Title: Paradigm Shift
Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: mm sci-fi
Park crossed his legs and propped his glass on his knee. “Well, there’s no reason to leave your curiosity unsatisfied. My childhood was a happy one with many friends and cousins, and I was free to torment my younger brother as I liked. Zero was always a good sport about it. There was one time when we were so desperate for frozen cream that we got all the cousins together and we staged a raid on the kitchen. There was…”
There was no denying the fascination Gregor felt as he watched Park be more animated than he’d ever seen him. It was like meeting a completely different man. One that was funny and quirky and obviously loved his family, even as he lived a life devoted to duty.
Everything Gregor knew about Law Officers said that they were cold and calculating people. They were practically machines in human flesh, doing their duty to the Law above all else. Yet the expression on Park’s face when he reminisced about his childhood made Gregor feel as though he had misjudged something.
Dylan Park was absolutely fascinating. He had depths that Gregor found himself wanting to plumb. And that was terrifying because he’d always had a weakness for falling for the wrong sort.
* * *
There was so much good food all the time that he didn’t know if he could ever go back to his usual generic cereals and vat grown chicken. He’d gotten spoiled during his three weeks with the Duadenora, seduced by their wealth.
There were days when he felt as if he’d stepped into a drama story. His life was no longer his own and he was trapped at the mercy of a group of people that professed to only want the best for him while really they only wanted him for the heirs he could produce. He would be the foolish young trophy wife, purchased with good food and sparkly jewelry.
He hated himself for being tempted. He’d never thought he could be bought and sold so cheaply, yet here he was.
Gregor had discovered the solarium and it had become his new retreat. He could curl up with his mother’s book and only the vibrant green plants were there to witness his emotional collapse.
He could almost hear the sound of her voice in the words she’d written. He thought that he could feel her presence around him, tenuous and stretched gossamer thin, but she was there, in her words and her way of forming them.
He’d had a copy of The Dawning Tree of his own, but it had disappeared close to eight years ago when someone had broken into his apartment. He hadn’t been able to get another copy because it had been out of print–the State had banned the distribution of new copies under the Sedition Laws, Article X5494.
He’d thought it was unfair, but he hadn’t dared to file for special circumstance, not when he was trying his best to remain unnoticed.
So to find a copy of his mother’s book after years of thinking he would never read it again… It was almost as though someone had given his mother back to him.