A/N: I know that the title is ... But somehow (don't ask me why, when, …) I thought it sounded funny … kinda … don't crucify me!
It was so good to be far away from Blue Cove.
Flying to this European island had probably been one of her best ideas ever: She could just rest, tan, have a few drinks served by some very hot waiters, enjoy each and ever look they gave her because she only wore her bikini shorts and no one she knew would cross her way.
It was like Heaven on Earth.
From time to time, she had a little flirt with one of the other hotel guests. She enjoyed playing with them like they were little mice while she was the cat that tortured the mouse until she ate it, only that she was satisfied with the torture. Miss Parker had learned from the affair she had had with one old friend who had worked for the Centre. Since then, Thommy had been the only man she had slept with. Oh, she laughed out loud when she remembered what the Centre employers would think if they knew of her self-chosen abstinence. Well, at least she had still a few of her old bad habits: Like drinks in the early afternoon.
Speaking of drinks … Hadn't she ordered one about ten minutes ago? Normally, she got it in between a few minutes because she had already become one of the hotel's regulars.
She had just once more closed her eyes when she heard a voice next to her.
"I'm sorry to have made you wait, but I'm the new waiter and I need some more time to fix the drinks."
What the fuck?
She opened her eyes and put he sun glasses away.
'No, it can't be! He can't be here.'
"Jarod, I don't know why you're here. But my advice for you is: Leave ASAP and with a little luck I will just forget that I've seen you. You can stay free and I can enjoy my holidays."
She closed her eyes again, sure he would leave just like she had told him.
But she didn't hear footsteps.
She carefully opened one eye, in hope he had just left very quietly.
But he had just sat down on the nearest lounge chair and now smiled at her as if it was the most natural thing to sit next to his huntress.
She gave him an annoyed glance that told him to just get the fuck out of there.
Jarod just ignored it and kept on smiling.
"You're having the time of your life, Jarod?"
His smile even brightened up a little more.
She couldn't help but also grin.
He surveyed her body from her feet to her face.
"Miss Parker, don't you think you should use more sun blocker? Your breasts seem to be a little too red. I could give you a hand with that."
She had totally forgotten that she was as good as naked.
"I guess it's not part of you job, Jarod."
Why the hell couldn't she be angry with him?
She had wanted this holiday to forget about the Centre for a few days and now he reminded her of everything she hated.
Now he was smirking.
"I would quit if you asked me to do so, Miss Parker."
"And why should I ask you to do so, Jarod?"
He hesitated for a moment.
"Because you want me to."
It wasn't a question and she knew it.
Knew that he was right. But she would never admit this to him.
So she just ignored his answer and handed the sun blocker to him.
He looked a little stunned.
She thought triumphantly that she had surprised him.
But he soon found his self-confidence again and took the bottle from her hand.
He opened it and, obviously enjoying what he was doing, put some of its content between his palms.
Then he looked at her as if he was wondering where to begin.
Jarod stood up and settled himself at the end of her lounge chair.
He began massaging her feet, then her ankles and her calves.
She turned around so that he could go on with her backside.
He massaged each and every inch of her back.
When he had finished her arms, he stopped.
The only parts that hadn't seen any sun blocker coming from his hands were her belly and her breasts.
He was very brave, but not nuts.
She smiled when she noticed his insecurity.
Knowing that it was already too late to turn back, she turned around again and told him to finish what he had begun.
So he did.
Maybe it was the hardest thing he'd ever done. He had nearly been exploding when he had touched her bare breasts for the first time.
When he'd finished his job, he was wondering where he could find the nearest cold shower.
But he had never gotten any chance to just search for one.
"Well, Jarod, now that I'm no longer in danger of being burned, … what do you think of buying me another drink inside? Maybe some room service?"
He swallowed hard.
"I guess you've already had more than enough."
Why else would she let him touch her naked body?
Her tone got serious.
"Jarod, I've only had two drinks and you know as well as I do that I'm used to more. But if you think that I need to come back to my senses … what about a cold shower?"
Could she read his thoughts or … He looked down and suddenly realized that there was no need to read his mind when she just had to take a look at his boxer shorts …
He blushed and, ashamed as he was, just wanted to leave.
He stood up, but she hold him back.
Her voice was gentle, comforting and honest.
"Jarod, it's okay. Really."
No suggestive comment and note a spark of sarcasm …
He still wasn't sure what to think or do.
Therefore he just stood still.
She got up and suddenly stood in front of him with a towel that she handed to him.
"If you want to, follow me, Jarod … If not … ", her voice sounded sad, " … I will try to forget this has happened."
How could he have resisted that longing in her eyes?
How could he not have followed her?
She had fallen asleep in his arms.
It was all he had ever wanted. Waking up with the woman he loved in his eyes.
He opened his eyes and took a look at the grandfather clock. It was still early afternoon.
Lost in his thoughts, he didn't immediately notice that she had woken up.
But when he felt her snuggle up against his chest, he know that she was conscious.
"Did you sleep well?"
"Yeah, you're a good cushion, Jar …"
They both smiled and when their lips met it was the sweetest kiss they've ever experienced.
But unfortunately, it was a bittersweet kiss 'cause they both knew that she was still his huntress.
When their lips parted, her eyes were filled with sadness.
"Jar, where do we go from here?"
"I don't know, Melissa. I really don't know."
One lonely tear escaped her eyes and he kissed it away.
"You know that I love you and I would do everything to make you happy, Melissa."
She knew what he was referring to. He would go back to the Centre if that meant that she would be free.
"Jarod, I would never want you to do such a stupid thing."
She snuggled even closer to his body. She needed to feel him, needed to know that it all was real and it wasn't just one of her late night dreams.
"Why don't we just bring down the Centre?"
He looked at her in puzzlement.
Then he laughed.
"I can't just bring it down."
"I didn't say YOU should bring it down. I suggested that WE would bring it down. Together. You know that I'm a red file, too. I'm aware that I'm not as well-trained as you are. But with a little training, maybe … well, I'm sure I could … give you a hand?"
He was totally sure that she had used this phrase with intention.
"Oh, if you want to give me hand, …"
He started to tickle her.
She was squeaking for mercy.
"No giggling, Miss Parker."
"I'm not giggling, Jarod … ouch! Jarod, that's not fair … No! Oh, I will so pay this back to you …"
He was now attacking her body with butterfly kisses.
When he reached her lower abdomen, they both knew that she was lost.
"Jarod, this should better not get a kind of habit … 'Cause if we keep on spending the morning and the afternoon in bed, it might take us years to bring down this hell of an organization …"
He seemed to have been deep in thoughts when he finally answered.
"I guess it would be worth it."
"Jarod Russell!! Aren't you supposed to the rational one who tells me to better get started planning each and every detail because the Centre has stolen your life?!"
"Mh … But they gave you me!"
"Yeah, okay … we'll get started …", he obediently agreed.
After many hours of hard work with "relaxing breaks" as Jarod used to call it, they've nearly worked out a perfect plan.
"Well, Melissa, now that we've done our daily workload, what do you think if we call it a day and have some fun in the swimming pool?"
She still couldn't believe that just 24 hours ago she wanted to return him to the Centre and now heard him say this kind of thing – for about the sixth time that day!
They enjoyed the few days they had together and when the time to say goodbye came, they kissed each other for minutes. Their kisses were filled with promises of more days together to come as soon as their plan would have become reality.
But 'til then, there were still a few weeks to wait.
They just hoped that the saying was true: Good things come to those who wait.
'Cause they've waited for many years to be able to act on their feelings and much more years to be able to destroy the hell that had tried to damage their lives from the very beginning.
The next day, Miss Parker was back at work.
She first visited Broots to see if he had a new lead on Jarod. ;-)
"Good morning, Miss Parker. I hope you enjoyed your holidays."
He looked at her.
She had to work hard to not smile when she thought of how much she had enjoyed the last days.
"Is everything alright, Miss Parker? You seem to be very pale for having spent your holidays in the sun. Are you sure you're not ill?"
She swallowed hard.
How she would have loved to tell him the reason for her skin colour …
But she had to keep up the façade.
"Not that it's any of your business, but I preferred staying inside and reading some books."
She told herself that it was just a kind of lie 'cause they had, at least, practiced half of all known kamasutra positionsyou could find in books.Not that they had needed any kind of inspiration …
None of them had really seen the daylight for these few days.
Before Broots could see her now red skin, she left his office, telling him to inform her if he got any news about Jarod.
She got to her office and wasn't surprised when Sydney visited her a few minutes later.
He knocked on her door.
"Come in", she answered him, already knowing who it was.
"Good to have you safely back, Miss Parker."
Now she really had to smile. This man was still worried if he didn't see her every few hours.
He noticed her funny glances.
"Broots said you weren't feeling well …"
She shook her head. It was really sometimes unbelievable how much these two men cared about her after all the torture they had to go through for or with her.
"I'm okay. Really, Syd. Don't worry, everything's alright."
"Yeah, everything's alright", she added quietly, not realizing that Sydney was able to hear it.
Smiling, he left her office. "Well, then I will let you do your work. Have a nice day, Miss Parker."
"You, too, Sydney, you, too."
He would have sworn that she was in love. But that really wouldn't have been like the Ice Queen … Well, …
She spent the rest of her day at the Centre with paper work.
When she finally got home, she checked if there really were no bugs or hidden cameras. Then she took a hot shower and crawled into bed where she, just to be sure that no one would watch her, hid under the linens and put out the mobile phone Jarod had given to her.
Just like they've arranged, he had written her in secret abbreviations.
Each letter stood for the next in the alphabet and just together they formed whole sentences.
What he had written wasn't really new, but she needed to here from him that he was okay and not deep in some trouble he often got himself into when he was on one of his pretends.
'fb?bv!dx3dvb?k' (A/N: Try to find out what he's telling her. But if you can't figure it out: Everything's alright! And you (u)? Can't wait to (2) see (c) you (u) again! Jarod)
It felt like she had been holding a breath since they'd parted, but now she could breath a little bit easier.
What could she write him to encourage him?
Then she remembered what she hadn't told him.
Now she felt the need to make up for what he'd said.
'fb?nvmi?mv??n' (Everything's alright! Miss u like hell! Love u!! Melissa)
She felt freer than ever before though she was still not free from the Centre. But at least, she had opened up to the man who now knew that she loved him.
For the first time in years, she was able to sleep through the night without nightmares although there were no strong arms to hold her.
Jarod just smiled when he got her message. He had always known that the little girl that had given him his first kiss was still somewhere in the so called Ice Queen.
Yeah, everything would be alright in a few weeks from now.
So he kept on working on realizing their plan.
When the night came, he peacefully fell asleep.
The next weeks were heaven and hell all at once for Miss Parker.
She still had to fake interest in hunting Jarod while she just wanted to be close to him. Then there was her father whom she still loved, but just because he was her father. He was so busy with the Triumvirate and their horrible projects that he didn't even notice that she had changed. But Broots and Sydney weren't as blind as her father.
So it was to no one's surprise when Sydney finally asked her one morning what was wrong.
"Sydney, how I am is so not any of your business. So I guess the sooner you get out of here the sooner we can catch Jarod the sooner I get out of this fucking hell."
It hurt her to hurt Sydney with such harsh words, but she didn't want so risk him being in even more danger.
He hung his head.
"I'm sorry if you feel that way, Miss Parker."
Then he left and didn't disturb her for the rest of the week.
She felt really sorry about it, but knew that it was for his best.
Still, she cried herself to sleep each night: She missed Jarod and she hated herself for having to behave so evilly …
Jarod must have known that something was wrong with her for one morning, she found a little present next to her pillow: A little amulet in the shape of an heart. She knew that it had belonged to her mother. Anyhow, she was surprised to see the two photos inside of it: The first was of her and her mother and the second of her and Jarod as children. But behind the photo of them as children was another picture that showed them in their holidays. She didn't know who had taken it, but knew that it must have been one of Jarod's many friends.
Once more, he had made her day.
Over the last weeks, she had become addicted to her mobile phone. Even though they had agreed upon just sending a few messages each day, she more and more often checked if she really got no new messages.
One day, she was sitting in her office, totally having forgotten that their could be hidden cameras, when she was just writing Jarod another message and Sydney entered.
She quickly tried to hide her mobile phone and hoped that Sydney hadn't seen it.
"Sydney, is there anything I could do for you?"
"You could eat dinner with me tonight."
She had known this man for most of her life, but he had never ordered her to having dinner with him. Yeah, that's what it was: An order.
"I'll pick you up at eight."
Then he left her office, leaving behind a very perplexed Miss Parker.
How could she have known that he had just received a mail from his protégé.
Having noticed that Miss Parker was hiding something from him and knowing that Jarod often knew more than he, he had asked him about it.
Jarod had just written him one sentence.
"Ask her – if she wants you to know …"
Therefore, Sydney had decided to follow Jarod's advise.
When she had come home that day, Miss Parker had found a note from Jarod.
"It's up to you."
Knowing him, she had understood what he was talking about.
So she decided that they should trust Sydney.
After all, he had always been on their side – as much as it had been possible for him without risking his or anyone else's life.
Her door bell rang and, knowing that it was Sydney, she called him in because she wanted to write Jarod a message before they left for dinner.
Sydney entered her living room and saw her with her mobile phone in hand.
When she noticed him standing next to her, she looked up and friendly smiled at him.
"Just give me a minute."
After finishing the message, she took her purse and told Sydney that she was ready.
She closed the door and locked it.
He hesitated for a moment.
"Is it okay when we take my car?"
"Yes, of cause, Syd."
So they drove to a little restaurant of which Sydney told her that it was safe and that they there could have a real conversation.
"The same old shrink as always, Freud", she lovingly joked.
"Well, I can't say the same about you, Parker."
He was really thoughtful. How far could he go without risking being rejected by her?
Seeing his look of insecurity, she smiled reassuringly at him.
"Syd, I won't eat you. Well, not today."
First, he looked a little confused, but then his expression turned into on of satisfaction.
"You seem to be in a very good mood since your holidays. With some exceptions. But I guess the few times you weren't as nice as now were just a kind of mechanism of self-protection. Am I right?"
She just had to laugh.
"Well, Syd, you're the doctor. Just this one time I won't contradict what you are saying."
Then she suddenly became more serious.
"Syd, I don't know how to tell you this. So I think it's best to say it straight out. When I was in my holidays, I met Jarod. We", she faltered for a moment, "spent some time together and made a plan which shall bring down the Centre. The message I wrote on my mobile phone when you picked me up was for him."
They both didn't speak for a few moments.
Then his face lightened up and he hugged her.
"I'm so happy you two finally found together."
Still shocked from this emotionally reaction, she didn't know what to say.
They talked for a few hours and Miss Parker told him everything about their plan.
She didn't know how much Jarod had already realized, but she just hoped that it would be over very soon.
She wanted to close the chapter of her life called "working at the Centre" and missed Jarod like hell.
They sat in Sydney's car and where just a few minutes away from Miss Parker's house when they saw another car coming from the other direction. Syd hadn't enough time to react when the two cars crashed together and everything went black.
"Dr. Green? Can you hear me?"
The voice sounded far away, but it became closer when Sydney drifted back to consciousness.
"Yes", he finally managed to answer.
The pictures appeared back and he remembered the accident.
"The woman who was with me, where is she? Is she okay?"
The doctor who had kept on examining him, tried not to look him directly into his eyes.
"She has been hurt very badly. She's lost a lot of blood and her blood group is very rare. It doesn't look good. I'm sorry."
Sydney hesitated for a moment. "I have the same blood group as she does."
The doctor was surprised. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am."
Miss Parker hadn't answered Jarod's latest message and he'd gotten really worried. When he'd called Sydney and his phone had been answered by a strange woman, he'd known that something was very wrong. It had been a nurse from the local hospital. She had told him that there had been an accident and asked him if he knew whom to call.
Without thinking about the risk of appearing in the local hospital, where soon Mr. Parker and a few other people of the Centre would appear, he had told her that he would come over as soon as possible and that she shouldn't try to call anyone else.
When Jarod arrived in the hospital, a nurse told him that he couldn't see Miss Parker at the moment. But she told him where to find Sydney.
So Jarod went to see Sydney who had to rest after the blood-transfer.
Jarod stormed into the room. "Sydney, what has happened?!"
Sydney couldn't believe that Jarod was where the Centre could easily find him.
"Jarod, you can't be here. It's too dangerous."
Now, Jarod got really angry. "WHAT HAS HAPPENED?!"
Sydney gave in. "I was driving her home after we'd had dinner and talked about you-know-what. A car hit us. That's all I can remember."
"How is she?" Jarod looked so fragile.
"I'm not sure, Jarod. About an hour ago, they told be that she'd lost a lot of blood and that she wouldn't make it if they didn't find someone with her blood group. So I told them that I have the same group as she does. They used it. That's everything I know." He paused for a moment. "Jarod, you really should get out of here. It's not safe for you to be here."
Jarod looked desperate. "But I can't let her be alone here."
"Jarod! The best you can do at the moment is to work on your plan. No matter what will happen, I know that it's Miss Parker's priority to bring an end to the activities of the Centre."
For a moment, Jarod didn't react, then he run out of Syd's hospital room.
Miss Parker didn't not what was happening to her. She felt like she'd never felt before. What had happened? Suddenly, she remembered the accident. But now? Was she dead? She didn't felt anything. But there was no white light, no voices calling her to come home.
But alive? Then she would feel the pain from every hurt caused by that accident.
So what was wrong?
Jarod worked hard on his plan, on their plan.
He had followed Syd's advise. Knowing how important it was for Melissa and hoping that the Centre would no longer exist if, no when she woke up.
Finally, in the early morning hours, everything was ready.
He put the virus into the Centre's computer program and hoped that everything would be successful.
Mr. Parker walked down the corridor.
Why had no one informed him earlier that his daughter had had a car accident?!
He was really angry.
Entering the room to which the nurse had directed him, he saw his daughter sleeping. There were lots of machines around her.
For a moment, he didn't know what felt strange. But then he noticed the man next to his daughter's bed.
"Mr. Parker", Jarod answered calmly.
Mr. Parker searched for his mobile phone. He wanted to call in a team of sweepers.
Jarod observed him silently for a moment, but then decided to use the time. "Mr. Parker, I don't think that using your mobile phone is allowed in this hospital."
Mr. Parker ignored him. He dialled the number of the head of his favourite sweeper team.
But before he could have heard that the number no longer existed, a police officer entered the room and arrested him.
Later that day, Sydney entered Miss Parker's room.
The doctor had told him that Miss Parker had still not woken up and that he could now visit her.
He hadn't mentioned to Sydney that she already had had one visitor who had been sitting next to her bed, holding her hand since morning.
"Jarod?! I thought you had left and gone home …"
"I've done it." Jarod smiled sadly.
He had always thought that he would be happy as soon as the Centre was brought down. But at the moment, it didn't feel that way 'cause he was too worried about Melissa.
Sydney didn't understand.
"I've destroyed the Centre."
The older man didn't know what so say. So he just sat down next to Jarod and Miss Parker.
A few minutes passed by without any of the men saying anything.
Suddenly, Miss Parker felt a pressure on her hand.
Then she saw a lot of picture that didn't make any sense to her the moment she saw them.
She heard voices. Sydney and Jarod …
"Syd! I think she's waking up! – Melissa, darling, I'm here. Wake up, baby."
He caressed her cheek.
She moaned and finally opened her eyes. "Jarod …"
He smiled. "Hey, Sleeping Beauty."
"I'm getting the doctor while you two talk about the news."
With these words, Sydney left the two alone.
"How are you?"
"Oh …" Jarod reached out and filled a glass with water. He helped her to drink it.
They smiled at each other then she remembered what Sydney had said.
"What was Sydney talking about? News?"
He grinned. "Oh, nothing important. You're unemployed. That's all."
She eyed him suspiciously. "Are you saying what I hope you're saying, Jar?"
Before he could answer her, the doctor entered the room together with Sydney and checked if everything was alright.
After a few minutes, he removed most of the machines around her and told them that she would be fine. In a few weeks, she would be as good as before.
The three were very happy to hear that.
Jarod had told her everything: About the accident and about bringing down the Centre.
After he'd finished his report, Miss Parker was irritated. She remembered what she had seen before she had woken up.
"Jar, could you please let us alone? I've got to talk with Syd. Alone."
Though he didn't understand why, he left the room after kissing her one more time.
"Just call me if you need me, Melissa."
She thankfully smiled at him.
Sydney helped her to sit upright in bed. "So what is it you want to discuss, Parker?"
She looked at him for a moment.
"Before I woke up, there were a lot of pictures in my head. Things I've forgotten, but now can remember. One memory and what had just happened make me wonder if …", she cleared her throat, " … Syd, we have the same blood group and my Mum handed me proudly over to you when I was just a few days old …"
He had tears in his eyes.
"Why did you never tell me?"
She couldn't call him by his name. It would have felt wrong now that she knew that it had been wrong for so many years.
He swallowed hard. "I'm sorry. But Catherine and I … You know how Mr. Parker was. She had loved him when they'd gotten married. But, over the years, he had neglected her. There had been a few other women she had known about. One day, she had just found out about another affair. She came to me and I tried to support her. It was just one time and I hadn't been sure when she'd told me she was pregnant. But when you were born and she wanted to see me, I was sure that you were my daughter. We decided that it was best for all of us if Mr. Parker never knew about it. I kept my promise until today."
Now she was crying, too.
She had just suspected that her "father" had betrayed her mother. But know that she knew it for sure, she thought that it was best for him to be in prison at the moment 'cause if he didn't …
They sat in silence for a few minutes.
"Are you okay, Melissa?"
Even more tears escaped from her eyes and Sydney thought that he'd said something wrong. That's why he stood up and wanted to leave. But she hold him back. "No, wait …"
She took his hand into her own.
"You've never used my forename …, Dad."
He smiled. "And you've never called me Dad …"
Now she smiled, too. "Hey, that's not fair! You knew my name!"
They heard someone knock on the door.
Jarod entered the room together with Broots and Debbie.
"Look who I ran into when I was looking for a coffee."
Broots looked at Jarod. "You called us!"
"Dad!", Debbie protested.
Melissa's smile grew wider and she opened her eyes to welcome Debbie.
Debbie looked very worried. "Are you okay?"
That got her a grin from Parker. "Why is it that everyone asks me this question lately?"
Sure, there were a lot of things that were still not finished. Jarod was still searching for his parents and his sister. But now, there were a lot less obstacles than just a few hours before.
As the old saying goes: When you're in love, what can go wrong?
THE END (of the Centre)
GUAH (give u a hand)
WUN (want u now)
w4u (waiting 4 u)
mulh (miss u like hell)
cus (c u soon)
EA (everything's alright)
cwtsua (can't wait to see u again)
lu (love )