A Pretender's Rage by Apollos Girl aka AG
Summary: sequel to Family, when the Centre gets involved, hell hath no fury like Miss Parker's...
Categories: Alternate Universe Characters: Jarod, Miss Parker, Mr Parker, Sydney
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: No Word count: 3620 Read: 3019 Published: 10/01/06 Updated: 10/01/06
A Pretender's Rage by Apollos Girl aka AG
A PRETENDER'S RAGE
BY: APOLLO'S GIRL



THIS IS A SEQUEL TO FAMILY


DISCLAIMER: THE PRETENDER AND ALL THINGS THAT GO WITH IT BELONG TO ITS CREATORS AND NBC. I AM ONLY BORROWING THEM AND I PROMISE TO RETURN THEM IN THE STATE THAT I BORROWED THEM. YEAH, UH, ANYWAY THE STORY

AUTHOR'S NOTE: OKAY THE STORY WILL COME AFTER THIS UNLIKE WHAT I USUALLY DO AND WRITE DIFFERENT STORIES AND SOMEHOW RELATE THEM, THIS STORY WILL COME IN PARTS UNDER THE SAME TITLE, WHEREAS IN THE MASK SERIES EACH PART HAD A DIFFERENT TITLE. BTW THE NEXT PART IS CURRENTLY IN THE WORKS, EXPECT THAT IN A MONTH OR TWO, MAYBE... ANYWAY, THIS IS A SEQUEL TO MY FAMILY STORY AND WILL PROBABLY BE THE ONLY ONE AFTER IT. SORRY, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO REALLY LIKE THIS SERIES, BUT WE WILL SEE. OKAY SO HERE IS WHAT YOU ARE ALL WAITING FOR THE STORY BTW THANKS FOR READING THIS IF YOU DID.



PART 1

MISS PARKER SAT IN HER OFFICE STARING OFF INTO SPACE. HER MIND WANDERING OVER THE EVENTS OF THE LAST FEW WEEKS. THE RED FILES, JAROD'S FATHER KILLING HER MOTHER, LYLE OR ANGELO BEING HER BROTHER, HER HAVING A BROTHER, THE EXPLOSION IN SL-27, THE INVESTIGATION THAT FOLLOWED, JAROD ESCAPING AGAIN! IT WAS ALL TOO MUCH. ESPECIALLY THAT SHE MAY BE A PRETENDER TOO. THAT FRIGHTENED HER. NOT REALLY THE FACT THAT SHE HAD THAT ABILITY BUT THAT BECAUSE OF IT, SHE MAY HAVE ENDANGERED SOMEONE WHO WAS MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF TO HER.

AS SHE SAT IN HER OFFICE THINKING, SHE DIDN'T NOTICE THAT SOMEONE WAS WATCHING HER. HIS EYES WATCHED OVER HER, HIS FACE WAS NOTHING BUT A BLANK. HE COULD SENSE HER ANXIETY. HE COULD ALSO SENSE THAT SOMETHING ELSE WAS HAPPENING AT THE CENTRE, SOMETHING BAD.

"VERY BAD!" HE SAID QUIETLY AS HE MADE HIS WAY THROUGH THE VENTS.

* * * * *

JAROD WALKED INTO HIS APARTMENT WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE. HE WAS QUITE HAPPY ABOUT HOW HIS LATEST PRETEND WENT. HE HAD HELPED BRING IN THE ROBBER WHO HAD STOLEN MONEY FROM AN ORPHANAGE. JAROD STILL COULDN'T GET THE EXPRESSION OF THE GUY'S FACE OUT OF HIS HEAD. AS HE MADE HIS WAY AROUND THE ROOM TO PICK UP THE THINGS HE NEEDED AND TO LEAVE CLUES FOR MISS PARKER, HE NOTICED THAT HE HAD MAIL ON HIS COMPUTER.

JAROD SAT DOWN IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER AND OPENED THE MESSAGE. HIS EYES OPENED IN SURPRISE AT WHAT HE READ. HE SCROLLED DOWN FURTHER TRYING TO DIGEST IN ALL THE INFORMATION.

* * * * *

"DADDY PLEASE!" MISS PARKER SAID IN A VOICE SHE WOULD ONLY USE WITH HER FATHER.

"ANGEL, I DON'T THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO GO ON A VACATION RIGHT NOW!" MR. PARKER SAID TRYING TO BE VERY FIRM ABOUT IT.

"BUT DADDY, I NEED IT! I JUST CAME THROUGH THREE WEEKS OF HELL. FIRST I FOUND OUT I HAVE A BROTHER, A TWIN! THEN A BOMB EXPLODED AND WE WERE ALMOST KILLED! WHICH I HAD TO SPEND ANOTHER WEEK GOING IN AND OUT OF THE INFIRMARY FOR FIRST AND SECOND DEGREE BURNS. PLUS I HAD TO GO THROUGH AN INTERROGATION ABOUT WHOM PUT THE BOMB IN SL-27! I STILL DON'T KNOW HOW THEY COULD SUSPECT ME OF DOING SOMETHING LIKE THAT! DADDY, PLEASE! ALL I'M ASKING IS ONE TO TWO WEEKS TO GET REFRESHED AND WHEN I GET BACK, NO ONE AND NOTHING IS GOING TO GET IN MY WAY IN CATCHING JAROD!" MISS PARKER EXPLAINED, HOPING THAT HER FATHER WOULD LET HER GO. AT THE MOMENT THE CENTRE WAS THE LAST PLACE SHE WANTED TO BE IN. SHE WAS SURPRISED HER FATHER HADN'T INTERRUPTED HER.

"ALRIGHT, ANGEL! YOU CAN GO! I WILL MAKE SURE THAT NO ONE INTERRUPTS YOU UNLESS IT'S ABOUT JAROD." MR. PARKER SAID WITH A SMILE. MISS PARKER FLASHED HIM HER BRIGHTEST SMILE.

"THANK YOU DADDY." SHE REPLIED WITH A QUICK KISS ON HIS CHEEK. "I'LL SEE YOU WHEN I GET BACK!" SHE WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM.

MR. PARKER WATCHED THE LEAVING FIGURE. A FEW MINUTES AFTER SHE LEFT HE PICKED UP THE PHONE.

"I WANT HER FOLLOWED AND NOTIFIED OF EVERYTHING THAT GOES ON." HE ORDERED.

* * * * *

MIKY LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW WITH IMPATIENCE. HIS MOTHER WAS SUPPOSED TO GET HERE FIVE MINUTES AGO. HE HELD ONTO HIS STUFFED LION, LEO, WITH ONE HAND WHILE THE OTHER ONE TAPPED ON THE WINDOW.

"NANA WHAT TIME IS IT?" HE ASKED AGAIN FOR THE HUNDREDTH TIME.

"SHE WILL BE HERE SOON." MARGARET REPLIED. "AND IT'S 6:06!"

"SHE'S LATE!" HE GRUMBLED AND MARGARET CHUCKLED. ROBERT CAME INTO THE ROOM WITH A BEMUSED SMILE ON HIS FACE.

"IS IT JUST ME OR DOES THAT BOY BECOME MORE AND MORE IMPATIENT AS HE GROWS?" ROBERT ASKED.

"OH, ITS NOT JUST YOU."

"PAPPY DID YOU SEE HER?" MIKY ASKED HIS FINGER STILL TAPPING ENDLESSLY ON THE WINDOW.

"NO, BUT SHE WILL BE HERE VERY SOON." ROBERT REPLIED.

"WHAT TIME IS IT- WAIT THERE SHE IS!" MIKY EXCLAIMED AS HE RUSHED TO THE DOOR, LEO DRAGGING BEHIND BY HIS TAIL.

MISS PARKER GOT OUT OF THE CAR WITH A SMILE ON HER FACE AS SHE SAW HER SON RUNNING DOWN THE FRONT PATH. SHE ALMOST BURST OUT LAUGHING AT THE STUFFED LION THAT WAS BEING DRAGGED CARELESSLY BEHIND.

"MOMMY!" MIKY EXCLAIMED AS HE RAN INTO HER ARMS. MISS PARKER SCOOPED HIM UP INTO A TIGHT HUG.

"HI SWEETIE!" SHE SAID AS SHE GAVE HIM A BIG KISS ON THE CHEEK.

"YOU'RE LATE! HE SAID WITH SCOLDING LOOK ON HIS FACE, HIS ARMS CROSSED. BALANCING HIM WITH ONE ARM, MISS PARKER LOOKED AT HER WATCHED.

"ONLY SEVEN MINUTES!" MISS PARKER SAID WITH A SORRY LOOK ON HER FACE.

"YOU'RE STILL LATE!" MIKY STATED.

"SORRY! I WON'T BE NEXT TIME. COME ON LET'S GO INSIDE." MISS PARKER SAID AS SHE WALKED UP TO THE FRONT DOOR. MARGARET AND ROBERT STOOD ON THE FRONT PORCH. THEY BOTH GAVE MISS PARKER A BIG HUG, NONE NOTICING THE DARK BLACK CAR WATCHING THEM.

* * * * *

MISS PARKER SAT ON THE BACK PORCH ROCKING BACK AND FORTH ON THE SWING BENCH. SHE HAD PUT MIKY TO SLEEP TWO HOURS AGO. SHE SMILED AT HOW MIKY KEPT THINKING UP OF NEW WAYS TO STALL BEFORE GOING TO BED. SHE HEARD THE BACK DOOR OPEN AND LOOKED TO SEE MARGARET COME OUT WITH A CUP OF TEA FOR HER.

"THANKS." MISS PARKER REPLIED AS SHE TOOK THE CUP INTO HER HANDS.

"IS EVERYTHING ALRIGHT DEAR?" MARGARET ASKED CONCERNED.

"NOT REALLY." MISS PARKER SAID, KNOWING THAT MARGARET WOULD BE ABLE TO TELL IF SHE LIED. "I JUST FOUND OUT SOME DISTURBING NEWS AT THE CENTRE ABOUT MY MOTHER, MY FAMILY AND MYSELF. THESE THINGS MIGHT ALSO HAVE PUT YOU, ROBERT AND MIKY AT EVEN GREATER RISK."

"I DON'T UNDERSTAND." MARGARET REPLIED.

"I KNOW. I REALLY CAN'T TELL YOU EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW, NOT UNTIL I HAVE ALL OF THE FACTS. BUT WHEN I HAVE THEM ALL I WILL TELL YOU EVERYTHING. JUST BE ON GUARD THE WHOLE TIME."

"I REALLY WISH YOU WOULD LEAVE THAT GOD-FORSAKEN PLACE!" MARGARET SAID WITH A LOOK OF DISGUST AND WORRY ON HER FACE.

"SOMETIMES I WISH I WOULD TOO." MISS PARKER REPLIED. "BUT I HAVE A FEW THINGS TO SETTLE THERE FIRST."

"WELL, I'LL BE GOING TO BED NOW." MARGARET SAID, KNOWING THAT MISS PARKER DIDN'T REALLY LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE CENTRE. "TRY TO GET SOME REST DEAR."

"I WILL. I'LL GO TO BED IN A LITTLE WHILE." MARGARET NODDED AND WALKED INTO THE HOUSE. MISS PARKER LOOKED ROCKED BACK AND FORTH ON THE BENCH LOOKING UP AT THE STARS.

"WHY DON'T YOU JUST LEAVE?" A VOICE SAID FROM THE DARKNESS. MISS PARKER LOOKED IN SURPRISE AT WHO WAS THERE.

"JAROD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" SHE ASKED AS HE MADE HIS WAY TO HER. HE LEANED AGAINST THE RAILING, SHADOWS FROM THE PORCH LIGHT CASTED ON HIS FACE.

"TO WARN YOU." HE SAID HIS VOICE LOW.

"ABOUT?"

"THE CENTRE. THEY KNOW." JAROD REPLIED. MISS PARKER LOOKED AT HIM INQUISITIVELY NOT EXACTLY SURE WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. "ABOUT MIKY."

MISS PARKER UNDERSTOOD RIGHT AWAY. "DAMN IT! HOW DID YOU FIND OUT?"

"MY INFORMANT TOLD ME." JAROD REPLIED. "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?"

"YOU DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW, NO ONE NEEDED TO KNOW." MISS PARKER SAID QUIETLY. BY NOW JAROD WAS SITTING BESIDE HER.

"TELL ME NOW?" HE ASKED IN THE SAME QUIET TONE. MISS PARKER LOOKED AT HIM. SHE SAW THE CONCERN AND QUESTIONS IN HIS EYES. TURNING HER FACE BACK TO HER LAP SHE BEGAN TO SPEAK SOFTLY.

"I WAS ON VACATION WITH SARA ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO IN NEW YORK CITY. THE TWO OF US WENT TO A BAR, I MET A GUY AND WELL ANYWAY A MONTH LATER I FOUND OUT I WAS PREGNANT. I COULDN'T HAVE THE BABY, DADDY WOULD KILL ME, AND I COULDN'T ABORT IT. SO, SARA SAID SHE WOULD CARRY THE BABY FOR ME. WE HAD THE SAME BLOOD TYPE AND EVERYTHING. IT WASN'T THAT HARD. PLUS SHE MADE A BETTER MOTHER. THE REST OF THE STORY IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW."

MISS PARKER STOPPED SPEAKING AND A SILENCE FELL BETWEEN THEM. JAROD LIGHTLY PLACED HIS HAND ON HERS AND HELD IT.

"SO, HE'S YOURS." JAROD REPLIED. MISS PARKER NODDED.

"SINCE I FOUND OUT I WAS A PRETENDER, I'VE WORRIED ABOUT HIM. WHAT IF HE'S ONE TOO? HE HAS THE BLOOD TYPE." MISS PARKER CONFIDED.

"I WOULDN'T BE TO SURPRISED IF HE WERE." JAROD REPLIED. "IF YOU WANT I COULD TAKE A BLOOD SAMPLE AND FIND OUT."

MISS PARKER NODDED. "IF THE CENTRE KNOWS, DO YOU THINK THEY WILL TAKE HIM?"

"YES, I THINK THEY ARE ALREADY PLANNING IT. I SAW A CENTRE CAR PARKED DOWN THE STREET."

"GREAT! DID THEY SEE YOU?" SHE DEMANDED. "WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO NOW?"

"I SUGGEST YOU GET MIKY, MARGARET AND ROBERT OUT OF HERE AS SOON AS YOU CAN. AND NO THEY DIDN'T SEE ME." JAROD REPLIED.

"HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO GET THEM OUT OF HERE WITH OUT THE SWEEPERS SEEING US?" SHE ASKED.

"I HAVE AN IDEA." JAROD SAID, A SMALL COCKY SMILE ON HIS FACE.

"I'M SURE YOU DO, WONDER BOY." MISS PARKER REPLIED IN AN ANNOYED TONE. "WOULD YOU CARE TO ENLIGHTEN ME?"

"EVER BEEN TO SWITZERLAND?"

"WHAT?!"

"SWITZERLAND, YOU KNOW THE COUNTRY IN EUROPE. HAVE YOU BEEN THERE?" JAROD ASKED, CAREFULLY EXPLAINING.

"I KNOW WHAT SWITZERLAND IS, BUT YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS! WHY DO I NEED TO GO TO SWITZERLAND?" MISS PARKER DEMANDED.

"BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY PLACE WHERE YOU AND THE OTHERS WILL BE SAFE FROM THE CENTRE." JAROD REPLIED SERIOUSLY.

"I CAN'T LEAVE THE CENTRE!" MISS PARKER SAID, HER VOICE A BIT DEJECTED.

"WHY NOT?"

"I NEED TO FIND OUT A FEW ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS!" SHE REPLIED. "LIKE WHO YOUR FATHER WAS."

"YOU CAN'T REALLY BELIEVE WHAT FENIGOR TOLD YOU?" JAROD ASKED DISBELIEVING.

"HE HAD NO REASON TO LIE."

"WELL, I CAN ALWAYS GIVE YOU ANY INFORMATION I FIND OUT. YOU PRETTY MUCH GOT EVERYTHING FROM ME ANYWAY." JAROD RETORTED.

"WHAT ABOUT SYDNEY AND BROOTS? THE MOMENT I LEAVE THOSE TWO WILL BE GONERS." MISS PARKER SAID TRYING TO AVOID A FIGHT WITH JAROD.

"THEY COULD ALWAYS COME TOO!" JAROD REPLIED. "I'M SURE DEBBIE WOULD LOVE TO GO TO SWITZERLAND."

MISS PARKER JUST SAT AND THOUGHT ABOUT IT FOR A WHILE. "WHAT WOULD STOP THEM FROM FOLLOWING US?"

"THEY WOULDN'T KNOW WHERE TO FIND YOU."

"THEY HAVE EYES EVERYWHERE JAROD." MISS PARKER SAID. "DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT JUST GET THE CHILDREN FROM HERE? THEY GET THEM FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD."

"THEY WON'T GET MIKY." JAROD SAID SERIOUSLY AS HE TURNED HER FACE TOWARDS HIM. MISS PARKER STARED AT HIM, A SMALL SMILE FORMED ON HER LIPS.

"NO THEY WON'T, NOT IF I CAN HELP IT."

* * * * *

"THOSE PEOPLE CAN GO TO HELL!" MARGARET EXCLAIMED AS SHE FINISHED LISTENING TO MISS PARKER AND JAROD EXPLAIN THE SUDDEN NEED TO MOVE. "MAKING US LEAVE THE COUNTRY LIKE WE WERE CRIMINALS!"

"WE ARE NOT LEAVING THIS COUNTRY LIKE CRIMINALS." MISS PARKER REPLIED HOPING SHE CALM THE OLDER WOMAN DOWN.

"OH, SO LEAVING THE COUNTRY UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME AND MAKING IT APPEAR THAT WE ALL DIED, IS NOT LEAVING THE COUNTRY LIKE CRIMINALS?" MARGARET DEMANDED.

"WELL, OKAY, SO MAYBE IT'S A LITTLE LIKE LEAVING THE COUNTRY LIKE CRIMINALS." MISS PARKER RELENTED. ROBERT JUST STOOD IN THE CORNER EXCHANGING AN APOLOGETIC LOOK WITH JAROD. JAROD JUST NODDED BACK IN UNDERSTANDING.

"IF WE ARE TO DO THIS, WE NEED TO DO IT SOON." JAROD SAID. "I'LL STAY HERE TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING GOES SMOOTHLY AND YOU'LL GO BACK TO THE CENTRE AND FINISH THINGS THERE."

MISS PARKER NODDED. SHE WAS ABOUT TO SAY SOMETHING WHEN SHE HEARD MIKY ENTER THE ROOM. "MORNING SUNSHINE."

"MORNING MOMMY!" HE REPLIED AS HE CAME OVER TO HER RUBBING HIS EYES. MISS PARKER SMILED AS HE CLIMBED UP ON HER LAP. "WHY IS EVERYONE UP SO EARLY?"

"IT'S 10 O'CLOCK I WOULDN'T CALL IT EARLY." MISS PARKER SAID. "STILL TIRED?"

"UMM-HMM." THE LITTLE BOY REPLIED AS HE LOOKED AROUND THE ROOM. "JAROD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" HE EXCLAIMED WHEN HE FINALLY NOTICED THE TALL MAN.

"HELLO, MIKY. I CAME TO HELP YOUR MOM WITH A FEW THINGS." JAROD REPLIED.

"OH, COOL." HE SAID, FOLLOWED BY A SMALL YAWN. "WHAT ARE YOU HELPING HER WITH?"

"MIKY, SWEETIE, YOU AND NANA AND PAPPY, ARE GOING TO BE MOVING." MISS PARKER SAID.

"WHY?"

"WELL, THERE ARE SOME VERY BAD PEOPLE AFTER YOU AND THE THREE OF YOU NEED TO MOVE SOMEPLACE DIFFERENT SO THEY WON'T CATCH YOU." MISS PARKER EXPLAINED.

"ARE THEY AFTER YOU TOO?" MIKY ASKED SUDDENLY VERY WORRIED. HE SAT UP RIGHT; HE WAS MORE WORRIED ABOUT HIS MOM THAN ABOUT HIMSELF.

"UMM, NO. THEY'RE NOT." MISS PARKER REPLIED. "LOOK HONEY, JAROD WILL HELP THE THREE OF YOU MOVE AND ONCE YOU GET THERE I WILL JOIN YOU TOO."

"ARE YOU GOING TO STAY WITH US FOREVER OR ARE YOU GOING TO JUST VISIT?" MIKY ASKED.

"THIS TIME I WILL STAY FOREVER." MISS PARKER SAID WITH A SMILE. MIKY PRACTICALLY JUMPED OFF HER LAP.

"WELL, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR LETS GO!" EVERYONE IN THE ROOM SMILED AND LAUGHED.

"I THINK HE'S RIGHT." ROBERT REPLIED. "WE BETTER GET A MOVE ON."

MARGARET AND ROBERT WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM TO START PACKING. MIKY CAME OVER AND GAVE MISS PARKER A HUG.

"YOU HAVE TO GO NOW DON'T YOU?" HE ASKED SAD.

"YES, BUT I WILL SEE YOU SOON." SHE REPLIED. HE GAVE HER ANOTHER HUG AND A KISS ON THE CHEEK.

"COME ON, I'LL HELP YOU PACK." JAROD SAID. MIKY NODDED AND MADE HIS WAY UP TO HIS ROOM. MISS PARKER PUT OUT HER HAND TO STOP JAROD FOR A MOMENT.

"TAKE CARE OF THEM, ESPECIALLY HIM." SHE SAID QUIETLY. JAROD LOOKED AT HER TAKING HER HANDS INTO HIS.

"I WILL, I PROMISE." HE REPLIED. SHE SMILED BACK AT HIM. HE GAVE HER A KISS ON THE FOREHEAD. "YOU BETTER GET GOING TOO."

SHE NODDED AS SHE WATCHED HIM FOLLOW MIKY UP THE STAIRS. "MAYBE WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER, WE CAN HAVE THAT FAMILY." SHE THOUGHT, A SMALL WISTFUL SMILE ON HER FACE.

* * * * *

JAROD HELD MIKY AS THEY MADE THEIR WAY TO THE GATE IN THE AIRPORT. MARGARET AND ROBERT WERE IN FRONT OF THEM. THEY PLACED THEIR STUFF DOWN BY THE EMPTY CHAIRS AND TOOK A SEAT.

"ARE YOU ALRIGHT?" JAROD ASKED MARGARET, WHO LOOKED EXTREMELY WORRIED.

"JUST NERVOUS, BUT I WILL FEEL A LOT SAFER ONCE WE ARE ON THAT PLANE." MARGARET CONFIDED. ROBERT TOOK ONE OF HER HANDS INTO HIS REASSURINGLY.

"WE ALL WILL." JAROD REPLIED. MIKY WAS SITTING ON THE CHAIR BESIDE JAROD'S, HIS SMALL HAND HOLDING THE MAN'S HAND.

"DO YOU THINK MOMMY IS ALRIGHT?" HE ASKED JAROD.

"I'M SURE SHE'S FINE." JAROD SAID REASSURINGLY. MIKY SMILED BACK.

"YEAH, SHE PROBABLY IS DO YOU THINK WE CAN GET SOME ICE CREAM BEFORE WE GET ON THE PLANE?" MIKY ASKED. MARGARET WAS SHAKING HER HEAD NO, BUT JAROD SAID SURE.

"COME ON WHY DON'T YOU COME WITH ME." JAROD SAID HOLDING HIS ARMS OUT TO THE LITTLE BOY. MIKY HOPPED INTO THEM AS JAROD PUT HIM ON HIS SHOULDERS. THEY WALKED THROUGH THE TERMINAL TOWARDS THE ICE CREAM SHOP. "WHAT DO YOU WANT?"

"CHOCOLATE! WITH LOTS OF SPRINKLES AND GUMMY BEARS AND M&M'S!" MIKY EXCLAIMED ENTHUSIASTICALLY.

"OKAY! I THINK I WILL GET SOME OF THAT TOO!" JAROD REPLIED, HIS MOUTH WATERING AT THE PROSPECT OF CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM. "BUT I THINK WE BETTER MAKE IT ONE SCOOP OR MARGARET IS GOING TO GET UPSET."

"OKAY!" MIKY REPLIED. WHEN JAROD PAID FOR THE ICE CREAM, THE TWO GUYS WALKED BACK TO THEIR SEATS VERY HAPPILY.

"OPPS!" MIKY SAID AS HE SPILLED SOME ICE CREAM ON HIS PANTS.

"IT'S ALRIGHT! I'VE DONE IT BEFORE TOO." JAROD REPLIED. "COME ON HERE'S THE BATHROOM."

MIKY FOLLOWED JAROD INTO THE EMPTY RESTROOM. MIKY SAT ON THE COUNTER TOP AS JAROD WET A PAPER TOWEL. AS JAROD WAS TALKING, MIKY SAW TWO MEN COME IN. ONE HAD SNOW WHITE HAIR AND THE OTHER WAS A TALL BLACK MAN. MIKY QUICKLY LET OUT A YELP AS HE SAW ONE TRY TO HIT JAROD.

JAROD QUICKLY BLOCKED GAR'S ARM AND KICKED HIM IN THE STOMACH. JAROD TURNED AROUND TO GRAB MIKY, BUT WAS MET WITH A PUNCH IN HIS FACE FROM WILLIE. BEFORE HE COULD DO ANYTHING HE FELT A SHARP PRICK IN HIS LEG WHERE GAR HAD STABBED HIM WITH A NEEDLE. SOON HIS MIND CLOUDED AS HE CALLED OUT TO MIKY. THE LAST THING HE SAW WAS MIKY BEING TAKEN AWAY BY WILLIE AND GAR. MIKY'S SCREAMS WERE MUFFLED AS HE WAS BROUGHT OUT INTO THE AIRPORT.

* * * * *

MISS PARKER STORMED INTO HER HOUSE FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY. FOLLOWING BEHIND HER WAS SYDNEY. SHE HAD GOTTEN A CALL FROM JAROD ABOUT MIKY AT HER OFFICE. SYDNEY NOTICED THAT SOMETHING WAS WRONG AND FOLLOWED HER HOME.

"MISS PARKER? COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON?" HE DEMANDED.

"SYDNEY, I DAMN IT SYDNEY! WE WERE SO CLOSE, SO DAMN CLOSE!" SHE YELLED. HE LOOKED AT HER CONFUSED. SOMEHOW HE KNEW THAT SHE WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT CATCHING JAROD. SYDNEY SAT DOWN BESIDE HER ON THE COUCH AND WAITED PATIENTLY FOR HER TO BEGIN TALKING.

"SYDNEY I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TELL YOU THIS OR EVEN WHERE TO START." MISS PARKER SAID QUIETLY.

"THE BEGINNING IS ALWAYS THE BEST PLACE TO START PARKER." SYDNEY REPLIED. MISS PARKER PUT HER CHIN ON HER HANDS AND STARED OUT IN FRONT OF HER.

"I HAVE A SON SYD. A POSSIBLE PRETENDER IF JAROD'S TEST RESULTS WERE RIGHT." SYDNEY LOOKED AT HER IN SHOCK BUT DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING AS SHE CONTINUED. "REMEMBER ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO I WENT TO NEW YORK CITY WITH A FRIEND OF MINE?"

SYDNEY NODDED. "I REMEMBER YOU CAME BACK PRETTY HAPPY."

"I WAS, BUT ABOUT A MONTH LATER I FOUND OUT I WAS PREGNANT. SYDNEY I COULDN'T HAVE THE BABY, DADDY WOULD OF" MISS PARKER EXPLAINED. SYDNEY LISTENED WITH PATIENCE AS SHE TOLD HIM ABOUT SARA'S DEATH AND OF MARGARET AND ROBERT. ALSO ABOUT HOW JAROD FOUND OUT ABOUT MIKY. HOW THEY WERE ALL GOING TO LEAVE, HOW SHE WAS GOING TO FIND SOME WAY TO BRING HIM, BROOTS AND DEBBIE ALONG TOO. AS SHE TOLD SYDNEY THE STORY, MISS PARKER GOT UP AND OPENED THE BACK OF HER MOTHER'S PICTURE FRAME. INSIDE SHE PULLED OUT A PHOTO OF HER, MIKY AND JAROD, THE ONE THAT WAS TAKEN ON THE CRUISE. SHE HANDED IT TO SYDNEY. MISS PARKER STOPPED TALKING IN SURPRISE AS SHE SAW TEARS FALL FROM SYDNEY'S EYES.

"WHAT'S WRONG?" SHE ASKED PLACING HER HANDS ON HIS.

"NOTHING, I JUST I'VE ALWAYS HOPED THAT SOMEHOW YOU AND JAROD WOULD BE ABLE TO BE TOGETHER, TO HAVE A FAMILY. LOOKING AT THIS I SEE YOU HAVE FOUND IT." SYDNEY REPLIED CAREFULLY HOLDING THE PICTURE.

"WE MAY HAVE FOUND IT, BUT IT IS STILL SOMETHING THAT QUITE UNREACHABLE. SYD THEY TOOK HIM. THEY TOOK MY SON! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET HIM OUT? THEY KNOW THAT I'M HIS MOTHER, THEY WON'T LET ME NEAR HIM AT ALL." MISS PARKER SAID CLOSE TO TEARS.

"WE WILL FIND SOME WAY TO GET OUT PARKER. I PROMISE." SYDNEY REPLIED AS HE PLACED A COMFORTING HAND ON HER SHOULDER. THAT GENTLE GESTURE MADE HER CONTROL BREAK. SHE STARTED TO SOB AS THE THOUGHT OF WHAT THE CENTRE WOULD DO TO HER CHILD TORE THROUGH HER MIND. SYDNEY WRAPPED HIS ARMS AROUND HER AND LET HER CRY. SOON THE SOBS SUBSIDED AND WHEN SHE SAT BACK UP, SYDNEY SAW THAT HER SORROW HAD TURNED TO PURE RAGE.

"I WON'T LET THEM HAVE MY FREEDOM AND ESPECIALLY NOT MY SON!" MISS PARKER SAID DETERMINEDLY. SYDNEY SMILED, HE ALMOST FELT A BIT SORRY FOR THE CENTRE, ALMOST. THEY DESERVED WHAT EVER WAS COMING TO THEM. FROM THE LOOK ON MISS PARKER'S FACE HE KNEW THEY WOULD BE FACING SOMETHING THAT WAS WORSE THAN HELL.
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