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Disclaimer: I do not own the Pretender or any of the character used in this story, NBC does.



Jarod looked up. "Parker!" he called joyfully. He had not seen his friend since her father had sent her off to school.

"Let's run away, Jarod."

The words came as a complete surprise to Jarod. "Why do you want to run away?"

"I just saw Daddy, and he wants me to work for the Centre, when I get older."

"So you want to run away?"

"Yes. If I run away, he won't be able to make me work for the Centre. I don't want to work here, Jarod. You'll help me, won't you, Jarod?" She asked hopefully.

"Yes, I'll help you. Meet me at our place tonight."


By the time Parker met him that night, Jarod had come up with a plan to escape. He explained it to Parker, and she agreed that it was the best way. They decided to leave tomorrow.


Walking down the hallways of the Centre, followed by her father's Sweepers, Parker suddenly ran. She quickly located an air duct, into which she crawled. Parker hid there until the Sweepers went to another part of the Centre, looking for her. She crawled along the duct, until she reached an intersection of pipes. There, Jarod was waiting for her. He had found out from Angelo the best way to leave. The two went quietly, often pausing. Finally, though, they reached the chain fence that separated the Centre from the rest of Bluecove.

"Yes!" Jarod cried. "We did it!"

"Yeah, we did. Now we'd better get going, before anybody sees us," Parker said.

"You're right." Agreed Jarod. But before the two could reach the fence, Sweepers surrounded them. They took Parker to her father's office, and Jarod back to the SIM Lab.

"Why did you do it?" Mr. Parker asked. His daughter stood silently. Mr. Parker studied her. She was too much like her mother, to weak and caring. He would have to change that. Those feelings would never allow her to survive at the Centre. Mr. Parker wanted to make his daughter like him, cold and uncaring. "The only thing to do with you is to send you away. Away from Jarod." He motioned to the Sweepers. They led her out of the office. He called his secretary. "Make arrangements for her in boarding school."

When Parker arrived at her new school, she felt like crying. But she didn't. She knew that in order to survive, she had to be strong. Not weak. Her father had sent her to the very best school, the place where the princesses went. Of course, everybody there teased her. They were better than her. After all, their fathers were kings, while her's was the head of a corporation. It was hard, at first, to take. She often felt left out and alone. To make up for her lack of friends, Parker spent all her time studying. She was determined to graduate as soon as possible.

She had once told Jarod that she didn't want to work for the Centre. Now working for the Centre was her goal. Parker wanted to make Corporate as soon as possible.

Her hard work paid off. When she was sixteen, Parker graduated. After her graduation, she went back to the Centre.

The Centre hadn't changed since she'd last seen it, 10 years ago. The last time she'd seen it was when she and Jarod had tried to run away. Her father had sent her to school as a punishment, and Parker had hated him for taking her away from Jarod. Now, she was happy that he'd done it. On her way to Mr. Parker's office, she saw Jarod.

He was walking around the hallways. When he saw her, Jarod ran up. "Parker!" He cried, happy to see his friend once more. He was surprised when she didn't respond. He followed her. When she went into an elevator, he followed. As they both stood there, Jarod in a black tunic and pants, Parker in a skirt and blazer, Jarod realized that his friend had changed. She was no longer the Parker he had known. When she left the elevator, he stayed.

Parker walked into her father's office. "Daddy," she called.

"Angel." He stood up from his desk and hugged her. Then he stood back and looked at her. He was delighted. Those years away had changed her. The little girl that had left 10 years ago had been replaced by a cold woman. She had changed just like her father had wanted her to. "Do you want to work at the Centre?" he asked, getting down to business immediately.


"Good," her father responded. "I'll schedule you for the tests tomorrow."


"Yes, Angel. The Centre wants to make sure that anyone who works for it is capable."


"I will see you tomorrow," her father said. Parker left the office.


Later that night, Parker roamed the halls of the Centre. Suddenly, Jarod grabbed her arm. He pulled her into the SIM Lab. He pushed her against a wall, cornering her with his arms. "What are you doing?" Parker demanded angrily.

Instead of answering, Jarod asked, "What happened to you? You've become so...different."

"I grew up, Jarod."

"I heard that you are going to work for the Centre."

"Yes, I am."

"What happened to the little girl that never wanted to work for the Centre?" Jarod asked.

Instead of answering him, Parker demanded that he let her go. "Answer my question first."

"I grew up, Jarod." she said again. "Now let me go." She stared at him with icy blue eyes. Jarod searched her face for any sign of the girl he had once known. He didn't find any. He stood aside, let her go. Parker strode out of the SIM Lab, leaving Jarod wondering.

Five years after Parker started working at the Centre, she was promoted to Corporate. Six months after she was promoted, Jarod escaped the Centre.

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