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Parker had had enough of a vacation. Actually, medical leave. Boredom set in about two weeks ago. She needed to get back to work. She couldn't let Lyle have all the fun trying to catch Jarod. Then again it was nice that someone else went trapising around the globe after Sydney's god-damned lab rat. They were usually three steps behind to his two steps ahead, anyway. She should never have left Corporate. Daddy had pleaded with her to accept the reassignment, so she agreed but on her terms.
The only problem was that Jarod was always uncovering more dirt regarding the Centre and its little secrets, then was located in her flower beds. He probably thought they were a pathetic bunch of fools. Yet, she was nobody's fool. If it hadn't been for Jarod, she would still be completely loyal to the Centre, but they betrayed her one last time when they killed Thomas. Damn them!
She leaned her head back in the chaise lounge, her slender arm dangling a cut glass crystal tumbler filled with ginger ale, of all things. She was still on too many painkillers, that drinking was definitely out of the question. No more hospitals, she had enough of them too. First her ulcer perforates, then she gets shot by Raines goon, no less. Closing her lids on her blue eyes, a gentle breeze caresses her skin. The faint aroma of a cookout is carried to her nostrils.
‘‘Um,’‘; she murmurs, and a visual image of Jarod pops into her head. Startled by it, she wonders where that came from.
‘‘Oh, hell!’‘; she groans, yet continues to think that there really is something very ‘‘;edible’‘; about him. He reminds her of hot chocolate and caramels on a cold winter night, rich and decadently sinful. Or the smell of tanning oil and the bite of barbaque in the summer. Hard to hold yet so spicy. What an appetizing thought, Parker mused. Hell, thinking of Jarod was driving her crazy. She needed to get back to work. Smiling, Parker continued to dream about wonder-boy.
‘‘Sweet dreams, Miss Parker?’‘; a low male voice whispers from behind her.
‘‘Jarod!’‘; her eyes have only been closed for a moment or so it seemed.
‘‘From your smile, I'd say you were feeling better?’‘; he says stepping from behind the chaise lounge.
Standing before her dressed in a black cotton tee that fit like a tattoo, black jeans, and that infernal smirk was a sight that made a girl sit up and take notice. BOY! What this man did to one's senses. He was the main course, not the appetizer. She looked at this interesting speciman before her and wondered what it would feel like to have him in her bed.
Biting her lower lip, she tried to push those thoughts from her head, before he knew what she was thinking. He could read her like a book. Yet, confusion reigned, her body screamed for his touch.
‘‘What are you doing here, Jarod?’‘; she asks trying to maintain an edge to her voice.
‘‘First, to see for myself that you're alright. It's nice to know that I had a part in saving your life’‘; he answers her with a twinkle in his dark eyes
‘‘So, now you owe me!’‘
‘‘Excuse me?’‘; Parker inquires, sitting up in the chaise lounge.
‘‘Got your attention with that one, didn't I?’‘; Jarod smirks.
‘‘Just because you helped Daddy carry me out of the line of fire and applied pressure to the wound, doesn't give you hero status in my book!’‘; she replies caustically.
‘‘Ha ha!’‘; Jarod chuckles,’‘ Parker, I had my butt taken back to the cesspool because of you. I did more than just carry you to apply pressure. Whose blood do you think is flowing in your veins, right this minute?’‘
‘‘Bulls***!’‘; Parker snarls, all previous thoughts of Jarod pushed from her mind, ‘‘;Daddy said that. . .’‘;
‘‘Daddy says, daddy says,’‘ Jarod hisses, tauntingly, ‘‘LIES!’‘
Parker rises from the chaise lounge and stands almost nose to nose with Jarod, looking at him icily.
‘‘Prove it,’‘; she challenges him, knowing that its a mistake.
‘‘No problem.’‘; Jarod replies taking his cell phone from his pockey, ‘‘Call Sydney. Ask him! If that won't do, have Broots pull up your hospital records. You know that I've never lied to you about anything.’‘;
‘‘Sh**, that's just f***ing great. No wonder I can't get you out of my dre.
’‘Parker stops herself, short of spilling her guts to him.
‘‘Dreams,’‘; Jarod finishes the sentence for her, ‘‘Aw, shucks Parker. I'm flattered.’‘
‘‘Don't be. I dream about taking your butt back to the Centre’‘; she smiles as she pushes a lock of hair out of her face.
‘‘Good, then the second reason I came won't come as any great shock.’‘
‘‘What are you talking about?’‘; she demands.
‘‘I want you to take me in, Parker,’‘; Jarod whispers quietly, knowing this will capture her attention.
Parker looks at him, dumbfounded. For once speechless.
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