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Good News, and Bad News.

"Jarod. Will you keep your eyes on the road please? You won't get to see her if we get in an accident." She reminded.

He turned his attention back to the road. They had left in the morning to meet Alex and his mother. The only words Parker and him had exchanged was his relaying of Alex's instructions. Other than that, she had been cold and distant towards him since last night.

Slowing as he approached the warehouse, he glanced out of the corner of his eye to look at her again. Her face was locked on the warehouse looming out of her passenger window; most likely she was remembering the last time she was here.

Jarod cursed himself for not thinking to look here for Alex, the place where he had supposedly died. Pushing open his door, he dropped his left foot to rest on the ground, while the rest of his body remained in the car. He reached around the seat to grab his jacket, and made a move to exit the car.

The warmth of her hand on his arm stopped him; the inch he had moved off his seat soon dissipated. Raking his gaze away from his arm where her hand was resting, he looked into her eyes questioningly.

"What are you doing?"

"You're not going in there Jarod." She answered calmly.

He would have laughed had she not looked so serious.

"Of course I’m going in, he has my mother. I won't leave her." Flicking her hand away from him, he jumped up out of the car angrily slamming his door.

Parker followed his actions and did the same. She hurried to catch up to him, as he was already making his way to the warehouse door.

"Stop, Jarod. Just wait a minute." She called out, still a few yards behind him. She could not match his determined pace.

When he ignored her, she knew she had no other choice.

"Jarod, I said stop." The click of her gun cocking stopped him mid-stride.

He mumbled something to himself, and then turned to look at her.

"Are you kidding me Parker? Do you really expect me to walk away from my mother?" His voice was a low growl.

She walked to him, still training her gun on his chest. Jarod shifted on his feet uncomfortably.

"No I don't expect you to do that. If you would just listen to me instead of jumping to conclusions, I wouldn't have to resort to this." She motioned to her gun, then slowly dropped it to her side, before putting it back in its holster.

"Fine. I'm listening." He crossed his arms over his chest.

She eyed his arms. With that tight black shirt he was wearing, she could see all his muscles straining tightly against the material.

"Alex is expecting both of us. He wants to hurt you, and he has your mother. Now connect the dots, and tell me what's going to happen." She poked him in the chest to emphasize her point.

"H-he's going to hurt her?" He whispered brokenly. He looked her in the eyes after voicing the only conclusion that came to mind.

"Or worse. He wants to hurt you, Jarod. Were you not listening to him? That's what he said his 'purpose' in life was now, breaking you. Hurting you physically is not enough, he wants to hurt you mentally, and if that means using your mother, well, I would guess that is exactly what he is doing. Now go sit in the car like a good little boy, and let me get your mother."

She marched past him with her gun drawn, pointed at the ground.

"No." He had followed directly behind her, and was just inches away.

She spun, with her gun raised.

"Jesus, Jarod, don't sneak up on me! I thought you were going to the car." The adrenaline zipping through her veins, fizzled as she put her hand to her chest, relieved it was just Jarod behind her.

Not about to let her fight his battles for him, he grabbed her by the hand. He dragged her away from the warehouse's door, and out of sight from the only window not boarded up.

"We’re not going to sit here and argue. Alex is most likely watching us. Now, I suggest we go in together, or you can go wait in the car. Make up your mind, because whether you like it or not, I am going in there." Jarod ranted softly for her.

Gritting her teeth, Miss Parker stared over Jarod's shoulder. He had to make the situation more difficult than it needed to be. He always needed to be the hero. Jarod never cared if he got hurt in the process; if he thought he was able to fix something, he would do it.

"Why do you have to be so difficult? You know I'm right Jarod. If you don't want to wait in the car, then wait outside the warehouse, and be discreet about it, ok?"

He contemplated his options for a moment. Parker had a point. Alex would have the upper hand if he went in there, and Parker, unlike him, was a master at hiding her emotional weaknesses, especially in the heat of battle. She would be able to handle anything Alex threw at her. Not only that it would throw Alex's assumption about him off. Alex knew how important family was to him, and was expecting him to personally rescue his mother himself. If Jarod did not show up then Alex's plan would fail.

He was still confused as to why Miss Parker would care what Alex had in store for him. Maybe she sees his mother as the only way to find out what was on the scrolls. He finally nodded his head resignedly.

"I'll wait… for a while. You've got five minutes, and then I'm coming in." Jarod huffed, already being accustomed to waiting. He has been waiting forever to find his mom. What's five more minutes?

When he disappeared around the corner of the warehouse, Miss Parker inched towards the door. The door was unlocked. Not wanting Alex to have caught her off-guard, she kicked the door in, and waited a second before cautiously peering into the room.

Memories of the last time she was here - when Alex had kidnapped Mr. Parker - assaulted her. Pushing those thoughts aside, she looked down the staircase, and saw Margaret, gagged and bound to a chair. When they made eye contact, Jarod's mother gasped.

Not seeing Alex in her sights, she scooted to the edge of the rickety railing and looked over leading with her gun.

Jarod was growing antsy outside. He crept over to the window, hoping he could get a glimpse of his mother inside. Squinting his eyes, he tried to see through the grime coating the window. He hung his head in frustration, looking at his watch to see if the five minutes he allowed Miss Parker was up.

It wasn't.

He started pacing again. Then he heard something that made his heart jump into his throat. It was the sound of a gun firing inside the warehouse. Two… three… four shots. All fired in succession.

He silently hoped that the warehouse made the echo of Parker's 9mm sound like a much bigger gun than it was. If not, then… he swallowed hard as bile began to rise to his throat. He knew it wasn't her gun, he knows what the sounds like. He's had plenty of opportunities in different settings to hear what it sounds like when she fires her gun.

He ran around the corner to the door, unprepared and horrified at what he saw.

Alex was grinning victoriously. When he spotted Jarod, a maniacal laugh erupted from somewhere deep within him as he wiped the drops of blood dotting his forehead with the back of his hand.

"There is some good news, and some bad news Jarod. The good news belongs to me, so I'll just dispense with the bad. She's dead, and now you are as well. It was a pleasure." He grinned evilly.

Jarod became enraged and charged towards him, screaming wildly as his mind conjured images of what must be awaiting him inside the warehouse.

Alex had apparently been expecting his behavior, Jarod thought as the dust that Alex had kicked up from his motorcycle entered his eyes.

He shouldn't have left Parker to handle this by herself, they both knew Alex was a crazy son-of-a-bitch, unpredictable. Now he would never get to know his mother.

Gripping the door handle tightly, he noticed that he hadn't opened it yet. He also noticed that his eyes weren't open. He couldn't stand out here any longer he thought. Maybe Alex was wrong and his mother wasn't dead… he might be able to help her.

Flying down the stairs, he saw his mother. She was tied to a chair and staring at something behind him, to the side of the staircase. Her mouth was still gagged and she had tears streaming down her face.

He hurriedly bent to untie her, not noticing her muffled cries beneath the gag. As soon as the knots were undone, he removed the ropes and gag, and looked for injuries.

"Jarod, no…I'm fine, he… oh God Jarod, she's…" She cried.

His mother pointed to the spot by the staircase she had been staring at and covered her mouth in effort of stopping the sobs.

He couldn't understand what she was trying to say through her broken sobs, so he pulled her close to hug her. He would have to thank Parker for keeping his mother alive.

Where was she anyway?

He snapped his head up in stunning realization, and pulled his mother away, holding her forearms.

"Where is she?" Jarod asked.

His eyes watered as he followed his mothers stare to the side of the stairs.

So, this is what Alex meant when he said that he was dead as well.

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