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A Present from Jarod
By: G. Barton

Christmas Eve, a small cabin on a hillside over looking a view of the rugged mountains of Colorado.

She pulled up in the rental car. Stepping out of the car, she took in a deep breath.

"Mmm. The air smells so crisp." She thought as she gathered her things and headed in the door.

"Daddy." She called out as she sat her things down by the door. "I got your message." She glanced up to see Jarod standing there. She reached for her Smith and Wesson, when he stopped her.

"Parker, you won't be needing that tonight." As he came closer to her, she could see the apron around his waist.

"What is this?" She saw the Christmas tree in the back ground.

"I thought we could spend Christmas together."

"You what?"

"Well, I don't have any family, thanks to the Centre, and your father always cancels on you...."

"So you think *we* should spend Christmas together?" She interrupted.

He gave her a nod. "Go wash up. Dinner is almost ready." He turned and headed back toward the kitchen.

It wasn't long until Parker joined him.

"Jarod." She walked in to see a ham on the stove, along with green beans, canned yams, and various other vegetables.

"Mmm." He opened the oven to pull out the pecan pie. He placed it down next to a cake.

"If you wanted to spend Christmas together, why the phony phone call from by my father?"

"Would you have came if you knew it was me?"

Parker walked over to where the food was. She stared at all the food. "Maybe." She finally answered. As she made her way toward the cake she could smell the rum.

"A rum cake?" She broke off a small piece and tasted it. "That is good."

"Get out of that." He spanked her hand. "I wasn't sure what you would like."

"Everything looks good. Where did you learn to cook?"

"I was chef once." He handed her a glass. "Tea?"

She shook her head yes as they fixed their plates. They made their way to a very decorated table. Jarod pulled the chair out for her.

"Such the gentleman." She said sarcastically.

He let the remark go. As they began to eat, not much was said during dinner.

Parker pushed her plate away when she couldn't eat anymore. "I'm so full. I can't believe I ate that much."

She watched as Jarod took a few more bites. He took another drink of his tea. "Are you though?" He glanced up to see her watching him.

"Yes. Are you?" She laughed as he kept shoving in food.

"I think so." He wiped his mouth with his napkin.

Parker stood and grabbed her plate.

"That can wait." Jarod held out his hand for her to take it.

She was hesitant at first but she took it. He lead her to the big Christmas tree. "Sit." He told her as he plugged in the lights. He sat down next to her. "I got something for you." Jarod picked up the lonely gift and handed it to her. "Go ahead. Open it."

Parker tore the small package open to see a picture of them when they were kids.

"I was hoping you would remember when we were friends. And I was hoping we could replace that picture with a more recent one." Jarod smiled as he handed her a empty frame like the other picture was in.

"I don't know what to say." She gazed up into his sad brown puppy dog eyes. "Thank you." She smiled.

"You're welcome."

They sat there most of the night staring at the lights blinking as they talked like they did when they were kids.


Christmas Morning

Early the next morning, Jarod bent down to Parker's ear. "Wake up!" He shouted.

She almost hit the floor. "What?" She tried to catch her breath.

"Santa was here." He took off toward the other room.

"Santa?" She couldn't believe what she heard.

Jarod stuck his head back in. "Come on."

Parker grabbed her robe. She was tying it when she saw Jarod standing in front of the tree holding another gift. "Don't tell me you believe in Santa?" She questioned.

"Yeah, don't you?" He handed her the package. "This one has your name on it."

Parker glanced down at the name tag. "From Santa?"

"Open it." Jarod was like a small child. "What is it?"

She open the box to reveal a necklace with her name on it.


He placed his fingers over her lips, stopping her from saying another word. "I guess I'm not the only one who knows your name." He cracked a smile.

Parker picked up the necklace. Her fingers went over every letter. She was so caught up up in the jewelry that she didn't even notice Jarod standing by the window.

"Let's go play in the snow." He faced her.

"Uh?" She looked up to see him staring back at her.

"The snow. Come on." He raced into his room throwing on some warm clothes.


Parker and Jarod entered the cabin dusting off the snow flakes from their coats.

"That was fun. I haven't had that much fun in a long time." Parker unbuttoned her coat, placing on the back of the chair.

"I didn't know you could make that many snow angels." He laughed as he walked over to the fireplace. "I'll start a fire. You should change into something warm."

Parker watched as Jarod placed several pieces of wood in the fireplace. He lit some paper and watched the fire begin. He turned to grab the poker to build up the fire.

"You haven't changed yet?"

"I'm going." She headed to her bedroom.

Jarod knocked lightly on her door before entering. He saw her slip on a long flannel gown. Jarod tried to turn his head when she turned around. He couldn't help but see her bare skin.

"I brought you some hot cocoa." He held two coffee cups in his hands.

"Thank you." She reached for the cup.

"It is warmer in by the fire."

Parker followed him out. They sipped on the cocoa until it was gone.

"Jarod, you should change before you get sick." Parker sat her cup down and tugged on his shirt. Jarod lifted his arms as Parker slid it off over his head. "Now the pants."

"What?" Jarod couldn't believe what he heard.

"You should get out of those pants."

"Here?" He looked puzzled.

"You can change in the other room. I don't care but you need to change." Parker grabbed the blanket that was over the couch. She held it up in front of him.

Jarod's eyes never left Parker's as he unzipped his jeans and let them fall to the floor. He started to turn around but he wanted to see the expression on her face when the jeans hit the floor. To his surprise she never moved either.

She wrapped the quilt around him. She tried her hardest to stay focus on his eyes. She knew if he saw her eyes wondering he would win this round.

"Sit down in front of the fire. You are still cold." Parker spun him around.

"Sit with me." He patted the floor next to him.

Parker joined him. "Remember the time when we were 15. It was around this time of the year." Parker gazed up into his eyes.

"Yeah." A small laugh escaped his lips. "You were showing me how to make that bracelet out of string."

"You never did get it right." Parker laughed.

"Yes, I did. It just took me a while."

"Until New Year's." They both laughed.

Jarod watched as she pulled her legs up under the gown. "You're cold. Here." Jarod opened his blanket up to share it with her.

"I'm fine." She answered quickly.

"Don't be that way."

"What way?" She began to get angry.

"So independent."

Parker rose to her feet in a matter of seconds. She turned to walk off when Jarod grabbed her leg.

"Parker, I was only trying to help."

"I don't want your help!"

"Why do you always have to push people away from you?"

"That is the way I am." She glimpsed down at him.

Jarod stood. "That's not the way you use to be." He placed both hands on her shoulders.

"A lot has changed over the years."

"But I miss the old you."

"That person is gone forever."

"No she isn't. She is in here." Jarod position his hand to where it rested on her chest.

"I'm not sure how to find her anymore." She hung her head.

"I'll help you find her." Jarod lifted her face to where she had to look him in the eyes. He leaned in to kiss her, when Parker pushed him away. "I'm sorry. I didn't...."

"Shh." Her fingers found his lips. She pushed the quilt off his shoulders and ran her hands down his bare chest. Jarod pulled her closer to him. She ran her fingers through his hair before holding his head steady. They lips touched, each fighting over control of the kiss. Jarod ran his hand down her back. He cupped her butt, picking her up. She kissed his neck and down his collar bone as he carried her to the bedroom. Laying her down on the bed, Jarod stripped her from the garment that stood in their way. Then he joined her on the bed. It wasn't long until they found the love they both had been longing for.

Jarod watched her sleep for a while before he got up and went in search of his clothes.


Parker woke to the sound of two men talking. She rolled over to find a note from Jarod.

"My dearest Parker, I'm sorry I had to leave you like this but I do hope we have plans for New Years. I will explain everything then. All my love, Jarod." She placed the note next to her heart.

"Dad, she is in here."

Parker jumped at the sight of Lyle standing in the doorway. "What in the hell are you doing here?" She grabbed the covers pulling them over her.

"It's good to see you too, sis." He smiled as he turned his head hoping to get a glimpse of his sister.


The older man was standing next to the bed.

"We thought we would surprise you. I'm sorry we don't get together like this more often. We will wait for you in the other room." The couple of men turned to leave.

Parker began to cuss Jarod under her breath as she got dress. She couldn't believe he left her there to wake up to see her family.


Later that night

Parker's cell phone rang. "What?" She was not in a very good mood.

"I can tell you are not going to be happy to see me in a week." Jarod laughed.

"I thought you wanted to help me find myself again. Do you really hate me that much?"

"I'm sorry. I thought a quiet evening with your father was something you wanted."

"Yeah well that would be nice."

"He's not alone?"

"No. Lyle is here."

"I'm sorry. I promise I will make it up to you."

"You bet you are."

"Angel, come on." She could hear her father yelling from the other room.

"I'm coming." She shouted back. "I have to go."

"So, we're still on for next week?"

"Oh yeah! You are going to pay, mister." She hung up the phone before he had a chance to speak.

A smile danced across his lips as he thought of her.

The End!

Story continued on Getting Even

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