“Where's Bekah?” Rusty muttered to himself as he pulled shots and filled waxed bags with bakery goods for his morning customers. 'Of all the days to be late,' he thought, rushing to fill orders. He glanced through the small windows on the swinging doors that lead to the kitchen and store room and saw with satisfaction that the young man had cleaned his plate of eggs and the muffin and was starting on the bear claw, the glass of milk in his hand.
The side door banged open and Rebekah rushed in, unruly red hair flying. “I am SO sorry. The bus was late. At first I thought I'd missed it. I was going to go back for my bike but then it showed up, ten minutes late. Stupid temp driver! Wow! Nice crowd. Where's Zach?” All this tumbled out in a rush as she stowed her things and grabbed an apron.
Rebekah was the best employee he had, a real find and worth her weight in Jamaican Blue Mountain; but conversations with her tended to be breathless. She also really, really needed to get her VW bug fixed and stop relying on public transit. As he was grinding beans for the next shots, he said over his shoulder, “I gave him the day off. Can you hand me a muffin from the top rack? No, the ones on the left, the poppy seed ones. Thanks.” Rusty bagged the order, smiled at the customer and looked towards the next in line.
Rebekah tied on her apron as she talked and adroitly stepped into the area behind the front counter, beginning a smooth ballet of motion -- grinding, filling, tamping, steaming, moving with precision around Rusty, never colliding, never in the way. She chatted cheerfully with the patrons in a near-constant flow of chit-chat, made change and filled orders along with Rusty. In less than an hour, the main morning rush was over and Rebekah began busing the tables and restocking sugars and the milk jugs. She took a bus tray into the kitchen to begin loading the dishwasher.
“Hey, Boss...” Rebekah backed out of the kitchen, tray still in hand, approaching Rusty. “There's a homeless guy in the store room, drinking coffee; our coffee, by the looks of the cup. Should I...”
“No, it's OK, Bekah I'll explain later. Can you finish with the tables and bring up some more pound bags from the cellar? A few of each kind, the sales rack is low on all of them and I didn't have time earlier. I'll handle the dishes.”
“Oy, not the cellar! I am NOT climbing over those crates again.” A look from Rusty convinced her that today was not the day to push things. “OK, whatever you say, Boss.” Rebekah set the tray down and walked past Rusty whispering, “But get him out of the store room, he smells.”
Rusty picked up the tray and headed into the kitchen, to load the industrial dishwasher. Rebekah was right, there was a definite odor coming from the store room. The warmth of being inside the coffee shop had released a not very pleasant aroma. The young man did look much better, though. No longer 'I'm going to pass out on your floor' white, he actually looked rather handsome, in a cubbish, grungy sort of way. Before Rusty could say anything, the man spoke.
“I want to thank you for the food. You didn't have to do that and I really appreciate it. But I don't like taking charity,” he said softly. “I was wondering if there was a way I could work this off, if you have any jobs that need doing, that is? I'm pretty handy; I can paint, I can do repairs. I’ll scrub floors or wash windows.” His clear gray eyes bored into Rusty's. “Please... let me. I do good work. I'll do whatever you need.”
Rusty cocked his head to one side. He thought of the crates in the cellar that needed to be moved and the shelves that still needed to have brackets attached before being put up to hold the contents of said crates. “Listen. I'll make you a deal. I have stuff in the cellar that needs to be moved and some shelves to put up, probably a day's work. I'll throw in lunch.” The young man smiled. “BUT...” The smile died. “You have GOT to get rid of that parka or whatever it is that stinks. I can't have that in here. It IS the jacket, isn't it?”
The young man looked embarrassed. “Probably. I've been sleeping rough the past couple of nights, the shelter was full up. It's hard to see what you're lying in, in the dark. I could take it off, maybe leave it out back, someplace where it won't get taken?” He was plainly reluctant to lose the article of clothing, regardless of how aromatic it was. Rusty realized the jacket meant the difference between a tiny degree of comfort and potentially freezing cold to the man.
Rusty reached into his pocket and took out a fist full of change. “Here. There's a laundromat down the street. Hang on.” Rusty added a couple of bills to the change and then went to the closet in the hall and took out a pair of painter's overalls. “Here, get into these and wash everything... and I mean EVERYthing. There should be enough money there. The laundromat has soap and stuff, but here, take this.” Rusty handed the young man a small unopened box of baking soda from the closet. He kept it for the shop's refrigerators, “Use all of that in with your parka and wash it separately. Then come back and I'll show you what needs doing.” The young man grinned and stood up.
“Thanks, man,” he beamed, “That's almost better than food! Thank you! I'll be back quick, you'll see. That basement will be really clean when I'm done.” He took the overalls and started to strip.
Rusty coughed. “Ummm... you can use the bathroom if you like.” The man grinned sheepishly and stepped into the bathroom. A couple of minutes later, he emerged barefooted and wearing the overalls, holding a pile of dirty clothes clutched to his chest along with his shoes.
“And... thanks again.”
“No problem. But I like to know what to call you, besides 'man'. You got a name?”
The young man said, “I'm Brian,” and started to stick out his hand but then hesitated. Rusty realized Brian was ashamed of being dirty. He reached out and firmly shook Brian's hand. “Rusty. Look, no sense having clean clothes without a bath. Why don't you shower first, then head down to the laundromat. OK?”
Brian's face lit up at the prospect of being really clean for the first time in days. “If you're really sure?” He looked at Rusty for a sign of approval.
“Sure. I'll get a sack for your stuff. There's soap in the shower stall back there.” Rusty indicated a shower in the back area that was shared with Norman’s PT practice. I’ll get a couple of towels for you.” And with that, Brian turned back to the bathroom while Rusty crossed to a cupboard that held bathroom supplies and towels. When he reentered the bathroom, Brian had slipped out of the coveralls and had turned on the water. Rusty saw an unusually furry butt and shoulders that had more than a dusting of fur on them as the young man stepped into the shower.
'Hmmmm… furry fuck for a young guy!' He thought. Smiling, he chided himself, 'You are incorrigible.' Out loud he said, “Here's the towels. Oh and I grabbed you a toothbrush and toothpaste, too. By the sink. Let me know before you go.” Brian answered in the affirmative, his voice rising above the hiss of the water.
Almost thirty minutes later, Brian, once more in the painter's overalls but now much cleaner and combed and shod, presented himself to Rusty. “Thank you, sir that felt SO good. I hope I didn't use up all the hot water.”
“Oh, no problem. You've got the money, right?” Rusty asked.
“Yep, right here!” Brian said, patting a paint-crusted pocket in the overalls.
“OK. I'll see you soon. Turn to your right at the end of the alley and go one block, then turn right again. You'll see the laundromat.” Brian nodded and headed out the back door to the alley.
Rusty thought to himself, 'Well, either I'll never see him again and I'm out five or six bucks of change and some food; or I'll have a clean cellar by evening. Either way, I've done my good deed for the day.' He went back into the front of the shop, whistling a tune. Rebekah was putting pound bags of coffee into the spin rack by the front counter. “Did you...”
But before he could finish the question, Rebekah said, “Yes, the shelves are stocked now and I put the Sumatra Blue Batak to the front under the 'limited time only' sign. You want me to call Donovan and see if he can come in early?” It was unsettling how Rebekah seemed to always be reading his mind and being a step ahead of him; helpful, but unsettling.
“Yes, if you would. Then I could phone in the supply order and finish the books for the month.”
“I'm on it, Boss!” Rebekah called out over her shoulder, phone receiver in her hand. Rusty shook his head and smiled. 'My first three hires may have been slackers who were hardly worth the effort to fire, but I sure stuck gold with her,' he thought to himself as he crossed the hallway to Moose's side of the building. He stuck his head in the door and called out, “Norman!”
“In here,” Moose called out from under the work counter behind the receptionist's desk. “Stupid printer won't print and I just bought a new toner cartridge for... OW!” Moose hit his head on the underside of the counter.
“You need someone smaller. Here, let me.” Rusty got down on his hands and knees and crawled under the counter. “It helps if it's plugged in, Norman.”
“I know that, doofus. I was plugging it in when you called me. And in case you hadn't noticed, you aren't all that small anymore.” Moose rubbed the sore spot on his skull, where the lump that had formed was already receding; being a werebear had serious benefits. Bumps and bruises disappeared quickly. He looked down and said, “I like THAT view!” Rusty wiggled his butt and then backed out from under the counter.
“Oh, I bet you say that to all your patients.”
“Nope! Only the hairy, good looking ones,” Moose said, swatting Rusty's rump and then helping him to his feet. Moose looked down and planted a lip lock on Rusty. When they broke, Rusty said, “Ooooh, careful, your receptionist will see us!”
“Silly bear! ... She doesn't come in for another half-hour. We keep civilized hours on this side of the building.” Moose growled low as Rusty rubbed the front of his pants with his paw.
“Your time is valuable. We certainly can't afford to waste it, now, can we?” Rusty asked, slowly unzipping Moose's fly. Moose reached over Rusty and gave the door a shove so it clicked shut. He looked down and watched as Rusty fished his meat out from the confines of the pants, parting the fly on the boxers and revealing a thick pink tube of bear meat.
“Damn, that looks tasty, almost good enough to eat.” Rusty licked his lips in anticipation.
“What do you mean, 'almost'? That's USDA Prime Bear and you know it; you’ve had samples!” Moose said as he began to erect. Rusty took just the tip in his mouth and teased the slit with the tip of his tongue. Moose moaned. Rusty slowly traced the outline of the thick tip then moved down the underside of the shaft. Moose moaned louder. Rusty reached in to cradle Moose's balls in his warm hand. The mass of auburn hair almost completely concealed the heavy orbs. Rusty leaned forward, taking the hard meat down his throat, burying his face in the thicket, inhaling deeply. The fresh soap and musky bear scent there set off fireworks in Rusty's head and brought forth wonderful memories. He suckled, teasing out a flow of precum from his appreciative lover.
“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm,” Rusty murmured as Moose's big paws caressed his head. “You smell SO good.”
“Less talk. More sucking.” Moose said huskily.
But Rusty gave one last intense suckle that curled Moose’s toes in his big, wide shoes and pulled off, kissed Moose’s fat knob and rose fully upright shaking his head. “Nope! That's just a teaser, to keep you interested until tonight.” He grinned wickedly at Moose. “Besides, your receptionist might show up early.” Moose started to object but Rusty overrode him. “I know she's OK with us being gay but there's no need to rub her nose in it.” He tucked Moose's hefty cock back in his pants and tried in vain to get the zipper to close over the projecting bulge. “I shouldn't tease but sometimes...”
“I know. I am just too fucking irresistible.” Moose laughed out loud, working the zipper. “Here, I'll do it. You're right, though... too risky. But I'm going to hold you to your promise, about tonight.” Moose kissed Rusty. “Now scoot.” He swatted Rusty’s butt. “I've got two patients coming in about twenty minutes and those hot packs won't warm themselves.” Rusty nodded and opened the door to the hallway, blew Moose a kiss and headed up the stairs to the small room that they had made into an office space.