NOTE: THIS BOOK WENT OUT OF PRINT IN 2017.
I may re-release my own story from it, "The Bear at the Bar", at a later date or in a different form.
An anthology from DSP: In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives?
Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold.
Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.
My story, The Bear at the Bar
Dex is the quintessential gym bunny. Everybody wants him, and everyone is jealous. But after a chance encounter with a bear at the bar, Dex awakens to find he’s no longer the gym-toned beauty he used to be.
And he discovers that everyone hated the old him. How can he get his old life back? And does he really want to?
Dex walked into Ransom on a Thursday night like he owned the place, grinning at the bouncer, who sneered at him even as he waved him past the door. Jealous. They were all jealous. The music was the usual thumpa thumpa beat—a mix of house techno and the latest hits this week from the youngest, cutest artists.
Dex was born for this life—tall, blond, blue-eyed, a beautiful athletic build with six-pack abs, and a body that everyone in the club acknowledged was gorgeous. And he hardly had to work for it at all.
And so what if he didn’t have a boyfriend? Who needed to be tied down like that? He was still well on this side of thirty and had a virtual lifetime of casual sex ahead of him.
He flashed a perfectly white smile at one of the go-go boys on the bar, and the boy blushed and grinned back. Dex had a certain kind of sexual power, and he wasn’t ashamed to use it.READ MORE
He slipped onto a barstool and grunted “beer” at the bartender. The man set down a pale ale, a local brew, his favorite. They knew him here. They knew him well. Many of them knew him very well.
Someone sat on the stool next to him, one of the fatties everyone was calling bears these days. Far as he was concerned, they were just fat. Fat and ugly, men who didn’t care enough to take care of themselves.
“Buy you a beer?” the guy asked.
“Sorry, dude, got one.”
“I’ve seen you in here before….”
“Not interested. Fuck off.” He pushed away from the bar and took his beer with him, ignoring the muttering of the man behind him.
He approached the go-go boy on the bar, a cute young twink with golden eyes who was maybe 18, and the guy leaned down to talk to him. “What time you get off?”
“That depends on you,” the boy said with a grin. “I finish work at one.”
“I can wait.” He slipped away into the crowd, finding a group of his friends dancing in the middle of the floor. Well, fuck buddies, anyway. He slipped in among them, sipping his beer and dancing his ass off, forgetting all about work tomorrow, his bills, and the rest of his life.
Someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around and saw the bear from the bar.
“Look, I just want to talk,” the bear said.
“I thought I told you to fuck off,” he said and started to turn away again.
The man grabbed him by the arm, and he felt an electric shock, like the worst static ever. “You shouldn’t treat people like that,” the bear said, sneering. “You don’t know who you’re messing with.”
And with that he let go of Dex’s arm and disappeared into the crowd.
Two hours later, Dex left the bar, go-go dancer on his arm, and forgot all about the bear at the bar.COLLAPSE
Author’s note: This was the first story I ever sold. When I started writing again, I looked through Dreamspinner’s calls for submissions on their anthologies page, and submitted something to everyone. Luckily for me, Anne Reagan and B.G. Thomas pulled my story out of the submissions stack… and the rest is history.