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“Who is she?” Kate asked.

 

Jarod turned his head with a curious gaze at her looked at her.

 

“Who is who?!” Jarod asked as they continued to walk down the street.

 

“Who’s the woman that has you so enthralled that you didn’t try to have your way with,” pointing behind them, “Sylvia back there.  I mean you’re working for a pornographic company to help a friend out…”

 

“Bucky!”  Jarod gave a mega watt grin to Kate.

 

With laughter in her voice Kate continued, “And one of the hottest woman in the industry – who most men would give their left NUT to be with makes a pass at you…and you barely can tolerate the woman’s hands on you!!”

 

Jarod grimaced and tossed his head to the side – indicating that it hadn’t been like that.

 

“Jarod.  Listen.  I may not know you…but I have always been able to spot a man that was in love!”

 

Jarod stopped in his tracks and stared at Kate with shocked eyes.

 

Kate smiled in triumph.

 

“Ha…wow!” Kate said as she saw the look on Jarod’s face. “The woman definitely has to be something!”  Kate said as she continued to walk.

 

Jarod’s face had fallen and quickly his legs began to move him towards Kate.

 

“How…”

 

“Jarod,” Kate began again, “I’ve been in this business for a very VERY long time.  I’ve seen so much screwing that frankly -  it barely fazes me any more.”

 

Jarod’s eyes continued to furrow, completely not understanding.

 

“When a man refuses sex…well…I only know two things that would stop them.”  Kate said as she raised two fingers.

 

“One, “ lowering a finger, “Is disease.  If a man thinks there is a chance a woman has something they might…and I mean MIGHT consider not to.”

 

Jarod was intrigued by Kate’s words and continued to watch as she then lowered the second finger.

 

“Second,” Kate said with a sigh, “Is a man in love.”

 

Jarod allowed the words to sink in as he realized that after Carthis…he had slowly allowed his relationship with Zoe to diminish to friendship, telling her that because of the way his life was…it was true…but it had not the real reason.

 

After the island Jarod knew that he wanted Parker and no one else…even if she didn’t want him in return.

 

“Wow!”  Kate exclaimed, causing Jarod to look up and find her more than several yards away from him. 

 

“This isn’t some little love is it?”  Kate asked with a raised eyebrow as she walked back to where Jarod had apparently stopped and had stood thinking about her words.

 

Jarod looked into Kate’s eyes with such sorrow and let out a sigh that had Kate realize exactly what kind of love it was.

 

Kate closed her eyes as she realized that Jarod had a case of star-crossed lovers.

 

Opening her brown eyes she bestowed Jarod with a sad little smirk.

 

“How long?”  Kate asked.

 

Jarod grimaced.  “Promise you won’t laugh?”

 

Kate’s eyebrow rose once more.

 

Jarod continued to grimace as he muttered “About forty years.”

 

Both of Kate’s eyebrows shot up as her eyes widened as she looked at Jarod.

 

“FORTY YEARS!!”  Kate yelled, which caused Jarod to finally realized that they were in a very public place and that if the wrong people were around he could get into quite a jam.

 

Quickly Jarod came to Kate’s side and guided Kate to turn with him.

 

“Jarod that’s INSANE!  What the hell kind of woman could turn you down for over FORTY YEARS??!!!”

 

Jarod felt his ears burning as he blushed.

 

“She has her reasons.” Jarod murmured as he led them to their car.

 

Finally in the car Kate turned her still wide eyes at Jarod.

 

“Jarod it just can’t be.  If I hadn’t known that you were working for Bucky as a favor I swear I would have hired you on the spot for over five films!  You’re a devastatingly handsome man who’s got a dark side that most woman find as an extreme turn on and would pay EXTREMELY large amounts of money to have sex with you!”

 

Jarod blushed furiously at the words as he turned his own shocked eyes at Kate.

 

“What!?” Kate exclaimed with frustration, “I may be a tad bit young for you – bud I’d fuck yah in a heart beat.”

 

Jarod didn’t know he could blush even more than he had been – but at those words he became beat red.

 

“KATE!!” Jarod yelled as he tried to take in the words.  Never had anyone spoken to him the way Kate was.  And besides that – Kate was Bucky’s sister.  And if Bucky ever found out Kate was talking to him like this…

 

“JAROD!!  How the hell could you not have made this woman yours by now?!”  Kate asked.

 

Turning his head to look out the windshield Jarod took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled.  “It’s very complicated.”  Jarod grumbled out.

 

Kate quirked her eyebrow in such a Parker way that Jarod found himself knowing that Kate was not going to let this go.  And her next words proved him right.

 

“I’ve got time!”

 


 

 

1 ½ -hours later!

 

Kate stared at Jarod in a mixture of horror and sorrow.

 

He had never told anyone about his entire life – never told anyone about the Centre in detail like he had Kate!

 

Maybe it was just way too much for a person to fathom.

 

“And you’ve been in love with her since your were a little boy?  This Miss Parker?”  Kate asked with a sort of awe.

 

Jarod nodded his head.  They were still in the car as his explanation of the extreme circumstances of his relationship with Miss Parker had turned into the pouring out of his soul to Kate.

 

Jarod couldn’t’ really explain it.  Maybe it was all the years of hunting down his family and the constant running from the Centre that had finally made him confide in someone.

 

“Jarod….I…I think that well…for one…the only reason I think you’re still out in the world is that she is more in love with you than you could imagine.”

 

The words caused his fallen face to fill with shock once more as he looked at Kate.

 

“What?” Jarod asked almost breathlessly.

 

“Jarod!” Kate laughed, “the woman’s in love with you!  Why the hell else would you still be able to stay hidden when she can ‘hear voices’ that could lead her right to you?!”

 

Jarod had never thought of it that way.

 

“Jarod?”  Kate asked.

 

“Huh?” Jarod asked as his eyes and mind were somewhere else.

 

“Have you ever tried to make love to her?”

 

Jarod looked up at Kate and quickly said, “I told you that we almost kissed..”

 

“Damn it Jarod!” Kate said with sudden understanding.  “You mean to tell me you’ve never ACTED on your want and NEED for HER?”

 

Jarod almost looked offended at the words.

 

“I respect her too much to push myself…”

 

“DAMN IT JAROD!!!  The woman you described to me is cool and confident,” Kate said as she emphasized the words describing Parker.

 

“And?”  Jarod asked a bit angered at Kate’s outburst.

 

“Jarod.  I’ve been studying human sexuality my whole life!” Kate said as calmly as she could.

 

Furrowing his brow Jarod nodded.  He knew that Kate was a sexologist, a well known one in fact.  Several of her studies and journals had been published – having used them himself when he had been pretending to be a sex therapist.

 

“A dominant woman who’s opened up only ONCE in her life to a man and that man DIES!  You’re talking about a woman that will most likely close up the minute she hears words of emotion!”

 

Jarod nodded as she explained Parker almost perfectly.

 

“The only thing that will even allow you into her life is going to be THROUGH her BEDROOM!”

 

Jarod was about to immediately argue when Kate asked him for something that nearly made him swallow his tongue for how stupid he had been to tell Kate ANYTHING!!

 

Extending her hand she said words that caused him to want to run out of the car screaming for the hills.

 

“Give me her phone number!”

 

“NO!”  Jarod said as he literally turned his body to completely face Kate.

 

“JAROD!  I KNOW what I’m doing!  I swear if you give me her phone number I’ll prove what causes the love of your life to react!!”

 

Jarod didn’t know what to do.  For the first time in his existence he didn’t know what to do!

 

“Jarod.  Trust me.”

 

The two words were his undoing.

 

Closing his eyes he reached into his pocket and extracted his cell phone.

 

Kate quickly took the phone and flipped it open.

 

“It’s almost midnight there!  She might be asleep or…”

 

“Or entertaining some guy that’s an easy score that she’ll use up and toss to the street the second she doesn’t need him!”

 

Jarod’s eyes showed sorrow as he said, “She’s not like that any more.”

 

Kate turned sad eyes on Jarod.

 

“People stick to the lives they’ve known Jarod.”

 

Though the words hurt Jarod immensely…he said nothing as Kate murmured.

 

“Here goes nothing.”  The sound of the phone autodialing caused Jarod’s instinct to want to grab the phone away.

 

But it was too late.

 


 

 

Parker was alone in her home, drinking a glass of coke and rum.

 

Over fifteen years of hunting had gone by…and ever since Carthis…neither she nor Jarod had been able to find out any answers to their questions.

 

Jarod.

 

Taking another sip of her glass she realized that she hadn’t seen him up close and personal for more than two years.

 

The phone calls had never stopped.  The red notebooks either.

 

Jarod had continued to play his role – and she hers.

 

Parker had indeed reverted back to her old ways.

 

Cold.  She had become cold as ice.

 

Daddy having died so long ago leaving her with a ‘father’ that had literally represented everything evil in her life – to rule over the Centre.

 

It was the only way she could survive Raines and Lyle’s constant attempts to try and break her.

 

But she wouldn’t let them.  She couldn’t.

 

Sydney, Broots, Angelo, her baby brother…hell even Sam.  They all depended on her ability to keep her head above water.

 

But lately…lately the loneliness was becoming more than she could take.

 

Jarod’s voice was the only thing that kept her sane during those lonely late nights.  Fighting with her…pushing her to keep moving forward.  He was the only one that had somehow known….somehow known that she had been contemplating suicide.

 

Neither of them had actually said the word…but Jarod had all but enraged her into swearing that she would stay alive – if just to see him back in the hellhole the Centre was.

 

It had been the angriest that she had ever been.

 

And it was his one word that followed her declaration that had almost made her crumble.

 

“Good.”

 

Parker’s eyes welled with tears as she thought back to how she had been pacing her living room with all of the anger in her, yelling at him and cursing him.  And the way he had said the word with such relief.

 

Parker closed her eyes and let a tear fall.

 

She had stopped pacing and had had to try and stop the sudden urge to tell him everything in that one moment.

 

That even though they could never be…it had always been the one thing she wanted her whole life.

 

That given the chance…she would have committed any crime, performed any service or deed that RAINES himself wanted her to…if she could have been with him.  If she could have been his for the rest of her life…and his alone…she would have done it – for him.

 

Parker opened her eyes as the tears fell and she took another gulp of her drink.

 

The only thing she had been able to do was try and control the tears and clogging of her throat as the crying had begun as she listened to him breathe on the other side of the line.

 

After fifteen minutes of her saying nothing and the quiet gasps of air she took as she cried, Jarod had whispered ‘Don’t give up Parker.  I can’t let you.”

 

Parker had felt as though Jarod had reached through the phone and caressed her cheek.  Feeling just how much she meant to him with those eight words.

 

Not knowing how or why she knew that he had been about to hang up when she had whispered “Don’t.”

 

And he hadn’t.

 

It had taken Jarod another five minutes to ask her a question.

 

“Do you want me to talk you to sleep?”  Whispering his question, probably afraid that she would have bitten his head off.

 

But the fleeting need to have him there and hold her for just one…just ONE night…had let her unashamedly say. “Yes.”

 

And he had.

 

He did.

 

She hadn’t heard from him since that night.  Only a week.  Parker had been slowly going insane since then.

 

The next day she went into her living hell and at night she came home and stared at the phone…just waiting for him to call…to wave a pretend around in her face…something!!!

 

And yet nothing!

 

Each day that passed she found herself just staring at her phone.

 

The second day had been worse because she had been unwilling to leave her desk for even a second as she stared at her phone right in front of Sydney and Broots.  Hell even when Lyle had walked in she hadn’t torn her gaze away from the phone.

 

Parker had felt a tightening in her heart that said that night of his voice carrying her to sleep had been the last day that Jarod would ever call her.

 

Slowly the days passed and she had slowly become unglued.

 

Parker had sat in her chair for hours.  Hours!  Waiting at her desk – STARING at her phone.

 

Sydney and Broots had instantly been scared for her.

 

As soon as they saw her react to her phone ringing they saw how she had quickly grabbed the phone and the look in her eyes dulled as she realized it hadn’t been whom she expected.

 

It had gotten worse after that.  Parker had Broots call the phone company and forward her home number to her cellphone.

 

At any time Parker was in reach of a phone.

 

Each time that it had wrung, and his voice wasn’t on the other end, she felt herself slowly realizing that even though Jarod had said he couldn’t let her give up…he may have left her forever.

 

That’s why she was now drinking herself to death.

 

Days had turned into a week…and Jarod had never gone more than a few days without calling her.

 

Today, somehow, she knew that something had caused him to stop…to stop talking to her.

 

Never had she wanted more than to talk to him.  After all of the talking that they had done in their lifetimes…Parker would have given anything to just hear his voice again.

 

At least they could have that.  It was the only thing that they hadn’t been able to control, the one thing that they had never been able to realize.

 

That his voice alone had kept her alive all these years.  Without knowing it…it had carried her this whole time.

 

Now without it she felt emptier inside than she had ever felt.

 

The ringing of the phone caused her to jump.  Hope filling her instantly.

 

Snapping the phone up she shakily let out a breath, swallowed, and then answered.

 

“Hello?”  A female voice asked on the other end.

 

Parker’s hope quickly sank.  Her heart clenching as she tried to control her anger at herself.

 

“What?!”  Parker snapped.  The iciness that she had been so accustomed to springing out of her as she felt despair inside her spread.

 

“Ahh….I guess you must be the wifey.”  The woman purred in what Parker knew to be a ridiculing manner.

 

Parker rolled her eyes in irritation.

 

“Sorry skank!”  Parker laughed lightly at her joke, “You have the wrong number.”

 

The next words caused Parker to spill her drink.

 

“I guess Jarod wasn’t lying after all.”

 

“Jarod!”  Parker almost yelled as she dismissed the spilled drink on her $500 designer shirt and quickly stood.

 

The silkly feminine laugh of victory made Parker snarl.

 

“Oops!  I guess your husband isn’t a saint like you thought he was.”

 

Parker felt the anger build inside her as the connotation made her realize HOW this woman knew Jarod and WHAT this woman had been doing with him.

 

Parker couldn’t help but snarl at the woman, her anger at Jarod suddenly sprang up.  Never having felt this betrayed in her life!  Not from her mother, not from her ‘Daddy’, and sickening enough not eve from Raines….and Parker had absolutely NO REASON to be.

 

“Who the hell are you?”  Parker asked in the most sinister voice that Kate had ever heard.

 

Kate stared at Jarod’s shocked and panicked face…but Kate knew exactly what she was doing.

 

Kate let an evil smile play on her lips, knowing that Parker would hear it.

 

“I’m the woman that just fucked your husband.”

 

Jarod jerked in terror, as Kate said the words.

 

Parker suddenly was hit with an image of Jarod’s form under a woman’s body as she rode him until he called uncle.

 

Parker back straightened and the want to reach through the phone and kill the bitch was more than she could handle.  Her empty hand forming tightly into a fist as she gripped the phone so tight she felt the plastic squeaking at the pressure.

 

“You poor thing, probably think Jarod would never touch another woman but you.”  Kate laughed a very cruel laugh that had Jarod realize just how good she could act.

 

“Sorry to disappoint!  Jarod’s taking a little shower right now…I figured he’d keep the little misses number as his first speed dial.  Wanted to let you know he was going to be getting home late this weekend.” Kate said as she smiled at Jarod…knowing what was about to happen.

 

Parker couldn’t help it.  The thought of this woman…of ANY WOMAN touching Jarod…in…like…she was going to hunt down this woman and kill her with her bare hands.   She snapped.

 

“YOU FUCKING WHORE!!  YOU TOUCH HIM AGAIN AND I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND PUT A BULLET BETWEEN YOUR EYES!!”

 

Parker’s yell causing Kate to pull away the phone from her ear, allowing Jarod to hear her exact words.

 

Oddly…Jarod felt elated at the words.

 

“Aww…Is this the first time little Jarod came out to play with the other little girls?” Kate knew that Parker had been the only little girl that Jarod had ever played with…the double ‘unintentional’ innuendo was going to make the woman’s head spin.

 

Parker felt like the woman had just slapped her across the face.  Her imagination suddenly picturing another little girl walking down the stairs towards Jarod.  Jarod turning away from her and going to kiss the other girl.

 

Parker’s head swam as her imagination than pictured Jarod’s head thrown back as the woman ‘played’ with ‘little Jarod.”

 

“ Oops..sorry again.  I mean ‘not so little’ Jarod!  He does know how to make a girl cum.”  Kate winked at Jarod as he blushed again and continued to look terrified of what was happening.

 

Parker’s anger grew to an unknown high that she had never experienced before.  Heart beat increasing and trembling from the image of  Jarod being in any way…shape…or form with this piece of trash making her stomach turn.

 

“I’m going to hunt you down and kill you.” 

 

The words were said with such certainty and coldness that for a moment Kate was really afraid for her life.  She wasn’t exactly sure if Jarod’s description of her as a master marksman had been entirely accurate – but she sure as hell didn’t want to know.

 

Pulling herself together Kate allowed herself to laugh.

 

“Eww…sounds like someone we both know finished showering.”

 

Kate paused and listened to Parker’s breathing, noting how the woman was almost hyperventilating.

 

“Don’t worry sweetie!  I’ll make sure he’s nice and clean before he comes home.”  Kate hung up before Parker could say one more thing.

 

When Parker heard the disconnection of the line after those words…her eyes widened in anger and she threw the phone across the room, with a violent scream.

 

“YOU FUCKING BITCH!!”

 

 

 

Jarod sat staring at Kate as if she was the craziest woman alive.

 

“What?” Kate asked in a amused way.

 

And that’s when Jarod snapped.

 

“ARE YOU CRAZY!!!  HOW IN THE HELL COULD THAT EVER POSSIBLY HELP WIN HER?!!! I’VE NEVER LIED TO HER!!”

 

Jarod screaming at her made Kate lean against the door at the anger she saw in his face.

 

“She’s jealous!”  Kate said with a roll of her eyes.

 

Jarod still looked like he was freaking out when Kate huffed out a breath and continued.

 

“If she didn’t love you…why would she threaten a woman that had sex with you?  You two aren’t married…have never been together…and above all…WHY WOULD SHE CARE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!”  Kate screamed as she grabbed Jarod’s jacket and shook him.

 

Jarod let Kate’s rational sink in.

 

Slowly the whole thing made sense.

 

“You knew that the only way to win her was through her bed.  Now that she thinks I was in someone else’s you think she’s going to try and ‘win me’ over by allowing me into hers.”

 

Kate smiled devilishly.

 

“Not quite.”





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