"Somewhere Between Hell
and a Turning Point"
a Pretender fanfic
by Miss Howard
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine, they're owned by NBC and "The Pretender". Please don't sue me…you won't get much. Thanks!
POV: Third person
Time: Immediately after IOTH
Synopsis: No way…gotta read it.
Author's Notes: I took the name from a line in the movie, "Island of the Haunted." IOTH left a lot of questions unanswered. Here's my spin on the answers.
Blue Cove, Delaware
Miss Parker's office
Blue Cove, Delaware
"Normal life," she muttered to herself. "What the hell is that?" She chuckled and then said out loud, "I wouldn't even know how."
"Miss Parker," Sydney said, standing in the doorway, "are you all right?"
She shook her head, pushing the thoughts away, "Yeah, Sydney, I'm all right," she answered. "Thanks for asking."
Sydney stepped in her door, "Are you sure you don't want to talk about anything?"
Miss Parker put her stack of files down on the desktop. "I'm not sure, Syd," she answered matter-of-factly and then sighed, "Maybe later?"
Sydney could feel that something was going on. Something was on in her mind. He only hoped she would come to him and want to talk.
"Of course, Miss Parker," he said with a smile. "Anytime."
"Do you know my first name?" she asked with a small smile.
He grinned, "Yes, I do."
She paused before she spoke, "My friends...call me Missy."
"Miss Parker?" Broots said, sticking his head in the door.
Miss Parker and Sydney grinned at each other.
"Broots. What's going on? Any leads on Jarod?"
"Uh, no, Miss Parker. Not yet."
"Then what?" she asked.
"There's some doin's down in receiving, Miss Parker."
"Doin's"? she repeated, stifling a grin.
"Mr. Raines is overseeing a "shipment" today," he whispered, stepping closer.
"Shipment?" Sydney asked. "I wasn't told about any new studies going on."
"It's all very hush-hush, Sydney. I found out about it by accident."
"Well," Miss Parker said, moving towards the door, "let's check out the 'doin's'".
Mr. Raines, Mr. Lyle, an unknown doctor and a few of the goons were standing around watching the shipment being delivered as Miss Parker and her entourage breezed into the room.
"Raines," she spat out his name. "Ya wanna tell me what's going on?"
"Miss Parker," Mr. Raines, wheezed, "What are you doing here?"
"I asked first," she answered slowly.
"I came to see the newest prodigies," he answered, taking a wheezy breath of air. "One of them will replace Jarod."
A cold chill came over Miss Parker.
"Replace…" she muttered to her self.
"If you can't catch him and bring him back to where he belongs, we'll just have to eliminate and then replace him."
Sydney looked around the room at the small children, "With whom, Raines?" And then continued, angrily, "Which one of these children's lives are you going to destroy next?" he asked.
"We have someone in mind, doctor," he answered and then took a breath. "But right now, I suggest you leave us to our work," he answered before he motioned for a sweeper to escort them out of the area.
"That man is evil, Miss Parker," Broots commented after they'd been shown the way out.
"Oh, uh, I'm sorry. That's your father. I didn't mean…"
She patted his arm, "That's okay, Broots. He is a mean sonofabitch even if he is my father and that's still debatable."
"Miss Parker? What do you have in mind?
"I'm not sure," she said slowly. "I'm just not sure," and then… "But something, though. Something."
Part 2: Realization
Parker pulled the plug on the drain and stood watching the water draining from the tub.
Parker pulled the plug on the drain and stood watching the water draining from the tub.
"Kinda like my life," she mused.
She'd pulled the white, terry cloth robe tight around her feeling a chill in the air even while inside.
"I need a drink," she stated flatly, walking into the living room. "Good ole Smirnoff," she said, pouring herself half of a glass.
She sat down on the end of the sofa, grabbed the remote and flipped on the television.
"Lucy," she said enthusiastically. Love this show."
After an hour or so of watching old reruns, she realized she'd only had one glass of vodka. "I'm cutting back," she reasoned, yawning. "Okay," she said out loud. "Beddy-bye time." She raised her arm and turned off the lamp. She sat in the dark for a few minutes, just long enough for her eyes to adjust to the little bit of light the moon was reflecting. She peeked out of the curtains to see the moon.
Where are you tonight, Jarod? Are you looking at the stars and thinking of me? she thought. "Damn, I miss you," she said, barely whispering. She tucked her knees up under her chin, wrapped her arms around her legs and sat in the dark watching the stars.
He's watching her again. Watching each breath she takes, every turn in her sleep, every sigh, every smile that crosses her face. He's her protector, her guardian, her lover, her life. He would die for her and her for him. He knows that he's taking a big risk by being there. A sweeper team could break down her front door at a moment's notice. He knew the risks.
She knows he's there. She can feel him. She wants to reach out to him, to hold him…to love him. She can't. She knows if she does, nothing will ever be the same. Damn, she thinks, why on earth would I want things to be the same? She thinks of the children…all of the children the Centre has ripped away from their parents, their families. All the lives it has destroyed.
He feels her struggle. Parker, he calls to her silently, Parker, I'm here. Wake up.
The fog is lifting…I have to do this. Dammit, Parker…wake up!
Jarod sighs and starts to get up and leave but she reaches out and takes his arm, "Stay with me," she whispers, pulling back the sheet so he can join her.
He sits down on the edge of the bed, facing her.
"Are you sure?" he whispered.
"Yes," she answered softly, sitting up. "I'm sure." She reached out and touched him. "I need you, Jarod."
Without speaking, he slips off his jeans and sits back down on the bed. As she pushes the shirt off his shoulders, she buries her face in his chest, kissing him, feeling his skin next to hers.
"Missy," he whispers, wrapping his arms around her and nuzzling her neck, "You feel so good."
"Make love to me, Jarod," she said, following the line of his collar bone with her lips.
"What's changed?" he asked. "No, wait…I don't want to know." He leaned back, eyes closed, enjoying her touch.
Jarod unbuttoned her night shirt and pushes it off of her shoulders. The moon dances off her creamy white shoulders and he places a gentle kiss where the moon beams landed.
He places a gentle kiss on her lips, then moves to her cheek, earlobe, neck and shoulder all within minutes.
The robe Miss Parker was wearing had fallen open and Jarod moved his hands to cup her breasts. Bending over, he took the hard nipple of one into his mouth and began to suck. He drew circles around her nipple with his tongue, sure to make her crazy. She'd taken both hands and ran them through his thick brown hair, kissing the top of his head.
He kissed the valley between her firm breasts and then concentrated on the other nipple, sucking it 'til it was erect.
She could feel his hot breath on her skin and it made her even hotter.
"Now, Jarod…I want you right now," she whispered.
"Not yet, Missy. Not yet," he answered, his tongue making a path across her stomach and down to her pubic hair.
"Oh, God," she moaned.
Jarod was between her legs now. He'd found her spot and was doing things she'd only read about. He found her wetness, licking, sucking 'til she was so ready she thought she'd explode.
He sat back on his knees, spread his legs and waited.
"Bless the woman that taught you how to do that," she whispered.
"My turn," she said seductively.
He took her and flipped her onto her back. "No, Missy," he said gently, "I'm in charge of this one."
The next morning, Miss Parker awakened to an empty bed. "Jarod," she whispered. "Jarod," she hissed. Then to herself, "It was not a dream." she insisted, crossing the bedroom floor.
"Missy…I'm in here," Jarod answered quietly from the kitchen.
"Good morning," she murmured. "I thought you'd left."
He took her in his arms, "You asked me to stay, remember?"
"Yeah," she answered, smiling, "I did." She ran her hands over his arms, "So, I've asked you to stay before. You never did. What's changed?"
"Well, I guess it's because this time, you weren't holding a 9mm on me," he answered with a small smile.
That stung but she didn't let it show. "Oh, I see. So if I'd wanted you to stay before, which I did, I shouldn't've held a gun to your head. Is that what you're saying?" she asked trying to sound playful.
"Yeah, pretty much," he answered.
The sound of the door bell ringing brought them back to reality.
"Miss Parker…its Sydney," a familiar voice called out.
Missy took a deep breath while Jarod turned back to the task of making breakfast, "here goes nothing," she said.
As she stepped out on the porch, Parker looked around to make sure no one else was out there.
"Is everything all right?"
Still glancing around and then back to Sydney, "Yeah," she answered, pulling him inside the house.
"Did you bring any sweepers with you?"
"No, Miss Parker, I didn't," he answered. "Why would I bring sweepers?" he asked realizing there was someone else in the house.
She didn't answer right away but she took the cup of coffee from Sydney, took the plastic lid off and began to drink it.
"I just wanted to make sure that you didn't bring the rest of the gang with you," she answered, avoiding eye contact.
Sydney followed Miss Parker through the living room and into the kitchen.
"Good morning, Sydney," Jarod called out. "How would you like your eggs?"
He almost dropped the coffee cup. "Jarod?" he asked, surprised to see him in a pair of flannel pajama bottoms and no shirt.
"Missy, would you get a couple more eggs out of the fridge?"
"Sure…what else? Juice?
He was speechless. "I-I don't know what to say," he answered, smiling. "Have you decided to come back to the Centre?"
Both Missy and Jarod shot a look in his way. "Hell, no, Sydney. I'm just here, visiting Missy, having some breakfast and taking a break," he answered, taking the two eggs she'd handed him.
"Your eggs. Would you like them scrambled?"
"Oh, uh, yes. Please."
"Jarod," Sydney started, "I don't understand."
Missy walked over and stood beside Jarod. "And while you two boys talk things over, I'm going to get a shower," she said, kissing Jarod on the cheek.
Sydney was still in shock, "Okay, Jarod. What's going on?"
"Here," he said handing him a plate of eggs, bacon and toast. "Have a seat. I'll explain everything."
Sydney sat at the kitchen table, the plate of food Jarod had just made for him sat untouched. He simply watched Jarod. He'd raised him from the time he was six years old. He knew, or thought he knew, everything there was to know about him. His favorite color, how he liked his eggs, what the tears were for every Fourth of July. Now, after six years of being on his own, he realized that he knew nothing of him.
"Jarod, I'm anxious to find out about you. About what your life has been like these past six years."
Jarod sat staring at the man who'd raised him. Doctor Sydney Green, part father, part teacher…fulltime friend. Oh, sure, he'd worked for the Centre for years as their staff psychologist but his primary interest was Jarod and the Pretender Project.
"What my life has been like?" He shook his head, "Sydney, I've been running for six years." He emphasized "six years" as if Sydney didn't know how long it'd been.
Sydney lowered his eyes, "Yes, Jarod. I'm well aware…"
"Well aware?" Jarod repeated. "No, Sydney…I really don't think you are well aware."
Sydney didn't say a word. He simply sat there, waiting for the events of Jarod's struggle to come.
"Nightmares, Sydney. I have nightmares. I wake up screaming in the night, you know. Never knowing who you can trust or whether you can trust. Since I've been with Missy, it hasn't been as bad, but dammit, Sydney. For years, it was pure hell."
"How long have you two been together?"
He raised his eyebrow, "Honestly, in our hearts, we've been together for years. But physically together, not long enough." He smiled, "Last night was our first night."
Sydney nodded his understanding.
"I've spent the night here several times. Never here in the morning, though, and Missy and I both wanted that," he explained. "But those damned sweepers." He shook his head, "They never leave me alone."
"Last night, she asked me to stay," he said smiling. "I can't say no to her. Never could."
"What will you do?"
"Well, we've been talking about it," he answered as Missy walked back into the kitchen. "We need your help, Sydney."
"What can I do?"
Missy pulled up a chair, "Sydney, we know what we want to do," she shook her head. "It won't be easy. In fact, it'll be dangerous as hell."
Sydney looked from Jarod and Missy and back again. "I will do anything I can to help you. You know that."
"Good," Jarod said, scooting his chair closer.
"What about Broots?" Sydney asked.
Missy nodded, "I'm going to talk to him about that today."
Both Jarod and Sydney agreed. They had to have Broots' help.
"Syd, perhaps it'd be better if you talked to him. You know how he is," she smiled.
"Yes, I do. He cares for you deeply, Missy," he answered.
"I know he does. And I'm flattered, Syd, but…"
"He understands, Missy. He really does."
"Okay, it's settled. You'll talk to Broots. Tell him to get to the archives and copy everything possible."
"I'll make sure he knows what to do," and then turned to Jarod, "What will you be doing?"
Jarod smiled, "I'm about to bring the activities of the Centre to worldwide attention," he answered. "But first, we've got to have a safe place for those children to go until their parents are located.
"I'll work on that," Missy answered. "What's that evil grin on your face for?" she asked.
"Oh, I'm workin' on a little plan that'll keep the government sniffin' around 'em for a while."
"Uh, oh…one of Jarod's 'little plans'. Not a good thing for them."
"Nope…it sure won't be."
"Syd?" Jarod started. "You have a little nest egg somewhere?"
He smiled a half smile, "Absolutely."
"Good. You're going to need it."
Miss Parker's cell phone rang. It was Mr. Lyle waiting for her at the center. They'd gotten a lead on Jarod in Milwaukee and were leaving in an hour.
"If you want in on this, get your ass over here," he'd said.
"Milwaukee," she said, questioningly.
"Yes, Parker, Milwaukee. Are you joining the party?"
"Yeah, I'm on my way," she answered.
This will throw them off course for at least a little while. Long enough for Jarod to get away again, she thought.
"Gotta go," she said, retreating to her room to get dressed.
"And so it begins," Jarod stated. "Finally, the downfall of the centre and all its lies."
While Mr. Lyle, Miss Parker and a sweeper team were combing Milwaukee for Jarod, Sydney and Broots had discovered the truth about the children that Raines was now overseeing. One of them, a two year old boy, would someday replace Jarod.
Miss Parker and Lyle returned to the Centre with a renewed hatred for each other. They were constantly arguing and blaming the other for their missing Jarod yet again.
Miss Parker had gotten good at pretending. For five weeks, she mentally fought Mr. Lyle at every turn; lead them in the wrong direction and "just missed him" several times.
That morning, Miss Parker was down in the adjusting wing and spotted several small children. The children were all sets of twins. There were multiple sets of twins in the wing but the site of a small dark hair boy froze Miss Parker in her footsteps. Could he be the one?
Her days are spent looking for clues of Jarod and her nights are spent waiting for him. He never called. He never visited her deep in the night. She began to get worried that he'd been hurt or worse yet, gotten caught by the Centre.
The Centre. A place of unmistakable sorrow. Sleepless nights, broken trust, horrendous pain.
Miss Parker shuddered at the thought of him being taken back to that horrible place again. She knew they were planning on killing him and replacing him with one of the children she saw earlier.
I can't let this go on. I just can't. But how…how can I break this cycle?
Late one night, after a particularly rough day at the Centre, she'd fallen asleep on the couch. When she awoke, there was the unmistakable aroma of lilac in the room.
"Jarod?" she whispered, getting off the couch.
"Missy, you're awake," Jarod replied, turning on the radio to the local jazz station.
"Would you like to take a hot bath?" he asked, pointing toward the bathroom. "The water is all ready."
Jarod stood in the candlelight watching her remove her robe. He slipped his off as well. She stepped toward him, admiring the finely chiseled body he'd attained over the last several years.
"You're so beautiful," he whispered, his lips almost touching hers.
"So are you," she replied running her hands across his chest. "You must work out daily."
He smiled and answered, "I was a fitness trainer for a while." He leaned his and began nibbling at her neck. He ran his strong hands to her shoulders and began to massage them.
"A masseur, too," he continued.
She moaned with pleasure. "Jarod, this is incredible," she stated.
He smiled, "I know something even more incredible," he answered, lifting her into his arms.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her face into his shoulder as he effortlessly carried her to bed.
As a soft jazz song played in the background, Jarod and Missy explored each other's bodies.
Missy ran her fingers lightly over the scar on his shoulder.
"Gunshot, spring of '98," he explained, his breathing heavier than before.
She kissed it. Her lips lingered on his skin feeling the warmth.
Jarod lay back into the soft flannel sheets, pulling her with him.
Missy pressed against him feeling his hardness touching her. She began lightly kissing his chest and then his abdomen, the soft hair tickling her cheek.
She could hear his breathing become more rapid and moved between his legs.
"Missy," he groaned, running his fingers through her hair.
She licked her lips and ran her tongue around the head of his throbbing cock.
"Oh God," he murmured, "you're gonna kill me."
She smiled to herself and continued with her task.
The song changed from soft and slow to a bit faster. Jarod took this opportunity to change the pace a bit.
He reached down and pulled her to him.
"My turn," he explained when she glanced up at him questioningly.
Missy lay back on the pillow and realized her breathing had become increasingly shallow. She guessed it was the anticipation of what was about to happen. She remembered the last time she was in this position. Jarod had taken her to new heights and she simply wanted the passion to continue.
He pushed her legs apart and knelt between them as if to worship her.
Jarod rose onto his knees and placed his left hand on the bed to the right side of her head. She turned and kissed his arm.
With his right hand, he cupped her left breast, squeezing it ever so slightly.
He bent over and flicked the already rock hard nipple with his tongue and then engulfed it into his mouth.
A feeling of ecstasy washed over her. She had to have him right then.
Reaching between her legs, she felt for him only to have him release her breast and pull her arm up over her head.
"You can't touch me yet," he whispered.
"Oh," she gasped, "you're kidding, right?"
"I want you to want me. Really want me."
"Oh, Jarod. I do want you. I swear it," she answered reaching for him again.
He pulled her back again. "Not yet, Missy."
He continued exploring her body. Jarod caressed her slender hips, running a finger over the small scar he remembered she gotten when she'd fallen off a horse.
"Jarod," she whispered, "please..."
He kissed his way to her neck and as she begged him to take her. When he had satisfied her lust, he gave way to her desires.
The next morning, Parker is startled awake when she hears a car door slam and then another one.
"Jarod," she whispers. "Someone's here."
An overwhelming feeling of nausea swept over her and she thought she was going to be sick right there.
"Oh, hell…not now. I've got to get to the door," she mumbled.
"Parker…Parker, open the door."
"Sydney?" she asked, opening the door to find Sydney standing on the threshold with something or someone wrapped in a blanket.
"I couldn't let them…not this time. I just couldn't Parker," he repeated, clearly agitated.
"Sydney, slow down just a bit. Tell me what you're talking about."
"The boy, Parker. Do you remember the little boy you saw that morning?
"Yes, I remember."
Sydney pulled the cover off the child, "He's your son, Parker."
"How? "How is he my son?"
"Sydney," he began taking the boy from him, "He's Parker's son?"
"Who's his father?"
He hesitated, "I think you are."
Jarod was surprised, "Me?" and then he smiled, "Are you sure?"
"According to the DNA test, you're his father," he answered. "Broots ran the test himself."
Jarod glanced at Parker, "Now their stealing our child, Parker."
"Raines had a surrogate mother impregnated with the embryo of Parker's fertilized egg."
"He looks just like you," Parker remarked, still in shock.
Jarod smiled, "Yeah, but he's got your nose."
"Hey, little fella," Jarod said.
The little boy looked up to Jarod, "Daddy", he said very plainly.
"He knows me, Sydney. He knows me."
Sydney nodded, "Yes. And the Centre will be looking for him. You've got to get out of here."
Jarod glanced at Sydney, "He's a pretender."
He nodded. "I think so. It would make sense for him to be a pretender with two natural pretenders for parents. What other reason would the Centre want him?
Miss Parker's nausea had gotten worse. "Gimme a minute boys," she said running to the bathroom.
"Parker, we don't have time!" Jarod called after her, gathering some things they'd need for a trip.
A few minutes later, Miss Parker reappeared, a little less green around the gills and a bit chipper. Jarod and Sydney had managed to get the little boy ready to travel. They'd found some crackers in the cabinet to have for the trip and found some juice for him to have as well.
"Well, this is going to be interesting. Jarod, how are we going to pull this one off?"
"The best way we know how, Parker," Jarod answered. "The most important thing is to keep our son safe."
"Uh, we're going to have to add to the little scenario, there, Jarod," she said.
"What are we adding to it Parker?" he asked glancing down at the item she held in her hand.
"Do you remember that first night you were here?" she asked with a slight grin.
Jarod smiled, "Vividly, why?"
"Well, according to this," she motioned toward the test, "I'm pregnant."
"What?" he asked, smiling. "Pregnant? Really?"
She nodded, "I'd guess about six weeks."
Sydney stood beside her holding their son, waiting for Jarod's reaction.
Suddenly, he scooped her up in his arms, "An hour ago I had no children and now, I've got two," he said excitedly. "This is wonderful." He turned to Sydney. "I'm a father, Sydney. I have two children."
"Yes, Jarod. It is wonderful. But right now, you've got to get your family out of here and to safety. The Centre will be looking for you."
Missy walked toward the door, their baby in her arms. She glanced backward to see Sydney standing there.
"Sydney," she said, "I can't leave Sydney."
Turning back towards them, Jarod said, "Come with us, Sydney. You have to come with us."
He shook his head. "I will be more useful to you here, at the Centre. You go ahead. I'll catch up to you later."
"Do you remember where to meet?"
He nodded, "Yes. I remember."
"Come on, Missy," he said, pulling her to the door.
"Sydney, find us. Please."
He nodded, "I will, my little one. Be safe."