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|We all piled into Armstrong�s jeep and started cruising down the road. Even though it was a December day, it was still warm enough to enjoy the breeze that was blowing as we rode down the road. In a quick five minutes, we arrived at a shopping center. Armstrong whipped the jeep into a parking lot and stopped the vehicle outside this log building.
�We�re here, the best place for muscle chow in town,� Sam said as we got out.
I looked up at the building as we walked toward it. It seemed to be a nice enough place, rustic, yet somewhat modern. The sign above it said �Gymrats Bar and Grill�. I smiled as I knew enough about the weight room to know exactly what a gym rat was, so if this place had a sign identifying it as such, it should be good.
Armstrong led the way in, followed by Sam, then myself, then Grizzly. After passing through the foyer area, we entered the main restaurant and was greeted by a fairly big guy. �Welcome Sam and Armstrong! It�s great to see you guys again,� he exclaimed as we walked in. �Oh, and you brought friends! Welcome welcome to Gymrats. I�m Kurt, the owner. It�s great to meet friends of Sam and Armstrong.�
Grizzly extended his paw and shook Kurt�s hand. �I�m Grizzly, and this little guy here�s Gabe. We�re pleased to meet you too.� I looked up at Kurt and bit my tongue. While he wasn�t as huge as the three bears that were with me, he was very attractive in his own right. He was maybe half a foot taller than me, shaved bald, and had a full beard which only heightened his attractiveness. The t-shirt he was wearing seemed stretched to the point of ripping across his massive chest. I could see the words �Gym of Dreams� stretched out across his pecs like a balloon that had been over inflated. The sleeves of the shirt were torn away, which allowed his very impressive arms to be seen, and I was quite grateful for the view. I could tell he was serious about lifting because he had a beautiful v-taper to him, and even though I couldn�t see his legs from where he was standing, I knew that he could easily find his way around any gym.
�A pleasure. Well, follow me; your regular table�s all ready for you.� Kurt grabbed a few menus and some silverware and led us to a table. I took the time to look around and study our surroundings. This place was quite nice. Everything inside looked like it was hand built, from the salad bar to the tables and chairs. The eating area was basically logs that were cut, sanded, and lacquered to form the various furniture and then padded. They looked exceptionally strong, yet comfy. We arrived at a semi-circle table and we all sat down, Kurt included. I was impressed at the strength of the chairs as we all were sitting on one and it didn�t even waiver.
A cute young lady approached our table, �Hello you guys, Armstrong, Sam. Welcome back. I�m Jennifer and I�ll be taking care of you today. What can I get you guys to drink?�
�What do you have?� I asked.
She smiled and said, �We have water, of course, milk, green tea, myoplex shakes, fruit juice, coffee, and diet soda.�
�The little guy here will have some milk. He�s still a growing boy. I�ll have the green tea,� Grizzly replied.
�And the usual for you two?�
�Yes Jennifer, thank you,� Sam responded.
�Ok, so that�s two �Hairy Chests�, one tea and one milk.� Kurt nodded to Jennifer and she smiled before hurrying off to get our drinks. �So, how are you guys doing? Still big as ever I see.�
�Yeah man, we�re doing good, just showing our bro and the cub here the area.�
As the guys were talking, I started to look around the restaurant. It was a really relaxed place. This was my first time really hanging out with the bears. Usually, when we went out, it was just to run for a good bit before heading home to pack away a ton of food. This was different. We were relaxing and enjoying just the company of each other and not worrying about watching what we ate or when I had to be home of if we got a good enough pump today. It felt good just seeing the guys laugh and joke with each other. This place seemed wonderful for just relaxing after a hard day at the gym or work.
And, from what the clientele looked like, this place was really popular with the fitness minded individual. In the corner was a couple, a man and woman, both of them very lean and athletic. Across the room from us was a group of five security guards. Each of them were wearing the same navy blue uniform, ranging from around 5�8�� to 6�4� and all heavily muscled, almost to the point of stereotypical, and at the salad bar was a huge bodybuilder, obviously just in from the gym judging by the pump his arms had. Even the staff was quite attractive and athletic looking, from the petite Jennifer to this hulking busboy with brown hair sprouting from the collar of his white t-shirt. This place seemed to fit well in this neighborhood. To think about it, having a restaurant that catered specifically to health conscious individuals made a lot of sense. Plus being so close to a really good gym, and having loyal customers like Sam and Armstrong must do wonders for business.
I leaned back a bit on the wood bench and smiled. Everyone seemed quite happy now, even after what we just went through. Of course, my mind wandered back to thoughts of what could be, what was and everything in between. But most importantly, my mind wondered on Grizzly. Whatever was said to him really unnerved him. I swear, I�ve never seen the big bear so upset. Usually, he�s the sweetest bear you would meet. But my mind kept wandering to the office and to the punching bag. Such unbridled power, such strength, such fury. It was all so amazing to see; arousing, yet kinda scary.
Now that I think about it, what if he was like me when he was young. What if he had this rage inside of him that he had to control? What could happen if he lost it one day? I mean, a man that can punch a corner off a solid wood desk, bench press over 800 lbs easily, punch holes into solid heavy bags, and god knows what else, what would happen if he truly got mad? Even though I knew in my heart that he would never hurt me, a chill ran up my spine as I thought about it
�Gabe?� Sam poked me on the shoulder.
�Kurt was just wondering what you were planning on doing after the holidays.�
�Oh. Well that�s up to papa bear here. He leads and I follow.�
I looked over to the big bear and caught him looking at me. His face seemed to glow with pride, but also darkened with some concern. I moved over to him and slowly lifted up his huge arm. Sliding closer, I leaned on his huge chest and he wrapped his arm around me like a giant furry blanket.
I said to him, low enough where no one else could hear me, �I�m kinda scared papa bear.�
I felt him squeeze me just a bit and say, �There you go little cub. Everything will be ok. I�m here and I won�t let anything major happen to you. It�ll all be ok in the end.� I could feel waves of warmth flowing through me and all the sounds of the busy restaurant slowly faded away.
I might not know what the future holds for me, but right then and there, the future didn�t matter, thanks to Grizzly.
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