1. Jarod's Message by Courtneyhawk
2. What ever happened to Miss Parker? by Courtneyhawk
3. HELLO? Earth to Ethan! by Courtneyhawk
4. Tenderness by Courtneyhawk
5. A Scream! by Courtneyhawk
6. The Pretender Gene by Courtneyhawk
7. The Ride by Courtneyhawk
8. Pieces by Courtneyhawk
9. Escape by Courtneyhawk
10. Star Light by Courtneyhawk
‘Sister, Sister!’ The voice was softly whispering in his ear.
“Mom, mom?” Ethan lifted up his head from the dirty pillow and let out a sigh. He had been staying in this hotel for over a week now trying to remain low. The Centre had a team on him now full time and he was aware that last week they nearly found him.
He reached his computer turning it on and noticed the flashing mail logo. He clicked on the icon running a hand in his hair.
“Hello!” Jarod’s bright face appeared on the screen. “If your receiving this then all hell is about to break loose.”
Ethan glanced at the time stamp and noticed it was sent last night.‘Sister, sister, sister!’ The inner voice called out yet again.
“No doubt your already under attack, but what you didn’t know is Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney are also facing the same problem. I suspect a new team of sweepers are hunting you as well.”
Ethan closed his eyes recalling the rather hard looking characters that ran him down the streets of Dallas. “Yeah.”
“All I can say is the Centre is facing an attack from the inside. We should meet and soon. I need you to try and find Parker.” Jarod’s eyes were filled with worry and fear. “While I try to find Sydney.”
Ethan glanced around the small room trying to think on were to start.
“Parker is sometimes a creature of habit. Ethan these new sweepers aren’t out to capture us. They are out to KILL us. Make sure that you find safety for anyone that your connected to as well.”
Ethan smiled remembering Natasha’s face. A few months ago he had enjoyed his first serious relationship. The woman’s soft touch on his bare chest, and the feel of her bare back haunted his mind.
“I’ll contact you soon.” Jarod’s face disappeared and Ethan noticed a strange attachment.
The numbers of course was some kind of code and Ethan glanced over the placement.‘Sister, sister, sister!’ The inner voice was now in a panic.
“I know.” Ethan let out a sigh rubbing his temples as he was able to figure out what Jarod was trying to tell him. Parker was a creature of habit, and that means she would attack. He pulled out a notepad writing the numbers down quickly.‘July, July’
Ethan closed his eyes while packing up his belongings. July? That was seven months away! What did Miss Parker have to do with July?
“Checking out, Mister Roberts?” The old man smiled as Ethan put down a few hundred dollars.
“Yes, and thank you.”
“Did the fishing trip go well?”
“Well enough, and could you leave this if anyone asks about me?” Ethan put a gold notebook in the man’s hands.
“Sure thing it’s the least I can do for someone that saved my business! You take care of yourself, and come back anytime!”
Ethan sat down on the bike and secured his two bags. He loved the feel of a Harley while traveling. The bike had a strange habit of drowning out his inner voices. The bike was his escape into his ‘Pretender’ side.‘July….July….. July…..’ The voice faded as Ethan started the bike.
The road made him feel empowered as his body leaned into the bike. He knew were Miss Parker would go. He was sure that she would have taken Broots, Sam and maybe even Sydney into hiding with her. An image flashed across his mind and Ethan let out a gasp as the inner voice came across loudly.‘We can’t escape our feeling forever, Parker.’ Jarod’s lips moved in closer towards Parker’s.
‘I don’t need you to tell me what I should do!’ Parker reached out pulling Jarod into a heated kiss. Ethan felt his heart twist watching his half-brother and half-sister in the passionate embrace.
Ethan blinked as he did his best to focus on the road. His inner sense was demanding his attention. Ethan turned his head towards a road sign. Natasha’s home was over one hundred miles away. He could kill two birds with one stone. “Nat.” He mumbled quietly as the bike drowned out his own voice.
“This is a huge gamble. He’s already escape twice.” Lyle rolled his eyes playing with his pen. “It’s bad enough Parker has made a run for it.”
“Sydney, Broots and the girl will just slow her down.” Raines glanced out the window. “I’m worried about Jarod and Ethan.”
“I wouldn’t underestimate him.” Raines turned around letting out a cough. “That’s the problem we have with Jarod.”
“Well we know the problem with Jarod! Miss Parker was in LOVE with him!”
“You idiot that’s the reason Parker was able to keep one step behind Jarod.” Raines narrowed his eyes. “That’s the problem we have with Ethan. The team you have out hunting him have only managed three close calls.”
“Ethan won’t escape again. This time we will have them all.”
Ethan stood in the doorway and let out a sigh. He had left Natasha a short note when he was force to disappear months ago. He knocked and waited.
She had blonde hair that went past her shoulders, and her body was that of a Greek goddess. Ethan had been shy when asking for her number, and even more shy during their first encounter. “Ethan?” Her green eyes became huge as she glanced into his.
“Hello, Nat.” Ethan waited and felt the cold slap of her hand across his face. He moved quickly sticking his foot in the door before she could shut it. “Nat, we have to talk!”
“I’ve got nothing to say!” She hissed but Ethan managed to work his way in the door.
He smiled noticing she was trembling. “I’ve missed you.”
“Go to hell!” She gasped as Ethan pulled her into his arms.
“I’m sorry for leaving you.”
Nat wiggled and felt his lips on her neck giving into her own desires. “Jerk, you left me a note saying people were after you. Are you in trouble with the law?”
“No, it’s hard to explain.”
“Do your best.” Nat now kissed him back but Ethan pulled himself from her arms smiling.
“You need to come with me. I have a place we will both be safe.”
“Is that an order?” Natasha placed her hands on her hips waiting.
“Please?” Ethan knelt and Nat let out a soft laugh. “Please come?”
“Go gather your things! I’ll drop you off.” Ethan put back on his sunglasses and Nat turned around letting out a groan.
“What do you mean… You’ll drop me off? Your not staying?”
“I have to find someone.” Ethan blushed noticing her disappointed face.
“Who?” Nat answered back slightly annoyed.
She let out a soft sigh running a hand in her hair. “Bite me.” She glanced towards a laughing man. “I look awful.” She lifted up the mirror glancing at the blonde locks.
Sam couldn’t hide his smile nor his soft chuckles. “You look fine.”
“I should have stuck with Broots and Syd.” She tossed the mirror inside the bag glancing up at the clock. “Let’s get going before they find us again.”
“Do you think the Centre really wants us all dead?”
Parker glanced down at her small belly. “Not all of us. Remind me to lash the lab rat if I get a chance to see him again.”
“Yes, Miss Parker.” Sam smiled reaching out for their bags.
“Are you going to tell me what’s going on, Ethan?” Nat hit his back playfully as Ethan shifted on the bike. “Well?”
“Once we are safe.” He started the bike and let out a sigh. He was aware of the soft curves now pressing against his back. Ethan closed his eyes for only a moment, but quickly opened them aware of the road ahead.
Natasha’s fingers slipped under his blue t-shirt and played with his bare chest. She let out a giggle nibbling his neck. Her long night mare was over. He was here! He came back to her!‘Are you aware that this will cause us problems?’ Jarod’s voice rang out in Ethan’s mind as another vision flashed before him. Jarod holding Miss Parker against his bare chest.
Parker glanced into his eyes. ‘Your saying this NOW?’ She smirked as Jarod reached out touching her cheek.
“ETHAN?” Natasha’s fingers pinched him as Ethan noticed he was coming close to a running off the road. “My GOD are you alright?”
Ethan slowed the bike down and let out a sigh parking it at the side of the road. “Hold on a moment.” He closed his eyes trying to force his demanding inner sense to remain quiet.
“Ethan?” Natasha touched his cheek, and Ethan felt his insides shake.‘Park, lets go to the park sweetie!’ Catherine Parker’s voice rang out in his mind.
‘Parker’s a creature of habit.’ The vision of Jarod on the computer screen flashed before him.
“I’m okay.” He opened his eyes and smiled. “We can go on now.”
“Wait a moment.” Natasha reached out. “For a moment you were there and the next we almost ran off the road. Ethan what’s going on?”
“Do you trust me?” He took her hand kissing the palm.
“You know I do.”
“Then it will have to wait until we are safe.” Ethan jumped back on his bike. “How far is a State Park from here?”
“A few hundred miles, but I thought you had somewhere else in mind?”
“I did but plans change.” Ethan started up the bike and took off yet again. This time the bike was able to drowned out the inner sense. He couldn’t help but smile wondering what lead Jarod and Parker to spend an evening together. He felt the hours tick by as they remained on the road. The soft pinch of her hands on his chest signaled that she needed to stop. He pulled over at the nearest rest stop and felt his legs ache.
“Don’t you ever stop?” Nat leaned into him.
“I can’t.” He smiled and watched as she hopped off the bike. He watched her enter the restroom and let out a worried sigh.
The soft ring of his cell phone make his whole body jump. “Yes?”
“Ethan!” Parker’s voice was thick and full of worry. “Where in the hell have you been?”
“I’ve been worried about you too.” Ethan let out a chuckle “Where are you?”
“Like I’m going to tell you over a cell phone.” Parker let out a sigh. “Ethan… “
“I know you have a team after you, and I think I know why.”
Parker blushed thankful that Ethan couldn’t see her. “Yeah?”
“Yeah!” Ethan narrowed his eyes glancing at a map. “When did it happen?”
“I have no idea what your talking about.” Parker snickered as Ethan let out another laugh.
“I’ll see you soon.” Ethan hung up the phone as Natasha walked back towards the bike. “Are you alright?” He touched her pale face as she leaned against him.
“To many hours on your bike.”
“I’m afraid we have one more to go.” Ethan moved her in front of him. “Are you going to make it?”
“I just have this pounding in my head. It gets better on your bike for some reason.”‘July, July, July’ The inner voice called out.
“Well let’s get going. My sister is no doubt waiting for us.” Ethan smiled handing her the helmet. He felt the open road started to push back the voices as his mind raced. If Jarod had gotten Miss Parker pregnant what would it mean for the Centre? ‘They no longer need any of us.’
They went onward entering the wooded state park. Ethan was now going with the voices calling the forth in order to find his sister. “Do you know where your going?” Nat’s southern accent always made him shiver with a strange desire.
“Honestly?” He smiled stopping at a stop sign.
“Nope.” He moved onward deeper inside handing one Park Ranger his pass. “Hello, sir.” He flashed his shy smile glancing into the elder man’s face.
“Here for the week?” He glanced at the bike. “Are you staying in one of the cabins?”
‘River, River, River.’
“By the river.” Ethan waited as the Ranger nodded his head and waved him onward. He felt Nat shiver and reached out to hold her tightly.
“Just a few more moments.” Ethan pulled up feeling his skin crawl. “Stay by the bike.” Something was going on here as he noticed the opened door. He walked inside to find one man on the floor.
“Ethan!” Sam leaned up and managed to turn on his back.
“Gone.. Escaped… Find.. Her.” Sam pressed a cell phone into Ethan’s hand letting out a gasping breath.
“Hang on. We will get you fixed up soon.” Ethan touched the man’s forehead.
“No, I’m done. Find Miss Parker.” He pulled Ethan tighter. “She needs you.”
“Ethan?” Natasha walked into the cabin. Ethan glanced up into her eyes. “Is he?”
“Not yet, but stay with him.” Ethan pulled Sam’s pistol out. “Take this.”
“Gun? A gun?” Nat’s eyes grew wide and Ethan reached out with his hands placing her hands on Sam’s wound.
“Keep your hands here.”
“Where are you going?” Natasha glanced up her lower lip trembling. “Will you be coming back?”
Ethan reached out hugging her neck. “I promise. Stay here and try to keep him warm.” Ethan raced into the woods pulling out his own gun and glancing at the tire tracks.
‘River, river, river.’ The inner voice called out and Ethan heard the rushing water from the small river. He raced towards it stopping for a moment using a tree for cover. Three shots ran out and he froze.
“The Centre demands your presence, Miss Parker.” A man smiled grinned reaching out with his hand. “If you’ll just come with me.”
Ethan raised his gun.
‘Fire, Fire, Fire.’
He closed his eyes unsure of his aim and squeezed the trigger. He felt his stomach twist as he watched the sweeper fell to his knees. He closed his eyes again feeling his stomach now twist and emptying itself of it’s contents. He glanced back up into her smiling face.
“It’s about damn time.” Parker smiled helping Ethan.
“Are there more of them?”
“No we are safe for now, but we can’t stay here.” Parker glanced into Ethan’s eyes amused that he was glancing at her swollen belly. “Yeah the lab rat got me good.”
“No! The cookie monster!” Parker held onto him and rush back into the cabin. “Who in the hell is this?” She glanced into the barrel of Sam’s gun.
“Natasha… This is my sister… “ Ethan reached out lowering the woman’s trembling hand.
“How are you feeling?” Parker reached down touching the sweeper’s wound.
“Leave me.” Sam groaned. “You are going to have to!”
“They’ll kill you.” Parker narrowed her eyes.
“I’m already dead.” Sam pushed Parker’s hand away. “You better leave with the kids.” Sam leaned down reaching out and taking the gun from Natasha’s hand. “They’ll be coming any moment!”
“We have to go.” Ethan reached out pulling on both women.
“Ethan we aren’t going to fit on your bike.”
“We’ll take my car.” Parker glanced back towards Sam. “Sam?”
“GO!” He let out a roar as they headed outdoors. Ethan undid his saddle bags grabbing his laptop and spare clothing. He tossed Natasha’s back towards her. “Where’s the car?”
“We need to walk some.” Parker glanced back towards the younger woman. “ I see the lab rat wasn’t the only one who was busy! How far along is she?”
“Along?” Ethan glanced at his sister clueless.
“Never mind. Are you coming Tash?” Parker barked out as Natasha did her best to climb up the small hill.
“The name is.. Natasha!”
Ethan closed his eyes for just a moment trying to reach out with his inner sense. “Parker?” Ethan stopped her, and she let out a gasp. “When did that happen?” He pointed towards her belly.
“I was…..” Parker stood still for just a moment. “This is hardly the time for me to explain it to you.”
“Does she do anything but yell?” Natasha let out a hiss, and Parker turned around.
“Listen…” She opened her mouth and Ethan glared towards his sister.
“Forget it.” Parker turned back around heading up the hill.
“She seems rather cold.” Natasha reached out as Ethan held her hand.
“It’s how she was brought up.”
“Your not that way.” Natasha smiled touching his cheek.
“HELLO? People trying to kill us!” Parker smirked watching the two share a soft tender kiss.
‘Jealous!’ Ethan let out a laugh at his own inner voice’s response to Miss Parker’s soft roar.
Ethan sat down on the floor watching as Miss Parker glazed into the fire. “He’ll be alright.” He reached out with his inner sense trying to search for reassurance but found none.
“Jarod.” Ethan shook his head eyeing her stomach. “What did you mean when you asked about Natasha being ‘far along?’”
“Did the Centre teach you nothing about birth control?” Miss Parker rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Look at me… I have the answer to that question.” She eyed her own stomach.
“Yes, brother dear.” She reached out touching his chin. “Your Natasha is pregnant.”
Ethan opened his mouth and then shut it again. “That’s…”
“Not possible? Funny that’s the same thing Jarod told me when I told him.” Parker rolled her eyes and then shut them tight. “We can’t stay here more than a day. You better go check on ….”
Ethan narrowed his eyes. “Natasha.”
“What ever.” Parker waved a hand sending him towards the other room.
He slowly opened the door to the back bedroom finding her curled up under the covers wearing one of his gray t-shirts. “Nat?” He moved towards her putting a hand on her hip.
“Coming to bed?” She touched his chin. She lifted her body up to blaze a trail of kisses down his neck.
“We should talk, Natasha.” He had spent two months without her soft touch. Her hands grew bold and she wrapped the covers around the two of them. “Natasha.”
“Didn’t you miss me? I’ve missed you!” Her body pressed against his and he let out a soft moan.
She was so young! At first Ethan thought she was twenty, but was later shocked to learn she was only eighteen. He blushed looking down into her eyes. She was his escape. Like his bike! He leaned in closer kissing her lips as she moved to deepen the kiss. He felt his own hand now slide under the gray shirt to feel her silky skin. “Nat?” He stopped feeling the small swell of her belly. Parker had been right! She was pregnant! He quickly pulled away looking into her eyes.‘When Ethan comes here… Go with him.’ Jarod moved in closer. ‘Your life is in danger, and the life of your child.’
Ethan felt the pull of his inner voice and then glanced into her eyes. “When did you see Jarod?”
“My brother?” He felt his lower lip tremble. “When did you see him?”
“You mean Tom?” She blinked touching his chest.
“His real name is Jarod.” Ethan let out a chuckle. He shouldn’t be surprise that Jarod was tracing his footsteps.
“He showed up a few days before you did.”
Ethan let out a sigh rolling onto his back carrying her with him. “How did he look?”
“Tired! I thought he was crazy, but he knew your name. He even gave me your picture. You never allowed me to take our picture when we were together. Isn’t it time you tell me what is going on?”
“Tell me about the baby.” Ethan reached out touching her belly. The Centre could make a fresh start with a new ‘Pretender’ group! Jarod’s child with Parker, and his child with Natasha was all they needed.
“I found out just before he showed up.” Natasha frowned glancing into his eyes. I started to have these weird dreams before Jarod showed up. I sometimes think I’m going crazy. I hear a voice.”
Ethan closed his eyes for just a moment.
“Ethan, is something wrong with me?” She shivered in his arms. “Am I going crazy?”
“It’s the baby.” He smiled doing his best to reassure her. “Your not going crazy.”
She lifted her head up glancing into his dark eyes. “How can you be so sure?”
“You know those times I….”
“You end up day dreaming?” Natasha smiled watching as Ethan nodded.
“The voices…my inner sense is demanding attention.” He touched her chin and reached out with his lips doing his best to smooth her worry. “Sometimes it warns me of danger, and other times it tells me other things…”
“Like?” She giggled as Ethan’s lips went even lower.
Ethan’s face broke out into a huge smile as he lifted up the shirt. “It’s hard to explain, but…. “ He lowered his lips causing her to let out a small yelp of pleasure. “When to shut up for starters.” Ethan laughed as his lips trailed downward.
“Jarod has four sweeper teams on him.” Lyle shook his head. “It shouldn’t be long now.”
“Your earlier team failed to find Parker!” Raines let out a groan. “We lost three men in that exchange.”
“Well it would have helped if you…” Lyle let out a hiss as Raines quieted him.
“I don’t want to hear it. What’s worse is the girl has now disappeared. She wasn’t suppose to be a target yet.”
“One of the teams reported that Jarod was seen with the girl.” Lyle shook his head. “One of YOUR teams.”
“We don’t want to miss this chance. If Jarod and Ethan manage to team up… We could loose them all.”
Lyle shook his head watching as the old man glanced outside.
“Jarod!” Ethan woke up covered with sweat. Nastasha’s small hand resting on his chest as she sat up looking into his face. “It’s okay go back to sleep.”
“It’s not okay… Ethan?” She watched as Ethan reached out for a shirt and shorts. “Is it the voices again?”
Ethan stood still for just a moment glancing into her soft eyes. “Yes.”
“Let me help you!” She sat up and Ethan became aware of her bare body under the sheets. She blushed as Ethan’s eyes glazed over. “Alright maybe…”
“You are my one escape from the voices.” He reached out kissing her hands. “Something is wrong… I just need to figure out what. Go back to sleep for me, please?”
Natasha shifted back in bed watching him gather up his laptop. “I love you.”
Ethan stood still and tilted his head towards her. “I love you too, but try and sleep.” He left the room after she settled back down. He wasn’t shocked to see Miss Parker still awake gazing into the fire. She was mourning for her friend in her own way. Sam had been a loyal man. “Parker?”
“I heard it too.” Parker’s eyes never left the flames.
“I’m going to move us to a safer location, but I need you to watch Nat tomorrow.” He sat down next to her. “I’m going to go find Jarod.”
“What if he’s dead?” Miss Parker glanced towards her brother.
“If they find you… They’ll kill you.” Parker reached out touching her brother’s unshaven face. “I don’t think… I can live with that.”
“If they find you and Natasha then… They’ll kill us.”
“You think the Centre has Jarod?” Parker narrowed her eyes. “You think they are doing something awful to him… In order to find us.”
“Do you know where Sydney and Broots are?” Ethan decided it was best to change the subject. “Do you know where?”
“No… I left with Sam.. They left together… Why?”
Ethan reached out with his inner sense as an image flashed before him. “Mexico… I need to get you both to Mexico.”
“The Centre can find us in Mexico.”
“Maybe, but you’ll both will be safe enough for me to go after Jarod.” Ethan reached out turning on his laptop. He let out a deep breath noticing the mail icon.‘Hello!’ Sydney’s face was bright and Ethan could tell the elder man now had a tan. ‘Ethan if you are hearing this then… You must have found Parker.’
“Syd! When did he send this?” Parker leaned in closer.
“A few days ago.”‘Centre teams are now running Jarod down. He’s providing cover so you can reach us here. We won’t be able to help him or you if something should happen. Hurry… reach or location with all due speed.’
“It would help if we KNEW where!” Parker rolled her eyes but noticed her brother’s slow smirk. “Your voices told you?”
“They always do.” Ethan closed the laptop eyeing Parker. “You need some rest.”
“What I need is to strangle Jarod for doing this to me.”
“Is it really that bad?” He smiled reaching out to touch the small swell. “It’s the family you have always craved.”
“Yeah some family.” Miss Parker let out a soft whimper.
“I’ll find him.”
“I know you will, but …”
“But?” He waited as his sister started to let her own tears flow.
“How will either of you escape?” She reached out touching his cheek.
“Don’t worry about me, or Jarod.” The young man’s face broke out into a huge grin. “I would worry about the next six months.”
“Can you hear them?” Ethan closed his eyes.
*Giggle… Giggle… Giggle* The soft giggling of two small children echoed in his mind.
“I think it’s called twins.” Ethan watched as Parker’s eyes grew wide. “They are going to be a handful.”
“Good GOD! I’m going to kill the lab rat.” Parker groaned holding her stomach. “If I ever see him again.”
“You will… I promise.”
‘Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!’ Jarod’s scream echoed in his mind yet again.
A soft hand touched his shoulder as he pressed his face against the cold window of the car. “Ethan? You look pale!” Natasha’s eyes glanced over his body and she reached for his hand.
“I prefer a bike.” He felt out of control as Jarod’s scream started to echo yet again.‘Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo’ Jarod felt his body hit with a whip as Lyle shook his head.
“Is it the voices again?” She moved in to nuzzle his neck.
“I keep on hearing his voice.” Ethan lowered his voice to a whisper. “I think my brother is in serious trouble.” He glanced towards Miss Parker who was doing her best to watch the road.
“Is he going to die?” Natasha lowered her eyes and Ethan shook his head.
“The voices haven’t said yet.”
“You mean they can tell the future? Are the voices the reason these people want you so badly?” She reached out brushing a strand of hair out of his eyes.
“That and I have the ‘pretender’ gene.” Ethan made a face watching as Natasha sat before him with a rather clueless expression. “It’s hard to explain… The gene and the voices make me something different.”
“I think your different in a good way.”
Miss Parker could no longer help herself making gagging noises in the front seat. “Would you two cut it out! I already have an upset stomach, and it was bad enough listening to you two get it on last night.”
Ethan blushed and kissed Natasha’s hand and moved towards Parker. “You both need to rest.”
“I’ll rest when we get to Syd.” Parker snickered as Ethan reached out removing her sunglasses. He frowned noticing the tears streaming down her face. “Not a word!” She hissed taking back her sunglasses.
Ethan felt his mind starting to race. Miss Parker could indeed reach Sydney on her own with Natasha, but his mind started to fill with images of his sister harming the young woman. “Parker.”
“I know what your thinking, and no.. I wouldn’t harm the trollop.”
“Trollop?” Natasha sat up. “I have you know…”
“Ugh! That Southern accent is giving me a headache already!” Parker shook her head. “I still have my gun!”
“Parker.” Ethan narrowed his eyes and touched her shoulder. “She’s carrying my child.”
“You had to remind me. What do you see in her anyway? Doesn’t she have any family back…” Parker stopped herself glancing up in the rear view mirror. “Hey you… where do you call home?”
“Natasha or Nat please!”
“Don’t you have any family back … home?”
“She doesn’t.” Ethan let out a sigh leaning back next to Natasha. “She has me, and now she has you.”
“Great.” The two women let out a snarl and Ethan sighed.
Ethan reached out for his laptop his mind starting to twist and turn thinking about the Centre. “I don’t think they would keep Jarod in the Centre.”
“The Centre?” Natasha glanced over watching Ethan work. “What is that?”
“It’s were I grew up.”
“It’s possible they have some kind of holding area. The Centre does own quite a few buildings all across the country.” Parker turned the car down another road as Ethan typed in a few numbers on his computer.
“What are you doing?” Natasha watched as Ethan used some sort of GPS system.
“They just need my brother alive to find all of us. If they aren’t going to bring him back to the Centre then …”
“They are holding him somewhere else.” Parker finished his train of thought. “I’m going with you.”
“Ermmm… No… I still have no idea where.” Ethan sighed as Parker pulled the car over. He watched as his internet connection came back. “Let’s see what the Centre owns from your house… to here.” Ethan pointed towards the map and started to work his way into the Centre’s computer system.
“Do you have what you need?” Parker was more than just annoyed… She was pissed at Ethan for telling her no.
“Just a moment.”
“Well let me just go outside the car and raise the white flag for the Centre now.” Parker shook her head and Natasha glared at her.
“Take a chill pill, Missy!” Natasha let out a snicker.
Parker opened her mouth but thought better of it. “Well?”
“Okay get going.” Ethan closed his laptop and glanced at his watch. “You two are going to drop me off in a few hours.”
“Why?” Natasha glanced as Ethan flashed a coy smile.
“It’s time I use my ‘pretender’ gene and save my brother.”
Ethan stood by the lake glancing towards Parker and Natasha. He could see the annoyed look on his sister’s face, but inside she was dieing to see Jarod again. “Parker?” He walked up pulling her into a hug.
“Find him.” She leaned back taking her brother’s face in her hands. “Find him, and bring him back to us.”
“I will. Protect Natasha for me and get to Sydney.” Ethan smiled turning his head towards Natasha as Parker walked away from the couple.
“You remember how we meet?” Natasha whimpered as Ethan reached out taking her into his arms. “Do you remember?”Ethan’s mind started to race as an image of two coffins flashed before him. He had read about the ‘accident’ in the paper and was determine to get to the bottom of it. He hadn’t expected Natasha to be the only mourner.
“You saved me.” She touched his cheek. “Please come back to me.”
Ethan’s hand snaked down touching her belly. “Keep yourself safe, and listen to Parker. She might seem harsh but she will protect you.”
“I love you.” She touched her lips against his and pulled away. Ethan watched as the jeep pulled away as he leaned on the dirt bike. He was only taking one of his bags for this rescue mission. He had his laptop, cell phone and only a small amount of clothes. He watched as the jeep soon became a dot and vanished.
‘Pain…Pain…’ The voice echoed as Ethan started the noisy bike.
Lyle lifted up his head. “He’s still not talking and we are STUCK in this hell hole until he does.”
Jarod’s face was covered with blood as Raines reached out with a wet cloth cleaning the pretender’s face. “All we need to do now is wait.”
“They aren’t coming.” Jarod managed to mumble and Lyle reached out hitting him with the back of his hand.
“That’s enough! We can’t kill him yet.” Raines shook his head.
Jarod closed his eyes trying his best to use his mind to escape the pain of his body.
“I wish they would hurry up.”
“Every trap takes time.” Raines let out a soft laugh.
Ethan moved down the road allowing his mind to wander as he started to escape into his past. Natasha had reminded him of that time in her arms when it seemed the Centre would never come looking for him.
“You have never heard of Disney?” Natasha’s mouth opened up watching as Ethan was holding a stuff animal. “They make cartoons! Mickey Mouse? Surely you have heard of Mickey mouse??”
“I never got the chance to watch television.” Ethan blushed handing her the stuff mouse. “What does Mickey Mouse do?”
“Come on!” Natasha took his hand leading him into a huge bedroom. “I would show you in the living room but I broke my dvd player.” She smiled putting a movie inside.
Ethan narrow his eyes and smiled. “It’s rather cute.” He became painfully aware of how close she was.
“Mom and I used to watch these for hours on end.” She let out a sigh and felt her lower lip tremble.
Ethan reached out touching her cheek. “She will always be with you.”
“Have you ever lost someone?”
“I never got the chance to know my mother.” Ethan narrowed his eyes and felt the soft pull of an image of Catherine Parker.
“Did your father ever talk about her?”
Ethan opened his mouth and then shut it again thinking about his odd past. “It’s a rather long story.”
“Your lost then… like me.” Natasha’s eyes started to fill with tears.
Ethan could no longer help himself as his lips brushed against hers. She was so beautiful and so soft. The feel of her lips on his was more than he could bare.
Ethan blinked awake from his day dream as a trucker hit his horn. “WAKE UP! ARE YOU NUTS?”
Ethan pulled the bike off the road trying to regain control. The soft ringing of his cell phone alerted him. “Hello?”
“Son?” The Major’s voice was full of worry. “I have been trying to find you for sometime now.”
“Now is not a good time.” Ethan glanced around at the open road. “Give me a call in an hour. Are you near?”
“Let me call you back in an hour, son.”
Ethan closed his eyes waiting for the Major to call him back. His mind flashed with images of Natasha weeping in his arms.
“What do you mean they were murdered?”
“I can’t prove it yet, but they were.” Ethan narrowed his eyes touching her cheek. “Something is going on here. How well did you know your parents, Natasha?”
“What kind of question is that?” Natasha pulled away from his arms glaring at him. “They WERE MY PARENTS.”
Ethan’s mind raced thinking about the two people that Raines had raise him. “Something is going on here.”
“Your accusing them of all sorts of horrible things!”
“Natasha, sometimes people can do things…” Ethan glanced at his hands.
“Have you done things, Ethan?”
“Yes… I have.”
Ethan blinked as his cell phone rang out and he reached into his pocket. “Hello?”
“Look behind you.” The Major’s voice was strangely cheerful as Ethan turned around to embrace his father. “Hello, son!” He held on to the boy he hardly knew.
“Dad.” Ethan closed his eyes trying to push away the last few years. “It’s good to see you. How is … Steven?” Ethan’s mind raced to remember the name of Jarod’s clone.
“He’s well enough, and Emily sends her greetings as well. We have been worried sick about you! Jarod has done his best to keep in touch, but you son.” The Major let out a sigh. “At least your alive.”
“Jarod’s in serious trouble, and …” He opened his mouth and shut it again recalling Natasha and Miss Parker’s pregnancies. “The Centre no longer has any need for us if they get a hold of something.”
“Let’s worry about finding Jarod first.” He watched as Ethan pulled out his laptop.
“There are three warehouses that the Centre owns.” Ethan pointed them out on the map. “He could be in any of them.”
“The Centre wouldn’t risk loosing Jarod again. They would hold him in a warehouse that is the furthest from any main road.”
“Something that is also away from any law enforcement.” Ethan pointed towards a police station.
“This one here looks to be our best bet.” Ethan watched as his father now reached inside his leather jacket pulling out a gun, and handed it to Ethan.
“I… I don’t like weapons.”
“Son, these people want to kill you.” The Major narrowed his eyes.
‘They wanted you to live.’ Ethan glanced into Natasha’s eyes. ‘They ‘needed’ you to live.’
‘Why?’ Natasha shivered as Ethan shook his head.
Ethan blinked awake and noticed his father waving his hand in front of his face. “Son? Are you alright?”
“The Centre… knew about Natasha.” Ethan felt a piece of the puzzle fitting into place. “It was them.”
“Natasha, is someone I care about. I did a ‘pretend’ like Jarod. Her parents were murdered by someone… I could never figure out who. I failed.” Ethan’s eyes glazed over.
“Son, we need to get moving!” He reached out touching Ethan’s arm. “We will worry about your Natasha later.”
Ethan nodded climbing inside his father’s car.
“Are you going to be able to focus?” The Major yet again handed him a weapon, but this time it was some sort of dart gun. Ethan glanced at it and smirked. “It’s non lethal.”
“I’ll do my best to keep my inner sense under control.” Ethan of course was lying only three things helped control his voices. The first was a bike, second loud music, and third had been Natasha.
“We should have moved in on the girl.” Raines shook his head as Lyle watched Jarod swing by his ankles. “She was ready to be summoned.”
“That girl was my father’s last project.” Lyle rolled his eyes. “It’s a pity we can’t wave her true identity in Sydney’s face. I would have enjoyed making him suffer before killing him.”
“Lyle.” Raines rolled his eyes.
“We could have told Ethan something really wicked… This is your sister.”
“The boy would have known that wasn’t true. See that the guard is doubled.” Raines glanced towards another sweeper who nodded.
“Parker wouldn’t dare come here.”
“I’m not worried about Parker.” Raines moved in closer slapping Jarod awake. “Time for you to answer some questions, Jarod?”
“Two plus two is twenty-two.” Jarod mumbled and managed to open up his eyes. “Why don’t you go ahead and kill me?”
“We can’t until we have Miss Parker back.” Lyle pulled back on his leather gloves. “Until that time we have to keep you alive.”
“Mores the pity.” Raines shook his head as Lyle splashed Jarod with more cold water. “Make sure he’s still alive when your done.” Raines walked outside.
Ethan shivered looking at his old tormentor. “He’s expecting someone.” they had walked the last mile to reached the warehouse.
“I see ten men on the other side of the building.”
“A lot of men for just Jarod.” Ethan smiled and glanced towards her father.
“It’s still not enough.”
(Thanks to feedback I added this chapter! I know it's rather small *Lashes the part of her that jumps around to much)
The wisp of lights rocket outside as Lyle let out a groan. “Great” He glanced outside seeing fireworks light up the night sky. “This isn’t Parker’s style!”
“It’s not.” Raines shook his head. “Search the area, and try to stay together.” He glanced towards a sweeper who nodded quietly.
Ethan felt his whole body twitch and quiver as he moved from brush to behind a car. He only had a few moments to get to the drainage pipes. “Dad?” He turned his head seeing the Major take off into the night.‘Fate, Fear, Frenzy!” His inner voice called out as another series of fire works when off into the distance.
Ethan dived under a car as another sweeper team ran up towards the hill. It wouldn’t be long now before they realized no one was there.
The Major reached the pipes and nodded towards Ethan who rushed towards a vent. They both went to work tossing something inside. “Are these going to work?”
“I really don’t know.” Ethan blushed waving him onward. “Ten seconds.” Ethan gazed up and noticed the sweepers all fall to the ground that were near the firework launcher.
The Major felt his old training enter his body as a man ran out and he was able to grab him. Ethan reached out hitting the man to the ground. “I thought you hate violence?’ he glanced at his son with a questioning face.
“Yes.” Ethan blushed moving into the building. “We have only an hour to get out of here before everyone starts to wake up.”
“I don’t like the idea of leaving you behind.”
Ethan glanced up seeing Jarod hanging by his legs. ‘I don’t think you have any choice.”
“You old fool.” Lyle let out a grumble eyeing Raines. “What are you doing?” He noticed the doctor standing over a computer working to delete several files.
“Handling a problem.” Raines smiled and titled his head towards Jarod’s holding area. “Now go handle ours.”
Jarod felt his arms swinging free as someone else was pulling his legs. The rush of blood at last entered his legs as he was turned right side up. “Ethan?” He stumbled into the young man’s arms.
“Jarod.” Ethan let out a gasp his hand reaching out feeling a deep wound in his brother’s side. Ethan did his best to fight the visions of what they had done to Jarod during their line of questioning.
“We have to hurry.” The Major pulled on his son’s arm as laughter filled the room. They had planned it out so carefully. The use of sleeping gas and tear gas to attack the warehouse.
“Well, well, well baby brother does have a spine after all.” Lyle came forward with pistol in hand. “I have to admit.. I expected Parker to show up, and not you.”
“Lyle.” Ethan moved forward waving his father onward.
“You have a choice tell me where Parker and Natasha are… or… You can end up with mommy dear.”
‘Surprise!’ Ethan’s inner voice called out.
Ethan flashed a coy smile shaking his head. He watched as Doctor Raines opened fire on Lyle. It was shocking to see his old captor put a bullet in his brother’s brain. He felt the splash of something sticky hit his face as Lyle’s bloody sank to the floor.
“Ethan.” Raines moved forward slowly.
“I want answers.”
“I want the children.” Raines’s voice was soft and his breathing came in short gasps.
“Why did you shoot Lyle then?”
“The Centre no longer has any use for him… or you.” Raines raised up his gun eyeing Ethan. “Where are they?”
“Who is Natasha?”
“She is the daughter of a Centre has-been and one of the failed red protect files.” Raines let out a chuckle. “Good luck figuring out who.” Raines pulled back on the trigger and Ethan closed his eyes expecting the end.
Ethan opened his eyes to find them both still standing there and Raines eyeing his weapon with dismay. “Goodbye Doctor Raines.” He turned around slowly as Raines started barking out orders.
“Don’t let them get away! Wake up you fools!” Raines kicked the sleeping sweeper.
Jarod let out a cough trying to shake off the effects of his ordeal. “Dad?” He gazed into the Major’s smiling face. “Is it really you?”
“It’s nice to see you again to son.”
“Ethan?” Jarod pulled away and glanced out towards the warehouse. “My God he’s still in there!”
“He’ll make it.” The Major reached out pulling Jarod into the car. “Come on son! We have to get going.” He pulled the weaken Jarod into the jeep and let out a quiet prayer for Ethan’s safety.
Ethan dodged one sweeper and punched another. He needed to buy his father enough time to get away. Ethan reached inside his pocket pulling out the dart gun his father had given him.
“Which way?” A man’s voice called out as Ethan lowered himself into a ditch.
“It’s so bloody dark! North I think!”
Ethan felt his heart race as the group of men ran past him. He found himself gazing into the stars wondering if Parker and Natasha had found safety.‘That’s the northern star! Where ever you are it will lead you home.’ Natasha’s voice was tender as she kissed his neck.
‘That’s an old wise tale… something about sailors lost at sea?’ Ethan turned his head to kiss her deeply. ‘I’m hardly a sailor, Nat.’
‘It will lead you home.’ Her eyes reflected a strange inner light. ‘I know it will.’
Ethan shook his head trying to force his inner sense back. His eyes glanced back towards the star.
“He’s around here somewhere.” Raines’s raspy voice made Ethan shiver. “Find him and bring him to me!”
Ethan was thankful for the small about of tactical training he had received during his brief time pretending to be an Army Ranger. He now walked along the road watching as the sunrise came upon him. He was near a police station so he didn’t fear the Centre trying to grab him.
“You look lost, mister!” A kid walked up offering him a paper. “Want to buy a paper?”
“No thanks.” Ethan smiled. “I could use a bike.”
“Like a bicycle?” The little boy tilted his head and Ethan managed a soft laugh.
“A motor bike.”
“Why do you need one of them?” The boy took the dollar Ethan was waving. “There is a shop down the road.”