Epilogue

Jarod and Parker stepped out of the cab at Wessington Inn. Both the flight and the ride had been a chance to get reacquainted with each other. Their lives were much safer with the Centre out of the picture. Raines, Lyle, the triumvirate, and Mr. Parker may never see daylight again. Broots and Debbie were moving out of Blue Cove and to Seattle, Washington. Sydney was moving up there with Angelo.

Jarod looked at the woman next to him. His hand not holding her went to his pocket. He fingered the ring that he hoped she would one day wear.

The door to the Inn opened and Major Charles, Emily, and the clone came out to greet them. The Major's eyes scanned Miss. Parker and then their hands and visibly relaxed. The Major and Jarod hugged and then he shook hands with a surprised Parker. She had been worrying about how they would accept her, but she could tell that they had forgiven her for her past. Emily gave her a hug and told her that she was glad to have another female around her age to talk to. The door opened again and the woman Miss Parker came to know as Jarod's mom stepped outside.

"Mom!" Jarod cried out running to her. He picked her up and swung her around. They kissed and touched. Jarod turned and motioned Parker towards him. "I would like you to meet the woman I love. Mom, this is Miss. Parker."

"Oh, you look just like your mother." She whispered as she pulled Parker into her arms. Parker stiffened in her arms and then gradually relaxed. "You have her eyes. They were always the kindest eyes. When she was angry they had a habit of changing colors, but when she was happy they made everyone feel welcomed and loved." She let go of Parker.

"Let's go inside."

The others started piling in and when Parker turned to go inside Jarod grabbed her hand and stopped her. "I would like to speak to you." Once everyone was gone he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.

"I have another question to ask you." He smiled and then got down on his knees. "My whole life you have been the one person to actually believe in me and care about me. You have been my light in the darkness and my hope for the future. I love you so much and I know that I cannot live without you. Miss. Parker, will you give me the honor of being my wife? Will you marry me?" He pulled out a box and opened it to show a beautiful ruby ring.

Tears of happiness poured from her eyes. "You remembered." She whispered.

He smiled and looked into her eyes. "I remember a sad, beautiful girl telling me that when she got married she wanted a ruby because it was different and beautiful. You still haven't answered the question."

"Yes, I will marry you."

Tears were coming from both their eyes; they could barely hear the people inside cheering. He put the ring on her and pulled her into his arms for a kiss.

3 months later

Jarod was trying to fix his tux but his hands kept shaking. He was so nervous. What if he fell flat on his face in front of them?

"Man! And I thought Parker was nervous." Emily said coming in. He turned to look at her and whistled. "Wow! You look wonderful."

She smiled. "Just wait until you see your bride. I wouldn't be surprised if you have to beat all the men away from her. And she is just as nervous as you are." Jarod smiled at the comment.

Major Charles walked into the room. "Its time. You look wonderful son."

Parker stood beside Sydney waiting for her song. She had asked him to give her away because he was the closest thing to a father to her. The song started and they walked down the aisle. Her eyes met Jarod's and held. She smiled at him and he smiled back.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the joining of Andrea Parker and Jarod Russell…."The preacher began. Both Jarod and Parker tuned him out and just stared at each other. For the first time in both their lives they felt safe, loved and happy. "Miss. Parker, you may now say your vowels."

Parker looked at Jarod and began. "You were my only friend when I was young. You stood by me during the death of my mother. You are the only person who has not betrayed me. You were the one that kept me going, the one that kept we wanting to live. I love you so much. You are my best friend, my heart, the reason for everything, and the one I cannot live without."

Jarod felt a tear in the corner of his eye. "Parker, you were my childhood love, my best friend, my first kiss. You stayed with me and helped me through my hardest times. You were my one hope of reaching love. I knew that no one could mean as much to me as you do. I love you so much."

"You may now kiss the bride."

Jarod leaned over and kissed his new wife.