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Story Notes:

This story is probably better read with Part 1, but it's not as necessary. The extra characters from the novel hardly show up this time. It mostly focuses on Parker and Jarod. I will put notes at the end of chapter 1 though, so if this is your first time exposed to the story, you can get what happened in the last story. 



Author's Chapter Notes:

“Catherine trusts in you. Look at the name on that crib.” She went toward the name and stroked it. “Honestly? A dead spirit named her grandchild after you, in honor of you, and you forsake her?”


 

I must be crazy. Yet she was desperate. A lot of people just up and hired and left their kids anyhow before setting up more than a phone call meeting. Reviews and background checks, that’s all people needed. Anna had done a great job at her babysitting. Her life changed, she got married, times got rough and . . . well, she was just trying to make it through. One mess up though, and it blew the whole thing up. She heard from words of a friend that somebody needed a babysitter. Someone who was having a tough time finding one. Never gonna take me. She knocked on his door.

Probably an overzealous parent just ready to get out and take whatever they could get. “Come in,” she heard from the door.

Mm. She slowly opened the door and carefully went in making sure she looked over her on the side first. The guy was there working on a computer. She saw a crib, a high chair, and a swing. She saw simple toys and baby bottles and formula but nothing had been opened. There was also no sound of a baby, and there was nothing resting in a crib.

“Come on in,” he said. “Take a seat. My name is Jarod. I’m looking for a particular babysitter. I think you might be the one I need.”

Particular? “Where is your baby?” she asked.

“I’m going to be in charge of my sister’s daughter in the future. Could be months away,” he explained. “I am watching her in a real emergency I can’t explain, otherwise my life wouldn’t be able to handle this.”

I can tell. “So what’s the pay?”

“No, no. What’s the story?” The man Jarod asked her. “You got kicked off of all the nanny sites. I need to know why.”

Anna sighed. Too good to be true. “Look, okay? I didn’t know about any boy sneaking in on the side of a house at ten at night. Especially when it was on the side of the little girl I was actually watching, okay? I know he was young, but he could have been a burglar. He could have been there to commit murder. I also knew it wasn’t the other girl’s boyfriend, I had met him before.” She groaned. “Look, I just thought what I did was right. I told him to stop and identify himself. He didn’t say anything. I warned I’d shoot. He didn’t listen, he didn’t respond, and so I shot him. But you know, it’s not like I killed him. It didn’t even hit him, it just scared him so he fell a few feet and cried like a bitch.” Rebellious teen. “Why am I supposed to be blamed for shooting someone climbing into someone’s house?” She crossed her arms. “Hell, the teen girl said he was bugging her in the first place so I still don’t know his intentions.”

“You used to be a cop.”

“Yes, when it happened, I was too,” she said. “Not anymore though. Even back then it was getting harder to make it with my family. That was some time ago though, and like I said? I never put those kids in danger.” All parents ever wanted was for her to spend time with them, do activities with them, get them to bed on time with the right nutritional food.

“What gun did you use?”

“My registered weapon.”

“Do you still have it?”

“No, Sir. Not the same weapon.” She was still packing though of course. She was meeting a strange man for the first time.

“Honestly?” He said. “I think you’re perfect. If you can come around, 24/7 emergency status. Your job doesn’t start until I call you. It could be months. It could be years. Afterwards, you need to meet me wherever I say so. If it’s out of town or state, I’ll pay for the mileage.”

Oooh. “Hang on a second,” she said. “You got a badge? Because ain’t nobody’s life gonna be that entangled, that ain’t got-“ He slid her his badge. CIA. “Well then?” She inspected his badge and then pushed it back to him. “I guess I am the perfect babysitter.”

 

There. The hardest part of the job was complete. He had it all set up. He’d keep the rent up on the place, even as he moved on. Everything would remain there. He might have to rebuy formula or move onto some real food. He had no idea. He just knew at some point in the future, he’d be taking care of Miss Parker’s little girl. Not because Miss Parker asked him to.

But because Catherine Parker did.

In the strangest way imaginable.

 

////Paris

 

Dorothy watered her indoor plants, singing a popular song from her spotify. “Je remue le ciel, le jour, la nuit. Je danse avec le vent, la pluie. Un peu d'amour, un brin de mile. Et je danse, danse, danse, danse, danse, danse, danse.”

 

“Dorothy Jamison?”

 

“Ah!” Oh! She turned around and saw Jarod. Ow! She smacked his shoulder. “Don’t sneak up on a poor old woman in her own home, Jar of Odds! You scared me.”

“I scared you?” He complained. “I’m not the one who sent a crib with a name that Parker joked about written on it. That’s scary.”

“It’s not a scare. It was a warning,” she said.

“Yeah and I heeded it, thanks.” Jarod said. “Beautiful flowers.”

“What are you here for?” She asked.

“My baby song.” He approached her closer. “You stitched my baby song into the little blanket. I was wondering? If you knew where my parents were at? Or anything about them?”

Dorothy scratched her ear tenderly. “That was Catherine, not me. My senses don’t have anything to do with your family. Or maybe they do? I don’t know.”

 

“Did they?” Jarod tried not to scare her now. “Do you know anything about my family? Anything at all?”

She sighed and put down her watering container. She took a scarf she had round her neck haphazardly and whipped it round. “No but I have something you should see, Jar of Odds.”

“It’s Jarod,” he corrected her. “Not Jar of Odds.”

“I don’t know. You look different to me.” She slapped his cheek twice like she was inspecting him. “No, there is something about you. The fact you are a Pretender. Hurry it up and follow me.”

Jarod rubbed his cheek. Parker’s Aunt Dorothy was definitely different, but if she had anything to show or give to him, he wanted to see it. “What is it that you see exactly?”

“I’m getting there.” She took a key out of her small jacket and unlocked the door. Inside it was dark.

Jarod moved into the darkness as she turned on the light. “Ah.” It was a nursery. A crib with the name Camille Leanne Parker in the headboard was engraved in the stained cherry wood. The pillows were bright and cheery, small stuffed toys around it. His baby song was stitched at the top of the blanket. Question nicely. “Could you tell me why you have a joke name in a crib?”

“A joke name?” She didn’t seem to understand. “It’s not a joke. That is the name of my grandniece.”

“Okay. No.” No. “No.” Jarod shook his head. “You sent the crib as a warning of what would happen if I stayed in The Centre with her much longer. Right?”

“Huh?” She seemed confused. “I sent it to her and to you since you were a potential father.” She touched the little mobile. “Les étoiles. So pretty. Don’t you love stars?”

“How did you know the name?” A little aggressive, but what was going on? “What do you see? Specifically, what do you see that is making you do this?”

“Oh. You want to know what I see in my vision?”

“Yes, that is what I am asking about,” Jarod said. “Can you tell me what you see?”

“Oh.” She looked down at the crib. “This crib. The name upon it. I hear sounds in the background, it’s a lullaby that I stitched within the blanket. It sounds like Catherine, but I imagine, it’s probably her daughter singing to the baby. There is someone behind her. Someone not happy about something. Anger, very angry,” she warned. “Very, very angry at the woman next to the crib with her child. There is shouting. There is fighting.” She looked around the room at the stuffed animals. “Camille screams. Another figure, dark. Also angry, very angry.” Her gaze moved to the crib as she moved the star mobile. “Two get up. One stay down. There is blood on the crib and then . . .” She looked back toward Jarod. “There is nothing more. I? I believe very hard that Catherine’s voice is trying to save Miss Parker and her granddaughter. I only follow my sister’s voice. Including the white messages I put in the sheets and on the slat. She communicated to you. Not me.”

Jarod looked down into the crib. “I sang her my baby song after rededication. She said Mom’s know the best songs.” Maybe she used it for her child? “But the name. Why did she name it that?” That was a joke name. Joke.

“It’s a pretty name,” Dorothy said. “What’s wrong with Camille?”

“Camille. Leanne. Chameleon,” Jarod said roughly. “It sounds like Chameleon. Another name for . . . me.” The human chameleon.

“I prefer the French pronunciation. Kah-mee-yeh. Kah-mee-yeh Lay-own. It sounds better than Kuh-meel.” She looked toward him. “Don’t you think so?” She winked. “Oh, all right. If you really want to know? The name on the crib?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you know who named her yet?”

“No,” Jarod admitted. “Tell me already.”

“Why such a rush? I heard you liked puzzles and games,” she said, like he wasn’t providing an adequate amount of fun.

“Normally, yes. Not today.” Not for that subject. “Why is that name on the crib?”

“Catherine named her,” she said.

What? “What do you mean?”

“The Centre has the name of a baby on a crib inside of the dome,” she admitted. “It will probably attribute somehow to the naming process officially. Now? You keep calling it a joke name. It’s not a joke, and Miss Parker’s own ability probably made her say it. It’s circular thinking that started with a whisper undercovers no one could hear except you two. In some way, shape, or form? Destiny and fate let Catherine name her granddaughter, to remind you?” She smirked. “If anything happens? You need to take Camille.”

Oh. “I can find the baby a home if anything happens to Parker.”

“No! No, no. She didn’t name the child for an ‘I can find a home if anything happens’. No! You? If anything happens to Miss Parker, you take care of her grandchild. Then pray that you can find Miss Parker again, or you are the father permanently. Remember? I said potential. I never said the natural father.”

Wait, hang on. “What?” Wait. “That should, it should be sent to-“

“Catherine trusts in you. Look at the name on that crib.” She went toward the name and stroked it. “Honestly? A dead spirit named her grandchild after you, in honor of you, and you forsake her?”

“I didn’t say . . .”

“What? It has to be real Parker blood in order for you to help? Adopting a child from love isn’t enough?”

Jarod scratched the top of his head. “My life is too complicated for that. I can’t stay anywhere for long. The Centre will find me.” If Miss Parker wanted to adopt a baby, fine. More power to her. But him?

“Well, it’s not like you are staying longer anywhere just because of Camille,” her Aunt reasoned. “Pick her up and move her along.”

“I escaped by jumping to a helicopter last time.” Jarod tried to make it clear. “I can’t be responsible alone.” He couldn’t have a house. An apartment. A car. A real friend that he could always come back to. A real love that he could stay with. “If I can’t stay with even the people I love and become attached to? How can I take care of a baby?” He watched her stroke the name on the crib again. His life was too complicated. He had to live it solo. 

“Then I suggest not jumping to a helicopter next time? Maybe take a few less risks, leave yourself a few more outs, and a little more breathing room between your ipad covers. You’re a genius. Be a genius.”

“Things get too complicated.” She didn’t understand it. “If I am taking someone down, okay? It’s dangerous. I have to get out, fast.”

“Do you know when you will take someone down?”

“Yes.”

“Then hire a babysitter.” She shrugged. “Come back later. This is the modern age, Jar of Odds! Stop being odd about it, you can communicate with babysitters. They are all over the net. Haven’t you heard of babysitter sites? Nanny sites? They are researched with background checks and reviews already. You can even pick a time to use them, and have some on the line for emergencies.”

Jarod rubbed his face. He shouldn’t have asked about the name after all. “I will do what I can to watch for her. That’s all I can promise Catherine right now.” He crossed his arms.

“Is that all she could promise you?” Dorothy Jamison looked at him, her eyes half slitted, distain. “Was she not better where she had been? A mother with a child of her own, trying her best to raise Little Miss in that dangerous environment? Should she have grabbed Little Miss and brought her here straight away? Given her a better life? Or risked it. For one boy. One boy, she did not have to save.” She turned away from looking at him. “Things do not happen without reason. I don’t know why Catherine wants you, when you’re . . . pretty much the reason she is dead, and don’t think you can hide that from me.” She stroked the crib. “She begs from the grave for help so much, yet it falls on dead whispers of nothingness. Fine, shall anything happen, I will do what I can for my grandniece.” Her eyes. Judging. Like daggers. ”Except I doubt it will do any good. She isn’t choosing me for a reason.”

It was like a rush of cold water just drenched over Jarod. He felt cold shivers running deeply with her words. He knew there was no way he could. No possible way. A baby would take time and care that he didn’t have. Babysitters didn’t move with him. One mess up and he’d lose it out there in the world. But? Camille. Leanne. Parker. She was putting everything into him believing, to save her granddaughter.

Maybe something happened to Parker. The Centre was dangerous, and maybe? Catherine didn’t want her left there without a mother. “A-are there any more details you can give me? Someone is coming for her and her future child. Why?” He couldn’t agree, but he couldn’t turn his back on it either. “I will keep my eye out for her.” No one was killing an innocent baby.  “Does it happen here? Are there any details in the nursery you see?”

“Towards the end of the vision. Open light. Lovely room. It’s not a nursery yet,” she said. “It’s becoming one. There’s an absolutely beautiful couch.”

“Couch.” There was something. “Describe the couch?”

“Breathtaking. The sheen isn’t too much or too little. It’s black with a cover up of a silver finish.”

Oh, that couch. Miss Parker stopped shooting at him when he visited her at her place because she didn’t want to hurt that particular couch. “Parker converts her room into the nursery.” Okay, so it happens in America. When she goes home and she’s converting her room. A time and a place to watch out for. “I’ll do my best to keep her safe.”

“She’s scared,” her Aunt Dorothy said. “Camille doesn’t scream at first. She isn’t even crying. It’s her mother that is whimpering. She is frightened. The song in the blanket?” She nodded. “I believe it’s a way to try and calm herself down.”

“I understand. I promise.” He touched the pretty crib. “I won’t let either of them go down.”

“The child has decent dexterity in the crib. I imagine three to six months?”

That was more help. “How is she positioned in the bed, in your vision?”

“She is sitting up. Her momma is rubbing her back gently.” She looked toward him. “That’s all I have for you. Nothing from your family I’m afraid. The only part that was yours was-“

“The baby song she sings to make her feel better.” It was a dead end on his family, but a new chance to repay a debt he thought he never could. Partly. “Camille will be at least four months.” If she were being adopted, it didn’t happen overnight at all. He could have a year or years. Either way? He’d keep his eyes open. “I promise, I’ll save them.” No matter what. America. Redecorating her room. Four months old. “I owe Catherine everything. I’ll make sure nothing hurts her granddaughter.” He smiled at the crib now. “Camille.”

“Camille,” she corrected his American pronunciation. “Catherine named her after all. It would be French, had . . .”

Had Parker been able to be taken to Paris, after he was saved from The Centre. A bit of her Aunt blamed him for this future. At the same time, it was only a bit. More, regret than blame. Regret she hadn’t done something extra too. “I know. I’m sorry you didn’t get the future you thought you’d have.” He knew that feeling as a teen. Yet, while there was a lingering emotion, there was something else too. “You’re lying about something though.”

“What what?”

“No. You’re hiding something.” No one hid anything for long from him. Even though they were in turmoil, feelings of the past coming through, he could feel something wrong.

She motioned behind him. “You make me feel weird.”

Weird? “Why?”

“One of my lovers found my vibrator in my room one night. He felt he wasn’t giving me proper satisfaction. I moved it to the nursery so no one else felt inadequate.” She gestured behind him. “It’s behind the cute drawer set you’ve been standing in front of.”

Oh. “Oh.” Psychological embarrassment with this conversation. That would be uncomfortable.

“I planned on moving it. Maybe to the kitchen?”

 Okay. It was time to go. “Lovely meeting you.”

Out.///

 

Jarod looked over everything once more. He had no idea how long this would take. Miss Parker hadn’t even decided if she wanted a boy or girl or started the process at all. For now, that was all he could do. A reliable babysitter that went with her gut and wasn’t afraid to shoot to defend children. Food for it. Diaper boxes of all sizes. A closet of clothes from two months to a year, a couple a piece. Toys. Games. A crib. A high chair. A swing. That’s all he could do for now.

He’d go back on his pretending, go back to the way he did things. He’d keep an eye on Miss Parker and Camille though, once he knew of her existence. If he needed to watch her? He could do it. Temporarily.

Until then? This was a pretend that would remain locked.

 





Chapter End Notes:

In the first story Chameleon Contraceptive. (A nutshell basically, I am skipping a lot.)

Miss Parker found out she was a carrier of the pretender gene, and the gene was passed on from females to babies. With her being the only one, she is brought into Jarod's old dome. Finding out, Jarod went to her aide.

While Jarod helped, Miss Parker learned to lighten up (gets her to play Angry Birds on his Ps4) and eventually began to go against her indoctrination of believing The Centre was worth everything. Jarod kept finding ways to get Miss Parker pills and protect his own sims with the help of Sydney, Broots, and Daphne. However, upon discovering a dangerous plan, Broots blew up the genetics lab that had the pretender genetic material within.

However, a crib with the name that Miss Parker joked about a week earlier shows up at the dome. Jarod is now trying to go against anything he can, pill or not.

Resigning to hide it all for now since the genetics lab was blown up and Jarod was acting out, her father convinces Miss Parker it was all a ploy to figure out how Jarod escaped. She lies for Jarod, giving him his freebie. Jarod soon leaves after.

She is given an extended one year trip to Europe. She still didn't seem the happiest about it. Neither is her father, who lost being chairman of The Centre to his brother Zane.








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