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Idle Hands

Three weeks! It had been three weeks since Alex had fled from Jarod through her back yard.

It had been two weeks since she has heard from Jarod.

No one at the Centre, namely Lyle, had questioned her absence three weeks ago. Lyle had not even bothered to hassle her about her lack of interest and determination in catching Jarod. Either he was planning to catch Jarod his own way and needed her to be at a disadvantage, or he was finally accepting that they would only have leads when Jarod wanted them to.

Right now, Jarod did not want them to. She had a feeling it had to do with him getting reacquainted with his mother, and devising a plan to get their son out from behind Centre walls.

Now, sitting on her couch after work, contemplating driving out to Jarod's house, someone knocked at her door. Refusing to be bombarded again, she grabbed her gun and approached the peephole uneasily.

Parker resumed breathing as she opened the door, her gun securely tucked away.

"Steve, come in!" She greeted warmly with a hug. She ushered him in while suspiciously eyeing the stuffed manila envelope he held.

After exchanging pleasantries and catching each other up on their lives, Parker asked the one question that was burning in the back of her mind.

"What are you doing here?" It wasn't like him to drop in so unexpectedly on her. Usually, because she was unwilling to attract attention, she would initiate any contact.

"I have a package for you." Steven held up the envelope.

"From?" Parker asked skeptically. Why couldn't he just mail it to her?

"A friend."

"What is it?" Parker wanted to clarify what friend they might have in common. If she knew what it was then maybe she could determine whom it was from.

"A package." Steven replied simply again.

Parker struggled to remain calm. Only Jarod had ever gotten away with withholding the answers to her questions by being cryptically sneaky. Steven had never before been so vague with her. She had told him plenty of times how much that irritated her.

Now wait just a minute, she thought. There could not be any actual connection between Jarod and Steven; her thoughts just led her down a coincidental road. Steven only knew about Jarod from her, and as far as she knew, Jarod was clueless about Steven.

Then why was Steve doing something that he knew irritated her; that she only lets Jarod get away with?

'Because Jarod has obviously befriended my friend.' She thought sourly, and from the smile on Steven's face, he knew she had just figured it out.

* * * *

The plan was very simple. All she had to do was drive. Jarod was going to handle the retrieval of their son. He had also contacted Sydney and Broots and convinced them to leave the Centre the night his plan was to go into action. He had taken care of everything and she had no say in the matter. Great! The only upside of that was if anything went wrong… she could place all the blame on him.

Broots had been enlisted to loop the video feed to Baby Parker's room, and then he would head home, collect Debbie and leave. Jarod was able to coerce Sydney by informing him that Angelo would be going with them. No shock there.

Since she learned he was her father, she had begun to avoid him. She was unsure of how to approach the relationship when she may be the only one aware of the change. Any attempt on his part to start a conversation with her was torn to shreds.

Not only that, but Parker was still cradling doubts about Sydney's knowledge of her paternity. Alex had said on more than one occasion that her father knew all the answers.

Her musings were interrupted when Lyle barged into her office. He plopped uninvited into the chair opposite her and crossed his leg over his knee.

"I just spoke with our father."

Parker stared hard at him and waited for him to continue. Knowing that Sydney was her father made her want to hurl whenever Raines was referred to as her parent. Lyle continued to sit there not saying anything else.

"And?" She prompted him.

"He says there still haven't been any leads on Jarod in three weeks. Wasn't it three weeks ago that you missed work?" Lyle challenged her.

"How the hell would Raines know about our leads on Jarod? He hasn't received the report yet." Parker replied unfazed by Lyle's suspicion.

"Who's talking about Raines?" Lyle answered slyly.

Parker's heart dropped. Of course! The tape from her office, Lyle must have copied it.

Then she remembered that the recorded conversation between she and Broots about her paternity had taken place in her office over three weeks ago. Lyle had had the information for a long time. What exactly did he do with it?

"I guess no one is." She replied calmly despite her hearts attempt to leap out of her chest in apprehension. There was no telling what Lyle could have set in motion. He had the information for a tremendously long time; he would not have just sat idly by with that knowledge at his fingertips.

It does make Sydney his father too though. Unless he preferred Raines as his father, would he really devise a plan that threatened her life; that threatened Sydney's? She couldn't assume anything though; Lyle was a loose cannon as far as she was concerned.

It was a good thing that they were all leaving today. As soon as she was in her car after she got off, she would meet Jarod, Angelo and her son at a pre-determined spot. An access tunnel leading to the Centre's underground generator.

"Well then, since you seem so reserved today Parker, I'll go find someone else to occupy my time." Lyle, after revealing his knowledge about their father and thus fulfilling his purpose for entering her office, walked out through the two glass doors.

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