Healing Bears



(This is a story involving consensual sex between adult males. If such offends you or is illegal for you to read where you live, or if you are under the age of 18, please leave now. Safe sex practices are not used, but this is fiction... in real life, get tested and play safe.)

Chapter 1

The dreams bothered him. Not the having of them; that was rather pleasant. It was afterwards, the empty ache they left. Terry looked around at the off white walls, slick enamel, easily washed. Light from the hall outlined the half-opened door. He could smell the scorched odor of burnt coffee from the little break room a short way down the hall. He wondered if it was that that had awakened him. Terry readjusted the sheet and the extra blanket to conceal the rigid erection he had awakened with. Privacy, along with personal dignity, were scarce commodities here. Once again, he reluctantly passed on the pleasure of jacking off and relieving the pressure. He sighed, and gave himself a few tugs, promising himself that he'd find a place and a way... somehow. The rhythmic squeak of the wheels on the nurse's cart stopped outside his door, and Terry edged his hand away from his cock and closed his eyes. The nurse's backlit head peered in around the door. She stepped in, listened to Terry's rhythmic breathing for a minute and made a note on his chart. She walked back to the hall, leaving the door half open as before.

The mood had passed with the interruption, and Terry's softening dick subsided under the covers. He considered turning on the TV, but knew there would only be infomercials and televangelists on at this hour. He settled back down into the bent mattress as best he could and willed his mind to blankness. Eventually, he drifted off into a thankfully dreamless sleep.

* * *

“Well, Mr., ah...” The intern glanced down at the chart he carried, “...Mr. Black, I think we're going to kick you out of here today.”

Terry was surprised. He desperately wanted out of the hospital and to get back to the familiarity of his small home, but he didn't expect it today, or even this week. Quite apart from the fact he couldn't move properly or support his weight standing yet, he knew he couldn't care properly for himself. Hell, if he even dropped something on the floor, there was no way he could pick it up.

“Yes, it says so, right here.” The intern tapped the chart with his pen. “Dr. Richardson will be in in a few minutes. I'll just check your vitals here. Let's get you sitting up.” The intern helped Terry into a more upright position and put the temp probe in his mouth, while slipping the blood pressure cuff on his arm. He pumped the cuff up while chatting.

“A nurse usually does this, but I'm new on this rotation so Dr. Richardson wanted me to make the rounds of all the patients on this floor so they'd see me and I'd be up to speed on their cases. Yes, that looks good.” The young doctor removed the temp probe and slid off the cuff. He made a note on the chart and snapped it shut. “Of course, I won't really need to get to know you, you're going home! How are you feeling today?”

“Oh, I'm stiff and still sore, some. It's hard to get comfortable in this bed at night, but I'm sleeping more than I was. If you're serious about me going home, I'm ready. But...”

The doctor's entrance stopped Terry's question. The intern stepped back and Richardson reached forward and shook Terry's hand. He smelled faintly of cologne and disinfectant.

“Well, are you ready to go home? Silly question, I know. EVERYone is ready to go home the minute they arrive here.” The doctor turned and smiled at the intern. “Isn't that right, Dr. Comstock?” Comstock nodded.

“Doctor Richardson, I really have to say that I wonder if I can...” Once again Terry's question was stopped.

“Now, don't worry. I've been on the phone with your insurance company. Of course, they are interested in minimizing costs to whatever extent possible, and I have to agree with them that, except for personal care, there really isn't any need for you being here now. You are healing up nicely, the labs are all good, and your vitals are nice and stable. The nurses tell me the incisions look good, no heat or swelling. Let me see.” Richardson pulled down the covers and lifted Terry's gown so he could see the knee and thigh. He removed the dressing and gently touched the areas, moving the knee slightly.

“Yes, that does look good. Well, Mr. Black, you are on your way to a good recovery. Now, the insurance will be paying for a home care assistant for a few weeks or so. It will be a live-in, that's the only way I'd OK your release now. Still, it's cheaper for them than this place, I'm sure. Bathing, toileting, some light exercising, and things that need doing around your place, cooking and such, all that will be taken care of. “

The doctor peered over his glasses at Terry, having noted the raised eyebrows at the mention of toileting. “Well, I presume you don't want to have a catheter, so getting into the bathroom to pee and, um, other things, will be kind of necessary. Don't worry, the agency will be sending a male attendant.” Richardson reached over and patted Terry's good knee. “You know, you are one lucky guy. A few inches to the right, and that bar would have taken your head right off. An inch lower, and those shards of glass would have blinded you. I know the knee will likely trouble you in years to come, but the orthopedist insists you will walk normally and have nearly full range of motion.” He paused, and looked closely at Terry's face. “You're lucky Godwin was in the building that night, too. He's the one I called in to do your face while we had you on the table. He's the best plastics man I know, and he's done some nice work on your face, there.” The doctor put his hand under Terry's chin and lifted his head a bit. “Look this way... now, blink. Again. Yes. Eyelids don't droop or pull, excellent! The cuts on your cheeks have healed nicely, and you'll never see the scar in your hairline. I could have done the work, but I'm not nearly as good as he is.”

“Well, we have more patients to see.” He extended his hand again to Terry. “Take care, rest up, and don't be brave about those pain meds. Take them as needed... I mean that. You need to get as much rest as you can.” He started to move towards the door. “You've been a good patient, Mr. Black. Best of luck.” He looked at the intern. “Come on doctor, don't dawdle.”

Comstock did the opposite of dawdling, and the doctor and the intern exited, nearly bumping into the day nurse as she entered. This one was all bustle, too, as she went over Terry's meds and discharge papers with him, reminding him of the appointment with his GP and the scheduled visit at the physical therapy department in four week's time. She reattached Terry's dressing on his knee, folded back the bed clothes, and helped Terry to turn so his legs were over the edge of the bed. She eased him up and helped him over to the one chair in the room. She deftly lowered him into it.

“Now, you just sit there, Mr. Black. One of he aides will be here soon with a wheelchair.” She was about to say something else when her beeper went off. She looked at it in annoyance and hurried off, calling back over her shoulder, “Goodbye, Mr. Black. Good luck!”

Terry sat quietly, looking out the narrow window and the sunny sky and white clouds, anticipating the heady smell of fresh air he would soon enjoy. He would be heartily glad to get out the hospital. He knew the brusqueness of the nursing staff was more a reflection of their overworked schedules and heavy patient loads than a lack of caring; but it still made for an abrupt air that stifled any kind of conversation. There were two nurses in particular he would have liked to have chatted up for more detailed information on his recovery as well as just some human interaction. But literally any time the opportunity presented itself, a phone rang or a call button was pushed or a pager went off. He couldn't fault the medical aspect of his care, but the constant hustle and bustle left him always vaguely on edge. He would be glad to get home. He thought about his small home, the changes he had made to the vintage house, the pleasure he took from having a place to call his own. He had truly missed the comfort of his own bed and his own things about him. 'I guess I really am a stick in the mud homebody,' he thought ruefully to himself.

He continued to gaze out the window, watching the ants below go about their daily business, parking cars, dropping people off, picking up relatives, walking along the street to the bus stop on the corner. A car slammed on its brakes, tires screeching, barely avoiding a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Terry reflected on how auto accidents could change lives in the blink of an eye. He sighed and shook his head, pushing the images of his own accident out of his mind and shifting his eyes to the hills in the distance. He absently rubbed the stubble on his chin. He vowed to re-grow the beard they had shaved off in the emergency room before taking him into surgery. The touched the scars around his eyes and across his forehead and cheeks. They were itching now, another sign of healing. The last of the stitches had been taken out a few days ago. He'd take Richardson's word that they would fade and not be noticed at all in time; right now, they were still an angry red.

He felt the presence behind him before he heard anything. Turning, he saw a bulky figure standing inside the doorway. Taller than the nurses, that was for sure. Broader, too. And none of the nurses had beards like this. Thick and full, golden with a touch of red in it, it framed a handsome face that was gravely studying him with gray eyes.

“Hello. Y'all were lost in thought there, and I didn't want to startle you. I'm Craig, your Home Assistant.” The blond man crossed the floor and shook Terry's hand firmly. “Y'all must be Terry.”

Terry nodded, and extended his hand. “Terry Black. Pleased to meet you.”

“Y'all ready to head out? Is that all your kit?” Terry nodded and Craig hefted the gym bag and hooked the straps across the wheelchair that sat just outside the doorway and then wheeled it into the room. With smooth movements obviously born of practice, he easily maneuvered Terry out of the chair and into the wheelchair. At 5' 11” and 210 pounds Terry wasn't exactly light, but the ease of Craig's lift and move spoke both of strength and experience.

“Feet up. Here, I'll get that one.” Craig eased Terry's bad leg up slightly and set his foot on the footrest. Terry looked around one last time, checking to see if he had forgotten anything. Reassured, he said, “Home, James.” Craig grunted slightly, but did not laugh. He rolled Terry and his possessions down the hall to the elevators and into an open car, pressed the Lobby button, and stood back as two nurses entered. The doors closed and the car descended, the nurses' professional chatter filling the car for the brief trip down. The door glided open and the nurses exited, still discussing the need for a more efficient method for accessing the narcotics cabinet. Craig pushed Terry's chair out into the light-filled lobby.

The two crossed the lobby and Craig parked Terry's chair next to the automatic doors at the entrance. “I'm just going to get the van and pull it up by the door here. I'll be right back. “

Terry sat, looking with pleasure out the windows and the bright daytime sky. He was so looking forward to getting home and sitting outside in the fresh air. The antiseptic, almost stale smell of the hospital had been getting to him more and more. In short order, Craig pulled up in a blue and white Dodge Caravan fitted with a wheelchair lift. He parked, got out, and circled around and pushed Terry to the lift.

“I can manage sitting in the front,” Terry said, making to rise.

“No. Not yet, anyway. I need to assess your abilities and limits before we try anything fancy. Stay in the chair for now.” Craig's voice was quiet, but firm. He quickly secured the safety straps and flipped the switch that raised Terry to the level of the van, unhitched him and rolled him in, and the fastened him down again. He closed the doors, raised the lift to the traveling position, and reentered the driver's side.

“Can y'all see well enough out the front? Give me directions to your place. I've got a general idea, but I'll need some specifics.” Craig piloted the van out of the parking lot and onto the main street. Terry called off directions and the van proceeded to the highway.

“Full name's Craig Ferguson, by the way,” Craig called out over his shoulder. “I'll be with y'all for at least a couple of weeks. I've been doing this for a while, so don't worry about asking for things. I'll try to anticipate your needs, but if y'all need anything done or any errands or such, just ask. The idea is for y'all to rest and get your strength and mobility back, heal up... oh, and save the insurance company the cost of a hospital room. I'm cheaper.” Craig's voice carried a note of humor and irony, though Terry couldn't see if he was smiling or not.

“You're not to try doing anything with that leg for a day or two. I'll get you up and to the bathroom and kitchen and outside; any mobility will be my responsibility. Remember that. Y'all drop something, let me get it. Y'all need to get out of bed at night, call out for me, got it?” Craig looked in the rear view mirror, eyeing Terry.

“Yes, SIR!” Terry shot off a mock salute. “And really... thanks. It's going to feel great just being home. And I promise not to sneak out and run marathons.”

“Good man.” There was a slight pause in the conversation as Craig avoided a lane changer who wasn't signaling. “Y'all have family in the area?” he asked.

“Nope. Well, none that claim me. My mom and dad both died some time ago. My bother and sister sort of... disowned me.” Terry hadn't intended to touch on family matters, but his usual caution was seconded to his elation at heading home.

“Ah... sorry about your folks. Did they live around here? Y'all local?”

Craig nodded, then realized that Craig's eyes were on the road and said, “Yes, they did. We moved here when I was 12 or so. Dad was transferred. They died less than a year apart.”

Craig tracked a motorcyclist splitting the lanes. Once he was safely ahead, he said, “Y'all mentioned 'disowned'... ?” When Terry didn't answer immediately, he added, “I didn't mean to pry. None of my business, really.”

“No, it's OK. “ He paused. “ I'm gay. My brother and sister blame me for Mom's death, say that my divorce and telling her caused her heart attack. I don't know, maybe it did. I was young, I'm sure I could have handled it better than I did. But, anyway, they have nothing to do with me now.” There was a long pause. “I hope it's not a problem for you.... my being gay, I mean.”

“Y'all mean, am I worried you're going to try to have your way with me? Hell, man, you can't walk, you can barely stand. I think I'm safe.”

Terry bristled a bit at that. “Hey. I'm not always going to be in this chair. And we're not ALL crazed sex maniacs who can't keep our hands off anything in pants. Besides, I'm... selective.”

“Oh, I'm not good enough for you?” Craig glanced up in the rear view mirror.

“Let's just say I'd go for someone with a bit more tact.” Terry bit off the last word sharply.

Both men were silent for a bit, and the temperature inside the van dropped a few degrees. Eventually, Craig spoke.

“Look, man... I'm sorry. I was trying to be funny, and y'all were being serious. I should have picked up on that. My fault and I apologize.” He paused. “And 'gay' doesn't bother me. My job is to make things easy for you so you can heal up faster. That's all.”

Terry reached forward to squeeze Craig's shoulder, then thought better of it. “It's OK, I flew off the handle there, too. I guess the hospital has made me cranky in my old age.” He leaned back in the chair. “You have family here?”

“No, I'm from Mississippi. I moved here three years ago, but before that I lived in Chicago for ten years.”

“Lost most of your accent.”

“Well, Chicago will do that to a guy.” Craig kept his eyes on the road. When he didn't offer any more information, Terry again spoke up.

“What did you do there? Ah, you want to get over, it's the next off ramp.” Terry pointed and Craig shifted over to the far right hand lane.

“I'm a physical therapist. I trained in Chicago, and worked in a clinic and then in private practice there. But California doesn't have reciprocity with Illinois so I have to re-qualify out here. I had to re-take three classes, so I got this assistant job to pay the bills while I did that.” Craig pulled to a stop at the base of the off ramp. “Which way?”

“Left for two blocks, then right. How much more do you have to go with the classes?”

Craig made the turn. “I'm finished, just need to take the exam now. That's in a month or so. The hospital's offered me a job, but I'd really like to get back into private practice.” After a bit, he swung the van to the right. “And now?”

“Three blocks, then bear right. Follow that for about three miles, it's kind of on the outskirts of town, all residential.”

Craig piloted the van through the intersection and out along the road Terry had indicated and into the quiet neighborhood where Terry's house was. Terry watched the neighborhoods pass by with pleasure.

“There. That one, on the right. The black shutters.” Terry's voice showed his excitement at finally getting home.

Craig pulled into the driveway and parked behind what he assumed was a visitor's car. He noticed a decal in the back window in the shape of a bear with horizontal colored stripes. “Looks like y'all have company.”

“No, that's mine. I asked my neighbor to put it in the garage, but I forgot she didn't have a key to the garage, just the house. She's been watching the place for me.”

Craig turned in his seat. “I thought y'all were in a auto wreck?”

“I was. I was the passenger. A truck swerved and slammed on its brakes to avoid a kid on a bike. A load of steel pipe and rebar came loose and slammed into the car. Tore off most of the top of the car. The driver died.”

“Damn. You're lu...”

“Yeah. I know. Lucky.”

Craig eyed the front steps. “Is there a side or back door without steps? That would be easier.”

“Yes,” Terry said. “Around back. Level with the drive.” He handed the house and car keys to Craig. Craig moved the car, which thankfully started right up, to the top of the driveway, and then pulled the van up as close to the back of the house as he could.

The process of off-loading Terry was a bit slower than loading him had been, since it involved Craig wheeling Terry around to the the back door and shifting the chair first this way then that to coax it through the narrow opening; but eventually everything was squared away and Terry was shifted out of the wheelchair and handed a cane. With support from Craig on one side and the cane on the other, he hobbled to his recliner. Craig watched carefully.

“Damn me, but it's great to be home!” Terry sighed, looking around. His house was a small one, built in the 1920's, a sort of pseudo-Norman style that could still be seen in a few neighborhoods in and around LA, and, more rarely, in other California cities. Terry had bought it with money he had inherited from an uncle after his divorce. The divorce had left him without a place to live or much in the way of furniture or other possessions, so he had furnished this place slowly and carefully over the years since. The initial bareness had been replaced gradually with pieces of furniture he'd carefully selected from catalogs or found in flea markets or estate sales. It exactly reflected his interests and tastes. It was compact, small, even; but that suited Terry, who had long since shed any expectation of sharing his abode. His rare guests were accommodated in the tiny second bedroom that usually served as Terry's office.

“So... Craig. How does this work? They didn't explain much at the hospital. How long before I can ditch this chair?” Craig sat on the small love seat in the little living room. Terry looked at Craig, while Craig gazed quietly back at Terry.

“Actually, it looks to me that most of what you'll need will be mobility help. From what I saw of your chart and seeing y'all move here a bit, I think we can ditch the chair today or tomorrow. But don't get too revved up. We'll have to take things slow and see how that knee and leg support weight. The leg was nasty, but it's healing well. This place is small and everything is handy. It shouldn't be too long. You comfy in the chair for a bit? I need to get my things from the van and lock it up.”

Terry nodded and Craig went out the back door to tend to the van and his luggage. He came back in with a duffle and a small case. “Where do I sleep?”

Terry said, “In there. If you push the chair in tight under the desk, the big chair opens out into a futon. There are hangers in the closet and you can use one of the filing cabinets as a night stand.”

Craig walked into the indicated room and Terry called out, “There's an empty drawer in that chest behind the door for your other stuff. Linens are in the hall closet, so are towels. Bathroom's just across.”

In a few moments, Terry could hear the duffle being unzipped and hangers moved in the closet. A few moments later, Craig stepped out and the looked at Terry with approval.

“Very nice... neat and clean and organized. Y'all should see some of the places I've been. No sense of order. How people live like that...” He shook his head.

Craig walked into the galley kitchen. “Y'all must have re-done this. It's nice. The outside looks like... what, the 30's? 20's?”

“1923, near as I have been able to determine. When I worked on the kitchen, I had all the wiring re-done and a new gas line put in. After that, I worked on it slow but steady. It took almost a year and a half, but I think it turned out well.”

“Ah... y'all did the work yourself? Even the tile? Nice!” Craig nodded approvingly and set about making lunch.

Opening the refrigerator, he said, “Good. No science experiments growing in here.”

“Yeah, my neighbor came in and cleaned out the perishables. There probably isn't much in there for lunch.”

“That's OK... I'll shop later.” Closing the freezer and opening some cupboards, Craig pulled out a couple of cans. “Chunky soup and some frozen mixed veggies, I can make a stew of sorts. Where are the spices?”

“Above the sink, to the left.”

“Got 'em.” Craig set to work and soon the small house was filled with the spicy scent of simmering stew. “You got a tray somewhere?”

“Next to the refrigerator, wooden folding ones.”

Shortly, Craig brought in two folding trays and set them up, brought out napkins and silverware, crackers, and salt and pepper. He followed with bowls filled with steaming stew and set them on the trays. “Bet it beats hospital fare. Dig in.”

The two ate in companionable silence, neither feeling the need to fill the space with conversation just yet. Later, after the dishes were cleared and the kitchen tidied, Craig made out a list with Terry's help. “Y'all be OK for a while?” Craig asked.

“Oh, sure, no problem. I'm fine, you know... just gimpy.”

“Right, then. I'll use that Von's we passed driving here, if that's OK? And there's a RiteAide next to it, I need to pick up a couple of things for your dressings and turn in the prescriptions. I'll be back in about an hour or so.” Craig set the portable phone by Terry and wrote his cell number on a post it and put it by the phone. “Call me if y'all think of anything for the list. Oh, and which key for the garage? I'll put your car in and lock it up for now.” Terry told him, and he waved and set off.

Terry leaned back in the chair and thought about the events of the past few hours. Craig seemed nice, but was really quiet, almost reserved. He had not really talked much in the van except to acknowledge Terry's directions. They had not talked much during lunch, and that was OK; but Terry thought, or rather, expected that Craig would talk more either about himself or about Terry's injuries and prognosis. He had done neither, but instead had confined himself to comments about the house. He certainly seemed competent, and the slow, soft quality in his now almost absent drawl was restful after the hurry and bustle of the hospital staff. Maybe he was one who took his time about opening up. That was OK, too. Terry let himself doze a while.

Chapter 2

The dream faded, but Terry kept his eyes closed, hoping to recapture at least some of the detail. He remembered being locked in an embrace with a softly-furred bear of a man, strong but well-padded. Inhaling his strong masculine scent, burying his nose in the thicket of dense blond hair that covered his chest, and then raising his face to be kissed. Soft growls and grunts were exchanged, and strong hands cupped his butt and raised him so he would not have to strain upwards to meet the bearded face that bent to his. They had done this so many times. He felt the other man's thick erection prod his ass, felt those hands gently part his butt. He sighed as he was lowered on to the straining cock. He remembered crying out in joy, or perhaps he had only wanted to. He also remembered a great feeling of familiarity, of ease and contentment. And then, as always, a deepening sense of loss and emptiness as the man slowly faded away, leaving Terry standing alone, groping for the man, reaching out, trying to touch, longing to connect. And then the dream faded away.

Giving up in his attempt to recapture the fleeing images, he slowly opened his eyes. He was surprised to see Craig sitting across from him, once again studying him with that grave, silent gaze. He started to speak and instantly realized that he still had the stiffie he always awoke with after the dreams.

“Ummm, sorry, I must have dozed off there.”

“Y'all were sound asleep. I hope the noise in the kitchen didn't disturb you, I tried to keep it as quite as possible. I didn't want to wake you. I got today's paper, I guess yours hasn't been restarted yet?” Craig rose and handed Terry the front section of the paper. He made no comment on Terry's erection, but the paper provided suitable cover for it. He sat back down.

“Thanks, man. No, I haven't called them yet. I can do that tomorrow.” He needed to pee, but he wanted to wait a few more minutes before asking Craig to help him up and to the bathroom so his dick had a chance to soften.

Craig resumed quietly reading his section of the paper. When he felt he had softened enough not to embarrass himself, Terry said, “Craig, I need to pee. Can you give me a hand up here?”

“Sure. Here, give me your arm.” With practiced ease, Terry was levered up out of the chair. “Just put your arm around my shoulder... yeah, like that. Put most of your weight on me, use me like a crutch. Can y'all manage that?”

“Yes. It's a bit awkward but I can manage.” Terry, the cane, and Craig hobbled to the bathroom. Standing in front of the toilet, Terry was suddenly embarrassed as he struggled with his left hand to open the snaps of his sweats.

“It's OK... here, I'll do it. No, don't let go. Next time, we can switch sides once you're steady and that will free your right hand.” Craig worked the snaps, hesitated, and then let Terry fish his cock out and aim. There was a slight pause, and then an impressive stream splashed on target. After what seemed like a very long time, Terry sighed deeply and tucked himself back in and struggled to re-snap, finally succeeding.

“Damn, that felt good. You know, that's the first time I've stood to piss in weeks! I hate bed urinals.” Craig guided Terry around to the sink and steadied him while he washed his hands. Terry turned slightly and said, “Thanks. You have no idea how much being able to do small things like that means.”

“No problem. That's what I'm here for. I'll get you back in the chair now, or we can sit outside for a bit; it's nice out, not too hot. Y'all can decide what you want for supper, too.” Terry indicated that outside would be very nice and Craig helped him out and into one of the two chairs on the small deck and set up a foot stool for him to rest his leg on.

“If you're OK here for a bit, I'll go shower up, then start supper.” Craig looked at Terry, noting the smile on his face. “You're really glad to be home, aren't you?”

“Oh, man, yes!”

“Well, y'all have a really nice place here. I'll bet you really missed it. You've made it very homey. Comfortable.”


Don't try to do any walking on that,” Craig said, indicating the cane. “You've done enough for today, I think.” Craig went inside and in a few minutes, the sound of water running told Terry that he was in the shower. He looked around his small back yard and was thankful for being home and thankful that he had such a competent, easygoing person to help him.

* * *

Later that night after supper, Craig sat Terry forward in a straight backed chair and carefully felt his knee as he slowly extended and bent the joint, and then held and felt while Terry gingerly did the same on his own. He watched carefully as Terry stood, first with a cane for support and then, carefully and briefly, without; and sat down suddenly as the knee gave way.

“Steady, there... easy. Not bad actually, not bad at all. They really did do a good job on you. Of course, there's some atrophy, that's to be expected. I know you have a PT appointment coming up, but there's nothing to stop us from getting started early with some exercises. It will make things feel better sooner, and loosen up the ligaments, too.” Craig looked up and smiled at Terry. Terry realized that it was the first time he had seen the handsome man smile. “You're going to be OK, man.”

Later that night, after watching some TV, Craig tidied up and then helped Terry to the bathroom again and then into bed. Looking around to the closet, Craig asked, “Y'all use jammies? Or just boxers?”

“Well, no, actually. I sleep buck.”

“Ah. No problem. It makes my job easier. If you'll sit on the bed, I can pull the sweats off easier. Wait, let me pull the covers back. There.” He lowered Terry to the bed, pulled the sweats off, and Terry pulled the top off over his head. Terry was very aware of the feel of Craig's warm hands on his legs as he removed the sweatpants, and was once again embarrassed by his cock, which was beginning to lengthen. Craig said nothing, though; and eased Terry's bad leg under the covers and pulled them up high enough so he could reach and adjust them to his taste.

“Good night, Terry. I sleep light, so just call out if y'all need anything.” He placed a glass of water within reach. “Sleep well.” With that, Craig turned off the light and stepped out of the bedroom, leaving the door open. In a moment, the light in his room clicked on and faded as he closed the door to his bedroom.

The stress and excitement of the day, plus being in his own bed again, combined to send Terry into a deep sleep almost instantly. Hours later he woke, suddenly alert. It took him a moment to realize that he was at home, in his own bed. He was comfortably on his side, facing the open bedroom door. He saw light from under Craig's door, and then the door opened and Craig padded out, naked, lit from behind by the room light. He walked past the bathroom, obviously heading to the kitchen. With eyes half closed, Terry was still able to see the thick man's body in detail. He was covered with blond fur, his butt nearly as thickly furred as his forearms. A substantial uncut cock jutted over his balls, which were largely concealed by a thicket of blond hair. Thick thighs and legs were also covered with blond hair. Terry stifled a gasp of appreciation.

Terry heard the sound of running water as Craig got himself a long drink of water. The sound of his feet padding back warned Terry to half close his eyes again, but Craig entered the bathroom instead. The door closed. Terry waited for pee sounds or the creak of the toilet seat, but they were absent. Shortly, Terry heard the soft but unmistakable sounds of a man bringing himself to a climax. Rhythmic stroking interspersed with faint grunts, and then the 'splat' sound of the first spurt hitting the water in the toilet, followed by somewhat fainter 'splat's' of the second and third spurts. Terry's head filled with an image of the hairy man standing there, legs apart and slightly flexed, back tense and butt cheeks clenched, as he shot into the bowl. The flush of the toilet, followed by the brief flash of the bathroom light before Craig flipped the switch, warned Terry to once again feign sleep. Craig padded past the open door and into his own bedroom, closing the door behind him.

Terry's mind was filled with the images he had just seen and imagined. His own meat was rigid with need and lust, and he reached down and joyfully stroked. Finally! No restraints of potential interruptions by nursing staff intent on taking blood pressure or doling out sleeping meds. He stroked tip to base, and fondled his balls for a bit, then resumed stroking, alternating between just teasing the tip and going all the way down to the base. His breathing became erratic and he strained upwards. He knew he was going to make a mess in short order, the images of Craig's furry, thick body spinning in his brain and inflaming his libido. He willed himself not to make noise so as not to bring Craig in, who most likely had not yet fallen back to sleep. He was taking a chance, but what the hell... this was his home, his bedroom, his bed... and he had had no release for weeks.

His back arched, and his cock strained forward. The tension of his boiling ejaculation ran from deep inside his balls out along the underside of his shaft to the swollen tip of his cock and exploded out, soaking the sheet and his chest with heavy ropes of seed. He pumped out all the cum he'd stored up while in the hospital, in his mind coating the chest and belly of the blond bear in the room next to him. His ragged breathing subsided as his cock slowly returned to its normal flaccid size. Terry grinned as he felt the now-cold wetness of the sheet spread over his chest and belly. He must look a mess, but it would be dry by morning, and he could sit up and swing his legs out and be ready when Craig came in. If Craig said anything when making the bed, Terry would just say he'd had a wet dream. After all, he'd stored up a lot while in the hospital with no chance for release. A guy would understand.

Terry settled back into a comfortable sleeping position and allowed himself to drift off to sleep. His last thoughts were of the wet sheets plastering themselves to the cum-soaked hair on his chest.

Chapter 3

The next morning, Terry woke with the sheets stiff and stuck to his chest fur. He carefully loosened them and folded them back. He was in the process of working his good leg out from under the covers preparatory to inching his bad one out when Craig appeared at the door.

“Y'all manage that?” he asked.

“Yeah, I can. Takes time, it's always stiffest in the morning, but it gets better.” Realizing that what he just said could be taken more than one way, he colored a bit. He looked at Craig and saw the faintest ghost of a smile at the corners of his mouth.

“Well, let's get you up and about. Looks like I might have to do some laundry.”

Terry went a bit redder, but Craig brushed it aside. “No problem. Hell, I don't imagine y'all had much privacy in the hospital, for all they call them 'private rooms'.”

“You got that right,” Terry said ruefully. “I felt like I was going to bust.”

“Well, I've got breakfast started and I imagine you need to hit the can. After breakfast, we can work on a shower.” Craig raised Terry up and braced him, and then handed him a cane. “Use this to steady yourself, but still put however much weight y'all need to on me.”

Together they made their way to the bathroom and Terry peed with less help this time; and brushed his teeth, bracing himself with his left hand while Craig stood close by if needed. Then it was out to the breakfast nook clumping along with the cane on one side and Craig on the other. Terry sat while Craig finished the food prep. Once the eggs, bacon, toast and fruit had been consumed, Craig helped Terry up and they hobbled back into the bathroom. Craig eyed the shower, and Terry caught his glance.

“Sorry. That was one of the sacrifices when I worked on the place. I lost a full size tub in here to get some space in the kitchen, so there's only a shower. I'm afraid it isn't very big. Do you think we can manage it? I've had my fill of sponge baths, and I know I must stink.” 'Not to mention the cum residue,' he thought silently to himself.

“I think we can manage. It will be tight, but the real problem will be slipping. Y'all should have friction strips on the floor... the marble looks nice but its slick as hell when it's wet. You want to shave first, or after?” Craig asked.

“No shaving... I'm letting the beard grow back. I feel naked without it. They had to shave my face in the hospital for the surgeon.”

“OK. You step in, I'll follow. Y'all brace yourself against the wall and hold on to the handles until I'm in and have you, OK?”

Terry nodded and began the process of stripping, pulling off his sweat top. Craig held him while he dropped his sweat pants and then stepped inside the shower. Craig stripped down to his boxers and stepped in beside Terry. Craig was covered in blond hair from his bushy red-blond beard to the tops of his fur-covered feet. Broad shoulders were covered with fur, but there wasn't much of a taper to his body. The middle was very thick, and sported a pleasing swell of belly. A muscled butt led to thick legs and calves. Not bodybuilder toned or ripped, but solid. Golden fur covered most everything, effectively concealing his nipples and navel. Terry stared openly at the big man's fur-covered torso. “Damn.”

Craig looked embarrassed and said, “Yeah. Son of Sasquatch. If it bothers you, I can put on a tee.”

“Oh, no! No! I didn't mean.... I mean....” Terry stammered. “It doesn't bother me at all. I think a guy should be hairy. I mean, a real man should....” 'Shut up, shut UP!,' he thought, 'you're making it worse. He'll freak.'

This time, Craig looked quietly at Terry with an almost appraising look. Their eyes held for an instant, then he said, “Go ahead and adjust the water how you like it.”

Terry did so, and reached for the soap. Craig said, “I really should hold you... I'm still worried about you slipping or losing your balance. Here, turn a bit, face away from me.” Terry felt Craig's arms go around him in a hug from behind and tighten slightly, supporting him.

“If there were more room, y'all could sit on a stool and do this yourself, but I think this is safer. I'll hold, y'all just clean where you have to. When you're ready, let me know and we'll turn you towards me.”

Terry concentrated on soaping up and getting clean. It felt truly wonderful to be able to clean himself properly. He scrubbed his pits and his crotch carefully, and worked up a thick lather in his chest fur to clean the cum out of it. As he leaned forward slightly to soap his crotch a second time, he thought, no, knew he felt Craig's cock press against his butt through the sopping wet boxers. 'Well,' he thought to himself, 'it would be hard not to. He's a big boy and this shower IS small.'

He straightened up and told Craig he wanted to turn. “Wait. Give me the soap and I'll do your back.” Craig took the soap and lathered Terry's back thoroughly, stopping just above his butt. “OK, turn slowly.”

Terry rotated carefully while Craig maintained his hold on his middle. It was awkward, but surprisingly intimate. When he was facing Craig, Terry said, “Can you hand me the soap?”

Craig nodded and handed the bar to Terry, who tried to reach behind himself to clean between his cheeks. He struggled to reach but failed. Craig noticed this and cleared his throat.

“I know its weird, but that's one of the things I'm here for. I can do that for you until you can manage for yourself. It's no problem.” He paused and waited for Terry's reply.

“I guess you'll have to, I can't quite reach yet.” He handed the bar of soap to Craig.

Craig turned Terry around and told him to brace against the wall with one hand and to put the other arm around his neck. “Keep both feet on the ground, but don't put your weight on the bad one.” He stooped down just a bit and once he was sure Terry was steady, he worked his soapy paw up in between the injured man's butt cheeks. He cleaned thoroughly and worked down the backs of Terry's thighs as well, knowing he couldn't reach there safely, either. Terry did his best not to gasp out loud when he felt Craig's paw so close to his asshole, but he still emitted a muffled sound.

“Damn. We need a hand held shower head. Well, I''ll rinse you the best I can . Can you still hold here?”

Terry nodded. Craig cupped his hand and splashed water up against Terry's butt. He worked rinse water in several times, and then told Terry to turn so the shower head could rinse his back. Terry didn't move.

“Come on, man, I need you to turn so I can rinse you.” Craig waited, but still Terry didn't turn.

Craig straightened up and took Terry's arm, but Terry shook his head. “I can't.”

“Y'all got a cramp? Muscle spasm? Here, lean on me and we'll get you out and sitting down.”

“No. that will only make it worse,” Terry said, almost desperately.

“I don't underst....” Before Craig could finish, Terry turned mutely around.

Part way through the turn, Terry's erect cock hit against Craig's wet, fabric-covered crotch, rubbing against Craig's own bulge. The rock hard cock was pointing up at a sharp angle, drooling precum; but the drooling was not that noticeable, being washed away with the shower water. What was noticeable was the ashamed look on Terry's face as he looked up at Craig.

The water poured down over both of them, plastering the bigger man's fur against his body and turning its golden color to a darker, almost brown, color. The sound of the water was magnified by the hard walls of the shower and at the same time muffled by the bulk of the two wet bodies standing together. Craig looked down and saw as well as felt the rigid cock poking at his crotch. He felt his own meat stir. As Terry closed his eyes against the fall of the water, he leaned down and kissed the man firmly. He circled his arms around the soapy body and hugged, and felt Terry do the same, tightening; changing what started as a gentle kiss into one filled with passion.

Terry's heart started hammering and his cock grew even more engorged and rigid than it had been moments before. He hugged tighter and and began to extend his tongue when Craig suddenly went rigid and pushed Terry back.

“We can't... I can't do... we've got to stop.” Craig reach and pulled Terry's arms from around his middle and stepped back as much as the small shower stall allowed. “I'm so sorry. That shouldn't have happened. Here, I'll step out and help you out.”

Craig did so and helped a very confused and disappointed Terry out of the shower and handed him a towel.

“I'll go get my things and be out of here as soon as I can arrange with the service for a replacement to be here. I'll stay until they get here.” Craig made a hurried exit.

Terry reached for the cane and tried to clump to the doorway. “Craig! Wait! Please, wait up. I can't ...” Terry impatiently pushed his complaining knee and leg forward and reached for the cane. “Craig!”

He painfully hobbled slowly down the hall, dripping. He reached the door of the small office/bedroom and saw Craig stuffing clothes into his duffel. “Please, tell me what's wrong?”

“What's wrong? That was grossly unprofessional on my part, that's what's wrong. You loose your license for stuff like that, that's what's wrong.” He angrily shoved a jacket into the duffle and zipped it shut.

“Please. I have to sit. Wait.” Terry sank into the chair and faced the angry large man. “This isn't about 'professional'. What kind of a shit do you think I am? That I would call some office and file a complaint on you? Is that what you think?” Anger and concern and fear were all competing in Terry's brain for a voice. Craig stood, mute.

“Well, do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Do you think I would do something like that to you?” Terry glared at Craig, then softened his look and voice. “Do you?” he asked again, quietly.

Craig slowly shook his head once. The duffle remained in his hand.

“Craig, please... sit down and talk to me. Whatever was wrong, whatever happened in there, we can take care of. “ Terry waited for Craig's response. “Please?”

Craig lowered the duffle to the carpet and sat on the desk chair. “I don't know what happened to me. I've never done anything like that before. I should never have done that.”

“You mean kiss me? Why not? You knew I was gay. I certainly didn't object. You seemed to like it, too; hell, I felt you cock trying to bust out of those shorts.” The wet boxers were soaking through the jeans Craig had hastily pulled on.

“It was wrong. I was taking advantage.” Craig stopped then started again in a rush. “It was wrong, don't y'all see. Wrong for me. I never... oh, hell, this is all WRONG! I promised...”

Terry suddenly thought he understood. “Oh, my God, you've got a partner. Oh, Craig, I didn't know. I AM sorry. Aww, geez, this is my fault, not yours. Here I was, fantasizing, and you were monogamous.” Terry took a breath and was about to say something else when he noticed that Craig was red in the face.

“No, no! That's not... I mean.... I'm not really gay, not now, I mean. I mean, I don't have a partner or anything like that. It's just that I pro... Shit, I'm making a mess of it. I'll go cal the service.” Craig angrily rose.

“Craig, stop it. Don't call the service. I want you to stay. Whatever the problem is, we'll work it out.” Terry reached for the cane and knocked it over. “Damn! Craig, help me up and we'll go to the kitchen and make some coffee and talk this out. Please.”

Craig relented and extended his arm to Terry and hauled him upright. Together, they hobbled down the hall to the kitchen.

Chapter 4

Terry sat while Craig got the coffee going. While it dripped, Craig got mugs and sugar from the cupboards, then sat across the small table from Terry.

“I'm sorry for all that back there, Terry. I kinda lost it, in a lot of ways. I owe y'all an explanation, but can it wait until the coffee's done?” Terry nodded.

When the coffee was finished after what seemed like an eternity of looking at each other, Craig poured them both a mug and spooned sugar into his. He cleared his throat.

“When I was growing up in Mississippi, my family moved around some. Dad finally landed in a small town where the local church needed a preacher. Dad had done some of that when he was younger, and he sort of fell into it again. The church folk liked him and we stayed. I went to elementary school there and my older brother and sister went to high school there.” Craig and Terry both sipped their coffee. “Dad was Hardshell Baptist, very strict fundamentalist. I'd had some urges and thoughts, and worked hard to purge them, to be good. I was tormented. Most of the time, really; looking back on it. I looked at men when I shouldn't have. One day, my dad caught me looking at my neighbor when he'd taken his shirt off and was pouring water over himself to wash the heat off. He blew up. He grabbed me and beat the tar out of me. I was big, even then, but dad was bigger. He called me a 'spawn of Satan' and vowed he'd beat the devil out of me, to save me from damnation and hell. He and mom watched my like a hawk after that. They'd walk in on me when I was taking a leak or a dump, or when I was taking a bath. I had to come home directly from school. The only place I got to go alone was down to the grocery store, and I had to be right back. If I even glanced at a guy, I got a beating. They even got my brother to watch me.” He stopped and looked Terry squarely in the face. “They didn't save me from hell, they put me in it.”

“When I finished high school, there was a crisis. I wanted to go to the junior college in Biloxi and get certified as a physical therapist. One of the people at church was a PT and talked about how satisfying it was. I thought it sounded like a cool profession and I liked helping people, and since someone in church was a PT, how could it be wrong? Boy, was I ever mistaken. My folks were dead set against it. I know now it was because I'd be out from under their direct supervision, but they said it was because I'd be risking my soul by touching people... touching men. They just KNEW I'd be touching men in 'that way'. So, no college for me.”

Terry interrupted, “That's awful!”

“Oh, it gets better. I got desperate. I know I'd kill myself if I stayed there much longer. I ran off. I took what money I had saved secretly and I hitched to Biloxi that August. I enrolled at the junior college, and since I was eighteen, I didn't need any parent signatures. I just put down 'deceased' on the forms. I got a part time job and rented a room from a nice old woman close to the Sonic where I worked. And I met a guy, Bart, a really nice guy. He worked at Sonic, too, and he had an apartment. He asked me to share with him and split costs, and I did. We got along great. I wasn't interested in him in that way, we were just good buddies. It was nice just having someone to hang out with, and not have to keep looking over my shoulder or watch every move or word out of my mouth. I think for the first time in years, I relaxed.”

“I wasn't all that smart. Hell, face it: I was ignorant and sheltered. My folks knew I wanted to go to Biloxi, I'd begged and pleaded with them about it for months. So they knew where I was likely to be. I don't know why they took so long, but about three months later, they showed up in Biloxi. They guessed I'd go to school, and there was only one junior college in town then; so Dad bullied the registrar's office at the college into giving him my address. “

“We were painting the bedroom I slept in, so I'd moved all my stuff into Bart's room while we finished that. It was kind of hot still, and we both had our shirts off and were painting the ceiling. We were horsing around, dabbing paint on each other, and in busts my dad and mom. Mom took one look and started weeping and wailing. Dad stormed into the other bedroom to get my things, and of course, he saw all my stuff, and all of Bart's stuff, which he knew wasn't mine, all together in one room. Bart hadn't made the bed that morning, either. Dad put two and two together and got seventeen. I thought he was going to have a stroke. He ordered mom to get my things and he decked me with one punch. He chased Bart out of the place and he and mom dragged me out to the car and threw my clothes in the back and drove off. Bart called the police, but by the time they got there, we were long gone. “

“My God! What did you do?” Terry shook his head in amazement.

“We didn't go home. Dad drove like a bat outta hell, and every once in a while, Mom would turn around and yell at me and then start crying again. We wound up at some sort of house out in the countryside, really remote country. It was some sort of treatment place, but I didn't know that then. He ran in and got a couple of guys to come out and guard the car while he went inside with my mom. About an hour later they all came out, I was manhandled out of the car and into the place, and they drove off. It turned out to be a fundamentalist 'treatment center', where they promise to cure gay people, re-program them.” Seeing the appalled look on Terry's face, Craig stopped and sipped some more coffee. “Ever see the movie, Clockwork Orange? That comes pretty close. I was in that prison for almost four weeks.”

“Jesus Christ! What did you do? How did you get out?”

“Well, for all their lock-step discipline, they were lax in some ways. And it turned out that one of the night attendants wasn't so holy, after all. I was able to cheek the sedatives they made you take each night. They were too busy praying to notice I hadn't swallowed. I saved them, and when this night guy sort of showed some interest in me, I worked out a plan. I chatted with him, and offered to watch things while he took a leak. That worked out. I didn't 'try anything', like getting away, so he kind of trusted me. Well, he was interested in me, too; so it was kind of easy. Couple of nights later, I mentioned that my shoulders were sore, and he offered to give me a massage. Actually, he was pretty good at that, but his hands lingered a little too long, if y'all know what I mean. I looked up at him, and thanked him and offered to get some coffee for us both while he got comfy and then I'd rub his shoulders. His eyes lit up, and I got the coffee, put the smashed up sedative pills I had in it, and loaded it with sugar so he wouldn't notice. I gave it to him and he drank it while I gave him that shoulder rub. In about fifteen minutes he passed out. I took his keys and got the hell out. I'd seen him use his keys on the alarms, so I knew what to do. “

“ I was lucky, there were only three cars parked out back, and his keys fitted the first one I tried. I was sweating bullets as I started it and drove out, I just knew someone would hear and call the police. But I got away. I ditched the car as soon as I got to the highway, and hitched back to Biloxi. I was afraid they'd call out the state troopers, but I was of age, and hadn't signed any papers or anything, there was no consent on my part. So I guess they were kind of leery of calling out the cops. I don't know if they called my folks then or later. I never talked to my folks after that, so I don't know.”

“I went to Bart's place, and bless his heart, he gave me some money and called a school buddy who lived in Chicago. I took the Greyhound up there, and crashed with Bart's friend until I got a job and a place. I worked different places and finally got enough money together and went back to school and got certified as a PT. I paid Bart back out of my first paycheck as a PT.”

“I was really spooked by anything having to do with sex or men. In spite of all the bad stuff that had happened, I still did believe it was a sin. Believed, I mean. It's weird, I know, but I still thought if I tried hard enough, I could return to grace, as my mom put it and everything would turn out all right. I worked, saved money, kept to myself. Then I met this guy. Oh, God, did I fall hard for him. All my resolve to 'be good' melted in a flash. We moved in together and when he got a job offer out here, I followed him. Turns out it was a bit more than a job offer. I came home one day and found them. They were going at it like crazed weasels. Well, that sort of soured me on 'gay relationships' permanently, I guess. I told myself it was for the best, that God was telling me this was wrong and that I could walk away from it all. I'd be alone, but I'd be safe... and saved.” Craig drained his mug.

Terry put out a hand and put it over Craig's hairy paw. Craig stiffened, and then relaxed and did not completely withdraw his hand.

“Did you ever hear from your family” Terry asked?

“No.” The short answer was laden with bitterness. Terry gave Craig's hand a squeeze.

“I promised myself that I would not get involved with any of this again. Please don't think it's anything y'all did, or that you aren't attractive. You are, if you can accept my word for that. You're as handsome as all hell, talented, and you have a nice, easy way about you. You seem like a good person... it's just me.”

Terry struggled to get up with the cane and motioned Craig back in his seat. He shoved his chair over so it was next to Craig's and sat back down.

“Listen to me. I know we've just met, and you really don't know that much about me. But I think you develop an instinct for how people are, especially if you're gay and you're trying to pass. You say you think I'm a good person. Well, accept that for a moment and believe what I am going to say.” He put his hand on Craig's thigh, felt the solid muscle and warmth, and the flinch.

“Oh, please.... don't.” He looked steadily at Craig. “There is nothing wrong with who and what you are. I'm not a religious person, but I worked with a client once who said, 'I'm fine the way I am, God doesn't make junk'. I think there's a lot of wisdom in that. If you believe in a God that directs all creation, then that God made you. You are right and natural. You are the way you were meant to be.”

“I wish I could believe that. But everything I've been taught tells me its wrong.”

“Taught by whom?'

“My dad, and my mom. And the church.”

“Ah. The man that knocked you out, the one who dragged you out and threw you into a car; the woman who conspired with him to kidnap you, the people who incarcerated you in what amounts to a fundamentalist gulag and drove off and left you there. Those people.” Terry looked at Craig's handsome bearded face. “Do you really think they are the voice of God?”

Craig was silent.

“Look inside yourself. You've had some experiences, one just a few minutes ago. What does your body tell you, what does your mind tell you? When are you happy?”

Craig struggled to speak. “When I'm with.... with guys, I guess.”

“When do you feel most sad or alone?”

“When I was home, in the bedroom, wondering, knowing someone was listening or watching... waiting for me to do something bad.”

Do you think your God, any god worth his salt, wants his creations to be miserable? I think everything on earth, gays included, sex included, was put here for a reason. Not everyone is good, and not all things that happen to people are good. But we all have the potential to live up to our possibilities. You've overcome some pretty harsh treatment and turned out to be a decent guy.”

“OK. It's hard for me to think that way, but I can see some of what y'all are saying. But queers aren't natural, are they? I mean, what about kids?”

“You notice any shortage in the world's population lately, Craig?” Terry sipped his coffee, then continued. “Look, you don't think that someone with blue eyes is 'unnatural', do you? But they aren't the norm.” Terry paused. “Not everyone gets married. Not everyone who does has children. Even in the animal world, there is room for variation. 'Natural' covers a lot more ground than we often admit. All I'm trying to get across is that you are as natural as anyone else, you have as much right to happiness as anyone else.”

There was a long pause. “I guess I've got some thinking to do. Can I make y'all a deal?” Terry nodded. “I'll stay and work with you, exercises and therapy and such, get your leg back to full mobility. I'm a damn good PT, I can do that. In exchange, you and I talk a lot more about this. Deal?”


Chapter 5

The next weeks were a mix of painful, exhausting physical work for Terry, and equally painful and exhausting mental examination for Craig. A curious bond formed between the two men and they struggled to find a way of accommodating each other's needs and limits. Craig pushed Terry to exercise his knee and leg. Sometimes the pain was almost too much for Terry, but he kept at it, realizing that Craig's purpose was the restoration of strength and mobility, not real torture.

“I think you PT's descend directly form the Spanish Inquisition, ” he said, gasping at a particularly painful series of leg extensions Craig was putting him through for the third time that day.

“We taught them,” Craig said calmly. “Stop whining. Again.”

Terry kept provoking thought on Craig's part, persistently challenging him to think through the beliefs he had swallowed whole as a child and a youth. He pointed out Biblical inconsistencies, and introduced differing interpretations of verses, and calmly refuted the factual errors Craig's father and others in his church had so eagerly transmitted to him while he grew up. It was uncomfortable for Craig, but he kept at it.

Craig would discuss some aspect of Terry's physiology in regards to an exercise or his injuries, and Terry would use it as an opening to talk frankly about his, and Craig's, body in general. Gradually, Craig came to see the body not as sinful burden, filled with feelings that must be denied and rooted out; but as a natural part of creation, a good and responsive part of a whole person.

The next day in the shower, Terry said to Craig, “Why don't you ditch those boxers. They just get wet and drip all over my floor.” He was grinning at the blond bear.

“Probably better if I don't.”

“Bull. It will be MUCH better for my mental well-being if you are naked, too.”

“Yeah, y'all just wanna jump my bones.” It was the first time Craig had ventured a joking response to any of Terry's gay comments.

“Now what makes you think I'm interested in you?” Terry asked.

“That,” Craig said, pointing to Terry's jutting cock.

Terry laughed out loud. “Oh, just ignore him, he's ungovernable. Help me in and reach me that soap.” Craig hesitated, then shed his boxers and stepped into the shower with the soap in his hand.

“Now see, that's what I mean. Your body doesn't lie, Craig.” The blond man's meat was obviously thickening as they stood together and the water ran over both of them. Terry sighed. “I'm not trying to mess with you, Craig. Just trust your body and what it's telling you. Mind and body work best together, didn't they teach you that in your PT classes?”

“Shut up and turn around so I can scrub your back.”

* * *

Terry could see some real improvement within the first week, and as the days went on, he could feel more progress. He could get up out of a chair without help, and could walk fairly well with the cane. He still could not pick up things that fell to the floor, or get out of his low bed easily. But most noticeable to him was the level of pain. The meds in the hospital had only masked or killed the pain for a while. It always came back, and at the same level. But Craig's relentless exercises had made a real difference. The constant throbbing pain in his knee was now only only starting in the late afternoon, and that had lessened to the point where he only needed pain killers at night to sleep. He still needed help in the shower, but more as a precaution than anything else. His back was killing him, though.

“It's because y'all are favoring that leg when you walk. It's throwing your spine and pelvis out of alignment. It will ease up as you walk more naturally. There's an exercise we can do to help with the back.”

“No! Not more torture!” Terry pretended to fend off Craig as he reached out to take Terry's shoulders, then reached out and hugged him. “Thanks, man. You've worked wonders. I couldn't have gotten along without you here.” There was a slight pause, and then Craig hugged back. When he didn't release the hug immediately, Terry took a chance and hugged tighter. Craig continued to hug back.

'My, my,' Terry thought to himself.

Craig was making progress in his mind, too. He felt more at ease with himself. They didn't discuss his beliefs and feelings daily, but he thought almost constantly about his conversations with Terry and the topics they brought up in his mind. He grew more comfortable with questioning long-unexamined beliefs, and more comfortable in expressing his doubts and interests. He often went shirtless in the house now, and one day, he even complimented Terry on his body.

“You've got a good build. It's like a football player's body. You know, solid... thick. It looks good on you.”

Terry smiled and gave Craig a hug.

On Terry's first trip to the grocery with Craig, a stocky, goateed young pocket bear grinned at them in the parking lot as Terry was being helped out of the front seat of the van. “Woof!” Terry said quietly.

“Huh?” Craig asked.

“Oh, I was just woofing at that young cub. Nice eye candy.”

“Young what?” Craig asked. “Is this part of that bear business you mentioned?”

“Yep. A young, stocky, hairy guy, with a beard or especially a goatee, is a cub. An older, or maybe taller bearded beefy man who's also hairy is a bear. It's more than just looks, though. It's an attitude, it's about being relaxed with yourself and your sexuality and not worrying about what's in fashion or what the style is. It's having a good time with buddies, enjoying spending time with them over a good meal or a board game just as much as going to a club. It's having fun going to a movie instead of hanging out at the local pick up bar looking for the next trick.”

By this time they were at the door of the market and getting a cart, and the conversation continued, covering the feeding habits of bears, the meaning of 'twinks', the rise of the 'bear clone look' and relative merits of beard styles and hair cuts. By the time they had reached the car with the week's supply of groceries, Craig had a fair idea of bear culture.

“I had no idea. I mean, I got teased for being so hairy a few times, and the couple of girls my folks made me date didn't like it. My sister called it gross. Even Bart called me 'Sasquatch'.” Craig scratched the thicket of dense blond chest fur through his shirt. “So, some guys actually like you to be hairy?”

“Lordy, Craig, do you have any idea how handsome you are, how desirable you are? You are a bear's wet dream. You're strong, you're pelted, you're stocky; hell, you're employed! Any bear would love to call you his partner. And the ones that matter, the ones worth paying attention to, will see the good, kind person under all that, and respect you for the inner strength you have.”

On the way back home, Craig turned the radio up and the two men sang their lungs out to The Knack's My Sharonna. Terry noticed that Craig looked more relaxed and happy than he'd seen him.

Four weeks after Terry had been released from the hospital, Craig drove him back for a check up with the surgeon. Dr. Richardson was pleasantly astonished at the progress Terry had made, and gave his a clean bill of health. “Well, you certainly have been working hard on your recovery! Walk up and down for me, please.” Richardson watched him carefully as he paced the room. “Well, Mr. Ferguson certainly seems to have been a good choice. You've made impressive, ah, strides.” The doctor chuckled smugly at his weak pun. “I think I can sign you off now. The insurance will be happy about that. I know you will be, too. I'd still keep that appointment with the physical therapy department, but your progress is excellent. See your GP in a month or so. You need a refill on the Vicodin? No? Good... really good.” The doctor shook Terry hand and hustled out the door, already intent on the next patient. Terry dressed, slipped his shoes back on (a small triumph in itself), and walked slowly back to the waiting area where Craig sat, gazing off with that calm look he had. He noticed Terry and rose.

“Ready? What did the doc say?”

“He said you'd done a great job rehabilitating me. He released me.” Terry looked at Craig and said quietly, “Thanks, buddy.”

Craig gazed back at Terry with his calm gray eyes. “Thank you... buddy.”

On the way home, Terry brought up a topic he was loathe to discuss. “The doc's released me, so the insurance is finished. That means the service will be assigning you to a new patient, right?”

“Nope. Y'all were my last patient. I told them I would finish with you, however long it took, but that you would be my last. I take the California certification test next week. If I pass, I'll maybe take the job the hospital offered me, or look for a clinic. Eventually, I want to set up in private practice again. If you need me, I'll be happy to stay a few more days.”

There was a silence that got longer and longer. Finally, Terry broke it. “Craig.... I'd like you to stay. I'd miss you. You are welcome to stay as long as you like. Take the test and when you get the results, you can make plans or look for a clinic job... just don't feel you have to go right away.”

Craig reached over and gave Terry's good leg a squeeze. “Thanks. I'd miss you, too. If you don't mind... really don't mind, I'll stay a bit.”

Terry happy smile answered for him.

* * *

That night after supper was cleared away and Craig had reviewed some for his upcoming exam, he watched Terry lower himself into bed. “You're doing that really good now... good progress. Y'all walked a lot longer this afternoon, too. How's the leg?”

“You know, I hadn't noticed, but it doesn't hurt much at all! It's usually a bit painful by now. I guess it really IS better.” Terry grinned. “It's still a bit difficult getting out of this thing, though.”

“Ah, you'll manage. Need anything?” When Terry shook his head, Craig said, “OK, night!” Craig made to shut off the light when Terry's quiet voice stopped him.

“Craig... Sleep in here tonight?”

The room went very quiet. “Terry, I shouldn't. No, it's not that I doubt any more. I know I'm gay and that's OK now. I can deal with that, and I know I'm not damaged goods, and I thank you for that. But I just don't think it's the right thing to do. I don't know, maybe it's the 'patient/therapist' thing.”

“We're not patient and therapist anymore,” Terry said.

“I know. I'd like to, but....”

“Then do it.”

Craig just shook his head, smiled, and said, “I can't.” He turned off the light.

Terry lay there, cursing himself for his lack of self control. 'WHY did I ask him? WHY couldn't I just wait and let things work out. Now he'll think that all I want really IS to get in his pants. He'll think that all gay men have just one thing on their mind, dammit. When will I learn, for chrisakes?' The angry thoughts buzzed in Terry's head, keeping him awake until long after he saw Craig's light go out from under his closed door. Finally, he slept. It wasn't his leg that made him restless that night.

Sometime in the middle of the night, Terry woke from the familiar dream. Once again he was happy: had the prize of a solid relationship, a fulfilling closeness, a strong and vigorous mating; and once again, it receded at waking, leaving him with the old, empty feeling. He stared at the ceiling for a long time before finally closing his eyes again to a fitful sleep.

Chapter 6

Shortly after four a.m., Craig opened his door and padded to Terry's open doorway. He stood there, naked, for a long time; listening to Terry's breathing and noting his restless sleep. He thought about many things, especially the conversations the two men had had over the past two weeks, and his reaction to them. He thought a lot about Terry and the innate goodness he perceived in him. Outside, a dog barked, and was answered by another. A night bird sang briefly, then was silent. His decision made, Craig stepped into the room.

The mattress creaked a bit and Terry woke almost instantly. Aware that Terry was awake, Craig turned and said, “Is this still OK?”

“Oh!... yes!” Terry reached his arms up and pulled the big bearish man down next to him. “Oh, God, you are so fucking beautiful.” He pulled Craig in tight, and for a few minutes they lay like that, closely cuddled together, absorbing each other's heat and scent. Craig tuned in the bed and faced Terry.

“Can we pick up where I stopped us before? Kiss me?”

As the two moved in to each other, their erect cocks collided, but each ignored this as their lips touched, then parted; and their arms went up so that hands could caress the backs of heads and then pull them in closer.

Terry's tongue played tag with Craig's, probing and retreating, then filling the other man's mouth. By turns tender and firm, the kisses grew in passion and their hands slid down furry backs and caressed muscle and fat. Chests and bellies pressed together, cocks rubbed and slid against each other. Craig moaned and placed his big hands on Terry's butt and pulled him in tight against himself. “Sweet God in heaven... you feel so good!”

Terry forgot his leg and began to hump against Craig's body. Craig returned motion for motion, and in only a few moments, Craig shouted, “I'm cumming!” Terry felt a hot, pulsing flood against his belly and shouted, “Yeah! Fuck, YEAH!!” His own ejaculation started.

The two clung to each other as they pumped out their seed and pent up desire. Rasping breath and grunts filled the room. Gradually the urgency of their movements slowed and the rolled back slightly so they good look at each other. “God damn,” Terry whispered. Craig smiled and ducked his blond head against Terry's hairy chest. He searched for and found a nipple, and began to lap at it, licking and nibbling.

“I'll give you two hours to stop that.”

Craig chuckled. “Hell I will.”

Terry was about to ask something but Craig's move south stopped him. Craig's tongue left a wet trail of saliva through Terry's cum-matted fur. He paused when he reached Terry's semi-erect cock. He slowly licked the hot flesh, tracing around the ridge and probing the piss slit. He slowly swallowed the now hard member, his nose embedded in Terry's thick bush. He inhaled deeply and groaned. Terry bucked once or twice, and Craig began a pumping motion with his mouth. He kept up a steady rhythm, and added his hand to the effort, his slick spit serving as lube. Suddenly, Terry said, “I'm really close, buddy. Better pull off.”

“Nuh-uh,” Craig mumbled from around Terry's throbbing meat, and shook his head. He stayed firmly attached to Terry's cock, still milking him with his mouth Terry cried out and surged upwards into Craig's hot mouth and bucked, once, twice, and then shot volley after volley into the waiting gullet. Craig swallowed once and slowed, allowing Terry's hips to finish the pumping job. When he was finally through, Craig scooted up and shared Terry's cum with him.

“Always wondered what it would be like to do that.... swap spit and cum with a guy.”


“I like it!” Craig got a goofy grin on his face and kissed Terry again. His cock was once again rigid with desire and when Terry's paw caressed it, he almost whimpered with joy.

“Don't stop.... dear sweet Jesus, don't stop!”

Terry really wanted to return the favor of a blow job, but he sensed that Craig's need was for something else. He felt his hand grow slick with the blond bear's precum and rolled on his back, pulling Craig on top of him. Once Craig was between Terry's legs, he raised them up against Craig's sides. The invitation was plain, but Craig had little experience beyond a few hasty blow jobs and a fumbling and failed attempt at fucking. He wasn't sure if Terry wanted to be fucked or was just raising his cock for him to suck dry again.

“Fuck me, bear. Take my ass.” Terry's hands hooked around behind his knees and pulled his legs up tighter, raising his butt.

Craig read that signal easily. He raised up and started to move in to penetrate. Terry stopped him. “Man, you gotta use some lube. Over there, in the night stand drawer.” Craig leaned over and opened the draw and got the bottle of Wet. He squirted some on his paw and slicked his meat, and wiped the rest on Terry's ass.

He moved back into position, centered his rock hard meat against Terry's hole and started to push. Terry grunted and pushed back, straining against the battering ram. Craig's blunt tip forced an entry, parting the tissue and muscle ring and starting to make entry. Terry tried to muffle it, but a groan escaped.

Craig immediately stopped, his body rigid with concern. He started to pull out, but Terry spoke, “No, NO! Stay in me.... just hold for a minute, let me get used to you.” Craig stopped pulling out and held still.

“OK. Just go a bit easy.”

“All the way in?” Craig's body was telling him to pound away but his inexperience and concern for Terry were making him cautious.

“In a bit, then pull back, but not all the way out. Go in a bit deeper each time. You're fucking huge!”

“Aww, man, I AM hurting.” Craig started to back out.

“Don't you DARE! I want you in me, bear... I want your hot fucking cock buried in my ass.” Terry looked up and smiled at Craig, who looked a bit shocked at the language. “It's OK... really.”

Craig resumed a slow pump on his buddy's ass. He went a bit deeper each time until his balls rested on Terry's ass. He signed deeply at the same time Terry did. They both laughed.

“It just takes a bit of time, that's all. Damn, you feel good!”

“Really? You like it?” Craig sounded unconvinced.

“Fuck yeah.... This is as close as two guys can be. And when it's someone like you, it's just so great....” Terry sighed again. “Fuck me, Craig.”

Craig took his cue and began to move, pumping his meat into Terry's warm, furry butt. Each stroke got a grunt or a moan from Terry, and soon Craig was joining in, vocalizing along with him. Craig felt the urgent need of his balls and prostate, the pressure building and the geyser of his load starting to rise. “Oh, shit, man, I am gonna cum... I'm gonna shoot!” Craig's rhythm became erratic as he deep-dicked Terry in an attempt to climb inside the mid-sized bear he was fucking. “GOD!!”

Terry moaned along with Craig's shout and felt the blond bear's hot gush of semen shoot into his gut. His leg was aching badly but he wasn't about to stop, he wanted this bear to breed him, wanted this healing closeness for both of them. He felt as if he was in part of his dream, but this was real, he could touch this and it wouldn't melt away. He worked his sphincter, squeezing tight to give Craig the best ride he could. Craig moaned with pleasure.

Craig slowly softened and he finally pulled out, still dripping some cum, shining and slick with lube and his own seed. “Oh, man......” He was utterly at a loss for words. He'd never experienced release like that before, had never had such a satisfactory orgasm. He helped Terry lower his legs and lay down beside him.

“How do you feel?” he asked Terry.

“Well and truly fucked. No, more than that. Full and content and happy. Hold me?”

Craig put his arms around the smaller bear and cuddled him close. He was silent for a long while and then sighed.

“You worrying again, Craig? Don't. If you ever had any doubts, listen to your body now.” Terry placed his arms over Craig's and hugged.

“No. No doubts. I was just.... happy. Relaxed. It was a 'good' sigh.”

“Good... I'm glad.”

As their breathing returned to normal, a delightful sense of satisfied lassitude crept up on both of them, and they dozed in each other's arms.

Chapter 7

The birds were going nuts in the trees outside the window and light was edging around the slats of the blinds. Terry looked over at Craig's sleeping form, naked, the sheet kicked off, unneeded with the warmth of another in the bed. He gazed lustfully at the dream of a bear lying there, golden in the early morning light. He sighed and shifted position to relieve his aching leg, and went back to sleep. But the movement woke Craig.

Craig's eyes opened wide at first, startled to be in bed with another person, but then he smiled and looked with affection at Terry. His body was similar to his own, just a bit smaller. Thick in the middle; well, thick everywhere. A broad back and shoulders, a solid pair of legs that ended in short but wide feet. Terry's hands matched his feet, blunt and wide, competent looking. His chest and belly were thickly furred with dark brown, almost black hair. He already knew from scrubbing his back in the shower that Terry has some hair there, but nowhere near the crop he grew in front or on his butt. His beard stubble was widespread and growing fast. Craig mused that he'd have a substantial beard in a month or so. The sexy swell of his belly made Craig want to stroke and caress it, and he did so. When Terry's eyes opened, Craig pulled him in close for a kiss.

“Did y'all get any sleep?” He stroked the thick hair on Terry's belly.

“A little. How about you?”

“A little. I'm good, though. You want breakfast? You need to get up and pee?” Craig started to get up, but Terry put a restraining arm on him.

“Stay here a bit, buddy. It's a nice thing to do, cuddle and just be easy with each other, especially after such a nice time the night before.”

Craig eased back down on the bed, laying on his back and tucking his arms behind his head while Terry moved in close to his side and rested his arm and hand on the bigger bear's chest.

“I hope I didn't hurt you last night,” Craig said, concern showing in his voice.

“Nah. It's just been a really long time, I mean since I've been with another guy. To get fucked. I mean years.” Terry kept his face close the fur on Craig's body, inhaling the musky odor of man mixed with sex.

“That's a long time. Were you in a... I mean, did y'all have a, a 'partner'?

“You mean, was I in a long term relationship? Yeah. Eight years.”

“Wow, that's nice. Tell me about it?”Craig said, turning his head towards Terry.

“You sure you want to hear this? It's not that exciting; boring, really.” Terry looked up at Craig.

“Yeah, I do. I told you mine, you tell me yours.”

Terry laughed at the mild joke. Craig was loosening up, relaxing, and the attempts at humor were good signs.

“Well, you know I came out after high school. I didn't time it real good. Dad had died of a heart attack just after I'd graduated. I should have waited longer to hit mom with the news, but I was all fired up about being 'honest' and 'not living a lie'. She didn't take it well, and we argued. She insisted it was just a phase, that I'd grow out of it. I should have known that she hadn't had anywhere near time enough to grieve over dad. I guess all that anger and sadness got focused on my “news”. We argued a lot, and that last one was a real knock down drag out doozie. My brother was home from college for the weekend, and my sister still lived at home. They got a real earful. We both lost it, and mom said she never wanted to see me again, and kept going on how she was glad dad was dead so he didn't have to know one of his sons was a queer. I know she really didn't mean all the things she said, that it was her grief talking, but, well... Mom died that night. The paramedics said they thought it was a stroke, and my brother and sister blamed me for her dying like that.”

Craig cuddled Terry close. “That's terrible. I'm sorry, it must have hurt y'all a lot, especially after having lost your dad so close.”

Terry nodded and continued, “A couple of weeks later I had to get some papers signed by her doc for the insurance company. He told me then that the time she had been in the hospital about three years earlier hadn't been for exhaustion and a viral infection. That's what she insisted we be told. It was for extreme high blood pressure and a mild stroke. Mom hated the idea of being seen as physically weak. She was so proud of never having been sick a day in her life except for colds. He had been treating her with some pretty heavy doses of blood pressure and blood thinner medications, but she had complained that they made her feel dizzy all the time.

When I got home, I checked all the drawers in their bedroom and bathroom. No meds, not even an empty bottle. But I did find four prescriptions for the meds, each dated six months apart. I think for the last two years, she'd gotten the prescriptions but never had them filled.”

“Because of the dizziness?”

“Maybe. But I think it was more the cost. When dad died, so did his health insurance. Mom was too young for Medicare, and made just enough money from Dad's pension to not qualify for Medicaid. I checked. The meds would have been almost $300 a month. I know the mortgage on the house would have taken a lot of the pension money, so I guess she economized by not getting the prescriptions filled. I wonder if she thought she could hold out until the mortgage was paid off, and maybe then start on the medication again.”

“So it wasn't you fault. Did you tell your brother and sister?”

“Yeah. But it didn't make any difference. They said if I hadn't told mom, she'd have lived a lot longer. And if I wasn't gay, she'd still be alive now.”

“That's not logical. If she was that sick, like her doc says, she.... “

“Tell Aaron and Cindy that.” The bitterness in Terry's voice was plain. “Anyway, I had a scholarship to UC, and I moved out. If they didn't want me, I didn't want them. I got a job tending bar to cover my share of an apartment. After graduating, I got a job with a local architectural firm. And I started clubbing. I was determined to make up for lost time. I did my share of tricks, and then I fell in love. Hard.” Terry paused.

“He was a bit of a slut, really. Looking back, all the signs were there. But I loved him, and I didn't pay attention. We moved in together, and, to give him credit, he really did try to make it work out. We both did, me probably more than him, I guess. Anyway, we'd fight and make up, fight and make up. It got almost to be a joke with our friends. But I was never cut out for the club scene and the bars. I learned that early on. He was. It was like air or food to him. He did love me. I know that, but he just had to play around. He always came back, and he was always careful.”

“What happened? Craig asked quietly. He sensed there was more to the story.

“We had a fight over his staying out so much during the week and coming home drunk, or near to it. He stormed out, but he didn't go to a bar. He drove up into the hills and parked at one of those 'scenic outlook' places off the highway. He called me from there, and apologized, said he would change and could he come home. Of course I said yes, and he hung up and drove back. Our usual pattern.”

“The hospital called me later that night. A drunk driver rammed him and ran him off the highway coming down out of the hills. I got there and was allowed to see him. I held him while he said how funny it was he hadn't gone out a bar to get drunk. If he had, he'd be OK. How ironic it was that a drunk did this to him. Then he died.”

Craig gulped and hugged Terry and didn't say anything.

“I went into a bit of a tailspin for a while, but I guess deep down, I knew it couldn't have worked out between us. We were just too 'opposite'. If he hadn't died like that, I would have ended it, really ended it, eventually. Anyway, I listened to a co-worker who said I could mope around, or accept that something bad had happened and get on with living. I got myself together and began developing a client base of my own. I set up my own office, designing house rehabs and remodels of business spaces. I liked the challenge of getting my own business started and it used up a lot of time. When things finally got profitable, I started dating a bit again. Geez, now that's depressing. All the available ones are either skinny twinks who can barely put a coherent sentence together, or seriously unemployed types looking for a sugar daddy. The few who were bearish and employed, well...” Terry stopped.

Craig hugged him again and said, “What?”

“Well, it's mostly my fault, I know, but I just couldn't get over feeling that they'd turn out like Bobby had. Unable to fully commit, always straying and expecting to come back. It probably wasn't fair of me, but I just couldn't shake that feeling. Every time I'd go out, I imagine I'd be seeing the signs that I'd refused to see with Bobby. They could be the nicest guy in the world (and a couple of them really were nice), and I'd start seeing or imagining flaws. There weren't very many second dates. I know its possible for gay men to make a relationship work, it just didn't seem that I could anymore. So, I sort of gave up looking. I did my work, I socialized with some friends from the Bobby days that still kept up contact, very occasionally had a one night stand, which just reinforced my views. Gradually, I accepted that I wasn't going to find someone.”

Craig rolled on his side so he could face Terry directly. “Is this like that, do you think?”

“I don't know. I just don't know. I don't think it's like the others, I don't think you are like the others. God knows I want this to be different.” Terry fell silent, and after a bit hugged Craig.

“Sorry to have dumped all this on you. Here I was, telling you how to behave the morning after, and I go and get all depressing on you.”

“Hey! I asked you, didn't I? I wanted to know about you. Last night was important to me. I wouldn't trade it for anything, no matter what happens.” He put a paw on Terry's side and pulled him in close.

“Remember your saying that I was natural and right, that I was exactly the way I was supposed to be? I think last night was natural and right... that it was supposed to happen. I'm not very good at expressing this, but that's what I think. I think we were meant to happen. You helped me see myself as I am, and accept that. Maybe I can help you accept that we're worth a try.”

Silence filled the room. Craig waited, watching Terry with the same grave, quiet look he'd had a month earlier when he'd first brought Terry back home from the hospital.

“Well, say something...” Craig feared he had gone too far. After all, he was almost completely new to any kind of relationship, let alone a gay one. Terry looked steadily into Craig's gray eyes.


A beautiful grin split Craig's face and he pulled Terry in tight for a prolonged kiss.

Their kiss started as a tender one, lips touching and softly opening, tongues gently touching and tracing the inside of each other's lips, then retreating. But nature is wise, and will not be denied. Passion rose, and soon both bears were urgently pressing against each other, hands caressing, then gripping, cocks surging erect, straining against the other. Terry pulled Craig on top of him, reveling in the furry weight covering and warming him. Soon, though, Craig rolled over and off and traded places, pulling the slightly smaller Terry on top of him, running his paws up and down Terry's lightly-furred back and cupping his much more substantially furred butt.

“Oh, God!” Craig breathed in almost a whisper. “I can feel your cock against mine... so warm.” The alternated kissing passionately and nuzzling each others chests and necks, with Terry rubbing his nose in Craig's dense blond beard, inhaling the slightly spicy scent he found there. It was intoxicating, and drove Terry to greater heights of desire. He clutched at Craig's sturdy body and chewed on his nips, licked all the fur he could reach, and lapped repeatedly at his pits.

Craig writhed and moaned, straining his body against Terry's. “Terry, please. Fuck me. I want you to fuck me. I need you. Please.”

Terry slowed his assault on the big bear's body and looked directly in his eyes. “Are you sure?”

“Man, yes!

“Have you ever done this?”

Craig impatiently shook his head.

“Craig, I want to make love to you, but we'll go real easy then. Don't worry, I'll be real careful... oh, hell... I want to fuck that gorgeous ass of yours so bad!” Terry stopped talking and rolled on his back, his stiff erection pointing at an angle towards his head. “I'm not sure I can manage all fours, and for your first time, you sitting on me is probably better anyway. Hand me the lube.”

Craig did so, and then asked if he could slick Terry's cock. Terry nodded, and Craig took his time about spreading the lube all over Terry's member, top to bottom. He started to rise up to position himself over Terry, but was stopped by Terry's restraining hand.

“Here, let me loosen you up a bit. It will make things easier. Turn around.” Craig moved so his butt was facing Terry. Terry worked his lubed finger into Craig's butt, hearing his grunt upon entry and feeling the bear's muscle ring tighten. “Easy... easy.” Craig lapped at Terry's tight ball sack while Terry worked his finger carefully in and out, and when he felt Craig relax enough, he worked a second finger in. He stretched the ring gently with his fingers, working it and murmuring admiring words about Craig's body. Eventually, Craig was pushing back on Terry's hand, eager to get as much length into him as he could.

“OK, buddy. Now you can get over here and let me fuck that hot ass of yours!” Craig scrambled around and sat, poised, over Terry's rigid meat. He began to slower himself until he touched Terry's tip. They both sighed, and Craig repeatedly tried to push himself down, but to no avail.

“I don't think I can do this,” he said. He pushed his hips down again, and his ass ring clamped shut. “I'm too tight.” He was breathing rapidly, and becoming more frustrated.

“Craig, stop pushing. Just sit there, hold up just enough to keep from pushing down hard. Just maintain contact. Yeah, that's it. Just sit there. Feel me there. How warm.... soft, yet hard. Oh, yeah. Fuck, man, you feel so good. God, you know how handsome and sexy you look, sitting like that? Just stay right there.... yeah, just like that. You are a dream come true for this bear. So nice....”

Suddenly, Craig's muscles relaxed and Terry's slick pole parted his ass and slid in. As the tip passed the muscle ring, Craig grunted out loud and stopped the motion.

Terry looked at him. “OK?”

“Oh, yeah... a lot more than OK. But y'all are so big.... I mean, y'all feel so big in there...”

“That's OK, the hard part's over. I'm not really that big, just average. But it's your first time... just keep relaxed and lower yourself when you feel ready. You don't have to take me all at once. Nice and easy.”

Craig looked at Terry, grinned, and sat down on him and engulfed his cock, his butt firmly against Terry's balls and cock hair.

“Damn!” Terry exploded.

“Heehee... I did it! Got ya all in!” Craig grinned down at his buddy.

“You sure did! Damn me, but that's a rush! Aw, buddy...” Terry put his hands on Craig's hairy thighs and stroked them. “You move as much as you want, when you want. Fuck yourself on me. I may not cum this way, but you'll get well and truly fucked, just take your time and next time will be a lot easier.”

For the next ten minutes or so, Craig did a dance on Terry's cock, exploring different angles and ways of moving, giving his own erecting meat strokes and playing with Terry's nipples, too. Leaning back as far as he could, he drove Terry's cock in as deep as it would go. The pressure and heat of Craig's insides, the knowledge that he was deep in his friend, that this big, gorgeous bear had allowed him inside, pushed Terry over the edge. He bucked, grunting and straining, and finally surged upwards as he began pumping his life deep inside the blond bear. “Oh, my GOD! Yes! Fuck, YES!!” Terry cried out as he came.

Craig hung on, and felt the hot gush of Terry's seed flood into his ass. He grabbed Terry's arms and held on tight as his buddy drained his balls. One final spasm, and Terry subsided, and Craig leaned down, gasping, and kissed Terry deeply.

He leaned further forward, and Terry's softening dick plopped out, followed by some of his cum. Craig covered the body of his lover with his own, and held him. No words were spoken, but Terry felt the wet of Craig's tears on the side of his face that was pressed against Craig's. They lay, silent, for a long time.

Craig finally rolled off of Terry and asked, “How's your leg?”

“It's fine. No worries.” He paused. “How are you? Did I hurt?”

“Oh, sweet Jesus, I feel great! And no, I'm good. But.... “ Craig paused. “Thank you. I understand now; how you could like it, I mean. I never felt that close to someone.”

Terry smiled and put a hand on Craig's face and beard. “I'm so glad.”

The two lay there for a while longer, both thinking about what has just happened, both content, both pleased with each other and happy. Just before dozing off, Terry wrapped his arms around Craig's furred torso and gently hugged. “I love you.”

Craig sighed and snuggled against his lover. “I love you,” he replied. They drifted off to sleep holding on to each other.

* * *

“Hey buddy, I'm home!” Craig set a sack of groceries down on the counter and began to put things away in the fridge. Terry came down the hall from his office and hugged his bear from behind.

“Holy God, you smell good!”

“I stink like a billy goat. It's HOT out there. I need a shower.” The big sweaty blond bear turned and hugged his partner back, then bent his head and kissed him, nuzzling his thick red-blond beard against his lover's heavy brown one.

“I made a decision today,” Terry said.

“Uh-oh. That means money. I just know it.” Craig's grin took the seriousness out of his words. “What's up?”

“I agree with you. We should knock that wall out and extend the bathroom.”

“Woo HOO! “ he whooped. “Y'all've come to your senses. At last... a shower we can turn around in! Yes!” Craig pumped his fist in the air.

“But wait... there's more!” Terry walked quickly back to his office and returned with a roll of paper. “I think we should extend the whole side of the house. That would give us room to make a nice workroom for you, give you room to display your models. And we could even get space for a guest bedroom for when we have bears visit if we bring this wall back some. There will be more room when we have the guys over. Look, I drew up some sketches to give an idea of how it would look. See, if we knock out the wall from here to...”

Craig gazed fondly at his mate's enthusiasm as Terry rattled on. Four years hadn't dimmed the sense of wonder he still got when he thought of how much he loved this man and how fundamentally right their lives together seemed to him now. They had both slowy reached out to a small cirlce of friends who were a supportive 'family' that loved and watched out for each other. His receptionist at the clinic was right... 'cure' dealt with the physical, but 'healing' is about the recovery of the soul. He put his arm across Terry's shoulders and leaned over the counter and joined him in looking carefully at the plans his mate had drawn.

I hope you have enjoyed this story. Comments can be sent to Ursusmajr@makaw.net . There are other stories by UrsusMajr at Nifty.org, in the Gay Male/Adult Friends section in the directory labeled 'Bear'. No bears were harmed in the creation of this story.