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A/N: Here's a little something in honor of the New Year AND Miss Parker's birthday. I KNOW there are people out there awaiting more Devotion but my muse is feeling all sappy and romantic and I DO NOT argue with her!

Disclaimer: I haven't the faintest idea WHO owns them anymore. The only thing of which I am certain is that it ain't me. No money changing hands so, whoever you are, you can chill out.

Brand New Year
by Ginger

"Jarod! I think you'd better come down here!"

His father's tone set off alarm bells in Jarod. He'd heard a car coming up the drive but had dismissed it, assuming it was his sister and clone returning from a grocery run in town. Could the Centre have found them? And after he'd taken so many precautions to make sure that he could safely spend the holidays with his father, Em and James, which is the name the clone had chosen for himself. He'd even gone so far as ceasing all contact with the Centre weeks before making his way up to a cabin in the Adirondack Mountains the weekend before Christmas to join his family. This meant no communication with Sydney or Miss Parker, not so much as a single clue or red notebook. It meant no information flowing the other way either. He'd left his cell phone, lap top, and even the DSA player, in a secure location hundreds of miles away, just in case the Centre chose this particular moment in time to catch on about Angelo.

It had been surprisingly unpleasant for him, cutting himself off from the Centre and especially the team charged with dragging him back, but he had done so willingly, and without reservation, for his family. They had enjoyed a lovely Christmas together and were planning to have an equally pleasant New Year. Best laid plans: it was two days before the start of a brand new year and he'd likely succeeded not only in getting himself captured, but also virtually all of his immediate family. Alex had been right; he was a danger to the people he loved.

"What is it, Dad?" he called out frantically as he bounded down the stairs.

Standing beside the open front door and gesturing outside the Major replied, "She won't come in. She insists that you go out to her."

"Zoe?" Jarod asked as he cleared the last step, feeling slightly relieved.

She had not taken it at all well when he'd ended their relationship after his return from Carthis. Those days with Miss Parker had turned his world upside down, in more ways than one, and he just didn't feel as though he could make the commitment that Zoe deserved, especially when being with him required so many sacrifices on her part. She had responded first with denial then with anger and hysterics, and he feared that she might turn up again one day, although he had no idea how she would find him.

"No, not Zoe," his father replied gravely as Jarod reached the door.

Stepping into the doorway, Jarod's eyes grew wide and his earlier anxiety returned tenfold. He quickly scanned the area but all he saw was one unfamiliar, but apparently empty, vehicle. Still, there could be a dozen others waiting at the end of the drive. He listened carefully for the sound of choppers but heard nothing but a light wind rustling the snow covered trees. Then he focused his gaze on her, glowering.

"So help me God, Parker," he warned menacingly, but then her appearance began to register and he stepped out onto the porch, blinking in incomprehension.

"Parker?" he repeated more softly.

She stood shivering at the foot of the porch steps. Her face was ghostly pale and blotchy, as though she'd been crying, a fact supported by her red-rimmed, bloodshot eyes. Jarod's anger melted away but his anxiety increased.

"Parker?" he implored, fear permeating his voice.

She appeared poised to speak but instead pressed a hand to her forehead, closed her eyes and swayed slightly from side to side. Jarod took the porch steps two at a time to reach her before she fell over, beside himself with worry as she collapsed against him and began to sob. Slipping his arms gingerly around her shaking body, he pleaded softly into her hair,

"Please, Parker, please tell me what's the matter. What's happened? Please."

"Jarod," the Major called from the house. "It's freezing out there and you don't have a jacket on. You both need to come inside."

"I know, Dad," he called back. "We'll be right in."

Pulling back but keeping his arms securely around her, he advised gently, "Come on, let's go inside where it's warm and we can ta..."

Sensing dampness on his chest, Jarod blinked in horror at the sight of blood on his shirt and exclaimed, "You're injured!" before unceremoniously hauling Miss Parker into his arms. As he swiftly carried her up the porch steps, she finally uttered,

"N... no, Jarod... the car."

"What?" he replied distractedly, determined to get her indoors to assess the severity of her wound or wounds.

"You have to get him!" she protested, pounding weakly at his chest.

"What?" he repeated more alertly. "Get who?"

"The baby," she managed to get out before her eyes fluttered shut.


Jarod stopped dead in his tracks on the porch with an unconscious Miss Parker in his arms. Turning to stare at the SUV she'd arrived in he again muttered incredulously,


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