Her alarm was an evil demon from hell sent to make her life miserable. Melody smacked the travel clock to turn it off, then smacked it several more times just to teach it a lesson. Damn, she was tired! Killian really needed to give her a chance to sleep. As she stretched her aching body, a smile curved her lips. Her sexy bear had been at her mercy for once, and she reveled in the minor victory. Gathering her toiletries, she stumbled from her tent and muttered sleepy greetings to her crewmates on her way to her secluded stream.
She sat in the shallow water as she bathed, letting the icy current soothe her aching pussy from its recent, enthusiastic activities. While she was definitely not a thin, fragile woman, Killian wasn't a small man in any manner. He had to be over six feet tall, with broad shoulders, large hands, and muscular thighs beneath his breathtaking ass. His cock had been intimidating at first, thicker and longer than anything she’d seen outside a porno, and seemed to have only two modes of operation: hard and harder. Melody winced as she rinsed the lather from between her legs, but had to smile as well. She couldn't lie and say she didn't enjoy her lusty bear’s abandoned fits of lust. There was just that one little problem.
He. Was. A. Fucking. Bear!
If it was just that, she could probably adjust to it eventually. Some folks had unusual attributes, like her Great-Uncle the wolf-boy. Others had unusual habits and hobbies. A former co-worker was married to a guy who actually believed he was a member of Starfleet Command. But Killian didn't suffer from a hairy disease, nor did he just think he could turn into a bear. He actually could turn into a fucking bear, and he wanted her to become one, too!
She rose from the stream when her ass cheeks grew numb, and dried off with her small towel. As she stepped into her panties, she realized she needed to spend some time with her lover that didn't involve fucking like bunnies. Or bears. Or whatever. They needed to discuss plans, expectations, jobs… all the mundane shit that made a relationship something other than just a couple of horny encounters. She wasn't going to discount the mind-blowing sex - every step reminded her of how enjoyable that particular aspect had been - but she was a practical girl as well. She wasn't about to base her future, or give up being a card-carrying human, on Killian’s ability to make her come until she passed out.
She rinsed out her night clothes and considered her options. Majoring in anthropology with a specialization in unverified or lost species, Melody had spent three years with an archaeological company. She learned a lot and greatly respected her colleagues, but discovered that sweeping sand off millennia-old bones was simply not her thing. She enjoyed sand only when it trailed off into a frothy surf, something the desert decidedly lacked. So, when the network offered her a contract first as a consultant, and then as the dissenting voice, she fled that dig so fast she left a whirlwind in her wake. She really hoped it didn't trap her co-workers inside the old tomb; it would take them forever to dig out with those tiny shovels and toothbrushes.
She had been a bit disappointed with her experience with the television program. While it was an excellent job with great exposure, there was a distinct lack of job security. As the newest hire, she was the first to get the boot if ratings continued to drop. Which they would do if her ursine lover totally debunked the Alabama Bigfoot, as was his plan. She wondered if there was any kind of work in this area for a semi-famous anthropology research major? Again, something she needed to ask her bear before they got to the fun sexy-times.
Melody draped her wet things over her guy-lines to dry and headed for the food tent. One downside to her lusty encounters was a heightened appetite. If she wasn't careful, she would eat more than her share of the rations and have the crew accuse her of being pregnant. She started a pot of water for coffee and threw some sausage into the pan when the reality of her last thought filtered through her sleep-numbed mind. Pregnant. Holy. Fuck. They hadn't used any kind of protection during their X-rated aerobics. Sure, she was on the pill, but it wasn't foolproof. Adding some scrambled eggs and cheese to the pan, she wondered if condoms even came in his size. I bet the cashier would be either impressed or not believe he was for real. Knowing Killian, he would take it out and prove it to them. She snickered as she poured the hot water into the press.
“What’s got you so damn cheerful this morning, Kleptner?” Terry stumbled into the tent wearing nothing but a low-riding pair of knit shorts and scowl. The rising heat and high humidity left by the storm plastered the thin material to the older man’s body, outlining it in mouth-watering perfection. He might not be as large as her bear, but she would bet money that he was still a very impressive, beautiful man. She took a large bite of her omelet to keep from asking him for a peek, and pushed the remainder of her boiling water towards him.
“What’s on the schedule today, boss?” Melody finally managed to choke out after he sat, hiding his thick cock and heavy balls beneath the table. Good Lord, I’m getting as depraved and sex-crazed as Killian.
“Andy and Tim are out swapping the cameras already. Once they’re back, we’ll review the footage and see where to place the better ones. Tim and I will film the updates for the show, while Andy and Brian place the rest of the cameras.”
“I haven’t heard my name yet.”
“Yeah, and you won’t unless the cameras have something for us. We filmed your break-down of the initial photos at the studio.”
“Gotcha. Just here to feed the bugs yet again. I don’t understand why I come out on location if it’s just to sit in the tent and give Andrew fits.” She stabbed at a piece of sausage, and pointed her fork at the handsome older man. “This shit gets old, Terry. How am I supposed to provide a balanced opinion on these wild goose chases when the old-boy’s-club never lets me speak, huh?”
“When we have something for you to talk about, you will.” He refilled the kettle and set it on the flame with a sigh. “Look, we both know we’re out here chasing down some redneck pulling a prank, or a bear, or some other very normal creature. I've chased monsters for nearly ten years and haven’t ever found proof of anything, but we need to make this look good or we’re sunk.”
“Hmm.” Melody drummed her fingers on the table, wondering how much to tell. The cave Killian had talked about wasn’t too far from her bathing stream. Perhaps just a nudge? “Look, you know what I think this is, right? It’s either some hairy old man giggling his ass off while screwing with the neighbors, or a bunch of kids trying to become famous. I can’t rule out bears, though. I've seen some tracks near the stream I use for bathing. Might be a den close by.”
“Really? And you keep using it?”
“It’s better than waiting for the guys to stop beating their chests to claim the solar shower. I said I’ve seen tracks; I didn't say I had actually seen a bear anywhere near that stream.” A technicality but the truth. Killian had been in human form when he plucked her from the stream. “Anyway, I’m going to clean up my mess here, and then hide out in my tent unless needed. Call me if there’s anything other than a mosquito the size of a cat on those cameras. I think we can all verify that those damn things exist.” Terry laughed, but agreed. The blood-sucking insects had plagued the entire crew, and it had only gotten worse since the rain stopped.
Melody popped open the stadium seat she had stuffed into her gear, and settled against it with a sigh. She hated not having back support; she always ended up hunching over which she knew would put a kink in her back later. After powering up her cell phone, she checked her emails and searched for universities in the area. She bookmarked a couple close by and shut it down again to preserve the waning battery. This part of the trips sucked donkey dicks. Boring, hot, uncomfortable… why couldn't she wait for them at the nearest hotel and just join them when they decided to let her come play?
Oh well, at least this trip, she managed to snare her one hell of a lover. Killian was handsome in a rugged, shaggy kind of way. He had broad shoulders, barrel chested, trim waist, an ass to die for, and oh my God, that cock of his! There were times she swore she tasted him on her tongue while he was pounding into her. She was definitely in heaven. Granted, there was that one little issue about turning into a bear, but no one was perfect, right? Which reminded her, she had some questions for her randy bear. Hopefully, he could keep his dick to himself long enough for her to get some answers.
By the time the guys returned with the cameras, she had filled three full pages in her notebook. Some of the questions assumed a level of relationship he hadn't quite committed to but that was part of it. What exactly did he mean by mate? Was that bear code for a good fuck? A potential spouse? Mother of his furry children? Oh shit. She scribbled another question into the book, and hoped if they did progress to the actual making babies part and not just more practice that she would have a baby and not a bear. Those claws would probably hurt worse than fuck!
“Kleptner, get your ass out here!” Andrew’s hostile bellow drew her out of her daydream (daymare? What did one call a nightmare during a daydream anyway?). Grumbling, she took her time just to rile him further. “Did you hear me? I said – “
“I heard what you said!” Melody stepped from the tent, pushing the thinner man onto his ass as she shouldered past him. “Hell, the folks in town heard you. Did you find another blurry picture for me to look at?”
“We found a print!” Even his pissy attitude couldn't hide his excitement, and he rushed towards the network’s laptop. “We took pictures of it on the way back from gathering the cameras. Terry and Tim are at the site to get a mold of the impression so it can be catalogued. Look at this beauty!”
Andrew practically bounced in his seat as he pulled up at least a dozen shots of the footprint in question. One of the crew had placed a dollar bill beside the print to give it perspective, and it was huge. Half washed away by the recent storm, what remained dwarfed the faded bill. The foot that made this had to be over twelve inches long and almost five inches wide. The only way this print was real was if it had been made by a prop… or a partially shifted bear. Could he stop between human and animal? Another question for her list. Damn you, Killian!
“So, what do you think?”
“I think someone has far too much time on their hands,” she muttered waspishly.
“You’re not trying to say this is a fake, are you? God dammit, woman, you wouldn't believe in Bigfoot if he wandered into your fucking tent, would you?”
“Andrew, I’m just saying that it’s too soon to form an opinion. Yes, it could be faked with a mold and some liquid latex or ballistics gel. Weigh it down and TA-DA! You have an monster footprint.”
“And who in this area has that kind of money? Ballistics gel isn't exactly cheap, you know, and I don’t remember passing any mansions on the way in. Do you?”
“I only mentioned the gel because it’s squishy like normal tissue. Don’t be such an ass. This had to have a frame or it would have melded together.” She scrolled back in the pictures until she found one that included the cave mouth. “But this is what really caught my eye. If you look here, you can clearly see that whatever or whoever owned this ‘foot’ obviously wasn't walking anywhere. It’s inside the cave and facing inwards. If the owner of the ‘foot’ wasn't entering the cave, why did he, she, or it put a footprint there? It’s too perfect, which makes me suspicious. You would be too if you weren't determined to sell the poor fucker to some lab.”
“Only after I make my million.” Andrew grabbed control of the mouse and blew up the photograph in question. “Who’s to say the owner of the foot wasn't bedding down for the night?”
“In that cave?” Melody’s brows were pushed into her hairline by a bubble of laughter. She wrestled the mouse away to zoom into the picture. “How tall would you say Tim is? Five foot nine? Maybe Five-Ten? Feet that size would have an equally large body attached to it. If the lip of the cave mouth barely comes up to Tim’s waist, do you really think a creature that size could even fit?”
“We’ll see what Terry says when they get back with the impressions.” The surly researcher slammed the laptop closed, kicked the chair aside, and stormed into his tent. Melody groaned and buried her face in her hands. She was absolutely going to kill her bear.