Brown Bear Coffee House
Papa Werebear and UrsusMajr
(Our good friend Joe V. did this custom drawing for us, inspired by the story...thanks, Joe!)
Copyright 2014, all rights reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced electronically or by any other means without the express permission of the authors.
This is the third in a series of novellas about a groupe of werebears. The first and second parts are Becoming the Bear, and Being the Bear. They will publish here soon.
“FUCK! YES!!” The short, stocky, strawberry blond man roared out as thick ropes of his seed shot deep into the hairy ass pinned under him. Thick thighs and a muscled butt drove his cock in deep as the final spurts drained his tanks. Slowly he eased himself down, nuzzling in the thick fur across the top of his lover's back, then gently biting.
“Ow.” Moose said softly, grinning into the pillows.
“Is that your safe word?” Rusty chuckled as he finally drew himself out of Moose's ass with an audible 'plop'.
“I don't think I have a safe word. Do I need one?” Moose asked with a wider grin as he raised himself up on one side, tumbling Rusty on to the mattress. “Gonna tie me up and have your way with me? Huh? Are ya? Huh?” Moose started to tickle Rusty, who dissolved into giggles.
“Stop it!” Rusty's eyes were squeezed shut, his belly shaking with laughter.
“OK, OK, I'll stop.” Moose gazed down on his mate and started to gently stroke the smaller bear's side instead of tickling. “Anyway, what brought on the early morning hornies? I thought you'd be tuckered out after last night.” Moose had gotten home late after running an evening class in preventing injuries for area high school coaches and had tried to slip into bed without waking his partner, only to be pounced on and ravaged by an exceptionally horny reddish-blond furball. The tussling had lasted quite a while, with both bears giving as good as they got.
Rusty propped his head on his hand, looking in his lover's eyes. “Oh, I had to get up early and thought I might as well make use of the time. You didn't seem to object.” The sly grin on his face crinkled his beard a bit. The room was still dark, no sunlight lightening the window glass behind the curtains.
“Ah, that's right... you gave Zach the day off, I remember now.
“Yeah, I have to open.” Rusty yawned. “What time is it? Can you see the clock?”
Moose kept his heavy arm draped over Rusty's side. “You got five more minutes. Stay.” Moose leaned forward and, pulling Rusty towards him, began nuzzling in his lover's thick beard. The two were soon lost in the kissing and licking that usually ended a love-making between them.
“Mmmmm... stop, you big lug. I've got to get up and pee.” Moose gave an evil grin and held Rusty firmly. “Norman, I'm not kidding, I'll wet the bed!” Rusty struggled briefly and then was permitted to escape, scurrying to the bathroom and releasing a noisy, lengthy piss into the toilet. He shook twice and flushed and then poked his head back into the bedroom. “One of these days you are going to tickle me too much and then you'll be sorry!”
The mock severity in his voice didn't fool Moose, who just grinned and lay back, his paws folded behind his head, showing off the dense patches of darker red fur in his pits, propped on the pillows. “You're going to be late.”
Rusty's eye caught the clock in the darkened room. “Shit. Shit, shit, shit.” He quickly turned on the shower and jumped in, a bit faster than the water was warming up. “Aaaaiiieeeeee!!!” Moose continued to grin, his eyes closed as he imagined his love, flinching from the blast of cold water. He luxuriously stretched and yawned amidst the rumpled sheets and pillows.
Twenty minutes later, Rusty tore down the stairs into the hallway that opened into the storeroom and kitchen of the Brown Bear Coffee House. He quickly threw on an apron with the shop’s name and logo on it. Rusty grinned at the logo; a plump cartoonish beatnik bear sitting in a comfortable looking chair dressed in a black beret and turtleneck, sunglasses, obvious goatee and even a set of bongo drums at his feet, in his paw a cup of steaming coffee. It was Rusty’s idea and when Moose had seen it drawn up by the rather cute, bearded graphic artist they’d hired, he laughed and said, “Cool Daddy-O”.
At Rusty's raised eyebrow, he grinned. “Well, you said you wanted 'retro'.” Moose said as he ducked.
Rusty had wanted a sort of retro-indie feel for the shop, something more genuine than what was found in the large coffeehouse chains. To that end he’d managed to find some vintage furnishings and fixtures for the shop at thrift stores, flea markets and an estate sale. He had them all re-upholstered and refurbished and the gaps filled with a few custom pieces they had made. No two tables or chairs matched, at least not in structure. They’d been refinished with the same warm stains and the upholstery, cloth and leather, were of the same tones and similar patterns with accent colors to draw the eye. It matched but didn’t match, but that was part of the charm. It made you feel as if someone had collected furniture that went together but the emphasis was on comfort, not on cohesiveness of design. Rusty had an eye for that sort of thing and the atmosphere of the place was perfect.
Living above the shop had its advantages on mornings like these when he had to open. The shop opened at six to cater to the early morning folk on their way to work and there was a fair amount of prep work to do, a bakery delivery to sign for and stock to rack up for the morning. Normally, it would be Zach doing that but Rusty had given him the extra day off to tend to his aged dad, whose dementia had reached a more worrisome stage.
Rusty bustled around, pouring beans into the grinder, firing up the espresso machine and making sure milk, half-and-half and cream were stocked in the small refer under the counter and that the cups were stacked and warming, ready for the onslaught. He noticed the paper cups and lids were low and made a mental note to add them to the order he'd call in later in the day. He was flipping on lights in the front of the shop when he heard the bakery truck pull up in the alley behind.
Randy beeped the horn once and shut off the truck. He was surprised to see Rusty open the back door. “Morning, Mr. Z! I didn't expect to see you this morning. Where's Zach?” Randy hefted a rack of pastries and muffins out of the truck and stepped inside as Rusty held the door for him.
“His dad's bad again, I gave him the extra day off. Need a hand?”
“Nah, I got it. But you can get that extra small rack out of the back. It's got 'Brown Bear' on a tag.” Rusty stepped out to the truck while Randy slid the rack home on the cart and retrieved the now-empty one from below it. Rusty came in with a half rack, sniffing appreciatively at the large muffins.
“These look GOOD! Are they something new?” Rusty slotted the half rack below the full one Randy had just put in.
“Yeah, Sandy's trying a couple of new recipes she's come up with. There's a dozen each of cranberry-orange and lemon-walnut. She'd like you to try them out and you can let me know tomorrow how they did. See if you can get some comments from the punters.” Sandy was Randy's wife. Together, they had started their bakery just a month before Rusty and Moose had settled in Wolverton and opened the Brown Bear. The Bear had been Randy and Sandy's first institutional customer and Rusty had never looked for another source for baked goods to sell with his coffee. The pastries were always fresh and always delivered on time and the customers raved. The extra couple of bear claws or crullers that always seemed to appear in a separate white sack in the delivery had sealed a business relationship that had developed into a friendship.
Rusty signed the order slip and kept his copy and handed the clipboard back to Randy. “I'm off. Got hot buns back there to deliver.” He winked at Rusty. Although 100% straight, he wasn't above some sexual innuendo now and then with Rusty and Moose. “Say 'Hi' to Norman for me.”
“I will, and say 'Hi' to Sandy and give her hugs for me!” Rusty said.
Randy turned the ignition and lightly gunned the motor as it took hold and moved off. Rusty waved and closed the door. He took one of the muffins in the white sack out to the front to munch on while he finished preparations. He finished turning on the lights and raised the shades on the windows.
- - - - - - - -
He reflected, not for the first time, that they had been very lucky to find this town. It hadn't been easy, finding a town big enough for the two of them to ease into without calling much attention to themselves, as well as one that would provide both new werebears ways of making a living for themselves. Wolverton was the right size and was nestled in partly forested land not far from the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests and convenient to Eugene, Albany and the coast.
It had been almost six years ago when Boris and Vic had both told them that they would need to move soon and start their new lives somewhere where no one knew them by sight. Boris had also suggested that such a place be near open forest land, where they could run and change and remain in their bear forms for extended periods. “Physically, you will find you need to; also, it is good for the mental health.” the Russian bear had said. Vic agreed. “You need to stay in touch with that side of you, the bear side... it's as much a part of you now as your human appearance is.” Wolverton was a near-perfect find.
But the real stroke of luck was in finding this building, both vacant and affordable. One of the older buildings in town, it had been built in the early 1890's as a large storefront with sturdily braced storage rooms above. Over the years, it had been modified, the storerooms converted to living quarters and the storefront split into unequal halves, the smaller of the two getting its own entrance on the street. Currently abandoned, it was starting to show its neglect.
“It's perfect!” Moose had said when they first saw it with the realtor.
“It's falling DOWN.” Rusty had countered, peevishly. In fact, the exterior was in poor shape and the whole building was in need of some serious re-plumbing and re-wiring, even if the structure of the building itself was sound.
“But look! It's got space for us upstairs, space for your coffee shop on the left and a perfect space for my office and treatment rooms on the other side. Separate entrance already there and there's alley access for deliveries. A couple of interior walls to build but there will be plenty of light in front for a seating area with those big windows. There’s even an old roll up door in the back so that space could be a garage and nice home gym, you know how I want to get back into strength training.”
Moose struck a muscle pose and Rusty grinned and whispered, “Later stud,” he said. “You don’t want to get Frank more worked up than he already is.”
Moose continued chattering on, filled with plans. He was excited, like a kid building a treehouse or a fort in his head.
“How much?” Rusty had asked the realtor.
“Well, it's a distress sale and I wouldn't be honest if I didn't tell you there's work that needs doing. The area of town isn't the best but it's improving, as you can see. It's zoned for retail and there's plenty of traffic through here, now that the bridge repairs are done. It's up and coming, yes sir... Mr. Zimmermann, up and coming.” The realtor named a figure, looking hopefully at Rusty, knowing instinctively that he was the one he'd have to convince.
“We'll seriously have to think about this. Thanks for taking us around Mr. Martini. We have your card. We will call you don't worry, no matter what we decide.” Rusty was polite but firm. He hated being pressured and the realtor was sensible enough to recognize this and back off with a cheerful hand shake. Frank recognized and appreciated bears when he saw them, but he also recognized a strong will in the smaller one that would not be hustled. Once he was gone, Rusty looked at Moose who was still muttering to himself as he peered through dusty windows.
“Norman.” No response. “Norman!”
“Norman. Look at me. This will take a lot of work and...”
“And money. I know,” Moose said, looking over his shoulder fondly at his mate.
“I'm not worried about the money, you know that,” Rusty said. “I cashed out my retirement and you've got your savings and Boris' friend the banker assured us we can get a business loan on favorable terms. But you know me, I worry. That's what I do. Is this right for us. Is this the right place... the right time?”
Moose sighed heavily and walked over to their vehicle and leaned against it. Rusty joined him. “Honey, we've talked about this over and over. You know we have to move; we're starting to look different, really different; you especially. Don’t worry though,” Moose paused and leered at his partner, “...you look hawt! You’re becoming more muscled under that sexy padding of yours. Anyway, people will wonder, like Vic said. So, yeah, it's the right time for us to move on. You'll open a coffee shop, like you've talked about for ages. I'll open my own physical therapy office. We'll use the money I got from my aunt when she died to fix a place for our home. It's all planned. We've looked at it every which way.” Moose looked intently at Rusty.
“Yes, BUT. Rusty, look at this place, its perfect! Look... coffee shop, PT office, garage on the side, big delivery alley in the back.” he said, gesturing to the left, then to the right. He pointed up to the second story of the building. “Spacious home. It's perfect and it's cheap… and there are city financial incentives for ‘revitalizing’ this area… and did I mention, it’s cheap?”
Rusty and Moose stared at the building for a long time. Moose was big and lumbering but the beefy, slow, 'dumb jock' impression he sometimes gave was wrapped around a sharp intelligence and he knew that Rusty's doubts were more about his ability to run a business and his lingering fears of uprooting and starting a new life in a new town than they were about the building or its location. The added burden of coming to terms with being a werebear on top of everything else didn't make things any easier.
Rusty was worried and Moose had pegged the cause of the worries correctly. “What if I can't run a business on my own? I've always worked for someone else. People around here seem to be OK with gays but what if someone finds out about our being were?” Thoughts buzzed in his head. He felt Moose's warm bulk nudge him.
“S'OK, I'm big and strong. I'll pertek ya.” Moose whispered, repeating the words he had used on the first night they had gone out together, years ago. Moose had wanted to go into a biker bar and the small, fastidious bear had held back, frankly nervous and more than a little scared. Rusty smiled at the memory and Moose smiled down at his love and added, “And if anyone finds out about what we become, we’ll just eat them!”
Rusty reached up and swiped at Moose as if to smack the side of his head. Moose easily dodged. “Bad bear!” Rusty said. They chuckled.
And then, suddenly, his mind was made up. “Yes, my love. Yes. We'll do it. Let's call Frank before he sells this place out from under us.” They had made an offer that afternoon.
- - - - - - - -
Pulling himself away from his jaunt down memory lane, Rusty reached for the last of the window shades and pulled the chain. He moved to the door, flipped the switch for the neon open sign, and was about to unlock the door when through the door window he saw the figure huddled in the recessed doorway, back to the street, head pulled down deep inside a dirty ski jacket.
Rusty eased the door open and gently prodded the ski jacket with his foot. “Hey, buddy, time to wake up. You can't sleep here; I'm just about to open.” There was some movement and a small tired groan, “Come on, get up, man.” Slowly, a head with a bearded face emerged from the depths of the parka. Clear but weary eyes stared at him.
“Sorry. Sorry, yeah, I'll go; meant no harm.” The young man slowly rose and gathered his duffel prior to shuffling off.
The homeless had not been much of a problem in Wolverton until a few months ago. Now, they were becoming more common. Most were no trouble but a few were more aggressive in their panhandling and there had been a few assaults, fueled by one too many cans of cheap malt liquor.
Rusty's eyes, initially hard and intent on clearing his business's doorway, softened as he looked the young man over. He didn't look like an addict or a refugee from a treatment facility and he didn't have the vacant glassy look of the deranged. He just looked young, tired and worn down.
The young man began gathering his meager possessions. Rusty made an uncharacteristic flash decision. “Hey, buddy, I've got coffee just made… hang on and I'll give you a cup to go. You take milk or sugar or both?”
The young man looked at Rusty as if he was assessing the possibility of a trap and deciding there wasn't one, said, “I'll take sugar, if that's OK. Thank you, much obliged.”
Rusty drew off the hot brew, dumped in two sugars, stirred, dumped in a third for good measure and fit the lid on the tall container. As Rusty was about to hand the coffee to the young man, he straightened up from zipping his duffel closed and then seemed to slump backwards, as if overcome by dizziness. Rusty reached out and caught the man's arm before he toppled off the step. 'Christ, his arm feels like a stick!' Rusty thought as he helped the young man back upright.
“Whoa, there. You OK?” Rusty looked the man over again and asked, “When did you last eat, man?”
“I'm OK. Just lost my balance there for a minute.” The man looked white as a sheet.
“When – was – your – last – meal?” Rusty's voice took on a stern tone as he spoke carefully, as to a child. The young man mumbled words that sounded like 'couple a days ago' or something very like it.
Usually it was Moose who was the soft touch and Rusty who tried to pull him away from getting involved; but something about the tiredness in the face and eyes of one so young gnawed at him.
“You need food, you're about to pass out. Bring your bag inside, in the back. I was fixing breakfast, there’s plenty, so it's no problem.” The young man seemed reluctant and Rusty's voice showed a touch of irritation. “Oh, for heaven’s sake! I'm not going to chop you up small and put you on the menu. You need food and I need an open door step. Get yourself in the back room where it’s warm.” Rusty tugged on the man's arm and led him to the back of the coffee shop.
He set the coffee down on the counter in the store room and motioned towards a stool in the corner. “Sit and I'll get some utensils.” Rusty reached for his own plate that he had heaped with scrambled eggs and cheese earlier and set it down in front of the young man. He grabbed another plate and put a bear claw and a muffin on it, poured a glass of milk and added a measure of cream to that and set that down also. Knife, fork and salt and pepper followed. “Take your time, I have to get out front.”
The young man looked up and the expression of gratitude and famished hunger was more than enough thanks for Rusty. The first customers were approaching the counter as he slipped back out through the kitchen.