Beeftoberfest

Meat Cute 
#1

Okay, so Cliff was sometimes what he’d heard people call “bougie.” But he couldn’t help that he liked nice things, alright. Splurging was healthy. But honestly he hadn’t ever really given a thought about the quality of food he bought. Usually just the quantity, since his bear liked to inhale entire cow’s worth of meat daily. Not really, but it felt like that.

But he’d been maybe watching too many documentaries on the meat sold in supermarkets. And even though he couldn’t get diseases and had a high metabolism, it was still pretty fucking unsettling. So here he was, attempting a change. By finding a local butcher that didn’t use processed meats that were shipped from across the country. And probably terribly overpriced, but maybe it was worth it?

Walking in made him have to do a sort of pause. The bear went fucking insane at the overwhelming smell of raw meat and blood. If he hadn’t just eaten, he was pretty sure he’d be a giant bear right now. But he steeled himself, and strode purposeful toward the counter. Totally in control.
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#2
Generally speaking, Devin was only put at the counter if his boss wanted to make fun of him, but the man had presently gone off to lunch. Devin was free to loom and mumble without commentary. Hearing the bell, he made his way reluctantly to the counter and put an absolutely miserable-looking smile on as he looked down at the heavily-tattooed man who had entered. "Welcome, can I help you."

If his boss was here he would have to contort into even more painful friendliness, but he thought he could get away with light surliness for the moment.
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#3
The guy at the counter looked... fucking miserable. Cliff offered him a friendly and somewhat apologetic smile for obviously being the source of his discomfort. God, he remembered being a kid and just fucking miserable at taking calls for his dad. Anyway, he was determined to make this as painless as possible for-

Something slowed him. There was, of course, the smell of meat and blood surrounding him. Tugging his bear from his sleepy bear cave. But as he got closer to the counter, and ultimately closer to the back room; there was more. Something incredibly familiar, especially recently. Bear. Definitely. Cliff's brow furrowed some as he fixed his gaze on the kid. A subtle inhale to pull in his scent. Nope. No, that was a human. But somewhere, radiating from... really all around, there was bear.

Okay, okay. He couldn't just stand there stupidly and sniff around. So he recovered quickly and pushed onward. "Heya, yeah. Ah, can I get two pounds of turkey, and four tenderloins." So much meat, but he was feeding a bear and a half. Okay, the half was on occasion. But still >:[. His eyes wandered past the kid as he spoke, soft os subtly peeking toward the back room for any sign of someone else.
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#4
Drawing power from Cliff's embarrassed smile, Devin blinked serenely as the man waffled for a moment and then ordered. He nodded and moved to the ground turkey, placing a square of wax paper on the scale and grabbing wads of pink meat in one gloved hand.

Ground turkey was gross.

Devin occupied himself with meatboy duties, keeping his customer in the corner of his eye.
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#5
Silent but compliant. Cliff nodded to himself as he sort of kept his head on a swivel. A little awkward, but there was a mounting question that tugged at him any time he eyed the back room. "You have to work alone?" He aimed for it to feel something like a pity thing? Like 'man, that sucks that you have to be alone all night' kinda thing.
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#6
Devin's hand froze in the act of transferring meat, and in fact he went still as a statue, nothing but dark eyes moving to stare implacably at Cliff. "My boss is next door for lunch." Fucking creeps. Fucking supernatural creeps.

Anger bloomed in his gut and reanimated him, and he was peeling off a glove to wrap up the ground turkey, writing the weight on the paper in sharpie. Never mind that if the tattooed man really was some kind of monster, he could tear Devin's ass in half; meatboy was now showing off what a poor target he would make, volatile and suspicious. He didn't ask Cliff what chops he wanted but picked four off the back.
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#7
The froze up like he’d asked him his social security number. Cliff shifted uncomfortably in his stance as he eyed the guy with a furrowed brow. The bear was immediately itnterested in the display of what a predator would consider vulnerability. He had to take a second to steel himself down before clicking his tongue lightheartedly.

“Chill, man.” He said in attempt to diffuse the suddenly unbearably awkward situation, but it likely just made things worse.
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#8
Unexpectedly triggered, Devin's emotions continued to boil over, and he wrapped the tenderloins with trembling hands. "Fuck you," he replied tersely, even as he moved the two packages to the register.

He couldn't look up, and if the man stepped up to pay, he realized, he would break and run.

He stepped back, hands straining in fists at his sides. Fuck. "Just take it and get out."
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#9
Of all the things he expected, a "fuck you" from a teenager wasn't one of them. Cliff's brows bunched at the sudden swell of tension, and he found himself taking a half step back. There was quick movements and slamming and another sharp exclamation. And for just a moment, hie grip on the Bear loosened. Of course, that's all it would fucking take. He was in a building full of meat and blood, being yelled at by some kid. Just. Really? Fucking. Really?

It started in the ribs, like it usually did. An audible, sickly "clunk" of bones snapping and shifting out of place. Cliff gasped at the pain, and moved a hand to grasp at his ribs as he shuffled forward and grabbed the counter for support. "Fu-ck" Fuck, you, kid. "Fucking, run." He managed at least that as he twisted and grunted as his spine decided it would be a good moment to lengthen and shove him into doubling over. On his hands and knees, he gritted his teeth so hard he could taste blood. Not. Here. He couldn't keep doing this. He couldn't infect someone else. Get a fucking grip, man. His hip threatened to pop out of its socket.
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#10
He had thought that the man jumping over the counter and biting him would be the worst thing, but then the actual worst thing happened. He heard butchering sounds coming from inside this man, and that was absolutely enough for Devin to be fucking OUT, skittering along the back wall and bolting through the back room and out the delivery door. He was out of the building in under a minute. He had his phone in his hand as he sprinted through the back lot, too panicked and clumsy to unlock it. Luckily he was a far better runner than a thinker.
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