Chapter Four: Under Suspicion

Lilly looked around the room in hopes of finding something that would be compatible as a weapon of defense. She spied a poker resting against the wall and quietly made her way toward it. Retrieving the object, she slowly walked to the door and cautiously jerked it open.

A look of relief crossed her face and she knelt to pick up the cat standing by the door. "Hey there little guy." She said with a soothing voice. Just as she turned to walk back into the cabin, something struck her on the back of the head. She crumpled to the floor.

~*~

March 7th 2002: Two Days Before...

Broots hid in the bushes waiting for Lyle to pass by on the baggage cart. He wasn't too happy that Miss Parker had left him there to follow Lyle. He knew that if Lyle found him he'd be done for. But he'd like to keep his neck, if Miss Parker didn't mind.

Broots was getting tired of waiting and was about to walk out from the bushes to take a look when he saw a flower blooming along the edge of the forest. He couldn't help but feel drawn to it. He stepped out of the bushes to get a closer look, but was alarmed by an approaching sound. He ducked behind the bushes again, brushing a few of the branches out of his face.

Broots watched Lyle drive by and was about to follow when the flower caught his attention again. He took a step closer to it, studying it, not realizing he was letting Lyle get away.

After a few seconds Broots finally came to and with one last glance at the flower he took off after Lyle. Ten minutes into the pursuit, Broots was relieved to see that Lyle had stopped. He scanned the area and saw a small log cabin. Broots watched as Lyle got out of the baggage car and went into the cabin. Broots slowly made his way to the nearest window.

He peeked in and was shocked to see Mr. White. Broots could see that they were talking but couldn't hear the words that were being said. He gently pushed upwards on the window, hoping it would be unlocked. He was in luck; the window slid open.

"Here's what you asked for." Broots heard Mr. White say. "And here is the information you needed about your precious prodigy. The last time I saw him he was standing in this very spot."

Broots peeked his head up to see what was going on, but he didn't like what he saw next. Mr. White handed Lyle a briefcase full of syringes. "Four of these shots should be enough to kill him, that's why I'd suggest using three."

"There are only three doses here." Lyle stated.

"I already injected the first one."

"How did you manage that?"

"Ah, inquiring minds want to know." Mr. White gave an evil smile that chilled Broots to the bone. "I slipped it into his drink. For a genius, you'd think he would be smarter."

Lyle smiled, "And it will work just as we arranged?"

"Everything is being done according to how we originally arranged the plans."

~*~

Present Time: March 9th 2002...

"I don't understand. Why won't you let me see Jarod?!?" Sydney yelled.

"I have my reasons, none of which concern you." Mr. Raines replied, in a calm, wheezy voice.

"I worked with Jarod for over twenty years, I think I have earned the right to an explanation!" Sydney said, pounding his fists against Raines' desk.

"Fine, you want an explanation. You're too old, and you've lost your touch. Jarod looks up to you. I doubt you could be of any use. So do yourself a favor and get back to your research on those little freaks of yours and keep your nose out of my business."

Sydney gave Raines a look that said he wasn't through with him yet and then walked out the door.

~*~

"Where is she?" Lyle asked, whispering in Jarod's ear.

"I'm not going to tell you." Jarod replied.

Lyle pulled out a set of electric shock cables. He placed them on the corners of the metal table that Jarod was strapped to. "You can still avoid this, Jarod. Where. Is. She?" Jarod gave no answer. Lyle flipped the switch to quarter power.

Jarod gripped the table as pain shot through his body. He let out a cry of pain and Lyle increased the power on the machine. After a few more seconds he shut it off. "I don't think that you understand, Jarod. Black Widow is important to the Centre. More important then you are. I have no qualms about killing you to get the information that I want."

Jarod gritted his teeth and clenched his fists. "You'll have to kill me then, because I won't be a part of your crusade."

"As you wish." Lyle turned the machine on to the lowest dial and walked out of the room, leaving Jarod alone to feel what it would be like if he didn't cooperate.

~*~

"Sam!" Miss Parker yelled in frustration, anger flashing through her eyes. "You didn't have to knock her out!"

Sam shrugged his shoulders. "I wasn't trying to." He picked up the girl's body and carried her to the cabin. "Where should I put her?"

Miss Parker glared at him. "On the couch, of course!" Exasperation flooded every inch of her body. She watched him lower the woman's unconscious form on the couch and then move to get a glass of water. When he brought it to her she smiled, letting herself relax just a little. "Finally you're doing something right."

Sam looked hurt for a second and she regretted responding so quickly. "I'll be by the door if you need anything." With that, he turned to shut the door and stand watch.

Miss Parker splashed water on the girl's face. Her eyes fluttered open. "Who are you?" She whispered, barely taking a breath before the words came pouring out.

"It doesn't matter who we are." Miss Parker said, pointing to Sam and then to herself. "But what does matter is that we're here to help you." The girl sat up, wincing with pain. "My friend over here didn't mean to be so rough." She smiled at Sam.

"No, I didn't. I'm sorry." Sam said from the doorway.

"It's all right. This sort of thing happens all the time." The girl said, extending a smile in his direction. Turning to Miss Parker, she asked. "Why do you want to help me?"

"We both know a man whose name happens to be Bobby Lyle."

Miss Parker said, as if that should explain everything, and it did. "We can protect you from him. Give you some place safe to stay."

"I am safe right here."

"If you were, then how did we find you?" Miss Parker asked. After the woman didn't say anything Parker continued. "What is your name?"

"What is yours?"

"Fair enough, people call me Miss Parker. And he," She said, pointing to the door. "Is Sam."

"You're with the Centre." She stated.

"Yes, we are." Parker replied.

"Then tell me, why I should trust you?"

"Because, if we wanted to take you back we would have by now. Heaven knows we've had the opportunity."

"Lilly Wu." She said, sticking out her hand.

Miss Parker smiled, "Now we're getting somewhere."

~*~

Jarod watched as Lyle came back into the room, syringe in hand. Jarod didn't know what it was, but he was sure that it was most likely worse then the electric shock.

"Four injections of this is enough to kill a man." Lyle took the cap off of the syringe and flicked it to get out all of the air bubbles. "Good thing I have just the right amount." Walking over to Jarod he turned off the machine and injected him with the orange liquid. "Willie!" He called. The sweeper walked in the room and nodded to Lyle. He unstrapped Jarod from the table and began to drag him toward his room.

TBC