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Author's Chapter Notes:

As usual, thanks a lot to Antoinette, my Guardian Angel, she's helping me a lot getting through this...I was very looking forward for updating the story. I hope you all forgive my lack of good English, remember it's not my own language ;) I hope I did a good work anyway...



The day after – 9.07 a.m.

This time it was Jarod who opened his eyes and did not find Parker close to him. At that moment, the only thing he had in his mind was the sublime night he had just spent with the woman he loved.
He had dreamed of it so many times, that now he couldn’t believe it was all true, and yet, it was.

Starting to wonder where Parker was, he called her, without obtaining a response from her. For a terrible moment, he wondered whether she had secretly escaped to get back to the Centre and organize a team of sweepers to take him away. A second later, he hated himself for doubting her. That night, after Parker had gone to sleep, Jarod hadn’t been able to do so. He was so in love that his feelings were above his brains for the first time. And it was also the first time that his first thought wasn’t for his family, for his mother, but for her.
Sure, he had always thought about Miss Parker, he had always admired her during his daydreams, but not as much. Looking at her sleeping right next to him, he realized for the first time that he would never let her go, that she was the most important thing in his life. His only glimmer of hope back at the Centre and now the reason that would push him to the goalof watching the Centre burn from its very foundation.

Sitting in the bed right beside her, he had taken the phone and called the only person he could talk with.
“It’s Sydney.”
“Did I wake you?”
“Jarod!” he answered. “No, I’ve been waiting for your call for hours, I was sure you’d phoned. How’s Parker?”
The pretender glanced at her wonderful silhouette.
“She’s sleeping.”
From his pupil’s voice, it didn’t take long to Sydney to understand that Parker wasn’t just sleeping, but she was sleeping next to him.
“Do you think this is…right?” Jarod asked, almost looking for his blessing.
Sydney smiled. “I think this is the crowning of a journey you’ve started together years ago…and in the last few years I really hoped that you two got where you are now…”
Jarod caressed Parker’s naked shoulder, checking that she was sleeping. Fortunately, she was a heavy sleeper.
“I’ve never felt this way before, Sydney. Even if now I’m stronger…I also feel more…vulnerable.”
“It’s ok, Jarod…Think about how she might feel…I guess it wasn’t easy to convince her to admit her own feelings.”
“Almost like wrestling an alligator.” Jarod answered, grinning.
Sydney waited a few seconds. “You deserve to be happy, Jarod…You two together are the answer to my prayers…Don’t be afraid of loving each other.”
Stunned by those words, Jarod couldn’t say anything but “Thank you.” and hung up.

Jarod was standing up when Miss Parker reached him, beaming with joy. She was curiously wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. She probably felt so at ease that she could avoid her classic elegant threatening-look that drove people mad.  
“Good morning, Boy Wonder!”
“Are we back to those epithets from the past?” he asked, a bit amused.
“I wanna show you something…I’ll be waiting for you in the attic!” she explained, kissing him. Then she headed to the door.
“Parker!” he stopped her.
“What?” she asked, turning back.
“I’m sorry…”
She looked at him, astonished, “For what?”
Remembering how she had felt the morning before, she guessed why he was apologizing. And she also realized she didn’t care if he had thought that she might have disappeared to reach the Centre and hand him over. It was fair enough if he was afraid, she had decided to change her life just two days before. But she could play this to have some fun.
“You’re right, Jarod, I’m very disappointed…” she said, trying to remain serious and approaching the bed.
“Really? I’m sorry, Parker, I don’t know what…”
“I’m disappointed” she interrupted him, “Because you keep persisting in apologizing! Stop blaming yourself, I know I’ve been your hunter for five years, it’s ok if you’re afraid of me…”
“No, it’s not.” he answered, angry with himself.
“Jarod” she articulated well his name and sat next to him, “I won’t betray your trust. I won’t hunt you anymore, unless it’s fun. I won’t stop loving you. I won’t run away from myself. But you have to trust me…You think you can?”
All doubts Jarod may have had disappeared right then. Parker was resolute, smart, and…also incredibly exciting.
Jarod kissed her with passion, forcing her to contemplate the possibility to let go of the discovery she had just made in the attic. But it was very important, so she tried to depart from Jarod.
“The attic…” she said between a kiss and the other.
“It’ll still be there in half an hour.” he convinced her.
Parker had no option but to agree.

When they reached the attic, Jarod was still wondering what Parker had found. He had inspected it deeply, hoping to find some tracks of Catherine’s past. But much to his regret, there wasn’t anything: no trunk, no desk, no closet. It was completely empty.
This felt weird to him, because usually attics are places to store any kind of objects; but not that one. It was too much empty, even if the house had been put on sale. Maybe the Centre had got there before them? But then why didn’t they keep monitoring the house, in case Jarod showed up?
“Parker, this room is completely empty!” he stated, waving his right arm around.
“Not if you know where to look…” she answered, smiling. Then she moved towards the farther corner and lowered to touch the parquet beams. A second later, she raised one of them and revealed a hidden compartment, containing a metal box.
Jarod approached her, astonished “Come on, you couldn’t get it alone!”
“You’re right, I’ve had a little help from my…inner sense.”

Parker was walking inside the attic when she heard the soft voices guiding he again. She had spent a half an hour rolling in her bed, while she tried to understand where those voices were leading her. Then she had found the stairs that led to the attic and she had entered the room. As if she was in a trance, Jarod’s mother had appeared in front of her, young and frightened.
“I need to hide these!” she was saying, taking an object towards the end of the room. Then Parker had seen her hiding the box under the floor. Margaret then had stood up, crying, she had put the beam to its place, and then she had run out of the room.

“You’re telling me that my mother hid this here?”
Parker nodded.
“What’s inside?” Jarod asked, a bit preoccupied.
“I thought we could open this together…” she answered, realizing that its contents could be very important, to Jarod.
He smiled and then opened the metal box. It wasn’t very big, but its contents were certainly precious. There were a dozen DSAs from the Centre.
Parker and Jarod stared at each other as if they just discovered America. They stood up, the box held in his almost trembling hands.
“These could be…the videos about our lost memories!” she said, excited. “Do you have the equipment to watch them?”
“I never leave it…” he answered, this time with regret.
It was true, his DSA viewer was the most important thing he had stolen from the Centre before disappearing, he couldn’t leave it anywhere and he used it to think about his past sims or to watch moments of his life at the Centre.
They went downstairs and reached the room where Jarod had left his baggage. He took the briefcase and put it on the table, then they turned the computer on.
A DSA was still playing the first kiss Jarod and Miss Parker had shared in the December of ’69. When he saw it, Jarod felt a bit embarrassed and tried to turn it off. But Miss Parker had never watched it before, so she almost moved when she realized the memory she had for that moment was perfect and not at all faded. She kissed Jarod on his cheek, so he felt a bit heartened. Then she took the first DSA from the box and waited for Jarod to put it in the player.
The date was set to 03/15/1974. The video was about the both of them.    

“How’s your studies getting along?” Jarod asked, while he and Miss Parker wandered in his room. It wasn’t filled with all the stuff he would have left at the Centre yet, but it was starting to reflect his personality.
“I don’t wanna talk about it.” she answered, knowing that she would have to leave in a few months “I prefer swimming, lately.”
“You never told me you’re a swimmer!” Jarod said, a bit surprised for the umpteenth revelation that Parker just confided him.  
“My mother was very good at it…So I’ve thought I could follow in her footsteps!”
Jarod then noticed her new wristwatch.
“It’s very beautiful!”
“It was mummy’s…” she explained, taking the watch and showing it to Jarod.
Catherine Parker’s name was printed on it.
Guessing how much that meant to his friend, Jarod gave it back to her.
“A few days ago, I went to the lake with daddy…He was there with me, but he did no more than work…So I took the skip out alone and I went way out into the middle of the lake but…it started taking on water and then it sank.”
“The skip sank?” he shouted out, worried, “How could you save yourself?”
“I swam…I tried to swim to save my life, but the water was so cold, so my legs started cramping and my arms were aching…”
“How did you make it?”
Miss Parker smiled, “The watch…I heard its ticking and I thought about mummy…I thought she used it to time herself and that maybe, if she had still been alive, she would have helped me…It was like my mother’s voice whispering to me…”
Jarod took Miss Parker’s hand and held it.
“Anyway daddy came and rescued me, fortunately…But I’m sure that I would have drowned, if it wasn’t for this watch…It saved my life.”
Jarod looked at her tenderly, stunned by that tale. “I could have lost you…” he whispered to her.
“But I survived.” she answered, smiling.
Jarod tried to approach her, but then Sydney had come inside to call him back to work.
“Let’s go Jarod, your break is over.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Miss Parker…” Jarod said, holding her hand just for another second.
She nodded a bit embarrassed, then she left.  

The DSA was over, but not the emotion felt by them both in watching that video.
“I remembered this one…” Jarod said, thinking that a couple of years ago he had shut Lyle and Parker inside a container to test their will to survive.   
“Well, I didn’t…In fact I’ve asked myself a million times how could you possibly know about my mother’s watch…” she answered.
“You told me.” Jarod whispered.
“Apparently I used to tell you everything…I was such a buttery girl.” she admitted.
“You were sweet, and so you are now.”  
Parker sniffed to make the tears disappear from her eyes, then she radically changed subject, “That container was the worst one, Jarod!”
He burst into laughter, “Even worse than being a hostage in that bank?”
“But you were there with me…That was the first time we’d spent a little time together since you’d escaped.”
“And to think I didn’t plan it…” a mischievous grin appeared on his face.  
Jarod took a new DSA from the box and put it in place of the previous one.
The date was set to 04/13/1970. Another video recorded the day of Catherine’s presumed death.

“Jarod, sweetheart, I must introduce someone to you.”
Catherine’s voice wasn’t as calm as usual. She was holding the hand of a defenseless and frightened boy, who showed few signs of consciousness. Jarod and Miss Parker were looking at him with curiosity. The little girl couldn’t imagine that this would be the last time she saw her mother alive.
“His name is T- … Angelo.” Catherine explained, feigning a smile, but not really able to keep her real feelings under control.
“What happened to him, Mrs. Parker?” Jarod asked, holding his best friend’s hand, seeing that Miss Parker looked frightened and worried by the young stranger’s presence.
“Unfortunately some bad people hurt him, and now he really needs some friends to get better. Angelo is not like other children, he’s…special.”
Jarod looked at Angelo, trying to guess in what exactly he was special. Miss Parker, on the other hand, perceived a huge void when she looked in the boy’s eyes.
“With time, you’ll both learn to know him. Please, keep him close, seeing that I’ve not been able to…”
Catherine couldn’t hold it anymore. She ran away, crying, leaving Angelo, Miss Parker and Jarod on their own.
The girl was shocked; she had never seen her mother so upset.

Angelo was visibly shattered.
“No…more…Timmy.…” they heard him saying.
Jarod and Miss Parker exchanged a very worried look.

When the DSA was over, Jarod sighed. What had happened to Angelo was one of the worst sins he had ever witnessed at the Centre. His angry grew even more when he remembered that he had been so close to provide him a cure, but he had failed, primarily because of Miss Parker.
Unintentionally, he glared at her.
But he didn’t need to blame her more than she did with herself; she was already crying. To see her mother, Angelo…It had just scarred her for life.
Now that she was on the right side of the fight, she could not help but feel a horrible person for helping The Centre.
Her mother had tried to destroy that house of horrors, she had given her life to try and save those children from a terrible destiny.
Feeling that Miss Parker needed his strength, Jarod stopped the DSA and stood up, holding her as if their life depended on it. He held her tight, caressing her head while she sobbed against his chest.
“I’m so sorry…” she said between a tear and the other.
“Shhh…Don’t even say that…It’s not your fault…”
Parker sobbed hard, such was the ardor of her weeping. She decided that, once back at The Centre, she would find Angelo to apologize for the first time.
“Parker…We were manipulated for years. What happened to Angelo is not your fault…Remember? You had made up your mind, you had decided to help him and the boy. It was an accident.”
Parker nodded fast, but she didn’t move her face from Jarod’s warm and comfortable embrace.  
“I don’t blame you, not anymore…In the end, it was Angelo’s choice. Davy is fine, I kept an eye on him; he’s living a nice life, surrounded by his family and friends. And Angelo…well, he is like he used to be, but at least now he knows that inside him, in a deep hidden corner, Timmy still lives.”
Parker finally broke away from the hug and looked at the pretender, her eyes almost swollen with tears.
“This is a burden that will always be with me, Jarod, whatever you say.”
“I understand that.” he continued. “But you made amends. You’re still doing it now. Letting me love you, watching these videos, holding me like you’re doing right now.”
“I cared for Angelo. Why did I have to be so stubborn? I believed my father’s lies, Raines’s, The Centre’s…”
Jarod smiled and caressed her face with his hands, “You were lost, you didn’t know who you really were. Now, you do.”
Parker nodded, this time a bit more convinced, “I need a drink, if we must get through this stuff.”
Jarod smiled. The huntress was back.
“Let’s have a break, some air will do you good, sweetie.”
As soon as he called her that way, he regretted it. But Parker didn’t reproach him, nor she gave any sign of being annoyed by it.
So, Jarod dared more. While she was taking her coat to get out, he called her, “Let’s go, Charlie.”    
Parker glared at him, suddenly in full possession of her mental faculties.
“Now you’re risking your own life.”
Jarod snickered.

The air outside the house was cool and warm at the same time. Parker was walking back and forth, her arms folded and a silent Jarod next to her. He was trying to guess what was going on in her mind, but it wasn’t easy to interpret that bundle of nerves known as Miss Parker.
For Jarod, accepting the truth about The Centre was easy. It was a symbol of enslavement, a horrible place to run from. But for Parker it wasn’t easy at all, it would never be.
Realizing that maybe they have been brainwashed to delete important memories of their past… well, that was the final straw.
Jarod couldn’t stand seeing Miss Parker reduced to a question mark.
They both needed to understand.
“Give me your phone.” he said, with no further explanation.
“Who are you calling, the priest?” she asked, sarcastic as usual, as she handed him her mobile.
“I’ve always had my own personal confessor, down in hell.” Jarod explained.
He waited for Sydney to answer and when he heard his mentor pronouncing his own name to answer the phone, Jarod put it on speaker.
“Sydney, we’ve got something important to ask you.” Jarod said, gravely and seriously. “Both of us.”
Parker cleared her throat, “Hello, Sydney.”
“Parker, it’s a relief to hear your voice…Are you okay?” he asked her, like any father would ask a daughter that he hasn’t seen for a few days and for whom he is worried about.
“No Sydney. I’m not okay. Jarod and I…We’re remembering things. Memories of events and conversations we didn’t even know existed.” she told him, with sorrow.
Sydney seized the opportunity to make some offhand psychoanalysis, “It is understandable, now that you’re together, that your subconscious – ”
“Come on, Sydney!” Jarod interjected him. “This has nothing to do with our childhood traumas, nor with our stolen adolescences. We’re talking about memories extracted from our brain and a box full of DSAs stolen from The Centre by my mother years ago!”
Sydney’s eyes grew wide just when a breathless Broots got inside his office.
“What do you mean?”
“Syd, did they ever make experiments on me to…make me forget things?”
“The only time something like this happened…was when they removed the memory of your conversation with Catherine about Ethan.” Sydney pointed out.
Jarod and Parker looked at each other. Ethan was still missing, somewhere.
He was the first person they needed to find and keep safe, once they left the manor.
“So you assume it’s not possible that they did this for different…memories?” Miss Parker questioned him.
“Not that I know of.”
“Miss Parker!” Broots spoke. “What the hell are you doing with Jarod?! Did I miss something?” he asked, looking at Sydney suspiciously.
“There’s no time for explanations or congratulations, Mr. Broots. But we need you to do us a favor.” Jarod said.
Broots sighed, thinking about all the times that the pretender had helped him. It was because of him that Debbie was entrusted to him and not his ex-wife.
It was because of Jarod if he was still alive.
“Whatever you need.” he agreed.
“Search for any information about The Centre projects focusing on brain manipulation. I think that many answers we’re still looking for could depend on this.”
“And what are you two going to do?” Sydney questioned. “It’s dangerous out there. Miss Parker are you coming back?”
Jarod glanced at his companion who seemed still too upset to talk.
“We’ll try…to remember more.”
Jarod ended the call and gave the mobile back to Parker. She held Jarod tenderly and he stroke her hair.
It felt so reassuring to finally have him by her side.
Everything would be easier, even looking for secrets. No more I help you, if you help me games that they had been playing for years. From that moment on, they would help each other.
“Are you ready to see other videos?”
“No. There are too many terrible things there.” she confessed.
“But there are also beautiful ones. You think that day we spoke about your mother’s watch was terrible?”
“No…” she whispered, “But Angelo…that was…”
Jarod planted a kiss on her forehead, then he took her hand and led her inside the house.

Jarod took another chair, to let them both sit in front of the viewer. Holding Parker’s hand, he inserted another DSA inside the computer.
Before playing it, he asked her, “Ready?”
She nodded, trying to smile even if she was terrorized.
The date of the third disk was set to 12/24/1975.

Jarod was in the huge room where they often leave him during breaks from simulations. He sat at a table and he was writing on a piece of paper.
A few seconds after the beginning of the video, a couple of female hands covered Jarod’s face and young Miss Parker, almost fifteen, brought her mouth to Jarod’s ear.
“Guess who?” she asked.
Jarod smiled with happiness. “Miss Parker! I knew you’d come!” he almost yelled, hiding the great excitement he felt in seeing her after so many months.
“You thought I wouldn’t visit you to wish you Merry Christmas?” she asked, sitting next to him.
“How are your studies coming along?”
“Boring” she answered, snorting, “I can’t fit in, yet. They all have a weird accent in London, and everybody’s so serious. Besides, daddy ordered me not to talk about The Centre, so I can’t tell anyone about you.”
Jarod hung on her words, but from the look on his face you couldn’t tell if he was hearing anything of what Miss Parker was saying. He was like into a trance.
“Where’s your father now?” he asked, forcing himself out of his torpor.
The girl shook her head, a bit saddened. “Business trip, as usual. He left me home alone, but I was dying to see you. I came home yesterday for my Christmas holidays, maybe we could spend them together.”
“I’d love to. Sydney’s gone too” Jarod said, “Every Christmas he disappears, and I don’t know where he goes.”
Parker didn’t want to reveal him that maybe his mentor had a family outside The Centre, with whom he probably spent the holidays; she didn’t want to disappoint Jarod.
“I’ve got a present for you, by the way!” she said, taking a little package from her coat.
Jarod couldn’t believe his eyes. So, she thought about him, even if she lived at the other side of the world.
“I’ve got a small gift for you, too.” he answered, handing her the card he’d been writing a few seconds before.
Parker took the paper and read.
It was a poem entitled “To my best friend”.

  You’re far and everything is fading,
  memories endure, but everything’s ending.
  If only I could see your eyes
  at least once again,
  I could lose myself into their deep blue sea.

Jarod blushed a bit while the girl read. “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t get a real present for you.”
“Jarod, this is wonderful” she reassured him, her eyes close to crying. She had missed that lovely and naive boy so much.
“Come on, open mine!”

Jarod smiled and unwrapped the package. There was a little twig inside, a plant that he had never seen before.
“What’s this?” he asked, curious. Miss Parker guessed his pretending skills might be at work as he was observing the twig with huge interest.
“It’s called mistletoe, Jarod. It’s a plant used mostly at Christmas; people usually hang it on the ceiling, like this.”
Parker took his hand and leaded him towards the wall, where there was a shelf where she could hang the mistletoe.
“What is it for?” the pretender asked.
Parker came closer to him, “When people meet under the mistletoe…They usually kiss to wish each other Merry Christmas.”
Jarod couldn’t avoid noticing that her voice had just lowered and so had her eyes, that were now looking with discretion at the floor.
Did Miss Parker feel embarrassed?

Jarod, who was higher than her, leaned over Miss Parker and kissed her on the cheek, finding her unprepared.
“Is that right?” he wondered, savoring that new discover immediately.
Miss Parker smiled and stood on her tiptoe, then she dragged him to herself and kissed him again, aiming directly at his lips.
This was their second kiss, but she was older, now. More aware.
She gave him a true kiss, putting her fingers delicately on his face. Jarod, on his hand, responded pleasantly surprised and placed his hands on her hips. When the girl departed from him, she smiled in satisfaction.
Jarod didn’t know what to say.
A few seconds after, his watch stroke midnight.

“Merry Christmas, Jarod.”
“Merry Christmas, Miss Parker.”

The disk faded into black. Miss Parker’s hand was still holding Jarod’s with a considerable pressure, so that he could feel her heart beating fast through her veins.
It was Jarod’s turn to feel upset. He didn’t want her to notice, but he was touched and excited, just like the day they had shared that kiss.
“All these years I’ve believed…that you had left and never looked for me. That you didn’t care anymore – ”
She was stunned, a lump in her throat didn’t allow her to speak.
“I’m going to destroy the people who stole these memories from us. I’ll make them pay, Parker.”

Jarod and Parker went on for hours watching those disks. There were only a bunch of them, but every time they watched a new episode, they needed some time to assimilate it and trying to remember on their own.
Was it a kiss, or a speech; was it a moment of them playing with Angelo, or a fleeting encounter while Parker was studying in London.
All those videos made them realize a basic truth. They had been in love with each other for years, at least until they had finally parted them.
It must have been someone who wanted to separate them not only physically, but also mentally. Someone who knew that the two of them, together, would become a liability for The Centre.
Once Jarod turned seventeen and Parker sixteen, their not-so-secret dates became a real threat and the love they felt for each other had to be deleted just like a file from a computer.
Hypnosis, maybe drugs, or brain inceptions.
Jarod didn’t know, but they had managed to do this, God only knew how.
But they had failed.
Jarod had stolen the Centre DSAs and he hadn’t forgotten that girl who gave him his first kiss.
Just as much as Parker hadn’t forgotten the only friend she’d ever had as a child.
According to Jarod, the job had been accurate and precise, but whoever performed it had damaged only the memories from 1971 onwards.
He couldn’t understand why the previous memories have resisted, yet.
“Maybe it was impossible for them to dismantle all the things we remembered. In the childhood years, the events are imprinted in our memory in a latent state, and that’s why we often think about them when we get older.” Jarod explained to Parker.
“So why did you remember about the watch, while I couldn’t?” she asked him.
“Because I found that watch in one of your mother’s safe deposit boxes, and that must have stimulated my memory to remember that particular event.”
“You mean I should have remembered of our second kiss in front of some mistletoe? Jarod, it’s been so many years, I must have seen some mistletoe, since then.”
“It’s unknown territory for me too, Parker. I’ve never felt so powerless, before.”
There were still two videos in the metallic box.
“Do you feel like watching another one?”
Parker agreed and this time she was the one who put the disk in the viewer.
The date was set to 12/31/1976.
This time, Parker wasn’t surprised: most of those videos happened during Christmas Holidays, the only days of the year that Miss Parker came back from London.  

Jarod was in his room.
He had spent many months wondering about what he would say to Miss Parker when she got back.
Whenever he saw her, he couldn’t find the courage to tell her the truth about his feelings.
Jarod’s door opened and Parker came in in a hurry.

“Hi Jarod! I made it! Daddy is spending New Year’s Eve away, he’ll never know I’m here with you.”
“I’m glad, Miss Parker. The Centre is always empty the last day of the year. It’s few of us and I can’t celebrate with anyone. What do people usually do at New Year’s Eve?” he asked her.
“Well, there are fireworks almost everywhere. And when midnight comes, we usually wish one another happy new year. Some people also make New Year’s resolutions.”
“Resolutions?” he asked, with his usual curiosity.
“It’s like a list of good intentions. For example, I’d love to see you more the next year. What would you wish?”
Jarod tightened his eyes. “I’d love to see my mother and father. Just once.”
“Jarod” she murmured. “They are – ”
“Dead, I know” he interjected her. “But not in my head. I always feel them, even if I can’t remember their faces anymore.”
Parker tried to comfort him “At least you’ve got Sydney. I feel like I don’t even have daddy anymore.”
The sixteen-year-old girl got sad. A few days later she would turn seventeen and she was sure that her father wouldn’t even remember it was her birthday.
“You’ve got me.” Jarod reassured her, holding her hand.
She smiled, blushing a bit; then she looked at her watch. It was 11.59.

“So, Jarod, what do you wish for this New Year?”
Jarod grimaced in embarrassment, “I guess...a kiss, would be the best thing to end the old year and begin the new one.”
Miss Parker looked at him mischievously, “You don’t even need to ask.”
She eagerly dragged Jarod to her and kissed him just as midnight stroke.  
“You know.” she whispered, “There’s an old saying in Europe: what you do at New Year’s Eve, you’ll do it the whole year.”
“It means that you’re staying here, kissing me for the next 365 days?” Jarod asked, forgetting any shame.
“I want to ask daddy…to let me stay.” she said, stroking his hair. “I could find an excuse and get back to Blue Cove. And then I will get you out of here and we will leave, together, like we’ve always wanted.”
Jarod gazed at her with excitement, “You’d do that…for me?”
She nodded gently.
“Because…I’ve been in love with you since the firs time I saw you.”
Jarod kissed her again, and for the first time in his life he felt something different.
How could he define it, desire?
That was not a sim. Those were his real feelings, something he was feeling for a girl, no, a woman. A true woman.
Jarod knew that they were not common people. He knew that by then.
They have been sharing secrets for years and they have grown up too soon.
Now he wanted to prove to himself that adulthood could also be positive, to them.

He took Miss Parker’s hand and led her towards his bed, whispering something to her ear. The girl smiled and nodded, sighing with nervousness.
Jarod smiled too, then he admitted, “But I’ve never…”
Miss Parker neglected any delay and ran towards the door, locking it.
How could she know that they have at least ten cameras on them?

Then she reached Jarod and lay on the bed next to him.
The boy turned off the light. And he became a man.

Parker still had a hand on her mouth when the DSA finished.
Jarod, instead, had his hands on his forehead.
He stood up, feeling the anger pervade him.
He threw the chair to the floor with such strength that he scared Parker.
He was breathing heavily, as a boiler that needed to explode after retaining all the pressure.
He ran towards the kitchen and started to throw everything he could reach. Glasses, cutlery, plates. Parker listened to him complaining and screaming, but she knew she couldn’t do anything to help him. She was feeling as heartbroken as the pretender, and she knew that Jarod just needed to get it off his chest.
When she noticed that the yells have stopped, she reached him in the kitchen. He was leaning on the kitchen counter, keeping his hands on his head to hide it between his arms.
Parker approached him silently and held him from behind, wrapping her arms around his chest.
“All these years…” he finally stated. “All these years…”
“I know.” she agreed. “It hurts.”
Jarod turned around and looked at her. She looked distressed, too.
“You were in love with me. You’ve always cared about me. God, we’ve loved each other for years, how come we don’t remember anything?” he shouted. Parker shook her head. She had no idea.
“Almost twenty years later you came back to The Centre to hunt me. They trained you to hate me, to distrust me, to find me like an animal. It felt like you hadn’t known me at all!” he continued. “They needed to make an even more accurate job with you, rather than me.”
That was what she was thinking, too. She had known this since they had found those damned DSAs.
“We…” Jarod murmured, still thinking about the video.
Parker tried to smile. “I know, isn’t it great?”
Then Jarod chuckled and held her.
He realized how much he needed her, in that moment.
“I propose you a deal. We go upstairs, where I’m going to make love to you until that memory gets back in my mind.”
“To stimulate your memory, clearly.” She replied with irony.
“Then we see the last video, hoping that we didn’t have also a child, back in ’76.” Jarod continued, sarcastically.
Jarod was feeling like he could lay her on that kitchen island not to waste more time to reach the bedroom. He kissed Miss Parker with such passion that he almost bit her lips.
“Come with me, Boy Wonder.” she whispered, leading him towards the bedroom.

Chapter End Notes:

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