City of Bears: The Skin Between (Part 2)

He kept scanning the crowd, and told himself he’d give it another half an hour before he abandoned the venture, went home, jacked off a few times, and fell asleep. He didn’t know whether to be relieved or terrified when Willis finally walked through the door of the club, but the dial went to terrified and ashamed when he saw Willis head for a group of other cubs and start making out with…all of them. This had been a mistake. This whole thing had been such a terrible, terrible idea, and he knew that, but what had he really imagined might happen? How was this ever going to end, between that handsome fucker he’d lost and the loser he could feel himself becoming every moment? He should just leave. Not even this would last forever, he knew that, but it was worse to admit that he deserved it. He went downstairs, but didn’t head for the door. Instead he went to the bar, and ordered something strong. He chugged it, and when it was gone, he didn’t know who he was, and that was exactly who he wanted to be–anyone other than who he was slowly becoming.

He could be someone else, he could be this person. In one of the mirrored walls, he checked himself out, and he looked…good. He looked like a handsome cub, manly but soft in all the right places, down and desperate to be fucked. He’d get Willis back like this, wouldn’t he? Isn’t this what he wanted now? It’s who he was with at least, Trey could do this, he could be whoever Willis wanted him to be. He didn’t want to be anyone without him, he didn’t want to be a loser, he didn’t want to deal with that ever again. But as he crossed the dance floor, he forgot about Willis too. He forgot about everything except for how hot he was, and how the music was throbbing in his heart, and in his cock, and every cub around him smelled fantastic, and so he danced, and passed from man to man, losing himself in them, losing himself as best he could, and whenever the feeling started to fade, he went back to the bar and got another drink, and just kept going. From moment to moment, he could finally feel connected again. Connected when he looked in a cub’s dazed eyes, seeing the reflection on his own in the depths, the heat of his lips. He pushed hard against them, pulled them tight, trying to meet every point of his skin with theirs, but it didn’t last. They were always pulled away, or pushed themselves away, and he spun to someone else. Then, when the drinks started to fade, because the night was winding down into dawn, he went from clinging to drinks to clinging to whoever was nearby–the world spinning until everything was fading away, and then it was morning, he was in his bed, his head was pounding, but worst of all, he was late for work.

“Fuck, god fucking damn it…” Trey fumbled for his phone on the nightstand, and ended up nearly tumbling out entirely, catching himself with a hand on the floor, next to a set of underwear he didn’t recognize as his own. His arm gave way, and he tumbled the rest of the way out of the bed and onto the floor, with a thud and another string of curse words, loud enough to wake the bear in the bed with him.

Trey stood up, rubbing his shoulder where he whacked it, and looked at the stranger under the covers who had been sleeping with him, looking over at him blearily. “Uh, Hey, “ the man said, “You, uh, you alright?”

Trey looked around them, at the state of his apartment, at the state of himself, at the state of his whole reality slowly deteriorating into something he loathed, and all he felt was a deep, hopeless, shame. “I…sorry, I was sexier last night, I know,” he muttered, “and I hate to just…kick you out, but I have to get to work.”

The bear smirked, “No worries, I wasn’t quite myself last night either, but we had some fun, right? Or, at least, I did,” he stretched, and swung his arms over the side of the bed and stood up. The man was right–he wasn’t the chubby little cub Trey had taken home with him from the bar, in the same way Trey hadn’t been the swaggering cocky fireplug of a top eager to stuff the chubby boy’s holes. “It’s nice getting out of your own skin on occasion–you seem like a fellow who knows what I mean. The name’s Darren by the way, don’t think we exchanged pleasantries last night.”

“I…look, that…it was nice, but I really need to get going, I’m running really late,” Trey said, and pulled on a dirty workshirt and pulled up a pair of overalls. Darren watched him with a confused look on his face.

“Never much one for work, myself…but you don’t strike me as the sort of guy who’d be working in something like that.”

“It’s complicated,” Trey said, “It…I mean, can you just go? I’m sorry to just kick you out, but it’s been…a weird few days,” Trey said, but noticed Darren wasn’t looking at him, he was looking at the table, where a hard hat was resting.

“Is that…what I think that is?”

Trey heaved a sigh.

“You’ve got a RuffHat?” Darren said, and he couldn’t quite contain his glee, “Holy fuck, no wonder you’re so eager to get to work, I fucking would be too!” he shook his head, “How the hell did you get into that anyway? That shit is hard to find, ever since the Boutique disappeared when Old Abrahams Changed finally.”

“Friend of a friend. It’s not as exciting as you think, trust me.”

Feeling self-conscious, Trey walked over to the table and picked the hat up, and Darren just stared at him. “Well, put it on, I won’t bite.”

“I don’t put it on until I get to the site, it’s…otherwise I can have a hard time getting there.”

Darren was looking at him again, sizing him up more, “I thought they were supposed to, you know, have…certain effects.”

“I haven’t been at it for very long.”

Darren just looked at him again, a bit longer, and then shrugged. “Fine, don’t show off for me, sexy.”

“Trust me, it isn’t as sexy as you think. Reality is always a little disappointing.”

“Well maybe we should test that out sometime.”

Trey looked at the clock, and hissed a sigh, “I have to get going, alright? There’s…some food in the fridge if you’re hungry, just lock the door on the way out.”

City of Bears: The Skin Between (Part 1)

Trey didn’t want to admit it, but he was miserable. He hadn’t always been miserable, after all, he hadn’t even always been…himself, just like everyone in the city. But he couldn’t remember ever being so tired of himself, in such a very long time, and he didn’t even think he’d been…this for very long. He was in front of the mirror again, wishing he wasn’t, looking at himself, looking at everything he…detested about himself, about this self. He hated being young, he hated his pudgy gut and thin arms. He wanted to be hairier, he wanted to bald a little, he wanted…he didn’t want this, but he didn’t know what he could want instead. He lived in a city where he could be anyone, anyone other than this, and yet, he didn’t want to be…anyone else. He didn’t know what he wanted, and that made everything so much worse.

He had work in the morning, and he knew he shouldn’t go out, but he wanted to anyway, because he knew if he laid down, he wouldn’t be able to sleep. Instead, he would just think about everything else, about everyone else, about himself, and how he wished he could be anyone else, and wondering how everyone else managed to be happy, and wondering most of all if he’d ever be happy again, and wondering how long he was going to be alone, now, because most of all, he’d lie in bed thinking about Willis.

Because that’s what hurt the worst, that he was alone. So many men in the city, so many men he wanted, and…none of them seemed to want him at all. Because all of this wasn’t even really about him, he supposed, it was about Willis. It would have been easier, he supposed, if Willis had Changed, when he’d left. That would have been easier. Trey would have loved to have something to blame other than himself, but as it was, he had nothing else, and he knew it. It was his fault. He’d been so…content. Everything had seemed so easy–that, or he’d been too lazy to notice the growing rifts between them. Willis had been pulling away, but Trey assured himself he would always be there–until he was wasn’t. And when he was gone, Trey didn’t know what to do anymore.

It had been a blow, he could admit that now. He’d been so…happy as himself, but he hadn’t ever bothered to notice how much he’d needed someone else with him, until they were gone. And slowly, he found himself Changing. He lost the age, he lost the confidence, he lost the gusto and fur and muscle. He lost everything, and without it, who was he, really? He was just a loser. He was this loser, and secretly, he wondered if this was who he’d been this entire time, even with Willis, if Willis had been the magic in him all along. He knew he needed to apologize, he knew that he needed to acknowledge that he’d been shitty…but he couldn’t face him like this. There wasn’t any other option though, he knew that, but he had to be…honest, right?

So he knew he should sleep, and he knew this was a bad idea, but he got dressed and made his way through the streets to Cubsters, where he knew Willis would be, because that’s where Willis always was, these days. Walking through the streets was its own torture, mostly because he felt like he was invisible. Like, nothing he was now, was going to be enough for any of the men around him. He got the side-eye at the bar from the bouncer–he wasn’t really a bear, and he wasn’t really a cub, but he got waved in anyway. He didn’t feel like he deserved to be there though. Once he was inside, all of his insecurities come roaring back, all over again. He didn’t belong here, he should be back in his room. He could watch some porn and jack off a few times–that always made him feel better. He shook that urge off, knowing it wouldn’t end well, and then pushed through the crowd of young, sweaty cubs shaking and dancing to the throbbing music. It had always been infectious, the few times he’d come here before, but now, it just felt…loud and uncomfortable. He’d rather just be home, stroking off, feeling shitty about himself stroking off and…maybe ordering in a few pizzas…

He ordered himself something mild. He needed to stay…normal, if he was going to do this right. He staked out a table on the upper floor, where he could scan the crowd and look for his ex, and try and script something out in his head that would make…sense. But why was he even here, anyway? What was he hoping to get out of this? Did…he want to get Willis back, or was he just trying to get himself back? He couldn’t even really remember who he’d been before all of this, and he could feel it all slipping away even faster. But he did like watching, didn’t he? Yeah, he definitely liked watching guys fuck, hell, he liked it more than fucking…didn’t he? It was the kind of thing a loser like him would enjoy. He slipped a hand into his shorts, seeing a cub get bent over a pool table down below, another guy coming behind him to fuck him…but he pulled his eyes away. He wasn’t here for that. He was here to apologize, he was here to try and…stop this from happening to him.

City of Bears: Lovers and Strangers (Part 8)

“Well I gotta say fucker, for a cub, you make one hot fuckin’ daddy, you know?”

“Well don’t get used to it–that’s not…something I usually do…” Carter said, still feeling mortified. This was so unusual for him,

daddying out for an evening and waking up with a cub in his arms? That wasn’t usually his style at all. He’d been in for quite a shock, when he’d untangled himself from the young muscle cub in his bed, gotten up and seen himself in the mirror. The changes from the night before had reverted quite a bit, but that didn’t make it any less jarring to look at himself, covered in hair still matted with the cub’s dried cum, beard down to his chest with several streaks of white. The muscle cub, a young man named Wyatt, had been surprised as well, that the sexy daddy who’d picked him up while he was out of it on a Hot Shot had ended up being a chubby little cub like this. His tongue was thick still, and his cock was a bit less red, and a bit less hard, but he could go another round–not that the cub was likely up for it.

“Got any coffee? My head is pounding.”

I can make you some. Those Hot Shots at Cubster’s can be a doozy.”

“Fuck, I should know better. Those things always fuck me up,” he said, “Still, it’s worth it–how about that fuckin’ load, man? Ever seen one that big?”

Carter had seen a few larger, but not many. Mostly he was trying to connect the dots of the night, and the day, before, but nothing seemed to line up very well. Still, it had been a wild night–and now it was a new day. You just had to roll with it sometimes, and sort it out as you go.

“You, uh, wanna take a shower, while I brew a cup for you?” Carter offered.

Wyatt shook his head, raised one arm over his head and took a sniff, “Nah–Daddy loves when I come home smelling like fucking–drives him nuts! If I hurry, I can catch him before he heads off to work, and he’ll probably add his load to yours, if I can keep it in there–damn, you really stretched me out!”

Carter smiled, “I feel like I should at least get you breakfast or something.”

Wyatt just shook his head, and hauled on his rubber shirt. “Thanks man, just the coffee, and then I should get going.”

There was something welling up in Carter’s chest, some…longing he didn’t quite know how to explain, or put into words, but he swallowed it back down while he made a pot of coffee for them both. The cub took a mug and nearly chugged it, and then put on his sneakers and then bounded back up, a big grin plastered across his face, a grin that seemed…son familiar to him. Had Carter seen him before? Known him from somewhere? He didn’t really want him to leave, and yet he had no real reason for feeling that way, as far as he could know. Perhaps in another life, they’d known each other. The city felt like a parade of ghosts to him, at times. All of your lovers were just strangers in waiting; every stranger was a lover to be made. It could feel so lonely one moment, and then like the coziest family the next.

He walked Wyatt to the door, and gave him a hug and a kiss, smelling the cum on him, feeling a desire for another round rising in him, and in his crotch. He wasn’t really one for cubs, ever, but something about this one just made him…hungry.

“You know, I’m pretty much always free on Thursday nights–you wanna meet up again next week? I’d love to see you in some rubber, if you have any, maybe spend the night at Slick’s, see if we can’t bring that dirty daddy out again to play some more,” Wyatt said with a grin, “He was a lot of fun–not that you wouldn’t be too, of course.”

Carter said that he would like that, and they traded phone numbers to keep in touch, before Wyatt slipped out of the apartment and down to the street, joining the other throngs of men parading home after another night out in the city. The loss was there, but it was easing somewhat, and Carter made himself a nice breakfast to go with his coffee, since food usually made him feel much better, and by noon, he was feeling more like himself–and looking more like himself too, except for a few smile lines in his brow, and a couple flecks of grey in his goatee. Still, he had to admit that they looked good on him, in a way. He laughed at himself, imagining him changing into a bear. It was hard to imagine after being a cub for so long, but it wasn’t exactly out of the question, now was it? Hell, if Wyatt had his way, he’d probably be a full fledged daddy for real by this time next week. There was a buzz from his phone, and it was from Wyatt–a picture of his pert ass, cum dribbling down the inside of his thigh.

“Just like I thought–the smell of you on me got Daddy all excited. Thanks again, see you next week hot stuff.”

Carter grinned, feeling his cock throb, and jacked off to the picture, before sending Wyatt a pic of his load. Every stranger was a lover to be made–never had that felt more true to him in his lives.


City of Bears: Lovers and Strangers (Part 2)

Carter took the whole thing gracefully. In fact, Wyatt could sense that in some ways he was relieved, though he doubted his cub would be able to simply come out and say that. It didn’t really help him feel much better, that Carter was taking it so well, and Wyatt found himself second guessing their entire relationship that night, sleeping on the couch while Carter slept in the bed. Maybe things had felt good because they were supposed to feel good, but not because they actually were good. Maybe he’d been too stodgy and controlling. Maybe Carter’s fickle nature–and tendency to run around town fucking around with any man he took a liking to–was a way to try and push back against his daddy’s stasis. Maybe he’d gotten too comfortable. He’d been able to lie to himself, and tell himself he’d been happy–but had he been? Could he even know now, with changes afoot?

It took him hours to fall asleep, and he woke up late, feeling better–feeling lighter. Literally lighter, in fact, because he’d shed close to fifty pounds in the course of the night. Even more white had disappeared from his hair, replaced by a deep auburn. Carter said he liked it–and he sounded sincere. It made Wyatt feel a bit better about the whole thing, though the self-consciousness was new. Before, he’d never cared much what anyone thought of him, but now, he just felt so…nervous. Carter made them breakfast, while they discussed what would need to happen. It was less a matter of dividing their material things and figuring how to move Wyatt’s stuff across town–no, things came and went, as one needed them. Wyatt was certain that when he arrived at Levi’s apartment again, he’d feel right at home–it would feel like home because his things would already be there–his new things. New clothes, new toys, new everything, or old, depending on their condition, but new to him, at least. No–this was about goodbyes, the last moments he could spend with an old self, and with a young man he found himself recognizing less and less, in the morning sunlight.

“So…what’s he like?” Carter asked, “Silver daddy? Gruff? Leather bear?”

Wyatt blushed, “He’s, well, he’s definitely a daddy.”

“Well no shit–I could tell that much just looking at you. I haven’t seen someone change cub that fast since an old fuck buddy told me about a switch daddy he saw in a club once, go from 60 to 20 in thirty seconds flat.”

“That…I don’t think that’s possible.”

Carter shrugged, “Who knows? I never saw it myself, but I’ve seen stranger stuff, as have you, I’m sure.”

Wyatt tried to imagine what that would feel like–going through what was happening to him in less than a minute, how that would make his stomach churn. Then again, in the bar that night–how long had it taken him? Wyatt hadn’t even known what to make of Levi, how to understand his attraction to him. Before he’d even realized it, he’d been on his knees, sucking in his musky cock, his gut gone, feeling abs for the first time he could even fucking remember in his life. It hadn’t been a minute, but hell, it had been quick. He realized, then, just how static he’d been, for so long. Carter was the one always shifting, while Wyatt was almost always the same. Sure, he enjoyed a wild night or two at the leather bar on occasion, with or without the cub, and when he was there he could get pretty…fierce, but nothing like this. Nothing like he’d been with Levi.

“What’s up? You got really quiet. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s ok. It’s…personal.”

“No, I don’t mind talking about it, I just, it feels like forever since I went through this. I just thought…I thought I could be your daddy forever. I wanted to be your daddy forever.”

Carter looked like he wanted to laugh.

“What is it? Spit it out.”

“You don’t remember, do you? Who you were before us?” Carter asked, “I know everyone is different, and it’s always a bit strange to try and bring up. But I can remember you a bit from before–a bit better than I remember myself before you, actually, but I think…I think I changed less than you did. You were…” the pause grew longer, and Wyatt wasn’t sure if he was searching for words, or wondering if the words should be said at all. “Look, I’m actually really happy for you. You look good. You look happy, even though you are trying very hard to be serious right now.”

“But what are you going to do? I mean, I feel like I’m abandoning you. What about all of this?”

Carter did feel sad, but did his best to keep it away from his face. It wasn’t worth it, really, to be sad, or angry, or regretful. He did his best to live beyond that, because life in the city wasn’t kind to people who tended to get attached to anything–to people, to places. It was better to be fickle–but no one could deny having favorites…and Wyatt had been a favorite. Seeing him hurl himself into his life as a daddy with such force and confidence–it had terrified Carter, somewhat, the thought of being with someone so committed, but to his surprise, knowing he could come how to Wyatt, to a daddy who he knew would always be the same, it had given him more freedom, in some way. He could go out, be whatever he wanted, lose himself in the night, and by the time he got home, he’d be…safe. He would miss that. “Don’t worry about me. I was alright before you, and I’ll be alright after you.”

City of Bears: Lovers and Strangers (Part 1)

Yes, you read that title right! This is a new “City of Bears” story. However, it is not a continuation of the previous arcs I was writing–I’m going to be trying something new with this instead. If you’d like to know more about the process and thought behind it, you can find out more in the metawriting post from yesterday.

No one ever believes they’re going to change again. They settle into something, into someone, into themselves, and everything just feels exactly how it should be. In the happiest times they can remember experiencing, they ask themselves, “How could I ever turn my back on this? How could I ever possibly want things to be different?” Memories deepen and grow, their entire life forming and calcifying, even as everything else fades away into distant impossibility. Everything before this was just a wan faximile of happiness; no, this is the real thing, this is true. But truth is slippery, and no matter what anyone in the city tells themselves, love is just a stranger in waiting. Life can feel stone certain for the longest time, until a moment when it cracks, and then you don’t seem to know anything at all anymore. You don’t know yourself, you don’t know the person you swear you’ve loved for years. The world is suddenly new, and as terrifying as it is, it’s a rush–and a rush everyone craves, whether they deny it or not.

Wyatt had tried to deny it for as long as he could, when it first happened, but he knew–everyone knows–that denial couldn’t stop it. Changing wasn’t something you could stop. There’s that sudden, self-shattering moment, and after that, all one can do is watch the entire facade crumble away as something else rises to replace it. He got into a fight with his cub, Carter, one evening, a few days after it happened, when he misremembered how long they had been together. Carter insisted that their ten year anniversary was coming up–he wanted to plan an extra special night with his daddy at a deluxe hotel downtown–but Wyatt told him it had only been six, and to him, it felt like six–it was six. They fell out of sync rapidly after that, and Wyatt had to confess what had happened. He had met someone, and he was changing–and soon, he would have to leave.

The look on his cub’s face, when he’d told him that, was gut wrenching. He wanted to protect the boy, he’d sworn he’d always be there for him, that he’d always be his daddy. Wyatt had believed it, too–he’d always told himself, when the time came, that surely it would be Carter who would change, not him. His cub was flighty and fickle, he could never seem to settle on anything for very long, before growing tired of it and moving onto something else. He had different facial hair every week, and different colored hair every other day, it seemed, but no matter what changed on the surface, Wyatt had always been able to know it was him…but looking at him then, he realized he didn’t know him anymore–not like he had. But he wasn’t supposed to be the one to change! His boy would find someone, and he would have this grand epiphany, and Wyatt would help him change, with a tear in his eye of course, but happy to have had his cub for as long as he did–but neither of them had imagined it like this, fighting over memories, Wyatt leaving Carter in tears, abandoning him and running across town to Levi’s apartment so he can feel safe, so he can feel like everything is going to just be alright in the arms of his daddy.

His daddy–what a fucking surprise that had been. Wyatt–white haired, three hundred pounds, claiming to be sixty-six (even though everyone knew that age was all a matter of state of mind) he had found himself a daddy. Levi was middle aged, salt and pepper, mostly muscle, smelled like the worksite he spent his days at, and when he and Wyatt had started chatting in that bar that night, the last thing Wyatt had imagined might happen was Levi leading him into the backroom, reducing him to some slender, twenty something muscle cub before fucking his brains out onto the floor, into a massive puddle of cum larger than any he’d ever seen before in his life. He’d sworn it would be a one time thing when he’d gone home, back to his usual self after the night’s fun, but the change was already stirring in him. He knew it, and there was nothing to be done about it.

Levi had done the right thing–he’d told Wyatt to turn right back around and go sort things out with his cub, properly. Wyatt, unsure of himself for the first time in what felt like ages, asked Levi to come along, to help him out, to justify it all somehow, but Levi refused. “This is between the two of you,” he said, “Sort your things out together, find whatever closure you can, and the next time you come here, you’d best be ready to move in and move on, got it?”

Wyatt agreed, and returned home, where he found Carter at the kitchen table, crying. When Carter looked at him, as he came into the room, the confusion in his eyes was unexpected, but Wyatt discovered, a bit later, what had been so odd to his cub. After all, Wyatt doubted Carter had ever seen his daddy with color in his hair, but when he looked in the mirror, about half of the color had returned to him, his hairline pushing an inch forward. He looked to be in his fifties now, and the change was accelerating, and it hurt to see it right there in front of him. He did love Carter still, but his heart was aching for Levi all the same, a constant, total desire with no roots, but more force than Wyatt could ever hope to resist. They had, at most, a couple of days, but more than likely, by tomorrow, he’d be someone new–a stranger to them both.

NaNoWriMo Entry 20 – 11/27 (58,025/50,000 words)

Marcus took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down and relax. He was safe now, he didn’t have to worry about the virus getting him, but the next question was what were the two of them supposed to do now?

“So now what?” Marcus asked.

“Now? Well, I suppose we’re stuck in here fer the moment, until the computer recognizes that we’re both clean, ‘n lets us out. But I’m sure a little time alone wouldn’t do us any harm, boy.”

Boy. Jack had called him boy? Marcus knew he should have been grossly offended, but all he felt was…a shiver. A shiver running through his cock. He wanted to hear that again, hear Jack call him that again. “What…what did you call me?” Marcus asked.

“Huh?” Jack said, getting up from the table and walking around to where Marcus was standing, “Well, I called ya ‘boy.’ Did that make ya feel funny? Maybe make you feel a little…nice?”

He was so big. Marcus had never realized before just how damn big Jack was. He bet that for a guy that size, he didn’t have to worry about anything, he could probably protect someone from anything too. Yeah, wrapped up in those big, musky arms, Marcus would feel so safe and secure, and…and with that big cock of his, Jack could…could… “What…what is this? What did you do to me? That wasn’t…wasn’t a fucking antidote at all, what was that?”

“What the hell are you talking about boy? You’re talking crazy.”

Boy. There it was again, he loved being called that, he loved it when his daddy called him that. Daddy, yeah, Jack was big enough, strong enough to be a daddy, wasn’t he? To be his daddy…He looked over in the mirror, looking to see if something had changed, but Marcus couldn’t see anything different. He was short, sure, and a bit on the chubby side. His clothes didn’t really seem to fit all that well, in fact, the uniform shirt wasn’t hugging him right, and his kilt seemed too long. Hell, why was he wearing stuff like this anyway? He should be wearing stuff like his daddy was wearing, yeah, that’s what a boy should wear. As though they were responding to his thoughts, the clothes began to shimmer and squirm in the reflection, and a second later, Marcus saw he was dressed in a pair of grimy overalls and a flannel vest over them, and that looked right. That looked like something Daddy Jack would give him to wear. The bigger man pulled Marcus close then and the cub let off a sigh of relief. He felt so much better in his daddy’s arms, like all of his cares could just melt away. He just didn’t need to fight anymore, it was such a relief.

“Yeah, that’s it boy. We’re gonna be one big happy family, you, me and you’re nasty Uncle Grant.”

No…there was still something…Marcus knew something was wrong. He should just relax, should just let all of his cares melt away, but he knew…knew that he had to hold on, that something about all of this just wasn’t right, that Jack…Jack was his daddy, but he’d tricked him, done something to him. He pushed himself away from Jack and backed up, trying to find some remnant of himself, something about to be burned away, something to tell him what to do. He couldn’t trust him, he couldn’t trust him at all, and that was the truth. He couldn’t even trust himself right now…but there was something he could do, something he could do to make sure they could trust one another. “Computer,” Marcus said, “run program K9 conversion mental program on interrogation subject.”

“What the hell does that mean?” Jack said, “Boy quit fucking around and–” Jack started to say, but the panel in the wall slid open, revealing the glass pod, the metal tendrils snaking their way out and wrapping their way around Jack’s limbs. “Goddamn, you’re gonna fuckin’ get it! Fuckin’ tell it to stop, tell it to fuckin’ stop, boy!” The big redneck fought as well as he could, but the technology was stronger, yanking him back inch by inch into the pod, and he let out a holler of rage as the tendril found it’s way into his ass, allowing the other to insert itself into his mouth and down his throat, silencing him, and Marcus came closer.

“I’m sorry daddy, I’m so sorry, but I just…I just can’t trust you, daddy. But when you’re my dog, I’ll be able to trust you, I know I will, so don’t worry daddy, you’ll be a good doggy for your boy, and then we can go find Uncle Grant and we’ll all be happy together, right?”

The look of rage on Jack’s face didn’t release even after the computer started releasing the sedative into the system. Even after the helmet descended onto his head and the pod closed, Jack still struggled, though his fight was obviously lost, and even he knew it, as the helmet began programming him, warping his mind into that of a complete leather pup slave, utterly devoted to his boy, to protecting and serving him. Marcus pressed himself up against the glass, hugging it, hoping his daddy pup wouldn’t take too long to accept his programming. Still, he would probably be locked away at least for a night or two–maybe more, but then they would be together, and then Marcus would be able to trust him. He’d finally have someone devoted to him, who wouldn’t betray him, who he could love forever and ever, and who would love him back just as much, and his daddy wouldn’t be angry when he came out. He would be happy with Marcus–they would be so happy together.

As Marcus clung to the glass pod, as close to his daddy as he could get, he didn’t see the face in the small window in the door looking in at them. Matt looked at the young, redneck cub hugging the glass and decided he probably didn’t want to find out what had happened in there. In the next room over, however, he found what he was looking for–Terry–except he was also trapped inside one of those glass pods, and the door was sealed shut. He tried everything he could to get it open, but nothing would make it budge, until he heard a strange voice resound through the facility, “Quarantine lifted–scan complete, no viral outbreak detected.”

The door clicked, and Matt rushed inside, taking the chair and smashing it into the control panel on the side of the pod, the glass door opening and the tendrils retracting, Terry slumping out of the pod and into Matt’s waiting arms, and as fast as he could, he hauled the unconscious cub out of the building before any of the guards, quarantined by the system, could emerge from their quarters in the complex. Outside again, and now a fugitive on campus, Matt had no idea where to go. He needed to find Erikson, and quickly–he figured that the week on loan to him was going to disappear quicker than he might imagine. He thought, searching his own memories as well as those of his new body and history, and realized that the best place to go might be to where he worked as a bouncer–the Daddy’s Den. It wasn’t a great plan, but it was somewhere, and that would have to do. He hefted Terry up and started his trek across town, wondering if this nightmare would ever be over.

End: City of Bears 3: Arc 2 – Change or Be Changed

Next: City of Bears 3: Arc 3 – The Hunt for Erikson

NaNoWriMo Entry 19 – 11/26 (56,721/50,000 words)

He left the interrogation room to go see what required his attention. The communal cells were used for light security purposes–students who got a bit too drunk on campus, or for fights than might break out in the baths or in the tavern, but since it was the middle of the day, none of them should be in use at the moment. An unease was growing in Marcus’ gut as the day wore on–he was sensing that things were spiralling out of his control. Last night, leaving Clark and Doug together, he had felt confident that he had things under control, and now that he had a member of the resistance, he’d imagined things would be easy, but now he was beginning to feel his doubts and paranoia creep back in. He arrived at the cell and found two of his guards standing outside, looking a bit uneasy. “Alright, so what’s the problem?” Marcus asked.

“Sir,” the guard said, snapping to attention, “Officers 58 and 102, tasked with arresting Jack Wolfson, have returned Sir…unsuccessful. But…well, we had to…well, maybe you should just see for yourself Sir.”

Marcus walked past the guard, saw what was going on in the cell, and gasped. The two guards in the cell…well, he wasn’t even sure they were his guards anymore. He could tell that they had been his guards at one point, that was for sure, but it was only small details on each that remained the same, the high ‘n tight on one, the leather uniform stretched across the fat frame of them other one. However, neither of them seemed all that interested in what was going on, they were a bit too focused on each other. The first one, 58, had his arm lifted up over his head, and the second’s face was buried in his armpit, slurping away. Even outside the cell, Marcus could smell their combined musk, and it was making his stomach turn. “58 and 102, attention!” he barked.

The two guards reluctantly broke away and sluggishly came to attention, but it was obviously hard for them to maintain their focus on Marcus. “Yes Sir?” 102 asked in a husky voice.

Marcus took a moment to survey the damage. Both of his guards were now well into obesity, and it was clear that on his return trip 58 had simply burst out of his uniform, and 102 was well on his way to a similar fate. Both were covered in body hair and stank to high heaven, and Marcus knew it had to be the slob wave. “Report. Tell me what happened. How did you two change?”

The two guards looked at each other, “Changed…Sir?” 102 said, “We haven’t changed. We went to Jack Wolfson’s trailer with a warrant for his arrest, and we returned to report that he wasn’t there, in order to…to…” 102’s eyes rolled back, and it took Marcus a second to realize what was happening. He smelled it first–the stench of piss, and 58, eyes glazing over with lust, fell to his knees in front of 102, ripped open his pants and started lapping up the urine wherever he could find it.

“Attention,” Marcus said, but they didn’t even notice, “I said attention!” he shouted, but again, the two guards didn’t even bother, too lost in their filthy, sexual haze. He turned to the guards outside the cell and said, “I want the two of them reconditioned immediately.”

“That’s, well Sir, that’s part of the problem,” the guard said. “When they arrived back here, Sir, the computer recommended reconditioning. They were a mess Sir…and this, well, this is them, reconditioned. It had a minimal effect Sir, and they’re already, well…regressing.”

Marcus looked back at the two slobs in the cell, and saw that the guard was right. 58’s high ‘n tight was already growing out into a thick mane, and he looked the be even fatter than before, and the last glimmer of intellect was disappearing from 102’s eyes, as he snorted and grunted, little more than a pig, as he shot a load of sour smelling cum all over 58’s beard. The smells…Marcus couldn’t take it anymore, it was just overwhelming. “Alright, stay here, keep them under guard, until I can figure out what’s going on here.”

Marcus headed out of the communal cell block and back towards his control room. He needed an analysis of the footage of his officers as they crossed campus. Unfortunately, the trustees had denied his request to install cameras in all of the dorms and living areas on campus, but maybe he would be able to discern something about what had happened to 58 and 102, or at least know when it happened. That smell, he still couldn’t get it out of his nose, if felt like he was going to be carrying it around with him for hours. He needed a god damn shower, just being that close to those filthy fucks. Jack had to have something to do with all of this, he just had to, but what? He’d seen him slob Grant a few days ago, but that had been with some kind of raygun, and he hadn’t seen Jack use the device since, so it couldn’t be him doing all of this. Then again, if Jack wasn’t at his trailer, then where was he? That was his last recorded location, and the computer had been keeping tabs on him the entire time–where had he disappeared to? Marcus felt theory upon theory start piling up in his head, each more wild and crazy than the next, but his head was running wild. He had to know who was doing this. He had to know why. Was it Jack? Or was it the resistance making it look like Jack, to frame him? Or was it the trustees?

Back in the control room, he analyzed the footage and discovered a strange hole in his coverage on campus, as his officers walked down towards the trailer housing on campus, there was a gap of three seconds between one camera and the next, and it was in that gap–that single gap, that something happened…on the way to the trailer. He could see the changes start then, progress as the officers arrived at Jack’s trailer, searched the premises, and then returned to base, growing filthier and slobbier the entire way back, until they were unrecognizable, coming up the steps into the security building. A gap. One fucking gap that he didn’t know about, but someone else did. What happened in those three seconds? What could have done this?

“Sir, new location registered for wanted individual, Jack Wolfson,” the computer said suddenly, “Location, mobile, forecasting direction, approaching security services.”

“On screen,” Marcus said, and sure enough, there the fucking redneck was, hurrying towards the security building. Now what was he planning, and why in the hell had all of this caught Marcus by surprise? He was the one who was supposed to know what was going on here, he was supposed to be one step ahead, and here he was, playing catch up. “Have four guards intercept him. If he resists, subdue him. Take him to interrogation room four.”

“Understood, issuing orders now.”

Marcus watched on screen as a collection of guards hurried out of the building and approached Jack. To his surprise, Jack seemed to expect this and allowed them to take him into custody, following them handcuffed into the building. Marcus gave them a few minutes as he tried, hopelessly, to put all of this together in a cohesive picture. A resistance member, looking for information on Erikson and Tristan from the board of trustees. Did they have some plan, now that the campus was essentially headless? The defacto head of the board informing on the resistance at the cost of Clark’s life. He was obviously looking for power, was he planning all of this behind the scenes? Jack, the only other master left, now. He seemed like the most obvious culprit, but Marcus had no evidence that he was behind this, even if he was the greatest suspect, and if he was the culprit, why waltz right up here and surrender? Marcus hung his head in his hands, frustrated beyond belief, and that fucking smell! He still couldn’t get it out of his nose, it felt like it was stuck there somehow, and it kept breaking his concentration. On the screen, he saw that Jack had been escorted to the interrogation room. He must know something, and whether it was a trap or not, he needed to talk to him, and Marcus got up and returned to the interrogation bloc, letting himself into the room where Jack was waiting.

“Quite the welcome ya had ready fer me here,” Jack said, when Marcus came in, “Feelin’ a bit paranoid?”

“I don’t know,” Marcus said, “Should I be feeling paranoid? Considering the way the master’s students have been dropping like flies, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to be too careful.”

“Ha, well, by my count, I took out one, ‘n ya took out two. If anyone should be worried, I think it should be me. Look, Marcus, I ain’t here tah hurt ya, there’s somethin’ goin’ round campus, I know ya noticed it too. Ya notice everythin’ that goes on ‘round here.”

“Oh?” Marcus said, feigning ignorance, “And what might that be?”

“There’s somethin’ happenin’ tah everyone. They’re turnin’ intah fuckin’ slobs. I mean, I don’t really object, given some a mah inclinations, but well, there was somethin’ crazy about it, so I went diggin’ in some of Erikson’s old files–”

“Don’t bullshit me, the labs are locked down–you know that. No one has been able to get in or out without Erikson to open them up.”

“Yeah, but his office just has a plain old key, ‘n I can pick those,” Jack said, and for emphasis, released his hands from the cuffs the guards had put on him. They might be big, but they sure are nimble when I need ‘em tah be.” He grinned a bit wolfishly, and Marcus was beginning to worry that this could indeed be a trap. He needed to be more careful than ever before. “What I found was, well, turns out one a Erikson’s little pet projects might’ve had a bit of an accident.” Jack threw down a file folder onto the table he pulled from the back of his pants, and Marcus gingerly opened it up, revealing a collection of files about something called ‘Virus SL004.’

“Just give me the rundown. What’s it do.”

“It’s a slob virus, man. It turns guys into filthy pigs. Again, I’m not really complaining, but that’s my schtick,” he said with a laugh, “Turns out there’s an antidote that was accessible in the upper labs, before getting down into The Depths that are still locked off,” Jack said, and pulled out a small phial and set it on the table, “I already took mine, and I figured you might like one for yourself.”

“Oh no fucking way, how stupid do I look?” Marcus said, “This is all you’re goddamn doing. You released the virus, and now you want me to take an antidote?”

“I’m serious man, this is the only way you’ll be safe.”

“Bullshit. Why in the hell should I take your word in any of this?”

“Well, what other fucking explanation have you got?” Jack said, then stared at Marcus…are you…you know, you look a little…you haven’t been around one of the infected have you?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“You can smell it, can;t you? That’s the first sign, you can’t get their fucking stink out of your nose, and then you keep thinking about it, and then you start changing. You need to take this now, or it’ll be no help at all.”

Marcus felt like Jack had just read his mind into his deepest fears. He had been around 58 and 102…could it really be a virus? There was that three second gap, could they have encountered someone infected with the virus? No, there wasn’t even any evidence that this virus existed beyond Jack’s claims. Marcus had to get out of here, he had to. He walked to the door to leave and think, but as soon as he pulled on the door, he heard it lock down.

“Computer…computer open the goddamn door.”

“Due to evidence of a possible viral outbreak, this facility will enter quarantine level three until threat is confirmed or denied. All those possibly exposed are asked to remain calm and report any possible signs of illness to central command.”

“God fucking damn it,” Marcus said, “There’s no fucking outbreak!”

“There damn well is, and you fucking know it,” Jack said, “and if you’ve been exposed, this is you’re only fucking chance man. Once the changes start, there’s nothing you can do, and trust me, as much as I’d like to see you as a fucking slob, I’m doing you a favor here. We gotta stick together man, we goota, we’re the only ones left who can lead this fuckin’ campus anymore.”

“No, this can’t be fucking happening,” Marcus said, and looked at himself in the room’s one way mirror. He looked the same, didn’t he? He couldn’t really still smell the officers, it was just his imagination, or was it? His imagination and terror was running wild now, barely kept in check by the high tension nerves running through him. He looked at the phial, then at Jack, then at the door. Did this make sense? Was it really the most likely solution?

“How do I know you aren’t the one behind this?” Marcus asked, trying not to betray his panic, “How do I know you aren’t setting me up?”

“I suppose you don’t,” Jack said, leaning back, “But I don’t have to worry, I have my antidote. I guess the question is–are you going to trust someone for once in your life? Or are you really going to let your fuckin’ paranoia be the end of you? I’m tryin’ tah help ya Marcus, can’t ya see that? Why in the hell would I a come if all I had tah do is let ya get infected?”

It made sense, didn’t it? Marcus felt the terror rise in him. The smell was stronger now, he could almost taste it, or was it just Jack’s musk? He didn’t know anymore, he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to be a fucking slob like 58 or 102, he didn’t. But what could he do? He didn’t have time, if he waited, he’d be a slob in no time. He had to be infected, how could he not be? And if Jack was responsible for this, he wouldn’t have come, he would have just waited it out, waited until the entire security force was too far gone to do anything and then swept in to take control. He had to trust him, he had to, as terrifying as that was. He hurried over to the table, and with shaking hands, took the top off the phial and downed the contents in a few gulps, Jack just sitting there–grinning.