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Authors Note: This is my first fanfic series for Pretender and I just thought I would let you know. This is the Mask series, but this particular story is called Deal. There are four other stories in this series.
1 - Deal
By Apollo’s Girl
Jarod walked into the alleyway and stepped inside to the bar. His figure was domineering in the black trench coat that covered his dark suit, his face with unshaven stubble and his eyes dark with a knowing. The bar was filled with smoke and the smell of alcohol. He walked up to the bar and sat down.
„What’ll it be?" The bartender asked.
„Vodka on the rocks."
„Heavy stuff." A man said as he sat down next to Jarod.
„That’s the way I like it." Jarod replied looking at the man.
„You Jarod Pela?"
„Depends on who’s asking."
„Tony de Costa."
„Yeah, I’m Jarod." Jarod replied as he took a swig of his drink.
„You got a good record, tell me how did you get into the business?" Tony asked as he ordered a drink.
„Needed some money when I was 18." Jarod said. „So I broke into the bank and got some. Beat getting a job."
Tony laughed and slapped Jarod on the back. „Sounds like my kind of man. I’m sure the boys will like you. So welcome to the family."
Jarod smiled as Tony walked away towards the pool tables. Jarod looked around at the place. It was an old bar, musty and dark. Basically a pool hall for the guys to hang out at to smoke and drink, not his two favorite things, but he really didn’t care. He pulled out a red notebook from his jacket and flipped it open.
„RICO killed in Brooklyn Warehouse for Selling Drugs." The heading read. Jarod read further and read that Anton Malano was in the gang as a RICO, but turned over and started to sell drugs. He was shot in the warehouse one night when he was selling the drugs. Jarod looked at the picture of a smiling young guy. He looked back up to Tony who was shooting a game with another guy. Tony smiled back.
„Was he really selling them?" Jarod quietly said out loud as he smiled back at Tony.
* * * * *
Miss Parker walked into her office and sat down in frustration. She had just gotten back from Cincinnati, where she thought she would catch Jarod, but she missed him again. She lighted her cigarette and deeply exhaled in the nicotine. She blew out three rings of smoke when the telephone rang.
„Oh this better be good." She thought.
„What?" She asked as she answered the phone.
„Nice to hear your voice Miss Parker." A familiar voice replied.
„Jarod! It’s so nice to hear yours too." She replied sarcastically. „Where are you?"
„On the street." Jarod replied as he continued to walk down the sidewalk to his apartment complex. „I have a deal for you."
„What kind of a deal?"
„You tell me what you can about my family and I tell you where I am."
„What makes you think I know anything about your family?" Miss Parker asked as she contemplated on this ‘deal.’
„Your choice." Jarod replied as he walked into his apartment.
„How about you just tell me where you are and we’ll forget everything you’ve put me through?" Miss Parker asked in a sweet voice, sarcasm filling in the edges.
„No don’t think so."
„Wait!" She said as she heard him try to hang up the phone.
„Yes?" He asked innocently.
„Why are you doing this?"
„Thought you needed a break since you’ve been missing me so much lately."
„Gee, how nice of you!" Miss Parker seethed.
„Well, if you don’t want to do it…" Jarod said as his voice trailed off.
„Jarod! Give me a week and I’ll have something for you." Miss Parker replied.
„I’ll give you two days." Jarod said.
„How in hell am I suppose to find out anything in a day?" She asked angrily.
„That’s for you to figure out." Jarod replied. She could almost see his annoying smile through the phone.
„Fine, I’ll see what I can get in a day. Just don’t expect too much."
„Sure. When I get the information then I’ll tell you where I am, Chow!" Jarod said as he hung up the phone, a triumphant smile on his face.
* * * * *
The Next Day
Miss Parker slammed the door shut as she walked into her house.
„Damned people." She cursed under her breath as she sat down on the couch. She rubbed her temples as she thought about that day’s events.
First it was trying to convince her father to give her some type of information on Jarod’s family and that the deal would work. When he did finally give her some information it was the same that Jarod already had.
„Goody!" She thought. „Now I have to convince him to tell me where he is with stuff he already knows."
Just then the phone rang.
„Do you have what I want?" Jarod asked.
„Nothing that you already don’t know." Miss Parker replied. She closed her eyes as her headache grew bigger.
„Well, you tried." Jarod said. „I guess I should keep my part of the bargain."
„That would be nice." Miss Parker said, hope beginning to grow. „But why be so nice?"
„Maybe I don’t want to be a stranger anymore." Jarod said. „Look in the package." He hung up the phone.
Miss Parker opened her eyes in surprise. She searched the room and saw that the package was lying on the stand by the door. She got up and opened it up. She pulled out a big red apple.
„The Big Apple." She said with realization. Something caught her eye on the leaf. Miss Parker took a closer look and saw that it said Brooklyn, it had the name of a street on it. She smiled.
* * * * *
The warehouse was dark as the men walked in. Jarod walked slowly around looking at the crates in the building. Tony walked up beside him.
„Good job getting us in." He said to Jarod as he opened up a crate. It was full of pottery. Tony put his hand in one and pulled out a bag of white powder. „The purest you can ever get."
„Sounds good to me." Jarod said with a twinkle in his eye. „Say isn’t this the place where that guy was killed?"
„Yeah, Anton Malano. Was one of my men until we found out he was RICO. We set him up real good." Tony replied, pride on his face. „Joey and I sent him in to steal some of this and shot him. Didn’t even know what hit him. A real piece of work, especially when we made it look like he turned over."
„Yeah, a real piece of work." Jarod replied as he tried to hide his anger. Just then a light came on as a security guard came out.
„What do you think you guys are doing?" The guard yelled. As the men started to run out the building he yelled out „Freeze! I’m calling the cops!"
„Shoot him, Jarod!" Tony ordered. „Prove your worth. Shoot him! Shoot him!"
Jarod looked around in confusion, he couldn’t shoot the man. Tony kept yelling at him to shoot. When Jarod saw the guard pull out a gun on him, Jarod raised the gun and without thinking shot the guard. As the guard fell he felt a sharp pain in his shoulder. He screamed in pain.
* * * * *
A While Later
Miss Parker walked into the bar. She had found out that Jarod visited this place frequently from a man at the newspaper stand. She looked around and walked over to the bar. The bartender came up.
„What’ll it be?" He asked.
„Nothing. Say have you seen this guy around?" Miss Parker asked in her usual attitude as she showed him a picture of Jarod. Just then another man came and sat down beside her. He had dark hair and had a snide smile on his face. He eyed her figure slowly with a leer.
„What do you want with Jarod?" He asked as he noticed the picture she was holding. The bartender poured out a drink for the man.
„He has a debt to pay." Replied Miss Parker. „Who are up?"
„Tony. What kind of a debt? Maybe I can pay you back for it?" Tony asked the leer never leaving his face.
„Nothing that you would be able to pay back." Miss Parker replied. Then demanding „Where is he?"
„He had something come up. So how about I take care of that little debt for him?"
„No thanks." Miss Parker replied as she turned towards the door. Uneasiness had settled into her stomach as this guy came towards her.
„Hey where do you think you are going sweet thing?" Tony asked.
„Away." Miss Parker replied as she stepped out into the alleyway. As soon as she stepped out Tony grabbed her and threw her against a wall. Quickly coming to her senses she threw a kick at him.
„Feisty aren’t you?" Tony replied as he wiped the blood away from his cut lip. „Won’t be when I’m done with you."
He threw her against the wall; her defenses quickly coming, she threw another kick at him in the stomach. His eyes held a look of frustration and determination. He wouldn’t let her get away.
Miss Parker continued to find some way to get away from him and to teach him a lesson for trying to go after her. Repeatedly they fought throwing punches at each other, as she tried to get away from him, but he kept blocking her way.
As Miss Parker was about to say something, Tony threw her against the wall again. She lost her balance and fell. When she regained consciousness a little while later, she found herself in the corner of the darken alleyway, her arms tied to the fence, her mouth gagged.
The leer was still on his face and a look of revenge in his eyes. Before she knew it he started to take off her clothes. She tried to scream but nothing came out. Instead her mind went deaf with the scream of her soul.
* * * * *
A few hours later Miss Parker walked into the dark hotel room, her whole body aching. She didn’t bother to turn on the lights. She slipped off her jacket on to the bed, sighing with pain at the memories of that night filtered through her mind. All she wanted to do was take a hot shower and crawl into bed forgetting about the pain and her violation. She knew a shower wasn’t the best thing to do, but she couldn’t let anyone at the Centre find out what happened. It would be a sign of weakness if they found out she was a rape victim. She cringed at the those words, ‘rape victim.’
„I hope I’m not interrupting anything." A voice said from across the room. Miss Parker looked up and saw Jarod’s frame sitting in one of the chairs by the table.
„Jarod? What are you doing here?" She asked moving for her gun.
„Don’t bother, I’m not going anywhere tonight." Jarod replied as he turned on the light. She gasped at the sight of him. His left shoulder was covered with blood; his eyes were dark with something she had never seen before. „I want you to take me back to the Centre."
„What? Jarod what happened?" Miss Parker asked with worry. She had never seen Jarod like this before. She walked over towards him. „Why do you want to go back to the Centre? Why after what happened?" She asked quietly as she knelt in front of him.
„I killed a man tonight. I never did before. I killed a man tonight." Jarod replied, anguish filling his eyes. „I killed an innocent man. I did it."
„What do you mean you killed a man? How?" Miss Parker asked as she moved his jacket off his shoulder. He winced and made a move to get up. She helped him over to the bed. She finished helping him to slip off his jacket and inspected the wound.
„I was pretending to be in the Mafia. Tonight during a heist a guard tried to stop it, I was ordered to fire. I didn’t know what to do, they kept yelling shoot, shoot, shoot! I pulled the trigger before I knew what I was doing." Jarod said his eyes looking past her, reliving that night’s event. „The guard shot at me before he fell. That’s how I got the wound." He looked down at her. After being shot Tony got him into the car and they drove off. Jarod asked to be left at his apartment. When he got there, he made his way to Miss Parker’s hotel.
Miss Parker looked up at him. Her eyes searching for him, she didn’t find him. She got up and went into the bathroom for some things to help clean the wound. She wondered if she should call Sydney. He would know how to help Jarod, but worry about the Centre told her she shouldn’t. Jarod was not in the right condition to be returned back to the Centre, no matter how much she wanted him back there. When she came back she found Jarod had taken off his shirt. She took the wet cloth to the wound and lightly began to clean it. Jarod clenched his fist at the pain.
„It wasn’t your fault Jarod." She said quietly. „You couldn’t have known that he would be there or that you would have to shoot him. It wasn’t your fault."
„He didn’t deserve to die. I should have done something." Jarod argued.
„No one is perfect, Jarod. Everyone makes mistakes."
„I shouldn’t have."
Miss Parker sighed. She continued to patch up the wound. It wasn’t as bad as it looked, as she finished with the patch she couldn’t help looking at him. His chin had stubble over it and his chest looked strong and sturdy. She wanted to run her hands down it, wondering how it would feel. Jarod noticed how she looked at him he placed his hand lightly on her neck so that she would look up at him. When their eyes met, an understanding between them was formed. The intensity of it caused Miss Parker to look away. Jarod noticed something as she turned away. He slowly moved his hand down the curve of her collar. When it reached the top button, he slowly undid it. Miss Parker moved her hand to stop him, but the look in his eyes made her stop. She didn’t want him to see it, her pain. As he slowly unbuttoned her blouse he slid it off her shoulders. He gasped. There over her soft skin, were bruises and cuts. He looked back at her and knew right away what happened.
„Who was it?"
„A guy named Tony." She replied quietly.
„He’ll pay for this!" Jarod said angrily. His voice dangerously low and even. It surprised Miss Parker and him. He didn’t think he could feel this much anger.
„Jarod." She whispered not knowing what else to say. He slid his arm around her waist and pulled her close to him. She brought her arms around him holding him tight. Neither of them said anything. A little while later Jarod let go of her.
„Go take a shower." He said although he knew it wasn’t the best idea. He knew she wouldn’t go to the hospital or the police, it would be a sign of weakness to her. At least he knew who did it. She looked at him for a minute and then walked into the bathroom. She turned on the shower and as the water warmed up she stripped off her clothes. She stepped into the steaming water. She took the soap and scrubbed her entire body hard. Trying to get rid of dirtiness she felt. She scrubbed hard over and over again. Still she could feel the hands over her body. She scrubbed harder, tears pouring out of her eyes.
Jarod lay on the bed staring at the ceiling. Anger filling his being. How could they hurt her like that, they wouldn’t get away with this. He heard the water stop. A few minutes later Miss Parker came out with a towel wrapped around her damp body. His breath caught in his throat. He watched as she made her way to the dresser. He studied the curve of her shoulders, the softness of her skin. She pulled out some clothes and walked back to the bathroom. When she returned she was dressed in satin pajamas. He made room on the bed for her. She lay down next to him. He wrapped his arms around her and rocked her. She closed her eyes and felt safe. She almost laughed at that. The one person she felt safe with and she was trying to take his life away. She fell asleep in his arms, content filling her body. Jarod watched her sleep for the rest of the night, wanting nothing more than to keep her safe.
* * * * *
Miss Parker woke up to the soft filtered light of the sun. She looked to her side and found Jarod gone. Then she noticed that he was sitting at the edge of her bed. He was putting his shirt back on. She sat up to let him know that she was awake.
„Morning." He said as finished buttoning up his shirt. It still had the bloodstain on it.
„Morning." She replied as she got up and walked over to the bathroom. She noticed that Jarod had taken a shower earlier that morning. „Jarod?"
„What are you going to do now?" She asked hesitantly.
„Finish what I came to do and then… then I will return to Centre with you." He replied quietly.
„Oh." Was all that Miss Parker could think of to say as she finished getting dressed and walked out towards Jarod, he was still sitting on the bed. He looked up at her neither of them said anything. „I’ll give you two days, Jarod."
„That’ll be enough.’ Jarod replied as he stood up. She continued to look at him, wanting to say so many things, but not having enough courage to say them. Jarod understood. He took her hands into his and brought it up to his lips. He kissed them lightly. „Chow!" He said as he made his way to the door, his usual playful look back in his eyes. Miss Parker smiled.
* * * * *
Tony walked into the warehouse. He had gotten the message from Jarod about a new shipment of stuff coming in. It was dark but he didn’t mind. He liked it that way. Tony walked towards one of the crates and opened it up. It was the drugs. A smile formed on his face as he took a closer look at the stuff. Suddenly he heard a shot whiz pass his ear.
„What?" He yelled in shock, quickly pulling out his gun. He shot in the direction where the shot came from. Soon more gunshots fired around him from all directions. Tony shot around in confusion. Then it stopped.
„Scary isn’t it?" A low voice said from somewhere in the dark.
„Pela? What do you think you are doing? Show yourself Jarod." Tony yelled. He looked around to see where Jarod was.
„Now you know how it felt to have shots fired all around you." Jarod said as he stepped out of the shadows. He held a gun at Tony.
„Hey! Who are you?" Tony asked putting his hands up in surrender.
„Just a man who doesn’t like to see people hurt. Especially the ones I care about." Jarod said as he shot Tony. Tony fell back. „That was for Miss Parker." Jarod turned around and walked out of the building. He smiled as he watched the police pull in. He walked up to Miss Parker who was leaning against her car door.
„So?" She asked looking at him who had on an amused face.
„I’m just wondering how long it will take him to figure out that I hit him with a paint ball." Jarod replied looking back at the building. Miss Parker opened the car door and stepped aside.
„Time to go home Jarod." She said. „You remember our deal."
Jarod nodded back at her and stepped inside the car. „I said I would go back to the Centre didn’t I?"
Miss Parker closed the door and walked over to the drivers’ side. She got in and drove back to the Centre.
* * * * *
„Good job Angel. I knew you could do it!" Mr. Parker said as Miss Parker walked into his office. „Never doubted you for a second."
Miss Parker just smiled back. „What’s going to happen to him now?" She asked.
„Nothing that you need to worry about." He replied as he walked out of the door.
„Where are you going?"
„I have a lot of work now that he is back. I’ll talk to you later sweetheart."
Miss Parker sighed as she watched her father walk out the door. „Not for long." She said softly to the closed door. „He never said he would stay."
* * * * *
The Next Day
Miss Parker walked into her office the next morning finding Sydney sitting in one of the chairs.
„What?" She asked in her usual tone.
„Miss Parker, sorry to have tell you this but Jarod has escaped." Sydney told her. She made a frustrated sound while trying to hide her smile.
„Well what are you waiting for? Start finding out where he went!" Miss Parker ordered as she him out the office. He got up and did what he was told.
„He left you something." Sydney informed her before he left the office, pointing to her desk.
She sat down and looked at the white box. She wondered where he got it before he left. Miss Parker opened it up slowly. Inside was a pink rose. Attached to it was a note.
I’ll never forget that night. Thank You.
Catch me if you can.
Miss Parker held the rose up to her face, closing her eyes she thought of their one night spent together.
„Oh, I’ll catch you Jarod. Just you wait!"