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    Grumpy Bear
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Worlds Apart - 10. Testing the Waters

Siku had been strolling around his neighborhood for about an hour before coming across a grocery store. It wouldn’t take an hour to walk home again with his purchases, since he’d taken a roundabout path to get there, but it was far enough away that he’d want to come back with his truck in the next day or two to really stock up.

When he walked in the door, he was impressed with the size and apparent variety of food in the store. He wished he’d thought to go with Gunnar or Mike on a trip to a big grocery store like this before he left Sturgeon Bay to give him a general idea of how it all worked, but he decided that he could figure it out for himself with a little practice.

There were large, wheeled shopping carts, and smaller plastic baskets with handles sitting by the entrance, and Siku decided that if he just filled a plastic basket, it would be enough to get by until he returned with his truck, and not too much to carry home by hand.

Charlie looked around as well from her perch on this shoulder but made no attempt to jump down.

A couple of employees stood by the entrance after Siku had picked up his basket and began his journey through the store.

“Somebody should tell him,” one of the employees said.

“I’m not going to tell him,” the other said. “He looks like he could rip me in two.”

“Well, we can’t just let him wander the store with a fucking cat!” the first replied.

“Why not?” the second said, “As long as it stays up there on his shoulder, what harm is it doing? We let the rich ladies bring their fucking dogs in and put them in the cart seats like they’re babies or something, why can’t the Incredible Hulk over there bring in a cat?”

“I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see him,” the first said, “If Gordon has a problem with it, he can tell the guy himself. That’s why he’s the manager.”

Siku wandered around the store, peering down the aisles.

“Produce, meat, seafood, dairy, bakery,” Siku said to Charlie. “It looks like the fresh stuff is arranged around the outside wall, and the packaged and canned stuff is in the aisles through the middle.”

Siku stuck to the periphery, filling his basket with some fresh bread, butter, vegetables, potatoes and lettuce, a few steaks and four whole salmon fillets.

Charlie meowed in his ear and Siku rolled his eyes, going back to the seafood counter and adding two fresh tuna steaks.

When Siku went through the checkout aisle, the cashier kept glancing up at the cat on the huge man’s shoulder, but she kept silent. Finally, a man in a short sleeved white shirt and a tie with a nametag reading “Gordon – Store Manager” walked up next to the cashier.

“Sir,” Gordon said, addressing Siku nervously, “We appreciate your business, but in the future, please understand that there are no pets allowed inside the store.”

“Why?” Siku asked, looking down at the man.

“Because it’s the state law. There are health code rules. The cat could scratch or bite someone, and there may be other shoppers who are allergic.”

“Am I under arrest?” Siku said earnestly, but not looking very concerned.

“Well, no,” the manager replied, “But next time you come to shop, you’ll need to leave your cat at home.”

“Then how is she supposed to tell me what she wants to eat?” Siku asked.

The manager stared at Siku trying to determine if he was being serious, but the big man and his cat simply stared back down at him waiting for an answer.

“I suppose,” Gordon replied, “That she’ll have to make you a list before you come to the store.”

“Do you have your reusable shopping bags, sir?” the cashier asked.

“My what?” Siku asked in reply.

“Here,” the manager said, reaching under the counter and pulling out two canvas tote bags bearing the store’s logo. “On the house. Bring these back with you whenever you come shopping, and it reduces plastic waste.”

“Ah, okay,” Siku said, “Thank you.”

The cashier bagged Siku’s purchases, and he took a bag in each hand, exiting the store with the orange cat looking back and flashing Gordon the evil eye.

“I swear to God,” Gordon said to the cashier, “The people in this town get weirder by the minute.”


After returning home and putting the groceries away, Siku turned to Charlie.

“I think it’s time we tackled those stairs, don’t you? Do you want to go down and see the water up close?”

“Mrowr,” Charlie stated, and leapt from Siku’s shoulder, running back upstairs again.

“Suit yourself!” Siku called up the staircase. “More sand for me!”

He went to the basement and exited out onto the terrace. He found the top of the stairs and started his way down the twisting and turning path, descending the side of the cliff until he was kicking off his boots and sinking his toes in the sand within his little private cove. He sat on the sand and looked out at the water with a sigh.

“This would be perfect if I had my Mate to share it with.” He said to himself.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone and Shivay’s business card. He had been thinking about the weretiger all morning, and he wondered if there was some sort of rule-of-thumb as to how long you’re supposed to wait to call someone after you meet them.

“It’s been over twelve hours,” Siku mumbled. “That’s probably long enough.”

He carefully tapped out the numbers and then put the phone on speaker, setting it on a rock next to his spot in the damp sand.

“Hello?” A voice said.

“Uh, hello,” Siku replied, “I don’t know if you remember meeting me last night. This is Siku… the bear… the polar bear.”

“Of course!” Shivay replied. “As if I’m going to forget meeting a polar bear anytime soon. How are you doing? Did you have a good night after I left?”

“It was good… good,” Siku said. “Just after you left another werebear came in and we… hung out.”

“Hung out?” Shivay said with a laugh, “Come on, Siku. You’re implying that two bears met in a bar and nobody got laid?”

“Okay, okay,” Siku confessed. “We went back to my place. It was fun, I suppose, but… He’s not the one. I have serious doubts whether or not he’s even going to be a good friend. He’s a Kodiak bear, and they can tend to be… assholes sometimes.”

Shivay laughed.

“I never would have thought there was such a dramatic difference in personalities between the different bear species. Based solely on meeting you, I would have assumed that all bears are sweet, kind, and strong… and a little bit shy.”

Siku blushed as he sat alone in his sandy cove.

“Yeah, well the Kodiak reminded me this morning that I didn’t have any food in the house, so I just got back from exploring the neighborhood and doing some grocery shopping. I have a couple big steaks and wanted to know if you’d maybe like to come over for dinner… if you’re not busy.”

Shivay chuckled again.

“I don’t think I should go back to the city again tonight,” he replied, “My mother was already on my back this morning for being out so late last night, but I could come tomorrow around noon if that would be fine with you.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Siku said, grinning and chewing his bottom lip nervously, “Tomorrow would be great! I can save the steaks till then.”

“Maybe you can go ahead and have those steaks tonight,” Shivay said, “Um, you see, even though I’m a tiger, I’m also Hindu, and…”

“And you don’t eat meat!” Siku said suddenly, “Oh, I’m sorry! That was stupid of me!”

“No, No!” Shivay replied, “We’re still tigers! We just don’t eat beef or pork. I still eat fish, lamb and chicken.”

“Perfect!” Siku said. “I got some whole salmon fillets at the store too! We can have those.”

“That sounds very nice,” Shivay said. “I am looking forward very much to seeing your house and seeing your charming cat Charlie again. Text me the address, and I will be there tomorrow at noon. We can get to know one another a little better in the afternoon, and then you can impress me with a demonstration of your cooking skills for dinner.”

“It’s a date,” Siku replied. “I’ll send you the address. See you tomorrow.”

“Till tomorrow,” Shivay said, and the call ended.

Siku grabbed his phone and ran back up the pink stairs to the house. Charlie was waiting for him in the kitchen at the top of the basement stairs.

“Guess who I just talked to!” Siku said to the cat.

“Meow?” Charlie asked.

“Nope,” Siku said, “Guess again,”

“Meow!” Charlie replied.

“That’s right!” Siku said, “Your favorite tiger! He’s going to come over tomorrow afternoon to hang out and have dinner. I’m making him the salmon, which means that I’ll have the steaks myself tonight.”

“Meow?” Charlie asked.

“Yes, yes,” Siku replied. “You’re having the tuna both nights, even though I know that the little hard brown nuggets in the bag that the Yellowstone ranger gave me are your favorite…”

“Meow!” Charlie exclaimed.

Siku laughed.

“I’m just kidding. You don’t have to eat those nasty little nuggets anymore. You’re with your soulmate now, and he knows that cats prefer fish, lamb and chicken.”

Charlie purred and rubbed against his legs as Siku bustled around the kitchen preparing their meals.


After dinner, Siku prepared to go out. He enjoyed the company of his new friends the night before, and he hoped that he would find them at 440 Castro again. He felt that he needed to apologize for not saying goodbye the previous night.

He took a cue from some of the other men he noticed on Castro Street and in the bar and adjusted his outfit. He wore the same jeans and brown harness boots, but with a tight-fitting white t-shirt and a soft brown leather vest.

“You ready to go?” he asked, stomping down the stairs and sticking his head around the corner into the kitchen where Charlie sat on the counter drinking water from her bowl.

“Meow,” she replied and hopped onto his shoulder.

Siku found the Uber driver to be much less chatty than the one from the previous night, and he didn’t even bat an eye at Charlie’s presence on his shoulder. He still gave the man five stars and a nice tip, because at least he wasn’t an asshole.

He walked through the door, and a chorus of men’s voices at the end of the bar yelled a greeting.

“Siku! Charlie!”

“Oh, hey guys,” Siku said walking over to the group. “I wanted to apologize for walking out last night without saying goodbye. That was rude of me. I was just so excited to have met Colt…”

“Excited,” Wayne said with a grin, sipping his beer, “That’s one name for it.”

“So how was he?” Grant asked. “Dish the dirt, honey.”

“I was surprised to meet him here,” Siku replied, “We actually… have friends in common. He’s promised to introduce me to some of the other guys in our overlapping social circles.”

“Hmm. Interesting,” Simon said. “But how was he in the sack?”

“Oh,” Siku said, “It was fun. A bit rough for my taste. He’s into asphyxiation, which I’ve discovered isn’t my thing, especially when I’m the one being asphyxiated.”

“And how much did he charge?” Rodney mumbled under his breath.

“He didn’t charge me anything!” Siku snapped. “Look, I know that he’s a prostitute, but this was simply welcoming a new friend to the city. I’m not one of his clients!”

“Okay,” Rodney said, “I’m sorry for implying that you needed to pay for it. Obviously, you could get a date from anybody in here.”

“I have a date tomorrow, in fact.” Siku said, “Shivay, the Indian gentleman who I was talking to last night before Colt arrived.”

“You actually landed a date with that closet-case?” Grant said. “I hope you’re not looking for a relationship. You’d have to label that one as ‘it’s complicated’ on your social media pages.”

“I don’t know what it is yet,” Siku said, “But I thought he was interesting, and I wanted to get to know him a little better. He’s technically engaged… to a woman… but it’s an arranged marriage set up by his parents. He hasn’t told his family that he’s gay. I thought he could use some advice and guidance before making a huge mistake.”

“Honey,” Grant replied, “I don’t think you want to get involved in busting up his engagement. His culture has a long-standing tradition of sending their miserable homos down the aisle to marry miserable wives and have miserable children. It’s just the way it is.”

“I’m not necessarily breaking up his engagement,” Siku said, signaling Logan the bartender to bring him a beer. “I’m just making us some salmon for dinner and maybe taking a little walk on the beach is all.”

“Mmm hmm,” Maury said, “I know that look. You think he’s going to get one taste of your trouser trout and he’s going to come screaming out of the closet mounted on the back of a rainbow unicorn riding on a Pride Parade float surrounded by jockstrap-clad leathermen. I’m telling you, honey, it never works out in the end.”

Siku looked back at Maury with a blank expression, blinking.

“Siku?” Maury asked, waving his hand in front of the big man’s eyes.

“Oh, sorry,” Siku replied. “I was just picturing Shivay mounted on the back of a rainbow unicorn on a Pride Parade float surrounded by jockstrap clad leathermen, and I lost my train of thought.”

“Oy,” Murray replied, “He’s a lost cause. Have fun with your engaged boyfriend, honey.”

“Come on,” Siku said, “He’s just a confused guy who’s interesting to talk to, and we’re going to have a nice dinner.”

“Riiight,” Simon said. “You’re setting yourself up to be his side piece after he gets married to his arranged bride.”

“I promise,” Siku said, standing up straight and raising his right hand. “If things with Shivay start getting serious, I will come to the five of you and seek your guidance first.”

“Are you going to fuck on your little dinner date tomorrow?” Grant asked.

“Probably,” Siku replied. “It is a first date after all. I always fuck on the first date. That’s how I know whether or not I want to have a second date.”

“Are you going to have a second date with Colt?” Rodney asked.

“One-on-one?” Siku said, “Probably not. I think I’ll play it safe and only have sex with Colt again if it’s in a group situation.”

The five men stood staring a Siku with their jaws agape, trying to decide if he was serious.

Siku looked to his left and saw Logan the bartender with his beer. Logan had picked up the last bit of that conversation and he now also stood there on his side of the bar with his eyes glazed over and his mouth hanging open.

“I love you,” Logan mumbled softly.

“What was that?” Siku asked taking the beer out of his hand.

“On the house!” Logan shouted, coming back to reality. “The beer! It’s on the house!”

Logan hurried back down to the other end of the bar and the six men erupted in laughter.

“Maybe I should throw that hungry cub a bone,” Siku said.

“And throw him your bone?” Wayne asked.

The six men laughed uproariously again and clinked their beers together in the middle of their circle.


“Mother,” Shivay said, standing in the door to his mother’s private sitting room. His father spent most of his time at home in the garage, tinkering with old clocks in much the same manner that he tinkered with his patients’ hearts at the hospital, but even in the crowded conditions in the family home, his mother maintained a private sanctuary to herself, and even the cubs respected her boundaries and left her alone while she was in her sitting room, meditating or reading.

“What is it my son?” she asked, looking up from her work. She had a beautiful silk sari in her lap and was meticulously embroidering it in the opulent Zardozi style with threads of gold and silver, embellishing the needlework with pearls and small precious stones.

“I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be going into the city again tomorrow. I’ll be leaving in the late morning and probably won’t be home again until very late in the evening.”

“And what is the purpose of this trip?” she asked, coolly.

“Siku, the polar werebear that I met last night has invited me to see his home in Sea Cliff and to dinner. He is new in the city and was exited to meet another lycan. He would like to be my friend.”

She sat for several seconds staring into her son’s eyes, considering what he had just said. Finally, she looked down and lifted the embroidered sari from her lap.

“Shivay, do you see this sari that I have been working on so diligently for the last several months?”

“Yes mother,” Shivay replied, “It is quite beautiful. If you were not a doctor you could have been a talented embroidery artist.”

“This is the sari that I will wear, as the mother of the groom, to your wedding. It is rather symbolic of the time and care that your father and I have put into raising you, providing you with additional opportunities and carefully planning for your successful life, is it not?”

“Yes mother,” Shivay replied, “You have crafted a beautiful life for me.”

“I want you to remember this sari and the embroidery that I have created here when you are having dinner with the werebear,” she said, giving her son an icy stare. “Do not allow your actions to bring dishonor upon our family. That would be akin to using this sari as a rag to wipe the feces from your posterior.

“Do you understand me?”

“Yes, mother.” Shivay replied, his head drooped low.

“Does this bear understand your Hindu dietary requirements?”

“He is preparing a meal of fresh salmon, mother.”

“Then go if you must,” she replied. “I will not wait up for you. I trust that I have made myself clear in how your responsibility to this family is hinged upon your behavior. Do not disappoint me.”

Copyright © 2021 Grumpy Bear; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

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Chapter Comments

I'm not digging colt at all, while he is reminiscent of axel and how he was initially, I'm thinking he's bad news.

Shivay is cool, did not see a tiger and polar bear coming together, although there is one story on here...😂 

Charlie is awesome, not the shifter i was hoping for but she's growing on me. 

Shivay's mother: 🔪🔪🔪😡

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10 hours ago, Grumpy Bear said:

Date night is already written, and when I go back to proofread it, even I'm like...

Flirty Reaction GIF

Well that sounds interesting! Now I'm really looking forward to date night as well - sounds like it's going to be hot hot hot!!!

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Logan is a kick and a fun one to tease.  The bar conversations was great.  Shivay's mom may be a nice lady, but knows how to manipulate his guilt. I honestly think that Siku and Shivay will become friends and confidants, but not mates.  I do hope that Shivay can also find a mate of his own and leave his family without regrets. Colt's only purpose in this should be the guy who connect Siku with the other bears in town.  He may eventually be a good guy like Axel, but he still has a long way to go.  I do hope the date works well for both of them and is very hot as promised.

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