Author: AJeff PM
New living arrangments for Jarod and Miss Parker.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Words: 3,570 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-11-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2575060
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Jarod and Miss Parker sat before Sidney's attorney for the reading of his will. He sits at the opposite end, with her legs crossed, her short black leather skirt rising high above, leather boots pushing her foot against the desk, she sits with her puckered red lips, hands foldeded together trying in vain to ignore him as he watches her watching him.
It was stipulated in the will that all of the pyschiatrist's assets be divided equally between the two people that he loved deeply and mattered the world to him. It was also stipulated that the home he owned be inherited by the two on conditions that they were to live together in the house for six months before the ownership be legally theirs. Whereas, on upon completion of their sentence, if agreed upon, the property could then go up for sale and each would own their share of the profit. Upon refusing to do so, Sidney's two-story beachfront with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, family room, living room, fireplace for those cold nights and a dining area be willed to The Centre.
"What?" Miss Parker hissed at the attorney. "You expect me to live with this labrat for six bloody months?" She hollered pointing to Jarod who with his chocolate brown eyes starred at her immensely thinking all the while how the hell could he live with this cold, detached woman who was nicknamed Ice Queen of The Centre.
"It won't be a bed of roses for me either, Parker. More like a bed of thorns." His voice was huskily low-toned as he spoke to her.
Their first day together was quiet, for no one spoke. When Miss Parker was done fixing her salad for her dinner she headed out onto the deck with her plate and sat down watching the ocean tides slowly going in and out for about an hour.
She could smell an aroma coming from the kitchen making its way into the living room and out onto the deck, for a split second it felt like she was in her favorite Italian restaurant, Luigi's. Following the smell, she found Jarod spooning his food onto his platter. He turned suddenly feeling her presence.
"Bake Ziti, Miss Parker? I made enough for two," he asked holding up his plate.
"I've already eaten," she seethed. "We're here for six months together, you do your thing and I'll do mines. That includes cooking separately."
"If you call salad cooking," he mumbled as he put a spoonful of ziti in his mouth. "Well, then, if you'll excuse me, I'll finish my dinner."
Jarod woke from his sound sleep to hear a crash. "Damned it," she yelled. Jumping out of bed he rushed into the kitchen and found her crouched down picking up broken pieces of what was once a wine glass.
Cussing to herself, he bent down to help gather the shattered glasses. "Watch out," she tells him touching him lightly on the arm. "Don't step on any." He was barefooted, barechested and wearing a thin pair of shorts which could easily be dropped if she tugged at it at the slightest.
Standing up immediately, she shuddered the thought that went through her head.
He cleaned up her mess before he spoke. "Kind of late to be drinking, isn't it, Miss Parker?" His eyes follows as she walked around the kitchen table as if trying to hide her animal skin nighty that clinged to her thin body.
"Maybe if you had some real food instead of that rabbit food you wouldn't be lurking around in the wee hours of the night."
As he walked passed her, she spoked in a whisper. "Thank you."
"For cleaning up."
He looked at her from top to bottom and she felt like he could see through her clothes.
"Goodnight," he tells her.
Early the next morning, her face was buried into the morning paper sipping her coffee. Without lifting her head up, she motions with her finger pointing to the pot. "Coffee's on."
"The least I could do since I ate your ziti for breakfast."
"Ummmm," he answered.
"So, what's for dinner tonight?" She asked putting the paper down.
"You must know by now, I don't do dinner, lunch or breakfast for that matter. You're lucky you got coffee."
"You want to compromise, Miss Parker?"
"Depends on what."
"You do the cleaning, laundry and I'll do the shopping and cooking. We can take turns doing the dishes."
Her sky blue eyes glistened as she thought for about a minute. Holding out her hand to him, "Deal." He held her hand and squeezed it gently. She could feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Pulling her hand away quickly, she stepped back.
"I-I'd better get dress. I do work you know."
"Ah yes, The Centre."
"Okay, I'm off to one of my pretends. See you tonight."
He was caught off guard as she stood with her Smith and Wesson 9mm pointing at him. With his hands up in the air, he looked around nervously for her entourage.
"Gotcha," she grinned. "Over here," Parker yelled to the sweepers turning her head for a second towards the door.
Quickly approaching her he grabbed her gun. "Not today, Miss Parker, not today. A little slow on reflexes? Too much ziti?"
Tucking her gun into his jacket he leaves before her flying monkeys arrive.
She slams the front door throwing her jacket on the sofa, digs into her bag, she lights a cigarette between her red lips, inhales deeply and exhales slowly blowing little cigar rings into the air.
"The games never stop, does it?" He asked pointing the gun at her. Turning her head to him she shakes her head and smirks smothering her cigarette into an ashtray.
"We may be living together, but, that does not mean all projects ceases when it concerns you. I still have a job to do."
"Okay, here!" He grabs her hand and slams her gun into her palm.
Jarod stands waiting for her move. Waving her 9mm at him, she laughs. "One of these days, Jarod, one of these days."
Parker came home at precisely 7:00 in the evening. Something felt wrong. His car was not in the garage. She looked around the spacious house and out onto the deck. Her eyes roams around the beach area but there was no sign of him ever being home. On living together for the past couple months, Jarod was always home before she arrived, the table was set and she could always smell the delicious aroma upon entering the front door.
Her heart began to pound rapidly. It's been an hour and he was still not home. To top it off, lightning flashed before her. The sound of thunder made her suddenly cower to the floor. She yelled out loud. "Where the hell are you?"
Parker began to pace the floor. She hit number one on her cell and all she got was his voice mail to leave a message. "Bastard," she hollers into the phone.
She was dying inside. She has never felt like this before. Since when did she ever worry about anyone. She didn't know who to call. Sidney was gone. He would have been the one who knew where Jarod was. Just then, she heard his keys in the doorknob.
"Sorry, I was running late on one of my pretends. I picked up pizza." Dripping wet, he takes off his jacket and hangs it on the door hook, shaking excess water from his hair and onto the carpet.
She turned and he could tell she was upset. Trying to hold back her tears, she lashed at him.
"Where the hell have you been? I called and you're damned machine came on."
"Yea, I heard your message. I didn't realized we were calling each other terms of endearments now."
"Has it ever occurred to you that I might have been..." She caught herself and held back her tongue.
He finished her sentence for her. "That you might have been worried about me, Parker?" He smiles.
She walked slowly towards him and grabbed the pizza box. "No, I was just wondering about dinner! I'm hungry!" She turned and stomped into the dining room.
Jarod caught a glimpse of Parker quickly brushing a tear away from her face. When did she begin to grow a heart. Afterall, she was heartless.
She inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly. When did the pretender find his way into the Ice Queen's heart.
"I'll call if I'm ever late again, okay, Parker?"
She ignored him as she set the table for two. "Parker? I'm sorry." Slowly approaching her, he reached for her hand only for her to pull away.
"You want beer with your pizza?" She asked in a barely audible whisper, her icy blue eyes glaring at him.
"Yea, sure. Beer's fine." If he didn't know any better, she acted like a wife angry at her absentmindedly husband who forgot to call home.
Parker walked into the living room around midnight. Jarod was fast asleep on the sofa snoring softly. She turned off the television ready to wake him, but decided not to. He laid comfortably sleeping soundly. Walking into his bedroom and out again, she gently lifted his head and slipped his pillow under him. Laying out his blanket over him, she smoothes out the wrinkles and stood for about a minute listening to his breathing and starring at the movements in his chest. She ran her fingers in his hair lightly before heading back to her room.
Jarod blinked his eyes open when he knew for sure she had left, wrapping the blanket tightly around him he wishes it was she he was embracing in his arms.
He awoke to the smell of coffee. She came out of her bedroom and walked into the living room as he folded his blanket.
"Thank you." He held up his pillow and blanket.
"I'll be at the office. Oh, I'll be home late. Forget about dinner for me. I'll grab a sandwich," she growls without looking at him.
"Okay. Hey, Parker, what's wrong?"
"What makes you think something's wrong?"
"The fact that you have a red shoe on one foot and a blue one on the other is a clue. You seemed preoccupied."
"You're a mind reader now?" She hissed as she walked out the door never bothering to change her footwear.
"Sorry for asking," he yelled out.
"Preoccupied? You poor excuse of a sorry ass! Well, what do you think? You occupy my every thought, damned you! Even in my dreams!" She tells herself.
It was ten o'clock when she dragged herself in. He was on the computer rat-a-tat-tat-ting away. "Good evening, Miss Parker."
"Hello. See you in the morning, Jarod." She walked gracefully away almost cat-like and he wondered if she was like that in bed or just the opposite like a tigress savoring on her prey.
Months passed as they lived together as the will had stipulated. It was late on a Saturday afternoon and he joined her down at the beach. He liked her look. No leather outfits, red lips or stilleto shoes. She had quit drinking her vodka and soda and smoking her cigarettes.
"Living here on the beach made a difference in you," he spoke to her sitting behind her. The high tide slowly began to rise as the ocean's water came up to her feet feeling the coolness running in and out.
She didn't acknowledge him. Parker played with the sand as she gently ran her fingers back and forth into it. Suddenly, she grabbed a handful and threw it at Jarod playfully.
Getting up quickly, she smiled, then laughed, running away from him. She yelled, "Catch me if you can!"
He quickly got on his feet and chased after her. Catching up, he pulled her into him as she laughed. He grabbed her by her waist as she threw her arms around his neck. He missed that laugh. She used to laugh a lot when they were ten years old. The wind blew locks of her hair and he gently pushed it away from her face. "Gotcha!" He whispered. He had his hands through her hair, hers rested on his chest as she could feel the thumping of his heart.
Catching themselves, they both immediately took a few steps away from each other.
Their eyes locked for about ten seconds before she spoke. "I-I'd better go back in. It's getting chilly out here."
"Really? I feel a little warm here. You look flushed, Parker."
Placing her hands on her face, she felt a warm feeling going through her skin. She walked backwards away from him. "I'll see you inside."
Miss Parker watched him from the deck as he walked around the beach as if he was deep in thought.
"What's happening to us here, Sidney?" She asked herself.
He turns to see her watching him. She's been doing that lately. Just watching him. But, never saying a thing. Holding her hand up, she waves at him. He nods and smiles.
"Show me a sign, Sidney," Jarod says as he looks up into the sky.
It's been six months since moving in together. Everything was done as they compromised. It was like being married without the sex. There were several glances here and there, soft touches, but nothing more. Each would go into their bedrooms everynight sleeping next to nothing.
It was early evening when she came home from The Centre and she found the fireplace lit. Miss Parker could hear Jarod fumbling about in the kitchen and stood in the doorway.
He turned and nodded and continued with his cooking.
"I'll jump in the shower, be out in a few minutes."
She found him in front of the fireplace with two glasses of wine. Sitting next to him he hands her a glass and lightly taps it with his.
"To you, Miss Parker, we got through this. Although a lot of times I thought one of us would have killed each other by now. Today, makes exactly six months. It's up to you what you want to decide on our house."
"Our." She thought to herself. It sounded like they were a couple.
"What?" She whispered. It was not her familiar salutation he had grown accustomed to.
"Bet you can't wait to move out, Melissa." He held his breath afraid of the answer.
"Melissa," she tell herself. It surprised her for she thought for sure he had forgotten her first name. She looks at him and sips her wine slowly. "I see you've been counting the days."
"Haven't you? Thought you'd have it circled in red on your calendar." He sounded annoyed not knowing why he felt the way he did. He wasn't sure if it was the fact that their playhouse would soon be over or if he just wanted this pretend to last forever.
"You jerk!" She screamed, sounding like the old Parker. She threw her glass into the fireplace. "You just can't wait to get away from me, huh?" Storming into her bedroom, the wall hanging outside of her room fell down on the floor as she slammed the door with full force.
It astonished him on her behavior. "Okay," he tells himself, "any minute now she'll come out with her Smith and Wesson finally pulling the trigger at me."
She laid on her bed crying. Hey, Parker's don't cry. She could hear her father's voice in the background. "The hell with you, daddy."
A half hour passed when Jarod courageously knocked on her door. "Melissa, you okay?"
"It's Miss Parker to you, Melissa died a long time ago," she screamed through her closed door.
"Open this damned door," he yelled back jiggling the knob.
"What?" She cried out as she flung the door wide open.
"Wasn't it the deal, we live here for six months and then decide what we want to do with this house?"
"You've already decided for us!"
"Us," he tells himself sounding like they were ever an "Us". "What do you want, Melissa?"
"Get the hell out of my room! That's what I want." She lays her hands on his chest and pushes him.
Taking hold of her he tries to calm her down. "Okay, okay, Parker, calm down."
"Don't you know? Jarod, don't you know?" Her voice cracked and she spoke in barely a whisper.
"Don't I know what? You're not making any sense at all, Miss Parker."
"Out! Get out!" Pushing him out the door she slams it shut.
Jarod sits in front of the fireplace finishing up his drink. He could hear her footsteps walking around the house. She flopped next to him and hooked her arm on his, laying her head on his shoulder.
He didn't move, but just looked at the fire burning with what little left of wood turning into ashes.
"Don't I know what, Melissa?"
She kept quiet, although she still hung on to him.
"You want to sell?"
Parker shook her head. He smiles to himself.
"What are you smiling at, Jar?"
"You. You've never been the quiet type."
"You labrat, No!"
"That's the Parker I know and love."
"Love?" She asked.
"Just a figure of speech, Mel."
"No, I don't want to sell. I want to stay here."
"Oh." Jarod thought hard before he spoke. "Why not we do this."
"We?" Sounding like a couple.
"You stay here for the first six months...it's only fair...and then I get to stay here for the remainder.
"Look, just forget it, Jarod! Why don't we just sell!" She broke away from him and slid a few inches away.
"What? Did I say something wrong?" He asked, oblivious to the fact that Parker hadn't wanted a change in their living arrangments.
"The mere thought of you existing makes everything wrong!" She hissed at him like an uncontrolled feline ready to attack.
"Melissa?' He moves towards her, brushes strands of her dark hair away from her face pushing it behind her ears. She lays her hand on her chest as if trying to stop the beating she felt for him in her heart.
"Do you want me here with you? Is that it?" There was silence. "Melissa?"
"Yes," she answered shyly biting her lower lip, "yes, I want you here with me."
"I'll stay, if you really want me to. But, with conditions."
"Yea, conditions." He slowly cupped his hands on her face and brushed his lips on hers. She hung on to him as she kissed him passionately.
"I love you," he mumbled in between kisses.
"I loved you from the start," she replied. "Jar?"
"Ummmmmm?" He planted soft kisses on her forehead, eyes, then lips again.
"Let's go to bed." Parker pulled him up leaning into him. "Mines or yours?" She asked in a whisper.
"Ours, Melissa. Ours."
He got up, slowly pulled her into his arms. Parker never knew what breathless meant until that very moment.
There was a hidden letter addressed to them tucked in a book in Sidney's desk which have yet to be found. It read:
To Jarod and Melissa,