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Emotions are Fleeting.

"Will one of you pick up the phone already¡K or do you want me to hang up?" Alex questioned threateningly.

Giving up on the handset, Miss Parker lunged for the machine and hit the speakerphone button. Jarod spoke up first.

"Alex. So nice of you to keep your word. Where's my mother?" He demanded angrily.

"How are you two doing this morning. I know the past week has been a trying time. You must be so emotionally exhausted." Alex taunted them, purposely ignoring Jarod's question.

Upon hearing Alex's voice, Miss Parker flashed back to what he had said to her in that warehouse all those months ago. He had told her that her father knew all the secrets, except Mr. Parker wasn't her father. She suddenly felt very faint, and barely made it to the couch before her legs gave out on her.

"Alex. " Jarod warned menacingly, as he watched Miss Parker collapse onto the couch. He couldn't let Alex continue his speech. He had a feeling it would lead to more heartache for her, and this time some of her anger would undoubtedly be directed at him. And for the first time, her anger towards him would be justified.

"My mother, Alex. Tell me where she is." Jarod crouched down by the speaker and growled.

"Not yet, Pretender. I need to know if you're worthy. I contacted you one week ago giving you secrets to uncover. Tell me what you've learned. Then we'll discuss your mother." Alex waited patiently for Jarod to answer.

"I know my fathers last name and first name are the same, we know about Sydney, and Baby Parker. Now, tell me." He listed quickly and vaguely what they had learned, not wanting Parker to learn about Baby Parker while they were talking to Alex.

"Really, that surprises me. Why haven't I heard from the hot-tempered, quick-tongued Miss Parker then? I doubt she would be so quiet if she knew. Jarod, did you forget to tell her about her son? Tsk, Tsk, Jarod. Secrets are the Centre's forte, I had no idea you were capable of holding secrets too."

The answering machine was rattled when Jarod brought his fist down on the end table it sat on, his temper flaring. He stole a glance at Parker. She held his eyes in a death grip with her own. Standing slowly, she walked menacingly up to him, barely able to control her body from shaking. Jarod looked like an abused dog, afraid its owner was going to kick him again. She crouched down to eye level, where he was crouched by the phone set.

Not able to look her in the eye any longer, he dropped his head. She wouldn't allow this though, and whipped her hand out, grabbing a hold of his chin and yanking it back up in a firm grip.

Her voice unsteady, she pleaded, "Please, tell me he's lying Jarod." She could handle a lie from Alex. But if Alex was telling the truth, then Jarod had lied¡K to her. And with that one lie from Jarod, all the certainty that her life would be fine as long as she had Jarod, would be gone.

Her certainty in her life was that the truth always has a way of finding light from its darkness. Jarod had always been the one to bring things to light for her. If he was the one keeping things in the dark, then she had no truth.

When it became apparent that he wasn't going to answer her, she stood and walked away. Her tears able to make their escape from the pools that had collected in her eyes while she waited for his answer. He was left alone to deal with Alex.


Later that night
"How could you not tell me? You had no right to keep that kind of information from me." She was disappointed. She thought she knew Jarod better than this, evidently she was wrong.

"I was going to tell you Parker, I really was. I was waiting for the right time. I didn¡¦t think you¡¦d be able to just sit idly by and wait. It was hard enough for me to do just that. I am a man of action, you know. I couldn¡¦t take the chance of telling you. I was afraid you¡¦d go off half-cocked and storm the Centre." He desperately tried to calm her down. His explanation had made perfect sense in his head just two seconds ago. Her reaction told him otherwise.

"I am not unreasonable Jarod, I am sure you could have talked me out of my impulse to get my son. I know how much family means to you, and if you had told me it was better to wait to get 'our' son, do you think, just maybe, I would have listened? We¡¦ll never know if I could have trusted in your ability to right this situation though, because you didn't give me that chance. You didn't trust me." She stopped her pacing and wild arm gestures now to look at him. He wasn't even trying to defend himself anymore. Not that there was any way to justify his lying to her. Having him sit there dejectedly, accepting this berating from her because he knew he deserved it, wasn't satisfying her.

"I need some space¡KI." She grabbed her purse, pulled on her jacket, and made a beeline for the front door. Her actions were a little out of the ordinary. Normally she relished in these confrontational situations, but she cared for Jarod. And although she was disappointed in him now, it didn¡¦t mean it would last for too long. It¡¦s hard to keep a good mad going when you have someone like Jarod who is so sincere in his apologies. The verbal and non-verbal kind. Not to mention that he was just trying to do what was best for all of them.

Jarod saw that she was heading out. He knew now that she wasn¡¦t about to whisk their son away from the Centre without a plan. She was right though; he should have trusted her to do the right thing.

She was opening the door. He had no idea where or why she was going. No, he had an idea why, he just didn¡¦t know where. They needed to talk. Now.

He rushed after her and as soon as she had stepped one foot out the door, he squeezed himself out in front of her so he was outside.

"Where do you think you¡¦re going?" He questioned. It was typical of her to walk away without talking about her feelings. Only she had talked to him about Sydney. Maybe he should let her deal with her anger towards him first before he tries to talk with her anymore.

"I¡¦m getting the hell away from you." She lashed out. If she could make him mad¡K It would be so much easier to stay mad at him if he were mad at her.

"We should talk."

"I don¡¦t want to talk about this. You know what I want right now. I¡¦ll tell you. I want to go to a bar, and find a man so that I can forget how utterly disappointed I am in you. I won¡¦t have to think about how you could possibly be so heartless as to not let me know I¡¦m a mother." She knew he wouldn't approve, and had succeeded in raising his anger just a little bit more when he narrowed his eyes at her.

She had no real intentions of finding a man. Removing herself from Jarod¡¦s presence was her only goal. All she wanted was to get away and think. Maybe find a beach to sit on and listen to the waves lapping at the shore. To relax. To tell herself that Jarod¡¦s reasons for keeping that information to himself were good.

The truth was his intentions were always good, and were usually on target. He didn¡¦t need to know that - he can believe what he wants to right now.

"You are not going anywhere." He couldn¡¦t believe what he was hearing. She just finds out that she¡¦s the mother of his child and she wants to go sleep with another man!

"Ohhho, Jarod I don¡¦t think you¡¦re one to be telling me what I can and can¡¦t do right now. The only way I¡¦d accept that kind of treatment from anyone is if I was married to them, and you are so far from being my husband right now, that Broots probably fits the bill better than you." She recognized her mistake immediately. She had said right now. She closed her eyes praying he missed it.

Opening them again she lowered her voice and ground out between clenched teeth and a smile. "Now get out of my way, before I move you myself."

"What about your friend, does he have any say, any influence over your actions?" He asked in reference to himself.

"Yes. Friends don¡¦t let friends drive drunk, Jarod. That¡¦s the extent of influence my friend has over my actions. He doesn¡¦t stop me from going out to get laid." She inched up to him getting ready to shove him aside. When he spoke though she stopped, her jaw dropping as a result of his unexpected proposition.

"You don¡¦t need to go out and find a stranger for that, you can get laid right here. If that¡¦s what you want." He issued the challenge knowing what her reaction might be. He had narrowed it down to a slap in the face or a punch in the gut. But Miss Parker did neither. She merely cocked her head to the side. He couldn¡¦t believe it; ¡¥it looks as though she¡¦s actually considering it.'

She wasn¡¦t going to let him get away with this. Turning her emotions around on her like that. Yes. She had entertained the idea. Now that that second was over, it was time to turn the tables and get back at him for¡Keverything. Yes it was very immature of her, but he had no right to even suggest it. Time for him to be used. She shrugged out of her jacket and threw her purse on the couch. ¡¥I knew I wouldn¡¦t stay mad at him for long. Damn it.¡¦

"You¡¦re right Jarod, no use in wasting my time searching for a partner, when I¡¦ve got someone ready, willing and able right here."

¡¥Now he¡¦s staring slack-jawed at me, so far so good.¡¦ She grabbed his hand and started leading him on a direct path to her bedroom. "Remember one thing Jarod, this is just sex. It¡¦s just a means to an end; to forget."

At least that¡¦s what she wanted him to believe, she did not intend to actually sleep with him tonight based on that pretense. When they did sleep together, it would be to make love... ¡¥Oh great! Now I¡¦m getting all emotional. That¡¦s another transgression that Jarod will have to pay for.¡¦ Her aim tonight was to leave him aroused and disappointed.

She turned around to gauge his reaction after passing through her bedroom door. He just nodded in agreement with the boundary she had just set, which was somewhat surprising. Jarod didn¡¦t seem like the kind of man to accept sex as a hobby. He always tacked meaning and emotions to everything, why was it different now? And why did it even matter? She shook herself of those thoughts, before slowly unbuttoning her blouse.

She would get him aroused and then leave him wanting more. That was the plan. Never deviate from the plan. Do not even think about deviating from the plan.

He couldn¡¦t believe what she was doing. When did he lose control? He had thought that she was upset with him, and that was why she wanted to get away. He was wrong. Dead wrong if her actions were any indication. She asked him if he understood that this was just sex. He had no clue what she was talking about, he was still trying to figure out her motives, but he nodded his head anyway. By the time his thoughts caught up with his actions, she was already down to her underwear. He couldn¡¦t get his voice to work, so he couldn¡¦t inform her that it could never be just sex between them. He had to try¡K

¡¥Uh-oh! She¡¦s removing my clothes now too!¡¦ Reasoning with her now would take an act of God, because he didn¡¦t think he could form one coherent thought, and he doubted he¡¦d be able to voice it if he did. And if by some chance he could get his voice to work, he doubted that it would entail him wanting her to stop. He would just have to use this fortuitous opportunity to make love to her. To do that he¡¦d need to wrench control away from her. If he didn¡¦t she just might get what she wants from him... and then kick him to the curb.

He was aroused. So far so good. The only problem she saw so far was that he was having an affect on her tooƒnƒ{ and he wasn¡¦t even trying. Now standing there in her underwear, while scrutinizing him in his boxers she almost forgot her game plan. She stepped up to him, slid her hands up his chest to wrap around his neck. She slowly urged his head down for a kiss.

As soon as their lips met, she knew she had lost. He was devouring her, branding her with his tongue. The only thing she could do was respond. And moan. His hands had claimed her butt and were pulling her closer, so that no space was left between them. She had to stop this¡Kshe couldn¡¦t let it be a simple roll in the hay.

Wait. If he was under the impression that this was just casual sex, then maybe he didn¡¦t want it to be anything more. Her anger was back in full force this time.

Growling "Stop!" she shoved at his chest until they were completely separated, dragging in oxygen that their lungs had been deprived of.

"I don¡¦t¡KI.I don¡¦t understand. Miss Park-" He didn¡¦t get to finish because she interrupted.

"Well let me make it perfectly then Jarod. There is nothing and no one on God¡¦s green earth that could convince me to have a casual encounter of the sexual kind, with you." There was no way she could write off sex with Jarod as just sex.

Nevertheless, it looked as if he was prepared to do just that with her. "Get out!" she yelled and shoved him out of her room, before slamming the door on his thoroughly confused face.

Outside Miss Parker¡¦s bedroom door, Jarod asks aloud "What just happened?" A chill crept over his skin reminding him that he¡¦s practically naked. He lopes into the guestroom where he had been sleeping to grab a pair of jeans and a button up shirt. He¡¦d deal with Miss Parker when he¡¦s warm and dressed. And if she opens the door.

Authors Note: I don't know how realistic this particular situation is¡Kbut it came to me when I was writing and I went with it. Hope you like, as usual any comments are great, thanks.

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