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Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, I'm not making any money and no infringement is intended.

A/N: Big hugs to Nancy for being a wonderful beta.

This is a companion piece to Sacrifice and A Lonely Heart

A Moment of Weakness

Sitting next to her, I find myself wishing that I had died on the Island. She won't even look at me. When I reach across and try to hold her hand she turns away and looks at her father.

Did it really mean nothing to her? 'A moment of weakness,' she'd said.

No, Parker, not weak. You could never be weak. It was a moment of truth.

An epiphany, almost. For me, that is.

She's always been beautiful in my eyes, but I'd never given serious thought to anything more than friendship between us. In a particularly heated argument she'd once referred to our relationship as that of the master's daughter and the maid's son.

So when did things change?

Okay, I admit I was a bit jealous of her and Tommy. But she was happy, and that's all I've ever wanted for her. I can count on one hand the number of times I've heard her laugh – a real laugh – since her mother died. She has such a beautiful laugh…. I'd give just about anything to make her laugh again.

It wasn't a revelation to find out we work well together. I think that's why the Centre is so bent on keeping us apart. But Alex's comment about how I didn't realize just how important she is to me…well, it got me thinking. I'd always taken our relationship pretty much for granted. I knew she'd always be a part of my life but I always thought that keeping my ties to the Centre was a choice I'd made. I didn't know that leaving her behind was impossible. The worst thing is that they knew. When they allowed us to meet they hoped for a bond to form. And Alex knew this. Then again, he did SIM me and he had to get to know me in order to do that… Is it that obvious to others even though the two of us were blind to it?

I might be making too much out of Alex's comment. He might have been messing with my head one last time. She might feel nothing for me. But at least it got me analyzing my feelings.

The moment I realized just how much she means to me was when I saw my mother leaving the Island on a ferry. Instead of her usual sarcastic remark, she laid her hand on my arm. I looked up at her and in her eyes I saw sympathy and… and a glimpse of something else. A glimpse of someone else.

Someone I thought had been lost to me.

I saw my best friend.

I think she understands my burning desire to find my mother. She's never stopped searching for hers. In a way, she lost Catherine twice. First when we were kids, and then a few months ago when we discovered Ethan.

Sitting in front of the fire, we came so close to kissing each other. My heart was pounding as our heads moved closer together. I wanted to touch her so badly. The memory of our childhood kiss has always been imprinted on my brain and I wanted nothing more than to kiss her again.

I love her. I think I always have. Why did it take me so long to realize it? For a genius, I guess I can be amazingly obtuse at times. I once read a play about star-crossed lovers. Is that what we are? Star-crossed? No, wait… that play was a tragedy. And although I realize that the odds are against this romance – whether it be one-sided or not – ending well, I want to believe that we can make it work.

And that almost-kiss… Our lips were only inches apart when Ocee walked in. The moment was ruined and the rest of our time on the Island was spent trying to stay alive. I thought there'd still be plenty of time once we'd found the scrolls to talk about the more important issue – us. To be completely honest, I've thought of little else all night.

Us. The very idea is enough to make me smile.

Now we sit in the backseat of the car at Inverness Airport. I had thought she returned my feelings but I guess I was wrong. If she truly felt the same, she'd let me go.

Or she'd at least look at me. She wouldn't pretend that it had never happened. She wouldn't act as though she came within inches of making the biggest mistake of her life. As though a moment of weakness was all it really was to her.

Unless… unless she's also trying to deal with her feelings! Hope flickers in my chest. Maybe we do have a chance!

Oh, man… what am I going to do about ZoŽ? In the excitement of the past few weeks I've forgotten about her. She's not going to take the breakup very well. She deserves better than me. She deserves a guy who will give her a normal life. I can't give her the happy ending she wants.

Only now do I realize why I've shied away from anything permanent with her. Deep down I guess I knew that ZoŽ wasn't the one for me. I just wasn't ready to admit that my heart already belonged to somebody else.

I wasn't ready to admit that I'm in love with Parker.

I'm in love with Parker!

Okay, Jarod. Calm down. First things first. You have to get out of this situation alive. And from the way Raines is glaring at you, that's going to be harder than it looks.

I look at Parker again. The conversation that started in front of Ocee's fireplace isn't over, not by a long shot. Not if I have any say in it.

This has a sequel of sorts: Twilight

This has a sequel of sorts: Twilight

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