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It wasn't hard to sneak past the cameras, Angelo had taught her how years ago when they were children. The air duct system in the Centre made for easy and undetectable travel between levels, and Miss Parker often made use of it.
Tonight was no different from any other night in the life of a teenage girl whose family ran one of the most covert and dangerous organizations in the United States. Her days were filled with tutors and occasional glimpses of her indifferent father, her nights she either spent at home, alone with the exception of the sweeper team assigned to her, or here at the Centre. Whenever her father went out of town she slept at the Centre, though never where they thought she did.
She had an assigned room on Sub Level 15, an exact mimicry of her bedroom at home, right down to the books on the shelf and the brand of brush she used to comb her hair. As a child things like that had seemed almost magical; now it was a lot creepier and wearing on her nerves.
A seventeen year old girl didn't want to be locked up in the "basement" for days on end while her father traveled the world, not allowed to call her friends from school or to even visit people in the building. Her father claimed that she had everything she needed in that room; she knew of one thing she needed more.
One thing that she couldn't get from anyone else.
She crawled through the air ducts up two levels and over almost 100 feet to reach his room and she felt grimy and dusty by the time she got there. Though there were, to her knowledge, no cameras in her room she knew that Jarod did not have that luxury. His every movement was caught on tape.
Through the vent she could see him lying on his bed, arm over his eyes. He wasn't wearing a shirt; he never did when he slept. For a second Parker could swear her heart jumped out of her chest it was beating so hard. She wanted to blame it on the long excursion through the ducts but she knew it was partly Jarod. As children they'd been the best of friends, but that had all changed after her mother's death. The bond between them had become closer, deeper on some levels. Instead of running to her father for comfort in her grieving, she'd run to Jarod and continued to run to him.
As they'd grown older, however, their bodies and relationship changed. There was a tone to their relationship now, an unresolved edge that sharpened every glance, every word. Even as it made things inside her tighten to the point of discomfort she couldn't help but be drawn to him.
Sliding slim fingers through the holes in the grate, Parker shook the metal cover just loud enough to get Jarod's attention. At one point she'd come through the vent in the wall, easier to climb out of but both she and Jarod had quickly learned that if she did that she was seen by the cameras and sweepers came to separate them quickly.
Now she came through the ceiling, where the cameras couldn't see. It let the two of them have more time together before the sweepers came.
The sweepers always came.
Jarod moved to get up as if he hadn't been asleep, and Parker knew he most likely hadn't been. Though he pantomimed the act every night she knew that often he needed less than six hours. He'd never volunteer that fact to the Centre, though, or they'd have him working even longer hours.
He moved easily and smoothly, walking past the camera and in a movement almost too quick to follow, pulling out the wire in the back of the device and cutting the power. His watchers were arrogant and lax in their security. They believed they had him completely under their thumbs.
Jarod smiled at the thought as he pulled the vent out of the ceiling and waited for Miss Parker to slide out. Her long hair spilled out first, like a dark shadow, softness the color of mahogany. It tickled his fingers as he held his hands out to catch her. Next came her face, brown eyes dancing with mischief, her full lips twisted in a smile. In the dark of the unlit room her face shone like a moon in the sky, pale and perfect.
Just looking at her made his chest hurt in ways he couldn't decipher.
Within seconds the rest of her long body followed and she slid into his arms easily. They'd done this many times before, she'd sneak through the vents, he'd catch her, and they'd spend the rest of the night talking or sometimes holding each other.
He liked it most when he just held her; when the silence stretched out and the only thing he could feel was the soft way she breathed against his skin.
He stood there with her cradled against his chest, sliding his hand from under her long legs so that she stood against him. For some reason the tension between them seemed keener tonight, harder than it usually was.
"Hi, Miss Parker," Jarod whispered as he released her completely and took a step back. The room immediately felt cooler than it had seconds ago.
"Hi, Jarod," she throatily replied, her voice deeper and huskier than it had been years ago. The years had taken its toll on her, her innocence ravaged by numerous manipulations and she reflected it in her very demeanor. The warm and friendly Miss Parker of the early years had disappeared behind a cold face and a roughened voice; at least in public.
Jarod moved to sit on the bed, head in his hands as his mind raced. Mr. Parker was out of town, which was the only reason she'd risked coming here tonight. Lately, since Jarod's twentieth birthday, the sweepers and Mr. Parker had been trying to keep the two of them apart. No more visits during breaks from Sims, lately Jarod didn't even see her during the day anymore. All they had were their nights, and even they had been rare.
"Where have you been?" He asked, his voice distant as he tried to reconcile himself to the distance growing between them.
"Daddy's been keeping me at home. He says that I'm old enough that if I wanted to I wouldn't have to stay here on nights when he's out of town."
Which meant even these rare nights they had would soon be cut off.
He nodded slowly, looking through strands of his hair to find her standing their stiffly. "What's wrong?"
"We might not see each other anymore. After Daddy finds out about me sneaking in here tonight I'm almost certain he'll keep me away."
They only had one night.
When Miss Parker moved to stand in front of Jarod he opened his arms without a second thought. She slid into them with just as much instinctive acceptance. Her legs straddled his and they sat there entwined for several minutes.
She wore only her sleeping clothing, a spaghetti-strap top and cotton short-shorts, and it bared entirely too much skin for Jarod's comfort. Her long legs contrasted beautifully with the dark red of the sleep-clothes and she smiled into his hair, breathing deeply as she did so.
Almost of their own volition his hands began to move.
As softly as a feather his fingers traced designs on her back. He could almost feel her purring under his hands as she arched into his touch, her nails digging into his back. The scent of jasmine drifted from her hair, filling his mind with memories of their past together.
The first time they met.
The first time they snuck away from where they were supposed to be.
The first time she took comfort in his arms.
The first time they kissed.
All those memories swirling in his head, coming to culminate in the here and now.
The last night they'd be together.
He wrapped his arms around her waist tighter, pulling her closer than he'd ever held her before. The heat between their skin became slick, her top growing damp as they moved against each other.
She didn't resist when he pressed a kiss to her throat or when he slid his hands under her shirt. His fingers blazed hot trails as they followed the path of her spine. Goosebumps danced along her arms and she shivered against him.
He didn't know what they were doing, but he knew it felt right.
Parker felt his lips on her skin and could have sworn the room spun. The only thing holding her down was him, his hold on her. Her head felt light and her heart slammed in her chest. She could feel his body heat under her hands and she instinctively tried to draw it into her, breathing deeply and stretching her long limbs around him.
Unlike Jarod she had a very good idea of what was happening here. She'd seen the PG movies, had dated boys from school, and had come close enough to this precipice to know what happens when you fall.
She wanted to fall but only with Jarod.
When his lips found hers it seemed the most natural thing in the world.
It started tenderly, almost as if time itself had frozen them in that one moment. The softness of her lips under his harder ones, the scrape of his stubble along her cheeks, the slide of his bangs across her forehead. They experienced those sensations together.
Then it became more intense.
Their mouths fused tightly, their tongues dueling within the confines, each fighting for dominance. His hands on her back became more possessive, rubbing along her skin roughly. She arched under his ministrations, her chest rubbing against his slowly. She felt swollen and achy all over, her skin sensitive and begging for his touch.
Jarod pulled his mouth from hers and kissed his way down her neck. Parker ran her hands through his hair and pressed a kiss against the top of his head. She reached for the hem of her top and pulled it off, forcing his mouth away from her skin. It was worth it for the look on his face.
He looked like a kid in the candy shop, his eyes wide and innocent as he gazed at her in awe. He ran trembling hands up her sides, drawing a tickled smile from her. He cupped her breasts in those nervous hands and grinned when her head fell back and she moaned. When he pressed his mouth to the skin between her breasts, her hips moved against him uncontrollably. He bucked against her, using his hands to hold her in place as he did so.
As well-educated as he was he knew the parameters of what they were doing. The real fun was in the details, he noted as his lips moved across her skin, seeking to give her as much pleasure as he could.
When his tongue found her nipple and curled around it he could have sworn she almost fell apart in his arms. She shook terribly, her arms curling around his head to hold him there. Her hips moved restlessly and her hands clutched his hair tightly.
"Jarod," she breathed his name into the dark room, her yearning clearly heard.
"Miss Parker," he said back calmly, a stroke of humor just as clear in his voice, his voice humming along her skin.
He knew what she wanted, could tell from her movements and from things he'd read. His hands slid lower, wrapping around her thighs and moving slowly, almost massaging the stiff muscles under his hands.
He loved her legs. She'd grown from a cute adolescent into a leggy teenager with a penchant for mini-skirts, something he was very appreciative of. He also knew that several of the younger sweepers liked the view, and he'd spent a good deal of time making life hell for them.
He now knew that looking didn't even compare to touching.
Without warning, he spun them, moving her so that she lay on the bed and he knelt above her. Parker laughed at the sudden movement, the sound dancing along his senses until he chuckled along with her.
Jarod eased down slowly, lining his body up with hers until they were flush against each other again. He ran a finger down the side of her face, over the curve of her cheek and to the soft point of her chin, finishing the journey with a small nip of his teeth.
Parker stopped his movements by cradling his face, bringing his eyes up to hers. "We don't have much time."
Soon the sweepers would realize Parker wasn't in her room, and thus would know where to start looking.
When Jarod slipped her cotton shorts from her hips, taking her panties with them she didn't protest. She lifted her hips to help him.
When Jarod moved to lie on top of her again she widened her legs, creating a little niche for him to fit. The roughness of his cotton pants, nowhere near as fine or expensive as her clothing, was an interesting sensation on her sensitive regions. Jarod could feel her slick heat soaking through and his already aroused body became harder at the sensation.
Her hands pushed at the barrier, her lips brushing against his jaw line and her breath hot on his skin. Her name was a moan out of his mouth as he let her push the bottoms down, revealing his hard member standing at attention.
She was a novice but he couldn't tell as she wrapped long fingers around him.
"Now," she stated as she pulled him closer.
"Don't even ask."
He knew she was sure, just as he was sure that he'd never wanted anything more in his life.
He pressed against her, his teeth grinding from restraining his instincts that screamed for him to take her quickly. He pushed in, her muscles gripping him tightly and begging him to move deeper.
Though she was a virgin, there was no pain when he moved in as deeply as he could. She fisted her hands in his sheets, her hips twitching uncontrollably against him. Jarod levied himself above her, his hands lost in a sea of her dark hair. Her eyes stared up at him, intense in the emotion locked within.
Finally, he let his body take control. It knew what to do after all.
His hips drew back, sliding his member out of her slowly before driving back in. Parker jerked against him, a small sound tearing from her throat. It was a strange combination of a gasp and a squeal, and it thoroughly intoxicated Jarod.
He repeated his movements, faster and harder, and was rewarded by the same noise and a small scratch on his forearm from her nails. The sheer pleasure of the sensations he was experiencing made his head go light and for the first time in years his mind was clear of all worry.
It was only Miss Parker and him, and he wished this moment could last forever.
He began to move without stopping, a rhythm as old as time burned into his instincts and setting his pace. Sweat began to glisten on his skin as the strain of his speed and movements wore on him. Answering tension rose in Parker as she moved to keep up. Their bodies moved together, skin sliding along skin wetly, as the tension in their bodies became more and more tightly wound.
Parker keened and the sound echoed through the room. Her hands slid from his shoulders to stretch above her as she tried to ease the terrible knot in her lower abdomen. Jarod ran his hand through her hair, pulling her head back far enough that he could press his mouth to hers. His tongue mimicked his movements in other parts of her body and the feeling was enough to spur her over the edge.
That knot in her stomach eased suddenly, waves of strong pleasure radiating outward. Jarod moaned as her body vibrated with it around him, her muscles clutching and releasing him almost too quickly to decipher between the two.
He thrust into her deeply and could feel an answering reaction in his body straining to join her in ecstasy. He moved again, in and out, deep enough to draw that small addicting noise from her throat.
Parker moaned his name against his lips and it was enough to take him over the edge with her.
He moved inside her slowly, deliberately, and pressed his face against the side of her neck as he felt the tension in his body ease out in a sudden torrent. He could feel himself jetting into her, her body swallowing him up whole.
Jarod's movements slowly to a stop but he couldn't find the strength to move off of Miss Parker. She was soft and warm, and she felt like home.
Her hands ran softly down his back, comforting but still with that edge. That edge that tainted their every interaction, every thought.
Even making love couldn't take that edge away.
Finally Jarod eased to the side, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her close. He pulled the sheet around them, suddenly aware the chill air and the shivering of her body.
"This changes things, you know."
Her voice was huskier than normal, but softer as well. Her fingers trailed along his abdomen muscles, the nails tickling his skin. Her hair was matted with sweat around her flushed face but Jarod didn't think she'd ever looked more beautiful.
"I love you, Miss Parker."
He could feel her smile against his chest as she replied. "I know."
They were still cuddling like that when the door flew open.
Sam, the leader of the sweeper team assigned to Miss Parker, came in the door like an angry bull, his face red with a combination of anger and embarrassment. Several of his team followed him, all with their guns drawn.
On their heels Mr. Raines wheeled his oxygen tank in with an almost evil glee on his face. "Hello, Miss Parker."
She sat up in bed, clutching the sheet to her chest, but to her credit not blushing. Only anger crossed her face. "What do you think you're-"
One word had the sweeper pulling Parker from the bed. She kept the sheet wrapped around her, an unconscious movement to hide her body from prying eyes, but she still struggled to get free. "Let me go!"
Jarod didn't even notice his nudity as he jumped from the bed.
One of the sweepers used the butt of their gun across his temple and had him staggering back to the bed.
Still Jarod struggled to his feet, moving for the door after the crowd of people departing. He could see Parker tossed over Sam's shoulder, struggling to return to him. Jarod beat his hands on the door of his cell; beat them until they were bloody.
He screamed her name and it echoed through the hall.
He would get free and find her if it was the last thing he ever did.
When Mr. Parker returned from his "overseas" trip Mr. Raines was waiting in his office.
The emphysema ridden man at least waited until the man was seated behind his desk to speak, though his happiness and anticipation was clear to see.
"Things went as planned," Raines said roughly, wheeling forward to stand close to the desk. He threw a small disc on the table, a DSA labeled with the past Friday's date.
Mr. Parker waited until Raines was gone to pick up the disc and crush it in his fist.
His Angel would never be free of the Centre now.