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I don’t own the character’s I just borrowed them.

For Granted
Felicity Drummond

She’d spent so long attempting to earn his approval, so much emotional energy mourning his apparent lack of love and wilting under his betrayal. This time though, he’d gone too far. When she was little and cast cruelly into the reality of losing the person she loved most in the world her adoration had passed to him. After all he was her father, weren’t children supposed to love their father’s as much as their mother’s? His lack of emotion, cold hearted treatment. Had been softened by childhood misunderstanding, convenient excuses.

Physical abuse was locked away, scattered into non existence in her memory the father figure she longed for of whom she aspired to be became him, It slowly became logical to be cold, to never show emotion, to be separate from other’s aloof untouchable. Occasionally she’d waver from this ideal and Sydney would always be there, to fill in for her real father, To teach her to dance to tell her she was beautiful, to read her bed time stories and comfort her when all handle on control slipped away and she cried. He was the one who cared for her when she was sick, Who came to her graduation when her father cancelled. Last minute business, the usual excuse.

She’d come to rely on him as everything she could never have, He was the epitome of everything she’d originally wanted her father to be and she loved him. She thoughts of him now as she sat tiredly at her desk, glass in hand, the end of another killer day in pursuit of Jarod. It touched her he disapproved if her skirt was to short. That he was someone she could rebel against and occasionally listen to, someone who knew her better than anyone else in her life who was willing to listen and actually understand, who’d be there no matter what sacrifice to himself.

Who’d give her the advise she didn’t want to here but always made sense, he was a calming force sometimes the only thing that stood between her and complete loss of control was his calm manner. He made her laugh and had the ability to make her cry, He had the ability to hurt her far more than her father ever could. Unlike her father he never would. Without meaning to she’d let him in, she kept her distance because his was the most lethal acquaintance. However they were both survivor’s

He knew when to know everything and when to know nothing. If it hadn’t been for his intervention at times by now she’d be dead. It didn’t even bother her that she was second best to Jarod It was just nice to have someone who consciously she couldn’t allow herself to have. At this moment, she was dunk He was the one part of her life she could no longer afford to take for granted. She needed him now and if she had been a child she would have gone to him for comfort, been in his arms this moment, If she’d still been a child she wouldn’t understand her father’s latest betrayal. She wasn’t a child any more. Age brings experience, obliterates naivety.

The bullet that killed her mother simultaneously killed her innocence but it was her father who destroyed her ability to trust. Sydney was busy and most certainly had no time for her insignificant problems. Alcohol on the other hand had time and the strength to help her to forget if just for a little while, she poured herself another glass, the drunker she got the less she felt but tonight it only took away the pain, not the thoughts. It hit her that one of the main reasons she had relied so heavily through her life on her father was that he seemed invincible, He’d always be there.

She hated comparing him with Sydney, It was too revealing. Made it harder to lie to herself that everything her father had done to her was normal, explainable. She couldn’t explain it all away now, just as she could no longer explain away the voices she heard in her mind, no longer part of some drugged haze. Reality was flooding her closely guarded sanity and she couldn’t breathe or move only wait, for what she didn’t know.

He watched her with careful concern, It was the question wringing through all minds across the Centre, how would she react. It had angered him that she had to find out this way, that the man cared so little for his daughter he’d force her to once again confront her worst fear just because the world was falling down around him and he needed a way out. The gun in his hands proved without a doubt it was suicide, She didn’t see that at the time, she only saw her father’s body, slouched over his desk and so much blood. It was replay with a different ending.

Sydney doubted she’d survive the torture alone though she’d be determined to try, So far she’d acted like she didn’t care, it meant nothing. She couldn’t breathe but that still wasn’t a reaction, she insisted she was fine though she’d almost shot her secretary for bringing her the wrong brand of coffee. I said no sugar was her excuse. The fact she’d taken up smoking again and spent the last hour and a half in her office the only company a bottle of vodka now pointedly filled with more air than alcohol. Meant nothing, she was bound to insist, I do this everyday, It’s therapy, I have a stressful Job,

She was rapidly running out of excuses probably drawing closer and closer to suicide herself. He continued to watch her as she threw back another glass, by now her head would be spinning but at least the pain had gone away. She may still be thinking but in a surreal sense as if it were all some bad dream and she’d wake up with a huge hangover nothing more. He slowly pushed open the office door, Wondering inside, she looked up disinterestedly squinting through the darkness that had descended either her office or her mind and making out his silhouette.

“What do you want Lyle?” She exclaimed, her voice began to crack and she through back another glass to steady it. She attempted to pour herself another glass but he slipped it easily from her grasp along with the bottle. “You’ve had enough Parker.” He ordered and she watched helplessly as he threw bottle and glass away. He pulled her gently to her feet though she neither noticed nor complained only stared, eyes fixated on the shattered remains of her anaesthetic.

Where are we going, she finally asked in an unparkerlike voice, almost surreal in its vulnerability. It hurt him more than a thousand insults. He’d grown accustomed to her sharp in control manner. Impenetrable, lethal, all words you could use to describe her but never sensitive, or fragile. He held her up, basically carrying her towards her father’s office, She was quick even half drunk and she began to fight him, as the direction became clear.

Please she begged her voice a whisper of terror, shattering his resolve. He’d told the board member’s it was a bad idea but his position was on shaky grround at present due to his connection to Mr Parker therefore they refused to listen, He hadn’t fought hard enough he now decided, He hadn’t realised why he had to. He lifted his sister fully into his arms carrying her into an empty boardroom, quickly dialling the new head of the triumvirate. Forcing them to listen. They trickled inside slowly he barely noticed their arrival. Parker had stumbled out minutes before, he watched for her anxiously.

She had to be here for them to start, but that wasn’t his concern. The force of emotion he felt toward her especially now shocked him, he’d never been one to care for anybody. Ever since he’d killed his best friend he’d been numb to every person in his life, She’d broke through that from the first moment he saw her storming into her, their father’s office. He lost himself in a flashback as the room dissolved into solemn chitchat.

She stared blankly at her reflection in the mirror. Washing away the acidic taste in her throat and mouth before running a wet hand across her face, grimacing under the strength of weakness she felt. She straightened herself to full height and averted her eyes away from the glass. She didn’t look right, she didn’t look strong rather weak and they’d eat her alive if she entered the room full of vultures like that. She smoothed her hair back from her face and touched up her make up. Composing her self before deciding she was ready to face whatever they threw at her.

They looked up as she entered the room. She pushed open the door with two hands and wondered indifferently over to a seat sitting down elegantly and crossing her legs, Most looked to her in fear, Sydney and Lyle concern. The head of the triumvirate studied her discreetly, He’d yet to meet the Centre Players, He had been brought in to replace Mutumbo, And for the moment was out of his depth. The advantage of being a stranger faded placed side by side with the disadvantage of not knowing you’re enemy’s. He saw nothing in her eyes. He’d heard A lot about the infamous Chairman’s daughter. He didn’t know what was the truth. The Will was read quietly, she didn’t listen to half of it as the lawyer’s voice droned on. She didn’t want to here, she didn’t understand why they had to read it, so quickly after his death. Gradually it became clear. She stood up at the words, aware every eye was upon her but unwilling to sit calmly a moment longer when he’d actually done it. Sold her out.

Trapped her for life in this hellhole. Made her chairman. If he’d still been alive she would have killed him. But he’d taken even that satisfaction from her hands. She paled it had all been a lie. She should have realised that, with Tommy. He would never let her go, but she’d blocked out the truth then as always thinking surely he wouldn’t do that to her. Now she realised he’d only been taunting her with her freedom. The Will made it clear she was trapped, cursed to die here like her mother, like her father. It didn’t matter which way, as there was no way out. She snatched the paper blindly from the lawyer’s hands trying to make sense of the words.

Finally tossing it away in disgust the lawyer leant down to fetch it but froze feeling her gaze upon him and squirming under it. “My father wrote this?” She demanded needing confirmation. The lawyer nodded terrified it was the wrong answer but aware from some divine logic that he’d be more likely to live telling the truth. She turned away before doubling over in agony. Lyle and Sydney rushed to her side but she pushed them away grabbing blindly at her stomach. A tear ran down her face a light faded to darkness, Hope to hopelessness. He’d done once again in death what he specialised in, in life. Sacrificed his family for the Centre.

She first became aware of cool hands on her forehead then a gentle voice and reality just out of reach. She fought against slumber and dragged open her eyes making out the blurry figures of Sydney, Broots and Lyle. Before a prick in her arm brought back the darkness and the soft voices encouraged her to rest. It was hours, maybe days later when she woke again having lost all sense of time. Sydney sat by her side holding her hand in his and smoothing the hair back from her eyes gently, almost lovingly she wished. Or maybe she wished she didn’t love him as it left her open yet again to rejection.

She’d forgotten about her father. Slowly memory came flooding back and her eyes clouded. “Relax” Sydney soothed. “He can’t hurt you any more.” She sighed deeply, believing him. Finally understanding what she had to do. The words were barely above a whisper, but he could read the meaning in her eyes even if he hadn’t heard the verbal acknowledgment. “I love you Syd.” She admitted taking a chance before closing her eyes tightly. Waiting for his laughter or dismissal. Instead she felt a warm hand on her shoulder as he lifted her into his embrace.

“I love you to Parker.” He whispered back. “I always have.” Tears slipped unchecked down her cheeks and he brushed them away. She looked up into his eyes and saw what she’d always before been too blinded to see. She was no longer cold but warm wrapped in the security of his acceptance. It didn’t matter that she may lose him tomorrow or the next day. The fear that kept her feeling empty all these years faded away. All that mattered were the moments they had, here and now.

“It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Two of my close friend’s father’s recently died both tragically and it got me thinking how much I take for granted. I wrote this story because I was inspired by the relationship between a father and daughter. And what more twisted father/daughter relationship is there than that between Miss Parker and her father

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