The next spring, Rusty was downtown, running errands on an atypically clear day for this time of year. He was about to get into his SUV when he noticed an older man, sitting on one of the newly-installed benches, next to an also newly-installed water fountain. He felt the faintest of tingles along his spine. The man had an enormous brown beard, and looked slightly scruffy, although clean. His clothes were also clean, though obviously somewhat out of fashion. He waved to Rusty and made to get up.
Rusty waved back, scanning his memory. 'Customer? No, I'd remember that beard. One of Norman's patients? I don't recall Norman mentioning any new client like that. Maybe someone from the shelter?' Rusty picked the last as the most likely and waved in return. “Hi! I'm sorry, I'm usually better with names but I'm not remembering yours. Have we met?”
“Oh, yes,” the big man boomed, “we've met.” He extended a hairy paw and shook Rusty's hand. “Don't worry about the name, I don't believe we exchanged names, really.... though we did exchange other things; but if you must have one, call me Josephus.” The big man grinned a toothy grin, and for brief moment, Rusty was sure he saw the man's human ears morph into much more rounded, fuzzy ones. Rusty blinked and the image was gone, the ears once again normal.
Puzzled, Rusty asked, “Do I know you from the shelter?” hoping not to offend the man who had obviously taken better care of himself but still looked like he might be just a few bad breaks away from another shelter.
“No, not from the shelter.” The old man's eyes twinkled and then turned a deep, chocolate brown.
“Oh, my god!! You're the bear we met in the forest!” Rusty's mouth hung partly open with astonishment.
“Yep, that's me. But let's not tell the whole town, OK?” The big old man smiled, but his eyes were checking out the surrounding people as they went about their business. He smiled again. “Pleased to meet you... again.”
“But... how did you find us, I mean me? I didn't sense you at all... well, hardly at all.” Rusty was truly puzzled.
“Oh, that was not hard, really. You smell just like fresh strawberries. And I am very good at concealing myself from nearly everyone, even other bears” The big old man smiled at Rusty. Rusty was becoming excited at the prospect of he and Moose spending time with the old grizz again, but tried to control the rising lust. “What are you doing in town?”
“Looking for you and your mate, actually.” Before he could continue, Rusty interrupted excitedly, reacting to the strong scent of bear he was now getting from the old man. “Oh, come home with me and we'll fix you dinner. I own a coffee shop, you like coffee? And I've got some really nice steaks, Norman can grill those for us and I made a big cheese cake yesterday, and there's a really big bed, and...” Rusty's excited rush of words, and the noticeable bulge in his pants made the old man smile.
“I'm not much of one for settlements. They make me itchy. I prefer outdoors. I haven't been in town for at least a couple of years. No offense and I do thank you kindly. I wanted to find out something, and let you know something.” He paused, and grew somber. “The fire. The man responsible. He was caught?”
“You mean the arsonist? He was found dead, ripped open.”
“I know that. No, I mean the man who hired the arsonist... the one who paid him to burn and kill. Valmer, I think he was called.”
“Oh, Clyde Valmer. Yeah, he was tried and convicted last month. The fool represented himself and insisted on a speedy trial hoping enough evidence had yet to be gathered. He rolled the dice and lost. He got life in prison without parole. But.... you said you hadn't been in town. How did you know the arsonist was found dead... that he was working for someone else?”
The big old man looked steadily at Rusty. The fingers of his right hand slowly curled and the beginnings of claws began to form, then recede. The pause grew longer. Rusty's eyebrows shot up.
“I overheard that terrible human talking to someone on the phone, someone called Valmer. I took care of that part of the problem, but I wondered if human justice had taken care of the other part. I must say I am disappointed.”
“We DO have the death penalty here, but it's hard to get it to stick. The DA thought he could get a conviction with that, but had to settle for life without parole.”
“He killed his own kind. Worse, he paid another to do the deed for him.”
“Maybe that is what the jury thought. That he was somehow less directly involved.”
“I fail to see the difference.” The old man sighed. “Perhaps one of his own kind will kill him in prison. I hear that happens sometimes.”
Rusty sighed, too. “Justice is often imperfect.” The old man nodded. Rusty brightened and said, “Please reconsider. Norman and I would love to have you for dinner. Our place is large and comfortable, but if you wanted we could take you wherever you wanted after dinner.” He looked hopefully at the big man in front of him.
“Your offer is greatly appreciated, but I'm feeling powerfully itchy. I've stayed here longer than I intended. But you and your mate, you should come and run with me one day soon. I would like that, and I know it would be good for you.”
Rusty took the offered paw and shook it. “How will we find you?”
“Oh, I will find you. Just mark your scent on any tall tree, or better yet, make love out in the open... I will both smell and hear that, for sure!” The old man turned and waved his hairy paw as he lumbered off, leaving Rusty standing, part of him wondering if what had just happened was real; and part of him wondering how soon he and Moose could make a trip back to the nearby national forest.
That weekend, Rusty was in the kitchen making coffee when the phone rang.
“Boris! How are you?” Rusty cradled the phone against his right ear with his shoulder as he finished pouring the hot water over the coffee grounds. The Saturday morning sunlight lit the kitchen as he went about breakfast preparations. “What's up?”
Up in BC, Boris smiled at the recollection of the stocky little bear and his mate that the sound of Rusty's voice brought forth. “I am well. It is good to hear you, my friend. How have you been?”
“Oh, I'm good, hale and hearty. The coffee house is doing really well, and we've fit in quite nicely here. It's a great place, not too big, but close to things.” Rusty set down the pot and watched the water sink down through the grounds into his mug.
“And how is that large, red-furred mate of yours?”
“Oh, you know Norman, nothing knocks him down, well, not for long, anyway. His PT business is thriving, not too many patients to handle, but enough to keep him off the streets and out of trouble.”
Boris' smile was evident in the sound of his voice. “And are you getting out together to run wild in the woods, as I suggested? It is good for you both, you know. And other bears... have you met any? I know there are a couple in your general area.”
“We are, we have. I've got good help in the coffee house so we can get away now and then. We haven't run across any other bears in the area, our kind, I mean; except, well, maybe one.”
“Well, on one weekend out in the forest, we did run across an old grizzly. Now that was fun!” Rusty stirred one sugar into his coffee and began to sip contentedly.
“I think so,” Rusty said.
“Did you get a name?” Boris' interest was piqued.
“No, not that time, but I ran into him just this week, and quite by chance in town, in human form, of course. He said his name was Josephus.” Rusty paused. “You know him?”
“I'm not sure, I may. And yes... Josephus sounds like a name he would chose for himself. It has been many years since we met, if it is him. He was half feral then, could not stand human company for long.” Boris considered. “Yes, it may be him. If your paths should cross again, mention my name to him. Tell him I wish him well.”
“We'll do that.” Before Rusty could continue, Boris coughed lightly and spoke.
“I have called you for more than a social conversation, enjoyable as that might be. Vic called me and related your recent adventures with fire. I am most pleased that you and your mate are safe. I know I don't need to remind you of how necessary discretion is for us. Publicity is to be avoided...”
Rusty interrupted the much-older bear on the line. “Oh, we know, Boris. Norman played down his part in the rescue, very convincingly and we dodged a bullet in the hospital. We ARE careful, Boris.”
“Hospitals are to be avoided at all costs, my friend.”
“We know that, Boris. This time it was, uh, necessary. I know we are still new to all this, but Vic and Walt have given us good advice.”
“Well and good then. Vic also mentioned something about the one who was responsible for all this when he called me. I would like to ask a favor of you, if I may?”
“Of course, Boris. Anything we can do, you know that.”
“Yes, and thank you, my friend,” Boris said. “I understand that the perpetrator of this was a lawyer, and apparently owned the firm, am I correct?”
“I would like you to find out as much as you can about that law firm, discretely, of course. Raise no suspicions. If you could let me know what you find out as soon as you can.”
“Sure, Boris. Can I ask why?” Rusty was frankly puzzled. Valmer's conviction had left a mess behind, to be sure; but he was unsure as to how this involved Boris.
“If, as I suspect, this law firm is in as much disarray as Vic indicated, it may solve a problem I have here. Let me explain. I know a bear, a lawyer, who is in real need of relocating, the sooner the better. He's currently living in your state of New Jersey, but we must get him out soon. Questions are being asked about him, about his remarkable good health. There is also a brother bear in Florida who would need to consider a move in a few more years. He is a regular at the summer gatherings, and I know he is well-versed in criminal law. If what you find out is suitable, I would put up the initial money for the purchase of the firm and its assets. He would need to move quickly, but he could do that. We have an existing law firm in a suburb of your lovely city of Seattle; they could purchase the firm and install my New Jersey friend. Then, later perhaps, my Florida friend could join him in the law partnership. It would also have the effect of giving us some legal knowledge and help for brother bears in your area.”
“Not to mention, that would be two werebears in our area with whom we could play!” Rusty said
“Yes, many benefits; and so, an elegant solution.”
“What do you need to know?” Rusty asked, putting down his coffee and reaching for a pad and pencil.
“I would like to know who currently is in charge, if they are interesting in selling, and what assets would go with the firm. Vic indicated that this person had used legal conniving to cheat people out of their property and businesses. I would like to know if there are any pending law suits against the firm, and if so, the details. Anything you can find out about his illegal dealings.”
“Got it,” Rusty said, writing rapidly.
“Thank you. You and your mate impressed us all in the short time you were with us. You impress me still, young bear.” Boris chuckled. “You know, I still host my regular summer gathering. You and your mate are most welcome to visit, then or any time. It would do both you and me much good, I think.” Rusty could almost see the older bear's lust-filled expression over the phone line.
“We will certainly do our best to get there, Boris. I'll tell Norman, and we'll get on this Monday, OK?”
“That will be most satisfactory. My thanks to you, and give that beast of a mate of yours a poke for me, will you?” Boris growled. Rusty hung up with a smile and went to find Moose.
- - - - - - - -
As it happened, the bears saw Boris much sooner than they had planned. One afternoon, Rusty had ducked upstairs to take a quick shower and a nap. His phone woke him up with a text message from Boris. Rusty was reading it when Moose came into the bedroom and kissed him on the back of the neck and nuzzled his lover.
“What's up, red bear?” he asked, still nuzzling.
“It's a text from Boris and you're tickling,” he said with a giggle.
“Apparently. He says he is driving down the coast to California to check on a young cub of Sam's. It seems that Sam just up and left, and now Russ and his mate are caring for...ummm...wait a minute....Mack. He wants to know if it's OK if he stops in here for a quick visit, maybe overnight:
“Sounds like fun! I liked Boris, even if he didn't like us at the start. He's sort of fun to tease,” Moose said with a grin.
OK, I'll text him back.” Rusty tapped on his phone while Moose went into the bathroom to pee. Shaking, then zipping up, he padded back into the room.
“OK, he says he should be here around six. I think I still have that extra lasagna I made last week in the freezer. I'll check. And some wine and salad and bread. I can bake some, it should have enough time to rise. And speaking of rising...” Rusty turned and reached out for the thick bulge in Moose's khakis, still slightly tumescent from peeing.
“Nuh-uh,” Moose growled, batting his hubby's paw away. “I've got patients still, one coming in about..” he checked the bedside clock, “shit, in 2 minutes. Gotta go, see you later, bear.” He kissed Rusty and scooted down the stairs to his side of the building.
Boris arrived just a bit past six. He sat, relaxing with a glass of wine while Rusty popped the bread in the oven to bake. “I love the smell of baking bread, don't you?” Rusty said to Boris as he washed his hands and poured some wine for himself.
“Oh, yes, indeed. My neighbor back in Montreal many years ago, she made the most wonderful bread. The whole building would smell of it.” He sipped some more wine. “You have done very well for yourselves here, it seems. I like this place.” Boris looked around appreciatively. “Was this all your idea?”
“Well, ours really. I did the kitchen, and Moose did the bedrooms and that huge bathroom and shower. Plenty of room for bears,” Rusty said, his eyes twinkling. Boris grinned in return.
“Not every bear has the space that I possess to host a large number of guests, but it is pleasant to have room for visitors now and again, is it not?” Rusty was nodding in agreement ad Moose entered.
“Boris, you old Soviet bear, you!” He enveloped the Russian in a massive bear hug.
“Please!! I was no Soviet!” Boris growled.
Moose laughed. “Well, OK, then... you old Imperialist bear,” and hugged him again.
“That is better. The Romanovs had their faults, but they did things with style, and some of them had a genuine feeling for the serfs who worked their lands. Unlike Lenin, and that peasant swine, Stalin.”
When the bread was done, they shed clothes and sat down naked to the ample meal, and caught up on each other's news. “This is excellent,” Boris said, waving his paw at both the meals, his hosts, and their nakedness.
“Once the day is done, we shed clothes. It's just more comfortable, either in human or half-form,” Moose said as he began to gather dishes.
“May I be of help?”
“Absolutely not,” said Rusty. “Guests are excused from KP. And if you are tired, you can either use the guest bed, or sleep in ours. You've been driving all day, you probably need a snooze.”
“I have been taking my time and making many stops along the way. But I would never pass up the opportunity to sleep with two such handsome bears as yourselves.”
Moose peered over the kitchen counter that divided the kitchen from the living area. “Playtime?”
Rusty and Boris both laughed. “My Norman is a horndog, as you see; but if you would rather sleep....”
Boris grinned. “Bóže moj! I am seldom too tired for some play, as you put it. Please, lead the way,” he said, gesturing towards the bedroom. By the time Moose had finished stacking the plates by the dishwasher and had hurried in to the bedroom, Boris was rock hard and drooling as Rusty turned down the covers on the bed.
“Damn! I'd forgotten how furry you were in human form, Boris. Fuck me running, but you are a handsome devil!” Moose patted the spot next to him as he lay down on the bed.
Boris sank down onto the bed and sighed. “It's been much too long, my friends. Now, who is going to make this old bear happy?”
“How about both of us?” Rusty said as he joined the two on the bed. He knelt beside Boris and took his straining upright cock in his mouth and struggled to swallow the girth. It was shorter than Moose's but thicker at the base, a real tapered beer can cock. He lapped at the tip, and slowly spread the foreskin back with his lips. Moose meanwhile was feeding the Russian bear his own meat after having smeared some of his copious precum on Boris' beard. Boris eagerly sucked at the meat log and reached out to fondle Moose's furry ball sack. He tugged and stroked the heavy orbs, playing with them as they moved heavily in their skin and hair enclosure. A grunt escaped now and then from around Moose's cock as Rusty applied his skills to making the Russian feel very happy indeed.
Boris moved his paw further back and probed with thick fingers in the hair between Moose's legs and ass cheeks. Feeling upwards he suddenly felt heat as Moose spread his legs a bit further apart. Still keeping his cock in Boris' warm mouth, he reached over to the bedside table and grabbed the bottle of Wet. Opening the slippery bottle, he grabbed Boris' paw with his other hand and dripped some Wet on his fingers. He snapped the cap shut and put the bottle back on the table while Boris placed his paw back behind Moose's ball sack, eagerly reaching for the big red bear's pucker.
Finding it, he thrust a finger in and it was Moose's turn to grunt. He squatted down some, forcing Boris' thick digit deep inside. “MMMMMMM,” was all Boris could manage from around Moose's throbbing cock. They continued this way for a bit, until Boris withdrew his finger and signaled Rusty that he wanted to get up. Rusty pulled off and nodded. Boris panted and then said, “My friends, I need to fuck soon or I will burst. Please.... hand me that lube.” Moose reached over again and handed the bottle to Boris. The Russian bear coated his cock with the slippery fluid and motioned for Moose to assume the classic bear position. Moose willingly dropped to all fours and Boris applied the Wet to his butt, working a goodly amount into Moose's already partially-slick hole with first one, then two of his fingers. Moose groaned and pushed back on Boris. Boris moved into position, put his paws on Moose's back, and hilted himself in the big bear in one triumphant thrust. Moose gasped and Boris groaned aloud and began moving slowly in and out of the red bear's ass.
Rusty was becoming almost uncontrollably excited by the sight of the very hairy Russian fucking his equally hairy husband. Unbidden, he began to morph into half form as he positioned himself behind Boris. He couldn't reach the bottle of lube and simply spat on his paw and slicked himself. Boris seemed to be trying to climb inside Moose, and Rusty took his chance and mounted Boris, his own rigid cock finding its way into the Russian bear's backside. Boris barked at the sudden intrusion into his ass, but on his next outward thrust from Moose's ass pushed back hard on Rusty's baculum-stiffened meat. In short order the three had established a rhythm of Moose pushing back on Boris' inward thrust, and Rusty pushing forward as Boris drew out of Moose. The room was heavy with werebear pheromones, and the grunts and chuffs and groans of vigorous bearsex. The back and forth motion, with Boris acting like a literal fucking pendulum, brought the three bears to climaxes nearly together. Moose started spraying the sheets with his seed, followed quickly by Rusty unloading in Boris' ass and Boris discharging in Moose's.
Panting, the three held on to each other for a bit, catching their breaths. “Sukin syn!” Boris breathed, the coarse peasant obscenity uttered with a tone of both amazement and affection. “You two are truly fantastic. And you,” he said turning his head towards Rusty, who was still behind him and still buried in his ass, “I had forgotten how beautiful were as a bear.” Rusty smiled as much as he could in half form, his creamy, orange tinged fur glowing in the low light of the bedroom. Gradually, as they all cooled down, they separated and sank down onto the sheets. Boris, in the middle, ended up in the copious puddle of Moose sperm. “I guess I have the wet spot, no?” he said, not entirely displeased.
“Well, you made me do it,” Moose countered with a laugh. Rusty had started to shift back but Boris stopped him.
“Why don't we all shift at least to half from and rest that way?”
“Hell, let's just go all out and finish the night as bears, OK?” Moose started to change, and Rusty reversed his progress towards human form and became a full Kermode. Boris followed suit. Soon, all three bears were pleasantly tangled together, their chests and bellies rising and falling with their satisfied breathing as they drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Boris sat at the breakfast table, demolishing a pile of hash browns and sausages. Between sips of coffee he scratched his ample belly and spoke with Moose, who was cooking.
“I find it interesting that nearly all of the bears I know are excellent cooks... interesting, and quite useful.” He forked another sausage into his mouth.
“Well, I'm not a great cook, but I do know my way around a kitchen. I think we learn early on to cook for ourselves. It's cheaper than eating out, for one thing, given our appetites.” He poured more batter on the griddle. “Rusty is actually better at this, but he's sleeping in some. I think we tired him out last night.”
“That is very true,” Boris said, “and economy is a virtue, as my sainted mother used to say back in Russia.” As he continued to eat, Rusty came in and joined them in the ample kitchen. Moose handed him a plate heaped with pancakes, sausage and hash browns.
“Everyone sleep OK?” Rusty asked, grinning.
“What do you think?” Moose said as he handed Rusty a fresh carafe of coffee and gave him a smooch.
Silence reigned for a while as they all did justice to their breakfasts. Eventually, Rusty's plate was empty and he looked at Boris.
“Boris...” He paused
Boris picked up on the hesitant pause and wondered what was bothering the smaller bear. “Yes, my friend, is something on your mind?”
“Well... yes, there is. Norman and I would like to ask you something.” He looked at Moose, and then continued. “We'd like to do something to help Brian, I mean help him with his education, college. The problem is that, well, we're not exactly sure about...” Rusty stumbled to a stop.
“What my woofer here is trying to say is that we want to give Brian some money for college, but things are kind of tight now, and...” Boris raised a paw and interrupted.
“I owe you both a debt of gratitude from our previous time together, and you only need ask. I value you both, and anything I can do...”
Rusty stopped Boris by speaking up. “It's not exactly that. We were thinking more in terms of investment advice. We'd like to put some money into something that would yield a hefty return that could fund tuition. Short term, though.” Boris rubbed the side of his nose in a characteristic gesture.
“There is a saying, and not just in this country, to the effect that if something is too good to be true, it is. Nearly every get rich quick investment I know of is of that ilk. The investment advice I give, to bear and human alike, is 'slow and steady... look to the long term'.” He chewed a mouthful of hash browns.
“But what about guys in tech startups that make millions in a day or two with IPO's, or when they bet bought out? Surely there some opportunities there?” Rusty looked hopefully at Boris.
“It is true that in your valley of silicon, there are such events. We even have...” He was interrupted by barks of laughter from Moose and Rusty.
“What?” Boris asked, puzzled.
“Silicon Valley, not 'valley of silicon',” Moose said with a chuckle.
“Ah.... but what the difference is escapes me,” Boris said, waving a fork. “My point, though, is that such sudden wealth always attracts notice. Reporters investigating the background of the newly-rich person. Government scrutiny of the companies involved.” He stared hard at the three. “Such notice is to be avoided. Always.” He drained his coffee mug and Rusty refilled it. Obvious disappointment showed on both Rusty's and Moose's faces. “But do not derange yourselves, my friends. I actually DO have the solution to your problem.”
“Yes. I realize that you are both still quite new to all this, and that you have not had sufficient time to absorb all our lore and ways. But it is the way of weres to attempt to provide for their own, whether they are kith or kin, even when it must be done surreptitiously. Our cubs and papas, we would lay down our lives for. Our human blood kin, well, they inevitably die while we linger on. But we make provision for them, when we can.” Boris paused and drank more coffee from his mug. “There is a fund, one of long standing; that we pay into when we can, each in the amount he can. That fund provides for the education of our younger cubs, but also for our human relations when needed. Friends of family, too, when appropriate. A kind of 'scholarship fund,', if you will. As weres you would eventually have call upon those funds. And as ones I owe a debt to, I will do my best to ensure that money is available to you now for your young friend's education. Will that suffice, do you think?” Boris looked steadily at Rusty and Moose.
“But, Boris, we haven't paid into this fund. We didn't even know such a thing existed. How can we take funds from it?” Moose was plainly worried.
Boris nodded. “In the usual way of things, you would not be making any such claim until you had donated funds on your own. But, think. This solves your problem, avoids any problems with sudden wealth attracting scrutiny, and...” here, Boris smiled and rubbed his nose, “and at least partially relieves me of my obligation to you.”
“That is very kind of you, Boris. It would certainly make it possible for us to help Brian. I had to replace an amazingly expensive espresso machine, and Moose had a huge repair bill on the SUV... so, yes. Yes, if you are willing, we accept.” Rusty turned to Moose, who nodded.
“I am more than willing, my friends. Think nothing of it. It is settled.” He raised his mug. The others did likewise. “To absent friends, and to all our futures.”