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No infringement on copyright is intended. The characters- Miss Parker, Jarod, Sydney. Do not belong to me but to NBC or TNT. Neither does the Mariah Carey song Against all Odds. I’m just borrowing them as it is Saturday afternoon and I have exactly 8 and a half hours to wait for the Pretender to come on.

How Can I
Felicity Drummond

How can I just let you walk away?
Just let you leave without a trace
When I stand here taking every breath
With you with you
You’re the only one
Who really knew me at all?

How can you just walk away from me?
When all I can do is what you leave
Cause we shared the laughter and the pain
And even shared the tears
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Cause there’s just an empty space
There’s nothing left her to remind me
Just the memory of your face
Take a look at me now
There’s just an empty space
And you coming back to me
Is against the odds
And that’s what I’ve got to face

I wish I could just make you turn around
Turn around and see me cry
There’s so much I need to say to you
So many reasons why
You’re the only one
Who really knew me at all?

So take a look at me now
There’s just an empty space
There’s nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of you’re face
So take a look at me now
Cause there’s just an empty space
But to wait for you
Is all I can do?
And that’s what I’ve got to face
Take a good look at me now
Cause I’ll still be standing here
And you coming back to me
Is against all odds
And that’s the chance I’ve got to take

Take a look at me now

Miss Parker frowned in thought. She had received a cryptic e-mail from Jarod earlier that afternoon and It had led her here. Goodness knows where here was. She was parked just outside a graveyard, which didn’t help the ambience of the place. A graveyard seemed a pretty good allegory of her life. A graveyard full of sacrifices, buried hopes and dreams and memories and people she’d lost. A single tear ran unchecked down her face at the thought of Tommy and her mother. Why had Jarod led her here.

Why couldn’t he just allow her to move on? In her heart Parker knew it was really her who was holding herself back from the future. She couldn’t move on. She fooled herself until she knew the truth but it was more than that. Discovering the truth always led to so many more lies. It was a never-ending battle, which had no conceivable ending. Even if she got revenge for all the pain the Centre had caused her she couldn’t escape the pain she caused herself by pushing everyone in her life away. Neither could she escape the fear that if she did open up the past would repeat itself as it did with Tommy. She couldn’t cope with the guilt of another life cut short Because of her.

Jarod watched Miss Parker concealed nearby. She was the only innocent he had ever wanted to save. But by the time he had a chance She had destroyed herself. Jarod felt her pain with intensity as a tear ran down her face. He folowed it’s course with his eyes before coming to his senses and moving forward. He clutched the gun he had carefullly concealed in his pocket for reassurance. He was fighting fire with fire and could not afford to be unarmed, as Parker surely would be. After thoroughly checking the area for sweepers he moved in. Slipping through the passenger door. Miss Parker looked up in shock.

“Jarod.” She exclaimed. Before hiding her surprise behind a facade of annoyance. “You shouldn’t do that to me unless you desire a bullet to the head.”

Jarod smiled with amusement. “But you wouldn’t shoot me.” he started then noticing her beginning to raise her gun he continued quickly. “Of course I don’t really want to check the theory.”

Miss Parker smiled in triumph. “Oh goody, Wonder boys finally learning not to underestimate me.”

“That’s one mistake I daren’t make. Jarod muttered dryly. Miss Parker pretended not to here him.

“So is there a reason for this little rendezvous or are you just happy to see me? “ Miss Parker questioned impatiently. “Because if all congeniality is out of the way I think I’ll take you back to the Centre.“

Jarod turned serious. “On the contrary. I’m going to take you away.“ He said.

Miss Parker looked up in confusion and Jarod took a deep breath.

“Parker, I’ve been doing some thinking.“ He rushed in. “I’m going to leave the Centre for good. No more contact or games. I want to have my own life. I want to forget. I know the only way I can do that is to leave.“

Breathe Parker breath. Miss Parker commanded herself. She had never expected this. It took all her energy to maintain an icy silence. She desperately wanted to scream at him not to go. But years of hiding her feelings prevented the words from forming outside her mind.

Jarod watched her in silence. He knew her better than anyone else except maybe Sydney and he could see behind the mask of ice that she was trying to maintain. And was frozen behind.

“I want you to come with me Parker. “ He continued.

Miss Parker tried desperately to speak but It was like she was in a nightmare. Unable to move or make a sound.

Jarod sighed sadly. “I love you Parker. “ He whispered. “You used to care, I would never hurt you“, he vowed.

Miss Parker finally found her voice. “You would.” She said in a steady clear voice though the words weren’t the ones she wanted to say. “You wouldn’t mean to but you would hurt me because you’re mortal.“ And their to powerful She thought to herself.

“I’m sorry.” She finished. She longed to say so much more. To explain. To ignore sense or caution to return his confession.

Jarod sighed. “I had to see.” He said. Unable to sense all the unspoken phrases bottled up inside of her. Unable to stay any longer as hoped slipped away with the daylight.

“And now I have to say goodbye.” Miss Parker pointed her gun in desperation. The only course left she could see was to take him back to the Centre. To do her job. Otherwise She’d never see him again, He’d made that clear.Her hands shook but she refused to acknowledge the weakness.

Jarod sighed sadly at what he had to do. He saw the confusion in her eyes and the fear and her only solution to it. He understood that far but it wasn’t enough. “Parker.” He said gently. And reached for the gun.

Miss Parker removed the safety. “Whatever happened to not underestimating me Jarod.” She said her tone and expression the embodiment of control and indifference. Her hands however continued to shake.

Jarod took advantage of that instability to grab the gun. She fired but the bullets missed him and landed outside the car. Jarod sighed sadly pulling the hyperdermic needle he’d concealed in his sleeve into view. Parker tried to move away but he was to strong and he slipped the needle easily under the skin.

She tried to say something more but her mind became fuzzy and the world went black. A tear ran down Jarods face mirroring the tears that had formed in Miss Parkers before she lost consiousness.

Leaning down he kissed her gently on the forehead before stepping fom the car. He went straight to his own car which was concealed a few 100 metres away and rang Sydney.

Miss Parker would need his support when she woke up. Jarod didn’t allow himself to look back as he drove away. For he knew if he looked back he wouldn’t be able to leave.


Sydney frowned in confusion at Jarod’s call as the line went dead. He had sounded different. Instinct told Sydney he wouldn’t be seeing his prodigy again. He hurried to his car and quickly drove to the address Jarod had given him. He located Miss Parkers car easily. She was sleeping peacefully though tears still glistened in her eyes. Sydney easily located the needle mark in her arm and ascertained what had happened.

Jarod had said on the phone that Parker would need Sydney’s support He now understood why. It hurt to know he would never see the man he considered like a son again. While at the same time he hoped Jarod would finally have the chance to be happy and at peace.

Sydney understood that it was Miss Parker who would take his disappearance the worst. Jarod had been a sort of anchor. Sydney couldn’t predict how she’d act now was gone. He could only help her through it. Lifting her gently from her car to his own he remembered back to the day when he had first met Catherine’s daughter. She had been so happy then with her smile the mirror image of her mother’s. Sydney sighed sadly unsure as to wether he’d ever see her smile again.

Sydney took Parker home and carried her inside. Lying her on her bed. He sat quietly by her side watching her sleep. He knew he needed to be there when she woke. She was asleep for three or four hours before the drug finally wore off and she opened her eyes and began to stand up before collapsing again in agony.

Sydney was prepared and handed her some painkillers which she took quickly before looking around in confusion.

“Sydney“, she questioned before the memories came clouding back. “Sydney“, she repeated again but this time with desperation and a lost note in her voice.

Sydney pulled her into his arms and she lay still and cold as the fact she would never see Jarod again began to sink in. After a while she began to shake. Sydney wrapped his arms around her and whispered soothing words.

“Why does everyone leave?” She whispered in a childish voice and she began to cry. Sydney sighed.

“I’ll never leave. “ He promised. Parker knew it was a promise he would keep.

Please read the sequel Flickering

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