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All mine but I thank Danielle Smiley :) for the inspiration and for part 27 and Rachel for part 29 and for all the great feedback from those on this list. Disclaimer is standard.

Pretender Payback
PART 29: Seeing the Light
by Trisha

She sat staring at the empty pages of her notebook, the pen rolling back and forth between her fingers. Glancing at the clock, she realized that she'd been here in the library for the last two hours and had accomplished nothing.

Her muses refused to talk to her and some of her characters were a bit upset at being ignored for so long. When suddenly the lights in the library dimmed, then darkened.

"What the hell?" Trisha muttered, double checking the time on the clock again. Still had three more hours before the damn place closed, so just what was the problem? Perhaps they forgot to pay the electric bill, she mused, a small smile on her features.

"Bad case of writers block?" a voice from the darkness asked, a bit to loudly..

"Shhh, this is a library and some people need to study," Trisha looked up at the figure that was taking a seat opposite her,


"I thought you forgot about me. It's been a while since you even thought about me or my story, " the green eyes shimmered in the darkness.

"Didn't forget, its just that real life intruded. My husband got himself hurt at work and was home for almost two weeks. Hopefully he goes back to work tomorrow, " she sighed.

"Oh, so we're not important to you," Wynne sneered.

"You're important. I just got stuck. I know where I want the story to go, but it's just difficult putting it on paper."

"Really, you seem to have no problem with Parker's or Jarod's stories. I mean you just whipped out those round robin parts like nothing," the anger in Wynne's voice was becoming more apparent.

"That's because we are easier to write for." Two voice said in unison, emerging out of the darkness, each taking a seat at the table.

"Go away you two, this is between Trisha and me," Wynne whined.

"Stop bellowing, Wynne. They have just as much right to be here as you do. After all I've ignored them two," Trisha turned and looked at Parker and Jarod, "So let's have it, what's your complaints?"

"Well, for one I'm tired of being pregnant," Parker glared at her, placing her hands on the table.

"I know and I really did promise myself, I wouldn't do it but, the opportunity presented itself and I'm sorry. Any way that's just how I feel. I already have four with the oldest getting married, next October," Trisha looked into those blue eyes and shuddered.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Parker asked.

"It means that I was waiting for the result of my own damn pregnancy test, duh. It meant that at 38, I'd have to go through all that stuff again, diapers and late night feedings. Not unless they belong to my grandchildren." Trisha sighed.

"Babies are wonderful!" Jarod piped up.

"Shut up!" the three women shouted in harmony.

"Aren't they?" he looked at them, confused.

"Sure they're wonderful, if it's the right time. Okay, there really isn't a right time. Believe me. I got married young, had my first kid. Then finished high school and college. Had three more. In the meantime, I take it out on you, Parker, and I apologize. Babies do something to people. New life, it makes one hopefully about the future."

"They give one a warm fuzzy feeling," Jarod murmured.

"And here I thought I was your baby?" a small voice muttered.

"Destiny, is that you, little one?" Trisha turned and saw a small figure climb up in the chair next to her.

"Elf," Jarod grinned.

"Well," the child implored with her green eyes.

"You are my baby, sweetheart." Trisha smiled, "That's why I sent you to Switzerland with Nanna."

"It's boring."

"I realize that but for now it's the best place for you, until I get all the details sorted out, regarding just who you are."

"I know who I am. My mother is Beth and my daddy is. . . ."

"Honey, this is not the time and place for that little revelation. "Cause to tell you the truth, I keep changing my mind about that," Trisha looked down at the child and placed her on her lap, kissing the top of the child's head.

"Well, one of the two that you have planned is all right with me, but I won't stand for the other one," she said as she snuggled into the crook of Trisha's arms, picking up the pen and doodling on the paper.

"I won't stand for it either," a soft voice replied.

Those at the table glanced up behind Trisha's head and saw the petite figure of Beth standing there, her obsidian eyes glaring down at the brown ones that looked up at her.

"All right, point taken and filed away for future reference. I won't do it, but it would have been fun considering my feelings regarding him," Trisha chuckled.

"Since you have all complained, it's my turn," Jarod suddenly looked at Trisha.

"I'm listening. I have a feeling that I know what's coming, but go ahead and ask anyway," she shook her head, a smile curving her lips upward.

"You let me get shot, why?"

"You know, wonder-boy, that three year old act of asking why is getting old," Parker glared at him.

Trisha suddenly burst out laughing and those at the table all turned and glared at her as though she had lost her mind.

"What's so funny?'" they inquired.

"You are. His three year old act is getting old, come off it, Parker. You love being the center of attention and with this story, it's all you. He's to sick to do or go anywhere and the dialogue and thoughts are mostly yours. Anyway the other writers seem to like it, but I'll make you one promise, no baby in this one."

"So what do you promise me," Jarod muttered as he glared at Parker, "Wipe the smug look off your face, Miss Parker or maybe I'll ask . . ."

"Jarod, that's enough out of you. Sometimes for a grown man, you do act like a little child. Granted, we do find it enduring, but the only thing I can promise you is that I won't shoot you in anymore stories, not without asking permission."
Jarod leaned back in his chair and smiled over at Parker, then stuck out his tongue at her. She returned the gesture.

"You promise that you would use that character we discussed being my daddy."

Destiny looked into Trisha's eyes.

"I promise! Do either of you have a preference, though?" Beth and Destiny both whispered in Trisha's ear and watched her nod.

"He was my first choice to begin with, although I like the other one but it's too hard to . . . Never mind, I'll go with the one you asked for and it actually will work out better all around. Opens up new territory."

"Jarod, want to go check out the children's books with me?" Destiny giggled, drawing a sharp look from the librarian," Old coot."

"Hush elf. Let's go. Parker, care to join us? I think Lyle's still trying to decide which Dr. Suess book he wants to read," Jarod laughed.

"Lyle can read? This I've got to see. Sure, I'll come with you two," she joined the two at the door, then turned back," One last thing?"

"What?" Trisha watched Parker's eyebrow arch,"Sorry, I couldn't resist."

"When do I deliver in Abode?"

"Soon, that's the best I can do. Just be grateful that no one let's you go the full nine months, Parker. "

Trisha watched the three of them exit the room and head off in the direction of the children's section. The only two left at the table where Beth and Wynne.

"Is that it?" Trisha asked, turning her attention to Beth.

"Hey! I have no complaints! Just as long as. . . ."

"I promised, didn't I?"

"That's fine by me. I think I'll go see what Sydney's up to, he was checking out the latest books on psychology. Oh, wait, I do have one other thing, that little bit that is churning in your brain regarding my parentage, I like it. And will you still let me bump off . . ." Beth grinned as she watched Trisha nod her head, in the affirmative.

"That only leaves you, Wynne. What can I promise you?"

"That, will you know."

Trisha watched the woman blush, slightly and then reached across the table and placed her well manicured hand on Wynne's.

"Broots?" Trisha whispered.

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