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Two Bears are Better Than One

By:Lynn Red


“When in doubt, just read something written by someone crazier than you are. Pretty much always makes me feel better.”


“Doctor Appleton?” the voice called to her over the lab’s intercom. There was a slight tingle of static on the end of the words. The place was about fifty years too old to be presentable, and the fuzz on the PA was the first thing any visitor noticed.

Jill Appleton put down the latest edition of The Fortean Times, which happened to contain a round-table discussion about whether Bigfoot was an alien, some kind of interdimensional traveler, the missing link, or just a boring, never-found creature. She’d been looking forward to this for a while. Not because she bought into it, come on – she’s a real scientist with a real degree – but because there’s something undeniably amazing about people who believe things so strongly that they’ll defend them until their dying breath.

Even if that thing is Bigfoot being a time traveling space alien.

Jill had her own things. Everyone does.

“Doctor Appleton? You’re needed in the lab as soon as you can get away from whatever you’re doing. Doctor Stanton needs your help in the biology lab.”

“Oh my God, shut up,” Jill threw her lab coat over the speaker on her desk and gritted her teeth.

From out of nowhere, another of the flashes hit her square in the stomach.

Deep inside, she felt a wave of warm that ran up her spine, and then a tingle of cool that prickled her body to life.

These had been coming more and more recently, and subsequently, so had she.

But at work? Right when she was supposed to show up for a meeting? She shook her head, trying to fight the feeling, but it was no good. Not at all.

Without really thinking about it, she slid her hand under her skirt and flattened her palm against the soft cotton of her panties. She ground at herself, biting her lip to keep quiet. Whatever had lodged itself in her brain wasn’t going to let go of her. Maybe it was the long dry-spell? Maybe it was the immensely long hours in the lab?

No, it was pretty much definitely the long, long dry spell.

The walls in this place were old cinderblock, but still, if she started carrying on the way she’d been lately, that wasn’t any insurance against her screaming.

A finger slid inside, and she gasped. Heat boiled up inside her, sending a drop of sweat running down the side of her face, where it soaked into her half-buttoned dress-shirt. Her glasses were so fogged up that she had to take them off, closing her eyes and leaning back in her overly expensive, but still somehow squeaky, office chair.

Curling her fingers, she lurched forward and grabbed the other side of the desk, steadying herself against the bolted-down lab table, her hand leaving a wet mark every time she let go and gripped again.

She clenched her eyes shut, and ground her teeth, letting the slow, hard circles of her palm take her away from the lab, away from the city, to a place far, far away.

A place she’d been seeing lately, in dreams that were too real to be entirely dreams.

Two creatures, massive ones, stood up in front of her. Their bear-like features reduced, their claws withdrew, and their bodies shrank down, leaner and hard, corded with thick muscle.

The two men watched her, their eyes drinking in the curves of her body as she writhed back and forth against the imagined cave wall. Another finger slid in beside the first, sending a chill up her stomach that pebbled her nipples, as Jill opened her mouth to whisper a name.

When her lips opened, the sound that came out was just a long, lingering hiss. How could she call a name she didn’t know?

In her fantasy, one of the two tattooed, scruffy men took a step forward. The other did as well, but the first placed a hand on his chest to hold him at bay. “Not yet,” he whispered. “She is marked for both of us, but there’s no reason to scare the girl.”

Another drop of sweat ran down the side of Jill’s face. She bit down harder into her lip, almost enough to taste blood. The sharp jab of pain just made her moan again as it mingled with the churning, deep, wrenching pleasure in her core.

“I’m... what?” her words came hard and hot and fast. The breath hitched in her throat, and her heart thudded against the inside of her chest. “Who are you?”

The nearer one reached for her, his fingertips tracing the line of her chin, then trickling down her neck. How was this all so real? This wild fantasy, these two men... how was she playing with herself at work? What in the world had happened to her these past two weeks? She hardly even recognized herself.

But... she kinda liked the new Jill.

She shoved her hips forward, and tilted her body so her hand was underneath her, the pressure on her clit intense.

“You’re ours,” the front man said.

“Both of ours,” the other added. They almost seemed to speak with one voice. “We belong to you, and you? To us.”

He touched a mark on his upper left chest. The hand on her neck began to dissipate.

Every time she had one of these visions or fantasies or hallucinations, they were more vivid, longer and more intense. And then when the vision vanished it hurt worse each time. Her body clenched at her fingers, pulling them deeper.

Her vision went white as the world melted. The two figures in front of her slid into the background of her mind. The fingers of the front one, on her collarbones, left a chill when they vanished into the mist of her mind.

Deep, aching pulses gnawed at Jill’s fingers. She held her breath, biting her lip. Pain, ecstasy, and exuberant joy all mixed together inside her, and came out in a long, trickling, sigh of an exhale.

For a second, she kept her eyes closed, stroking her throat where that mysterious man’s fingers had curled. She just breathed, focused on her own scent, on the pounding of her heart and the rise and fall of her own chest.

“Doctor Appleton?” that damn voice broke through again, muffled by her lab coat, but undeniably there, and getting more insistent by the second. “You’re needed immediately in the field lab. Doctor Stanton is looking for you in the field lab. Thank you.”

Jill pinched the bridge of her nose between her two index fingers and closed her eyes tight for just a second longer. She needed a second to breathe, to get back to herself.

Aside from the increasingly bizarre, intense visions, she’d been doing, well, this, more and more. Some unseen force moved her hands, heightened her awareness, and made her touch herself, no matter where she was. Something was speaking to her soul, reverberating inside her body, and she had absolutely no control over it.

“None at all,” she said with a sigh, leaning back in her squeaking chair again and looking at the ceiling. She traced her collarbone and let her fingers settle on the birthmark on her chest. “Was that what you were talking about?”

She shook her head. Here I am, sitting in a lab office, rubbing one out and then trying to make myself believe in some magic hoodoo bullshit. I know better than to fall into all this. I’m just tired, horny, and bored and that’s pretty much that. I should probably quit reading these magazines for one thing, and I should get a damn boyfriend for another.

As far as she was concerned, that was it. Jill was done with her imaginary friends, done with the whole thing. She had work to do, and she had a date to go on, and unless the guy was one hundred percent horrible, she’d be able to at least get a little bit of relief from her intensity.

One more deep breath calmed her enough to get up.

Jill’s knees still shook a little when she rose, but a drink of water helped to steel her nerves, and a handful of dry ice cream bon-bon candies did the rest of the trick. She grabbed her coat, because without it, how would anyone be sure she was actually a scientist? She almost forgot to grab her clipboard and pen, but luckily spun around and caught a glimpse of her stuff in time to get it without having to look stupid.

I’m worried about looking stupid. Really? I’m still flushed from having a self-session in my office, and I’m worried about looking like an idiot for forgetting a clipboard?

She collected her hair, twirled it up in a bun, and caught a glimpse of her chest. She’d had the mark on her chest for as long a she could remember. It never bothered her though; actually, never really occurred to her until three months ago when the visions or the dreams, or whatever they were, began.

Those bear men, they talked about it, referred to it as some kind of brand or something. She stared at it for a moment, the strange cross-hatch pattern against her lab-light-pale skin. Jill traced the pattern with her fingertip, remembering the words about being destined for those two huge, admittedly gorgeous, calendar-hunk looking guys.

Wouldn’t that just be the way?

She scoffed a laugh. “Somehow I doubt it,” she said under her breath, in her empty office, before the PA whined at her again to go immediately to the field lab.

“I’m coming,” she called into the nearest receiver. “Tell Stanton to hold onto himself.”

She didn’t realize what she said until her voice boomed back through the speakers, and Albertson, the jackass who worked next door to her, started chuckling. “Yeah,” he said as she walked past with her head down. “Hold onto himself, huh?”


“Good lord, Jill, I’m glad you could join us.”

Fred Stanton stared at her over the top of his square-framed glasses. His hair pulled back in a tight, thin ponytail that only barely brushed against the collar of his shirt, he had a jowly frown on his face that accentuated the lines on either side of his mouth.