Title: Paradigm Shift
Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: mm sci-fi, mpreg
By mid-afternoon Gregor could feel his energy flagging. He felt as though he’d run a marathon then stayed up all night drinking. Seeming to sense his fatigue, Park urged him back to bed.
Gregor wanted to object, but weariness was pulling at him. He didn’t know if he wanted to sleep, but lying down seemed like a heavenly idea. He reluctantly agreed and found himself dressed in pajamas, tucked into Park’s bed.
“I could sleep in my own room,” Gregor said.
“You could, but this way I can keep an eye on you,” Park said. He placed a covered tray across Gregor’s lap and made a voila gesture when he uncovered it.
Gregor looked at the aesthetically arranged fruit bowl, the chicken sandwich with bright green lettuce and a slice of ripe red tomato, and the bowl of red gelatin. He felt his reluctance fade away.
“Well, I suppose I could let you take care of me just this once.” He mounded the pillows behind him and reached for the sandwich.
Park sat on the chair he’d pulled close to the bed. He crossed his arms over his stomach and looked like he was settling in.
Gregor’s hand hovered indecisively, then he sighed and picked up the butter knife instead. He cut the sandwich in two crosswise and picked up one half. He waved his free hand at the plate. “Don’t just stare at me. Eat.”
“That food is for you,” Park said. Gregor squinted at him until he picked up the sandwich half and took a bite. “I could have gotten my own food.”
“Except you wouldn’t have. You would sit there staring at me while I stuff my face. I would have gotten uncomfortable and yelled at you. There may even have been a fight.” Gregor wagged his finger. “Eat the sandwich. Don’t cause a fight. I would win.”
“No doubt.” A smile pulled up the corners of Park’s mouth. He looked different when he smiled, softer, younger, more approachable. With a smile on his face, he rivaled Zero for handsomeness. It made Gregor hide a pleased smile.
Was it strange that some part of him wanted to demand that Park smile for no one but him? That this softer side of Park belong to him alone?
Gregor snorted and jabbed his spoon in the gelatin for a taste. “Um, cherry. How did you know it’s my favorite?”
“I have my ways,” Park said.
Gregor gave him a dubious look. “You didn’t interrogate the information out of anyone, did you?”
Park laughed. “Most times, interrogation isn’t the best way to gather intel on someone. Observation is the best.”
“So you’ve been watching me?” Gregor poked around the fruit bowl and speared a chunk of melon that had been cut into a star shape.
“You make me sound like a stalker,” Park said. “I promise I haven’t been peeping through any windows to watch you sleep.”
“Of course not. You come right in and sit next to the bed.”
Gregor was surprised to find himself enjoying their banter. He would have thought nerves over the upcoming tests would have been all he could think about. He should have spent the night fretting over what was going to happen. The idea that he was responsible for the future of all Thirds should have been tearing him apart.
Instead, Park kept him distracted. And when he finally fell asleep, Gregor didn’t dream. He rested peacefully with Park watching over him, all that deadly power focused on keeping him safe.
He felt protected.