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Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em… never did… never will… will never earn a penny… no infringement intended… please don’t sue me… life is complicated enough these days.

A Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Boardroom
by Ginger

I am forced to endure yet another tiresome meeting. Sydney and Broots are here as well. Lyle has called and is leading this little soiree. He’s brought in a new team of suits. Who knows who they are? Who cares? We all know how this will inevitably end so there’s no point in even bothering to learn their names. My manicure will outlast them.

There is one more person on-hand, the man I still call Daddy even though I feel nothing toward him but a sort of cold, impersonal pity. Yes, pity… As far as you’re concerned, I’m still your Angel. Delude yourself. You can remain in the dark where you left me flailing about for decades.

The brain trust has once again come up with a full-proof way to finally bring in Wonderboy. You would think that after almost five years they would know better but they don’t. That’s why it’s been almost five years. What they also don’t know is that I could bring him in on a silver platter, with one hand tied behind my back, if I wanted to. But I don’t want to.

I could bring him in because I am a better match for him now, having let go of so much of the anger and pain that clouded my reasoning for so long. I have begun using my talents, gifts I inherited from my mother that make me just as freaky as Frankenboy, just as formidable only in a different way. Jarod’s lucky I never caught on sooner or I’d have had him. But then, I never would have caught on at all if it weren’t for him… his relentlessness. There’s something else they don’t know but we’ll get to that in a moment.

I have stopped listening. I nod occasionally, sneer occasionally (to them, I’m still the same old Miss Parker and to them I will remain that way). I don’t think I’ll ever listen to a word any of them say again. I’ll process the information but I won’t really listen to them. They are nothing to me. My only loyalty in this building belongs to the two men sitting to my right, suffering through the same spectacle I am subjected to on this sunny Tuesday morning. We’d back each other up to the bitter end, put our lives on the line for each other. Hell, we already have and more than once. We will again. We are family.

Funny how these morons sowed the seeds of their own destruction by bringing us together to capture Jarod. They created a family in spite of themselves, the one truly beautiful thing that’s ever come out of this God-forsaken place. Well, one of two anyway. How could they have missed that? I’ll tell you how. They underestimated somebody… oh, not him, nobody’s ever underestimated Jarod, they just continue to overestimate their ability to stop him. The person they underestimated was yours truly, the Ice Queen.

“Been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt!” I bark at one of the suits who thinks he’s just made a brilliant suggestion. It wasn’t brilliant two years ago and it’s even less so now. He looks like he wants to crawl under his chair. I guess I won’t be on his Christmas list this year. Sure, like you’ll even make it to Christmas, Einstein. I notice Broots and Sydney look away to conceal their amusement. Lyle glares at me as he strives to explain, “Please excuse Miss Parker’s brusque manner. What she means is…” I tune him out again.

Over the years they’ve fretted over Sydney’s loyalty to Jarod and they’ve worried that Broots has some sort of hero-worship thing going. Still, they’ve always believed that I was resolute, that I would never waver no matter how much our little lab rat tried to influence me. I would remain their loyal little puppet. Otherwise, the team would have been “disassembled” (this is the Centre so I use the term in its most literal sense… an arm here… a leg there…) long ago. Good thing they underestimated me I guess.

Oh, there is one other person here I care about. I haven’t seen him in a few days. I think I’ll go check on him after this torture ends – stop off at my office first to pick up a box of Cracker Jack from the stash in my drawer. Another foray into the ventilation ducts… another suit that’ll go right to the cleaners after just one wearing. Angelo, you’re costing me a fortune. I feel a smile coming on but I force myself to stifle it for now. I’ll let it reappear when we share the box of Cracker Jack. He always insists.

Lyle has asked me a question. I answer it, seemingly to his satisfaction. Odd given that I have no idea what he’s going on about. My thoughts have drifted, they invariably do. It’s all so good that it’s really hard to decide what’s best but I think I have reached a conclusion… when he goes down on me.

The technique is flawless, well, of course it is. But it’s more than that. It’s the way he looks up at me, always manages to lock eyes – a pretty neat trick when you consider that mine are generally rolled back into my skull on such occasions. In those dark, passionate eyes I see that familiar “got you just where I want you” look I’ve endured for the last five years deliciously combined with one that reads “you are a Goddess and I live to worship at the temple that is your pussy.” It is, well… beyond exquisite. Every woman on the planet ought to experience something like it at least once. There should be a UN resolution or something. Pretty magnanimous thought coming from me…

Speaking of magnanimity, I am sometimes tempted to ask where he learned to do such a thing but I always think better of it. Then I might have to hunt her down and kill her… but not without shaking her hand first. Did I just laugh out loud? I’ve been cracking myself up a lot lately. Nobody seems to have noticed. I wonder how Sydney and Broots occupy themselves during these little get-togethers?

I do think of them, wonder about them, although I’m not sure just how many of THEM there have been. I am certain of some, not of others. He is discreet, of course, if for no other reason than the fact that he knows me. God, how he knows me. He also knows I am a crack shot with my 9mm. Uh-oh, I’m smirking again.

Joking aside, I sometimes feel extremely possessive, waves of jealousy wash over me as I mourn the fact that he hasn’t been mine all along, that he wasn’t my first, but mostly that I wasn’t his. But then the certainty returns – that this is the way it was meant to be. It would hardly be fair, would it? While he spent his young adult life locked up in a cage I was out there in the wide world, screwing my way through the male population of the mid-Atlantic coast and beyond (I’ve done a lot of traveling). But it’s more than that, much more. Everything we are when we are together is a culmination of a process that began long ago, so long ago. The electric intensity of our touch was palpable, even through a pane of glass.

Daddy has piped in to say something complimentary about me. I smile adoringly at him. He’s aged recently – never bounced back one hundred percent from our encounter with Alex. I don’t see that glint in his eye anymore. Whatever I finally decide to do about all this will probably kill you either figuratively or literally. It doesn’t make any difference to me. The days of stepping between you and bullets are behind me.

He sent someone to love me because, at the time, he wasn’t brave enough and neither was I. Still, he thought me worthy of love even though he couldn’t allow himself to give it to me and I couldn’t allow myself to accept it from him. Forget about returning it. I was such a bitch. So, instead he sent someone he liked and respected – someone he knew would never hurt me. And then, when they took that someone away from me, he was there for me to lean on, well, as much as he could be under the prevailing circumstances.

I looked her in the eye, his first lover, within a matter of days – maybe even hours – of her achieving that status. What I saw was a deep compassion, all the softness that I lack or, rather, believed I lacked at the time. I knew immediately how it had been. She had been kind and gentle with him. Much to my own astonishment I felt a profound relief, almost gratitude, grafted to the jealousy that gnawed at the pit of my stomach. I almost felt like throwing my arms around her, hugging her. Imagine the reactions that would have elicited. I’d probably still be locked up in Renewal Wing.

These are among the many things we share. The bonds run deep. They are unspoken. This is what makes it so damn good. Sure, he’s beautiful – I’d have been hard pressed to deny that from the very beginning of our little chase, even if you had come into the room and asked me right after he had just glued me to the floor. (In my opinion, his most sublime prank, his crowning achievement… I so wanted him dead at that moment.) Of course he’s a skilled lover; he’s a skilled everything. But I’ve had more than my share of beautiful and skilled lovers and I know this is different. Even with his somewhat limited experience – I say “somewhat” because I’m beginning to suspect that the pace of his education in this area picked up considerably in the last year or so, the little shit – I know he knows it too.

“Yet Mr. Lee managed to miss the fact that the woman working for him was helping Jarod all along.” I can’t help throwing in my two cents. When they try to get into Jarod’s head, the outcome tends to be even more humiliating than when they keep it simple and track him like an animal. How can Lyle possibly be my flesh and blood, let alone my twin? You are beyond pathetic, trying to make years of abject failure sound like success. Thirty seconds of my attention is more than you deserve. At times I almost begin to panic, fearing that I cannot possibly come enough to release all the built-up tension, that I’ll be trapped forever in a state of painfully intense arousal. But I always do, I come like a volcano, and the incredible tension is released. I am sated. He revels in watching me in this condition, usually waiting until the muscletwitching has subsided and the focus returns to my eyes before he comments on how beautiful I look when I come or that he could watch me do it all day. Sometimes he says both things as he moves up my body to enfold me in his arms. We laugh together. It’s incredible. But that’s not even the best…

Well, there’s forty-five minutes of my life I’ll never get back. I’m looking at my watch. Will this ever end? Another suit is talking; he’s being especially careful not to meet my eyes. Good call, Sparky… you must be the brains of the outfit. Oh goody, Lyle has the floor again.

Sometimes it overwhelms him and I see fear in his eyes. I understand the fear because I share it. It’s just so… unfuckingbelievable. I’m reminded of that line from corny old movies. This thing is bigger than the two of us. It sure as hell is. It’s all- consuming – it owns us. It always has, every minute of every day since that first day even if we didn’t realize it or refused to admit it (we are two incredibly stubborn people). Turns out we had even less control over our individual destinies than we thought we did, and neither of us has ever operated on the premise that we had much to begin with. In that one instant it was over, the future was written and all that was left for us to do was to play it out. A pane of glass… did they really think that would be enough to control us? Their twisted little sim really got away from them that time.

I glance over at the old man. Wasn’t it you who engineered that little introduction? It certainly would never have happened without your blessing. Thank you, Daddy. This time I really mean it you lying son-of-a-bitch. He smiles that charming smile at me. I return it. It’s as if you don’t even exist anymore.

When it overwhelms him, he doesn’t say anything at all. He looks deeply into my eyes, silently pleading for comfort. He moves up just a little to rest his head on my belly. I stroke his hair gently and, as soon as I am able, speak to him in a low, soft voice. That’s my boy…

This is it. This is the best, the closest my life gets to perfection. It’s only a brief moment in time but it is perfect. I cradle this frighteningly brilliant, beautiful, child-like man against my body, deep inside of which I continue to experience that lovely post- orgasm flutter, the result of the wonderful things he has done to me. His surrender is complete – he is captive to my nurturing touch and reassuring words. I am, all at once, lifelong friend, lover, mother and mirror image. I feel incredibly powerful, connected to the world around me, yet light as a feather, free. There isn’t anything I can’t do.

“I assume we’re through here.” I snap impatiently as everyone around the table begins to shift in their seats to stand. Lyle nods, casting daggers at me with his eyes. My lover is right; you don’t even rate a bullet.

“Next Tuesday, then? Same time, same place?” I ask in mock sweetness.

“Yes. Unless, of course, we’ve found Jarod by then,” Lyle responds coldly.

“Of course.” On that note I turn and exit the room.

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