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Back to Finish the Job

"What?" A groggy Parker picked up the handset.

Sydney smiled on the other end, glad that he had finally reached her. This was the third time he had tried phoning her this morning.

"Miss Parker, you're late for work. Is everything alright?" Sydney's smooth, calming voice carried over the phone line and was causing Miss Parker to become sleepy again.

Glancing at her alarm clock, she saw that it was 10 am.

"Everything's fine Syd," she paused to yawn, "although, I'm not feeling very well this morning. I can't seem to wake up either. I'm thinking of just taking the day off."

"That sounds like a good idea Miss Parker. You do sound worn out."

"Gee, thanks, you sure know how to brighten my day."

Sydney chuckled at the friendly manner in which she responded.

"Call me if anything important comes up." She added before hanging up.

He sighed as she, like Jarod, hung up on him without saying goodbye.

Quickly resettling the phone into its cradle he pushed himself up and headed outside to use his cell-phone. He intended to inform Jarod of Miss Parker's behavior today.

The hot spray of the shower cascaded down around her body. Her chest felt like it was being pricked by dozens of little bruises where the water was hitting the bruises. The shower head was on a light mist, but it didn't help, it was still painful this way. Ignoring Jarod's orders not to get her wound wet, she had carelessly flung the sling off and dropped it somewhere in her room.

If Sydney was as predictable as she knew he was, then Jarod would know she didn't go to work today by now. And if Jarod knew and was as predictable as she hoped he was, then he just might show up here himself. He could re-bandage her arm and help her put the sling back on.

She smiled at the thought and started to shampoo her hair. The task was turning out to be very difficult with only the use of one arm. Not to mention every time she unconsciously brought her injured limb up to help massage her scalp, a hot slice of pain would hit, bringing a grimace of pain to her face.

After rinsing and toweling off, she got dressed. Getting her jeans on was no problem, but she had trouble getting the T-shirt on, and had elicited several groans of pain before she was finished.

Now with her hair toweled up in a turban, she ventured into the kitchen for some coffee. Passing through the living room first, she was able to grab a quick shot of vodka to chase down the vicodin Jarod had so kindly offered her.

Grabbing a box of Frosted Flakes -- the ones that Jarod had insisted she buy -- she poured a bowl and doused it with milk.

She eyed the coffee maker as she ate her cereal, wondering how much longer she would have to wait for it to percolate. Meanwhile, she ate the cereal in silence, secretly appreciative that Jarod suggested she get the frosted breakfast. It was delicious!

Her coffee maker beeped.

'Finally!' she thought, 'the coffee is done.' With the coffeepot in hand, she filled her mug with the black liquid.

A loud knock at the door rudely interrupted her first sip. The mug was halfway to her parted lips as she paused to consider her options. Slightly shrugging her shoulders, she tipped the mug back and took a mighty swig.

She was expecting a visitor -- a very special visitor -- and so didn't bother to look through the peephole. She swung open her door, mouth dropping slightly in surprise. Quickly gathering her wits, she flung her still scalding coffee at the man and attempted to close the door.

He covered his eyes, and screamed in pain from the burning sensation her coffee had created. Unfortunately, he had the foresight to use his foot as a jam, and grabbed for her arm before she tried to run.

"You bitch!" He screamed, and tightened his grip as she struggled. He closed the door and shoved her farther into the house.

Parker's mind raced for an escape route, or some way to defend herself. Her gun was on her dresser, the spare was in the hall closet, and Alex just moved her towards the fireplace. Ah ha! She inched towards the poker, and sliding her hand down behind her back reached for it. He was pacing in front of her, rubbing at his face to make the pain go away. He was off guard now, and at her mercy. Closing her fist around the handle, she closed her eyes in thanks, and then lightning quick brought it forward, grabbed it with her injured arm as well, and swung for the fences.

The thump of his body hitting the ground, and the blood splatters on the carpet were gruesome, and she had a sudden urge to toss her cookies. She wouldn't, of course, but she felt like she could.

His hand snaked around her ankle, startling her. Expecting him to be unconscious was too much to ask for. She pulled with all her might so he would release her. He did, and she stumbled and fell on her backside. He was crawling to his hands and knees, getting closer to her. She had to get up and run, go for her gun, do something.

But she couldn't, he was already on her.

"Get off me you freak." She screamed and struggled.

He locked her arms to her sides and used the rest of his body to stop her from kicking out.

"Miss Parker, you really should calm down. Nothing is going to happen…yet." He spoke menacingly, but quietly.

She stopped squirming beneath him. He was right, she needed to stay calm and keep her head clear. She could handle this. Dealing with psychos and Sociopath's was no new thing for her. Parker was used to dealing with Lyle everyday.

"How did you know?" She asked.

Alex saw that she wasn't going to fight any more right now, so he stood and pulled her up with him.

"I didn't at first. But I called your brother to gloat, and well, he didn't believe me. Lyle said that he had just spoken to Sydney about you. You took the day off."

He fingered the back of his head, and felt a baseball sized welt springing up.

"Needless to say, I was disappointed and now I'm here to finish what I started."

He pushed her back at arms length, spun her around by her arm and wrenched it up her back. He pulled her body close to his and whispered,

"Now, I know this will be painful for you, but it will be even more so for Jarod. This time, you will die. Jarod won't be able to save you, and you won't be able to save yourself." He pushed her towards the back door to his waiting Jeep, and spoke again,

"We're going to take a little drive to a more secluded area. Then I'll call Jarod, and we can get this party started."

Miss Parker was beginning to lose hope of finding a way out of this. She held back as long as she could, but Alex grew impatient and began pushing her forcefully forward. When he reached the passenger door, he released her arm and shoved her inside, closing the door.

Miss Parker tried desperately to open it while he paraded around to the driver's side, but the handle was gone on her side. She kicked and pushed the door, but to no avail. Knowing Alex's door was the only one that was going to be opening any time soon, she lunged when he opened it. They both went flying and fell to the grass.

Miss Parker knocked the air out of herself, but got up nonetheless and ran back to the house. Alex got up half a second later, and followed. She slammed the door right when he reached it. He banged on it with his fists. The glass panes shattered and Parker ran to grab her gun.

She waited in the hall for him. When five minutes passed and he didn't show up, she cautiously made her way to the door. The glass crunched under her feet, but he had never entered. She grabbed the piece of cloth that hung over the window, her gun ready; she peeled it back to look outside.

The Jeep was still there, but so was another car. It was Jarod's car, the one she saw at his house yesterday. She opened the door and stepped out looking for Jarod. She didn't see him, she went to the car, and tried to see in through the tinted windows. It didn't feel like anyone was in there, and Jarod wouldn't hide from her. 'Well, then where's Jarod?' she thought.

Looking closer, she noticed that the tires made long tracks from the around the corner into her backyard, as if he was speeding and had to brake quickly. Closing her eyes in horror, she knew he had gone after Alex. Her backyard ran on into thickly covered woods and even further down to a lake.

The keys were still inside Jarod's four-by-four, and she hopped in, hoping to catch up with them. Driving slowly and carefully around the big trees that kept popping up, she saw a glimpse of black to her left. She steered the vehicle in that direction, watching for movement. She rolled the window down to listen as well.

She heard muttering and cursing coming from an unlikely source. Jarod! He was trudging back up a weed and bush infested path. She threw the car in neutral and pressed on the gas, alerting him to her presence.

He sighed with relief. Chasing after Alex had been instinctive, he had had no time to check on Parker. Jarod had assumed since Alex was still trying to get in, that Parker must have been ok.

Parker couldn't get the car any closer to Jarod, there were trees and rocks everywhere, so she waited patiently for him to make it to her. He approached her open window and smiled in response to her greeting,

"Hey stranger, need a lift?" Parker's grin quickly faded into a confused frown when Jarod opened her door.

"What are you doing?"

He reached across to unbuckle her. "I'm driving." He said, and then added for her benefit, "You're still injured."

He grabbed her hand and tugged gently to help her out of the car.

Miss Parker resisted, Jarod looked up surprised.

"Jarod, I can make it back just fine. I drove all the way down here, dodging treacherous dandelions, didn't I?" Parker argued back sarcastically.

Jarod leaned in closer, and Parker backed up in response to his nearness.

"Don't argue with me, I'm the doctor. You shouldn’t be driving, and your arm should still be in a sling. Plus you used a pain killer this morning. Now, get in the passengers seat." He commanded softly.

Sighing dramatically, Parker placed her hand on Jarod's chest and shoved him back, before stepping out of the vehicle.

"Fine, Jarod, you win."

The drive back was made at a crawling pace as Jarod meticulously avoided driving over any shrubbery he deemed important. Jarod finally came to a stop beside Alex's Jeep and turned off the car.

He fidgeted in his seat for a second before asking, "You're ok?"

Parker nodded. "I'm ok." She said.

Jarod expelled a breath.

"What happened to Alex, Jarod?" Parker asked slowly.

Dejectedly Jarod answered, "He got away…again."

Authors Note: I know I take forever to write these things, but that’s just how it is. Please tell me what you think of this chapter. I was planning on doing something different, but this came to me when I actually sat down to write it, which means I have to alter my plans for later chapters. So, R&R please, thanks!

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