Paradigm Shift 19

The doors being blown open and a squad of armored Assault Officers rushing in seemed strangely anticlimactic to Gregor. Where were they thirty minutes ago? He wasn't feeling a lot of respect for them at the moment.

Park had done all the work and here they were for the cleanup. If they expected any praise, they weren't going to get it from Gregor.

There was a lot of people running around being all kinds of active as the hostages were hustled out the doors. Things were so busy that Gregor didn't even realize that he'd lost sight of Park until there was the wood-on-wood grating sound of the partition being slid open.

He abandoned the spy hole and was ready to crawl out the instant he saw Park looking at him. "Good. I have to pee so bad."

"I thought you were dehydrated?" Park held out a bottle of water he'd scavenged from somewhere.

Gregor swallowed, tempted, but kept walking quickly toward the bathroom. "I am dying of thirst, but first I need the restroom. It's desperate."

Park followed him into the bathroom, though thankfully he remained outside the stall as Gregor did his business.

"Why are you so paranoid?" Gregor asked, washing his hands. "You got them all."

"I'm not worried about that," Park said. He actually sounded a little uncomfortable, which made Gregor give him the question eyebrows in the mirror. "You are an unattached Third that is going into heat. There are some dishonorable Firsts that would like nothing better than to capture you while you're vulnerable to steal your choice. As long as they're the only one present, you won't be able to reject them during the Madness."

Gregor felt sick. If he got pregnant, the State might force him to Bond with whatever First had their way with him. It was barbaric and might not work, but what if it did? His choice would well and truly be taken from him, and he would be trapped for at least five years, the minimum term of a Legal Bond.

He hastily stuck his hands under the dryer. "Can we get out of here?" he asked.

"Yes. We just need to grab Zero and we can go," Park's hand on Gregor's shoulder was warm.

Park rarely touched him, but now it seemed Park was trying to Scent mark him. Some of the less experienced Firsts would think Gregor was already Bonded, though it wouldn't last once he started churning out the attraction pheromones.

Gregor didn't know how Park did it, though he thought it had something to do with his Magisterial powers, but the Law Officers let them go without questioning. All the other hostages were looking at a long night of misery, but they had been reprieved.

Park would have to fill out reports and give a statement in the morning, but Gregor didn't have to be involved. Park told the Law Officers that Gregor was exempt and that was that.

He was mildly impressed.

Later that night, in the silence of his suite in the Duadenora Family compound, Gregor masturbated in the large bed he'd been given. His body burned, and his restlessly scissoring legs had driven away the last of his control. He'd pushed the sheets down past his thighs, and touching himself had seemed the only thing he could do, as natural as breathing.


"Park," he gasped out, the backs of his eyes flaring white.



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