I about fell off the damn table.
Surely he was joking. I blinked and stared at the goofy smile on his face. “That’s really not funny.”
“A colleague of mine from med-school specializes in extra-terrestrial biology. I sent him your scans and I have a call in to him. He will hopefully give us some more answers.”
My mouth gaped open. “You’re not kidding, then?”
“No. I assure you, you are quite pregnant.”
He seemed giddy with excitement, which only served to annoy the hell out of me.
“I can’t be pregnant. I’m a man! That’s not possible. This can’t be happening. This can not be happening. What am I supposed to do? I don’t know anything about babies!”
I looked down at my stomach in shock. Surely he must be wrong. So I had gained a few pounds. Okay, so my stomach was a little soft these days. And, yeah, under the fur, there was a little bit of a bump—
I took a deep breath and slumped back onto the exam table as the nausea bubbled up again. What the hell was I going to do with a baby? And not just a baby. A half-alien baby. I didn’t know anything about raising human babies, let alone Degan babies.
There was no way in hell that I could raise a baby.
Then I thought of what its life would be like growing up in an orphanage. And I knew. I knew that I could never, ever give it up.
I was fucked. Literally and figuratively fucked.
“’Aggressive DNA’ my ass,” I grumbled to myself.
Dr. Flynn tapped his hand on the wall’s video screen and my bioscan came online. The extremely detailed scan zoomed in on my torso. Under different circumstances, I might have been impressed with the technology.
The virtual layers of skin and muscle faded away and there it was.
I covered my mouth and gasped behind my hand.
I wasn’t sure what I expected to see, but that wasn’t it.
A perfectly formed little bundle was curled up and asleep inside me. I could see its little toes and little fingers. The scan slowly rotated until its face came into view. Its eyes were closed and it had a little button nose and chubby little cheeks. Above its ears, perched on top of his head, were two little nubs that I knew would grow to be horns.
It was one thing to be told that you were pregnant, but to see the actual evidence was just overwhelming. I rapidly blinked my eyes, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to fall.
“He’s about the size of a softball,” said Flynn. He tilted his head to the side and examined the image and the data that was scrolling down the side of the display. “If he was a human, I’d guess him to be three months. Clearly, Degans grow at an accelerated rate.”
“’He’? He’s a boy?”
“Most definitely,” the doctor said with a chuckle. He swiped his finger across the display to rotate the scan and showed me the evidence of his maleness.
“Oh. He takes after his father,” I said. “I mean his other father. Oh god, that sounds so weird. I think they call their fathers ‘sires’.”
I then noticed a second appendage curled up between his legs. He had a little tail, tucked between his legs. Yeah, he got that from his sire, too.
“So, why don’t we schedule another appointment later this week? Hopefully I will hear back from my colleague and we should have some more information by then.”
I continued to stare at the scan for a moment, then turned to the doctor and nodded. “Whatever you think is best.”
“I can send a video of the scan to your email if you like.”
I turned back to the screen and nodded my agreement. “Okay.”
The doctor tapped a few keys and I heard my comPad beep from my stack of clothes, letting me know the message had been received.
Flynn gave my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “I’ll excuse you from work for the rest of the week. You need to rest. Drink plenty of fluids and try to eat three balanced meals a day, with healthy snacks in between. We’ll know more in a couple of days. I don’t want you to worry. You’re not alone, Devin.”
Yes, I was. “Thank you, Doctor.”
I left the clinic in a daze.
When I finally got home, I went right for the shower. As I stood under the warm water, I looked down at my belly and touched the soft pooch covered in honey brown fur.
I was going to have a baby.
I was going to be a single dad. Not just a single dad, but a single dad with a half-alien child.
After I dried off, I picked up my comPad and laid down on my bed. After watching the video a dozen or so times, I connected to the Net and tried doing some searches. I couldn’t find any useful information specific to male pregnancies. I watched the video again until I fell asleep.
I stayed hidden inside my apartment for the next few days. I didn’t want to go out and face the world. I wanted to pretend like my life was normal. Like it was before I met Bastian.
I stopped just short of wishing I’d never met Bastian. It would be a lie. Bastian was the best thing that ever happened to me.
* * *
When the door beeped, I nearly tripped over my own feet trying to get to the door. I smacked the control and the door opened with a whoosh.
“Dinner is served,” Peri said with a cheery grin, holding up a big paper bag.
“Oh. It’s you,” I said with a defeated sigh.
“I love you, too,” he said while flipping me off.
“You know I didn’t mean it like that. Come on in.”
Peri looked around my apartment and crinkled his nose. “This place is gross, Dev. Sit down and relax. I’m gonna heat up dinner.” He looked around the room. “And maybe pick up a little.”
I shrugged and slumped onto the sofa.
Peri started dinner in the kitchen, then picked up the stray dishes and clothes that littered the living room. I knew that I should have gotten up to help him, but I couldn’t bring myself to get up off the couch. My eyes drifted shut as Peri busied himself while softly humming a song.
I startled awake when Peri nudged my shoulder. I sat up and stretched and yawned. When I felt a cool breeze against my belly, I quickly tugged my shirt down and prayed that Peri didn’t notice. I wasn’t ready to go there just yet.
Peri handed me a plate of food. “Chicken à la Perin. Hope you like it. And if you don’t, keep it to yourself.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. I took a bite of the chicken in the creamy, cheesy sauce. “Mm, it’s good, Per. Really.”
We ate in silence for a few moments. I didn’t realize how hungry I was. I was too busy stuffing my face to talk.
“So, what did the doctor say?” Peri asked as he took my clean plate. He filled it with a second helping and handed it back.
What was I supposed to say? Bastian knocked me up?
I decided to go with, “I’m not dying or anything. I have another appointment in a couple of days. Hopefully, I’ll know more then.”
Peri seemed to be satisfied with that answer. He seemed lost in thought as he chewed on a piece of broccoli. He then turned and looked at me. “What’s it like?”
I paused the shoveling of food to answer. “What’s what like?”
“You know. With an alien.”
Peri’s cheeks turned a slight shade of pink and I quickly understood. “You mean sex?”
“Yeah. I mean… Are all the parts the same?” He wiggled a finger in the general vicinity of his groin, just in case I didn’t get the reference.
“Well, of course. I mean, he’s humanoid. Yeah, he’s covered in fur, but he has two arms, two legs, ten fingers and ten toes…” And ten inches.
“And… down there?”
I squirmed a bit, but nodded. “Yeah, that’s the same. Same, but different.”
Peri’s cheeks went darker red and he leaned in closer and spoke in hushed tones. “What do you mean?”
I couldn’t help but smile. It reminded me of when we were younger and we’d get together and whisper about those 'naughty' things we had discovered.
“Well, you’ve seen him. He’s really big, you know? And he’s big down there, too. It’s different in that it stays big when it hangs soft. It gets hard and stands up, but not really bigger.” Now it was my turn to blush. “Which is a good thing, since it’s plenty big enough. And, it’s got these ribs down the length that, uh… hit the right spots.”
Peri giggle. “Nice.”
“Why so curious?”
He shrugged. “Just wondered. I’ve never been with someone who’s, you know, not human. But there’s this Regulan. He’s a Union Marine. He’s gotten pretty forward in his flirting…”
“A Regulan? Really?” I couldn’t quite picture Peri and one of the red-skinned aliens together.
“Yeah. Do you think his, uh, thing is red, too?”
“Probably. I’m sure he’s red all over. Do think he could, uh, do things with his tail?”
Peri’s eyes widened as he drew in a sharp breath. “Oh my…”
We both started to laugh as we imagined the possibilities.
I was so grateful for Peri coming to cheer me up. It was just what I needed to get through the week.
* * *
“How are you today, Devin?” Dr. Flynn asked me.
“I’m still in shock, but I’m as good as can be expected,” I answered as I modestly tucked the paper gown between my legs and sat on the exam table. “I don’t seem to be getting sick anymore.”
“Good,” he said as he patted my shoulder. “My colleague should be connecting any minute now.”
Dr. Flynn tapped some buttons on his comPad and brought my scans up on the wall monitor.
The computer chirped and “INCOMING CALL” appeared on the screen with the face of a man.
Flynn tapped the screen and it switched to a picture-in-picture display, with Flynn’s colleague in a window in the bottom corner.
“Aron. It’s good to see you.”
“You too, Flynn. It— My god, you weren’t kidding.”
“No. Aron, this is Devin. Devin, this is Dr. Aron Adler. He’s a medical doctor as well as an exobiologist, an expert on extraterrestrial biology.”
“Nice to meet you, Dr. Adler,” I said.
“Likewise. This is amazing. I have never seen anything like it in all my years. Opposite sex Degans and Humans have mated successfully in the past, but I have never heard of a same-sex Degan/Human mating. But while doing some research, I have found that spontaneous womb generation has occurred on very rare occasion between two Degan males.”
“I’m not a Degan,” I said, trying not to be irritated by his excitement. “Despite the furry belly. And the… spontaneous womb.”
Well, at least I now had a technical name for my mutation: spontaneous womb generation.
“Yes,” Adler continued, completely unaware of my impending meltdown. “I imagine the fur is simply a side effect. An additional layer of protection and to keep the baby warm if I had to guess. Degans have a higher internal body temperature than humans. After the baby is born, it may shed. It may not.”
“Uh, wait a second there. Born? And just where is it supposed to come out?”
“Your umbilicus, er, your navel. You’ll need surgery to help you along. I would love to perform the procedure if that is okay with you and Dr. Flynn.”
“Of course, Aron,” Dr. Flynn quickly replied. “I would love to assist you.”
“Excellent,” Dr. Adler said with a smile. “Have you encountered any other physical changes?”
“No.” I was still trying to process the fact of where the baby was going to come out of me. I looked down at my belly button and shuddered as I imagined it stretching open for a baby.
“When you had intercourse, did the sire’s penis lock inside you?”
My cheeks turn bright red. “Yes,” I said, taken aback by his frank question.
Aron shook his head. “Amazing. So his body recognized that you are his bondmate and not just a sex partner.”
“I guess,” I said with a shrug. “That’s what he said.”
Aron blinked at me, and then frowned. “Is your bondmate with you now? I’d like to talk to him.”
“No. He’s not here.”
“Ah. Well, I’d like to schedule some time with him.”
“Uh… well… I don’t know where he is.”
Aron’s frown deepend and he glanced over at Flynn. “You don’t know?”
“No,” I shook my head. “He disappeared. The morning after we did… this.” I waved my hand over my abdomen.
Aron frowned. “I have never heard of a Degan leaving a bondmate, and certainly not one in your condition. Degans are very possessive as a species. He certainly wouldn’t have left you if he knew you carried his child. If you think Degans are protective of their spouses, that is nothing compared to their children. He would protect you and the child to the death. While it’s not unheard of for Degans who are married but not bondmates to divorce, a true bondmate is for life. The bond can’t be broken once formed.”
“That’s what he called me. He called me his true one,” I said quietly. I turned my head away and blinked back the tears that were stinging my eyes. Doctor Flynn put a hand on my shoulder and gently patted to offer me a bit of comfort. A sudden thought entered my mind, one I hadn’t wanted to even entertain. I slowly turned back to the viewscreen and swallowed the lump in my throat. “Do you think he might be… be dead?”
“I have a contact on the Degan homeworld. I will see if he can put out any feelers, to see if they have any knowledge of his whereabouts.”
“I’d appreciate that, Dr. Adler. No one here has been interested in helping me find him. His name is Bastian. Bastian Drago. His father is a provincial governor, where the planet capital city is located. His mother is an ambassador. Do you think that will help?”
Dr. Flynn squeezed my shoulder one final time, and then moved around to my side. “We’d like to do some more detailed scans, if that’s okay?”
“Sure,” I said with a nod.
I laid back and closed my eyes and tried to ignore the doctor and relax the best I could.
I felt Dr. Flynn moving around the table and he turned my head. “What’s this?” he asked. He touched the scar at the base of my neck with this latex-covered fingers.
“Ooh, the mating bite,” Dr. Adler said excitedly.
“Wait. He bit you?” Flynn asked me, his voice sounding his shock.
I nodded, keeping my eyes shut. Dr. Flynn scanned the bite for Dr. Adler while Adler explained the mechanics of Degan mating.
When Dr. Adler started talking about intestinal walls and the absorption of semen, I tuned them out. I wasn’t interested in hearing the scientific details of sexual intercourse with a Degan male. I had already experienced it first hand and it was much more intense and infinitely more passionate than the clinical descriptions they were using.
I took a deep calming breath when I felt Dr. Flynn lift my gown. He and Dr. Adler chatted about mundane current events as they examined me.
The door suddenly opened with a hiss and I sat up and tried to cover myself as four men burst into the room. I instantly recognized that they were Union Navy security officers from their navy blue jumpsuits with gold piping.
One of the officers tapped the video monitor and disconnected Dr. Adler’s comm link.
“Excuse me!” Flynn said indignantly. “This is a private exam! You are not allowed back here.”
The Navy lieutenant stepped forward and held up a comPad with my ID photo on the screen. “Devin McSmith is to be taken into custody immediately.”
I gasped and tried to sit up as Dr. Flynn tried to move around the table to protect me. “What? Why?”
“That is an internal security matter.”
Dr. Flynn struggled to get to me. “Mr. McSmith is a patient of mine. You just can’t come in here—“
The lieutenant blocked his path, getting in his face with a scowl and a bump of their chests designed to intimidate the doctor. “I suggest you stand down before you are arrested for aiding a fugitive.”
My jaw dropped. “Fugitive? I haven’t done anything wrong.”
One of the officers pushed Dr. Flynn back and held him while the other two pulled me off the table.
Dr. Flynn tried to get to me, but one of the officers pulled out his pistol and shot him in the chest with the particle weapon.
“No!” I screamed as Dr. Flynn crumpled to the ground like a rag doll.
They dragged me kicking and screaming towards the door. Like hell was I going to cooperate.
The lieutenant came at me with something in his hand. I tried to back away, but they had me tight in their grasp.
“Let me go!”
He pressed the hypospray device to my neck. The drug quickly coursed through my bloodstream and my body went limp as everything suddenly went black.
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