Disclaimer: The pretender and its characters belong to their respectful owners. No money is being made from this. It's all for good fun.
Late October 2002
Blue Cove, Delaware
Miss Parker walked through the front door, grateful to finally be home. Another chase, another dead end. Letting out a tired sigh, she threw her keys down on the table, and headed straight for the bathroom.
While the tub filled up with water, she went into her bedroom to check for any messages. The answering machine showed one message. Pushing the play button, she listened to the message.
"Angel, it's your father. I see you came up empty again for the search on Jarod. The powers that be are becoming frustrated with your results. I can only hold them off for so long," he said with disappointment. "They feel you've lost your edge when it comes to Jarod. I told them that can't be, a Parker is strong willed, and they don't let petty emotions get in the way. However, they disagree with me. They've called for a meeting 8:00am sharp, tomorrow morning. See you there, Angel." With that, the message ended.
Miss Parker threw her head back and looked at the ceiling. "Great, just what I need. A nice little tower meeting, explaining once again why Jarod is so hard to catch," she said to the room sarcastically. Feeling a migraine starting to come on, she rubbed her forehead as she hobbled into the bathroom.
Sitting down on the toilet seat, she took off her favorite heels, which were now useless since one of them was broken. Casting the shoes aside, she rubbed her right ankle, which was now sore and looking bruised. Well, she learned her lesson from this latest trip, never chase after a pretender on farmland while wearing heels. Turning off the running bath water, she slowly got back up, looking for any ibuprofen to relieve the pounding behind her eyes.
After swallowing the pills, she took off her soiled clothes, throwing them down on the floor. Looking back into the mirror, she could still see leftover remnants from the latest chase stuck in her hair. She thought she cleaned all the mud off; unfortunately there was still some left, which was now dried and caked onto her scalp. Lab rat is going to pay for this, she thought to herself bitterly. Rubbing the weariness out of her face, she went over to the tub, gingerly lowering herself in.
The warm, scented water was relaxing to say the least. Every sore muscle in her body was slowly beginning to relax. Closing her eyes, she leaned back, letting out a contented sigh. She tried to think of pleasant thoughts, but the only thought that came to her mind was Jarod and this latest chase.
After two weeks of nothing, Broots had finally found Jarod. The pretender was working on a horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He was trying to help a jockey get over the fear of getting back up on the saddle again. Feeling confident, she ordered Broots to call the airstrip to get the Centre jet ready. Three hours later, the plane touched down in the bluegrass state.
With Broots driving, she was able to take in the scenery that surrounded her. It was late October, and the huge cluster of trees that lined the forests was like fireworks. Red, green, yellow, gold, and orange were sprinkled everywhere. The interstate was lined with horse farms that were surrounded by white wooden fences. She could see horses, and some cows, grazing and running along their confines. With the sun shining brightly down, everything looked so picturesque and peaceful. It was like looking at a real life post card.
When they reached the O'Bannon Horse Farm, she was surprised to find Jarod still there. He was in the distance, walking alongside a horse that seemed to be injured. When their eyes met, neither one moved, both too stunned to see the other one there. Both were broken out of their reverie when Broots shouted out to Jarod, pointing him out in the distance. Taking one last fleeting glance, Jarod quickly turned on his heel and ran toward the stables. Miss Parker told Broots and Sydney to split up as she reached behind her back, bringing out her gun.
The chase was now on. She had no problems running until she stepped onto the grass. She cursed to herself as her heels instantly sank into the rain soaked ground, hindering her progress. Looking back up to the stable, she could still see Jarod there, which surprised her. She was sure he would be gone by now. Feeling more confident, she grudgingly ran towards the stables.
When she reached the stables, she found Jarod sitting on top of a horse, trying to make it move. Smiling wickedly at him, she pointed here gun at him. "After all of these years, I've finally got you," she said with confidence. "Now, slowly get off the horse. Try anything funny, and I'll make sure to keep that little promise I made to you when we were in the Keys, but instead of the knee, it might be your pretty little face."
Giving up on making the horse move, Jarod gave her an amused look and sat back. "Now, now Miss Parker, I know you don't mean that." He paused, looking around the building. "You know I'll get away. I always do. I wonder why that is?" he said thoughtfully.
Ignoring his words, she signaled for him to get down with the wave of her gun. "Jarod, I'll give you five seconds. If you still haven't moved, I'll shoot you," she said with determination.
"Is that so?"
"Yes it is." She then started to countdown. "1…2…"
Instead of getting down, Jarod sat stubbornly on the saddle as he watched her rattle off the numbers. Feeling bored, he brought his fingers up to his face, pretending to inspect his fingernails. Once he heard five, he looked down at an irritated Miss Parker. Flashing his infamous cocky smile he commented, "Well Miss Parker it looks like I called your bluff. I told you nothing would happen. Now if you don't mind, could you get out of the way, so I can get out of here. I know chasing me is the only thing you've got going in your life right now."
Patting the horse on the neck he commanded, "Come on, Doc Randall. Time to go. Yah!" Unfortunately, the thoroughbred wouldn't budge. There was one thing that would get this horse to move. He didn't want to do it, but knew he had to. "What's the matter, Miss Parker? Cat got your tongue?" he said tauntingly. "See, I knew you wouldn't fire that gun."
She was angry. More at herself, than with Jarod, because he did call her bluff. And now he was taunting her. There was one way to get the pretender down from that horse. She looked back up at Jarod who was looking more confident than ever, smiling mischievously at him she said, "You think you know me so well, don't you?" With that, she pointed the gun in the air and fired the shot, hoping to spook the horse.
She partially got what she wanted when she saw the horse rear up, kicking its front legs in the air. However, Jarod held on, trying to calm the horse down, but Doc Randall wouldn't have any part of it.
Miss Parker could see the horse was making its way towards her. Trying to get out of the way, she backed out of the stables slowly. When she reached the doorway, the horse seemed to calm down, but that all changed when she heard a commotion off to the side.
Miss Parker turned towards the noise, only to find Broots lying on the ground among large pails of feed. Broots looked at her, mumbling out his apologies to her. Giving him an annoyed look, she turned her gaze back towards Jarod. Her eyes grew wide when she saw the horse rear up again and started off towards her. Trying to get out of the way she turned on her heels. When she did this, she lost her footing when one of her heels broke, sending her into a puddle of mud. She yelped in pain as she twisted her ankle. When she looked back up, she watched the horse and Jarod run past her and into the sunset. "Damn him," she muttered to herself as she pounded the ground with her fist.
Miss Parker sat up in the tub, shaking the whole debacle away from her mind. Getting out of the tub was a bit tricky, but she was able to do it. Wrapping her hair up in a towel, she went into the bedroom to change into her favorite silk pajamas. With that done, she headed down the stairs for a much needed drink.
Going into the kitchen, she opened up the cabinets to find her favorite bottle of scotch to be empty. Throwing the bottle into the trashcan, she headed to the pantry to get another bottle. Opening up the door, she scanned the shelves looking for her favorite brand of scotch. Just when she was about to give up, she caught a glimpse of a brown bottle sitting in the corner on the floor. Hobbling over, she knelt down to pick it up. She let out a frightened gasp when she saw a gray mouse scurry along the floor.
She instantly jumped back. The sudden movements made her loose her balance. She tried to get control of her equilibrium, but her ankle protested against it. Spinning out of control, she fell, hitting her head against one of the shelves, knocking herself out.
When Miss Parker slowly came to her senses, the first thing she realized was how cold she was. She could hear voices around her, but she couldn't focus on them. She tried to open her eyes, but the light was painful. Miss Parker could feel someone gently shaking her shoulders, trying to get her attention. Finally, after some time, she was able to focus on a voice. What she heard shocked her.
"Mom, are you okay? Come on Mom, this isn't funny. Hurry up, go get Dad!" she heard a boy yell out to someone.
Miss Parker instantly opened up her eyes, blinking away the sudden brightness. With her vision focused she was finally able to focus on the face staring back at her. The boy was a teenager, probably fifteen or sixteen. He had dark brown hair that was almost black. His eyes were blue just like hers. He had a worried expression on his face as he looked intently at her. "Wha…what's going on?" she asked dumbfounded, while rubbing her head.
The boy cocked his head to the side, giving her a puzzled look. "You don't remember? You were out walking Buddy, when all of a sudden you tripped and fell, Mom."
Now it was Miss Parker's turn to look confused. "Why do you keep calling me Mom? I don't have any children," she stated. The teenage boy gave her look that was all too familiar as he smiled warmly at her, while tilting his head to the side.
"Mom, you're too funny." He turned around and looked behind him, turning back around he continued, "I hope Sarah caught Dad before he left."
"Yeah, you know, your daughter," he paused. "My twin sister, the one who can be a pain in the butt at times."
"I don't understand," was all she could mutter out. There was no way she could have a son and a daughter without remembering it, could she?
"Well, it looks like Sarah caught him in time."
Following the boy's gaze, she saw three figures running towards them. The youngest was a boy about ten years old with red hair. The girl, who she assumed was Sarah, resembled her brother somewhat with shoulder length, dark brown hair. However, what caught her attention was the dark headed man running towards them. No, it can't be, she thought to herself. Turning to the boy she asked, "Is that your father?"
"Of course it is mom," he stated matter-of-factly. Giving her a sympathetic, concerned look he asked, "You really don't remember us, do you?"
Rubbing her head out of frustration she answered, "I don't know what's going on. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone." When she looked back up, she saw the boy's father kneeling down before her, concern etched across his face.
"Parker, are you okay?" he asked, as he reached out to touch her forehead.
Out of reflex, she instantly swiped his hand away. This had to be one of his little tricks. "Jarod, I don't know what's going on, but if this one of your sick little games to teach me a lesson, then you have another thing coming."