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Chapter or Story Chapter or Story
Thanks for all your wonderful comments, it is very much appreciated.
So yeah, new chapter is up. Enjoy
Each character is written by a different author (well almost, some writers add on a second, but that's later in the story), so to help you readers keep it all straight, each character has a different color.
Writer / Character
Jacci - (yet to be revealed)
KatieQ - Miss Parker
Manoline - Broots
Tinanaz - Jarod
TLM - Sydney
Whashaza - Lyle
A new chapter will be posted approximately twice a week, check end notes for when the next is scheduled to arrive.
Lyle slipped behind a news stand, his eyes focused solely on the lone man seated in a booth by the window. A small smile settled briefly, his eyes glinting in satisfaction. Wonder boy didn’t look so good. A small beep interrupted his thoughts and without breaking turning his eyes away with the man across the street, he opened his phone and pressed 2.
“You were right. He’s even more confused than before.”He listened to the receiving answer, his eyes darkening slightly at the commanding tone of the voice on the other side.
“How long will we continue with this farce. Why not take him now?”
He held the phone away from his ear, grimacing at the loud voice that filled the air around him. The phone did little to distort the deep, angry growls that emanated from it. When it had finally died down and static filled the air did he bring it back to his ear.
“I know that for now, we are working together on this but if you ever talk to me like that again, I will kill you. Do you understand me?”
Silence greeted his statement. He smiled briefly at an Asian girl that walked past. She dropped her gaze and hurried away. His eyes followed her body before returning it to Jarod’s across the street.
“I give you one week more. If Jarod is not in our control entirely by then, I will move in and take him.”
He closed the phone; not waiting for a reply he knew wouldn’t be given.
He returned all his attention back to his nemesis on the other side.
"Jarod, thank God. It's been so long since you've called, I've been worried. What's wrong?"
"Jarod, are you there........Jarod, answer me!"
Jarod heard Sydney's voice but couldn't respond to it. Without thinking about it, he was snapping the cellphone shut.
Suddenly, images of needles and silhoutes of men were filling his mind and churning his stomach. And to make matters worse, he was getting the feeling of being watched, the same feeling that told him the Centre was getting to close. He sometimes thought it was the same feeling the mouse must feel knowing the cat was creeping up and getting ready to pounce.
Jarod pulled a $20 bill out of his pocket without being obvious about it. He didn't want anyone watching to know what he was doing. He wanted the watchers to think he was still in the diner when he was actually leaving through the back door. The Centre's goons were usually not smart enough to watch the back. Maybe they thought he wasn't smart enough to think of the back door.
Thirty minutes later, Jarod was checking into an upscale hotel. A quick scan proved the pursuit team wasn't staying here and so one Jarod Parker rented the penthouse suite for a week. A quick smirk at the thought that Parker would never ever look for him here graced Jarod's face. But the blankness of the last month had that smirk vanishing as quickly as it appeared.
Parker moved to the doorway as she heard Sydney hushed cries into the phone, eventually closing his phone with a frustrated sigh.
"Broots..." She commanded authoritatively, continuing when she had the tech's attention. "I want you to scan local hospitals, hotels, airports, car rental agencies, bus stations, whatever. Whether this room of nothing was done on purpose or not, one thing is clear, if boy-wonder isn't thumbing his nose at me, it means he's not pulling the strings. He is somewhere in this city, and he has only two options, hide or flee. If i know Jarod as well as I think I do, he'll be banking on us leaving with exactly what we came with - nothing. Not this time, it's time for a little hide and seek - my way."
Her orders made she turned back towards the psychiatrist. "You want to tell me what that was all about?"
"Damn it," Sydney cursed the dial tone ringing in his ear, flipping the phone shut. Now he knew Jarod was in trouble. According to Broots, he had paid for six months worth of rent. Maybe he was still nearby. This was torture. Before he had suspected something was wrong. With Jarod's less than cryptic phone call, now he knew.
The current debate was whether or not to tell Miss Parker what had just happened. Sydney wanted, needed to find Jarod and he was certain that if anyone could find him, it was Miss Parker. The question arose then, what would she do if they found him?
The battle was still raging in Sydney's head as he turned to go back in the building, only to be met face to face with the woman in question, "You want to tell me what that was all about?" Sydney sighed and relented to what he hoped was the right decision.
"It was Jarod. He needs our help. I know you only want to return him to the Centre, but something's different this time. We must find him and fix this before it's too late," He watched her unemotional expression and continued, "I'm afraid, Miss Parker. It's not often Jarod asks for our help."
Parker looked away from the worry that was so blatantly portrayed in Sydney's eyes. Whatever had transpired in that short phone call that Sydney had exchanged with his protege had obviously sent the alarm bells firing in the psychiatrist's head.
'"What he asked for your help and then bailed? Sounds like a whole load of nothing, which is exactly what were are standing in, exactly what Jarod left us with - nothing." She reminded her pursuit team, studying Sydney intently before continuing "to much nothing is adding up to something."
It wasn't really an answer to Sydney's fruitless begging. What did he expect, that she would toss aside her gun and chase after Jarod in some good-will hand holding gesture?
It just wasn't how the game was played. Strip searches, messages delivered from talking monsters, headless wax figurines, he hadn't played fair and neither would see. Their roles were clear, the huntress and the hunted. The weak ones always got caught first.
But as she glanced into Sydney's desperate eyes, Parker felt a small twinge in her stomach.
Was it concern? Or just the beginning of the hunt, the surge of adrenaline, the feeling of hope, that perhaps this time Jarod's luck had run out?
After two hour on the phone, three on the computer, and one quick call to make sure Debbie was alright, Broots came to a conclusion, Jarod was still in the city. He had to be. There was nothing to be found indicating he had left, and Broots had checked everything.
He guessed after the sweepers had finished questioning the neighbours and asking around the local stores and businesses they would have more information, which would be the part he would focus on when handing the news to Miss Parker.
The cleaners had just arrived and were working vigorously to find what they hadn't been able to with the naked eye. Fingerprints, hair...blood, if there was anything to be found they would find it.
But they didn't like interuptions. Which was why he was on his was to meet Sydney and Miss Parker for dinner.
The penthouse suite was a luxury Jarod rarely enjoyed. He could almost get used to this, he thought to himself. But the dingy places he usually stayed in gave him a feeling of home. A comfort in a strange world. But, still, the huge bed, the big screen TV, the outstanding view out of the window were all needed right now. He had the odd feeling that if he stayed in his usually type lairs, he would be "enjoying" the comforts the Centre had to offer quite quickly.
Four hours later, Jarod shot up in bed with a shout. Forget nightmares, this was a thousand times worse. Faceless figures and disturbing images flashed through his dreams, making it impossible for him to sleep.
A quick shopping trip last night gave him both a wardrobe that Parker would envy and a top of the line laptop. It was to this laptop that Jarod walked to now. A quick check on the Centre and the pursuit teams would help him relax, hopefully, he thought.
Jarod leaned back in frustration after forty-five minutes of digging in the Centre's computer system. He read Parker's initial report, saw that the cleaner's were doing they did. Sydney and Broots were with Parker and all three had checked into a very nice hotel on the other side of the city. But no matter how hard he looked, he couldn't find out what Lyle was up to. That was never a good sign.
An hour later, Jarod was sure that Lyle was up to something and that something was part of this month of blankness. What exactly was going on was the question, though. There was no sign of Lyle in the Centre, he hadn't used the Centre's jet, helicopters, or Towncars. So where was Lyle?
Sydney pinched the bridge of his nose, releasing a frustrated sigh as Broots left his hotel room after having informed him there were still no further leads on Jarod and nothing found in his latest lair. He could hear Jarod's voice in his head, that one word echoing over and over again.
The phone was sitting on the table and had been for the past hour. He brushed a hand over the keys and resigned himself to waiting for a call that might never come.
But it did come, and Sydney nearly didn't believe the phone was actually ringing. Yet something inside him connected those mental wires that alerted him to the reality of his chirping phone and he put it to his ear, praying it was his lost pretender.
Parker grabbed Broots arm as soon as they exited Sydney's hotel room. "Did you get it done?" she asked, "Jarod WILL call him again, it's only a matter of time."
Sydney couldn't be trusted to disclose any information about Jarod or his potential whereabouts. Face it - he never could. While Sydney was lost playing the parent, she and Broots would be doing the next best thing - eavesdrooping on Freud.
Despite the concern she couldn't ignore for Jarod, she wasn't about to pass up an opportunity to run in with her prey. The damn game had to come to an end - one way or another.
Broots released a breath he didn't know he was holding and tried to calm down. These were the kind of things that made him really hate his job. His pulse was racing a mile a minute and his heart was hammering in his chest like a jackhammer.
When talking to Sydney he was so nervous he was sure he would see something was going on and catch him. But by some miracle he didn't. He thought he was going to freeze, or trip, or drop something. But when Miss Parker distracted Sydney he was acting as if on a instinct; Regular Syd's cell out of the bag, bugged identical copy in to the bag.
"Yes", and he hated himself for it.
Next chapter will be posted approximately Friday 30th