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|My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. I couldn�t believe what I had just heard. Two of the most important people in my life were hanging on to a thread. I felt my body get cold even in the heat of the sauna and I started to get dizzy. Everything suddenly went black and I fell into the massive arms of Ursa.
�Don�t worry little guy, I got you. You�re just in shock right now. I�ll handle it for a little.�
Even though those words calmed me, I still burst into tears. My pain and anguish rolled down his furry chest like water over a cliff. He stood there, towering in the vast expanse of my mind and held me close as I wailed in heartrending pain. I was again thankful that I had Ursa to take care of me, because this pain I was feeling was more intense than anything I had ever experienced in my life.
After an eternity of wailing my heart out, I dried my tears and looked up into the gentle face of my alter. Seeing his ruggedness and his strength gave me some reassurance about life, but still I hurt somewhat. He looked down at me, cradled in his arms and asked, �Are you ready to go back now?� I dried my eyes and nodded yes and he responded, �Ok, remember, you�re welcome here anytime.�
The familiar feeling of my internal landscape fading washed over me, and soon I awoke to find myself in Grizzly�s jeep. We were speeding down the highway, sirens blaring as we drove. I muttered quietly, �Grizzly?� and he glanced at me out of the corner of his eye.
�Glad to see you�re back cub. Ursa mentioned you had went into slight shock. I�m glad to see you�re alright.�
�I�m a little better papa bear. Thanks.� I gazed outside the window at the countryside whipping by us and asked, �Where are we?�
�We�re almost back home. Ursa was in charge while you were out and he was keeping me updated about you as I was driving.� I gave another silent thanks to him as I readjusted my seatbelt.
�What if they aren�t alright?� I muttered.
�They�re going to be ok Gabe.�
�But what if?�
Grizzly let out a soft sigh and furrowed his brow for just a moment. �Heaven forbid, bit if anything did happen to your parents, you have a den of bears that care about you more than you can imagine. We promised that we would always be there for you, and we plan on keeping that promise. You don�t have to worry about it anyway, I�m sure your parents are going to be just fine.�
Grizzly�s reassurance helped a lot, and while it didn�t make me return to normal, it did alleviate some of my fears. He held out his hand over the gearshift, palm up. I looked down at the massive paw and smiled as I put my smaller hand in it. He closed his hand and squeezed ever so slightly, sending torrents of warmth cascading throughout my body. We spent the rest of the ride home in silence, our hands interlocked with each other.
Around the middle of the afternoon, we arrived at the hospital. We entered the ER to find Allen waiting for us.
�Hey bud, how are you holding up?� I forced out a smile and Allen came closer and wrapped me up in a one armed hug. �Are you sure you wanna see �em right now?� I nodded and Allen stood up to his full height and led us down the hall. I made mental notes memorizing the path through the maze of rooms and hallways as Allen guided us to the recovery ward. He paused at a door and waited a moment for us before opening it. Once I entered the room, my heart dropped again.
Through my tear-flooded eyes, I saw my mother. She was lying asleep on a hospital bed with wires and tubes running through her. The steady beep of the machinery around her provided some comfort, but still my heart ached as I saw her lie there motionless. It was almost too much for me to handle. Thankfully, Grizzly was there to provide support and a huge arm. My mother looked like she was sleeping, so I just turned around and left the room. The guys followed me into the hallway. Allen then said, �The doctors said she could use some rest, but she�ll be ok in a few days.�
�What about my dad?� I asked him.
Allen hung his head slightly before responding, �They aren�t sure about him. He took a nasty hit when the bag didn�t deploy properly. They said he�s stable, but they�re not sure when, if ever, he�s going to come out of it.�
I couldn�t hold it together anymore and just broke down into tears again. Immediately, Grizzly and Allen were holding me close. I was so grateful for them right now. After I calmed down a bit I looked up to my bear family. �I think I�m ready to go now.�
They nodded and we left the hospital together. Allen walked us to Grizzly�s jeep and stayed there for a moment while we decided what we were going to do. In the end, Grizzly decided to take me to his house for a while as my parents recovered. I wasn�t too concerned about where I was going to be staying for the time being, but I was grateful that they were thinking.
The ride to Grizzly�s house was quick and uneventful. I wasn�t really conscious so to speak. I followed him up the stairs and dropped my bag by the door. I stood there in the doorway, my body still numbed from the whole day. Grizzly came back into the room and saw me standing there. He walked over to me and picked me up. Wrapping me up in his furry chest, he walked over to the couch. He sat down and put laid me on top of him. I warmed up a bit and turned over into his pecs, then Grizzly wrapped his arms around me. We remained there, silent and motionless until I fell asleep, safe in his hug.
I dreamt that night. I was in the car with my parents, cruising down the highway. We were laughing and joking as we continued to head toward the horizon. Then the terrible realization of where I was settled in. Everything entered slow motion and I saw an explosion occur down the road. Shredded rubber filled the air as the deafening boom filled my ears. Destroyed tire flew in every direction like shrapnel and cars began to scatter. My dad clenched the wheel with both hands as he slowly dodged the oncoming debris. Then the screech of air brakes filled my ears and I saw the loaded tractor trailer swerve and jackknife towards us. I saw the payload tumble and flip a few times as the concrete median failed to stop the onslaught of metal. I saw my mother shield her eyes as my father slammed on the car�s brakes. I felt a soundless scream escape my throat as the thousands of pounds of metal came crashing towards us. Then, before the impact, I woke up with a jerk.
My heart was racing as I awoke to a quiet rumbling bear in his deep sleep. I couldn�t calm myself down. The dream I just had was too terrifying for words. But as I lay there on Grizzly, I felt his powerful, steady heartbeat drown out my own, and slowly, I calmed down. I admit having the stability of a three hundred plus pound muscle bear beneath me was a great comfort after the chaos of the last few days, and again I said a silent thanks for these bears in my life. I remained motionless as my body rose and fell with the rhythm of Grizzly�s breathing, calming and soothing me after the frightful nightmare I just experienced. As I lay there, I thought about what the future would now hold for me. My mother was stuck in a bed for who knows how long and my father couldn�t even wake up. Just thinking about the pain those two were in caused tears to start falling from my eyes. As the fur of Grizzly�s chest started to become moist, I felt a huge arm rise from the floor and wrap around me. �What�s wrong little cub?� I heard my furry bed say.
I wiped the tears from my eyes and responded, �Nothing papa bear. I�m ok.�
I heard a low grumble as Grizzly stretched out a bit, banishing the sleep from his body. �That�s not true, is it? You�re thinking about your parents, aren�t you.�
I should�ve known better than to try and deceive the big bear. I nodded yes and I felt his furry guns constrict slightly tighter around my body. �Don�t worry Gabe. Everything will turn out ok. You can trust me.�
As usual, Grizzly�s strength and confidence seeped into me and made me feel so much better. My eyes dried up as Grizzly began to rise, still holding me tightly against his chest. He carried me straight to the master bedroom, and with a grace that can only be defined as poetic, stripped both of us naked while still holding me aloft. With a few quick twists of the shower handles, we were standing in a gentle torrent of warm water. Grizzly set me down gently, then reached for a large cloth and a bottle of Old Spice body wash. He began to soap up the rag and was about to wash himself when he looked down at me. �Something wrong cub?�
I didn�t know what he meant, but just looking at his furry body being soaked in water was so enticing. I felt the need to just service him in any way I could. �Can I wash you sir?� I asked. I didn�t know where the sir part came from, but it felt right in this situation.
Grizzly cocked his head to the left for a few seconds before smiling and handing me the soapy cloth. I looked at the cloth and the giant bear in front of me. Obviously, this shower was designed for him because the shower head was set very high, spraying tepid water across his chest. I watched as the liquid cascaded down his perfect chest, along his firm pecs, under the luscious fur, then down to his beautiful power belly, then down to his amazingly thick cock and onward to his huge legs. I sighed in admiration as Grizzly placed his paw on my head. �You know, you will have this one day.�
I sighed, not sure of anything anymore, but I lathered up the cloth and started to go to work on the monumental bear before me. I started at his thick legs. I felt the creases in his calves and quads as I ran the cloth over them. I could feel the muscularity even now as I washed them gently. Then I ran the cloth upward to his crotch. Even though he was still soft, the tube steak he possessed stretch out seductively from the tuft of tangled black hairs. I took great care in handling his massive meat, washing it thoroughly and carefully before continuing up his body. I ran the cloth over his rock hard stomach, glancing upwards to see him gazing at me with approval.
Next were his ham sized forearms which had a network of veins running through them. I could trace every pathway in his furry arms and could only imagine the power that they held. He leaned down a bit and allowed me to reach the massive peak of his biceps. The ball of muscle sat on top of his arm like a boulder of flesh swelling with indescribable force and the triceps hung from the back of his arm like a ham. The feeling as I ran the woolen cloth along his ripped arms was beyond words. I could almost feel the individual strands of muscle move in his arms as he stood there. Finally, I worked my way along his plated shoulders and to his mounds of pectoral muscle. With him leaning forward slightly, I could see how they jutted from his chest, creating a shelf of pure beef over his beautiful stomach. They were so swollen with muscle that his nipples pointed down, fighting for space on his massive trunk.
Grizzly smiled at me and took the cloth. �Are you feeling better?� he asked. I nodded, in fact, just the simple action of washing him got my mind off of everything that happened recently. He took his giant paw and soaped up the cloth before he started to wash me. Even with the cloth between his hand and my skin, I could feel the strength and care in his touch. A feeling of calm washed over me as he quickly finished our shower. �Ok Gabe, let�s grab some chow.�
Grizzly led the way back to the kitchen with me in tow. Usually, I would have been hyper, but all my energy seemed to be drained, even though Grizzly was helping so much. I tried as hard as I could not to let my memories hinder me, but flashes of the dream and what I saw yesterday made that plan impossible. He fixed breakfast while he talked to me, trying to keep my spirits. He was talking about how we would hit the gym and then go see my parents, but I wasn�t all there. He noticed my lack of response and walked over to me. I looked up to see his huge chest as he engulfed me in a hug. He didn�t have to say anything, I knew he was there for me. It was just these feelings of helplessness that I had felt like they were taking over.
Breakfast went by fairly quick, and I noticed I didn�t eat nearly as much as I should have. I looked across the table to my papa bear and saw he was thinking the same thing. Thankfully, he didn�t push it. I guess he understood exactly why I didn�t eat as much. We made our way to the gym and Grizzly tried pushing me, saying that the weights would help get my mind off of everything. I tried, but I couldn�t dredge up the focus to wipe my mind. In turn, my lifts suffered a good bit. Grizzly stopped me before I hurt myself and finished up his workout quickly. Even now, helplessness and despair crept back into me. I had not felt this way since before I met these guys.
After the workout, I went back to the bedroom where my few bags were. I picked out a simple outfit of some gym shorts and a loose Underarmor shirt to wear to the hospital. Grizzly on the other hand, chose something that made him seem even sexier. He put on tight black shirt which seemed to stretch across his chest. His nipples pressed against the cloth, poking out seductively, captivating the imagination of onlookers. He then completed the outfit with a sexy mesh jock that cupped his hung cock and balls gently, and a pair of leather pants that were so tight, they looked like they would split into pieces as soon as he started walking. He then laced up a pair of well-kept black combat boots. I stood there amazed at how such a simple outfit could make such a big bear so attractive.
Grizzly and I then hopped into his cruiser and headed to the hospital. I was filled with mixed emotions, anticipation, anxiety, dread, hope; so many conflicting emotions filled my heart and mind. We got there with little problems, checked in at the desk and went to see my mother. Hope and joy flooded into me as I saw her sitting up in her bed. She seemed a bit livelier than yesterday as the nurse took a blood sample. She turned to the door and smiled as she saw me.
�How�s my big man doing?� she asked in a slightly weak voice.
I choked back my tears and responded, �I�m doing ok mom, how are you feeling?�
�Oh, I�m doing better.�
I slowly walked toward her as the nurse started to leave. �Try not to stay to long. Mrs. Dusseldorf needs her rest.� I nodded and went to my mother�s bedside as Grizzly sat near the door. She reached her hand out slightly and I grasped it gently. She didn�t talk much though. I could tell she was recovering but still had a way to go. She asked me about my trip and how school was treating me. I answered her questions all while pretending to be unaffected by how hurt she looked laying there.
After about an hour of talking with my mom, I was at the point of almost breaking in tears, even though I knew she was getting better. I couldn�t help but think about how she must have felt, and how my father couldn�t feel anything. But thankfully, before I could break down, the nurse came in to announce the end of visiting hours. I hugged my mom as she said goodbye. As I walked out the door, I heard her say, �Gabriel, don�t let this get to you. We�re going to make it through this. Everything will be ok.�
My voice cracked as I replied, �Ok mom, I won�t.� Not turning to see her again, I followed Grizzly and the nurse out the door. Soon as I got out, I felt Grizzly�s massive arm wrap around me as the tears started to pour from my eyes. I felt weak for relying on Grizzly so much, but I couldn�t pull myself together. Grizzly held me there for around five minutes before I could regain control of my emotions. He smiled weakly at me before starting towards the door. I followed automatically, lost in my thoughts.
The next few weeks flew by in a haze. I spent the majority of my time at the hospital. Grizzly and Allen stopped by and checked on me during the day and I would be picked up in the evening. I finally gathered the courage to see my father, and my heart broke that first day. Seeing the man I admired for every thing he did for me laying there in a coma was the most painful experience I had ever had. As my mother got better, I spent more time in his room. I felt that I would have to take his place; that I would have to take care of my mother. I promised him that she would be cared for however long it took while hoping and wishing he would respond in any way.
My mother was released from the hospital with a clean bill of health near the end of January. When she finally stepped foot back in the house, it had been over a month since I had been home. Between the vacation with Grizzly and the accident, I had almost forgotten what the place looked like. But she was so happy to be home, it quickly got rid of any feelings of abnormality I felt.
I still went to Grizzly�s house during the remainder of our winter break, but I could tell that I wasn�t back to normal. My lifts were a lot less than what they were a month ago, plus I wasn�t eating or even feeling the same. I could tell I was getting weaker and I could see what I thought was disappointment in Grizzly�s face, and I wondered if he noticed what was happening. I felt like I was failing him. Even Ursa wasn�t making any appearances, and slowly, I thought I was failing myself.
But everything changed later that week. I was coming back from Grizzly�s house in his beautiful jeep. I had not worked up much of a sweat even with me trying to regain what I had lost. The house was dark and I had thought that my mom had went out for the evening. That made me happy, to think that she was back to normal brightened my day.
Grizzly parked the jeep in the driveway and I got out. He followed me up the walkway as I used my key to unlock the door, and then walked inside. As I reached for the light, The living room exploded with light and sound as I heard a large group of voices yell, �Surprise!�
I looked around to see my mother, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and my bear family including Arnold and Allen all in my living room. Everyone had party hats on, even Allen who towered over everyone else. For a moment, nothing but family and friends mattered. It felt really good to have everyone there simply because it was my birthday. It was really fun. Presents were everywhere and I was surrounded by family, both straight and bears.
The cake was brought from the kitchen, and after I got hugs and pats on the back from everyone, I went to the table. The cake was a football shaped sheet cake with �Happy 14th B-day� on it. My mother lit the candles and told me to make a wish. A flash of my father in his bed crossed my mind and I knew the only wish I could make. I closed my eyes before I could start crying and blew out the candles. Everyone cheered and I forced another smile. Soon after the cake was cut and served.
My mother motioned for me to follow her to the kitchen. I walked towards there receiving hugs and pats as I crossed the crowded room. I entered the kitchen to find my mom scooping ice cream out a ten-gallon tub into a dozen little bowls. She glanced up at me as I leaned on the counter opposite of her. She spent a few moments using the old metal ice cream scoop to dump perfect balls of strawberry into the bowls. After the bowls were filled equally with sweat cream, she put the scoop in the sink and turned on the water. After rinsing it off completely, she started to talk to me.
�So, how are you enjoying your birthday my big boy?� she asked. I forced a smile and responded, �I�m doing good mom.�
She turned to put the spoon away and glanced at me, �I�ve noticed you haven�t been eating as much as you were last month lately.� I hung my head slightly. �I also noticed you seem to be a little bit more tired and not as big lately. Are you sure everything�s alright?�
I wanted to tell her everything. I wanted to explain everything I was going through, but I held in my feelings. She looked a little deeper into my eyes then she sighed. �You know Gabriel, your father was really proud of you these last few months.�
My eyes must�ve lit up at that moment because I felt my heart soar. She started to prepare herself a cup of coffee as she continued to talk, �Yes, he noticed the changes in you first. He talked to me all night when he noticed how your shirt was fitting you. I didn�t see it until he pointed out, but ever since then, I�ve been seeing how good this choice was for you.�
I felt a bit more proud as she talked, �He was so glad that you were going to play sports you know. He didn�t want you to have to go through school being picked on. He knew how it was and he wanted better for you. Although we were slightly upset that you were in a fight, he was more than ecstatic that you were winning a fight for something you believed in.�
My smile widened as she continued, �He was looking forward to seeing whatever you was going to do. You know, he would be disappointed if you stopped living your life because of him. And he would really be disappointed if when he woke up, he didn�t have a huge kid that he could call son.�
As soon as she said that, I felt every ounce of sadness and depression lift from my shoulders. She walked around and patted me on the shoulder. �Now, you go enjoy your birthday with your friends.�
I went back into the main room with my arms filled with ice cream, with my mother close behind me. The rest of the night went by too quickly now that my mind was clear. I enjoyed a small slice of cake while everyone else had a great time, enjoying the sweet desserts.
Later that night while I was in bed, I finally got to talk to Ursa once again. I fell asleep quickly and soon was in the mental landscape that I hadn�t visited in such a long time. He stood there, towering over me, his fur covered muscles pulsing with blood. He stood with his hands on his hips, his pecs heaving as he breathed, his lats flared, and a beautiful grin on his face.
�I�m really glad you�ve come back,� Ursa said with his beautiful baritone voice.
�I�m glad to be back myself. I think I�ve finally gotten my head straight.�
�You did, otherwise you wouldn�t be here right now. I�m sorry I couldn�t be there for you. It�s tough for me to see you go through that alone, but it was necessary.�
�I understand actually. I see now that it�s just not me I�m lifting for. I�m lifting for my dad, to live out his dreams for me. And I�m sure there�s others that have dreams for me too.�
�This is true Gabe. Plus, you have to live for you. Pain comes and pain goes, but it�s how you handle pain that defines you as a person. The time for grief has passed. Now, you have to catch back up on your path. The burning desire that drives you, that makes you want to become the biggest bear ever is still there, otherwise I wouldn�t be here right now. What you have to do is learn from all this and drive forward even harder. You�ve got to lift bigger, work harder and be stronger.�
I smiled at Gabe. Every word he spoke rang true with me. I nodded and replied, �I will Ursa. I won�t rest until I look in the mirror and see you as my reflection. I just want you to be with me the whole way.�
Gabe flexed his pecs and let his arms drop to his side, �I will always be here with you, even if you can�t tell. Now, it�s time to wake up and get to work. Grizzly will be here anytime now.�
The dreamscape faded with Ursa smiling big and proud at me. I woke up and, for the first time in ages, sprung from my bed with an abundance of energy. I swiftly showered and got dressed in my workout clothes and was on the porch when Grizzly drove up. I started bouncing toward the jeep, watching his expressions as I made my way down the path. His expression went from the sad concern I�ve seen on his face since the accident, to confusion, to hope, and then to happiness.
I hopped in the truck with a beaming smile and fastened my seat belt. �Well, if I didn�t know better, I�d say you just got you some,� Grizzly laughed.
�Papa bear, I got a lot of catching up to do. I�m ready to hit the iron, hard.�
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