anchor and the globe, just below the cuff of the sleeve of the T-shirt. I also noticed that Hank needed a shave, he had dark five oíclock shadow on his cheeks and chin. I remembered that he seemed to be freshly shaven when Iíd seen him last. Curious, I asked, "What time is it?"

"Itís about four thirty in the morning," Hank replied, "come on, time to get you upstairs."

I grabbed my shoes and jacket and Hank showed me the way up to the guest bedroom. There were two bedrooms, plus Hankís bedroom at the top of the stairs and the bathroom and hall linen closet. There were also stairs leading up to what I guessed to be the attic room or rooms. Hank pulled out some covers, a pillow and sheets and asked which room I wanted. I chose the one closest to his room and headed in. Soft greys and blues greeted me and the room again was a reflection of Hank. A stout and sturdy wood-framed king-sized bed that looked like it could hold the weight of four guys Hankís size. He told me that there were some disposable razors and toothpaste and toothbrushes in the closet and that I should help myself in the morning. He said that he usually got up around noon and that I was to help myself to whatever I wanted for breakfast. He patted me on the shoulder and said good night.

I turned down the covers, got into bed and as I was drifting off to sleep, I wondered why Hank needed a shave after only three or so hours and became erect thinking about it. It was odd, but I supposed that Hank had lots of testosterone to spare and it affected the growth rate of his beard. I started drifting into sleep, thinking about Hank and how after all these years we might become good friends after all. I chuckled a bit, thinking about us as Ďpalsí and was out.

I awoke around eight in the morning. It was Saturday and Hank was still snoring away loudly in his room. Some men have a very annoying snore, Hanks was very rhythmic and somewhat comforting. I found that thought strange, that a manís snore could actually be soothing and not be the cause of my waking. Hearing him, I imagined him naked and furry in his bed with a huge erection oozing pre-come as he had erotic dreams. I could resist no longer; I needed release. I found the towels in the linen closet. I took a shower and as I showered, I jacked off imagining Hank behind me, jacking me off with his big hairy hands as he pressed his huge cock into my butt crack and rubbed his soapy, furry chest against my back. I gushed out three loads as quietly as I could. I rinsed off and dried myself. I hadnít disturbed Hank and I could hear that he was still snoring as I finished drying.

I needed to shave and brush my teeth, so I got a razor and the toothbrush and toothpaste Hank had mentioned. I shaved my neck and upper cheeks and trimmed my honey blond beard and moustache and cleaned up after myself.

After taking care of the morning routine, I went downstairs, made coffee and helped myself to bagels and cream cheese and a couple of bananas. After breakfast, I got into my car and went back to the hotel. I packed up my stuff, checked out, did a couple of things for work and returned at about noon. I reminded myself that sometime next week Iíd have to drive the rental back to Philly and turn it in, then pack up my car with my last minute things and drive it back.

I rang the front doorbell. Iíd left the key on the living room coffee table, by the beer can and plate. Hank met me at the door wearing just a towel with shaving cream on his face. Hank had just lathered up and hadnít started shaving when I got back.

I was rather impressed by the amount of fur on his torso and I could see as I passed him in the doorway that his back was as furry as his front. His arms and legs were furry as well, but I could see the Marine Corps tattoo in full now, under the fur of his arm. I circumspectly looked a little closer at his face as he turned to shut the door and couldnít believe how long his stubble was. It was remarkable how much Hankís beard had grown over night. It looked like he had two days growth under the shaving cream. I was amazed and I guess my expression gave away my thoughts.

He just smiled and said, "Overactive hormones, my beard grows fast. I keep an electric razor in my patrol car, with an adapter for the cigarette lighter so I can stay neat lookiní on duty. Itís a fuckiní pain in the ass. When I retire, Iím growiní a beard like you!" He grinned through the shaving cream, "If youíre goiní to be a cop, you can only get away with a moustache; regulations aní all."

I imagined Hank with a full beard, jet black with a few silver strands here and there throughout, realized I was getting turned on and changed the subject to his pool in the backyard.

"Would you mind if I took a swim, I noticed your pool last night." I said, thinking how the cool water would do wonders for reducing the erection I was covering with the jacket I was carrying.

"Sure! Go ahead. Knock yourself out!" Hank laughed, "I half way expected to find you in the Jacuzzi last night. Iím gonna finish shaving. After that Iíll throw on a pair of trunks and join you. Do you have swim trunks?"

"Yeah," I said, "I picked up some on the way over in the hopes of using the pool. Iíll just go up to the bedroom and drop off these suitcases and get that stuff from my car, first."

Hank went back upstairs to the bathroom and I followed him up. We chatted on the way about how I slept, if Iíd found everything I needed for cleaning up in the morning, like the toothpaste and towels and whether I found everything I wanted for breakfast. God, but his back was furry and his muscles rippled underneath his skin as he walked, like the muscles of a big cat or a racehorse. I realized that I was going to have to control myself while I stayed with Hank. He was such a beautiful man, but Iím sure heíd be quite unhappy with me if he knew I was gay and admiring his gorgeous body.

I got the rest of my stuff from the car and took it up to the bedroom, changed into my swim trunks, grabbed a towel and headed down to the pool. When I got to the pool, I stood and stared in amazement. I hadnít noticed last night that the home I was buying was directly behind Hankís house. Part of the reason was that it was then two in the morning and the other part was that the back portion of Hankís backyard had some nice large trees that screened off most of the view so when Iíd bought the house, I hadnít seen Hankís back yard. Hank and I were going to be back to back neighbors. This was going to be harder than I thought. With ĎHank the Tankí taking a swim or lounging half naked in his hot tub where I might see him from my second story bedroom, I knew I would have a hard time not jacking off as I stood by the window and watched him.

I jumped in and the water was just fine. A little cool, but not cold and it did what I wanted it to do, my erection subsided. It was early summer and it was wonderful. I was in the pool for about fifteen minutes when Hank came down in a tight pair of black swim trunks and a towel over his shoulder. I could see just how muscular he was, but I also appreciated that he had slight love handles too. The trunks he was wore left nothing to the imagination. I remembered how big Hank had been in high school. I had seen his cock in the showers from glances I stole while he was rinsing the shampoo out of his hair and had his eyes closed. Hank was all grown up now and I could see that everything about him was bigger. The difference now was that instead of just having a furry chest, like he had in high school, the fur now covered Hanks body. He tossed the towel into a lounge on the deck and did a cannonball into the pool. He came up for air, laughing boisterously in his deep voice; immediately he started horsing around with me, splashing water in my face and pushing me under the water, holding me there briefly; just general roughhousing. We were both laughing and playing like kids. I wondered why we couldnít have been like this when we had been kids. After a few minutes we both calmed down, resting in the shallow end of the pool just slowly moving our limbs in the water, feeling the water swirl around.

Then I asked a question without thinking about it, "Hey Hank, why is a nice guy like you still single?"

Hank stopped cold and stared at me with those intense blue eyes. He had become very still. I felt like Iíd just made a huge mistake.

"What did you say?" He said in a soft, even voice. His stare seemed to bore into the back of my skull, but I couldnít break the connection.

"I j-just said. W-w-whatís a nice guy like y-you doing living a-alone?"

I was scared and my stuttering had returned. Suddenly the water in the pool was much colder and I shivered.

Hank broke the stare by turning half away. He spoke softly without looking at me.

"Itís alright Tom, Iím not angry with you, I was justÖ I was just surprised is all." He said. "You called me a Ďnice guyí".

There was a pause and he turned to face me. Heíd regained his composure. I almost said something, but he continued and prevented it.

"Look, I was really mean to you in high school. I guess I just didnít expect to hear that from you, at least not this soon. Iíve gone for long stretches of time without hearing that phrase applied to me. Even those others that Iíve helped, to make amends, to atone for what Iíve done, havenít said that. Theyíve thanked me, but I always get the feeling that they expect me to bite them or something. They treat me with respect and smile and say ĎHelloí when they see me, but itís like Iím some sort of chained dog they donít really trust and donít want to get too close to."

He paused again and shrugged.

"I guess it could be the uniform. Iíve offered to have some of them over for dinner or cards or something, but none of them have taken me up on it. Maybe they donít like cops or maybe they still resent what I did to them as kids; I donít know. I guess I really canít blame them."

Hank paused and for just an instant before he continued I thought I could see through his Ďtough guy that nothing got toí mask. It was haunting him and hurting him, that he had truly changed, but he was still being judged for what he did when he was just becoming a man.

"To give you an answer, I guess I just never found the right one; I guess Iím not really loveable." He said in a matter of fact tone. "Even the guys at the station donít seem to want to be pals with me. I donít exactly get invited over for poker or football and pizza with the guys. Iíve overheard them in the locker room when they didnít know I was there; they call me ĎThe Icemaní. Thatís why I work the graveyard shift even though I have seniority and rank over some of them; it means I donít have to be around them so much. Itís OK; Iíve grown used to being a loner."

"So, you donít have anyone?" I asked quietly. He shook his head. "What about your folks?" I asked.

"My mom ran off when I was in the fourth grade and my dad raised me as best he knew how, I guess. Dadís been dead for five years and he was in a home for ten years before that. He had Alzheimerís. It was hard. He was all I had and at the end he didnít even recognize me. I had no one left and there was no one close. So you see, Iíve had some practice being alone."

I could see why the other cops called him ĎThe Icemaní, because as he told me about his dad, he was in complete control of his emotions. I could see why it was hard to get close to the man, but for some reason he was telling me all of this. I wondered why it was easier for him to extend friendship to me.

"Iím sorry." I said. "I meant what I said, you are a nice guy."

"Thanks and thereís nothiní to be sorry for; like I said, Iíve had practiceÖ Iím fine." Hank said simply.

"Have you ever wanted to be married?" I said, bearding the bear in his den.

"No," he said, "Iíd be hard to live with." Hank changed the subject quickly. "Hey, letís get dried off and grab some lunch."

Hank had opened up as much as he would allow and now the door was closed again.

The next two weeks went much smoother with Hankís help. I moved into my house and could actually get some work done.

As the hot summer months dragged on, Hank and I became closer, and our friendship grew. One night, after a nice barbecue on his deck, while we were sitting in his pool with a couple of beers, Hank said, "Tom, I think youíre one of the best friends Iíve ever had." Well, Hank had drunk more than a couple. He was almost plastered. "He smiled a bit ruefully and followed with, "I think youíre one of the only friends Iíve ever had."

If Hank only knew how attractive I found him, with his thick dark stubble, moustache and ice blue eyes. On the other hand, if he knew, we probably would stop being friends.

That night, as I was saying goodnight and getting ready to go back to my place, Hank teetered a bit and grabbed me in a rough, tight bear hug and thanked me for being his friend. His eyes were a bit misty. I hugged back, thanked him and punched him playfully on the shoulder. He smiled, as he scratched his stubble, said goodnight and headed off towards the house, swaying slightly as he went. Hank was really drunk.

I realized just how starved he was for human contact. The most touching he probably ever got was a handshake. A simple hug had made him teary eyed or, perhaps, that he felt he could hug me had done it. I knew that was more than he would allow from the guys at work. I headed back to my place, thinking about how Hank had called me one of his only friends. Sadly, I felt he was right. In the few months Iíd known him, he never had any visitors Iíd ever seen. He came home from work, ate, slept and went back to work. I broke that routine up, but I too had work so some days I wouldnít see him.

As the summer changed to fall, Hank and I decided that weíd install a gate between our properties. It only made sense, I was constantly going over to his place and though walking around the block wasnít strenuous, it was more convenient with a gate between us. Previously, Hank would just hop the fence if he wanted to come over to my house. Being a cop, he was used to doing that if he was chasing someone down.

I liked to work out and Hank insisted that I use his equipment in his large basement. He and I would spot each other on the free weights in the morning or afternoon and when he was working in the evenings. When he wasnít there, I would use the weight machines so I didnít need a spotter. Hank had quite a set-up. He even had a wrestling mat on the floor, which he used for sit-ups or push-ups.

The basement was finished off like the rest of the house, though the basement had been left with lots of exposed brick for its decorative value. There was enough room for a home gym and wrestling mat with ceiling to floor mirrors on one wall. There was a bathroom with a toilet and a shower, a small spare bedroom, a small utility room with the hot water heaters and a storage area and lastly, there was another room that Hank said was for storage. I didnít get to look in there because he kept it locked. He said he had his gun collection and some other personal and valuable stuff in the storage room. It was a very heavy steel door and had a combination lock and stout hasp on it. He said he didnít want thieves to get into it.

As the weather got colder I stayed mostly at my place. Iíd see Hank on the days I went over to work out and on the weekends weíd get together for dinner, but the weather was too cold to hang out on the deck, as in the previous months, so I wasnít over every night like in the summer. I was also working to finish my next novel.

Because Hank is a fan of sci-fi, I hadnít told him I was his favorite author. I kept my pen name ĎArthur Nelsoní a secret. I really didnít want to throw that into our blossoming friendship and I really wasnít sure I wanted Hank to know at all. As far as he knew, I worked for a publisher in New York. Not knowing anything about the business, it was easy to pass off this half-truth. Well, I did work for a publisher in New York, sort of.

One night, I woke up around three in the morning. I didnít know why Iíd awoken but I looked out my window, facing Hankís place. I could have sworn I saw a bear sitting in Hankís hot tub. I blinked and rubbed my sleepy eyes and went to get a pair of binoculars I kept for hiking in the hall closet. When I got back to the window, I focused in on the hot tub, looking through the semi bare trees. All I saw was Hank sitting in his Jacuzzi with a beer. He was puffing on a cigar, something he didnít do often enough to be a habit for him. There was steam all around. The steam rising from the tub swirled around in miniature tornadoes. Without thinking about it, I began stroking myself gently as I watched Hank relax. He had grown what he called "Vacation Beard", which meant that heíd grown a good bit of stubble in the couple of days heíd taken off. He was relaxing, puffing away on his cigar, staring up at the clear moonless starry sky. I watched as Hank got out of the tub; he was naked and I began to stroke myself with more vigor. I could see how well hung Hank was. I opened the window slightly because, suddenly, the room had become a bit too warm. Hank got two more beers out of a small cooler and placed them by the edge of the Jacuzzi. Then, amazed, I watched as he began to stroke himself. He arched his back a little, pointing his cigar and bearded chin toward the sky. I saw the cigar glow on and off like a twinkling light as his breathing increased in pace. I was completely turned on now, watching as this furry beast grew hard and pinched his nipples with the hand that was not otherwise occupied. He looked down at his huge manhood, rolling his nipple between his thumb and forefinger, a cloud of smoke drifting slowly around him. He was hard. He reached for something on the nearby table. It was a rubber. He opened the packet and he put it on. It was a red colored rubber and Hank filled it out quite nicely. He got back into the Jacuzzi. He opened one of his beers, took the cigar out of his mouth and downed the beer in a few gulps. He replaced the cigar and then began to masturbate. The on and off glow was much faster now and I could see the billows of smoky steam coming out of him, making sort of a localized fog around his head in the still night air.

I was absolutely enthralled. I watched as Hank made love to himself. When he arched in orgasm and I heard his growling grunt through the slightly opened window; I shot a big load in my underwear. Hank lay in the tub for a while, obviously enjoying the afterglow as I wished I could. He finished the other beer, put out the stub of his cigar in the ashtray and went back into the house, still wearing the condom. After that, I couldnít sleep. I jacked off twice more that night thinking about what Iíd seen.

As I lay there, before finally drifting off, I wondered why Iíd seen Hank as a bear when Iíd first looked out the window. Perhaps I was seeing what I wanted to see. A gorgeous, bearish, straight man I could not have was symbolized to my half waking mind as the animal all my friends and I saw us as being like. I saw Hank as a bear because thatís what I wished he was; a bear that would sweep me off my feet and make love to me in his den. Writers have fertile imaginations. I also realized that I felt a bit sad for Hank, who obviously didnít get to share sex with anyone. I thought on; perhaps there was also something to the belief that the totemic animal lent its Ďguiseí to the one who took the animal as his totem. After a time with the totem, the man began to look like the beast he had grown close to, so that it was obvious which animal protected and guided the man. Though, I didnít know that Hank had the bear as his Ďtotemí I was certain that the bear spirit watched over him. I drifted into sleep thinking about this shamanistic concept and dreamt about sex with bears, both of the animal and human variety.

The next day, in the afternoon, I went over to work out with Hank. I found that he had shaved his beard off and was back to just his thick, generous, well-trimmed moustache.

"Yep," he said with a bit of regret in his voice after I had mentioned it, "vacationís over, back to being mostly clean shaven."

"You really do look better with a beard," I said, "it looks natural on you."

"Well, thank you. That might even be true, considering it covers most of my ugly mug," Hank said with a wink, "but Iíve got to earn a living and cops canít have beards on the job, unlike you shaggy civilians."

Hank chuckled as he said the last and grabbed the sides of my face, vigorously ruffling my brown beard. We roughhoused and play wrestled for a while on the mat, then we started stretching for a serious work out. Hankís bones popped as he stretched and he cracked his knuckles and neck. In the last six months, the man who had given me nightmares as a teenager had become my very best friend in the world; I knew that now. It was very difficult, as we went through the workout routine, to keep my mind off the scene Iíd witnessed the previous night. I kept seeing Hank jacking off in the water with that cigar and I was semi-erect, as I was finishing up my bench presses. Hank looked at the obvious bulge in my sweats as he was spotting me and began to chuckle. He joked about my woody and then just as easily told me that he got hard when he worked out sometimes. "Nothiní to be embarrassed about, you get all that testosterone pumpiní around in your blood and youíre naturally gonna get hard. Come on, lasí set and weíll hit the showers; aní youíd better take a nice cold one, buddy!" He laughed and I finished up the set.

After showering, Hank and I went bowling. I hadnít been bowling since I was ten and I was really bad now. Half the time the ball would end up in the gutter, the other half I would knock over only a couple of pins on the sides, still, we had fun. Hank was far better than I and bowled a good game. Of course, in a friendly way, he rubbed it in. We ended up at Antonioís for dinner, a little mom and pop pizza place, and went home after that.

Thanksgiving came and Hank invited me over. I told him that a friend of mine would be coming down to stay over the holiday and a week after because he, like Hank and I, really didnít have any family. He was quite happy to have another guest for the holiday. We had an "Orphanís Thanksgiving". We were three guys without family, sharing the holiday.

My friend Rich Griffin is a bear from Philly and he and I had fooled around with each other before he had started up his last relationship with Mark. I really had a thing for Rich. I liked sex with him, but neither of us ever seemed to want to have a relationship together. We just seem to have too much fun together as casual partners. Though considering that he was now single and Iíve never really been attached, perhaps it was time to reconsider a serious relationship with Rich. He has beautiful blue-grey eyes, a nicely muscled stocky build with a good layer of padding and light blondish-brown hair covering his body, face and head. His beard is thick and very bushy with grey on the chin hair and a thick, long blondish moustache. Rich is bald in the typical male pattern and the grey fur on his chest and back combined with whatís in his beard really turns me on. Heís a genuine Papa Bear. When his fur goes completely white, heís going to look like Santa Clause. Well, Santa Clause with nipple rings and dog tags.

I let Rich know, before we went over to Hankís place that he was straight and didnít know I was a bear.

"Donít worry," Rich said, "I wonít say a word."

"Oh, and donít mention that Iím an author either. Hank is a fan of my work and sometimes people get a little weird when they find out youíre a famous author." I said.

"I didnít." Rich said.

"No, you were weird before I met you." I said and Rich gave me a grin. "Anyway, youíd known me for almost two years before you found out and you wouldnít have found out if you hadnít come across the rough draft Iíd forgotten to put away before your visit. Further, you donít read the genre; you like westerns. Now, how would you react if you found out one of your favorite western authors, like Louis L'Amour, was your neighbor and friend?" I asked.

"Iíd cut his head off, stuff it with salt and sew up the lips." I gave him a ĎWhat the Hellí look and he laughed mirthfully at my confusion. "Good olí Louis has been dead a couple of years, míboy, and if he were my neighbor heíd have to be a zombie."

"Iím serious!" I said and took a swipe at him. "You are just so weird!" I said with a chuckle.

"Why, because I like to read about supernatural stuff like ghosts, zombies, werewolves and vampires too? OK, OK, I get the point." Rich grinned, like a mischievous child. "Iíd probably bug even a zombie Louis LíAmour with a million questions and phone everyone I know to brag that, ĎÖheís back from the grave and writing again and did I mention that heís my neighbor!í" Rich said, and I punched him in the shoulder just because. Rich laughed and faked being seriously hurt by the punch.

"I donít want Hank to be in awe of me and I donít want everyone in the neighborhood showing up on my doorstep for autographs." I said, "Itís bad enough that he talks about the books now and then. Can you imagine if he found out I wrote them? I need to keep my cover intact."

Rich grunted in an affirmative sort of way and we headed over to Hankís place.

Hank had indeed become quite skillful in the kitchen. The meal was wonderful, turkey with all the trimmings and all of it very well done. Hank was the happiest Iíd seen him since Iíd moved back to this little town and he and Rich were talking like old buddies in no time about sports and cars.

After we helped Hank clean up the kitchen and put the food away. We sat around eating pumpkin pie in the living room and watched the game. After that we just talked. Mostly it was about work. Rich was a mechanic for the city of Philadelphia. He worked on all the vehicles the cops and other city departments used. Hank told him that his department was going to need a good mechanic soon. The job didnít pay as well as the one Rich had now, but being a smaller town, it was probably less expensive to live here than in Philly. Hank said the mechanic they had was getting ready to retire and his assistant had his head up his ass and was a lazy bastard. I offered that Rich could stay at my place until he found an apartment and gave him an elbow in the rib and a wink when Hank wasnít looking. Eventually we both said our goodnights to Hank and he invited us back the next day to help him finish up the leftovers with a calorie-burning workout afterward.

Rich and I hurriedly went back to my place. It was cold and that helped move our feet. However, the real reason for the hurry was that we desperately wanted to fuck. When Hank had left the room a couple of times to use the Ďcaní, Rich had played with my crotch. I gave his basket a nice couple of squeezes and weíd kissed. Weíd built up quite a bit of lust and the danger of being caught had turned us both on.

When we got back we ran up the stairs, stripping off clothes as we went. We were up Ďtil one or so in the morning fucking like bears in heat and I guess we were. Since Richís lover had left him he had not felt comfortable enough with anyone to have sex. Since he and I had been fuck buddies before heíd met Mark, we just started in again like before.

I hadnít found anyone since Iíd moved here, not counting the fantasies I had about Hank while jacking off, and I was just a bit afraid to look. Itís best to keep a low profile in a small town. We were both overdue for a good romp with a furry playmate. Being around ĎHands Off Hankí, as Rich calls him, had added greatly to this eveningís sexual tension.

Something about Hankís scent turned me on. I noticed it one day while I was staying at his place at the beginning of summer. Hank had gone to work and Iíd just taken a shower. I opened up the hamper in the bathroom containing his dirty clothes. I wasnít even thinking about him, I was thinking about work and moving as I was tossing the damp towel in the basket. I caught his scent in the clothes. It made me rock hard instantly. I took his sweaty black T-shirt back to the bedroom and pushed the underarm patches of the shirt up to my nose. I jacked off and shot a thick load in just moments while breathing in his rich scent. I hadnít even been horny until I opened up that hamper.

Richsí own tension had been building all night too. I think Hankís scent affected him in the same way it affected me. Hank obviously had some really potent pheromones.

All of that building tension came pulsing out of us that night. I was surprised we didnít wake the neighborhood, but I suppose all that grunting and growling just seemed loud to me after having been alone since late spring. I slept happily in Richsí furry embrace.

The next morning, around nine or so and after another good quick fuck, Rich and I went over to Hankís. We ate leftovers and, after an hour or so, we all ended up in the basement. Iíd brought sweats to change into and rich had shorts and a T-shirt to work out in. Hank didnít even seem to notice when he saw Richís piercings as he was pulling on his grey Ďfat old fart T-shirtí as Rich calls it. Rich had left the dog tags on the dresser at my place, as they were somewhat of a dead giveaway.

Hank, Rich and I worked out. Rich said he was a bit out of shape, but he seemed to be doing just fine. After awhile, the male scent from the three of us was heavy in the room and it was making me horny. I knew it was doing the same to Rich. We finished after about an hour and Hank offered the use of the showers. Rich begged off saying his stuff was back at my place. I knew what Rich wanted. He liked my scent and I liked his and we both wanted to explore each otherís bodies before a shower could wash the fresh sweat away.

As we were getting ready to leave and Rich was in the bathroom, I took Hank aside. I told Hank that I had to do about eight hours of rather boring work on my laptop the next day and I didnít want to be a bad host to Rich. I asked if Rich could hang out with him, perhaps work out again or something until I could get back. Hank said that wasnít a problem with him and that heíd be glad to have the company. He said he rather liked Rich and thought they had hit it off rather well. I suppressed a laugh because I didnít think heíd be so friendly with either of us if he knew we were bears. Hank said he figured they could watch TV or something. I told him that Rich is one of those guys that is happy to just hang around. I thanked him and he gave me one of those Ďwell of courseí looks.

Rich and I headed back to my place. I told Rich on the way that I needed to finish up some writing the next day and that Hank had said it was fine if he hung out with him at his place.

Rich smiled broadly. "ĎHands Off Hankí really turns me on. I donít know what it is, I just find myself wanting to lick him all over. Itís going to be really hard to keep my eyes off his gorgeous cock and that scruffy beard of his. Iíd love to suck his cock."

"Well, perhaps this will help." I offered with a rueful grin, "Hankís probably extremely capable of beating the crap out of either of the both of us. Heís skilled in self-defense, heís been a Marine, heís in top physical condition and heís police trained on top of everything else. If you donít keep your hands to yourself, that bear will probably maul you."

"Oooo, you know I like the rough stuff." Rich said with a chuckle as we went through the back door of my place.

"Yeah, but Hank might be more rough than any top bear youíve played with if you piss him off. Remember, Rich, I went to school with him and he was quite capable of beating the crap out of anyone who displeased him then. Given the proper motivation, he might be just as capable again." I said.

"I know," Rich said, "I really wasnít serious, but the fantasy is nice. Iíll keep my roving eyes and hands in check."

Rich and I couldnít wait to get upstairs and wallow in each otherís scents. We headed straight for the bedroom and fucked until we both needed a nap.

The next day, which was Saturday, Rich headed over to Hankís place around 8 am and I worked some more on my newest novel. I was almost finished and ready to send it to the editor.

It was nearly 3 pm or so when Rich came back over to my place. I was in my office, and Iíd just about finished for the day with work. Rich came into the office. He seemed rather anxious, so I asked him what was wrong.

He got sort of a strange look on his face and said, "Nothing, Iím just fine. Look, Tom, Iíve got to get back home. Iím gonna shower, pack-up and get on the road before four." Rich said.

Something was on his mind and he was trying not to let it show.

"Whatís up, Rich? I thought you were going to stay through next week." I said.

"Well, plans have changed. Iím sorry Tom, but I just canít stay. Somethingís come up, Iíve got things Iíve got to do and I can use this coming week off to do them." Rich said. There was an uncomfortable look on his face.

"What things?" I asked, looking him square in the eye.

"Look, Tom, I canít talk about it. Youíve been great; Iíve really enjoyed myself. Iíve had the best sex with you that Iíve had in years and Iíd like to stay and have more, really I would. Iíd like to tell you whatís going on, but I canít. Can we just leave it at that, please?" Rich asked. Iíd never seen him plead this way before.

"OK. Look, if I can helpÖ" I said and Rich interrupted. "No, you canít help. Itís something that just is. Look, Tom, itís OK; Iíll be fine, really, really fine." he said, "I need to get back home ASAP, perhaps I can tell you later, and perhaps not, but right now I really canít."

With that Rich gave me a Hell of a kiss and headed up stairs to pack and take his shower. About a half-hour or so later he came down. We said our good byes. Rich seemed desperately passionate, he kneaded my crotch as we deep kissed again. I could tell he really didnít want to leave.

He was in his pickup and on the road at a quarter Ďtil four.

I couldnít imagine what had happened. Then I realized that it might have something to do with Hank. Perhaps Hank had found out that Rich was a bear and Rich felt uncomfortable staying. I decided Iíd go over and talk to Hank about it.

I got over to Hankís place and knocked on the door. He opened the door with a look that told me he had expected me. His stubble was thick and he was wearing his black shorts and no shirt. He was puffing on a cigar and I couldnít help but notice his cock was semi hard and I wondered if Iíd interrupted anything. "Come on in, Tom." He said and closed the door quickly against the cold. If I had interrupted, he didnít seem to mind.

I followed him back into his den; he was in the middle of an action flick. Hank sat back in his chair then turned the DVD player and TV off.

"Cigar?" Hank offered me one from his humidor.

"No thanks." I said. I smoked an occasional cigar, but not as often as Hank did and he wasnít that frequent. He replaced the cigar and put the humidor back on the table by his chair.

"So, whatís up?" Hank asked and offered me a seat.

I pulled up Hankís leather office chair, the one by his desk, and sat in it as he sat back in his recliner.

"Well, Rich just left. I was wondering if there was something wrong. He seemed anxious." I said, carefully studying Hankís face.

"Oh, I donít think thereís anything wrong." Hank said with a grin around his cigar. "In fact, I think everythingís going to work out for the better. See, Tom, Iíve suspected something about you since high school."

Hankís voice had an edge to it and I didnít like what that could mean.

"While Rich was over here this morning, I learned something about you." Hank said and got a most wicked grin on his face as he rolled his fat cigar between his forefinger and thumb. "Rich couldnít hide it forever you know, not from someone like me. Did you really think you could keep it a secret forever?"

"W-What are you talking ah-ah-bout." I stammered.

Hank chuckled, no doubt at how nervous I was.

He drew on the cigar and blew out a big cloud and said, "Rich is gayÖ and so are you, arenít you?" Hank said puffed again on the cigar.

I sat, stiff backed, and answered.

"Y-Y-Yes." I said and once again cursed my nervous stutter.

"Well well, wellÖ ainít that interesting." Hank said, "I bet Iíve been giving you quite a little show, havenít I? I bet youíve been going home and jacking off thinking about my big hairy body, havenít you? You find me attractive. You think Iím hot, donít you?" Hank said, his voice still had that edge and his eyes twinkled with what I knew was malice.

I couldnít frame any thoughts that would help me out of this situation.

"Youíre silence speaks volumes." Hank said as if he were a cross-examining lawyer.

I looked down at the floor to avoid Hankís piercing stare. This must have been why Rich left in such a hurry. Why the Hell hadnít he warned me?

"Rich is a big hairy guy, a very interesting point, donít you think? He has piercings and I have a tattoo. I discovered he was gay when I caught him checking me out. He was almost drooling. I asked him right out if he was gay and he was very frank about it. Oh, donít worry, he didnít implicate you; he lied and said you didnít know he was gay, but I can put two and two together. I suspected as much when I realized that Rich and I fit into the same category: big and hairy and we both have body modifications. I imagine that those things fit into your Ďtypeí for men. He stays over at your place and you two hurry on over there as soon as it is socially polite to leave. I confirmed you were gay when I answered the door. I could see it when you looked at my hairy chest and followed the fur down to my package. Why do you think Iím dressed this way?"

I was shivering with the sudden cold that swept over me and it had nothing to do with the physical temperature of the room.

"Rich also let something slip. He didnít outright say it, but he said enough that I was able to deduce the rest. Apparently youíre none other than Arthur Nelson, one of my favorite authors." Hank said, and I looked up quickly from the floor into his ice blue eyes.

"Yes," Hank said, grinning again around his cigar, "my favorite author is a Bear. So you really thought you could keep something like that secret. Our brief conversations about fiction revealed that you knew much more about it than you let on. The way you quoted some of your passages was not the way a fan would have quoted them. It was the way the creator would. Not word for word, but with a supreme understanding of the characters and their motivations, fans never understand the characters as well as the creator, after all, to the creator, the characters are their children."

Hank gloated and puffed on his cigar.

"Do you remember when I asked you if youíd like to suck my cock in high school?" Hank said.

I nodded.

"I was sure you would. I remember how you looked at me even then and hoped you might reveal yourself to me. Iím going to clear something up for you about that. Something I think will settle things between us. I didnít go to school my senior year because my dad shipped me off to the Marines to Ďmake a man out of meí. He caught Joey Richards and me in my room. I didnít expect him home so early that day. Dad liked to go to the bar after work. That day he didnít go to the bar. I didnít hear him come in because Joey was giving me head and I had just shot my load when dad opened the door. When youíre in bliss, the world could crumble around you and you wouldnít care. I suppose it would have been you and me dad caught if youíd been a little bolder and had given me a little more indication that you were interested. I canít blame you though for not; you probably thought Iíd have beat you up if you had said yes to such an offer and perhaps I would have, if any of the other guys had been around. A man has to maintain a reputation, doesnít he?" Hank grinned. "Especially, a man with so much to lose."

"Anyway, dad sent me off to the Marines and, well, they did make a man out of me. A big muscular, hairy, mean, angry, combat trained, gay man. The first dick I ever had up my ass belonged to one of the guys in my platoon. He was a big hot fucker from KansasÖ a big burly corn-fed farm boy."

I could see Hank was briefly reliving his first fucking as he paused and looked at his cigar as he rolled it between his fingers. You never forget the first one, good or bad, you never forget.

"He was even more muscular than I was then, but it was just fuckiní, not a relationship. You canít have a relationship with another guy if youíre in the military. Itís their Ďdonít tell and you better not beí policy. The point of all of this is that I think you and I could have a lot of fun together and more, Tommy, but thereís a price to pay if you want to fuck with me. Rich found that out today and agreed to pay that price; itís why he left so suddenly. Heís going to pack up, move down here and take that mechanicís job I mentioned. Iíve got a guy in the shop who owes me a favor. Rich will get the job. Now, do you want to start up a relationship with me or do we want to just stay friends?"

Hank puffed on his cigar, waiting for my response, he had laid it out before me and it was my move next.

"I donít know what to say? You mentioned a price. What price?" I asked.

"Well, for that, Iím going to have to take you down stairs and show you. Iím going to tie you down to show you, because thatís just the kind of kinky bear fucker I am. Rich agreed to the same conditions and you saw him. He wasnít harmed. Iím not going to hurt you, Tommy, unless you want me to." Hank grinned lustily. ĎHowever, if you want to back out, Iím fine with that. You can say no now, or you can say no when you see what I have to show you. Are you willing to be bound?" Hank asked.

"Iím willing to do that." I said.

I was excited now. Iíd gone from scared stiff to just stiff. This beautiful intimidating bear was going to tie me up and show me something about himself that would be extremely private and kinky. I suspected the price would be that I would be his Ďslaveí or Ďboyí or Ďcubí or all of the above if I accepted and I was absolutely ready to accept and be any or all of those for him.

"OK, take off your clothes." Hank growled around his stub of a cigar and puffed.

Without a word I did as he ordered, leaving everything in a pile on the floor of his den. I was rock hard as I stood before the man who had terrified me in my youth. Hank looked at me admiringly, puffed the last on his cigar, turned and put it out in the ashtray on the table next to his chair. He walked over and began inspecting me with his warm hands. I stood still, Hank was in charge and I knew it. He ran his hands all over my torso, tweaking my nipples until they were completely erect. He growled or grunted gently as he conducted his inspection, gently biting me on the neck or kissing my shoulder. I stood still. Moving around back he ran his hands over my lightly furred back and then he tested my anus. I spread my legs, just a little, and Hank pushed gently against my puckered hole with a couple of his meaty fingers. He grunted with satisfaction. He knew Iíd be a good tight fuck. He came around front and I looked down to see he had a huge erection. His cock head poked out of the top of his black shorts and it was shiny with pre-come.

"Hank must be enormous," I thought, "larger than I suspected before and heís thick. He must be at least a foot long to have a cock peeping out of the top of his shorts."

Hank dropped his shorts. His cock stood up straight and wiggled with each pulse of his heart. He was so wonderfully masculine. His hands cradled my balls and stroked my cock. He moved his huge, hairy, thick-fingered hands up my belly and roved over my chest. He grunted in pleasure as he moved to my beard and ran his fingers through it.

"I envy the bear who can keep his beard, but retirement isnít far. The good thing is, cops can retire earlier than most. As soon as I do, Iím never shaving anything again." Hank said and smoothed out my beard.

He offered a finger for me to suck and I took it gladly. Watching me suck his thick hairy finger made Hank grunt lustfully and grin. He removed his finger and looked into my eyes as he held my face between his hands. He moved his opening mouth to mine and we kissed. I raised my arms, which had been at my side the whole time Hank inspected me, and ran my fingers through his chest and back fur as we kissed. I moved to his stubble beard as Hank continued to rub his hands through mine. Hank rubbed his cock against my crotch and belly as we kissed and I could feel his slick pre-come lubricating me.

"Why did I ever wait so long?" He said as he broke the kiss. I smiled. "Follow me." He said simply. We went into the laundry room and took the stairs down to the basement. I turned on the light at the top of the stairs.

"No, turn it off, put your hand on my shoulder and Iíll lead you." I put my hand on his warm furry shoulder and he led me to his locked room, the one with the steel door. It was so dark, but Hank maneuvered as if heíd done it a million times. He opened the room up. I followed him in and he shut the door behind me. I could hear him throw a bolt and lock the door with the same combination padlock heíd just opened. He spun the dial on the lock and I knew that whatever happened now I could not leave without Hankís consent. I was now completely at his mercy, but I felt secure in that. Whatever happened next it would be all right; Hank was in control and Hank always made the right decision.

The next thing I knew, Hankís big warm hands were roving all over me again and he deep kissed me. He didnít miss my mouth, even though it was pitch black in the room. We groped for a good five minutes, feeling each other in the darkness.

"I brought Rich down here," Hank growled, "just the same way, earlier today. We made love until noon. We only took two breaks in that time. Can you last for four hours, Tommy?" He said in a strangely husky voice.

"I will last as long as you need me to." I said and I meant it. I was living the dream, the fantasy, with this man.

"Thatís my boy!" Hank growled in my ear and I felt such pride. Hank was proud of me and I had pleased him. His approval was suddenly so important to me. "Put your arms tightly around my neck. When I lift you, wrap your legs around my waist."

I did as Hank instructed. He was very strong, and lifted me with ease. He walked over a few feet, our cocks rubbing together as he did so, and laid me down into something. I heard clinking chains and I guessed that he was putting me into a leather sling. Iíd been in one on a few occasions with my bear buddies in Philly. I was right. He secured my arms and legs and I felt him put a folded terry cloth towel over my face.

"OK, Tommy, in a few minutes Iím going to turn the lights on. When your eyes are adjusted to the light and I remove the towel, you will have to make a decision. That decision is as follows: do you or donít you want to have sex with me." Hank said huskily. I could tell by his voice that he wanted to fuck me; he wanted to satisfy his lust and so did I. We had waited thirty years to do so. Why the Hell wouldnít I answer ĎYesí when he turned on the lights?

In the next five minutes I heard Hank stretching, like he did before workouts. I could tell because his bones were popping as he was flexing and I heard him crack his neck and finger joints. Some guys were very serious about warming up before every physical exertion and I guess it made sense. Sex is exercise as well as pleasure. The light came on and my eyes hurt, even with being closed and under three layers of folded towel. After a few minutes Hank removed the first fold. A few minutes after that he removed the second layer and after a few minutes he spoke. He sounded strange for some reason and I didnít know why. His voice was odd. It seemed deeper, like he was trying to sound bigger or something.

"Iím going to take the towel off. Iím standing behind you. I want you to wait to open your eyes until I get in front of you and tell you to open your eyes." Hank said. "Can you do that?"

I thought, "Damn, Hank, whatís with the suspense. Oh, well, who am I to mess with his fantasy? I agreed to this, so Iíll play by his rules."

I agreed to his wishes.

He removed the towel and moved in front of me.

"OK, you can open your eyes." Hank said.

I opened my eyes. The single lamp behind me was probably only 60 watts, but it was more than I needed. I saw Hank and I couldnít believe what my eyes were telling me.

My mind simply couldnít wrap itself around what I saw. Standing before me was a huge grizzly man. His hands were human hands with claws and his muzzle wasnít quite the length of a bearís. He was covered in shaggy dark brown fur and stood on two legs. He didnít stand like a bear; he stood like a huge man with his arms at his sides. His chest was barreled and his arms were even larger than Hankís were normally. His neck was very thick and I could see cords of muscle standing out on his neck even under the fur. His eyes were Hankís ice blue eyes and he smiled with ivory fangs. I looked at his huge throbbing cock and it was dripping with creamy white sperm that was just oozing out of the tip and down the long shaft into the furry ball sack. I realized the bear Iíd seen in the Jacuzzi months back really was a bear and really was Hank too. Perhaps this was why I was not as afraid of him as I should be or perhaps I just trusted Hank after years of fearing him.

The beast spoke.

"Iím proud of you Tommy. Rich screamed when he saw me like this, but I can hardly blame him." the bear said, "Itís not every day a man comes face to face with a living legend, especially one that looks like it could devour you. He began to calm down after I started rubbing him with my big furry paws and talked to him softly and soothingly. I told him what a hot bear he was and started suckiní his growiní cock. He gasped in fright when I did that. I guess he thought I was going to bite it off. Most guys do that when they see their pride near that many gleaming fangs. Five minutes after I began blowing him he was moaniní, talkiní dirty and telliní me how wonderful he thought I was. Ten minutes after that, he gave up his first sweet cock honey to his ĎBig Papa Bearí. Thatís what he called me. He knew he wanted to be my cub. I asked him if he wanted to be a big furry bear too. He was quite eager. I told him I would need to inseminate him and he spread his legs as far apart as he possibly could so that I could get inside. I pushed my cock up his quiveriní ass and we fucked joyously for what seemed to be hours. I finally came up his hairy ass and he just kept repeating, Ďthank youí and moaned as he pumped out come all over his hairy chest. I lapped it up with my long bear tongue and he petted my furry head and played with my ears."

"He knows whatís going to happen to him, Tommy. He knows heís going to be a beast like me in about four months. Itís why he didnít say goodbye to you with a parting fuck. I told him that if he did, he might deprive you of the opportunity to decline the offer, even though I donít think heíll be making Werebear semen for at least a month. It must have been very hard for him to pass up the chance to fuck you, Tommy, youíre so damned sexy."

Hank paused and scratched his furry chest with his huge claws. I looked around and noticed that this room was indeed where Hank kept his rifles, pistols and ammo. He had a small wall safe by the gun cabinet. The room was painted all in black and even the carpet was black. The windowless room seemed to devour light except for that which illuminated Hank, the sling and the oak gun cabinets.

"You like the room? Itís black so there arenít any distractions with color or light." Hank said.

"See Tommy, this is my secret. What I am is very rare. Though there was a time long ago, Iím told, when what I am, what Iíve become, was accepted for what we were. We were even valued members of the tribe: protectors, healers and guardians. But the elder bears know more about that. Some of them have been alive for a very long time. Iím telling you all of this, because I want you to understand what it is I am and what you could become."

"After I got out of the Marines, I went searching for something, I felt empty and I knew I wasnít any better a man than I was at eighteen. I didnít know what I was lookiní for, but I was lookiní anyway, just hopiní to find a way to fill the emptiness inside of me, to tame the anger I felt toward everything."

"One day I found this little place in British Columbia, not more than a hundred miles from the Washington border. I was just about out of money and was having a sparse dinner at the motel restaurant. It was evening and I was thinking about the fact that I was going to have to spend the cold early fall night in my car, when this burly silver bearded trucker started up a conversation with me. I was very turned on. He was everything I wanted in a lover; he was the kindly father or grand father figure I had never known. There was a gentle power to him and to me this made him extremely attractive. I couldnít concentrate on what he was saying because I was too busy thinking about how damned hot he was. It was obvious I wasnít paying very close attention and he even joked about it, later. His name was Robert and he lived about ten miles from the little town. He invited me back to his place to stay for the night when he found out that I didnít have enough to stay in the motel and that I was going to sleep in my car. I took him up on the offer. We went back to his place, a nice big cabin style home in the woods. We had a couple of beers and, to make a long story short, he and I became very intimate. We were on the verge of fuckiní an hour after we got to his place. He did the same thing with me that I did to Rich and that Iíve just done with you. He tied me up in the dark and revealed himself to me as a Werebear."

"I was surprised, but like you, I was not afraid. For some reason, I trusted him completely. I knew, even in his ursine form, that he would do nothing to hurt me. He was gentle and loving from start to finish. He became my Papa that night and that night, I became his Cub. The form you see now is the middle phase, the adult bear. In the four months that followed my first night with Bob, I became bigger and furrier than Iíd ever been. I realized quickly that shaving was going to be a lot harder, because the growth rate of my beard had increased. It was another five years before I gained my complete non-transformed muscle mass, my bear mass. Still, by my fifth month I was so happy with what Iíd become I couldnít imagine ever wanting to be anything else. I spent those five years with Bob and he taught me what it really was to be a man. He taught me how to be kind and good, things my own father should have taught me, but couldnít I guess. When I came back here to take care of my father in his last years, I was a completely different man than the angry, mean kid that had left for the Marines. I still go back and spend a couple of weeks with Bob every summer, well, every summer until this year. Bob understood, I was looking for cubs of my own in you and then in Rich. Bob comes here and spends December with me."

"So Tommy, Now is the time for you to make your choice. Will you become a Werebear, like Rich and be my lover? You, Rich and I could be mates."

I lay in the sling my cock had become hard again, listening to the tale of how Hank became a Werebear. I imagined myself looking the way Hank did now and was not displeased with the vision.

"Will it hurt; changing, that is?" I said.

"Yes, it will hurt. Itíll be like having growing pains for the four months before you change into a bear for the first time. Itís not that bad. Changing into a bear for the first time is also painful, but after that, your body settles into it and it actually becomes a turn on. Each time you change, it becomes easier and you gain more control of the change." Hank said.

"Hank, I have found you incredibly sexy since that night in the parking lot of our high school. Iíve imagined you and me together almost every night since. Iíd do anything for you, be anything you wanted me to be. I want to make love with you as a man and as a bear. The thought of being what you are is a bit frightening, I admit. Change is always scary and this is the biggest change I can imagine, but Iím sure youíll help me through it. So, before I lose my nerve, just do it." I said.

"Those are the sweetest words Iíve ever heard, Tommy." Hank said with a toothy grin.

With that Hank bent over my body and began rubbing his oozing helmet tip against my asshole. We kissed as he leaned into me, my mouth wrapped around as much of his fanged muzzle as I could get. Suddenly he was inside of me. Rich had loosened me up over the last couple of days, but I wasnít loose enough so that I didnít feel some burn as Hank sunk his enormous tree trunk bear cock into me.

For the next several hours, there was no clock in the room. Hank fucked me in so many ways I swear weíd done all the positions possible for human, bear or werebear. He was insatiable. When I was finally too tired to continue, he took me up to his bedroom, massaged my sore muscles and we slept soundly together for the first time. In the morning, Hankís beard was full and I woke him by nuzzling in and nibbling on it. I canít wait for him to retire!

Itís been four months since Hank made love to me that first time. Itís spring and Hank has two bear cubs in his den. Bob stayed past December and it was like having a second Papa or a Grandpa Bear. Christmas was the best Iíve ever experienced.

Rich and I transformed for the first time early last evening; Hank and Bob fed the both of us and we packed it away. A changing body needs lots of fuel. Our elder bears scratched our increasingly furry hides, massaged our changing muscles and satisfied the sexual needs of transforming cubs. It was one of the most sensual experiences I think a man can know. Rich moved into my place a couple of weeks after he had left in such a hurry. He had needed to pack and move before it became too snowy to do so easily.

Itís so funny; the two of us wrestle on the mats in Hankís home gym like cubs play fighting. We put on the safety gear and go at it. Bob says after a year or so weíll be ready to wrestle transformed, as real bears, but that at the moment, weíd wreck the place because weíre not used to our bear bodies. Wrestling helps us co-ordinate our new bodies and teaches us control. It teaches us to Ďknow our own strengthí and besides, itís a whole lot of fun. The rules are the same as Olympic wrestling. The stakes are winner fucks the loser, not that either of us minds being on the bottom. Hank and Bob love to watch, and of course, we both service our Papa Bears after weíve settled up. Theyíre usually quite horny after refereeing the match and the two of them have promised us a match as transformed Werebears to show us how itís done.

Rich got the job here in town two months ago, just as Hank said, but heís not planning on moving out. Bob said the three of us are well suited to be mates. I think weíve all found the happiness we had craved.

My writing has never been better. Having sex with three horny bears seems to keep the creative ideas flowing. Iíve started a series of books about Werebeasts and the first book; ĎUnder the Bear Flagí is due out on the market in May. Itís about a sheriff of a small town in California in the time of the old west. The sheriff, of course, is a Werebear. I wanted to present Werebears, Werewolves and other ĎWeresí as very human creatures; not the savage, mindless, bloodthirsty beasts they have come to be in Hollywood films. Itís good PR, and someday, some ĎWerebeastí out there may benefit from it, who knows? Sales are expected to be very high, especially among some subculture groups.

Hank is getting more grey hair on his head and in his moustache. Heís becoming our Papa and something about that changes a Werebear. All I know is that it makes him horny and Rich agrees. Hank, Rich and I are planning to visit Bob in Canada next summer. Hank wants us visit ĎGrandpaí in the woods, where we can all feel easier about shifting shape. Rich will probably be able to go, but work may not allow more than a week or so. Heís saving up all the vacation time he can.

Life is different now. I had to explain to my editor that I was working out a lot over the winter, but that it wasnít detracting from my work. I sold him on the idea that a physically fit author is a productive author and one that would have stories for years to come. Heís excited about the new series.

The price that Hank mentioned was very cheap, in my estimation, and well worth the spending.




I hope all you bears out there liked the tale!


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