Disclaimer: Even though I would love to claim them all as mine, I can't because it would be a lie. I only own those I thought up myself. So I don't own the characters known from pretender and other shows (original characters are mine though) and I don't intend to make any money with my little story and because I don't make any money with the stories and I am a poor student with no money, you can spare the effort to sue.

Author's Note: I know it's been ages since I last posted. Real life and the new pretender-archive over at missing pieces dot org have been eating my time. But now the first chapter of the sequel is there. As I promised. The third part in a long series:
Please read these stories first: 1. "Smokescreen" and 2. "Starting Anew"

Author's Note II: This story will start rolling right here and now.
The story will turn into a crossover with two other series. The first crossover series will just make a very brief appearance that will only last for two chapters to make room for the 'real' crossover series.
I hope you will enjoy the ride. Tell me if you do (and also if you don't). Thanks and now I won't keep you from reading the story any longer. Enjoy!

x x x x x x x

The Past Always Catches Up

Day of disappearance

She looked around once more. There was a strange feeling: a tingling sensation that made her feel edgy. Something was just not right. She quickened her steps, readjusting Andrew on her hip.

Everything had been quiet for so long; too long. After more than half a year of travelling the States aimlessly and looking over their shoulders the small group had become tired and decided to settle down.

The Major and Emily had finally managed to shake the Centre from their heels and had come to join the small family. Ethan had appeared at their doorstep one day.

Jay was long since an accepted member of Jarod and Parker's little family. Parker had come to acknowledge Jay as her son rather than Jarod's clone or brother. The relationship between Jay and Jarod, based on identical genes, long thought of as brotherhood, slowly turned into a father-son-relationship. Jay asked for advice and guidance more often these days and Jarod readily accepted the role.

Both families had settled down not far apart from each other in New York. Jay and Jarod both agreed the Centre would start their search on the other side of the planet, or at least on the other end of America. So they had thought it safer to stick around the east coast and found a big city to be more secure than a small town, providing them with the anonymity they needed.

Yet they keep a suspicious eye on their surroundings.

Again, she looked over her shoulder, trying to make out the source of danger she felt.

She had to move quickly.

Parker let her gaze wander over her surroundings. A mall, a hotel, a small shop selling antiques, a police station and a fire department.

Her head shot back around.

A police station

She adjusted the boy on her hip once again and then started towards the station. Her strides got bigger and the steps echoed in shorter intervals as she neared the police station.

Suddenly, there was a squeal of tires. She didn't need to turn around to know the oncoming car was directed to her.

She broke into a run, Andrew clutched tightly to her chest and protecting him with her own body.

So close. The police station was so close and yet it seemed as if she had to travel a million miles and time was stretching out into nothingness.

It was one of the events one saw happening in slow motion and had yet no way of changing or controlling.

Racing up the steps, she broke through the doors to the safety of the police station just as two cars skidded to a halt on the curb in front of the station.

Parker stood with her back to the room, her gaze fixed on the two black town cars on the pavement. One of the persons inside of one of the cars looked up at her. Their gazes locked. Lyle shot her an icy stare, furious that she had gotten away and then she saw him bark a short command at the driver, setting the car in motion so that it quickly vanished from her view.

She felt as if all solid structure had left her body. Her bones felt like they had turned into jelly and she staggered backwards, only to bump into a person.

"Hey ma'am, watch where you're going," a male voice snapped.

"Sorry," she whispered, not getting any other words out and not turning towards the source of the voice, her wide eyes still fixed on the entrance as if a ghost was just coming through that door.

"Bosco," another voice scolded; a woman.

All this registered in her mind but it was stored away for further realization, her conscious still occupied with the recent events.

"Ma'am, you ok?" the female voice asked, concerned.

She didn't reply but felt herself being guided over to a bench and gently pressed down. "Bosco, get some water. She looks awfully pale. I'll see if I can get anything out of her."

"Damn it, Faith. Why do you always have to play saint? We have other things to do. We have to get moving," he grumbled.

"Bosco," she snapped. "Get the water!" With that she turned back to the distraught woman and crouched down in front of her. "Ma'am, are you ok? What happened?"

Parker was still staring straight ahead to the door. "Followed," she managed to choke out.

"You were being followed?"

Parker nodded weakly and then snapped out of her shock, at least as far as to look at the child in her arms. "Andrew," she breathed and felt herself tear up. She buried her face in his neck for a brief moment and started planting tiny kisses on his head.

"Here's the water. Can we go now?" the male officer returned and impatiently looked at his partner.

"No, we can't. This woman's obviously in trouble and what do you think our job is?"

He groaned and turned around.

The police officer held out the water to the woman in front of her. "Ma'am, here's something for you to drink."

Parker reached unseeingly for the cup and took a sip. The movements were born out of the repetition of daily life, but the moment she felt the cold water touch her lips her eyes focussed and her head snapped up. She looked around and straightened.

The police officer crouching in front of her watched the transformation in astonishment. Moments ago she had faced a heavily distressed and nearly unresponsive woman and now she found herself looking into steel blue eyes that were hard and focussed back on the reality.

"Who are you?"

The brisk voice startled the police officer out of her silent observation. She quirked an eyebrow and looked up at her partner, who had turned back to them sometime during the change the woman had made through. She saw that his eyebrows were high on his forehead as well. "I'm officer Yokas," she stated calmly and got up from her crouched position. "Ma'am, could you please tell us what happened and who you are?"

The steel blue eyes narrowed briefly and then she nodded curtly. "My name's Melina Stuart."

"A minute ago you told me that someone followed you," officer Yokas stated.

"Do you know who followed you?" the male officer asked, suddenly interested, and took a step towards the two women.

Both the woman and her child's eyes flew up to him. "And who might you be?" the brunette asked harshly.

The two officers shared a glance. "Officer Boscorelli," he answered curtly. Just as his female partner, he was wondering what this was about. Only moments ago this woman had been a mere shell and then she had switched into a hard and tightly controlled woman. "Do you know who was following you?" he repeated his question.

"Can I make a phone call? I need to inform the boy's father," she said, calmly and yet effectively evading the question without sounding too suspicious.

"Do you want us to drive you home?" officer Yokas asked.

"Yes, once I have spoken to my husband, I would really appreciate that," she nodded. Without having to think about it, she led the police officers to believe that Jarod and her were married and since they were using the same family name, anything else would have been suspicious. "Can I now please make that phone call?"

"Of course," the female officer answered and led the way.

Once the tall brunette was on the phone, officer Yokas stepped up next to her partner who leaned against the doorframe. "That was some encounter!"

"You can say that. I don't think I've ever seen someone switch between two personas that quickly. She was barely responsive one moment and the next second she seemed to be concentrated, as if on a mission. Clearly back into the reality and now having a purpose," he shook his head.

"Just what I thought," Yokas nodded. "Anyway, we should give her a ride home and try to get some more details out of her. Or see if she wants to make a report," she added.

Meanwhile, Parker was at the telephone dialling Jarod's cell phone number. He picked up after the first ring. "What?" he asked breathlessly.

"Jarod?"

"Yeah," he said but before he could go on, she interrupted him.

"Jarod, they're here. I was being followed. Lyle's here."

"Yes, I know. They have Jay," he growled.

"They what?" she screamed, making the two police officers jump and look up at her. She didn't mind, if she had realized it at all. She was too deeply immersed in the conversation.

"The school called me only minutes ago. I'm on my way over there as we speak. Are you and Andrew ok?" he asked, fear and worry lacing his voice.

"Yes, we are. I'm at a police station. I'll head over to the high school as well. I'll meet you there," she said and then terminated the connection without waiting for his reply.

She strode out of the office where she had been allowed to make the phone call and stopped in front of the two officers. "Could you give me a ride to the Strabruk's High School?" she asked in a businesslike tone.

"Ma'am, don't you want us to bring you home?" Faith asked incredulously.

The brunette pinched the bridge of her nose with her fingers and adjusted the little boy on her hip. "Look, I really need to get to the high school and I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me a ride, otherwise I doubt that I'll get there in one piece, so could you please just drive me there?"

Bosco frowned at her. "Can you tell us what happened?"

"As I said, I was being followed and now I really need to get to the high school. It's an emergency," she growled dangerously, trying to hide her dark thoughts and the urge to just strangle both officers.

"Ok, we'll drive you," officer Yokas gave in.

"Thank you," she nodded curtly and then they were on the way.

To be continued…

You might have recognized the series "Third Watch" in this chapter. Well, at least part of the 'Third Watch'-team is mentioned. It'll stay that way – with only the police department involved in this story, for I found no room for the rest of the 'team' to appear. This series will keep mingling with the story only for the next one or two chapters and then vanish again with a change of setting. The 'real' crossover will have more room and importance but I won't tell you now which series it will be. The next chapters will tell you!

Give me feedback, please!

Not read enough stories about the Pretender? There're tons of more stuff in the missing pieces archive. To get there, go into my profile and follow the link… and then enjoy reading.