Authors Note: Ok, first off I'd like to say that this is the first fic I ever wrote, so bear with me. To complicate things English isn't my native language. I Hope I didn't deter you with that. If not, I hope you have as much fun reading the story as I had writing it.

Disclaimer: You know the drill. I don't own them. only took them out of their box to play with them. I'll put them back, don't you worry. No money- making intended.so please don't sue! Did I forget something? If so, sorry, didn't mean to forget. So now on with the story.

Close After Midnight

It was close after midnight. There was no light in the house so she was obviously already asleep.

He silently closed the back door and walked through the kitchen. His hand lingered a moment over the light switch but then he let it drop. He didn't need light. He'd been in the house far too often to not find his way around in the dark.

He didn't want her to wake up.

Her waking up in the middle of the night could be quite dangerous. You always had to fear her wrath. It was one thing on the telephone and more than once it was real fun to wake her up. But not when he was there in person. He crept on so as not to make a sound. He knew which steps on the stairs he had to avoid that would squeak. Her bedroom door was slightly ajar. After opening it a little more he just stood there watching.

Her face was gently illuminated by the moonlight falling through the window. She looked so peaceful. Like an angel. Though he didn't like Mr. Parker, her nickname was just perfect, Jarod had to give him credit for that.

He watched a few more seconds, impressed that he again got up here without her waking up. But on the other hand he had done it more times than he could count on his fingers. His greatest coup was when he fetched her gun from under her pillow to remove the pin.

Back then shortly after Thomas died. Again he felt a stab of guilt like every time he thought of Thomas. He didn't mean for him to die. He still couldn't forgive himself that he had sent him to Parker. It was his fault that Thomas was dead.

He just wanted to help Parker. He didn't mean to hurt her even more. On the contrary. He just wanted her to be happy. Back then, he had realized that he couldn't make her happy. He loved her but he couldn't be with her. The Centre would always try to prevent that. So he sent Thomas to her.

He'd just wanted to give her some hope. A reason to go on living. Even if life for them was hell, thanks to the Centre. But his plan had backfired. For a short time it looked like it would work but then the Centre had stepped in again and everything was over. He could only hope that they wouldn't forever control their lives.

A soft noise brought him back from his reverie. Parker stirred slightly but kept on sleeping. Jarod now moved slowly and silently away from the doorframe in which he was still standing and crept closer to her. He knelt down in front of the bed. She was so beautiful. Sleep was the only time she let her guard down completely. She looked content and relaxed.

He loved to watch her sleep, to watch over her. She would be furious to know that but he always had the urge to protect her even though he knew that she could take care of herself. She was so strong and so fragile at the same time.

It was then that he realized that her eyes had blinked open and she looked at him.

"You're late and you're daydreaming again." She mumbled when she realized that she had his attention.

"I know. Sorry, I didn't want to wake you."

"Shh. Anyway, I'll sleep better with you lying beside me, Jarod", with that she shifted to make room for him on the bed. When he had striped to his boxer shorts, she lifted the covers for him to join her. She then snuggled closer to him while he softly took her in his arms and held her close.

"What have you planed for the team the next few days? Where is the next lair you want us to find?", she asked sleepily.

"You won't find it for a few days. I just sent the first hint. The package will probably wait in your office tomorrow or the day after", was his response.

"Can't you give me some more information?" she complained.

"No. All you need to know now is that you won't have to travel tomorrow", he said smiling in her hair.

"Ok. At least I won't ruin any of my shoes during the day by running after you. Right?"

"Right."

"Oh, come on! Just a little hint for me", she begged.

"No. I don't want you to have a head start on Sydney and Broots", he smiled.

"Jarod."

"No!", he replied, now laughing openly.

"What? Why are you laughing?" Parker said, sitting up, now wide awake.

Jarod continued to grin but he didn't say anything else.

"Jarod, I swear to god."

"That's one of the things I love about you", he told her.

"What?"

"That."

"Agh, Jarod! Stop speaking in riddles. Why can't you just once tell me something straight away?"

"Where would the fun be in that?" He replied, smirking.

Parker scoffed. She was really getting angry. And that irritating and simultaneously lovable grin of his wasn't helping any.

"I love it that you can't let go of things. You are so persistent that I always have a hard time to keep something secret from you." He tried to calm her down and also sat up in bed to take her in his arms.

Now it was her time to grin.

"Damn, you're having me there again!"

"You said you loved that!" She said, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes. But it can get quite unnerving!"

"Say that again!" she challenged.

"It can get quite unnerving!" He repeated.

"Ugh, just wait. You'll get that back!", she threatened.

"I know. And I also love that."

"And what is that?" her eyes sparkling mischievously.

"You're headstrong. When you say you'll do something, one can be sure you'll do it", he grinned.

He was too distracted by her eyes to notice her reaching for the pillow. Due to that he wasn't able to duck before the pillow hit him. "You're right with that! And you better watch out", she stated.

Stunned he tried to block the next blow and at the same time reached for his own pillow. Soon they were in the middle of a fight, both ducking for cover and using all space the bedroom provided.

They were both laughing uncontrollably and out of breath when Jarod suddenly dropped his pillow and just rushed her. He took her in his arms and kissed her fiercely. Parker eagerly kissed him back.

Without breaking the contact, he carried her back to the bed and gently laid her down. They only broke apart when the need for oxygen became too great.

Jarod stared at her and grinned.

"What?", she asked.

"I love that, too", he replied, chuckling.

She, too, started giggling and then pulled his head down again. Her hands soon began to travel downwards and so did Jarod's.

He slowly slid his hands under her nightgown to feel the skin underneath.

"Did I tell you I how much I like that nightdress?"

"No, but you were the one who gave it to me in the first place so I always assumed that you like it", she answered.

"I really do, but come to think of it, I like you better without it", he said tugging at the hem.

"So you want me to take it off?" she asked.

"Uh hu", he nodded against her flesh.

"Ok, but only if you get out of that boxers."

"That can certainly be arranged", he stole another kiss before breaking the contact to comply with her wishes.

"Yes, that's better", Jarod mumbled sheepishly against her mouth after shedding off their clothes. Parker just grinned in reply.

His hands again began to wander over her body. His mouth moved downwards and he left a tail of kisses on her flesh.

They soon were oblivious to their surroundings when they both surrendered their passion.

After their gentle lovemaking, Jarod held her possessively.

Contently, Parker snuggled deeper in his embrace.

"Will you be there tomorrow, when I wake up or do you have to arrange something half a continent away?" she asked him sleepily.

"For the moment, everything is set. I can always find a new pretend for me to do but if you want me to, I'll be here tomorrow morning", he whispered.

"I'd like that very much. Thanks", she whispered back.

He just tightened his arms around her.

Soon, she felt his breathing even out against her back.

"Jarod?", she mumbled.

"Hm?"

"I love you"

"I love you, too, babe", he replied.

She relaxed against his chest and felt herself drifting off to sleep.

The End.

Whoa, this was some ride. I didn't intend this story to be that long but half way through it the muse took over and I really couldn't do anything against it (not that I mind). At the moment I don't know if I leave the story here or if I'll continue it. That also depends on what you think of it. So give me feedback and tell me if you want some more.