Title: Paradigm Shift
Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: mm sci-fi, mpreg
Pain. It was the first sensation Dylan knew upon regaining consciousness. His face throbbed in time with his heartbeat and it took him a few precious seconds to reorient himself.
He’d had Hanson’s hands–surprisingly large and strong–wrapped around his neck, powerful thumbs digging in to stop the blood flow to his brain. Then everything had gone blank and here he was, his mind seemingly having decided to reset itself.
“Sir, are you all right?” With the assistance of the female Law Officer, Dylan was levered into an upright position.
At the sound of Gregor’s voice adrenaline flooded through Dylan and he staggered to his feet. The pain in his face and battered body was pushed aside as he ran toward the direction Gregor’s shout had come.
He acknowledged that both Law Officers had joined him by taking the backup gun from one and a narrow bladed knife from the other. He’d lost his gun and dadao somewhere and prayed that Hanson didn’t have them. He couldn’t stand the thought of Gregor dead from his weapons.
“St-stop!” he yelled on seeing Hanson backing Gregor against a wall. His voice cracked and his throat ached fiercely, but his hand was steady when he took aim with the gun and fired.
Dylan would have shot him in the head or through the heart if he hadn’t worried about the bullet passing through into Gregor. As it was, there was a splash of red against Hanson’s left shoulder and the man was knocked off his balance.
Knowing Gregor’s instinct to survive, Dylan shouldn’t have been surprised that he would take the chance presented to him. Still, the sharp crack of metal against the side of Hanson’s head was loud. Louder than the snikt! of the metal rod then being stabbed through Hanson’s neck and jerked sideways and out, Hanson’s body spinning aside.
Gregor stood there, eyes wide and face shockingly pale. The metal rod he held was steady in his hands, his feet braced and his balance shifted to be ready to attack or defend.
Dylan shot Hanson again, this time between the eyes. Hanson’s struggling body fell and didn’t get back up.
Dylan lowered his weapons and stepped where he was. Gregor looked on edge and Dylan didn’t want to spook him. “Are you all right?”
Gregor blinked slowly. “My shoulder hurts.”
“I see,” Dylan said, and he did. There was blood staining Gregor’s left shoulder, seeping through his wet shirt. And Dylan had to wonder how Gregor had gotten so wet.
“Are you hurt anywhere else?” he asked.
Gregor furrowed his brow slightly, then shook his head. “I’ll be all right. What about you? You’re bleeding.”
“I won’t be so pretty, but I’ll live,” Dylan said.
“Good,” Gregor said fiercely. He tossed the metal rod away to clatter against the floor and ran forward to hug Dylan tightly.
Even soaking wet and shivering, the natural allure of Third Scent marred by the sour remnants of terror, Gregor felt good in Dylan’s arms. It was enough that he could ignore the pain of his wounds and pull Gregor closer against himself.
They held each other long enough to be sure that neither one of them was suddenly going to drop dead.
It was with some reluctance that Dylan finally pulled himself away. “We both need medical attention and the rest of the Family is probably frantic to know that we’re all right.”
“Once I get sewed up I’m going to bed,” Gregor said. “I can’t handle anymore tonight.”
“You won’t have to,” Dylan said. “We’ll get you treated, then you can get some sleep. I’ll handle everything else.”
Gregor gave him a grateful look. “Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me. It makes me happy to take care of you.”
“And it makes me happy to thank you when you save my life,” Gregor said. “Now let’s get out of here. I’m cold, I’m wet, and I’m hungry.”
There was no resisting that level of charm. “Come on. Let’s go find a medic.”
It felt natural to lean against each other as they left the fishery and the Farm behind. The lights of the main house beckoned along with the reassuring glow of emergency vehicles that swarmed the compound.