Paradigm Shift 07 (ch 03)

Chapter Three

Being hustled out of the hospital as precious cargo wasn't quite the slice of awesome he would have thought it would be. For one thing, he wasn't worth all the pomp and circumstance, and really wasn't feeling it at all.

Dr. Haden and his staff had done all kinds of tests on him, some a little painful and most embarrassingly invasive. Gregor had never had a complete work up because he'd never had a doctor he could trust to not turn him in.

He now knew more about his body than he'd ever wanted to know at all. He had half a dozen terrifying files saved to his ePad that he had no plans to ever open. There were just some things he'd rather let nature decide.

Magister Park had visited him several times during his weeklong stay in the hospital and was now taking him to his new Family. It was stupid for him to feel so grateful for a familiar face accompanying him to his possibly terrible future.

Today Park was wearing a black suit that had a faint, wet gleam to it and a black trilby hat that made him look remarkably dashing. He didn't seem much like the Magisters Gregor had always heard about, and that was actually a great comfort.

"Did they hire you to bring me to them?" Gregor fished. He had been staring out the car window, but they'd been stopped by city traffic and he would need to know as much as possible before he entered his new life.

"It's a bit of a surprise that you didn't say anything before now," Park said. He sat with his knees primly together and his hands clasped on top. "I would have thought you would have displayed some curiosity while we were still at the hospital."

Gregor shrugged. "You seemed to be keeping quiet about some things, so I didn't want to ask while people were around." Actually Gregor hadn't cared that much, not until he realized that Park was going to be part of his life from now on, at least until he was Bonded and became someone else's problem. And there wasn't an ounce of bitterness there.

Gregor kept his face sweetly open through pure force of will. He wasn't going to let this setback ruin his life. Just because he was
going to be Contracted to some rich First and would have to squeeze out a bunch of kids didn't mean he had to give up.

He was Gregor Tierney. He wasn't going to let anything get him down.

"Well?" He needed the distraction of someone else's voice or he was going to lose his mind and throw a screaming fit.

There was too much speculation in Park's expression for comfort. "I was not hired by the Duadenora Family. I didn't need too be."

"Why not?" Gregor was feeling that vomity sensation in the back of his throat, the one that earned him he was about to hear something unpleasant.

"I am a member of the Family," Park stated as though it was everyday kind of news, and to him it probably was. Gregor was shocked enough for two people. "The Family requested that I assess you for the possibility of merging your genome with the Duadenora."

"And I passed?" Gregor hadn't meant to ask, but the words had slipped out.

Park looked amused. "So far."