Disclaimer: see part one
Author's Note: I hope you all got well into the New Year. There will be two more chapters (including this one) and then "Shadows" will be done. But don't worry, I'll have the next story as good as ready.
rev2004: Glad that you're still enjoying the ride… here's the new chapter now. Thanks for your review.
pretender fan: There is still hope for a third movie. I refuse to give up hoping; I just wanted to say that there were no contracts signed - up to now. But what's not done until now, can be done in the future so don't give up hope! Maybe we'll get our third movie! Back to Shadows: Doesn't Raines always have his fingers in things like these? sighs Thanks for your review and now enjoy the new chapter.
NYT: Yay, someone read my bio. No waste of time. Thanks! lol Anyway, and thanks for your review and now enjoy the next chapter.
NG: Hi. Yeah, I know the problem of reading, reviewing and life running parallel… my life is currently keeping me away from the review buttons as well. Anyway, thanks a lot for those words - though I have to forward most of the compliments to my beta who's paying close attention to the characterisation - still your words mean a lot. Oh, and thanks for adding me to your lists! Here's the next chapter now. I hope you'll like that as well.
imag1ne: Hey Lisa, guess you are right about the casino thing… smiles. Anyway, I'm glad that you like the story. Thanks for reviewing and now enjoy the next part.
Leochick: Yep, Raines has some talent to destroy people's personality. Let's see how the story moves on. Thanks for your review and now go on reading and enjoy.
gemini006007: Thanks Mercy… I wish you the same. Oh yes, Seth is going to be a real problem; dangerous, in fact. Glad you like it. Thanks for the compliments and for the review. Here's the next chapter now… enjoy!
x x x x x x x
Shadows Part 12
Miss Parker and Jarod stayed in the living room for the rest of the night.
Jarod had thought about going after Seth and waiting for him to show up at the warehouse again, but Miss Parker refused to let him go. Without her saying so, Jarod knew that the events from before he had come had scared her rather badly.
Jarod didn't really believe in their luck to find Seth in the warehouse anyway. Seth was as much a Centre child as Jarod was and he would smell danger in every corner right now.
No, he wouldn't return to the warehouse, and that way Jarod had no means of knowing where Seth could be.
He sighed and drew himself out of his pretend. It hadn't really been of any use, just as he had anticipated, but he had wanted to make sure. He had hoped to get a better feeling for Seth in pretending to be him, and maybe to get some ideas as to where he could be at the moment, but it had been to no avail. Seth was too unpredictable.
Jarod shook his head tiredly and looked over to Miss Parker, who had fallen asleep on the couch. The last few weeks had been hard on her and the episode tonight had brought shock and then complete fatigue with it. As far as Jarod had been able to coax out of her, she hadn't really slept much since Seth's appearance.
He smiled when he saw her relaxed form on the couch and got up to cover her with a quilt.
He was not quite as relaxed as Miss Parker right now. In fact, he was worried. Worried that Seth would do something he wasn't able to foresee and therefore to prevent - something that would endanger Miss Parker.
He grumbled quietly, frustrated with the situation and not able to do anything about it.
They would have to wait - something that didn't sit well with Jarod. But it was also something that couldn't be helped right now.
x x x x x x x
When Miss Parker went to work the next day, Jarod stayed at her house and did some research. He hoped to find out more about Seth to help him to get a better look at what they were up against.
As much as Jarod had been tempted to drive her to work and fetch her in the evening, he had restrained himself from doing so. He knew that he couldn't just drive up to the Centre's gate and expect to get out with his skin intact.
Miss Parker had tried to reassure him that she would be fine but he didn't like it nonetheless.
Around the time he knew Miss Parker would come home, he started to get nervous and she found him pacing in the living room when she finally came home.
Jarod looked up at her when she entered her house and he breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank God you are ok. I was starting to get worried," he greeted her.
"I told you that I was a big girl and that I could take care of myself," Miss Parker scolded tiredly, but without any sharpness in her voice.
Jarod crocked his head to the side.
Miss Parker sat on the couch, a tired and somewhat forlorn expression on her face.
Only seconds later, Jarod made the connection. "He called again." It was a statement and not a question.
She looked up at him and nodded. "In fact he called four or five more times."
Jarod clenched his jaw. Seth called her more frequently now; he was starting to get desperate. He would soon try to get to her again, possibly even tonight. They would have to be on their guard.
"Did anything else happen today?" Jarod asked carefully.
"Isn't it enough to have a psychotic maniac on my heels?" Miss Parker snarled.
Jarod swallowed. "Yes, it is. I'm sorry."
Miss Parker closed her eyes. "Don't be. It's just that this guy is slowly getting to me," she admitted.
Jarod nodded and slowly walked over to the couch. He sat down next to her. "I know," he whispered and then took her in his arms.
She tensed for a fleeting moment but then relaxed in his embrace and breathed deeply.
"When will this be over?" Miss Parker mumbled softly.
Jarod drew her away from him and he looked her in the eye. "It will be over soon!" he said determinedly.
She nodded slowly. "I hope you're right."
Jarod's lips twitched and then he drew her back to him so that her head rested again on his shoulder.
"Thanks Jarod. I'm glad that I don't have to go through this alone," she admitted quietly.
"You still didn't tell Sydney or Broots, did you?"
Miss Parker just shook her head.
Jarod smiled sadly and then sobered. "You're not alone, Miss Parker. You never were. You have Sydney and Broots and you'll always have me."
Miss Parker looked up at him, searching his eyes. When she saw only serenity in them, she nodded slowly.
x x x x x x x
They stayed in the living room for most of the evening.
Sometime during the evening, Miss Parker got more and more agitated. Jarod observed her quietly. She was pacing, halting in her movements from time to time, and tilting her head to the side, a faraway expression on her face. Jarod watched her for some time and then he understood. He had been together with Ethan long enough to recognise the signs. "Your Inner Sense kicked in, right?" he asked.
Miss Parker looked up sharply and then nodded. Jarod could read her like an open book. "They say that he's coming."
Jarod smiled reassuringly. "It's ok, we'll get through this!"
She swallowed and then nodded again, trying the reassure herself.
Jarod watched her a few moments and tried to calm himself down. He needed to concentrate on the task at hand.
x x x x x x x
Not long after that, hell broke loose.
They were still in the living room.
Suddenly, something exploded outside.
Miss Parker and Jarod both winced at the sound. She was on her way towards the window before her mind comprehended what was happening. She grabbed her gun that lay on the coffee table on her way.
Jarod came up behind her and drew her back from the window.
"Are we going out there?" she asked quietly.
"No. That's what he is trying to accomplish. We will stay right here. That way we keep the advantage of knowing when he will come in and where he is. Out there, he has the advantage," Jarod murmured back.
They crouched in silence and didn't have to wait long. Only minutes later, a window on the front of the house broke.
Miss Parker's eyes narrowed and she stalked off to where the sound came from.
"Miss Parker, stay here!" Jarod hissed.
"I won't let him ruin my entire house," she snarled back.
Jarod grabbed her arm. "Stay here!" he ordered sharply.
She just shrugged off his arm and continued her way to the front.
Jarod growled angrily and was about to follow her when he felt movement from behind.
He turned just in time to see someone swing something at him.
'Baseball bat,' his mind registered incoherently while his instincts took over and saved him from a possibly death blow.
The bat landed on his shoulder instead, making him crash onto his knees under its force.
Jarod cried out in pain but he didn't get the chance to do much else because the bat already rose high up above him.
It came down again and Jarod barely managed to duck in time to miss the swing.
Part of his mind registered that Miss Parker had come running back through the door, but the rest of his consciousness was focussed firmly on evading the baseball bat.
The moment the bat was on the downswing, having missed him, Jarod lunged at Seth, rushing him and tackling him down.
His momentum, combined with the fact that he was taller, made Seth stumble backwards.
Miss Parker had her gun drawn but she couldn't shoot. She couldn't risk hitting Jarod.
The pain in his shoulder forgotten due to the adrenalin that seared through his body, Jarod drew up all his strength to knock Seth down. Years of training and his experiences as a pretender served him well. He had some experience with a man-to-man-fight and he possessed the speed and might to perform it correctly.
Jarod ducked out under several more swings and also took some blows which didn't make him back off. He had lived in the Centre for a long time and he had suffered under their wrath. He had learned to live with pain.
He could take some blows but he could also dish them out. He saw another blow coming and moved to get out of harms way. He took a step back and his legs connected with the coffee table, giving him no further room to avoid the bat.
Seeing the blow still coming, Jarod threw himself sideway and kicked out viciously at Seth in mid air.
The bat crashed onto the floor next to his leg, making Jarod get up again before Seth was able to lift it again. What he hadn't seen coming was Seth flinging the bat sideways at Jarod's knee, making him crash right back down on the carpet.
The bat moved again swiftly, this time intending to hit Jarod on the head with an impact hard enough to kill him.
Two loud thuds registered in Jarod's mind but his attention was on the bat. He threw up his arm to protect his head but it was too late and everything went black.
To be continued…
#evil laugh# anothercliff hanger. I know, I'm evil. :D