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Falling Down an Upward Spiral (part 4/8)

by M. Rose


He grabbed her arm and said, "You can't go back there."

Who the hell does he think he is? "Try and stop me," she bit out as she pulled her arm away.

Nothing was going to stop her from seeking revenge. Lyle was going to regret he ever decided to double-cross her.

"There's more."

She gave him an inquiring look, but he just motioned towards the computer screen.

What else could there possibly be?

She settled in front of the computer once again.

Jarod grabbed a chair, sat next to her and proceeded to explain. "I searched the mainframe for anything else; video, phone calls, email and found nothing. And then --"

"Let me guess, another crumb."

The possibility of a snitch at the Center would bother her, but since it had to do with her, she was willing to let it go -- for now.

Jarod nodded and then continued, "Clues that led me to another video transmission coming from somewhere inside the Centre. It was deleted, but I was able to retrieve it." He slid the laptop in his direction and with a few strokes of the keys he was ready.

But was she?

She didn't get a chance to analyze further before Jarod pressed a key and the screen came to life.

It was dark, but she could see Lyle and Raines.

"What happened at the warehouse?" Raines asked.

Lyle spit out in frustration, "I don't know. She must have figured out something wasn't right."

"Or someone told her."

"No, there was no way she could have known. It's that damn sixth sense or whatever it is that she has."

"And any trails that might lead to the Centre?"

"Already taken care of."

"I entrusted you to take care of this problem and you have failed. Maybe you're not the right sibling to take over the throne?" Raines wheezed out.

She heard a voice different from the others. "Now, now, don't be too harsh on the boy." The wind was knocked out of her as she listened to the familiar voice. If she weren't already sitting down, she would have fainted.

It couldn't be.

As the figure came out of the shadows, Lyle faced him and then Raines. "I am and I'll prove my worthiness."

"Now that's the kind of positive attitude I like to see."

Daddy ... Mr. Parker was alive.

She felt numb as the screen faded to black, her own family planning her death. She thought about how ironic it would be suffering the same fate as her mother.

Ironic and tragic.

She felt Jarod's hand on her shoulder. "That's why you can't go back."

She wanted to see the sincerity in his eyes, but she was angry. How dare he dictate what she could and couldn't do. "You don't get a say in the matter." She stood. "Thank you for showing me this, Jarod." She pointed towards the front door. "You can show yourself out."

"Dammit, Parker, don't push me away. I want to help you."

"I don't want your help."

"Look, you need time to clear your head. We can--"

She interrupted, "We? You expect me to what, run away with you? That may be the way you like to live your life, but it's not the way I run mine. I won't leave without a fight."

"Let me remind you that I run because of the Centre, not because I like to. And I fight every day of my life. For freedom. For my family. For a life."

"Oh, stop with the pity party, Jarod. It's tiring."


He couldn't understand why she was suddenly acting so harsh. She walked to the front door, but as she was opening it, he slammed it shut. With his hand still splayed against the wood of the door, he leaned into her and said in a low growl, "I'm not letting you do this."

He wasn't going to budge.

Her eyes narrowed as she yelled, "Get out of here, Jarod."

"Why are you pushing me away? So you don't have to feel again? You don't think you deserve it? Well, you do, Parker, more than you know. You deserve to feel the good things in life along with the bad. You deserve to feel loved ... happy. You deserve to be free from the clutches of the Centre."

"So, you can read my mind now. Is that it?"

Jarod pushed away from the door and sighed.

"I'm trying to reach out here, Parker."

"Well, reach somewhere else."

The awkward silence seemed to stretch for minutes. He wanted her to see that she didn't have to be alone ... that he was there for her. He wanted her to open up to him and show him the real Miss Parker he made love to only hours ago, not this Parker, a fašade that she developed so well throughout the years.

"What do you want from me, Jarod? Look, we fucked. It was great, but it doesn't mean you can tell me how to live my life. Now leave."

Anger coursed through his veins at her disregard for what they did. Dammit, it meant something to him and he knew it did to her, too. He grabbed her by the arms and shoved her against the wall.

"Don't belittle what we did. That was not some lurid affair. We made love and it was amazing." He let go of her and walked away a few feet then turned, "You asked what I want from you? I want some small part of you to open up and admit you're just as scared as I am."

She looked away and then he added, "We have a connection, Parker, don't deny it and don't blame it on a moment of weakness."

He walked away.


She leaned her head back against the wall. Jarod was pacing in front of the fireplace. It was his way of trying to figure things out. Figure her out.

He'd never succeed. She couldn't even figure herself out.

She realized that the only way he was going to leave would be if she told him the truth.

*It's confession time, Parker.*

"I had a dream."

He stopped pacing and just stared at her.

"More of a nightmare really." She stepped away from the wall and started pacing. She could feel his eyes tracking her every move, but she continued, "We ... were in ... bed and both Lyle and Raines came bursting, in typical Centre fashion. They must have found out about us because I obviously led them to you. They said that they already had Gemini and that they didn't need you anymore. They ... MURDERED you in cold blood. You died and it was my fault ... just like Tommy was."

He was in front of her now. "Tommy wasn't your fault, Parker. You've got to know that."

She was about to bring up the fact that it was actually his fault Tommy ever entered in her life, but thought better of it. She was too tired to start what she knew would become another argument.

She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose in an attempt to ward off the headache building within her.

It didn't work, so she went to the kitchen. She needed a drink.

"Please ... just go, Jarod."

Ignoring her plea, he followed her. She poured herself a drink and when she was about to pick it up, he came from behind her and placed his hand over hers, stilling her movements.

"What happened to you in the dream?"

"It doesn't matter now."

He was so close she could feel his breath tickle against her ear. "Yes, it does."

She turned and he cradled her face in his hands.

"YOU matter."

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