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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.

Worlds Apart - 14. Domestic Bliss

Siku woke when the alarm went of at five o’clock, and he quickly turned it off, extracting himself from between Shivay and Charlie and padding silently to the bathroom to shower and get ready for the day.

When he emerged fifteen minutes later with a towel draped across his shoulders, the bed was empty, and he detected the smell of turkey bacon and eggs cooking in the kitchen below. He smiled and strode through to the closet to put on his fishing pants and a turtleneck sweater over his customary jockstrap. He had left his rubber boots down by the main door when he had gotten home the night before, and so he padded barefoot down the stairs, staying quiet so that he could see what his tiger was up to.

Shivay bustled in the kitchen, slicing a loaf of crusty bread and making turkey bacon and egg sandwiches. Charlie sat in her spot on the counter, eating breakfast tuna from her bowl.

“Oh, Siku!” Shivay said when he noticed the bear grinning at him from the kitchen doorway and reaching for a travel mug. “Here’s your coffee. I’ve made your breakfast. Two to-go egg and bacon sandwiches… I hope that is something you’d like.”

“The last time somebody made me bacon and egg sandwiches before my shift on a fishing boat,” Siku said, “It was my very good friend Gunnar, who gave me this house. He is the kindest bear that I know, and this morning, you remind me of his kindness and thoughtfulness.”

Shivay smiled and blushed, looking down at the floor.

“I just didn’t want you to leave hungry,” he said. “I also packed last night’s leftovers for your lunch, along with a few sweet pastries I found with your other baked goods, and a small container of tuna for Charlie’s lunch.”

He wrapped the breakfast sandwiches in waxed paper and added them to the top of the canvas tote bag from the grocery store containing the rest of his lunch before handing it to Siku.

Siku pulled the tiger into his arms, pulling him against his chest. He leaned his head down and gave him a deep kiss, feeling himself growing hard at Shivay’s touch.

Shivay held onto the bear tightly as they kissed and he felt Siku’s manhood hardening against his stomach as they embraced.

“Save that for tonight,” Shivay said with a grin, reaching to squeeze the bear’s erection as their kiss ended. “No playtime with the humans at lunch!”

“Yes, love,” Siku replied, and he released Shivay from his embrace and scooped his boots up at the door.

“Charlie!” he called, “Time for work! Come along, Ship’s Cat!”

Charlie hopped from the counter and ran across the foyer like an orange streak before climbing onto Siku’s shoulder.

“I’ll be home by five-thirty,” he said to the tiger. “Have a good first day working from home!”

“I will,” Shivay replied. “I think I’m going to like this new arrangement very much! Take care and be safe!”

Siku kissed him quickly one last time and then left the house for the drive to the Wharf.

****

Shivay found that he enjoyed working from a home office more than he expected he would. Part of that, he was sure, was the fact that he had the whole massive house to himself, without nine other family members getting in his way, and over the course of the day, he transformed the old butler’s quarters into a comfortable and efficient office space.

He began working at six, shortly after seeing Siku off to work, and dove into his current project. Before he even realized it, lunchtime had come and gone, and it was one o’clock in the afternoon. He usually enjoyed taking a break and going out of the office for lunch with a few coworkers, but he couldn’t help but feel satisfied at the amount of work that he was able to accomplish simply by focusing within a distraction-free environment. He went to the kitchen and rummaged in the fridge, deciding to pan-fry a snapper fillet, and paired it with some fresh fruit and yogurt. Thirty minutes later he was back to work and by four in the afternoon, he stopped to review what he had accomplished.

He compared his progress against the project schedule and realized that he had not only completed the work scheduled to be done for today, but in his enthusiasm, he had finished tomorrow’s scheduled tasks as well. He wrote up a status report and sent it off to the Project Manager and John, his supervisor, and went to the kitchen to make himself a cup of coffee.

When he returned to his desk, he had received a response from John, overflowing with praise for his productivity. John replied that upper management had decided to use Shivay’s current remote-work status as a Beta test in employee efficiency, and that if he continued to have days like today, they were almost sure to expand the program and extend the same opportunity to more of the staff. He told Shivay to go ahead and knock-off early for the day with his thanks and compliments.

With an hour before Siku would be returning home, he decided to get started on dinner. He had an idea that he thought the bear would really enjoy, but in going through the cupboards, Siku was missing many of the necessary spices required to make the dish.

Instead, he took two whole chickens and spatchcocked them, removing the backbone and laying them flat onto a large sheet pan. He seasoned them with the spices available, some paprika, cardamom, ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt, and pepper and put them in the oven to roast. Once that was done, he made a large bowl of kachumber, a cold salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and radishes.

As he peeked into the oven to check on the chickens, his phone rang. It was Siku telling him that the fishing was done for the day, and that he and Charlie were on their way home.

“Siku,” Shivay said, “I want to make a special dinner for you tomorrow, but I need some ingredients that you don’t have here at home. Can you stop at the store on your way?”

“No problem,” Siku replied, “Give me your list.”

Shivay recited the ingredients and had Siku recite it back to him to make sure that he had all the Indian names correct, then he set the table and poured himself a rum to relax until his bear came home.

****

When Siku arrived, he was laughing a bit as he entered the foyer with his canvas tote bags from the neighborhood grocery store.

“Welcome home, Papa Bear,” Shivay said, giving him a hug and a kiss. “Whew! You need to shower before dinner, but first you need to tell me what’s so funny.”

“Oh,” Siku said, “It’s Gordon, the manager of the grocery store. Every time I go in there to shop, he has to tell me that there are no cats allowed in the store, and every time I promise not to bring Charlie in there anymore. And then the next time I come in to shop, she’s sitting up there on my shoulder again. I think it’s starting to drive him a little crazy.”

Siku handed the shopping bags over to the tiger, who examined the contents and nodded in approval.

“Do I smell chicken?” Siku asked. “Fuck me, but that smells delicious.”

“You get in the shower and wash the fish stink off you,” Shivay replied, “And then I’ll think about fucking you after dinner!”

Siku washed up and changed into some loose-fitting cotton shorts and a t-shirt and joined his tiger for dinner. Shivay cut the pair of chickens into quarters and took two quarters for himself, leaving the other six quarters for his hungry bear.

After dinner, they relaxed in the den, and talked about their respective days. Siku’s boat had hit a major biomass of Pacific cod and they were busy all day hauling their nets and getting the catch iced down. Shivay told Siku of the praise from his supervisor, and of how well he was able to work in his new private office in the old butler’s quarters.

Talking turned to kissing and kissing soon turned to lovemaking as the pair retired to the bedroom and enjoyed a long, leisurely fuck before spooning on the bed and falling into a pleasant sleep.

****

The next morning was Thursday, and it was Siku’s last day of work before he would be off for the weekend. Shivay got up with the bear and made breakfast again as Siku showered and dressed for the day.

Once Siku and Charlie were off to the Wharf, Shivay made himself a cup of coffee and went into his office to check his email and his workload for the day. To his surprise, he found that the Project Manager had revised the schedule due to his getting two days’ worth of tasks done yesterday, and that he had actually taken programming tasks away from Gandira and had given them to Shivay to complete instead.

“That isn’t going to sit well with Gandira,” Shivay said to himself with a smile. “Too bad.”

He threw himself into his work, and at noon his phone beeped an alarm to remind him to take a break to eat and prepare the doughs for tonight’s special dinner, since they each needed time to rest before being used in the next steps of the cooking process.

All afternoon, Shivay divided his time between intense hours of work and short breaks to perform the next steps in his elaborate dinner preparations. By four o’clock he once again reviewed his progress and noted that he had accomplished more work than the project schedule called for in a single day. He sent his status report to the Project Manager and to John and his supervisor, who immediately responded with congratulations and more encouragement.

Shivay asked John how Gandira took the news that some of his current project work had been taken away and given to him instead, and John replied that it had made for an uncomfortable encounter in his office that morning.

“I think I know now who must have been giving you a hard time this week,” John wrote. “In the end, I had to tell Gandira that if he spent more time during business hours working and less time running about the office to gossip about you, then he might actually see the kind of recognition that you are receiving now.”

Shivay sat back from his computer with a grin and went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and finish preparing his dinner.

He was nearly done when he got the call from his bear that fishing was done for the day, and he and Charlie were on their way home. Shivay replied that dinner was nearly ready, and he should hurry home for a big surprise.

He finished the last of his creations, and set the table, carrying two big platters of food. One filled with fried Indian samosas that Siku loved so well from their dinner, and the other with steamed momo dumplings that the bear had said he could eat until he burst. He was excited to see Siku’s face as they shared their dinner of bite-sized savory morsels.

Just as everything was set and in place, there was a knock at the door.

“Siku?” Shivay yelled, “Is that you? Come on in!”

Instead of the door opening, the knock was repeated.

Shivay looked up in frustration and wondered who could be knocking so close to dinnertime. He strode through the foyer and opened the door, coming face-to-face with his father.

****

“Honey, I’m home!” Siku yelled with a chuckle as he came through the door.

“I’m in the dining room, Siku,” Shivay called back. “We have an unexpected guest.”

Siku walked through the main floor into the dining room. There he saw two heaping platters filled with the samosas and momo dumplings that he had enjoyed so much on their dinner date. Shivay must have been working all day to make these for him.

He also saw another Indian man, with much the same features as Shivay himself with the exception that the other man was clean shaven.

“Siku,” Shivay said, “I would like to introduce you to my father. Father, this… is Siku.”

“And the proud orange cat upon his shoulder?” Shivay’s father asked.

“Her name is Charlie,” Siku replied. “I would shake your hand, sir, but I have just gotten off work from the fishing boat. Please allow me time to wash up before we enjoy the wonderful dinner that your son has prepared.”

Shivay’s father nodded his head and Siku turned toward the staircase. Charlie, however, leapt from his shoulder and ran over to sit upon Shivay’s shoulder instead, scrutinizing the guest with no whiskers on his face.

“How did you find me, father,” Shivay said, “And why have you come? Are you here to bring me back home? To make me grovel to mother for forgiveness?”

“A father has his ways of keeping tabs on his cubs,” the tiger said. “And I have not come here to bring you home or make you grovel. There are things that I need to speak to you about. To you and your bear, together.”

He looked at the large platters of food.

“Were you expecting other company tonight?”

“No,” Shivay said defiantly. “Siku has the appetite of a bear. I introduced him to Indian and Nepalese food on… our first dinner date, and these were his favorites. I made these myself today especially for him, but you are welcome to join us.”

Father and son sat looking at each other across the table uncomfortably. Charlie turned and meowed into Shivay’s ear before leaping to her place at the table, and he excused himself to go to the refrigerator and retrieve her bowl of fresh, raw tuna.

“She was impatient for her dinner,” Shivay explained to his father, setting the bowl in front of her. “She may as well begin while we wait for Siku.”

“I’m here!” Siku said, walking through the doorway from the living room. He was freshly showered, and wearing a pair of cotton Thai fisherman’s pants, cinched around his waist, and a clean, white t-shirt.

He strode into the room and Shivay’s father stood to greet him. They shook hands, and Siku pulled the man into a brief hug, allowing each of them a moment to scent the other.

“Thank you for visiting our home, sir,” Siku said, detecting no anger or malice in his scent.

“Please,” the tiger replied, “Call me Nameer.”

“Will you join us for dinner, Nameer?” Siku asked, “Your son seems to have worked hard today to prepare my favorites from his cultural cuisine, and there is enough to share!”

“I would like that,” Nameer replied, “And after we eat, I must speak to you both. It is very important to me that I speak the truth.”

“Of course,” Siku said. “Now, let’s sit and eat.”

Siku walked around the table to sit next to Shivay, and they allowed Nameer to fill his plate first. Siku nodded at Shivay and he took a healthy portion of the samosas and momos for himself before Siku piled his plate full and began to eat heartily.

“Oh, babe,” Siku said, turning and kissing Shivay on the cheek between mouthfuls, “These may be even better than the ones at Dancing Yak!”

“Oh, stop,” Shivay said, smiling. “I’m an amateur in the kitchen, but I will admit that I got better at crimping the momos the more I made.”

“I’m just glad you made enough for a bear!” Siku said, grinning and looking over at Nameer. “When we ate at Dancing Yak, I told your son that I would be happy eating these dumplings till I burst! It seems that he took me quite literally!”

Nameer smiled.

“Shivay was always a good cub,” he said.

“Until recently, it would seem,” Shivay added, with a frown.

“Hey,” Siku said, turning to his tiger, “I don’t think your father has come here to argue and make war tonight. Let’s hear what he has to say.”

Siku turned back to Nameer.

“Sir, I think I’ve eaten my fill for the night. It would seem that your son is ready to hear you speak your truth.”

“When I was just a boy of fifteen,” Nameer began, “I was arranged to be married to your mother, who at the time, was just a child no more than five years old. I knew already then that I wanted to become a doctor, and I studied hard with my best friend Khuram. When we reached the age of eighteen, Khuram and I went to University together, and then to medical school. We shared an apartment while we worked our way through school and we supported each other.

“I don’t think I would have gotten through those years at University living in secret among the humans if I didn’t have my best friend and fellow weretiger with me during that time. In a way, I owe much of my success to my… friendship with him.

“After receiving my doctorate and entering my first year of residency, I was twenty-six and your mother was sixteen. The families decided that it was time for us to marry.

“Khuram didn’t take the news that I would be moving out from our shared apartment and into a home with my bride very well. He begged me to forsake your mother and stay with him.

“You see, Khuram was more than my friend. He was my lover, and my soulmate. What began as innocent boyhood sexual experimentation soon became a passionate love affair once we were away from our families and on our own at University.

“However, I felt I had a duty to my family, to carry on the traditions, and the legacy of our weretiger bloodline, so I married your mother, and thought that it would be the end of my time living as a homosexual… as a gay man.

“But things are not always so easy to end once they’ve begun. Your mother and I had not been married a year yet when I reached out to Khuram again. I missed his warmth, his strength, and his love. He transferred his residency to my hospital and we resumed our affair in secret, locking ourselves in empty rooms in the hospital during our lunch breaks, meeting in his apartment, and even meeting at my home when your mother would be away for several hours, shopping.

“However, I soon found that your mother is no fool. No matter how diligently I washed and cleaned after one of my trysts with Khuram, she could always faintly detect his scent, and… his semen on me and in our bed.

“One day when Khuram and I were both off work, she announced that she would be traveling to a nearby town for a full day to go on a special shopping trip. So, as soon as she had left the house in the morning, Khuram arrived, and we proceeded to make love in my marriage bed. However, the shopping trip was a ruse, and your mother returned, finding the two of us in bed together. She shifted into her tiger and proceeded to rip Khuram to pieces before my very eyes. Khuram did not fight back, his guilt and shame for sleeping with a married man caused him to accept his fate and he died, right there in my bed.

“Your mother turned her rage upon me next. She informed me that any further dalliances with other men were to cease immediately. Her terms for not reporting my behavior to the weretiger community at large and filing for divorce were that I was to pay for her to go to University and medical school, so that she might be able to support herself successfully if I ever strayed again. I was also to mate with her whenever she requested or desired it, and we were to produce no fewer than two cubs. She went on to demand that if one of our cubs were a male, that we were to leave India and relocate to the new weretiger community in America where her son would have better opportunities.

“I agreed to her terms, and shortly after you were born, we moved here to California as she demanded.

“To this day, I have never stopped grieving for Khuram in my heart. If I could go back and choose differently, it is possible that I might choose to leave my family and my arranged bride and stay with Khuram forever, but then I would not have you… my beloved son.

“So, now you know the true story of your mother. Why she is the dominant force in our household and makes all the decisions for the family. You can also now understand her reaction when she discovered that you had taken a male lover, just as I had also done so many years ago.

“Now, you are faced with the same decision. Follow your heart and stay with your lover or return to your family and your arranged bride and live a life of… domestic bliss. I do not envy you the burden of this choice, but I wanted you to face it with the full understanding of the history of your family, and hopefully learn from your father’s choice.

“If you choose to stay here, I hope that you will find room in your heart to keep your poor father in your life. I have met all your mother’s terms over the course of our marriage. She can prevent me from finding another lover of my own, but she cannot keep me from seeing my own cub, even if she herself has banished him from her presence.”

Nameer ended his tale, and he looked down at the table, nervously picking up an extra samosa off the platter and nibbling at it.

“Father,” Shivay said, “I… I had no idea. I knew that you and mother were not extremely close in your relationship, and that you preferred to spend most of your free time in the garage, tinkering with your clocks… but I never suspected that you shared the same attraction to men!”

“I have kept it well hidden,” Nameer replied, “As your mother has demanded from me.”

“This is a lot for the two of you to process,” Siku said gently. “Why don’t I give the two of you some privacy?”

“No,” Nameer replied, “I actually want to speak to you alone first, Siku. There is something important that I must ask you before I can accept my son’s decision with a clear conscience.”

“Why don’t you take father out onto the back terrace,” Shivay said, standing and gathering the dinner plates. “I will finish clearing up here while you two talk.”

Shivay quickly hurried with his stack of plates into the kitchen and Siku saw him standing in front of the sink, eyes closed and breathing heavily.

“Follow me, Nameer,” Siku said and led the older tiger to the stairs leading to the basement. They walked through the game room and out onto the terrace. Nameer walked up to the wall at the edge and looked out at the view and down the side of the cliff to the cove with amazement.

“This house and its stairs built into the cliff face are an engineering marvel,” he said with a smile on his face. “Tell me, Siku, how old are you exactly?”

“I am a bit over six hundred years old,” Siku replied. “We didn’t have accurate calendars in the Arctic back in the early years, so I have to go with an approximate number.”

“You must have saved a lot of money over the course of your long life to afford a magnificent house such as this.”

“Sir,” Siku replied, “I will be honest. The house is owned by a close werebear friend. His Mate was over one thousand years old and extremely wealthy before he died in an accident, and in the last two centuries of his life, he acquired real estate all across the country. This house and land were purchased over one hundred years ago, when the Sea Cliff neighborhood was first being developed.

“In recent years, I have seen most of my long-time friends finding Cubs to raise or bonding with Mates. I began to feel lonely and wished to find a Cub or Mate of my own. My friend gave me this house for as long as I wish to live here and encouraged me to come to California on my search.”

“So you, personally,” Nameer said, “Are not wealthy.”

“I am comfortable,” Siku replied, “And can support both myself and Shivay, should he choose to stay, but I do not personally have the millions of dollars that would be necessary to purchase this grand home myself at today’s value.”

“It would seem, what you may lack in financial wealth,” Nameer said, “You make up for in a wealth of close friends who would give anything to ensure your happiness.”

Siku nodded and he looked out onto the water.

“Is that what you wished to ask me?” Siku asked now. “About my finances?”

“No,” Nameer replied. “I merely asked that as a test to see if you would be depending upon my son to be the breadwinner in your household. I don’t suppose that he’s told you of his savings since graduating from the University and joining the workforce.”

“No,” Siku said, “Other than telling me not to worry about eating too much when he offered to take me out to dinner!”

“I will let him reveal that to you in his own time then. Again, it is not finances that I am concerned about.”

“Nameer,” Siku finally said, “If there is a more important question to ask, please say it. I assure you that whatever it is, I will not be offended.”

Nameer sighed and turned away from Siku, looking out at the water.

“Tell me, great bear,” Nameer said, “Do you love him?”

Siku saw a tear falling down the tiger’s face as he asked and his heart went out to this father, who simply needed an assurance that his only son would be happy.

“Sir,” Siku replied, “I have only known your son for a week, but in that time, I can tell you that I have fallen deeply in love with him. I came to California expecting to find another bear as my Mate or Cub and was not expecting a tiger to complete me as well as Shivay. He is my other half, my Mate, and if I have to fight his mother to claim him as my own, I will surely do so.”

Nameer turned back to Siku now, and the bear saw that the tears flowed freely down his cheeks. He walked over to the bear quickly and took him into his arms in a tight embrace.

“You have my blessing, son,” Nameer said. “Take good care of my cub, and please allow a foolish, old tiger to be a part of your lives together.”

“You’re not old,” Siku said with a chuckle hugging the tiger in return. “How old do weretigers live, anyway?”

“The oldest recorded tiger was a thousand years old,” Nameer replied, “But in the past, life was difficult, and war was common. We do not fully know what our life expectancy may be in the modern age.”

“And you, yourself are not yet one hundred?” Siku asked next, releasing the tiger and looking at him.

“No!” Nameer replied with a smile. “I am in my seventies. Only my wife’s parents are over a hundred in our household.”

“In my world,” Siku said, “You would still be considered a Cub! It seems to me that you have fulfilled your commitment to your wife. You have given her the cubs that she has demanded and have given her the means to have her own career. The question for you is if you want to continue living the next nine hundred years in your facsimile of domestic bliss, or if you are ready to be true to yourself and find a real Mate of your own!”

Nameer cast his eyes downward.

“I’m afraid that I am not quite as brave as my son,” he said, “At least not yet. Time will tell. Perhaps if I spend enough time with such a fine gay couple as the two of you, I may yet find the courage within myself to break out of the burden of tradition.”

Siku nodded and placed his hand on the tiger’s shoulder.

“Let’s go back inside,” he said. “Please… do not speak to Shivay yet of what we have discussed. He has not yet permitted me to tell him of my love, wanting me to wait until the week of his trial banishment was over and he had made his decision whether to stay with me or return to his mother.”

“I understand,” Nameer said, “This will remain between us for now, but I hope you do not mind that I call you… my son.”

“Only if I may call you father,” Siku replied, and they hugged once again before walking back into the house to find the young tiger they both loved.

Copyright © 2021 Grumpy Bear; All Rights Reserved.
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Grumpy Bear's Werebear Tales

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.
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Well, I guess that’s not so much of a surprise with an arranged marriage.  Not that Nameer is gay, but that there isn’t any real affection between them.  Shivay’s mother is an extremely strong personality to take control as she did. Was she an only child?  Wouldn’t be surprised.  I loved how Charlie was so protective of Shivay and leery of his father until they really knew what was going on with him! :gikkle:

I’m sure Siku certainly didn’t expect to find a weretiger as his mate!  Are the rest of the Lycans aware that they exist, let alone they are in California?  I know they settled in the no-man’s-land between the two major packs there. How big is their community?  It will be interesting to see the reactions from Atikokan! We’ll have to see about the Council, but I think they will be open to this ‘new’ community.

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My heart duh-ropped when Shivay's father was at the door! So elated Nameer wasn't there to cause a scene, but man his story is a sad one. 

This upcoming party isn't going to end well. 

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@Grumpy Bearjust WOW!

What an absolute stormer of a chapter followed up by your own personal story in this comments section (I'm so glad it worked out for you and your husband).

Shivay's mother is going to cause trouble for all concerned I'm sure.

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