Authors: SweetPea and iwomans_sister

Disclaimer: We do not own The Pretender', but if we did Jarod would be with his family and the series would have never ended.

Spoilers: How would we know? We just started typing it. But I'm sure there will be some in here from IOTH'.

Title: A Twist of Fate

Genre: Drama/Angst

Rating: PG-13, for violence.

E-mail: SweetPea at sweetpea683@yahoo.com and

iwomans_sister at Naomi@secret-agent.com

Authors Note: This is the first time the two of us

have written something together, we hope it works out! *A special thank you to our friend and Beta Reader, Liz*

~*~

Jarod ran through the woods as fast as his feet would carry him, branches hitting him as he went. He wouldn't allow himself to stop running, even if death were staring him in the face. He was careful to keep his footing. There couldn't possibly be anything worse than what was behind him.

Something hit him in the face. He kept running, nothing could make him stop! He couldn't stop! He ran through a patch of bushes, pain shooting up his legs. He blocked his mind from processing the burning sensation and searched ahead as he ran for his life. Not realizing what was happening, his body crashed to the ground and he lost consciousness.

~*~

March 7th 2002: Two Days Before...

Lyle stepped into his office. Seeing a small manila folder on his desk, he walked over to it. He picked it up and noticed the bold face handwriting which belonged to Jarod. "And what are you up to?" Lyle said to himself. He opened the folder and a picture of an Asian woman fell out. He wasn't sure whether to smile or be afraid. Jarod knew his little secret, he'd have to take care of that.

"Willie!" Lyle said, calling his sweeper into his office. Since the whole facade with Raines and Mr. Parker, Lyle had been trying to prove that he was loyal to Raines. That including giving him back his thumb. Mr. Raines knew about his little obsession, but he choose to leave it alone. For that, Lyle was grateful. But Jarod sticking his nose where it didn't belong had to be dealt with.

Willie stepped into Mr. Lyle's office, "You wanted to see me?"

"Yes," Lyle handed the sweeper a list, "I need you to take care of these things, and get the jet ready. There's something I need to take care of... Someone."

Willie nodded his head as he read over the list. "Yes, sir." That said, he walked back out of his boss's office.

~*~

Present Time:

Miss Parker, gun in hand, ran alongside Broots. Her eyes were ablaze like fire. She felt this was it, Jarod would finally be caught. She could tell he was slowing down, her own fatigue reminding her he wasn't the only one getting tired. She wanted to stop running, to gather her thoughts and put them back in order, but stopping now would only ensure Jarod's escape. She wasn't about to help him escape from their grasp this time.

She glanced at Broots and saw that he was just as tired as she, if not more so. She looked back towards their path in time to see a patch of bushes just ahead and something else just beyond. She could make out the figure of the hunted and slowed her step. Broots crashed into her from behind, knocking her off balance. Miss Parker cursed under her breath and got back up; expecting Jarod to be gone. However, he was still there, not moving.

At first worry filled her, but she shrugged off that emotion. She didn't have time to care, look where it

had gotten her mother. Miss Parker took a step closer to her prey. If it wasn't for the rise and fall of his chest she could have sworn he was dead. She checked for his pulse, it was strong. What happened to him?' She wondered, knowing she nor anyone else for the time being had an answer.

"Miss Parker?" She heard Broots say.

She turned her head to face him, her gun aimed at Jarod. "What?"

Broots nervously put his hands in his pockets and answered Miss Parker, "This all seems so weird, do you think Jarod wanted to be caught?"

Miss Parker looked back down at Jarod's motionless body. Secretly, she wondered the same thing. Nothinglike this had ever happened in the middle of pursuing Jarod. Why now? Why after all this time would it be so easy to catch him? And what was wrong with him in the first place? Miss Parker bent down and looked at Jarod again, he looked horrible!

But then she noticed something she hadn't seen before, there was a gash on his face. She wondered how long he had had it? Miss Parker touched the wound, noting that the blood was still fresh. Maybe he had gotten it in the chase, yet something was definitely wrong. He looked thinner then the last time she had seen him, paler too. He looked sick. "Jarod?" she asked quietly. There was no response.

~*~

March 7th 2002: Two Days Before...

Lyle slowly exited his personal jet. He reached for his cell phone and dialed a number. As it was ringing he started to walk down the steps. He stopped for a second and turned around. Something was wrong, it didn't feel right. With a snap of the wrist he turned off his cell phone, cutting off the person on the other line. Once again he started to walk down the steps.

He reached the bottom and realized that his limo had not arrived yet. From a building in the distance he could hear voices bickering back and forth. Lyle slowly made his way in their direction, attempting not to be heard or seen by the unknown voices.

~*~

March 6th 2002: Three Days Before...

"Broots!" Miss Parker yelled from within her office. She had had a hard day and it was starting to take its toll.

"Y-yes, Miss Parker?" Broots stuttered nervously.

"Where is Sydney?" She asked, tapping her fingernails against her oak desktop. Broots looked around the room without saying a word. Miss Parker looked up after not hearing him speak. "Well?"

"Umm, well, I'm not really sure."

"You're not really sure? It's a yes or a no, Broots!" She said, exasperated. Looking into his eyes she waited for an answer.

Broots finally met her gaze. "He said something about

going to see Michelle and Nicholas."

"Do you know when he will be back?"

"In four days." He said, wincing.

~*~

Sydney walked up the path to his ex-wife's house. He looked up to see Michelle leaning against the doorframe waiting for his arrival. Michelle looked into his eyes and smiled. "Sydney." She said, as she embraced him in a hug.

"Michelle, thank you for letting me come on such short

notice."

"What's the matter, Sydney?" She asked, ending the embrace.

"It's Jarod." Sydney said, with a worried expression.

~*~

Present Time:

Jarod could hear voices. He recognized them as Miss Parker and Broots'. Something wasn't right. He tried to open his eyes, but failed.

"Jarod?" He heard Miss Parker ask.

He couldn't answer, even if he wanted too. Something was wrong, and he knew it. He had known for a few days, but couldn't do anything about it.

"Broots, get me some water or something!" He heard Miss Parker demand.

"Do you really think that that is a..." She cut him off.

"Just do it!" Jarod heard Broots walk away and heard leaves crunching under his feet. This was not the way he had thought he'd be caught. Five years, five long years of You run and I chase' all to come down to being caught because he was too weak to run anymore. No, something was definitely wrong.

He heard Broots come back, "I have a canteen of water."

"Where'd you... Never mind, I'm sure I don't want to know."

Jarod fought to open his eyes. The cool water splashed on his face. Slowly, they opened, but everything was a blur. After a few seconds his eyes began to focus and he could see Miss Parker kneeling beside him. She looked concerned. He blinked twice to make sure this wasn't a dream. Sure enough, she was there, and so was her concerned expression.

"Miss Parker?" Jarod asked.

"Yes, Jarod?" She felt unsure what to say, what to do. This could still be just another one of those games Jarod liked to play, but deep down she knew Jarod would never give himself up to the Centre willingly.

"Miss Parker, I..." Jarod fought for the right words, but his every breath was a strain. He wanted to sleep. Yes, his body was telling him to sleep. Just close your eyes and you'll feel much better.' A voice inside of his head seemed to say. Surrendering to the demands of his body, he drifted into a troubled sleep.

~*~

TBC