Table of Contents [Report This]
Printer Chapter or Story Microsoft Word Chapter or Story

- Text Size +

Author's Chapter Notes:

New chapter in record time! This one hasn't got particular developments of the story, but it introduces Jarod's family and some funny phone conversations, as in good old times. I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks to Antoinette for the usual help in the translation, Luv ya!


The day after - 8.17 a.m.

After Jarod’s departure, Sydney had called Miss Parker and they had decided that he would leave with Broots go and get her, as soon as the technician was sure that Debbie was with her baby-sitter.

After the call, she hadn’t been able to sleep. She was trying not to think about the videos, she had focused on nice thoughts about Jarod and the future. 

This was the first time she was finding herself alone after New Haven, and she kept wondering what would become of her, of them. She couldn’t believe she already missed the pretender so much.

A few minutes after eight, her phone rang. Thinking it was Sydney asking for directions, she took her mobile and answered with her usual, “What?”

“For once in my life it would be nice to hear you answering in a different way, Miss Parker.”

She smiled to herself. Apparently, she wasn’t the only one missing him, he was feeling the same, too. Knowing that Jarod was screening his phone calls, she felt safe to talk freely.

“Are you trying to change me?” she asked.

“I wouldn’t dare. I love you for who you are, your grumpy side is the one I prefer.” Jarod confirmed, getting a giggle in response.

It was so good to hear her laugh sincerely.

“I’ve never thought I would ever say this, but…I miss you.”

Jarod remained silent, trying to weigh the importance of that sentence. It must have been hard to admit it, for her.

“Miss you too, Parker. But remember you said it first!”

She chuckled, “Ok, Boy Wonder. Where are you going?” she asked him, knowing that he was driving.

“I must see my family. Catch up on some things…then I’m going to search for Ethan.”

Parker nodded, realizing that Jarod needed to spend some time with his sister and father.

“Sydney and Broots are on their way. They need to know, too.”

“They’re the only ones I trust, except you. But be careful, Parker, don’t show your hand. Prepare a valid excuse for your absence.”

“Oh, haven’t I told you? I’ve already figured that out. I’m going to tell Lyle that you abducted me against my will and that you abused me twenty-three times!”

“I thought it was twenty-two!” he corrected her, amused by her speech.

“You forget the quickie on the bathroom’s floor?”

Jarod smiled, how could he forget?

“Did I mention that I love you, already?” he asked her.

“You’ll get tired of saying that.”

“I don’t think so, Parker. I’ll be in touch.” he ended the call.

Miss Parker put the mobile in her pocket and a few seconds later she heard noises coming from outside. She peeked through the windows in time to see a black sedan parking in front of the house.

Sydney and Broots got out of the vehicle and moved towards the door. They didn’t wait for Parker to open, betraying their impatience to see their colleague to know if she was fine.

“Miss Parker?” Sydney called.

As soon as they got inside, they saw her sitting on the couch.

She took the men by surprise when she got up and ran towards the man who had been like a father to her, holding him with a few tears in her eyes.

Sydney wasn’t prepared for such display of affection, he was gladly surprised when he felt Parker’s arms wrapping his neck.

He held her and stroked her hair, conveying all the feelings he could in that embrace. Pent-up emotions that have lasted for thirty years.

An astonished Broots looked at the scene stunned and worried. What could have happened in those few days that Miss Parker had spent with Jarod?

“Are you all right, Miss Parker?” he asked with trembling voice.

She sniffed, “Yes. Thank you both for coming, I really need you in this moment.”

“Sorry if I ask, but…” Broots intervened, flinching when he realized that she was taking his hand and squeezing it, “- are you on drugs, by any chance?”

She smiled for that remark and shook her head. “I’ve just opened my eyes, Broots.”

She turned her gaze to Sydney, “For good.” She stated with a solemn tone.

The psychiatrist nodded, eager to listen to her tale.

Sydney was shocked by Parker’s story. Not only because of the memories the Centre had erased from her and Jarod’s minds, but also at the realization that his old friend Catherine was still alive, hiding from The Centre.

“This feels like a nightmare.” Broots said, when Parker finished talking. It had taken her an hour to explain all the things she had found out.

“Where are the DSAs?” Sydney asked.

“Jarod took them. He’s keeping them in a safe place. You should have been here with us, Sydney. I think he could really use a conversation with you…about what happened.”

Sydney smiled. “He already called, Miss Parker.”

That was the moment she realized that Sydney knew about them.

He knew that they love each other and that they were now in a…could she call it a relationship?

Sydney’s amused smile betrayed his curiosity. He wanted to know what was going on inside the mind of his so-considered-daughter. He sensed that she was happy for the first time after so many years. Jarod had finally managed to destroy her defenses.

Broots, on the other hand, began to figure something out when he a few glasses on the table in front of the fireplace, some of them still containing some unfinished wine.

Miss Parker wasn’t ready to reveal everything to her friends, but she knew that she had to say something. The time of secrets and lies was over, she didn’t have to be the Ice Queen anymore. She had changed.

“Jarod…He contacted me a few days ago. He wanted to meet.”

“And you went alone, without taking a Sweeper team with you?” Broots asked, more and more convinced that his colleague was under some hallucinogen influence.

“Everything started on Carthis. Jarod and I talked a lot while we were down there and…something changed.” she gave them the short version, willing to avoid more intimate details.

“As soon as we got back,” she went on, “I knew I had to face the situation to make him understand that our temporary truce had been just a moment of weakness, that nothing would ever happen between us. But when I met him in New Haven, I just couldn’t.”

Sydney was enchanted by Miss Parker’s words; Broots was almost heartbroken.

“I guess that if we had was a normal life, we could say that we…fell in love.”

Sydney was grinning, but Broots was smirking in approval, too. He had understood years before that all those gifts sent by Jarod to Miss Parker weren’t just pranks to tease her. He was a genius, if he had really wanted to disappear, why did he always make sure that she found him?

“You think I’m crazy?” she asked Sydney. The old man understood in that very moment that she, like Jarod, was looking for his blessing.

The idea made him proud, because he knew that these two amazing persons trusted him like nobody else.

“Parker…I’ve seen you grow up together, then on your own. I’ve followed Jarod because I was his guardian. I had to push him to do his best, but deep inside I knew that I was wrong. I was indulgent when he met you, or when you spent hours together talking or worse, playing. I never told your father that you were such close friends.”

Parker remembered that in the videos, whenever Jarod was called back to work by Sydney, he practically ignored the fact that Parker was in his room.

“Had I known what they were planning to do, that they would make you enemies, that they would steal that little affection you found in each other…I would have tried to stop them. And believe me, Parker,” he concluded, taking her hands in his, “I’ve never seen you happier than you are now.”

Broots nodded without being seen. A few months before the thought of Miss Parker fooling around with another man would have been unacceptable to him. But Jarod was no other man. Broots knew that the pretender was the only one who could make her happy. He remembered the way Jarod had taken her side when he believed her to be responsible for the whole Damon affair.



“Listen Jarod, I can’t stay here. I’ve gotta find Debbie, Miss Parker took her.” Broots suddenly felt like he couldn’t trust no one. “In fact, it was Miss Parker who sent me to the Data Annex in the first place.”

Jarod immediately stopped his train of thoughts, “Miss Parker is many things, but she would never do that, especially to you. She doesn’t have it in her heart, or her eyes.”



Broots had found Jarod’s determination to defend Miss Parker weird, seeing that she was his pursuer. But the look in Jarod’s eyes as he said those words was unmistakable. That was the moment when Broots realized that huntress and prey cared for each other.

“What do you think?” Miss Parker asked Broots.

Broots nodded in approbation. “I think Debbie would be glad to hear that Auntie Miss Parker has finally found someone who makes her happy.”

Miss Parker smiled, feeling much more relaxed. The embarrassing part was over, now they could go back to business.

“Well, none of us will ever have a future, if we don’t find those damned Scrolls, and most of all not until we find a way to destroy The Centre.”

“Where do we start?” Sydney asked.

“From the truth.” she replied. “My mother talked about a secret hidden inside The Centre, something born from me and Jarod. We must find out what it is. We need to know what they did to us and who made us forget.”

“I did some research, but I still haven’t found anything. It’s difficult to dig into a forgotten past, Miss Parker.”

“I know, Broots. But we used hypnosis with Jarod, and it helped him remember that conversation with my mother about Ethan and her project. Well, this is her plan. I must finish her work, I must find a way to make The Centre blow from the inside, something she didn’t have an opportunity to do.”

“It’s going to be dangerous, for all of us.” Sydney looked concerned.

“That’s why I need to know now if you’re up to it. I can’t promise it’s going to be easy, but Jarod and I can’t trust anybody else but the people in this room.”

Sydney nodded. He finally had a chance to get redemption for his past.

Things were more difficult for Broots, he had a daughter to think about. But the thought of Debbie was the one who made him answer, “I want a better world for my daughter. A world where we don’t have to fear The Centre anymore.”

Parker nodded and the three of them stood up and headed straight towards the car.

Broots reached the car first, but Miss Parker stood behind as she closed the door of the manor. That house had meant so much to her in the last few days, that she didn’t really want to leave.

“What are you going to tell Lyle?” Sydney asked her.

“That I was following a track left by Jarod and that our Lab Rat locked me inside a basement for a couple of days, during which I had to wait for you two to find me.”

Sydney raised his eyebrow. That didn’t seem a quite realistic story.

“Well, we’ll work on the details on the way home. Let’s go.” Miss Parker patted the psychiatrist on his back.



5.36 p.m.

Jarod knew that his father, his sister Emily and young Jesse lived together under the same roof, now. He would love to visit more often, but in the last few months he had been very busy. However, he wanted them to be always guarded. He had used his connections inside the F.B.I. to guarantee them a certain amount of safety, and he always kept informed about The Centre movements to verify that nobody in Blue Cove knew their location.

He didn’t want to say anything, not even to Parker, and she didn’t want to know, anyway.

That was what another thing he loved about her; she understood him with a glance, the sound of his voice was enough. She didn’t ask nothing he wouldn’t answer to.

His father almost passed out when he saw his first son in front of him. He hadn’t seen him since he’d helped him save Zoe from The Centre.

“Jarod!” he shouted, holding him. Then he dragged him inside the house “Emily, Jes, come and see who just got here!”

Jarod’s siblings came running down the stairs. Emily hugged him tightly for a few seconds, savoring every single moment spent with him. Jesse, instead, held out his hand to him in a very polite way.

“Oh, come on Jesse!” Jarod shouted, pushing aside his hand and holding him.

“We missed you, Jarod!” Major Charles said.

“I missed you, too. But I’m here with great news and I’m looking forward to telling you what we found out.”

“We?” Emily asked, without missing her brother’s embarrassed smile.

“Who were you with, son?” Major Charles asked.

He still remembered the relationship that Jarod had built with Zoe. It always felt too artificial. He liked that girl, but she would never really understand his son.

Jesse was the one who broke the ice, “It’s Miss Parker.” he said, with a mischievous grin on his lips. Jarod knew that Jesse would understand. After all, the boy was a younger version of himself.

“Well…It’s a long story.” he tried and divert the conversation.

Major Charles was the only member of Jarod’s family who had truly something to do with Miss Parker. When he had faced her, he had made her doubts about her mother’s assassination disappear, only with the truth. Miss Parker had simply realized that he wasn’t the one who had pulled the trigger.

That woman was fascinating and intelligent, she had spent years with Jarod at The Centre, the Major had seen her in the DSAs his son kept always with him, especially in those disks that were always at hand. As a father, it hadn’t take long to him to realize that their relationship wasn’t the one you’d expect between two enemies chasing each other.

Emily, on the other hand, didn’t know Miss Parker at all. But she was the only one who had spent some years with Margaret, and her mother used to tell her that there was a special connection between her friend Catherine’s daughter and Jarod, there would always be. So, she didn’t struggle to realize that now, finally, that relationship had taken a different turn. Who was she to judge?

“We’ve got time, son.” Major Charles said, urging Jarod to spill his guts.

Jarod didn’t know where to begin, but Carthis was a good start. He explained that he’d seen Margaret, injured (but not seriously), running from the island. He told them Ocee’s story, he revealed the existence of the Scrolls, hoping that this would awaken something inside Emily or the Major’s memories (to no avail).

Then he went on talking about the last two months, how he’d been looking for answers without ever finding them. The dead ends, his broken hopes. Finally, he got to the DSAs they have managed to find because of Miss Parker’s inner sense, and he decided that his family had the right to see the one portraying Catherine and Margaret together.

After what seemed a long hour of confessions, Jarod finally turned off the computer and waited for them to talk.

Emily was the first to speak, “Jarod, I’m sorry but in the few years I spent with Mom, she never told me about Catherine being still alive, neither about the Scrolls.”

Jarod nodded, “I guess she was trying to protect her. And you. She didn’t want you to run the risk of being kidnapped by The Centre, too.”

“This is incredible, son. How can we fight an enemy so smart to delete memories from people like they were computers?”    

Jarod shook his head, “I’ve been fighting them all my life, dad. Now I won’t do that on my own, anymore. We’ve got someone on the inside.”

“Miss Parker? Isn’t it going to be dangerous?” Jesse asked, still feeling a huge affection for that woman who had reassured him when he really need someone to trust.

“Yes, Jes. But she has Sydney and Broots. And me too. In fact, I’m going to keep my eyes open on everything happening at The Centre, from now on.”

“What do you mean with keep your eyes open?” Major Charles asked.

“I’m going back to Blue Cove.”

“Jarod, are you crazy?” Emily screamed with anger, standing up from the couch, “You’re going back to that hell? What if they found you?”

“Precisely because I’ll be so close” he reassured her, stroking her arms “They won’t find me. Every time I was close to The Centre, I was safe. You can’t even imagine how many times I went inside, The Centre.”

Emily couldn’t stand this anymore. She moved towards the garden in silence, upset, and Jarod didn’t stop her. Jesse had known his sister for a while, and he was starting to interpret her silences. She had spent years looking for her family, and she didn’t want to lose it again now that they were together.

“She needs time, Jarod. She’s upset and she misses her mother.”

“I miss her too, but if I’m doing all of this it’s for us, for us to be free.”

The Major nodded and stood up to reach his daughter, but Jarod stopped him “I’ll talk to her.”

“Jes, come with me, let’s make some dinner.”



Jarod went out in the garden; he found Emily sitting on a swing they had recently bought. The girl loved spending the evenings out there, especially when it wasn’t too hot and there was a gentle breeze coming from the sea.

Jarod sat next to her, waiting for her to speak.

“You’re doing this for her, aren’t you?” she asked him.

Jarod smiled, “Yes, maybe you’re right.”

“How could you love a person who’s chased you for years?”

“It’s the very same thing Zoe asked me.” Jarod explained, and he already knew the answer to that question “Miss Parker would have never found me if it wasn’t for me. I always left her the right clues. Even if I couldn’t admit this back then, I’ve always loved her. I wanted to see her, just as much as I wanted to find you.”

“We’re your family, Jarod! It’s her fault if we got separated! How do you know this isn’t just a trap to lure you and take you back to The Centre?”

“Because I know her.”

“Well, that’s what I think.” She said angrily.

“No, you don’t.” Jarod replied, taking her hand. “Think, Emily. What did Mom tell you about her?”

Emily snorted. “She said…that Miss Parker was a special girl. And she was happy that you had at least one friend, at The Centre.”

Jarod smiled. That was his sister.

“She is special, Emily. All these years, she was a prisoner of The Centre, just like me. They took her away from her mother, she lived almost like an orphan, wandering in the sublevels of that awful place, even if she was technically a normal child. She became my best friend, she gave me strength, we cared for each other and…we loved each other ever since.”

“Why did you forget, then?”

Jarod sighed, “They made us. But now I don’t want to forget anything anymore. I just want to think about our future and that is why I must go back to Blue Cove. I can get close enough to infiltrate The Centre. Parker will protect me, believe me. And so will Sydney.”

Emily didn’t like it when Jarod talked about the man who instructed him to be a pretender. And yet, her father had told her that if it weren’t for Sydney, Jarod would have become a terrible person, not the amazing man who helped people without asking anything in return.

“Trust me, Emily. I need time, but I’ll fix everything. This time I know I can do this.”

Emily looked at him, almost crying, “You’re bringing mom back home?” she begged him.

“I promise.”

After a day spent with his family, Jarod had left. He didn’t want to stay at their place too much in case The Centre was following him. He was outside, looking at the stars, contemplating that moment of happiness. He knew it would last just a few hours and that soon everything would be back to normal.

Chase, run, searching for the truth, desperate need to find answers to questions of a lifetime. At least, now he got one.

It was only a day, but he missed Miss Parker terribly. Emily was right, if he wanted to go back to Blue Cove it was mostly to be with her. He couldn’t stand the idea of being away from her, not even for a day. Something inside him told him that this vulnerability was a weakness, that he couldn’t let it take over him. If being separated meant feeling weak and lost, then they shouldn’t be distant, at all. He took his phone and dialed the number (by heart), then waited for the woman to answer from the other side.

Parker couldn’t sleep, as usual. She turned over in bed, sometimes she took her mobile just to see what time it was. The truth was, she was expecting a phone call from Jarod, she felt it would come. She was dying to talk with him to know what he was doing, how he was, if he missed her.

It wasn’t until two in the morning that she got what she wanted, and her phone started to vibrate. She took it eagerly and opened the communication with a soft, “What.”

Jarod smiled, thinking that his lecture about the way she answered the phone didn’t have the desired effect.

“It’s me.”

“I don’t wonder who’s speaking when the hour is so late, Jarod. I always know it’s you.”

“I’ve seen my father and siblings today. I told them everything, Parker.”

“They also know about us?” she asked, trying to figure out the scene of Jarod talking with Major Charles, his sister and the boy, sitting around a table with an apple-pie. Who knows why, but the thought amused her.

“They do. I couldn’t help but tell them. Does it bother you?”

Parker wondered why it didn’t disturb her at all. The person she had been just two days before would have despised being in such silly situations, but she had promised herself she would change. Besides, hadn’t she confided in Broots and Sydney too? No, it didn’t bother her at all.

“How did they take it?” she answered with another question.

“Jes and my father are happy for the news. Emily was a bit rough.”

Parker asked herself if she would have to fight to have the approval of the one woman who one day might be her sister-in-law.

“But she remembered that my mother used to talk about you. She knew how good and kind you are.”

Parker thought that Margaret, like her mother, might be such a nice woman.

“Sometimes I wonder why she ran when she saw me on the island. She already knew, why didn’t she tell us then?”

“Because we weren’t ready” Jarod said, moving closer to a porch, “We didn’t know anything about the prophecies.”

“They could have told us!” she yelled, a bit upset. It was the first time she thought of her mother with a bit of resentment. Why did she hide everything until that very moment?

“Well, that’s not why I was calling. I wanted to tell you that I’ve decided to go back to Blue Cove.”

Parker almost chocked and stood up from the bed, “What?” she shouted. She was doing everything she could to get far from Jarod so that The Centre wouldn’t suspect them, and now he wanted to go back?

“No way!” she shouted.

“I’ve never been much inclined to listen to you, in the past.” he replied, amused because he had foreseen her reaction perfectly.  

“You can’t go back, Jarod. I won’t let you. It’s too dangerous, and you should be searching for Ethan!”

“Parker.” he went on, with very low voice, while he was getting close to the house door. “I cannot be without you. I’ve realized the distance makes me weaker, I spend my time wondering what you’re doing, if you’re okay, whether I’ll see you again.”

“All of this just after 24 hours?” she asked, turning on the light and moving towards the living room.

“Actually I’ve realized this after five minutes.”

“Jarod, please, don’t come back.” she begged, wandering around the house and looking for something to drink. She passed in front of the door and in that very moment Jarod answered her aloud, “I guess it’s too late.”

Parker turned around immediately, because in addition to the one from the telephone, she was hearing Jarod’s voice also outside the door. She squeezed her eyes, exasperated, and opened the door. Jarod was there, his phone still in his hand. He was smiling and yet he was ready to be scolded for that stunt.

Parker didn’t drop the phone. “Seeing that you never listen to what I say, then I’m going to let the first stranger knocking at my door enter the house!”

Jarod made a step forward, still speaking by the phone, “Is he tall, dark haired, smart, funny.” Another step “…and loves making you surprises even if he knows you hate them?”

Parker didn’t give in. “No, he’s a Lab Rat that has the bad habit of waking me up in my deepest sleep, even if he knows I – hate - it!” she said through clenched teeth and emphasizing each word.

Jarod placed his free hand around her waist. “Then I authorize you to let him in. Provided that you make him sleep on the couch, you know. I can be the bad guy when I’m jealous!”

That said, he closed the phone and started to kiss her neck.

“What would you do if you found out that he just jumped on me and I didn’t even try to stop him?” she mumbled, throwing the mobile on the couch.

Jarod looked at her intensely. “I guess I could become an animal.”

“God, I hope so!” she concluded, kissing and dragging him to herself. He shut the door with a foot and Parker led him towards her bedroom.



Miss Parker opened her eyes with the weird feeling of being observed. Then she remembered about Jarod’s sudden arrival, and she realized that he was still at her side, stroking her arm.

“You act like a fool.” she reprimanded him, now that she was lucid enough to remember how dangerous the situation was.

“I would have been a fool not to come!” he replied, standing up. It was dawn and the day seemed to be promising.

“Do you realize The Centre is less than five miles from here?”

“You don’t need to remind me; I know The Centre’s location better than anyone else.”

“Jarod.” Parker sat up and wrapped the sheets around herself. “Emily was right, you need to stay far from here. If they found out – ”

“They won’t. I need to stay with you, right now.”

“And to think I was the one begging you to stay, a few hours ago.”

Jarod sat on the bed and took her hands, “Parker. Don’t underestimate the importance of our connection. We need to be together; we don’t have to be on our own anymore! I’ve seen my family and I’m happy I went there. But until The Centre exists, they will be much safer far away from me. And I know I’ll feel much safer if I’m with you. We can carry on Catherine’s project together.”

Parker shook her head. What did he expect? That she accepted the idea of living under the same roof just like that? Wasn’t cohabitation a dangerous step, after so little time?

Then she realized that those would have been the thought of the old Miss Parker, not the new one. And suddenly she heard the voices inviting her to trust him, to let him stay. And she heard one voice, clearer than the others, her mother’s. “You and Jarod. Together.”

“You won’t even notice me.” he begged.

“Like tonight?” she asked, amused. The truth was she didn’t need to put her gun under the pillow when Jarod slept with her. She didn’t feel like it.

“So, let’s say you’re noticing my presence when you want to.” he replied, giving her a soft kiss on her forehead.

Parker looked at the time, and she realized she had to go back to The Centre. It was time to face Lyle.

“I must go to work. I have a fugitive to hunt. I think you’ve heard of him, he’s a naïve guy who decided to crawl inside the bed of his pursuer.”

Jarod smiled. “You have to admit, that was quite a strategy.”

Parker stood up and got dressed, omitting the usual accuracy she demonstrated when she had to choose her work clothes. She took the gun from the drawer, and she checked if it was loaded, then she put it around her waist and moved towards the door.

“Promise me you’re going to be careful. Don’t show up in town, don’t leave this house unless you have to, and most of all…Don’t come to The Centre!”

“I’ve got something for you.” he said, giving her a new phone.

“What, an engagement gift?” she asked, sarcastically.

“These are home made. Not traceable phone calls, and just three numbers. Mine, Sydney’s and Broots’s. Here are their mobiles.” he gave her other two devices.

“With these, we can communicate without being afraid of them listening. But use them only if you have to, don’t make Lyle and Raines suspicious, they’ve kept your phones under control for years.”

Parker stared at him with worry. This meant that every call she had with Jarod had been overheard by them?

He immediately guessed what she was thinking, so he reassured her. “My calls are not subjected to Centre’s protocols. They can’t keep me out, but they can’t get in. And the conversations I had with you…well, those were the ones I used to shield the most. I didn’t want them to find out that I was helping you discovering the truth, I was afraid they would hurt you.”

This new revelation made Jarod almost irresistible to Parker’s eyes. She kissed him, slowly, with passion. Then she put the phones inside her bag and left for The Centre.

Chapter End Notes:

Still waiting for reviews ;)

You must login (register) to review.