Disclaimer: I still don't own them and I don't intend to make any money with these stories, so spare the effort to sue.
Author's Note: Yeeeeehaa; finally here is the sequel to "The Call".
Ok, ok. Originally I didn't want to give each and everyone of you a personal reply to your reviews but I decided against it and here we go:
Leontine: Hey, didn't you read properly, I said that there would be a sequel! So here it is. Thank you for reviewing my friend!
gemini006007: Glad that you liked the story and I hope that you will like the short sequel as well.
pretender fan: So here the sequel is. Thank you for reviewing and now enjoy.
Nancy: Yes, the trust is back between them. Glad that you liked the story and now enjoy the sequel.
Parker's Pretender: You won't have to wait any longer. Thanks for reviewing and now read and enjoy.
Mfkngst: Glad that you agree with me in not going against the Centre. Thank you for telling me so and now have fun with the sequel.
Grace: You are still there!!!! Thank you again for the wonderful compliments and now enjoy the sequel.
Earthdrago: Damn, you caught me. You are right; it is stolen #smiles sweetly#. I completely love Pirates of the Caribbean; I could watch that film over and over again. Oh and, what a PTB is: PTB is short for "Powers That Be". You might know it from one pretender episode out of the third season. The episode was called PTB as well. Thank you for reviewing and now enjoy.
mychakk: Thanks for the compliments. Here's the sequel now. Enjoy!
Somewhere Between The Centre And Life
Jarod silently let himself into the house. Everything was dark.
He had waited in a crouched position in the under-bushes of her backyard for some time until he was certain that there weren't any sweepers running around.
Closing the door, he walked through the kitchen. Just before he was about to get to the door leading towards the den, he banged into a piece of furniture. Jarod swore softly. There had never been any objects in this path. Parker must have reorganized the furniture.
Well, he hadn't been here for at least a year when they had last seen each other.
They had kept their promises and stayed in close contact, telephoning often and even sometimes visiting. That last visit had been one of those occasions.
So much had happened in the last few years.
First, Broots had finally gotten the courage to quit two years ago. Surprisingly, Raines had raised no objections to keep him, despite what Broots had seen over the years. He had threatened the tech once more but then he had let him go Scott free. Broots and his daughter had moved to Virginia shortly afterwards.
A year after that, a new shock had come for Parker. Her little brother had died from a mysterious infection. The doctors at the medical wing had done everything, not only because they had been threatened by Raines but also by Parker herself yet they hadn't been able to prevent the young boy's body from failing after nearly three weeks. Parker had been devastated.
Jarod had instantly come when he heard about what had happened and had helped Parker to get over the loss of yet another person she loved. He had stayed with her for the better part of a month until she had finally seemed to be able to cope with her grief alone. Only then Jarod had let her talk him into leaving.
Their contact had become even closer after that episode.
Then, nearly five months back, the Centre had pressed Sydney into retirement. They had told him to leave and that his service was not needed any longer.
Sydney hadn't wanted to go while Parker was still there but the Centre hadn't left him with another option. He had stayed close to Blue Cove to be there for Parker whenever she needed him. Sydney knew that she was in contact with the pretender; he was in contact with Jarod himself from time to time, yet he didn't want to leave Parker behind to fend for herself.
Jarod moved on through the kitchen and without anymore incidents, he reached the hall.
Raines had died two months later. This time it had been for real, no comeback possible.
Parker hadn't believed it until she had been present when the coroner had opened his torso. It had been sickening but only then she had been certain that this man wouldn't someday return to the Centre just as evil as he had left it.
She had called Jarod that evening and they had talked for hours.
Raines death had left Lyle in charge of business. He had connected with the Triumvirate and formed an alliance that seemed to be as firm as it was deadly.
New vultures from hell had appeared on Lyle's side, following on the ground of burned soil that tailed Lyle's steps.
Parker hadn't wanted the chairmanship of the Centre and so she hadn't gotten it. In fact, Raines death let the hope, Jarod had placed in her nearly three years back, reappear. It had left her in a position where she had a realistic chance to brake free from the Centre for real.
The Centre had never been able to get back to a great financial basis after Jarod's final disappearance and the Triumvirate had never been happy about that.
They had supported the Centre nonetheless.
Right now, Jarod was here to see if everything was ok, or to be more precise, to see if Parker was ok.
He hadn't been able to reach her in two days and that had him worried. Hacking himself into the Centre's mainframe today had sent him packing a few belongings together and head off towards Blue Cove in a haste.
Four days prior, Lyle had made a mistake while enjoying his extracurricular activities… he had gotten himself caught.
His victim had escaped and barely an hour later, the police had appeared on Lyle's doorstep and arrested him.
Though it had been the ideal occasion for the Triumvirate to turn their back on the Centre for once and for all, they had tried to come to Lyle's rescue.
They had started investigating the incident. They had done so on the outside but they had also tried to accuse someone for betrayal inside the Centre.
Though it had been clear to everyone that there had been no one to blame but Lyle himself, the Triumvirate had started an intern investigation, searching for another scapegoat.
Due to their connection and their mutual hate towards the other, Parker had quickly come into the focus of this investigation.
They had made her go through an eerie T-Board that had been less than pleasant. It had stretched over nearly three days in which she hadn't been allowed to leave the Centre.
It was the reason why Jarod was here now, slowly feeling his way through the dark house.
He finally reached the flight of stairs and slowly proceeded upstairs to her bedroom. Walking into her bedroom without making a sound, he looked at her and sighed.
Parker was lying in her bed, sleeping. Deep lines of fatigue and pain were visible in her face even though she was sleeping.
Despite the darkness in the room, Jarod could see a huge bruise on her left cheek. He gritted his teeth and clenched his hands.
Forcing himself to relax, he drew a deep breath.
She seemed to be ok.
Jarod bent down and softly ran a hand over her head. She sighed noiselessly but didn't wake up. Jarod reached out once more to check her pulse. It was strong and steady.
He breathed again and relaxed. She obviously 'was' ok.
Reaching out once more, this time to draw up the blanket, he covered her with it and then bent down further to drop a kiss on her hair.
Straightening and looking down at her, he turned and pulled the easy chair closer to the bed and then sat down in it to watch over her.
Though he was content with her state after what he had seen on the video tape, he wanted to stay close to her and to make sure that she really was ok.
Parker woke up slowly. He head hurt and she groaned silently.
Keeping her eyes closed, she just lay there whishing the pain away. Suddenly she heard a soft rustle. Before she was even able to open her eyes, she felt someone touching her wrist.
Flinching away from the person startled, she snapped her eyes open, only to be rewarded with a blinding pain behind her eyes.
Blinded not only by the pain but also by the light that invaded her eyes, she tried to struggle away further but two strong arms pushed her carefully back into the covers.
"Easy, Parker, it's ok. You are safe", a soft voice mumbled soothingly.
She didn't need to see to recognize that voice. "Jarod?" She asked, ceasing her resistance and lying still.
She could hear him chuckle quietly. "Yeah, it's me. Sorry, I didn't want to startle you. I didn't think you were already that much awake", he explained, keeping his voice low so as not to further provoke the headache he knew was tormenting her.
"What are you doing here?" She questioned, prying one eye open.
Jarod smiled down at her. "Looking after a friend of mine."
Parker smiled back in return.
"You want coffee?" Jarod asked.
"No, I would prefer painkillers first", she replied, closing her eyes, to shut out the light once more.
"Ok", she heard Jarod murmur and then there was a soft rustle of clothes again being followed by soft footsteps, moving away from her.
A few moments later, Jarod was back at her side and helped her sit up in bed, supporting her back while she gulped the pill down with a glass of water and after that helped her lie back down again.
"Parker, I want to get a look at you eyes", he announced.
Parker frowned but kept quiet.
Jarod opened one eye after the other and shone in them with a small flashlight.
Parker groaned. "God, I feel like shit. My head is a mass of jumbled fragments", she moaned.
"That's not surprising…", Jarod said and put the flashlight away, "…considering that they drugged you up to your ears just yesterday."
Parker opened her eyes and attempted to sit up, only to be pushed back by Jarod again. "They what?"
"They drugged you, from what I could gather with some kind of truth serum", Jarod repeated and then frowned. "You must have known. They gave you an injection."
"I don't remember being injected with anything", she growled. "Just wait until I get back there. To drug me. They have got some nerve."
Jarod grinned at her temper. "Ok, you can think about that later. First I want you to lie back down and relax."
"Stop ordering me around", she snapped at him and sat up, swatting his hands away when he tried to keep her down once more.
"Parker, stop snapping at me. I'm here to help. If you don't want me to then say so and I will go", Jarod said evenly.
Parker blinked and then looked up at Jarod. She breathed deeply. "No, don't go. You're right. Sorry I snapped at you. It's certainly not your fault", she said.
"Staying in a horizontal position is better for you head. Believe me, I know what I'm saying", Jarod stated.
Parker lowered herself into the mattress again and sighed gratefully.
"Told you so", he grinned and shook his head slightly. He then got up and left the room. A few minutes later he came back with two mugs of coffee.
Parker sat up slowly, earning herself a glance from Jarod but she chose to ignore it and eagerly reached for one mug Jarod held out to her instead.
They sat quietly for some long moments in silence, both sipping at the coffee from time to time.
"So you got yourself into the middle of an intern investigation", Jarod finally spoke up.
"And you still have your sources inside of the Centre", Parker quipped back, smiling slightly.
Jarod grinned and shrugged his shoulders.
They settled back into an easy silence once more.
Parker was watching Jarod over the rim of her mug. "I didn't thank you for coming, up to now", she said, rousing him from his thoughts and making him look at her.
Jarod chuckled silently. "You don't have to. I was worried and so I decided to come here and see if you were all right."
"Thank you anyway", she said earnestly.
Jarod sighed. "How did you get yourself into the middle of that investigation?" Jarod asked and shook his head.
"To be honest, I have no idea. I didn't do anything unusual during the last few days. At least, not that I remember", she shrugged, then closed her eyes and rolled her head slightly.
"Getting better?" Jarod asked concerned and somewhat hopeful.
She smiled, her eyes still closed. "Yeah", she huffed.
"Parker, why are you still doing this?" He asked silently.
She looked up at him. "Doing what?"
"The Centre. Working there", he clarified.
She pondered his question for a few seconds and then shrugged her shoulders. "Don't know. It just didn't come to my leaving from there", she paused, thinking some more. "Maybe I'm also afraid of what comes next."
Jarod reached over and drew her chin up. "You don't have to be afraid of something that is far better than what you have now."
Parker looked him in the eye. "But where shall I go? What shall I do?"
"Remember when I told you that I would wait for the day you would leave the Centre and turn your back on that cooperation?" Jarod asked back.
"I meant it and I meant that I would wait for you and be there to take you with me on that day", he paused. "If you want me to and if you want to join me", Jarod added.
Parker looked at him closely, searching his eyes. When Jarod saw her asking glance, he nodded, further emphasizing his honesty.
"You would?" She asked quietly.
Jarod's features softened at the uncertainty that shone through her words.
"If you want me to. You are my best friend, Parker and of course I would", he said and then admitted. "There is not much that I wouldn't do for you."
Parker searched his eyes once more and then a smile appeared on her lips. "I would love to join you. Take me away with you, Jarod", she replied.
Jarod smiled an easy smile and then drew her over to him into an embrace.
Parker let herself be wrapped into his arms and sighed contently. "Thank you", she whispered.
"You have nothing to thank me for, Parker", he whispered back. "Just come with me and everything else doesn't matter any longer."
She nodded against his chest.
They stayed like that for a long while, both revealing in the feeling of having the other that close and not wanting to break the contact in fear of breaking this special moment.
So guys. That was really it. I really hope you enjoyed the ride.
Thanks to all of you who reviewed over the course of this long ride; without you it wouldn't have been possible!