THE CENTRE JET
SOMEWHERE OVER DELWARE
Parker twisted uncomfortably her leather chair, Broots was sleeping opposite her and Sydney was just staring into space. Parker was sick of playing cat and mouse with Jarod. Every time she got a lead on him she would turn up only to have just missed him and he would leave her a little message or something that would disrupt her life further. She would go home to her empty house at night as sit in the dark drowning her sorrows in a bottle. As she felt the plane start to decent she leant over and clicked her fingers several timeís in Brootsí ears and he woke with a start,
"Get up Broots, youíve got work to do." She reminded him. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat up. Parker got of the plane as she got into the limousine and waited for Sydney, she couldnít help but think she was missing something.
Jarod snuck into the dark building making sure he was alone. When he was convinced he was, he looked around thoughtfully. A reflection of light hit the corner of his eye and he turned back to see what it was. He walked over to the desk where there were papers scattered everywhere. He looked carefully and spotted a ring lying on the floor. He picked it up and examined it carefully, it was Parkerís. It was the one she had worn for as long as he had known her, silver and square shaped. At that moment a cold shiver ran up Jarodís spine and he felt a sharp pain hit his chest, it made him stumble into the table. The pain persisted, and as Jarod put the ring on the table to steady himself, the pain stopped. He lifted his head and looked at his hand. He tentatively picked up the ring and the pain came back.
"Parker," he exclaimed in pain. He picked up a plastic bag that was lying on the floor and dropped the ring into and immediately the pain went away again. Jarod was so confused; he tried to catch his breath,
"Sheís hurting, I have to see whatís wrong." He whispered, a quiver in his voice. He ran out of the building and jump into his car, the tyres screeching as he headed towards the last place he ever thought he would want to go.
MISS PARKERíS RESIDENCE
BLUE COVE, DELAWARE
Two hours after landing back in Blue Cove, she was sitting at home on the couch in front of the fire. He had her gun her hand, resting it on the couch. A solitary tear ran her cheek and she furiously brushed it aside and took a deep breath. She looked at the gun in her hand and she scalded herself for being such a wimp. She slowly brought it to her head and held it against her temple; she held the trigger firmly and slowly pulled back. Jarod ran up to the backdoor and looked in and yelled when he saw what was going on,
"PARKER! NO!" Jarod yelled. Parker flinched and as she pulled the trigger the single bullet pierced through her chest. Jarod smashed through the glass door and ran over, blood coming from several places along his arms and legs. She was shaking, her eye lids closely slowly.
"Parker! Answer me! Parker!" he put his hand on her face but she didnít respond.
"Oh god! Donít die on me Parker!" he laid her down on the couch and felt for her pulse. It was weak but there which meant she was still with her. He took off her blouse and went to work to stop the bleeding. He took off his shirt and tore it, putting pressure on the wound.
"Parker, donít die on me! Please donít die on me Parker!" Jarod whispered as he frantically tried to keep her alive.
TWO DAYS LATER
Parker opened her eyes and immediately felt excruciating pain. She clutched her chest and felt a bandage under her hand. She looked around feverishly but it was pitch black. Jarod heard Parker stir and walked over silently to where Parker lay. He switched on the lamp next to the bed and knelt down next to the bed. Parker spotted him and felt anger boil up inside her as she remembered what had happened,
"Get away from me, you just had to stick your big nose into my business." She spat. She tried to turn away from him but the pain brought her back to her original position. She sighed angrily,
"Parker, I had to stop you, I couldnít just stand there and let you kill yourself." He said calmly trying to explain his actions. Parker shot him a death stare,
"Like you care, all you have ever done for me is made my life hell!" She yelled angrily, fuelled by the immense pain she was feeling. Jarod sighed,
"Parker, of course I care about you, how do you think I knew that you were going to hurt yourself?" he asked compassionately. Parker didnít answer, but inside she was slightly curious. Jarod pulled the bag out of his pocket and put it in Parkerís hand,
"This is how I knew, I found when I went back to South Carolina. Every time I touched it I felt a sharp pain in my chest, I knew you were in trouble." Parker looked at her ring,
"I knew something was missing, traitor" she mumbled to herself. She pulled the ring out of the bag and slipped it back on her index finger.
"Thanks for giving me back my ring but I donít need you here pretending to be my docter." She said angrily. Jarod shook his head,
"Iím not pretending, I have been your docter for over four years." Jarod admitted awkwardly. Parker looked at him astounded,
"What?" she demanded. Jarod shrugged his shoulders.
"First of May 1997, Emergency Room at St. Hallows in Blue Cove for a laceration to the face, 24th of August 1999, Emergency Room at St. Hallows, acute stomach pain, cause, stomach ulcer." Jarod then proceeded to relay Parkerís medical history from the top of his head, including every injury she had sustained as a result of her battle against Bridgette when she was trying to kill her father. Parker was stunned,
"How do you know these things?" she asked anger clearly present in her voice.
"I know your doctorís very well, also when your condition was very serious they would contact me and I would come and see if you were alright. Of course you never saw me, it was usually at midnight or early morning." He stated professionally as if it was no big deal that he was getting that close to the person who had been trying to capture him for over 4 years. Parker was in shock. She didnít know about him keeping track of her health, why would he do that?
"Why?" she chocked out.
"BecauseÖ" he began trying to find the right words, "because I always wanted to know if you were okay, despite our working relationship or lack of it I still care about what happens to you." He admitted quietly. Silence filled the room, the tension soon became unbearable. Parker pushed the feelings that she felt developing towards Jarod aside; they were just too dangerous,
"Well thank you but I wonít need you babysitting me anymore, I can handle everything myself thank you very much." Parker tried to sit up but again the crippling pain stopped her moving. Jarod held out his arms and guided her back onto the bed. Parker sighed dejectedly,
"God, whatís going to happen to me?" she asked herself. Jarod answered her question,
"You are going to lie here until you have healed and then I am going to take you back to The Centre and it will business as usual, I run, you chase." He said flatly.
"I donít want to go back." Parker confessed, not even thinking before speaking. Jarod stopped,
"What?" Jarod asked, thinking he was hearing things, but it explained why she had tried to commit suicide. Parker swallowed,
"I donít want to go back, thatís why I tried to kill myself." She opened up to Jarod for the first time since they were kids. She started to cry and tried to cover her face with her hands. Jarod went around to the other side of the bed and slid in beside Parker. He took her hand and wiped the tears from her eyes with his other hand. Parker looked surprised,
"Why are you doing this for me?" she said hiccuping. Jarod smiled,
"What can I say? I canít resist a damsel in distress." Parker smiled through her tears and rolled her eyes. She re-positioned her body so she was lying across Jarod with her head leaning against his chest. He wrapped her free arm around his neck and feel asleep. Jarod sighed and put his arm protectively around Parker, he watched her sleep before drifting off himself soon after.
BLUE COVE, DELAWARE
Broots walked into Sydneyís office clearly shaken. Sydney looked up from typing on his computer,
"Whatís up Broots?" he asked.
"Have you seen Miss Parker?" he asked nervously. Sydney shook his head; this seemed to make Broots even more agitated,
"Itís just that no one has seen her for the last three days, I rang her on her cell and at home and there was no answer." Broots was clearly worried about her and Sydney started to get concerned. He decided to ask Jarod if he knew anything about it.
"Broots, keep trying her cell, Iím sure sheís just taking a few days off." He said assuringly. Broots nodded and left the room quickly. Sydney picked up his cell, when he knew the coast was clear he hit the speed dial.
"Hello?" Jarod answered sleepily.
"Jarod? Have you heard from Miss Parker?" he asked urgently.
"AhÖn-no I havenít, why is their a problem?" he asked stammering like he was a child who had been caught eating too many cookies.
"She just hasnít been into work for three days and sheís not answering her home phone or cell." Sydney explained.
"Donít worry Sydney, she probably just taken a few days off, if I find out anything Iíll let you know." The line went dead and Sydney sat silently with the phone still in his hand.
Jarod hung up the phone and let out the breath he had been holding in,
"That was too close," he mumbled to himself.
"What was?" Parker asked sleepily. Jarod jumped slightly,
"It was Sydney looking for you." Parker lifted her head in alarm. Jarod stroke her hand reassuringly,
"Donít worry I told him I didnít know where you were." Jarod explained. Parker relaxed and resumed her position, resting her head on Jarodís chest. After an hour of lying in silence Jarod spoke,
"Parker I have to check your wound to make sure itís healing properly." Parker sighed unhappy to have to move. Jarod helped her back onto the bed and went to get his medical bag. When he came back he reached to undo her blouse but hesitated. Parker, seeing it, took his hand,
"Hey youíre my docter remember? No need to be shy." She said mockingly. Jarod smiled at his stupidness. As Jarod checked her wound, his hand touching her skin made her inhale sharply. She had to stop herself on a number of occasions from grabbing him, pulling him on the bed and kissing him. When he finished he commented,
"Itís healing nicely, you should be walking around tomorrow." He explained professionally. Parker frowned,
"Whatís going to happen?" she asked quietly. Jarod thought carefully,
"Well I was doing some thinking last night," he started, "I thought that if we could make everyone believe that youÖ" he trailed off not wanting to upset her. Parker nodded her head slowly,
"Make everyone believe I was dead, then we could be free to do whatever we wanted." Parker ended. Jarod smiled at Parkerís response,
"Since when did this become a "we"?" he asked curiously, not able to hold back a smile, trying to make her smile. Parker motioned for him to come closer. He knelt down beside the bed and leaned in to hear what Parker wanted to say. As soon as he was close enough, Parker pulled his face closer and kissed him softly.
"Since I realised that I love you." She said calmly. Jarod was speechless. It was what he was waiting for but never really expected it. Parker realising his vulnerability, kissed him again but held it for longer this time. After they broke off the kiss, Jarod found his voice again,
"Well that works for me," he answered breathlessly. Parker looked at him with sadness in her eyes. Jarod realised she needed him to say it too,
"Oh yes I forgot something," he pulled her close and kissed her from the third time in less than a minute,
"I love you too." He whispered. Parker smiled,
"If you hadnít said that you know you wouldíve gotten a bad bruise on that pretty little face of yours?" she asked smiling. Jarod responded,
"You think I have a pretty face?" he asked laughing, Parker hit him over the head with a pillow playfully.
BLUE COVE DELAWARE
MR PARKERíS OFFICE
"Where is she?!" Mr Parker demanded. Lyle flinched at his fatherís anger; he had never seen his father this angry.
"I have sweeper teams out as we speak tracking her down, if she is alive we will find her." Lyle reassured his father but it didnít work.
"What if she is dead," he asked quietly. Lyle didnít answer. Mr Parker banged the desk in fury,
"Work fast Lyle, the longer she is missing the less of a chance she is still alive and the more of risk she is to The Centre." Lyle nodded obediently and exited the office.
Jarod had been working on his computer for over four hours trying to simulate a plan to fake their deaths. He looked over to the bed and spotted Parker still sleeping. He smiled; he thought to himself that this had to be the outlandish situation, Parker in the same room as him without a gun to his head. His cell phone rang,
"Hello Sydney," Jarod anticipated.
"Jarod, have you heard anything from Parker?" he asked impatiently. Jarod looked over to the bed, and for an instant thought about telling Sydney that Parker was with him. He shook off the idea; it would only put Sydney in danger,
"No I havenít." he lied, he decided to play along,
"Iím worried about her Sydney, she usually doesnít go away like this with no idea of where she would be." Jarod pretended to sound upset. Sydney sighed,
"Well Jarod, rumours around The Centre say that she is dead." Jarod could hear a hiccup in his mentorís voice. Jarodís heart broke,
"Iím sure she isnít," Jarod tried to convince him.
"I sure she isnít too butÖ" Sydney trailed off. Jarod finished the sentence,
"What if she is?" Jarod asked. After a moment or so he answered the question,
"Well if she is then she is definitely in a better place and is now free from her fatherís slavery," Jarod acknowledged coldly. He hung up the phone and turned back to his computer, he hated keeping Sydney is the dark about what was happening, but he didnít want to involve anyone else in their plan, it was too risky as it was.
WHITE CLOUD LAKE
"Whatís up Sydney?" Broots asked as he was ushered into the wooden cabin. The two men sat on the verandah looking over a lake.
"Itís just strange, when Mr Parker sent a team to investigate Parkerís house, they said they found her gun, on the sofa with a solitary bullet missing from the clip, and blood all over the couch. They also found the glass door smashed, as if someone broke in, but there was nothing missing, her expensive jewellery was still there." Sydney relayed his thoughts. Broots thought for a moment,
"Well someone could have kidnapped her for ransom, Iím sure Mr Parker would pay a large amount of money to save his daughter." Broots hypothesised. Sydney frowned sadly,
"No Broots, Mr Parker said when he was asked if he would pay ransom he said that he wouldnít, that he, thatís the worst part. I overheard a conversation between Mr Rheins and Mr Parker quote "I will not be terrorised by some psycho"." Broots looked shocked, he knew himself that if someone took Debbie that he would do absolutely anything to get his daughter back. Sydney was deep in thought looking out over the lake,
"So what do you think happened?" Broots asked. Sydney shrugged his shoulders,
"I donít know, I have contacted Jarod and he said he hasnít heard from Parker either, he sounded extremely worried." Sydney revealed. Broots shook his head,
"When are they going to realise?" Broots asked, talking to himself. Sydney was confused,
"Realise what?" he asked.
"That they are in love with each other." He declared. Sydney smiled and shook his head,
"Jarod already knows, but ParkerÖ" Sydney trailed off as he realised where she might be.
Jarod was staring intently at information on the screen when he heard Parker moan, the painkillers had obviously worn off. He hurried over to the bed and knelt down next Parker.
"Parker? Iím here," He took her hand.
"Jarod?" she asked sleepily. Parker rolled over and looked at Jarod gratefully, Jarod smiled,
"Welcome back," he greeted her gently. Parker smiled,
"Those pain killers are damn good, I donít think I have slept that good in my whole life. Jarod shook his head,
"It wasnít the painkillers, they donít make you sleepy." He informed her. Parker looked surprised but Jarod explained her ability to sleep,
"Itís that now you know that you donít have to go to the Centre of Hell today." Parker smiled.
"Probably, so what have you been doing?" she asked indicating to the computer.
"Planning our disappearance." He answered sadly. Parker took in a slow, deep breath,
"Well genius, whatís the plan and when can we start?" she inquired impatiently, ready to leave her terrible past right there, in the past.
"Well when we start hasnít been organise as yet but I have been doing some planning," he started. He didnít want to upset her. But Parker gave him a weaker version of her "Death Stare" as if to say, just spit it out.
"Well I found out that the easiest way for us to "disappear" is to fake a car crash off the side of a cliff." He explained, "Itíll mean that when the car goes off the cliff, the car will blow up and they will believe that you were burnt beyond recovery." He finished. He saw tears form in Parkerís eyes,
"Okay, how will we make them believe that I was actually in the car that went off the cliff?" she asked painfully.
"Well I would put a cell phone in the car and then you would call Sydney from another one. I would manipulate the signal so that it would make Mr Broots believe you were in the location where the car crashed." He responded. Parker nodded her head,
"Okay well when can we do this? As soon as possible preferably." She expressed her feelings of persistence to go ahead with the plan. Jarod let out a long sigh.
"Well we can do it tomorrow if that is what you want?" he asked quietly. Parker thought it over for a moment,
"The sooner the better." She affirmed. Jarod put his hand on her cheek,
"I know you are worried about Broots, Debbie and Sydney." He told her. A tear ran down her face,
"What will happen to them? Without me Rheins may decide to get rid of them." She chocked through tears. Jarod put his arms around her and held her close.
"I promise you, nothing will happen to them," Jarod reassured her. Jarod knew he had to go and arrange everything for the next day.
"Parker I have to go and organise the car and everything else, Iíll be gone for a couple of hours." He told her. Parker looked into his eyes, fear obvious,
"What if Lyle and sweepers come here and find me?" she asked. Jarod pulled his gun and her cell phone from his back pocket,
"Call me if anything happens, and just in case I donít get back in timeÖ" He put the items on the bed next to Parker. He held her face in front of his and kissed her gently on the forehead,
"Iíll be back as soon as I can." He helped her back into a lying position and slipped out of the front door. Twenty minutes after Jarod had left the cell phone rang and without even thinking she answered it but couldnít speak because of the pain,
"Miss Parker? Thank god I found you, we were so worried about you." Broots responded excitedly. Parker started to shake,
"Shit, this is going to ruin everything!" she cursed under her breath.
She quickly hung up the phone and searched through her phone for Jarodís number. She found it and rang it. She only had until it rang once before Jarod picked it up,
"Whatís wrong? Are you all right?" He asked immediately, as he was driving into a little town. Parker swallowed,
"I just stuffed everything up Jarod, Iím sorry!" Parker started to cry.
"Parker, itís okay what happened?"
"Well my phone rang and it was Broots, I didnít mean to answer it but it was just a reflex, I didnít say anything but still he could trace it." Another wave of tears flowed down her face; she couldnít let anyone know where she was and what she was planning. Jarod was silent, it meant that they would have to move from where they were and they would have to postpone the "accident", he didnít forget about Parker.
"Iím coming right back, weíll leave as soon as we are ready." He ordered. He quickly did a u-turn and headed back to the house.
BLUE COVE DELAWARE
Sydney was watching Angelo intently, he had given Angelo Parkerís gun, without the clip inside to see if he could tell where she was and more importantly, who with. Angelo turned to the gun over and over in his hands and then held it to his head.
"Away, get away from me!" he shouted. He pulled back on the trigger but stopped and looked over his shoulder into the corner of the room.
"Whoís there Angelo?" Sydney asked. Angelo smiled,
"Love, love." Angelo repeated over and over. He then fell back onto the floor and grasped his chest. After a moment he sat up still clutching his chest with a smile on his face,
"Safe, Miss Parker safe." He lay down on the floor and closed his eyes, not moving until a sweeper took him back into his room. Sydney looked at the gun on the ground where Angelo left it,
"I knew itÖ Jarod," he chuckled to himself as he picked up the gun and left the room.
He dialled Jarodís cell and waited,
"Parker?" he asked. On the other end of the line Sydney smiled.
"You almost fooled me Jarod." Sydney began.
"Sydney! What do you mean fooled you?" he asked hastily. Sydney smiled,
"I know youíre with Parker, Angelo told me." Sydney explained.
"I donít know where Parker is Sydney, if I did you know I would tell you straight away. I was just talking to source about if he had seen her but it was a dead end. I was hoping you were one of my other giving me good news," He sounded disappointed, hoping it would allay Sydneyís suspicions. Sydney still didnít believe him,
"How are the cuts on your hand?" Sydney inquired.
"I told you, I donít know where Parker is or what happened to her back door, I have to go Iím going to talk to another person about Parker, Iíll call you in an hour or so." Sydney heard a click indicating the conversation was over. He still didnít believe Jarod, but why wouldnít he trust Sydney enough to tell him the truth?
"You ready to go Parker?" Jarod yelled over the sound of running water. Parker stopped the water and stepped out of the shower. She shivered as she felt the cold air flow over her skin. She awkwardly put on a blouse and pair of jeans, avoiding the wound on her chest and stepped out of the bathroom. She spotted Jarod packing up his laptop; beside him two small suitcases packed and ready to go. She walked over and tried to pick up one of the suitcases but the pain through her chest made her drop it back onto the carpet. Jarod picked up all the bags,
"Where are we going?" Parker asked, trying to sound enthusiastic. Jarod opened the front door,
"Seattle, we are on the flight leaving at 8:30," Parker nodded her head in approval,
"Alright letís go."
MR PARKERíS RESIDENCE
BLUE COVE, DELAWARE
Mr Parker and Lyle were having dinner.
"Iím sorry Dad, but the dozens of Sweeper teams all over the country have located no sign of Parker." Lyle informed his father. Mr Parker sighed dejectedly,
"Well I guess thatís it, itís been a week, your sister is officially dead." He declared, slowly chewing on the tough roast beef on his dinner plate.
BLUE COVE, DELAWARE
MISS PARKERíS OFFICE
Sydney was sitting at Miss Parkerís desk. He was thinking about the whole circumstances around Parkerís disappearance when Broots interrupted his thoughts,
"Sydney, I thought you might be here." He acknowledged.
"I have some news," he said excited. Sydney sat up, listening intently, glancing at the paper in Brootsí hand for a second. Broots continued,
"Well I rang Miss Parkerís cell again except I got through. Someone answered the phone but said nothing. All I could hear was breathing then they hung up. I managed to triangulate the signal and it was coming from this location." He put the map on the desk in front of Sydney and pointed to road.
"Where is this?" Sydney asked.
"Jamestown, North Dakota." Broots replied, Sydney smiled,
"Alright, get the jet, weíll see if we can go find her." Sydney ordered. Broots quickly walked out of the room and Sydney gazed at the picture of Parker and her father. Sydney touched the Parkerís face in the photo,
"I hope you are with Jarod, for your own safety" He whispered before leaving the room.
Parker was sitting in a café drinking coffee waiting for Jarod to come back. He had gone to check if the pilot flying the plane was good enough to fly them to Seattle. She saw him change into his pilot clothes and push open the door to the employees lounge. She couldnít help but smile, she was happy someone was looking after her, after all, her father never did. Even thinking about her father made tears come to Parkerís eyes. She spotted Jarod walking towards her confidently and she quickly blinked away the tears and smiled.
"Well whatís the verdict?" Parker asked cynically. Jarod sat down, out of breath.
"Yeah well the pilotís name is Mitchell Johnson, heís good but not as good as me." He said jokingly, breathing on his knuckles and rubbing them on his shirt. Parker punched him playfully,
"Then why donít you fly the plane?" she queried curiously, jokingly. Jarod looked out at the tarmac thoughtfully,
"Okay I will, see you on the plane." He leant over and gave her a kiss, leaving the café and rushing towards the bathroom. Jarod walked into the employee lounge and tapped Mitchell Johnson on the shoulder,
"Excuse me, you have a phone call." He told him. Mitchell stood up and went over to the bar and took the phone. Jarod looked at him talking on the phone and tried in vain to hide a smile. When he hung up the phone he headed back towards Jarod,
"Damn South Dakota!" he cursed. Jarod looked at him concerned,
"Whatís wrong?" Jarod asked.
"They need me to fly out of South Dakota but Iím suppose to be flying to Seattle in half and hour." Jarod smiled and gave him a friendly pat on the back,
"Hey no worries, Iíll fly for you." He offered. Mitchell looked relieved,
"Hey thanks man." He picked up his blazer and walked out the lounge. Jarod smiled cheekily and pulled his cap down over his forehead and headed towards the tarmac. Parker heard the flight being called and she stood up and went directly to the gate. She handed over her ticket and the attendant stopped her,
"Oh Miss Parker, youíve been upgraded to the first class compliments of the captain." She informed. Parker looked out the window at the front of the plane and saw Jarod in the cockpit. He winked and gave her a huge smile. Parker laughed softly to herself and took the ticket the attendant gave her. She walked into first class and took her seat, as soon as she settled into the seat an attendant came towards her with a small package,
"Excuse me, Miss Parker?" she asked. Parker nodded and the women placed the parcel on Parkerís lap,
"The captain asked me to give this to you, enjoy your flight." She said cheerfully. Parker ripped through the tissue paper eagerly. She found a headphone set and a little note under neath. She quickly read it,
Hope you didnít mind me bumping you up to first class. These headphones are so you can talk to me all through the flight, youíll keep me awake.
Parker smiled, as she smelled the note, the smell of his aftershave filled her nose. She noticed that it was the first time he had signed it "Luv J" and it made her smile. She quickly plugged in the headphones,
"Well I see you got my little package?" Jarod spoke immediately when she put them on. She looked around but saw no one but other passengers boarding the plane, and no sign of anybody at the cockpit window.
"How did you know the precise time I would put on the headphones?" she asked.
"Well because I know you, first you would have read the note, smelled it for my aftershave, realised that I had inserted "luv" into my note for the first time and then plugged in the headphones." He explained.
"Smart ass," she replied.
"Thatís why Iím flying the plane and you are in first class, at this very moment being delivered an assortment of goodies." Parker then heard a cart roll along the aisle and stop beside her. She looked at the cockpit door but again saw nothing.
"Would you like anything Mam?" a male steward asked. Parker looked at the trolley and rolled her eyes. On a lovely, white, lace tablecloth laid assorted sweets, including Pez, Twinkies, Oreos and other sweets Jarod had found on his adventures. Parker mumbled to herself,
"Jarod," she shook her head.
"Yes?" he asked sheepishly. She jumped; she had forgotten she was talking directly to him by the headphones. Parker reached for an Oreo but Jarod interrupted,
"I know Oreos are tempting but personally I enjoy Pez." He informed her efficiently. Parker decided to play along with his game,
"Actually I donít want any of these," she said stubbornly.
"What would you like? Anything?" He asked jokingly knowing what she was doing. Parker thought for a moment, leaving Jarod to swirm, just like he had done to her many times before,
"I would like authentic, genuine, imported from Turkey, Turkish delight." She ordered.
"Well, that is quite specificÖ" he started. The steward tapped Parker on the shoulder and presented a large platter of chocolates. Parker spotted a little note from Jarod,
I already thought of that. And have you forgotten what today is?
"Well I must be going, I have to get this plane off the ground, talk to you in a few minutes." He then disconnected her and Parker reaching for a chocolate and popped it into her mouth. She thought about his note,
"What have I forgotten?" she asked herself as she felt the plane start taxing along the runway.
Sydney ran towards the gate and slowed, out of breath. When he reached the house where Parker was, Broots had tracked the signal to, he found it deserted. He decided to the check the airport. At the check in counter he pulled a photo of Parker out of his pocket,
"Have you seen this women?" he asked panting.
"Yes she just got on the plane to Seattle." She answered. Sydney pulled out another photo,
"Was this man with her?" he asked frantically. She looked at the photo bewildered,
"No he was the pilot, he was really cute, I think he said his name was Jarod." She thought out loud, sighing at the memory. Sydney thanked the attendant and made his way back to the car where Broots was waiting. He got into the driverís seat and shook his head,
"Seattle," he turned the key and left the airport hoping to catch up with Jarod and to find out what was going on.
SOMEWHERE OVER THE BORDER OF NORTH DAKOTA
Parker wiped off chocolate crumbs from her pants. She was enjoying first class but one thing was nagging her, what was today? She heard the line in her headphones click,
"Jarod?" she asked tentatively.
"Have you figured it out yet?" he asked.
"I have no idea," she answered frankly.
"Well I have something to jog your memory." Parker looked up and saw a woman standing in front of her holding a silver suitcase. Parker put down the table from the seat in front of her and opened the suitcase. It was a DSA player. She saw a disk in the slot and pressed play. She saw Jarod when he was only 9 years old sitting at a table. She saw a young girl with light brown hair, walk across and sits next to the boy on the chair. She realised when this was and tears started to form in her eyes. She watched the younger version of herself and Jarod kiss innocently.
"Today is the anniversary of when I first realised that I was in love with you." He revealed. Parker couldnít stop the flood of tears running down her face.
"I love you Jarod," she whispered. She sat silently waiting for Jarodís reply, she started to worry,
"Jarod? Whatís wrong?" she asked frightened, her gut told her something bad was happening. She heard crackling down the headphones,
"Parker? Parker? If you can hear me thereís a problem with the plane. We are going to crash, just in case I donít make it I-" The line disconnected and Parker threw them off her ears. She ran towards the cockpit but was pushed back into her seat by two flight attendants.
"Say in your seat please!" they yelled over the noise of the engines coughing. The plane started to rock dangerously, and luggage fell from the compartments, hitting passengers, knocking them to the floor of the plane. The lights flickered until they were plunged into darkness. Parker looked out the window and saw the plane heading, nose first towards the ground.
"JAROD!" she yelled. As she ran towards the cockpit, she was hit in the head by a large suitcase and knocked unconscious. As the plane hit the unforgiving mountainside, all that could be seen from above the wreckage was the tail-sticking upright out of the ground.
SOMEWHERE OVER THE BORDER OF NORTH DAKOTA
Parker opened her eyes slowly and instantly felt pain at her head. She touched the back of her head and felt a wet patch, when she looked at her hand she saw blood. She sat herself up and surveyed the wreckage. The plane was crushed to half itís size with luggage and seats strewn everywhere. No other people were moving on the plane and she immediately thought of Jarod. She lifted herself to her feet, feeling slightly dizzy she made her way towards the crushed cockpit. She tried to open the door but it wouldnít budge so she kicked at it angrily and when she broke it down she saw debris littered the floor. She climbed over equipment and doors littering the floor. She spotted Jarod in his seat hunched over.
"Jarod! Jarod! Talk to me Jarod!" she yelled throwing obstacles out of her path. When she got to him she noticed him bleeding from his chest and head. She checked his pulse but it was very faint. She pushed his head up and rested it into the back of the chair. She tapped his cheek trying to wake him up. He groaned and his eyes fluttered open,
"Parker? Parker are you alright?" he asked breathlessly.
"Yeah Iím fine, what about you, whatís wrong?" she asked believing he would know after all technically he was a doctor. He looked down at his body and saw the bleeding,
"Parker, Iím going to pass out now, just tell the search party that I have a punctured lung and brain haemorrhaging theyíll know what to do," He reached up his hand to her face,
"I love you." He whispered before losing consciousness. Parker heard voices outside and she went over to the window, kicking it out in urgency.
"Here! This man needs help!" she yelled hoarsely. Moments later a fire fighter stuck his head in the window,
"Are you ok miss?" he asked. She nodded,
"Yes but he isnít he has a punctured lung and brain haemorrhaging we have to get him out!" she yelled through tears. The fire fighter yelled over his shoulder,
"Donít worry, weíre going to get this door off and weíll get him out." He smiled encouragingly.
Sydney noticed groups of crying people gathered at the terminal he was headed for and a bad feeling instantly struck.
"Do you think it crashed?" Broots asked nervously.
"Letís hope not." Sydney replied. He rushed towards the desk,
"Whereís the plane from North Dakota?" he asked frantically, fear growing by the second. She looked at him with pity,
"Iím sorry sir but flight 234F crashed an hour ago just past the border of North Dakota." She informed the two frightened gentlemen in front of her. Sydney felt anguish like he couldnít believe,
"Are there any survivors?" he asked shocked to near speechlessness.
"No so far but the search party only just reached the plane, we wonít know until they radio, Iím very sorry did you have loved ones on the plane?" she asked compassionately.
"Yes, my son and daughter," Sydney lied, only in the paternity sense, in his mind they were his children and he loved them just as much as he loved his son Nicholas. The womanís attention was diverted by talking in her headphones; she remained silent for a moment and wrote down the information she was receiving quickly. She thanked the informant and pulled the headphones from her ears.
"What did they say?" Broots asked. The women checked her notes before replying,
"They have found the pilot and another female passenger together in the front of the plane, the female passenger is okay but the pilot has a punctured lung and massive head injuries and is unconscious at this time. They taking them both to the Seattle Public Hospital for emergency treatment, apparently the woman would not let them take the pilot without her." She relayed with the hint of a smile on her face. Sydney spoke up,
"That has to be Jarod and Parker," he affirmed. This news made the two gentlemen feel a little more at ease but concern still lingered about what would happen to Jarod. The two men ran out of the airport and drove frantically towards the hospital,
"What will happen if The Centre finds out about Miss Parker and Jarod?" Broots asked as he was driving.
"I donít know!" he exclaimed angrily. "We just have to make sure that they donít find out." He ended bluntly. Broots nodded his head in agreement and the two friends were silent for the rest of the drive.
SOMEWHERE JUST OUTSIDE SEATTLE
Parker kneeled next to Jarod in the ambulance. He had a bandage on his head and tube into his lung as a machine breathed for him. She held his hand as the ambulance sped towards the hospital. When they reached the emergency bay, Jarod was rushed down towards the Operating Room. Parker ran beside the bed but was stopped by a nurse when they reached the door to the OR. She stood helplessly outside the doors while the man she loved was fighting for his life.
SEATTLE PUBLIC HOSPITAL
Sydney and Broots burst through the doors in the emergency room and spotted Parker sitting, crying in the chair beside the doors to the OR. Sydneyís heart broke as he saw her crying. He ran over to her and kneeled in front of Parker. When she spotted him she threw her arms around his neck in fear.
"God Sydney, is he going to die?" she asked feverishly. Sydney rubbed her back gently and reassured her,
"Iím sure he will be fine, heís probably telling the doctors how to perform the procedure at this moment." This made Parker smile slightly and let go of Sydney, calming herself down. Someone tapped Sydney on the shoulder and when he turned around he was confronted with a reporter and a large camera ready to film.
"Can we please have an interview with the first survivor?" she asked. Sydney shook his head and pushed the crew out of the emergency room,
"No interviews this woman has gone through enough already, now if you donít leave I will have to press charges!" he yelled furiously. Broots, shocked by Sydneyís anger walked up behind him and laid his hand on his shoulder,
"Itís ok Sydney, there gone." Broots tried to calm his friend down, this whole situation was getting Sydney angrier than Broots had ever seen him before. He composed himself but drew his attention back Parker. What the group didnít see was the reporter at the window filming through the window in the emergency room giving the whole of the country the exclusive on the story, including pictures of Parker.
BLUE COVE DELAWARE
MR PARKERíS OFFICE
Mr Rheins burst through the doors of Mr Parkerís office,
"Mr Parker, turn on the TV to channel six," he said breathlessly, wheezing. Mr Parker looked up from his desk confused about why Rheins wanted him to watch TV but he flicked on the television in the corner of the room. What he saw made him sit up and pay attention. He saw his crying daughter sitting in a waiting room with Sydney and Mr Broots, he listened to the last part of the report,
"ÖAt Seattle Public Hospital with massive head injuries and a punctured lung, the pilot is still in the OR but we will keep up updated on all the events arising from this terrible tragedyÖ" Mr Parker didnít need to hear anymore, he picked up his phone,
"I want the jet ready in 15 minutes." He ordered. He picked up his suitcase and walked out of his office, Rheins walking behind him,
"Are we going to Seattle?" he wheezed. Mr Parker stopped,
"They are a security risk sitting there, if they are asked for any detailsÖ" his voice trailed off, expecting Rheins to know the implications of such an event occurring. He nodded in agreement and both men proceeded to the plane heading for Seattle.
SEATTLE PUBLIC HOSPITAL
Parker paced the waiting room aimlessly. It had already been four hours since they had rushed Jarod through to the OR but it felt like a lifetime.
"Angel are you alright?" she heard her fatherís voice. She turned around shocked and afraid of her father being at the hospital.
"Daddy, what are you doing here?" she asked pretending to be happy to see him. He smiled tiredly,
"I saw you on the news and came to see if you were alright and to take you home." He explained. Parker looked towards the doors for any sign of Jarod,
"But DaddyÖ" she started but Mr Parker wouldnít allow his daughter to finish.
"No Angel, we have to go home and let the Sweepers deal with the mess here." He ushered his daughter out of the emergency room. Parker could only watched helplessly as she was dragged further and further away from Jarod, not knowing if he was going to survive.
BLUE COVE, DELAWARE
THE NEXT DAY
Parker walked into her fatherís office. As she had entered work she had been summoned to her fatherís office immediately. Parker knew questions would be asked about where she had been the last few days but she already had a perfectly good explanation and we ready to take on anybody, including Rhiens. All the usual people were there, her father, Mr Rheins and Lyle and some other curious onlookers Parker had seen around the place. She took a seat in front of her fatherís office and waited for the onslaught.
"Miss Parker we are here to ask you about the events of the past few days, where you have been and what happened on the plane particularly if it had anything to do with Jarod." He pressed, a hint of a warning in his voice. Parker nodded her head,
"Well I was with Jarod, he was keeping me captive against my will, tied me up with wire and held a gun to my head the whole time. He wanted information about his parents. And he was convinced that I knew something about them, where they lived etc. I told him that I didnít but he wouldnít believe me. He was disturbed, really disturbed like he was losing his sanity." Parker took a breath and looked at the faces of the people judging her. She continued,
"He dragged me to the airport and insisted I got on the plane to Seattle where I was suppose to show him the secret lab that The Centre had up there. I had no idea what he was talking about but he looked crazy like he was going to shoot me at any time. I knew that I couldnít reveal any information so I got on the plane and decided that I would take control when we reached Seattle and bring him back to The Centre. He tied me to my seat, he went to the bathroom and as I felt the plane start to decent I knew we were going to crash I pried my arms free from the restraints and braced myself for the impact. When I came to, Jarod was no where to be seen, I assumed he was still in the bathroom and I found away out of the plane when the rescue crew insisted that I go to the hospital for an examination." Parker finished the story and scanned the faces around her for an indication of wether or not they believed her. Her father asked the first question,
"Why then when I saw you on the television were you crying?" he asked suspiciously. Parker answered bitterly,
"I was crying because one, I lost the best chance their has ever been to capture Jarod and I knew you would be furious with me if you found out, two, I was upset because if Jarod was dead then he would be of no use to The Centre and of course there is the factor of shock." She outlined bitterly. Her father nodded, satisfied with his daughterís answer. Lyle was the next person to join the fun,
"What do you know about the pilot?" he asked. Parker shook her head,
"Nothing he said his name was Mitchell or something but I wasnít paying much attention, I was trying to figure out how I would get away from JarodÖ alive" Parker admitted. She spotted Rheins itching to ask a question,
"You have a question Mr Rheins?" she asked cynically as if to challenge him to dare question her about her loyalty to The Centre.
"You are a trained professional and have many, many years of combat experience, why was it that you were not able to disarm Jarod sooner?" he asked. Parker gave him her famous death stare but answered the question just to alleviate suspicions.
"I analysed the situation and in the state Jarod was in I realised that if I tried to overpower him one of us would have been killed in the struggle and it wouldnít have been me. I thought that the Triumvirate would rather have their Wonder Boy alive than blown to bits with half of him back at a hotel in Whoville." Parker answered matter-of-factly with confidence. Not faltering in any way. She looked at Rheins as if to challenge him to try and find some other way of making her seem like she was in co-operation with Jarod. Mr Parker stood up,
"Does anybody have any other questions, I think my daughter has put to rest all the suspicions." He announced comfortably. No one spoke and Parker excused herself and walked out of the office and into the comfort of her own office. She collapsed into her chair and fought to keep back the tears. She still didnít know if Jarod was alive or not and she had to fight the urge to ring the hospital. She realised that she certainly couldnít ring the hospital from The Centre, Parker had no doubt that Rheins probably had the phones in The Centre and her home phone tapped for any scrap of evidence against her. She tried to focus on work but her mind kept wondering to Jarod and if he was okay. An idea hit her that would solve both her problems, she picked up the phone and keyed in Brootsí number.
"Broots, tell them to get the jet ready, we are going after Jarod." She explained.
"Where are we going?" he asked.
ĎSeattle, he was in the plane when it crashed so maybe he was taken to the same hospital as I was." She lied for anyone listening to his or her conversation.
"Oh okay." Broots hung up the phone, confused but he knew it was probably a cover up for the real reason she wanted to go so he made the arrangements for the jet. Parker pulled her gun from the holster and check the safety was on. When she was satisfied, she replaced her gun and walked out of her office to catch her flight.
SEATTLE PUBLIC HOSPITAL
The docter stood at the foot of the John Doeís bed. He checked his chart and noticed there was no change and it worried him. He exited the room and went to the nurseís desk.
"How long has our John Doe been unconscious?" he asked. The nurse checked her chart,
"33 hours docter." She replied. He sighed,
"Letís hope he wakes up, heís risking massive brain damage." He thought out loud. The nurse nodded in agreement but her attention was diverted to a ringing telephone.
THREE HOURS LATER
Parker, Broots and Sydney walked quickly through the hospital doors and straight to the nurseís station.
"I would like to see the pilot from the airplane crash please?" she asked hurriedly. The nurses looked up,
"Are you family?" she asked. This gave the three people the indication that Jarod was not okay. They only checked if someone was family if they were either dead or unconscious.
"Iím his fiancé." She told the nurse. She pointed to Sydney,
"This is his father Sydney Green and his older brother Broots." She lied. Broots and Sydney looked at each other with sideways glances.
"Oh his father, thatís fantastic, what is your sonís name?" Sydney didnít answer immediately, Parker crushed his toes with the heel of her stiletto and he yelped, jumping slightly,
"J-Jarod Green, he hasnít been in Seattle before." He answered.
"Well I will need to get all his details from you but in the meantime you two can go and see him but only for a little while, he needs to rest." The nurse ordered. Parker nodded a rushed towards the room the nurse had pointed out. When she entered she almost let out a scream but it came out as a choke in her throat. She spotted Jarod lying on the bed unconscious. He was yellow in the face with tubes entering his nose and mouth. She ran to his bedside and grabbed his hand in fear.
"Jarod, oh god! Jarod wake up please!" she begged. Broots decided to leave her alone and quietly snuck out of the room, closing the door behind him. He made his way back to Sydney where he was giving the nurse Jarodís details. Sydney turned to his friend,
"What happened?" he asked. Broots shook his head,
"Sheís pretty torn up, if he diesÖ" Broots trailed off.
"Part of her will die too." Sydney finished the sentence. They walked to the room where Jarod was and observed Parker through the window. Parker pulled up the chair next to the bed and sat staring at Jarodís pale complexion. All of her life, the one person that had stuck by her and understood her more than anyone was Jarod. He had always been there, he couldnít be there physically but she always felt he was thinking of her. His incessant taunting and phone calls did at times infuriate her but in hindsight she realised that without those phone calls her life would be much worse than it was. Despite her reluctance to admit it to herself, she looked forward to Jarodís calls, hearing his calming voice. She started to cry and she buried her face into his neck,
"Please come back to me Jarod, I canít live without you. If you leave me I will be dead without you. I need you to be here for me, you are my strength I need you so much right now just please come back to me and we can go away together away from The Centre and everyone else who had hurt us, please Jarod I need you so much it hurts." She whispered. She looked at his face for a response but there was nothing. Sobbed uncontrollably beside his bed as Sydney and Broots watched on, their hearts breaking along with Parkerís.
BLUE COVE, DELAWARE
"Have you seen Parker?" Lyle asked his father as he entered Mr Parkerís office. He looked up from his paper work,
"Yes she went to Seattle to see if the rescue crew had found Jarod and taken him to the hospital Parker was in." Mr Parker explained. Lyle nodded slowly and left the office not totally convinced of his sisterís loyalties.
SEATTLE PUBLIC HOSPITAL
Sydney knocked quietly on the door and opened it a fraction,
"We need to go Parker, theyíll be wondering what happened." He reminded her. Parker looked at Jarod sorrowfully and stood up to leave,
"Parker?" she heard his voice strain to say the word. She ran to his side, happy to hear his voice,
"Iím right here. Oh thank god!" she exclaimed, holding his hand appreciatively. Jarod smiled,
"Does this mean youíre going to be a church goer?" he asked breathlessly, even in extreme pain he still had a smile on his face. Parker smiled,
"Can you really see me getting up early and dressing for church?" she asked incredously. Jarod shook his head.
"Neither can I," she smiled, wiping the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of her grey blazer.
"Grey is not your colour," Jarod commented. Sydney and Broots entered the room relieved to see Jarod conscious.
"Sydney, Mr Broots?" he was surprised they were here. Sydney walked over to the bed and gave his protégé a pat on the shoulder,
"I thought I should warn that Parker told the nurse that she was your fiancé, I was your father and Broots was your brother." Jarod looked at Parker with an ĎI canít believe you did thatí look. She shrugged her shoulders,
"Ok so my Pretender skills arenít as refined as yours, so shoot me!" she defended her actions. The whole group laughed, the first time they had done so for such a long time. But the reality soon hit Sydney,
"Parker, we have to go, Rheins will get suspicious if we are here any longer." This brought Parker back to reality. She leant over Jarod and planted a kiss on his forehead before turning to leave,
"Parker?" Jarod stopped her. She turned back,
"Iíll come and get you soon." He promised her. Parker smiled,
"I have no doubt you will, you wouldnít be able to stop yourself." She smiled cheekily and walked confidently down the hallway.
Over the next few weeks, things returned to business as usual at The Centre. Now Jarod was mobile and just as smart as ever they were being led on just as many goose chases. Jarod would leave behind a present for Parker every time, Parker had to start a gift shelf in her cupboard for the number of presents Jarod was leaving for her. After three weeks of not seeing Jarod, Parker started to get concerned about why she hadnít seen him. As she walked through the front door after a long day at work she heard the phone ring,
"Hello?" she answered uncharacteristically. Jarod was taken aback,
"Well thatís a change," he commented. Parker smiled,
"Jarod, itís about time you called me, Iíve been waiting for three weeks to hear from you." She was happy that everything seemed to be okay.
"Yes well Iíve been doing some planning and if now finished." He described. Parker was curious,
"What kind of plans?" she asked.
"Plans to bring down The Centre." He stated matter-of-factly not missing a beat.