Joshua hasn't seen Beo since their days at university, but when he gets word Beo needs him, their political differences can't keep him from rushing to his friend's side. But Beo's been caught in the crossfire of a magical counter-attack intended to repel invasive nanoprobes, and he's not the same man Josh remembers. For one thing, now he's a bear shifter. For another? He can no longer deny how much he's always wanted Josh.
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Skinshift: Bear Bait
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 Carlanime Bligh
The little old lady was already unlocking the doors, which two grim-faced men swung open -- but only, he noticed, partially open, as though they were preventing anyone from rushing in. Or from escaping, he thought uneasily. Just how bad a condition was Beo in, exactly? The email had mentioned depression and turmoil. Had that been meant as an euphemism for "deranged"?
He stepped into the cool, dark interior of the church. St. Achilleus was small but solidly built, a perfect example of mid-twenty-second century Gothic revivalism, designed less for beauty than to provide sanctuary during the waves of riots and militia crackdowns. Nevertheless, there were unexpected grace notes: a flourish of hand-carved faces and flowers adorning the pews and altar screen, small but perfect stained glass windows placed high enough to be immune from vandalism, lovingly bound gilt and leather hymnals. Joshua, always attuned to beauty, felt himself relax in spite of the alien beliefs held here. This was a sacred space by virtue of its importance to the people it belonged to; he could respect that, even if he couldn't quite share it.
Much like his youthful interactions with Beo, he thought ruefully. They'd never seen eye-to-eye, to put it mildly, but there was no doubting the sincerity of his hulking, bearded friend. Beo had embodied kindness and reliability even as a young man, which had made it all the more infuriating, in Joshua's opinion, when he did incomprehensible things like voting Conservative. Or admiring the police. Or approving of modesty fads and back-to-the-homestead movements. As far as Josh was concerned, the whole patriarchal, traditional-values shtick was just a series of excuses to disenfranchise anyone different. It had driven him nuts that someone he liked as much as Beo could support any of it.
The doors swung shut behind him, and to his dismay Josh heard the tumblers of the lock falling into place as the key turned. With no time for him to react, there was a movement in the shadows and Beo stepped forward, as huge as Josh remembered -- a full half foot taller than Josh's own six-feet-two inches and as broad as a lineman. He was uncharacteristically unkempt, his hair and thick beard disheveled, his shirt untucked.
His eyes gleamed. "Joshua." His voice was hoarse, as if from disuse. "I never believed you would really come here."
And then he wrapped his arms around Josh and lifted him, holding him close. The heat radiating from his body was incredible. Josh, his arms pinned to his side, was too startled to speak. Beo's hands shifted, grabbing Josh's ass, and Josh found himself straddling Beo's waist for balance. He blushed, unable to believe this was happening. To his intense confusion, he felt Beo's erection, huge and hard, rubbing against his own crotch.
"Beo." He managed to get the word out and then couldn't think of a single thing to say. Beo seemed oblivious, or, at least, unconcerned. His huge hands pulled Josh even more firmly against his body as he nuzzled Josh's neck affectionately. Josh's own cock responded now as the sensations flooded him -- Beo's warm, moist breath, the strength of his grasping hands, and most of all that enormous erection, rubbing insistently against Josh's.