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Smelling of Pooh

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If asked, Blizzard couldn’t pinpoint when, exactly, Pooh had become such an intrinsic force in their life. Sure, they’ve been seeing each other casually for years, but that’s all it is: casual. No strings. Just a mutually beneficial arrangement.

“Do you want it?” asks the bear, and although Blizz can’t see him, they can feel his paws wandering.

“Yes,” they pant, their hips moving of their own accord. They meet dead air.

He wants them to beg.

“You’re not fooling anyone, you know,” Erica says, stirring her over-sweetened coffee.

Blizzard jumps, their half-eaten scone laying forgotten on their napkin. “Pardon?”

Erica scowls. “Look, I know we’re not exclusive, but I thought we had some level of mutual respect.” She jabs one manicured finger towards the windows of the café, the direction in which Blizzard had, indeed, been staring, their eyes glazed.  “Has he even looked your way since we sat down?”

“Who?” they ask, too quick to be believable.

Erica rolls her eyes. “I can answer that for you; he hasn’t. And you know what?” She leans forward, voice low and venomous. “Serves you right.”

Blizzard squirms, rubbing damp palms on their jeans.

“I said sorry,” they mutter.

Erica barks a humorless laugh. “Yeah, you left a voicemail when I was already out with friends on Friday. Real believable.”

Blizzard looks away, flushed. Their gaze draws unerringly back to their yellow lover. Pooh is much more intent on his colleague than Blizzard is on theirs, though when one yellow paw slides up the man’s knee, Blizzard realizes this is more than a business meeting.

Or, rather, this is Pooh conducting business.

“Tell me what you want,” he sing-songs.

“Every—everything you can give me.”

“Fame? Fortune?” Paws stroke steadily downward, deft and so, so—

“Ah!” They can’t help the reaction they have, the full-body shudder that wracks their frame.

“Hoo hoo hoo,” Pooh chuckles. “So desperate for me.”

He wants them to beg? They’re not too proud.

“Please, please—“

 “Isn’t that one of your cousins?” Blizzard asks, desperate to think of anything else.

Erica barely spares a look for the man in basketball shorts and the bear feeling him up. “The Wests are a big family,” she says with a half shrug. “And you’re changing the subject.”

“Am I though?” Blizz knows they’re wheedling a bit, but she’s being unfair. Everyone knows Erica will hop into bed with anyone who can offer her a good time—or a good buck. It’s no stretch to imagine her as one of Pooh’s doe-eyed honey pots.

Blizzard leans forward conspiratorially.

“You can’t say you haven’t made a few bad decisions because of those black button eyes—”

“I would never—“ Erica starts, outraged.

“—or that sweet, honey-scented snout—“

“—why would you even—“

“—those soft, dexterous paws—“

Erica slaps a hand over their mouth, fuming and red as her striped blouse. Blizzard thinks only half of her color is from anger, panicked embarrassment claiming the rest.

“Shut. Your. Mouth,” she nearly spits.

“I don’t need your pretty words,” Pooh croons above them. “I can think of better uses for that mouth.”

Blizzard nods, eager. Speech is overrated.

A shadow falls over them. Blizzard doesn’t need to look up to know who has finally graced them with his attention.

“Oh bother,” Pooh says, “I do so hate to see my friends fight.”

Erica’s hand goes limp against their face.

“P-pooh,” she says. “I don’t think this now is the best—“

“Let’s just put all this behind us, hm?” One paw slides a too-large bill onto the table to cover the tip. Another bill finds itself tucked away in Blizz’s shirt pocket. From the crinkle of paper and the dazed expression on Erica’s face, one must’ve found its way into her possession, too.

“You can’t just buy us o—“ Erica says, but her weak protest is silenced by a hearty ‘hoo-hoo.’

“Why don’t we all retire for the afternoon?” Pooh motions toward his abandoned table, where a very tall man sits looking in equal parts ashamed and eager. “Enbee Avery and I were going to spend some time alone, but…” Pooh eyes them both with a growing smirk on his round face. “There’s room enough for four.”

He holds his paws out.

Erica catches his eye, and they both hesitate, glancing around at the other patrons. At this point in the kerfuffle, all eyes are on them.

“Now friends,” Pooh says, and there’s something sharp under the sweetness. “You don’t want to dishonor me, do you?” He begins to slide the bill off the table, and from the glint in his eyes, the one in Blizzard’s pocket will be the next to disappear.

Blizzard takes Pooh’s paw, hasty enough that they almost knock their scone from the table.

Somewhere behind them, someone boos.

“I have some terms,” Erica says, but her hand is already firmly in Pooh’s grasp, her token protests forgotten.

“Of course,” Pooh simpers, pulling them from their seats.

Blizzard knows that the only terms they’ll be adhering to tonight are Pooh’s, but as they leave the café, pockets heavy, they find it hard to care.