By: Gemini-M

Chapter 1

"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved." William Jennings Bryan.

Disclaimer: The Pretender and all its characters are not mine. They belong to NBC, MTM, TNT, and its Producers. I'm just borrowing them to write this story for fun. No infringement intended.

Author's Note: This story is a sequel to "Blackout". You may want to read that story first to know how it got to this point. Thanks to my beta readers Jaccione and Kylie. You girls are Great. Warning: This story has a major character death, so please don't hate me. I am looking forward to reading your reviews. Thanks.

It had been four months since her stay at Ben's with Jarod. Her life had changed completely and together they had found her mother's plan and each other. Jarod had traveled back to Carthis searching for more clues on the quest Catherine Parker and Margaret had started so long ago. Meanwhile, Miss Parker had visited numerous people from Catherine's past here in the States and found more incriminating documents and DSA disks. Finally, they had put together all the pieces to Catherine's plan to remove the evil that had ruled The Centre. The next step was to find Ethan. He was the key to finding Jarod's mom; according to what Catherine had told Jarod just before Mr. Raines murdered her. Parker was adamant not to start the demolition of The Centre until Jarod's mom was found and placed out of danger along with the rest of Jarod's family. A month ago, Jarod had located his father, Emily and Gemini, and taken them to a safe location in the West coast to wait until they would find Margaret.

Miss Parker had a feeling that very soon they would find Ethan and Margaret, but something dark was on the horizon. She feared that this reunion was going to bring sadness and pain. She wanted so badly to help Jarod find his mother. He had been looking for her for so long and he deserved to see her again after so many years of separation. It saddened her to remember how devastated he was when he found that letter from his mother, telling him that she might not see him again. He had almost lost hope, but Miss Parker had given him back his confidence and fighting spirit. Together they were going to succeed and finally she had found the happiness she thought she would never have. She longed to be with him, even if it was for a few hours and prayed that soon they would be together forever.

In the past few months Parker had secretly met with Jarod on numerous occasions to put together all the evidence they had collected and to remove incriminating data from the Centre's records to protect Sydney, Broots and herself. Jarod had already contacted his friends at the FBI and had told them about the evil doings in the Centre's domain and the evidence he was gathering to expose them. The FBI was just waiting to receive this evidence from Jarod and the word to move in. Everything was ready and soon the nightmare would be over. Why was she so afraid of the outcome?

She shook her head to erase all those negative thoughts. Now the time had come to make things right. She had to be positive for herself and for Jarod. They would soon find Ethan and he would help them find Margaret. Ethan was the key and with his gift of the Inner sense he would help his brother and sister finish what both their mothers had started. This was their duty and their future and lives depended on their success.

Parker walked across her office and stood in front of the window that looked toward the open ocean. She wished that time would stand still. It was a beautiful warm day and the sea breeze made her feel free and at peace. For a few minutes, she thought it was part of a dream, but she was wide awake and knew the reason for her inner peace and happiness. She had found him again, her childhood friend. Deep inside she always knew that they never stopped caring about each other and now they had freely expressed their feeling for each other and sealed it with a solemn promise. This time nothing was going to tear them apart. She wanted to embrace these feelings and forget about all the darkness around her, but in her life sadness and loneliness had always ruled. There was always some impending threat over her and her loved ones and the voices were already warning her about an approaching evil. These were dangerous times and now they were all involved in a game that would set them free or make them pay with their lives. She prayed that Jarod would soon send her that final message that would put into motion the plans to bring down The Centre, but for now they had to keep playing the game.

They had just returned empty handed from Oregon. They had found the usual, Jarod's red notebook, some tools and clothing from his last pretend, but no pretender or clues of his whereabouts. Mr. Raines was furious, as always, and demanded that the team stay over night under Lyle's close supervision to go over any clues left by Jarod. Everyone was tense and tired. In order to keep his daughter safe, Broots had decided to send Debbie away to his sister's house for the summer. He wanted his daughter to have a normal life with a family and kids her age, but the separation was killing him. Sydney had aged a great deal in the past few months and he looked very frail. His constant concern for Jarod and her was plainly visible. She was really worried about the old man and feared for his health. This time Jarod was not the only one in danger. Their lack of results in the past months had lead to serious threats from Mr. Raines and Lyle. Raines was threatening to break up the search team and put Lyle in charge of the hunt for the wayward pretender. Miss Parker knew that if Lyle were to capture Jarod again he would destroy him. Lyle was hungry for power and would do anything to reach the Chairmanship.

Miss Parker walked to her desk and lowered herself onto her chair, still mesmerized by the view outside her window and lost in her troubled thoughts. She was so distracted that she didn't hear her office door open and the figure approach her desk.

The gentle accented voice had to call her several times before she pulled herself from her reverie and acknowledged his presence.

"I'm sorry Syd, I was lost in my thoughts. Is there something you need?"

"No, I just wanted to check on the results of Jarod's last lair. Have you found any new clues on Jarod?" Sydney asked pretending interest on the search, but could not hide the concern in his eyes.

"No Syd, nothing so far." She said with sadness in her voice, while staring out the window.

"Parker are you alright? You look very tired. Maybe you should go home and rest a while. We can continue this tomorrow."

"I'm fine Syd. You should be the one going home."

As Sydney was about to protest , the doors flew open and Broots burst in and ran to Miss Parker's desk. Both Sydney and Parker stared wide-eyed at the panicked man.

"Broots, please come in", Miss Parker said sarcastically while Broots stood panting trying to catch his breath.

"I...I'm sorry Miss Parker, but this is very important. I... I was checking the latest communications in and out of the Centre and found this memo send to Mr. Lyle from Mr. White."

"Mr. White?" Both Sydney and Miss Parker said in unison. The name had caught their attention immediately and they both looked at each other with fear in their eyes.

"That's the man Lyle hired last time to kill that family, but Jarod manage to stop him and saved the family. As I recall the name of the project was," Silence". What do you think he is doing for Mr. Lyle this time?" Sydney asked looking over at Miss Parker with concern.

Miss Parker looked at Sydney and said nervously, "But he is also a finder, a type of bounty-hunter. That's what worries me."

Broots looked at both of them and said, "Well you are not going to like what I found."