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Sydney walked up to the receptions desk and asked to see Agent Corkus. The receptionist told him Corkus was on the fifth floor and his office number was 526.
Miss Parker watched as Sydney returned to her side. “Fifth floor, number 526.”
Miss Parker headed off towards the elevator. Sydney and she rode the elevator in silence. When they had reached the fifth floor, the doors parted and they walked in on important business. Standing with a very young agent was a bald man yelling, “I don’t care if you can’t find Ness! I want him found! In three weeks, a man can’t completely be wiped off the face of the earth!” The agent hesitated which prompted the older agent to yell, “Now, before John Doe slips through our fingers!”
Miss Parker glanced at Sydney, then back at the older agent as he walked past them, towards an unknown location. Miss Parker took the opportunity to bring up their mutual pains. “So you’re searching for Jarod too?” Miss Parker stood with her arms folded.
The older agent stopped in his tracks, turned and directed himself towards her. “Who are you?”
“They call me Miss Parker and this is Sydney.” Miss Parker gestured towards Sydney.
“The PTB’s. And you must be Agent Corkus.”
“Yes, I am. How do you know about our case?”
“I have my connections but that isn’t the point. The point is you and I have something in common. Jarod.” Miss Parker’s eyes flared.
“Is that what he is calling himself? Hmm. We only know him as Jarod. We work for a corporation that is in the business of tracking criminals. Jarod has been one of the hardest to catch. He goes around pretending to be in different fields. Recently we discovered his brother also has been doing the same; however, his brother was in jail for quite some time, but that is a different matter altogether. We are just here to find Jarod and follow up on the reports the brother was killed.” Miss Parker weaved her tale.
Corkus stared at her and, like most, simply believed they were there to help. “Jarod disappeared after the crash and yes the brother was supposedly killed in the accident.”
“Frankly, I don’t believe he was incinerated in the fire after the van crash. There has to be more to it than that. I saw the van crash, but he could have gotten out.” Corkus waved to them to follow him as he headed to his office.
They walked into his office and at once Corkus was more curious than he needed to be, “Where did you say you worked again?”
Miss Parker eyed him. “We didn’t.”
Sydney spoke up. “A corporation known as the Centre in Delaware.”
“Ahh. So, someone hired you to track Jarod?” Corkus pumped them for more information. Delaware? They must be the people who hacked into the FBI’s computers.
“Sure. Can we get to the point? We are here to find out if you have anything on Jarod and to make sure we don’t have to chase… John Doe was it?”
A knock on the door halted the conversation. “Come in.”
The young agent from before entered cautiously. “Sir, there has been a sighting of John Doe.”
Corkus leapt to his feet. “You wanted to know if John Doe was dead, here is your chance,” Corkus said to Miss Parker as he grabbed his jacket and left the office. Miss Parker and Sydney were behind him and joined him on his way back to upstate New York.
Kyle was sleeping in the guest bedroom. He finally drifted off to sleep.
Jarod appeared and was trying to tell Kyle something and Kyle had no choice but to yell that he couldn’t understand. Kyle saw their mother and suddenly things go dark. Their mother falls to the ground and Jarod stared with fright. Raines came from nowhere and was holding a gun to Jarod. Kyle couldn’t watch it anymore. He raced forward but it was too late, Raines pulled the trigger and suddenly Kyle was standing between his mother and brother’s bodies. He needed his family. The scream started in is chest and passed over his lips like; he was an animal. He could hear nothing but the sound of his own screams.
Beth was trying to sleep in her room. She was a restless sleeper, but this was getting ridiculous. It was 3 am and she was still wide-awake. She had been trying to think of something other than the man in the other bedroom sleeping, but there was something about Kyle that made her smile. He had only been around a few weeks and she was feeling happy and excited he was around… Beth’s thoughts were interrupted by a blood-curdling scream. Instantly, she knew it was Kyle.
Beth grabbed her robe, ran out into the hall, and across into Kyle’s room. As she reached his bed, he sat up straight. He was sweating and breathing like he had been running from something. “Kyle? It’s all right.” She reached out to him and he wrapped his arms around her. She felt a tear stain her skin where her robe had shifted.
“Do you wanna talk about it?”
He shook his head no and she didn’t press him. She just sat on the edge of his bed with her arms around him and let him work through his fear. Something horrible happened in his dream and she wasn’t going to press him to tell her unless he wanted to.
Beth finally looked at the digital clock in the guest bedroom. 4:03 am. ‘Yikes.’ she thought. But suddenly Kyle shifted and pulled away from her. He leaned back on the headboard and watched her. She just sat there uncomfortably for a moment before asking him. “Are you okay?”
Kyle just stared at her. Why had she let him get so close to her? Everyone was afraid of him or what he might do. Kyle had even seen that look in Jarod’s eyes, but Beth was concerned, not afraid.
Beth hated the way he was staring. “Say something.”
“What is there to say? I had a bad dream.”
“It was nightmare. You can talk about it you know.”
Kyle jumped up. His knee still ached a bit, but it had been three weeks of living here and Beth and Kyle had grown close. He was nearly healed and he knew he would be leaving soon. “I don’t want to!” he yelled.
Beth had been feeling happy being around him but his voice now, it scared her. Beth jumped a little.
Kyle saw her jump. He didn’t want that. He turned to her and came closer. The fear crept into her face. NO! He screamed inside. He cared about Beth and he didn’t want her to look at him that way. He reached out to her and she pulled away. She got up and went to the living room. Kyle chased her. When he found her standing in the living room, he grabbed her arm gently and turned her towards him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to frighten you.”
She looked up at him. A tear crawled down her face. Kyle winced at the knowledge he had hurt her. “I – I didn’t mean to pry,” her voice quivered.
“You didn’t. You were just trying to help. I’m not used to that.” Kyle pulled her into an embrace. “I am sorry.” He held her there for a moment. “I will tell you.”
She pulled away. “Tell me? About your nightmare?”
“Yes.” He motioned for her to sit down. She sat on the couch and he sat on the coffee table in front of her. “I – I was in this place and I saw my mother and brother,” Kyle voice cracked, “but then this man came out and killed them in front of me. It hurt so bad!” He started to get angry, no tears only anger.
Beth grabbed his hands. “They mean a lot to you?”
Kyle nodded in response.
“Kyle, it was a dream. Nothing really happened.”
“You don’t understand.” Kyle stood.
“Then tell me.” Beth watched him. “These last few weeks, we have become close. Kyle, I care about you. You can tell me.”
Kyle went back to the coffee table and told her everything. He told her about being stolen as a child and what Raines had done to him. He told her about the burn Jarod had given him and about going to prison. He told her all about the people he hurt and about Harriet Tashman. He even told her about how he did break out of jail with a paperclip. And when he was finished, he became quiet.
Hours later, Beth was still on the couch listening to Kyle finish up. She didn’t know what to say. She wanted him to open up to her but she didn’t like what she was hearing. She stood and walked away. “How could you do those things to people?” she said in a panicked voice.
“I don’t know. That’s the way Raines made me.”
“That is not an excuse.” She went back to him and knelt down. “Kyle, people don’t burn others with cigarettes… they just don’t do the things you have done.”
Kyle was getting a little upset. He stood. “I am sorry. It just happens. That is the kind of person I am. That is the person you care about. If you don’t like it, then maybe I should leave!”
Beth stared at him. “Maybe it’s for the best.” Kyle suddenly looked wounded. He started down the hallway. “Kyle, wait. I – I don’t want you to go.”
But suddenly Kyle had no choice. An unmarked car pulled up and Kyle ran to the door to look out the window. “Miss Parker. The Centre.”
Beth looked at Kyle. “Go out the back.” Kyle looked back at her. She grabbed her purse off the counter and gave him the one hundred dollars she had, “Kyle, you have to go.”
Kyle shoved the money in his pocket and put his hands on her face. “I will be back as soon as I find Jarod.” He kissed her gently and ran out the back.
Beth put her fingertips on her lips and she became oblivious for a second. The pounding on the door broke her thoughts. She ran to the door where two men and a woman were pounding. Beth looked back and saw Kyle disappear into the brush behind her house. Beth flung the door opened. “What!”
“Excuse me,” Miss Parker replied defensively.
“What do you want? I am trying to get ready for work. I have patients I have to see.”
Miss Parker pulled out a picture of Jarod and one of Kyle. “Have you seen either of these men?” Miss Parker looked past her and into the house.
Beth stepped to the side a little to block her view. “Yep, this one.” She pointed to Kyle’s picture and Miss Parker’s eyebrow went up, “He was just on the news yesterday. Didn’t he die in an accident around here or something?”
“Yes, he did. So you don’t recognize the other one.” Miss Parker pressed. This woman was hiding something and Miss Parker was sure it was Jarod.
“Nope. Now if you don’t mind.” Beth slammed the door and ran off to the back to get ready for work. She planned to tell Bailey and Chris everything.
Miss Parker, Sydney, and Corkus all piled back into the car. “Dead end.” Corkus announced. He knew the moment they'd pulled up that this was pointless. Even if John Doe had been here he wasn't anymore.
“Yes, dead end.” Miss Parker said as they drove off.
They drove down the road. Corkus broke their defeated silence. “So do you hack into all the FBI files or just the ones that look good?”
Miss Parker looked over at him. “Why, Agent Corkus, I don’t know to what you are referring,” she said in her regular tone almost mocking a southern belle.
Corkus dropped the subject.