Disclaimer: In first chapter.
"How can that be?" Jarod asked, still stunned by what he heard. "I thought…I thought you were…"
"Dead?" Jacob finished for him. A small chuckle escaped his lips as he shook his head. "Hardly my dear boy. As you can see, I'm alive and well."
"But how? You died in that horrible car crash over twenty years ago. Everyone went to your funeral," stated Jarod.
"I'll tell you everything in due time, but for now you need to drive," ordered Jacob as he nervously looked out the windows. "I took a big risk coming here, Jarod, and I'm still not sure that we're safe at the moment, so please start driving."
Jarod remained silent for a few more moments before turning back around in his seat. He still couldn't believe it, Jacob was alive. Shifting gears, he put the car in drive and headed out of the parking lot.
"It…it's you." Loosening her grip on the fire poker, Miss Parker stepped aside, letting her guest in. Closing the door she asked, "Angelo, what are you doing here?"
"Mom, that's Uncle Timmy," corrected Brandon as he came down the stairs. Going over to where they were standing, Brandon smiled at Timmy and went to hug him.
Miss Parker watched with bafflement as Timmy backed away from Brandon. It looked as if the savant was scared of the small boy. Shaking his head from side to side, Timmy said, "Hatred, such hatred. Evil clouds the mind, creates confusion." Eyes shooting up to Miss Parker, Timmy went over to her and grabbed her hands. "Daughter and friend in grave danger. Must rescue children and leave Blue Cove."
Dropping Miss Parker's hands, Timmy hurried over to Brandon. Pointing his finger at the small boy, Timmy said, "Evil! Evil breeds hatred!"
Brandon looked frightened by Timmy's words. Tears shimmering in his eyes, he looked up at his mother and said in a small voice, "Mom, I'm not evil." Going over to his mother, Brandon threw his arms around Miss Parker and hugged her. "Why did Uncle Timmy say I was evil for?" whimpered Brandon.
Confused and slightly irked by Timmy's accusations, Miss Parker looked down at Brandon, running a soothing hand over his head. "Sshh, I'm sure Ang…I mean, Timmy is just confused right now. That's all."
"Timmy's not confused," Timmy replied back, violently shaking his head from side to side. "Evil corrupts innocence. Evil is near and ready to strike. Must get out now!"
Obviously Brandon was getting more frightened for his embrace grew tighter around his mother's waist. "Mom, I'm scared," sobbed Brandon. "I want, Dad. Where's Dad at?"
Miss Parker was about to answer when Timmy came up to her and said, "Truth has found friend, but family still not safe…nor friend. Evil lurks in the shadows." Timmy paused for a moment then added, "Don't trust the wolf in sheep's clothing."
A chill ran down Miss Parker's spine as she stared into Timmy's honest blue eyes. "Timmy is Jarod okay?' she asked fearfully, afraid of what the answer would be. Below her, she could hear Brandon's sobs becoming louder as he clung to her.
Timmy held his head in his hands. Closing his eyes, he vehemently shook his head from side to side, clearly becoming agitated. "Don't know how to save friend." Just as soon as the words left his mouth, his head once again shot back up as he locked eyes with Miss Parker. "Only daughter can save friend."
"Mind telling me where I should go?" questioned Jarod from the front seat as he drove through the deserted streets of Blue Cove.
"Just keep driving," answered Jacob from the backseat.
Jarod glanced up into his rearview mirror. Jacob seemed somewhat anxious as he kept looking over his shoulder and out the back window, as if he was expecting someone to be following them. Picking up on this, Jarod asked, "Should I be concerned about someone tailing us?"
"What?" Jacob asked as he turned back around in his seat.
"You keep looking out the back window as if you expect someone to be following us," stated Jarod, gazing briefly at the mirror.
Jacob remained silent for a moment before speaking up again. "Jarod, there's a lot I need to tell you." Taking a quick glance at the shoebox beside him, Jacob looked back over at Jarod and said, "The car accident was all a ruse." Tearing his gaze away from Jarod he continued, "Sydney, doesn't know I'm alive, and I would like to keep it that way."
"Why would you want to do that?" asked a bewildered Jarod. "Sydney would be thrilled to know that you're alive."
"It's what's best," Jacob answered firmly. "My 'death' has kept Sydney and his family safe. If they knew I was alive, I shudder to think what they would do to my brother to get what they want from me."
"They?" inquired Jarod, glancing up at the rearview mirror. "Are you talking about Mr. Parker and his associates? What do you have that they could possibly want?"
A sardonic smile graced Jacob's lips. "Everything," he stated simply. Reaching for the box beside him, Jacob rested the item on his lap. Patting the top of the box affectionately he said, "Catherine entrusted me with something very valuable."
Not wanting to miss any minor details, Jarod pulled the car off to the side of the road. Putting the car in park, he turned around in his seat. Staring intently at the older man Jarod said, "You were the one who had that box of evidence delivered to my law office back in January, didn't you?"
Jacob didn't say anything at first, just remained silent. Tearing his gaze away from Jarod's, he looked down at the box in his hands. "Yes Jarod, I was the one who sent it."
"But why? Why did you wait so long to give this to me?" questioned Jarod.
"Because," Jacob began, "It was time for the conspirators behind Catherine's death to pay for what they did. She was a dear friend of mine who deserved so much better, and I've…let her down." A silent tear fell from Jacob's eye. "I tried to show the so called authorities all this questioning evidence behind Catherine's death, but it was useless for Mr. Parker had a hand in everyone's pockets."
Shaking his head Jacob continued, "Hearing about the trouble Mr. Parker was causing in your marriage, I…I decided to try and help, hoping that Parker would see how truly despicable her father really was. It sickened me to see how low Mr. Parker would go to try and break you two apart. It was no secret that the man despised you, Jarod.
"The evidence I gave to you in January were of course police reports. These reports were done by a Detective Miller. Sam told him a few things that stood out about the crime scene. When Miller did his own investigation, certain things were beginning to stick out that was contradicting the reports done by other detectives at the station. Feeling something was amiss, Miller tried to tell his captain, but they told him he was making a mountain out of a mole hill," explained Jacob.
Jarod's eyes lit up. They finally had someone to back up their claims. "What's this Detective Miller's phone number? I need to talk to him as soon as possible."
Sighing, Jacob replied back, "Jarod, that won't be possible. Detective Miller died a week later after his talk with the captain. Shot in the line of duty."
Jarod's hopes diminished in a blink of an eye. Looking crestfallen he said, "I feel like this is a lost cause, Jacob. It seems no matter what we do, we can't win."
Leaning forward Jacob replied back, "You mustn't believe that, Jarod. We will find a way to bring Mr. Parker down, and I believe the way we do that is by doing what Catherine wanted us to do." Taking the box off his lap, Jacob handed it to Jarod.
"What's this?" Jarod asked, pulling the lid off the shoebox.
"This is what will bring Mr. Parker and that firm of his down to their knees. This is evidence that Catherine collected all those years ago against her husband. This was her trump card against Mr. Parker," answered Jacob.
Jarod sifted through the papers, skimming over the words on some of the pages. At the bottom of the box, his hands grazed over a small, velvety book. Grabbing the item, he pulled it out. It was the diary of Catherine Parker. Running his fingers over the book Jarod said, "Jacob, why did you wait so long to give me this"
"I had to make sure it was safe, but I know now that it'll never be safe as long as Mr. Parker is around," Jacob replied back.
Looking up from the diary Jarod asked curiously, "How did you survive the car accident?"
"When Catherine was alive, I became her confident, her best friend. Of course, Mr. Parker didn't like the relationship we shared with one another. He always thought the two of us were having an affair," answered Jacob.
"Did you two have an affair?"
Looking down at his hands, Jacob replied back, "No, we didn't." Glancing back up at Jarod he added, "It's no secret that I was very fond of Catherine. I loved her smile, her laugh, the way she bit her lip when she was nervous…"
"You were in love with her, weren't you?" questioned Jarod.
"Yes, I was. It pained me to see the despair she was in when it came to her marriage. When I found out about what happened to Parker that awful December night I was livid. I was ready to kill Mr. Parker for what he had done."
"What stopped you?" asked Jarod.
"She did. Catherine was so afraid that Mr. Parker would do something to me. I told her that she should use the evidence she had against him, but she wouldn't. She never told me why. I believe the reason why she never did was because she was scared," Jacob answered honestly.
Both remained silent as they thought about what was just said. Thunder rumbled outside as the wind began to pick up. Rain soon followed, making small dinging sounds on top of the car roof. Looking back at Jacob, Jarod said, "Well, we better head back. It's getting late and I don't want to worry Parker." Turning around, Jarod placed the box in the passenger seat. Putting the car in drive, Jarod made his way back onto the road.
Driving back towards the hospital Jarod asked curiously, "By the way Jacob, you didn't answer my question. How did you fake your death?"
"To make a long story short, let's just say Catherine warned me in time," Jacob answered cryptically.
Seeing the Whispering Pines parking lot up ahead, Jarod turned into the lot. "Where's your car, Jacob?"
Leaning forward, Jacob pointed out his car on the outskirts of the parking lot. Pulling to a stop beside the vehicle, Jacob said, "Jarod, be careful with what I gave you. The evidence I entrusted you with can either help you or destroy you. If Mr. Parker finds out you have this, he won't stop at nothing to get what he wants. But always remember this Jarod, no matter what, your family's safety comes first and nothing else. Always cherish them." And with that, Jacob quickly exited the car.
Jarod waved goodbye as Jacob drove off. Digging out his cell phone, Jarod first called the hospital to check on Timmy's status. The nurses told him there was still no sign of his friend. Feeling defeated, Jarod then called home.
With Jarod so focused on his phone call, he didn't notice the black sedan that pulled out of the parking lot to follow Jacob home.
The night was getting uglier by the minute as the storm outside became more intense. Lightening flashed across the dark, saturated sky, while rain came down in buckets, drenching everything in its wake.
Turning his windshield wipers on to their top speed, Jacob eased his foot off the gas pedal deciding it was best not to push his luck. The last thing he wanted to do was to lose control of his car and drive head first into an oak tree.
As he continued to hum to the classical music that floated from the speakers of his car, behind him, a black sedan began to pick up speed. He was unaware of the speeding bullet that was making its way towards him for their headlights were off, creating a world of blackness behind him.
When the black sedan was close enough to him, the car surprised him by turning on their bright lights. Grimacing at the sudden brightness, Jacob absently took his hands off the steering wheel, doing his best to shield his eyes. His car began to swerve back and forth across the road. Squinting his eyes, he quickly grabbed the steering wheel, trying to get control of his car.
It was hard for him to drive for his eyes were still being assaulted by the bright lights behind him. Just when he thought it couldn't get any worse, it did. The black sedan tailing behind him picked up its speed, ramming their car into the back of him. His body jolted forward as he lost his grip on the steering wheel.
Up ahead, he saw a sign that read –Dead Man's Curve-. He tried to get control of his car, but it was useless for the sedan kept hitting the back of his car, never letting him have a chance to get control of the situation.
His car was picking up speed as it got closer and closer to the curve. His brakes felt useless, because every time he tapped them, his car would hydroplane across the slick blacktop, making his car fishtail.
Jacob's heart thundered in his chest as he gripped tightly to the steering wheel, afraid of letting go. Knowing there was nothing he could do to stop the inevitable; he made a silent prayer to God and closed his eyes.
Metal crashed against metal as he slammed into the guardrail. His body instantly lurched forward. He would've crashed into the steering wheel had it not been for the air bag that popped out, cushioning the blow.
He wasn't able to rest long for all of a sudden his car door opened. Jacob's vision blurred for a few moments before his eyes finally rested on the person beside him. "It…it's you," said Jacob in a slightly dazed voice. "You work for, Mr. Parker."
The man smiled down at him and replied back, "The one and only." Squatting down he said, "I have to say, Jacob, you surprised a lot of us tonight. Here we all thought you were dead. Now that wasn't nice." Laughing, the man looked to his right and said, "Zoe, call our bosses and tell them we have a little present just for them." Smile never wavering the man said, "Thank you Jacob, for you just made our job a whole lot easier tonight."
To Be Continued…