Bookish, snarky, and fiercely independent Nate Boudreaux leads a solitary life. Between teaching classes at the university and working toward his PhD, he doesn’t need a partner to occupy his time, and he certainly doesn’t need a man like Alistair Drake complicating his future.
Alistair Drake, black sheep of the tremendously wealthy Drake family, is more interested in adding another notch to his bedpost than another zero to his bank account. When a Grindr message brings him to Nate’s doorstep, then straight to his bed, he has no reason to believe that what they share will be more than a simple hookup, until, three months later, a tug on his soul informs him otherwise.
For the Drake family has a secret—one that will force Nate and Alistair together as much as it will demand that they be torn apart. One that Alistair and his brothers have carried all their lives… and one that Alistair and Nate’s future children will carry, too.
Bound to each other by the three precious impossibilities, Nate and Alistair have no choice—no matter the consequence, they will fight for their forbidden clutch.
Clutch is a 64,000 word steamy omegaverse mpreg-ish romance that will leave you in stitches. It contains a Grindr hook-up gone very wrong (or very right); giant magical lizards; a pig named Olive; a wank throne; and a HEA, right down to the white picket fence.
Harry knocked on his bedroom door. “You okay in there, Iggy?”
Nate grimaced. He wanted to call out that he was okay, but he couldn’t make his mouth say the words. He started stripping out of his black, sodden briefs, and threw them on the floor. He needed to go to the hospital, but he didn’t think there’d be time. He didn’t know what to do, but his instincts screamed at him to crawl into bed where it was warm and soft.
Like a nest.
A small, detached part of Nate knew he was behaving in an irrational manner, but it didn’t matter. Rationality had taken a vacation. He didn’t care if he ruined the mattress. His world had become pain, and loss, and a desperate need to lie down and be warm.
Fuck the bed. It’s the least of my worries right now.
Another cramp came, this one harder and sharper than any of the previous ones, and he screamed.
Harry burst in, his brown hair sticking up at odd angles, as if he’d been running a hand through it. He pushed his wire-frame round glasses up his nose and squinted at Nate. “You don’t look so good, Iggy,” he said. “What’s going on?”
Curled up on his side in bed, naked, his comforter and blankets wrapped around him like a cocoon, Nate moaned with misery. “I don’t know,” he lied.
“Should I call an ambulance?”
Nate hoped Harry didn’t see his bloody underwear on the floor, because if he did, he’d call 911 for sure. They were black. Blood would be hard to see on them, at least at first.
“No. Just… I need to be here, in bed.”
“Iggy, what’s wrong?”
Nate felt tears leak from his eyes. Before they could streak his cheeks, he wiped them on his pillow. “I don’t know,” he moaned as another cramp, the worst yet, hit him. Were miscarriages supposed to be this painful? He had no idea. He’d never thought to ask.
Harry reached out a hand toward him, and Nate grabbed it and held it like a lifeline. He felt, and fought, an overwhelming urge to bear down. Maybe, if he held on, he wouldn’t lose this baby he didn’t even want. He knew it was foolish, and futile, yet still he tried until it became impossible and he had no choice but to just let go.
Another cramp, and Nate felt like he was being split in two. More tears, from pain and loss and probably stupid hormones, flooded his eyes. He wanted to howl in anguish.
Something slid from inside him. Something wrong. The pain abruptly abated, like someone turning off a spigot. Nate dropped Harry’s hand, which had probably gone numb from his death grip.
“What just happened?” Harry asked.
“I…” Nate didn’t want to feel behind him, but he knew he had to. There would be a mess—his baby—to clean up. And then he should maybe go to the hospital. Or perhaps see his doctor. He’d probably need antibiotics or something. And a stiff drink. Probably several stiff drinks.
And a good cry, when he was alone.
Nate steeled himself and rolled over. He lifted the comforter, both wanting and not wanting to see the blood, and got half his wish.
“What the fuck is that?”
Harry came closer and peered over Nate’s shoulder. “Oh my goodness,” he intoned, sounding as gobsmacked as Nate felt.
Lying, glistening wet, on his bed was an egg. A beautiful, amethyst-colored egg. The same color of the alpha’s “no, my eyes aren’t purple, they’re blue” eyes.
Nate had only a few seconds to marvel at the whole situation when the cramps began again.
“Oh, my god,” Nate said. “Here we go again.”
“Iggy, did you just lay an egg?”
“I don’t… fuck, ow, that hurts. Maybe. It’s purple. I’m pretty sure miscarriages aren’t fucking purple.”
“More a lavender color,” Harry said wonderingly. “Huge, too. It’s nearly the size of a football.”
“Don’t remind me,” Nate groaned.
Harry reached out a hand. “Can I—”
“No!” Nate shouted, and wondered where that had come from. “I mean… we don’t know… it’s mine,okay?”
“Um, yeah, it’s yours. A lavender egg-like object just came out of you. It’s definitelyyours. But, Iggy, I just want to look at it. Because this is not normal. I won’t hurt it, I swear. I won’t even touch it. But I need to see it. Please?”
“Get me a pillow.”
Harry blinked at him. “What?”
“Get. Me. A. Fucking. Pillow. Now.” Nate’s patience, never very good, wore even thinner as another cramp tore through him. He didn’t know where the thought came from, only that the egg needed to be protected at all costs.
Harry sprinted out of the room and came back with a pillow and a magnifier. It was the one he used when studying specimens.
“What’s that for?” Nate asked suspiciously, then winced when another wave of pain hit. It was bad, he noted, but not as bad as the first had been.
“You kinda demanded a pillow. You’ve got pillows on your bed, but I thought you wanted another one. Was that wrong? I can put it back.”
Nate snatched the pillow from Harry and placed the egg on it like it was the jewel it resembled. The egg was warm, and soft, like the shell was made from iridescent leather. “No, not the pillow. The other thing.”
“I just want to look. I said I wouldn’t touch, and I won’t. Can I, please?”
Part of Nate wanted to snatch the egg, on its cushion, away from Harry’s gaze—to curl around it protectively and keep it safe. But the rational part of his brain, which had been on hiatus, spoke up and pointed out that Harry was his best friend and would be the last person who’d ever hurt Nate or his young.
Then he wondered where the word young had come from.
Probably from the same place that egg came from.
The thought didn’t linger with him for long—it was truncated by another crippling cramp that made Nate hiss in pain.
“This is fascinating,” Harry murmured, looking at the egg closely. “The shell is remarkable. It shimmers in the light, and I don’t think it’s due to being wet with… uh… your… you know, let’s try to forget what the egg is wet with, okay? Okay. What did the shell feel like when you touched it?”
“Shut up,” Nate ground out through his teeth, then he choked back an anguished moan.
“Oh, Iggy! Are you laying another one? This is incredible! I have no idea what’s going on, but this is the most exciting day of my life!” Harry, always a bit strange, was practically buzzing with excitement and happiness.
Nate wanted to kill him. “I hate you so much.”
“So,” Harry asked, undeterred, “are there any more in there? I mean, more than the one you’re maybe-probably laying right now.”
“I don’t… ow… know. Maybe. Holy shit, this hurts.This fucking sucks. I am never fucking internet strangers ever again.”
“I wonder if he was an alien.”
Nate rolled his eyes, then bit his lip with pain. “I did not fuck an alien.”
“How do you know?” Harry shot back. “You just laid an egg, Iggy, and I think you’re about to lay another. Unless there’s egg afterbirth, but that seems unlikely. It’s far more likely that you’ll lay multiple eggs. I wonder how large the clutch will be.”
Nate felt again like he was being ripped in half. “A clutch?” he shrieked, then panted as the pain receded.
Harry grinned sheepishly. “Sorry. Herpetologist joke. My bad.”
Nate felt another something ease out of his body. It was, he was certain, an egg. He reached for it and pulled it to him. It was as soft, warm, and purple as the first, but a trifle smaller, and a little bit darker. He placed it next to the first one. Part of him was boggled by the entire experience. Those—eggs?—had come from him. Impossible, yet true. Eggs. Pretty, purple eggs. Although, of course he thought they were pretty. They were his eggs, after all.
“Do you think that’s it?” Harry asked.
Nate was hit by a cramp. “Fuck. No. There’s more.”
“Excellent!” Harry exclaimed. Nate didn’t think he’d ever seen his friend this animated, except when interacting with his pet iguana, Steve.
“God, I hate you,” Nate moaned, and settled in to weather the cramps he knew would follow.
So. Eggs. He wasn’t sure what to think. There had been something off about that alpha. He’d thought so at the time, but he’d been too fucking horny to care.
This is what you get for being such a slut.His mother’s voice rang out, strident and unwelcome, in his head.
What? Eggs? No, Mom, I don’t think even you anticipated this one.
Nate had no idea how or why he’d just laid two fucking eggs, and by the feeling of the cramps rolling through him, was about to lay more, but he was swamped with a feeling of possessiveness. They were not theeggs—they were hiseggs—and he’d fight to the death to protect them. He’d never considered himself in the least bit paternal, but if anyone even laid a finger on his eggs, Nate would remove their whole hand.
The third egg came the easiest. It was the smallest of the three, and also the palest, almost the color of spring lilacs.
“Is that it?” Harry asked.
Nate lay there, beside his eggs, and took stock. “Yeah. I think that’s it.”
Harry peered at the eggs, then at Nate, then back at the eggs. “Call me crazy, but I swear those things are too big to have come from inside you. It doesn’t seem possible.”
“Trust me,” Nate said. “All too possible.”
“Still.” Harry frowned. “There seem to be mass and volume issues. You are—let’s face it—of a diminutive size, comparative to some of our peers.”
“Fuck you. Like you’re one to talk.”
Harry ignored him. “I wonder if they grew in utero, or if there is a separate egg sac concealed somewhere within your body. How delightful! Iggy, do you know how wonderful this is? I can’t even begin to fathom where you’ve been hiding them.”
“I have been bloated lately.”
Harry shook his head. “Not that bloated.”
“I just squeezed three eggs out of my ass and this is what you’re stuck on?”
Harry grinned at him. “Good point. It’s probably magic.”
“What the hell am I supposed to do now?”
“Well,” Harry said, “if you were the average lizard, you’d ignore your clutch and leave town, never to see them again.”
“I am not a lizard, Harry.”
“Granted, but those are lizard eggs—I’d stake my reputation on it. The color is odd, true, but definitely some sort of reptile. Could be a snake.”
“I did not get fucked by a snake. He was human, with this really spectacular knot, oh my god.”
“Spare me,” Harry said. “Omegas.”
“My point, asshole, is that he was a normal human alpha. Not an alien. Definitely not a snake.”
“And yet, eggs.” Harry pointed at them with a flourish. “There’s got to be some sort of rational explanation. Well, anexplanation, at any rate.”
An abrupt, frantic noise disrupted their conversation. Nate frowned. “Harry, what’s that thumping?”
Harry frowned, too. “It’s like someone’s pounding on the wall or something. One of the neighbors, maybe. You were very loud, Iggy. They probably think we’re having a party or something.”
The next thing they heard was a splintering crash.
“What the fuck?” Nate cried. Instinctively, he pulled the eggs, on their pillow, nearer and prepared to curl around them. Whatever the threat was, it would have to go through him.
The bedroom door crashed in, startling both men. Nate couldn’t see the threat, huddled as he was around his young, but he could hear it, and the sheer menace in the tone made his blood run cold.
“Where are my eggs?”
Lynn Van Dorn was born in Ohio and left it for the wilds of Chicago in her reckless youth. She wanted to become a fairy princess when she grew up, but since there are few openings for that position, she makes do with being a writer.
In her spare time, she drinks entirely too much tea, snugs her cats, loves her husband and son, reads voraciously, and avoids housework. She loves to watch anime, travel, knit, bake cookies, and conjure up happy every afters for handsome men who have trouble getting there on their own.
Piper Scott debuted as a trio of authors looking to write together for fun. Their collaboration led to three novella-length books (Love Me, Save Me, and Keep Me,) before life sent them in different directions, leaving just one author with an omegaverse plot bunny that wouldn’t leave her alone. Obey was born several months later… but the plot bunny never left–it multiplied.
Left to her own devices, Piper Scott writes scorching but heartfelt contemporary omegaverse romance about men you can’t help but fall in love with.