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Discalimer is that I don't own them, just borrowed them....this takes place during season three before Parker meets Thomas Gates. . . . .yet it came about because of a revelation in the episode "Until death" so if you have not seen the episode you may not want to read is appreciated but not necessary and for those of you who don't like Thomas you are not alone but this story needed to be written. . . .PG Thanks to Niceole for proofing and reading this . . . .

The House That Jarod Built
by Trish

The sun was bright and the sky was dotted with fat little clouds that looked like cotton balls glued to blue construction paper. The blaring of siren sounds destroyed the calmness of the peaceful afternoon. A tall, lean man watched the arrival of the rescue squad at the old house across the street. Edging his way closer to emergency crew, he heard one of them call into his microphone that a young man was seriously hurt from a fall off the construction scaffolding. A fall that should never have happened he heard another yell.

"Can I help?" the man asked the woman dress in EMT blues," I have some medical training."

"Guess we can use the help. The kid's hysterical, not that I blame him. He tumbled six feet down. Claims that he can't feel his legs, but he won't let us collar him. Maybe you can talk to him, calm him down for us."

"I'll give it a try," the man approached the accident scene, and knelt next to the young man, smiling. Hell, he was more boy than man, "Hi, name's Jarod, yours?"

" Col. . .Cole," the boy winced," I just want to go home. This wasn't supposed to happen."

"What happen, Cole?" Jarod asked.

"The planking broke, it just split, and the hand rail wasn't in locked in place. Don't know why. It was. . . earlier. I remember checking to make sure it was secure this morning. Next thing I remember is hearing a cracking noise. I grabbed for the hand rail but it swung loose and down I . . . ." he winces in pain. . ."go. I can't feel my legs, Jarod. . . and my back's on fire. Tell me it'll be okay, tell me," his fingers wrapped tightly around Jarod's.

"Then let's get you collared and transported to the hospital, Cole. You need to be looked at by a doctor," the man's dark eyes filling with concern.

"Will you stay with me, until my older brother arrives, please?" his green eyes brimming with tears.

"Of course I'll stay?"

Jarod heard the screech of tires, the slamming of a door, and the heavy crunch of boots on the pavement. Looking up, he saw a tall, blonde-haired man exit a red pickup truck, his face set angrily.

"Braydon, what the hell happen?" the voice was full of anger, demanding answers as he made his way toward the young man that lay on the ground, "Damn it! Cole, are you all right? Alex is on his way. Just hang in there you hear me, or your brother is going to kill me."

"Thomas, the planking gave way and the handrail wasn't locked in, but I know it was. I checked it myself," the young man looked at the other man, as one of the EMTs secured a neck collar around Cole.

"We need to transport, soon. Which one of you is going with us?"

"Jarod, you promised."

"Sure, Cole, unless you want . . .was it Thomas?"

"Thomas Gates," the man stuck out his hand, which was accepted by the other man, wholeheartedly. "No, I'll wait for Alex, is that okay Cole? Where are you taking him?"

"County General," the woman replied as her and her partner lifted the gurney and began to head toward the ambulance. The dark haired man stood and watched the start of a very heated exchange between two men until the EMT informed him that it was time to transport.

"Braydon!" the younger man yelled, angrily.

"I'm right here, Gates. What the hell do you want?"

"Another accident, Braydon. I want to see the planking on that scaffolding. And what was wrong with the handrail?"

"Who the hell do you think you are, OSHA?! Get the hell off my job site!"

"Maybe this time, they'll shut you down, you son-of-a -" his tirade broken off with the arrival of an older version of Cole.

"Thomas, where's Cole?"

"On his way to County General," looking back at the man that stood on the porch of the old house, anger in his eyes. "This isn't finished, Braydon. If I have to file a million complaints against you, I will. Come on Alex, let's go."

Thomas and his companion entered the hospital waiting room, glancing around the many faces, his eyes finally settling on the dark-haired man in the beige shirt. His hands were clasped together and his fingers were steepled across his pursed lips, as though deep in thought.

"Jarod, right? Sorry I didn't catch your last name?" The voice had lost the edge that he had heard earlier.

"Just Jarod, Mr. Gates." Jarod stood, looking the man in the eyes.

"Thomas, then. This is Alex," a smile formed as he indicated the man at his right.

"Yes, Cole told me all about you on the ride here." Jarod smiled, and
took the hand that was offered, giving a firm handshake.

"How is he?" the man asked, concern written on his face.

"They won't tell me anything, since I'm not family but now that you're here…" Jarod looked past the other men's heads and saw the doctor advancing toward them. "Here comes the doctor now."

The other two men turned and watched as an older man, made his way through the crowded waiting room to where the three men stood.

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