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Author's Chapter Notes:

Chapter 14, wow I think we're going somewhere here. This part is about decisions, planning, and promises. There's fear for the future, but also hope.

And since in the last couple of days our twitter accounts are getting full of amazing news about this incredible show (thank to its creators, Steve and Craig), I'm full of hope too. We really want closure, and maybe we're going to have it, "soon". In a whole "brand new way", they said.

But, for now, let me go on with this story, because I feel it needs closure too :) My English is going to be full of typos and misprints. Maybe also wrong verbs and spelling. But, please, forgive me, as usual.

5.49 p.m.

Miss Parker was exhausted for the trip to New York. Not only had she spent many hours in her detestable brother’s company, but she had also found herself not allowed to laugh when she had seen the little surprise Jarod had prepared for Lyle.   
Sydney welcomed the woman along with Broots and Angelo; they all looked very glad to see her.
“Parker! You’re finally back, where’s Lyle?” Sydney asked, reaching her and stroking her arm in a very paternal way. She smiled at him, betraying her secret relief of being home with the people she truly cared about.
“I guess he’s having a series of hot showers, at the moment.” she explained, putting her gun inside her desk drawer.
“Showers?” Broots asked, while he was checking on Angelo who was playing with the puppets Jarod had sent.
“Boy Wonder didn’t tell you what he left in New York?”
Right then, Parker’s “official” phone rang and she hurried to answer, then she sat at her desk. She knew she had to keep her Ice Queen façade, when she spoke through that device.
“What!” she pretended to be annoyed and put in speakerphone so that Syd and Broots could also hear.
“I’ve been told that Lyle found himself enveloped by what looks most like him, Miss Parker.”
Sydney looked at her questioningly, she was smiling, and her voice was betraying her amused expression. “I imagine I should thank my lucky star that my cannibal-brother entered your lair before I did, Jarod. Where did all that rubbish come from?”
Broots couldn’t help but figuring the scene of Lyle immersed under a mountain of crap.
“You wouldn’t believe how many things you can find down in the sewers, Miss Parker, even the most hidden secrets.”
Parker had found a message addressed to her, in Jarod’s lair. She showed it to Sydney and Broots, who looked at it with curiosity.

Be careful about the waste you throw away.

After that sentence, Jarod had put the mail from the Triumvirate which had given Raines the confirmation for Sydney’s death sentence order. The doctor wasn’t that amazed, he had already realized on his own that his forever-rival might have been the one giving the order. But to Lyle and Raines, that message would look like the umpteenth trail to follow left by Jarod to his pursuers; they couldn’t imagine that Sydney and Parker both already knew everything and have been collaborating with Jarod for days.
“Where are you going with this, Jarod? Do you think that you’re going to put us against each other? I’ve got news for you: I don’t need your little mental games to doubt Raines.”
At the other side of the device, Jarod realized again what an exceptional woman she was. Parker was playing her part in a sublime way, she wasn’t the same woman that would come back home that night and find him and Ethan waiting for her.
“No, Miss Parker, I know that our bald friend is not among your faves. But we all need someone we can trust, and you keep doing this with the wrong people.” he commented.
“And I assume we’re supposed to trust you, instead?!” she replied, pretending to sound mean.
Sydney and Broots couldn’t help but smile. If that conversation was really overheard, nobody would doubt Miss Parker. Angelo was grinning with satisfaction: he felt how much that woman was carefully choosing every word, even if, deep inside, she felt nothing but unconditional love, for Jarod.
“I don’t think you’ll ever be able to do that, but maybe you should start trust someone else.”
“Who?” she asked, in a whisper.
So said, he hung up. Miss Parker smirked.
“Astonishing.” Broots commented.
Parker smiled and regained control on herself. That night, probably, she wouldn’t easily let go of that conversation. She wanted to understand Jarod’s point of view better. In bed, obviously.
“What about “Reset”?” Parker asked.
“Our carriers tracks were all erased by Broots. There aren’t any signs of their presence. The whole operation was a success, and the package was delivered.” Sydney explained. Parker nodded in satisfaction.
“But - if we’re really safe, and if we checked that there aren’t any bugs in this room, why do we keep speaking in code?” Broots asked.
“At the Centre, even walls have ears.” Parker commented.

One hour later, Lyle was back at The Centre and he entered Parker’s office full of rage. Behind him, Raines was following.
“It seems that our beloved Jarod had left that lair at least a month ago, our trail was a bit old, wasn’t it?”
Parker smiled in an almost wicked way, “Maybe he wanted to let the rubbish rot so that you could find it even more putrid once we got there, Lyle!”
He completely ignored her comment. That wasn’t the reason he was there.
“There’s something very important we must tell you. We didn’t want to inform you before; we were afraid that the information might leak out and Jarod would find out.” Lyle said, glaring at Sydney.
“What is it about? We’re having a party for your first six months without homicides?” she asked, a devilish smile on her lips.
“The Triumvirate members are getting here, tomorrow.”
Parker shut up. So, they were finally telling her the “truth”. Of course, all the people in that office already knew, but they had to pretend to be unaware. Maybe, even pretend to be a bit tense.
“Why?” Sydney asked, “In many years they’ve never bothered to come here.”
“You’re forgetting the time when Matumbo took his sorry ass here to take Jarod’s clone away with him.” Miss Parker interjected him.
“Things change.” Raines stated with his soar voice. “Hasani, Adama’s brother, wants to get here to check our work.”
“Why should this interest us?” Parker asked.
“Because Hasani is mostly interested in the way you’re leading Jarod’s pursuit. In Africa, they’re all very upset for the failures of the last six years and a half, they’re looking for someone to blame.” Lyle explained.
Parker grinded her teeth and got next to her brother, “It’s not my fault if that lab rat does nothing but slip away like a molting snake.”
Sydney agreed with Parker’s metaphor, “What is it that they really want?”
“Jarod is never coming back to The Centre, and the Africans are starting to realize that. Not to mention that his pretending skills might be useless, should he come back against his will and should we force him…to cooperate.”
Parker had to contain another attack of nausea. The mere thought of Jarod trapped in a cell at The Centre, drugged and hurt by her brother to make him work on simulations, made her feel sick.
“But we have a new project to offer.” Raines continued. “Your little brother is the key for our future, your father always knew; he’s going to be trained to follow Jarod’s footsteps.”
Sydney sensed the woman’s motion of anger when she heard them talking about her son like an object. Angelo, who was still sitting on the floor, reached Miss Parker’s side, unnoticed. Feeling his near presence, the woman felt a bit reassured. Even her voices were inviting her to keep a straight face.
“Your plans for the baby are to exploit him for all his life, as you did with Jarod, Kyle, Angelo, Alex…they’re all perfect and successful experiments, aren’t they? What does the Triumvirate think about this”
Raines looked at her furiously, “The baby will be a very good pretender, he has it in his blood!”
“My father and Brigitte’s son? And how could it be? If he took it from his mother, he wont even know how to add two and two!” Miss Parker replied, wanting to understand how far Raines would go. She was sure he would never tell her the truth.
“Your sense of humor is not appreciated by the Triumvirate; try and be careful what you say, tomorrow.” Lyle changed the subject. Then the two men headed for the exit.
“What are they going to do with the baby?” Sydney asked, already knowing the answer but not wanting to hear it.
“Hasani’s plans are clear: they don’t have Alex anymore, and Jarod is untraceable. As soon as Baby Parker is ready, he’s going to be transferred to Africa.” Lyle said.
“Let’s hope he doesn’t have a soft skin, or he won’t be able to stay under the sun for long.” Parker replied, sarcastically.
Lyle and Raines exited, while the woman let herself go to some desperate sighs. When she almost fainted and collapsed to the floor, Sydney sustained her.
“Miss Parker!”
Broots helped Sydney to drag Miss Parker on the couch, Angelo reached her and took her hand tenderly.
“Miss Parker…Jarod…danger.” he said for the umpteenth time, with a more resigned tone, almost subdued. She was looking at him with tears in her eyes.
Parker stared at him, finally knowing what they had to do. Angelo was right, and the voices were confirming it.
Angelo will help you.
“What are we going to do?” Broots asked her.
“We need to save my son, no matter the cost.” she answered, still sighing. “And Angelo will help me.”
The empath looked at her, smiling.

8.33 p.m.

“I must admit, Jarod, Reset was really a success.”
“It’s all going to be useless if you don’t set up an indictment and a warrant for a blitz by tomorrow.” Jarod complained.
Zane sighed. Her technicians had been working along with C.I.A. and F.B.I for hours, reading the data downloaded by Jarod and Ethan; they were discovering the weirdest things. A secret organization stealing children, exploiting their minds to make experiments well beyond the edge of legality to obtain contracts worth millions of dollars.
“The Centre is a well-oiled machine, Jarod; if we move too fast too soon, we might risk cutting off an arm of the monster. We could hurt it, yes, but to stop it, we must kill it!”
Jarod thought the metaphor was fitting like a glove. That was the reason why it was important for the N.S.A. to intervene the day after, when all the highest exponents of the Triumvirate would be at The Centre.
“Zane, you read those files. My brother and I have been working on them for hours. There are names, contracts, tests results, medical charts…all the evidence you need to bring the curtain down on The Centre for good.” he replied, angry.
In the meantime, Ethan was working at his laptop and selecting data and names to match with real people so that they could be charged with different crimes such as corruption, blackmail, extortion, kidnap, and even murder.  
“Jarod, there are hundreds of names, maybe thousands of connections to The Centre. That organization has been financing research with laundered money since the cold war, it’s not easy to find all those matches.”
“I don’t care if you cannot find the key to the problem!” Jarod almost growled. “You must move tomorrow, because the greatest Centre financiers, the Africans of the Triumvirate, will be there. You read about them; those people have no conscience. The money that the Centre gained illegally was also used to finance hundreds of conflicts in Africa, maybe even genocides!”
Jarod thought about the simulations he and Alex had performed; a few of them might have inspired the Ruanda genocide of 1994. One of the many sins he would never forgive himself for.
Zane didn’t know what to say, “I know it’s personal to you, Jarod.”
“Personal is a euphemism, agent Zane. My whole life was manipulated by people working in that place. It’s time for them to end up in the place they most belong to, behind bars!”
“Your father’s deposition was useful.” she commented changing subject.
“And what about the boy?” he asked, thinking about Jesse.
“I’m still wondering how is it possible that he looks exactly like the boy I saw in some of those videos of the 70’s…A boy who was trained by a man named Sydney.”
Jarod felt his blood almost freezing in his veins; Ethan sensed immediately his feelings of discouragement.
“You – you saw those videos?”
Jarod didn’t know that there was still a copy of his DSAs in The Centre database.
“Weird coincidence, his name is Jarod too, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not a very common name.”
“No. No, it’s not.” he whispered, getting quiet.
Zane understood she hit the mark. But she didn’t need anything else, because now she knew that the little boy grown up in captivity, far from his family, deserved that his kidnappers were punished.
“Jarod, I’ll do everything in my power to put together a team tomorrow. I’ll be in touch, but I can’t make promises.”
Jarod’s expression changed again as he started to smile. “Thank you, Zane. I knew I could trust you. And believe me, this will be payback for Eddie, too.”
Zane nodded to herself, thinking about her colleague and how much she still missed him.
“If I don’t hear from you in the next twelve hours, I’m getting there, with or without you.” Jarod said.
“You won’t have coverage, you must get inside at your own risk.”
“That’s why I still hope to hear from you in twelve hours.”
Jarod ended the call and looked at Ethan, then he sat next to him and rubbed his eyes. He was tired, but it wasn’t for the physical effort.
He was tired of being a fugitive. He wanted it to end. And now that he really had the chance to stop the Centre, he almost couldn’t believe it.
“She’s coming.” Ethan whispered.
Jarod lifted his eyes and looked at his brother expectantly, “You think so? What do the voices say?”
Ethan smiled, “That the prophecies will come true.”
“I hope only the part concerning us, little brother.” a voice behind them said.
It was Parker, she had entered the house silently to catch them by surprise, for once. Jarod stood up and hugged her with passion; Ethan looked at them with discretion and felt the usual sense of delight that Jarod and Parker emanated when they were together.
The kiss they shared was longer than usual, then she left his lips and gave him a punch on his arm. Jarod shouted and looked at her in amusement, “What was that for? The crap or the phone call?”
Parker looked at him furious, “For both! What did you mean? It didn’t seem to me that you were pretending at the phone!”
Ethan felt the air around them was so thick that he could cut it, so he stood up and moved away. “Er – I’m going to my bedroom to – ”
“Sit!” Miss Parker yelled, stopping her brother who sat again, terrorized.
“Parker, that was just a game, as we used to do before.”
“You had arranged it, hadn’t you?” she asked him, a bit hurt by the revelation. “You left that place a couple of months ago, that’s what Lyle said. If I hadn’t come to New Haven, you would have sent me there, wouldn’t you?”
Jarod smiled. “I would have done many other things if you hadn’t showed up. Certainly, I wouldn’t have done this.”
He approached her with caution and took her hand, placing a soft kiss on her palm. Ethan smiled for his brother’s shrewdness.
Miss Parker seemed to melt down a bit, “The Triumvirate mail, however, has been put there recently.”
Ethan coughed. “Er…I put it there the other day.” he explained, feeling he had to give her an explanation.
Parker giggled, “You two are going to drive me crazy.”
Jarod felt that she had calmed down, so he dragged her towards him. “Did you like my lair in New York?”
“I’ve enjoyed watching Lyle submerged by crap.” she answered, sincerely. “But I would have expected rats, too.”
Jarod looked at her, pretending to be disappointed, “Parker! Do you think I would endanger yours and our baby’s health by sending you inside a place filled with diseased mice?”
“Well, you shouldn’t let me go to The Centre every single day.” she teased in answer.
All three of them laughed, and Jarod kissed her again.
“Now, let’s go back to business.” she continued. “Hasani’s arrival is planned for tomorrow, 2 o’ clock P.M.; my brother is going to fetch him with an escort of sweepers like I’ve never seen before.”
“I’m not afraid of them. All muscles, no brains.”
“Wait, Dorothy.” she interrupted him. “Lyle informed me of a few things, today. It seems that Hasani’s trip has two main goals. The first is to verify the job of the most disastrous pursuit team in history.”
“Which is the three of you?” Ethan asked, not understanding his sister’s sarcasm completely. Jarod, instead, understood it immediately.
Miss Parker ignored his question. “Hasani is here to take Michael to Africa, just as they did with Alex.”
“When?” Jarod almost screamed.
“As soon as he’s old enough to start his simulations.” she explained.
“Years?” Ethan asked.
“Months.” Jarod commented. “A boy with our son’s skills will start to fully develop his inner sense soon. And with our pretender gene, I’m afraid he’s going to be more efficient than me. Even more than you, Ethan.”
Parker looked exhausted. Staring at his two siblings, Ethan realized they were both feeling apprehension.
“We need to take him away from there tomorrow.” Jarod stated.
“Do we have Zane’s cover?” Parker asked.
Jarod shrugged and sighed deeply, “I don’t know.”
The woman had heard the pretender answering with such disenchantment just once before. They were at the phone, as usual, and he had sincerely confessed to Miss Parker that he didn’t know who had murdered Tommy. She had yelled at him, even if she felt the honesty in his voice.
“We cannot move without the authorities, Jarod.”
“Parker, we won’t have an opportunity like this anymore.” he replied.
“I don’t care!” she screamed, standing up in rage. “Getting inside The Centre to kidnap the baby would be a suicide. Today you made it because Broots was there to help you, but tomorrow we’ll be busy following the Triumvirate in a panoramic tour of the Madhouse!”
“Sis, we don’t have any other choice. Michael is in danger and the prophecies are clear about it. The Triumvirate knows them and worse, they believe them. The only way to survive is to take Michael away and turn him the best pretender they ever had. If they succeeded, The Centre would thrive.”
Parker snorted. The idea of Jarod and Ethan in danger drove her crazy.
“If you don’t want to listen to me, then listen to Ethan, Parker. He’s the only one rational.”
“We’re talking about his nephew; how in hell is he supposed to be rational?!” Miss Parker shouted, noticing that her brother was smiling. Ethan found their quarrels to be challenging.  
“So, you have a better idea?” Jarod asked, feeling cornered for the first time in his life.
Parker kept silence for a few moments, her voices were starting to talk turbulently in her head.
“I’ll take care of Michael.”
“What?” Ethan and Jarod screamed together.
“I’m bringing him out. I don’t want Hasani to lay eyes on him, let alone touch him.”
Jarod was furious. “Let me get this straight. It is too dangerous for us both to get inside The Centre, despite the fact we made it successfully today, but it’s ok for you to kidnap our son while all the cameras of the Centre are actually on you?!”
Parker could hear resentment in his words, but it couldn’t be in any other way. Truth was, Michael was Jarod’s son. But this was something she had to do on her own.
Because their kid had been carried by the woman who had killed Tommy.
Because her father had pretended that he was her brother, not a fruit of her own flesh and blood.
Because Michael trusted her.
Because she preferred risking her own life, instead of the ones of the two people she loved the most in the whole world.
“Parker, just for a moment try and remember that you’re pregnant.” Jarod commented.
“Do you think I don’t know that?” she shouted. “I’m the one dragging her ass in the Centre corridors every day, trying to control my daily nausea! It doesn’t seem to me that you’re getting around throwing up like crazy.”    
There she is, again, Ethan thought, smiling.
“All right.” Jarod gave up “Do you have a plan?”
“We must find a way to distract Hasani and his goons while I bring Michael outside. And I know the right person to help me. Someone who’s always been able to get wherever he wanted without being noticed by the cameras.”
“Angelo.” Ethan agreed, glancing at Jarod.
Parker nodded. She knew she was asking much to her friend, especially since he was still recovering from the terrible wound that had almost killed him. But he was the only one who could save her son through the air ducts. He could get out undisturbed.
“We’re endangering him too, Parker.” Jarod pointed out.
“I know, but he was the one suggesting this. A few hours ago, he asked me to let him help; he was the one who made me understand that this was the only way to save Michael out.”
Jarod believed Miss Parker, but he still didn’t like the thought.
“If Zane shows up, I’m coming along with NSA.” Jarod announced.
“And what if Zane can’t make it?” Ethan asked.
“You have to find a way to take us away from the Centre before Hasani realizes that we were the ones who made Michael disappear.” Parker answered.
At that moment, she remembered again. The dream that was haunting her. Raines was threatening her: she had to choose between Michael and Jarod. And she didn’t know what to do.
And this time, Ethan saw it too, Miss Parker could feel it.
Jarod, anyway, didn’t notice the glance the two siblings secretly exchanged. Parker thought a few words in the hope that her brother would hear her.
I need to talk to you.
Ethan felt the connection and nodded imperceptibly.
“I’m going to take a shower.” Jarod said, needing some relax and some alone time. He approached Parker and stroked her belly, then he walked away.
As soon as the woman and Ethan heard the water running, they got closer to each other and moved towards the kitchen, as far as possible from Jarod’s ears.
“Ethan, I need to understand what that damned dream means.” she whispered, trying to make him understand how much annoyed she was by that vision she couldn’t comprehend.
“I’m seeing it continuously, sis. I see you at the mercy of destiny, Raines obliging you to make a choice between Jarod and Michael.”
“I don’t want to be forced to choose between the man I love and our son.” she replied, furiously.
“You cannot run from fate, Miss Parker.”
“Why can’t I see beyond my choice? Why must everything be so complicated? Why the voices don’t help me understand?”
Miss Parker was heartbroken and hurt for what was waiting for her. Ethan wanted to cheer her up, but he couldn’t. He didn’t know where the vision would lead, and yet he felt something horrible might happen. He had a gut feeling, like an omen.
An omen of death.
“You feel it too, don’t you?”
Ethan nodded. “The voices get quiet anytime I try and ask them about tomorrow. As if they don’t want to anticipate anything, as if for the first time they are leaving me alone, facing my future.”
“Ethan, do you think…do you really believe that something could happen to Jarod or Michael tomorrow?”
Ethan sighed. He didn’t want to, but he knew his inner sense. They couldn’t expect anything good from the arrival of the Triumvirate.
Miss Parker turned around; her arms folded in tension. The only thought she had didn’t convince her, but she didn’t have any other choice.
“And if I asked you…” she said to her brother, turning around again. “To keep Jarod away from The Centre, at any cost, whatever happens.”
Ethan stared at her, questioningly.
“If I asked you to force him to run away with our son, even if I wasn’t with them.”
Ethan shook his head fast. “No, no, no!” he said. “I’m not letting anything happen to you. No one must sacrifice himself. I’m not interested in destroying The Centre tomorrow, if it means we can’t be safe. We’re taking Michael, and then we’re leaving that place. All of us!”
Parker smiled, she thought her beloved little brother was very naïve, at times. “Ethan, promise me. If I must sacrifice myself, please promise me that you will drag him away with our son.”
Ethan shook his head again, he didn’t want to listen to her.
“Promise me, little brother.”
Ethan stared at her. He had never seen her more resolute.
Ethan sighed. In the end, nothing would happen. Miss Parker’s dream could be just a dream. Maybe she wouldn’t needed to make any choice. Maybe everything would be fine.
“I promise you.” Ethan heard his voice promising his sister.

Broots and Sydney had received a coded message at the same moment. The text was very clear. They had to go to Miss Parker’s house at three o’ clock A.M., not a second before, not a second after.
That afternoon, Miss Parker had asked Broots to make Debbie leave and go visit her mother. He hadn’t explained her why, but the girl hadn’t complained. Jarod had managed to put an F.B.I. patrol permanently assigned to Debbie’s mother’s house. Zane hadn’t objected when Jarod had said that they were at risk because they were involved with Broots. The same was done for Michelle and Nicholas, who had been informed by Sydney that he would disappear for a while for some unresolved issues with The Centre. Michelle had guessed that the man she had been in love with for so many years was finally finding some closure, but she hadn’t asked him to reveal details that could put her in any danger.
Sydney and Broots arrived at Miss Parker’s house and got inside from the back, as they had been told to do. Once inside, they were welcomed by a very soft light, almost imperceptible, which came from the living room. On the couch, Jarod, Ethan and Parker were waiting for them. Jarod had a serious expression on his face. Parker, instead, looked tired.  
“Thanks for coming.” Jarod said.
“Jarod.” Sydney smiled. Realizing that he hadn’t seen his mentor in a very long time, Jarod stood up to hold him.
Broots was a bit amazed when Jarod held him too; he stuttered, “H-hello, J-Jarod.”
“We all know why we are here. I’m waiting for news from Agent Zane, she should guarantee us coverage for tomorrow. If everything goes as I expect, dozens of federal agents will break inside The Centre and arrest the members of the Tower, as well as the technicians who cooperated with them all these years.”
Silence fell dramatically, and nobody dared to speak.
“Needless to say, I don’t want none of you behind bars. Zane already knows about your involvement, I hope they’re going to guarantee you the so-called informer-status, so that you don’t have to spend more than one or two nights at house arrest.”
Broots sighed, a bit relieved. He couldn’t afford ending up in prison with a daughter.
“Yet, we have a problem. Zane hasn’t called yet, and I’m not sure she’s going to. Parker told me about Michael and the plan the Triumvirate has for him. I won’t let my son suffer the same fate I had to endure, Sydney.”    
“Meaning?” Sydney asked, guessing where he was going with that.
“Jarod wants to take Michael away from The Centre, tomorrow.” Ethan explained.
“This is crazy, Jarod! Tomorrow I won’t be able to help you with all those Africans around. Lyle already told us that we must do whatever they ask, we can’t afford making a false move.” Broots explained.
“He already knows that, Broots. Boy Genius already got a telling-off by myself.” Parker interrupted him.
“A quiet Miss Parker never meant anything good.” Sydney noticed.
Jarod looked at the woman, and so did Ethan. “I’m taking care of Michael with Angelo’s help.”
“You’re reffering to what Angelo said this afternoon, aren’t you?” the psychiatrist asked her.


“I know he’s the key to take our boy outside. I completely trust Angelo; I would entrust him with my own life.”
“Me too.” Jarod whispered.
“Me too.” Sydney replied. He was the one who had already tested the importance of trusting Angelo. “But I don’t want to put his life in danger after what he’s been through, he’s still recovering.”
“It wasn’t our choice, it was his.” Jarod explained, showing Sydney a mail that his friend had sent him a few hours before.

  Save Michael

Sydney sighed and gave Broots the piece of paper.
Angelo was going to help Jarod and Parker despite everything that had happened to him.
“What’s the plan?” Broots asked.
“Hasani and his goons will be there at two, Lyle is going to fetch them with an escort and he’s bringing them to The Centre. This gives us time to act undisturbed while they are outside.”     
“Raines will be there, and I’m sure he’s going to keep Little Park – Michael under surveillance.” Broots interrupted him.
“Yes, but Raines must leave to welcome Hasani and he’s going to act like a good puppy, at least for a couple of minutes, before taking him down to the sublevels. This gives us a sufficient margin.”
“A sufficient margin? Aren’t we riding a tightrope?” Sydney asked, not at all convinced.
“Jarod and Ethan will wait for him outside the building. Angelo and I are going to take Michael from his room, and he will bring him outside to Jarod.” Parker continued.
“And what about the cameras?” Broots asked again.
Jarod smiled. “Like we did today.”
Broots sighed. He didn’t like the idea of risking his skin under the nose of the Triumvirate.
“Broots, I wouldn’t ask you if it wasn’t so important. Ethan will check the security from the outside, he’s going to help you to stop the cameras.” Parker whispered, stroking gently his arm to make him feel all the affection she felt for him. Broots remembered that his daughter was under the F.B.I. protection because of Jarod. He couldn’t refuse to help him save his son.
“Once Michael is out, everything’s going to be even more complicated. Nobody must suspect that you were the ones acting against The Centre. It must look like I was the getting inside to take the boy with the help of my family. That’s why I’ve asked my father to reach me in Blue Cove. To help me corroborating the appearances, we’re going to show up not far from here tomorrow morning.”
“With everything he’s up to, Lyle won’t waste time following such a fleeting lead, so he will probably leave the pursuit to the three of us.” Parker pointed out. “Obviously, we won’t chase Jarod.”
“Obviously, you wouldn’t get me even if you had me under your nose.”
Parker pinched the pretender who faked to be hurt; Sydney smiled for their banter.
“And then there’s only one more thing to do; waiting for F.B.I. and N.S.A., hoping that Zane manages to convince her bosses to organize the fastest blitz in the whole history.”
Sydney shook his head. “I don’t know Jarod; this seems too simple.”
Ethan agreed with the psychiatrist. His sense of anxiety was manifesting itself continuously.
“We don’t have any other choice, Syd. I can’t lose my son to the Triumvirate.” Miss Parker replied.
“And what if anything goes wrong?”
“Even today we took some calculated risks, but Reset was a success. In the past, I’ve been discovered by the Centre because I didn’t have someone helping me from the inside. Now it’s different. Lyle and Raines aren’t expecting such a sudden betrayal from you, they don’t know we’ve been cooperating for days.”
“And they don’t know that Miss Parker actually stopped chasing you years ago.” Sydney remarked.
Parker blushed, taken aback from Sydney’s revelation.
But wasn’t it true that since Tommy’s death her will to hunt and catch Jarod had faded? Not to mention that when she had found out about Jesse’s existence, she had opened her eyes about the feelings she always had for the pretender.
In the last years, Parker hadn’t chased Jarod to find him, but to be sure that no one else would find him before she could – as usual – let him escape. Jarod took her hand and squeezed. Every new revelation about that woman’s feelings was making him prouder of her.
“Tomorrow it’s out chance, Syd. I’m taking my son and they won’t even know how it happened.”
Ethan and Parker had the same flash at the same time.
Raines, holding Michael.
“You must choose, Miss Parker.”
The two brothers gasped, and this time their reaction didn’t go unnoticed.
“Are you okay?” Jarod asked them both.
“Yes.” she whispered.
“Yes, big brother. Sometimes our voices are too much intrusive.” Ethan lied. Then he gave her sister a meaningful look.
“Now let’s go to sleep. Tomorrow’s gonna be a long day. I’ll be in touch by using your safe lines.”
Sydney and Broots nodded and reached the back door.
Jarod followed them, and his mentor stopped a few seconds to look at him. “You know, Jarod, I would have wanted to find the courage to tell you this before, but…I’m proud of you. Of what you became.”
Jarod felt the emotion and the well-known lump in his throat growing together with tears of pure joy. For years he had wished to hear those words coming from the man he considered like a father.
“Thank you, Sydney.”
“It’s going to be okay.” The older man commented, giving him a cheering look.
Jarod nodded and closed the door behind him.
I hope so, Sydney.

Chapter End Notes:

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