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The Island of Truths

Author:   Trixi

SPOILERS:   Second Season Final

DISCLAIMER: The Pretender and its characters, Jarod, Miss Parker, Sydney, Mrs. Parker and Broots belong to NBC and I just borrow them.

Authors Note: To imagine the island just think of "Highlander" and put the soundtrack in your cd-player <g>

Thanks to Miss Houk and Ambrosia for their great help :-)

Please e-mail me what you think of it :)


    Miss Parker was woken by the yell of the phone next to her bed.

    "What?" Miss Parker snapped into the phone. At two in the morning it only one person dared to call her.

    "Oh? Did I wake you? I'm so sorry." A soft male voice said with false sympathy.

    "We both know that you damn well know what time it is here. What time is it for you?" she tried.

    "Lame try, Miss Parker. I expect better from you."

    "What the hell do you want, Jarod?" she sounded nerved as pulled herself up and out of the bed in search of her cigarettes. 'Damn, where are they?'

    "Not so bitter, it sounds like you could use a vacation?" Jarod smirked.

    "Ok, let´s make it easy. You tell me where you are, and I'll come and drag you back to the Centre by your ears and *then* I'll go on vacation."

    "Much as I would like to see you get some rest, I can't accept you idea, sorry. By the way, do you remember what day it is?"

    "It's Friday, buy yourself a calender." She wanted to throw the phone at the wall but calmed herself as she finally found her cigarettes, lit one and inhaled deeply.

    "I told you before, it's not good for your ulcer." Jarod spoke softly.

    "Like you." she respond icy.

    It was a short time before he spoke again.

    "Try to remember." then she only heard the dial tone.

    "Bastard!" she mumbled and lay back down. She hated these calls from Jarod. He always talked of things she didn't understand and made her think all night.


    "Morning, Miss Parker!" Broots greeted her carefully as she walked into the tech-room the next morning.

    "You're early." Sydney said and saw that she was looking tiered, her dark circles were covered with make-up, but he saw it in her eyes.

    "Mhm." was her only comment as she put her silver briefcase on the nearest table and made herself a cup of coffee.

    "Anything new from our little lab-rat?" she said trying to sound indifferent.

    "Not yet. You?" Sydney seemed able to know when she had spoken with Jarod. It made her feel as though she had done something wicked.

    "Oh yeah. Wonderboy likes to call me in the middle of the night instead of simply calling a 900-number." She turned to Broots "You should tell him a few of your favourites. Maybe then I'll be able to sleep at night without getting woken up from the sick bastard."

    "I'm sure Jarod is very polite, isn't he?" Sydney asked.

    "Sure. But he makes me ..." 'I shouldn't say he makes me nervous, that's weak' she thought and said instead "He's simply is a pain in the ass!"


    "Miss Parker!" Broots ran after her in the hallway and had trouble keeping up with her.

    "I ... I have a lead on Jarod." he stumbled after he caught his breath.


    Back in the tech-room he let his fingers fly quickly over the keyboard and a few pictures appeared on the screen.

    "See?" Broots didn't think she would be impressed but wished sometimes she could see what he was doing. Just then Sydney entered the room and walked behind them to catch a look a the new leads.

    "Where were the photos taken?" Miss Parker wanted to know.

    "Mhm," he typed again and said simply "UK."

    "What? He's in England?" Miss Parker was stunned. He'd never left the country before. Well, not to their knowledge.

    "No, in fact it's a place in Ireland."

    The screen showed Jarod in an evidence picture taken at the site of a bomb-explosion. He stood in the crowd and watched the scenario.

    "Looks like he didn't realise that he was photographed. Get the jet ready to go in two hours." She ordered Broots and turned to Sydney "Go pack and met me here again in an hour." she then hurried out the room.


    At home she quickly gathered her clothes and stuff together and shoved them in a bag. While she packed she remembered her last conversation with Jarod and suddenly she knew what he was talking about. The day. Today before over twenty years ago she and Jarod had tried to escape the Centre. Well, they didn't really get further than the large area outside the Centre but they tried to leave. They always talked about go far away, to search a place where they could live. 'I was so stupid.'

    'No, you were a child.' her inner voice battled with herself. She had to smile as the memories slowly came back to her. She was so innocent, and ... she remembered she had been happy. But that was long ago and the child somehow died on the way to growing up.

    Back in the Centre she got the information she needed from Broots and made a few arrangements. Then she and Sydney took the Centre-jet to London. From there they would take a small plane to Dublin.Miss Parker looked trough the papers Broots gave her and stopped to read the article in that the photo of Jarod went with. Sydney watched her calmly from the neighbouring seat. When she finished reading she asked him "Why is our genius there watching bomb victims?"

    Sydney thought and then respond in his usual tone "I don't know yet. Let´s wait till we get there..."

    "He's already gone." She gave him an ice-cold smile. "Like usual. But maybe this time we're better. He doesn't know we discovered him." And this time she grinned.


    Meanwhile, Jarod sat in a small pub reading his red note book. In large letters was written "Monster! Why did he take our children", above the next article was "Bomb destroys two families." Jarod had travelled here to check a lead on his father who may have been there during World War Two. Also he was to following a lead on where Catherine Parker was going to bring the children, himself and Miss Parker included, after escaping from The Centre. The day he arrived though, he witnessed a bomb explosion which killed a whole family. The suspect was a young father who swore his innocence. But all evidences was against him. Jarod believed the bomb was from rival groups of Catholics and Protestants, but something went wrong and so they blamed an innocent man. He had all the proof he needed to release him he just had to put it in an envelope addressed to the police station. He could now do what he came here for. He had lost a bit time but could still finish his plan. Miss Parker should still be searching the area of his last job and shouldn't get on his trail until the postcard he sent her arrived. Jarod smiled and went on his way.

    Miss Parker and Sydney drove towards the city they thought Jarod would be in. Sydney held onto the seat and looked a little afraid by the way Parker roared down the street. That everyone drove on the wrong side of the road here, just made it worse. Parker saw the way Syd was holding himself, smiled inside and pushed the gas-pedal even harder.

    It was a small town so Miss Parker and Sydney showed Jarods picture in the only supermarket. They soon found people who had seen him.

    "Do you know where he is?" Miss Parker was getting impatient. The man they spoke with was looking more at her body than he was giving them information. 'If he doesn't answer me in one minute, I'll shoot him!' she thought. Sydney interfered when he saw her hand move to the small of her back where her gun rested "When did you see him last?" he asked politely.

    "Let me think. It must have been ... mhm," he looked at the clock on the wall "about two hours or so ago."

    "And where is he now?" Parker's eyes seemed to cut him in two.

    "I don't know, Miss? But he talked about this small island."

    "Where´s that?"

    "It is a small island before the cost of Galway bai. I know that it belongs to an American but nobody has been there in, well, in the last twenty years."

    He informed the lady with the tight clothes and the older man that seemed to be her father. 'If this is Jarod's angry wife I wish him all the luck!' he thought and wrote down the directions the lady asked for.

    Parker took the piece of paper and stormed out of the store. "Thank you very much." Sydney said and hurried to get in the car before Parker drove off without him.


    They arrived on the beach where the only ferry that could take them to the island was. But a notice hung there saying that the owner was at sea and would be back in two hours.

    "Great!" Parker slammed the car door shut and lit a cigarette.

    "What do you want to do?" Sydney asked her.

    "We wait." was all she said, and all that was said for the next hour and a half. Then Sydney tried again. He was interested in the thoughts that seemed to consume her. "Do you want to talk about it?" he carefully offered.

    "What?" she snapped back to present. Her thoughts had drifted far, far back in time.

    "Talk. Do you wanna talk about it?

    "Do I look like I wanna talk with you?" she gave him her best 'Don't-piss-me-off-´look and walked around the car when she saw the ferry coming towards them. 'Thank-you!' she silently said to herself.


    When the captain hopped down to the pier, Sydney and Parker walked over to him. He secured the boat to the pier and said "One moment, I'm right there."

    He then looked at the two and froze.

    "Oh my God." He said looking like he had seen a ghost.

    "What?" Parker asked as the captain stared at her.

    "That can't be. I should stop drinking." He said more to himself, and then again to them "You look look like..."

    "I'm her daughter, how do you know her?" Parker soon realised that he believed her mother stood before him.

    "She... she" he tried to focus his thoughts. "Mhm, she was here in, I think it was 1970. In January. It was bittercold and I had to take her to the island. I remember it so clearly because it was such bad weather we almost sank."

    "My mother was here?" she looked at Sydney who only shrugged his shoulders.

    "Please go on." She looked back to the captain.

    "I remember she was in a great hurry because he had to go back to America the next day."

    "Do you know if there was anyone with her?" Parker couldn't believe what she had just heard.

    "No, she was alone. I worried a bit about her, you know, such a beautiful lady shouldn't travel on her own."

    "What did she want on the island?"

    "I don't know, I'm sorry."

    "Can you take us there?"

    "Sure, but it will be getting dark in a couple of hours. We'll have to hurry."

    On the ferry, Parker remembered why they were there but with the captain's news they had almost forgotten. She went to the captain, past Sydney who looked a little green. The sea was troubled and he seemed to not feel well. She showed him a picture of Jarod and he nodded "You search him? I brought him to the island before you. What are you gonna do there, a party?" he smirked.

    "Something like that!" and grinned evilly.

    Jarod trapped on an island. What could be better. There would be no way for him to escape this time. He couldn't even swim away because the water was so cold he would freeze by the moment he sprang in. She walked back and sat next to Sydney. The older man was having trouble keeping the last bit of food in his stomach.

    "Syd, you look terrible!" Parker informed him.

    "I *feel* terrible." he respond grimly.


    Finally at the island, Parker hopped off the ferry and thought she couldn't believe her eyes. Before her, stood and old gothic castle. Two towers, and a large front. Beautiful. The island was green all over, grass from end to end and then the castle on the hill all in heavy grey stones. It looked quite old but beautiful. It looked like she always imagined castles when her mom told her fairytales with knights and kings and princesses. She always wanted to be the princess and in her dreams she was. Later, when she was allowed to play with Jarod, she told him these tales and together they dreamed of what it would be like to have lived in those times.

    'Wait!' her inner alarm voice shouted. 'Maybe Jarod planned all this?'

    'We'll see...' the other voice in her head claimed.

    "Sydney, are you coming?" she looked back and saw him trying to climb off the boat. She shook her head and walked back to him.

    "Why don't you go on alone. I don't think I can walk right now." Then he turned and lost the last piece of food.

    "Great!" the corners of her lips went up. "Ok. You stay here and I'll look for Wonderboy. Come along when you're ready." She spoke to the captain, "can you wait for us here?"

    "Mhm, no. I have a few things in town to do tomorrow. I can pick you up tomorrow in the evening." He offered.

    "Ok." She pulled a few one hundred pound notes out of her pocket. "This is for now and I think this will be enough to come back tomorrow." She gave him a few more notes and tucked them in his shirt.

    "Oh yes, ma'am. I'll be back."


    She tried to hide as well as possible as she walked towards the castle and scanned the area. She had to find a way in. Shit! The heavy wooden frontdoor was locked and didn't move a bit. She carefully rounded the castle to find another way in. Luckily there was no water-graven. At the back was a tree in front of the wall. She climbed up and felt again like a child. She loved to climb the trees in the Centre garden. Finally up high enough she jumped onto the wall and nearly crashed back down. She managed to jump down the other side of the wall in the large courtyard without hurting herself. Glancing around, there was nothing in sight and everything looked empty and lost. Grass was growing in the yard, ivy-like plants climbed up the walls and painted almost everything green. She walked around to find something useful to open the door with but found instead a broken window, she climbed inside.

    Finally inside the building, Parker pulled out her gun and carefully walked further down the corridor. It wasn't too dark but not light. She tried to hear something, but everything was quiet. Not a single sound. 'Damn you, Jarod. Where the hell are you. I hope this isn't a sick game of yours.' She rounded a corner and spun back when she heard a noise behind her. Her gun still armed she tried to focus on something moving in the dark. She moved closer and saw it was just a curtain moving in the wind. Then there was another noise and definitely human. Someone yelled and swore. She turned her head to hear where it came from and followed it.

    She entered a large room which seemed to be the dining hall, and saw him, Jarod.

    "Don't move!" her voice was loud in the empty room.

    "I *can't* move." Jarod hissed trough clenched teeth.

    "Good." she slowly walked closer to him and saw his problem. He was trapped with one arm in a hole in the wall.

    "I'm warning you. If this is a trick, I'll shot you!"

    "To kill me?"

    "Not kill, just hurt." She quite enjoyed her position. Only her, Jarod and her gun. Perfect. And he'd trapped himself. Great. She took out her handcuffs and put it around his free hand, her gun on his sleeve.

    "Now give me your other hand." she ordered.

    "Like I said before, I can't. I'm stuck." He said, trying to move his head away from the cold steel of her gun.

    "Don't fool me. I don't like to ask twice." Then she roughly pulled at his arm.

    "Ahhh!" Jarod protested.

    "What the hell are you doing here anyway?"

    "I was searching for something and somehow.... ahhh." He yelled again.


    "Don't know, something just crawled over my hand." He tried again to loosen his arm but without luck. Parker inhaled deeply and thought about what to do. She glanced around the room and then back to Jarod. "Is it your hand trapped or just your shirt?" she asked him sounding bored.

    "My hand, other wise I'd just take the shirt off."

    "Clever, Jarod. How did your hand get stuck there?"

    "Some stones felt on it when my hand was inside." He shrugged his shoulders. "That's all."

    "Fine. And what were you looking for?" She searched for something that might help to free him.

    "This was like a safe. I wanted to know if there is anything inside."

    "First I thought I could hang you in the courtyard but now I think I'll take the DSAs and leave you here as justice. Wait, no, if you starve your hand could come free and so you. I'll think of something else." She spotted a poker and took the heavy metal staff in her hands and swung it around.

    "Wait." Jarod protested. "What are ya gonna do?" he was suddenly afraid. He always thought she was just kidding when she told him she would hurt him.

    "Calm down, boy. I'll see if I can crumble out some stones for you." As she raised the staff Jarod bit his lip and looked the other way prepared himself for a hit but she really only affected the wall.
Parker tried hard and got a few lumps out of the stonewall but Jarod stood in her way. She glanced at him and poked him in the chest to make him step back. "I need more space."

    "Mhm, I wish I could but where should I go, huh?" he gestured with his free hand. She poked him again and made him take a few steps back which almost breaking his arm.

    "Aah, uhm, you can cut my arm off, then you'll have more space." he winced and jumped forwards. He almost crashed into her because she didn't move at all. Parker looked at him, threw the staff away and walked to the other side of the room.

    "Fine, help yourself." she leaned against the wall and watched him wince.

    "I'll just wait and watch what you're gonna do." she grinned at him. They were both silent for a moment. Jarod fought with himself to beg her for help and she enjoying seeing Wonder-Boy helpless. After a while Jarod sighed and turned to her as much as his arm allowed

    "I'm sorry. I'm not really sure what for, but I'm sorry. Now would you please help me out. My fingers are beginning to go numb." He raised his eyebrows at her and looked like a little lost boy. Parker walked slowly towards him like a cat towards a bird in a cage, her deep blue eyes flashed dangerously.

    "No. First tell me why you're here." Jarod looked away and wondered if he should tell her or not but his current state didn't allow him much full play. He sighed again and began without looking up at her.

    "I found out that your mom wanted to bring us here to hide after she freed us from the Centre. Parker was now all ears.

    "And how did you find out?" she asked stepping dangerously close.

    "I ... because I ... I'll show you as soon as you free me. It's in my pocket." Miss Parker searched the back-pockets of his jeans but they were empty. Before he could say anything she searched in his front-pockets. He jerked back "Mpf, it's not here. It's in my jacket, ok. It's not here."

    "You should have told me that to begin with." She respond smartly.

    "Where's your jacket?"

    "I hide my things, you'll have to free me first."

    "Step back." then she hit the wall again and again.


    After a while Jarod was able to carefully pull his hand out of the hole.

    "Thanks." he said gratefully and rubbed his now bloody hand.

    "Yeah. Now, how did you find out about this place?"

    "Come with me." He gestured to the door and she saw that he was uncuffed.

    'I have to be more careful!' she thought to herself and took his now free hand to cuff behind him. She saw how bad his hand looked and cuffed him to herself instead. He threw her a surprised look while she pulled him with her out of the room.

    "I'll just make you stay with me. This time you can't escape." She knew what he was thinking and pulled the key out of her pocket and threw it out an open window they passed.

    "Which direction?" she asked as he looked after the key.

    "Mhm, straight and then up to the second story."

    They passed through a long corridor which ended in a huge hall. Two wide stair cases led up from the left and the right of the hall. On the way up they passed several closed doors until Jarod pointed at one door. "In there."

    But Parker stopped a few doors before and made him stop to. She read the nameplates which hung beside the doors and her mouth fell open.

    "Jarod, what's all this about?"

    On one plate stood "Timmy" the other read "Kyle" and the next "Jarod".

    "Come with me and I'll try to explain what I found out." Jarod offered and gently pulled her with him. They entered the room whose nameplate lay on the floor. "Must have fallen down over time."
    Jarod said and almost smiled at the face she made when she saw her own first name on the plate. He walked with her to a hidden closet in the wall, opening it by pushing a stone in the wall. Inside was his DSA-case, some clothes, and a box. He opened it and gave her a book. It was small, red and in gold letters "Catherine Parker" was printed on it.

    "Where did you find this?" Parker was shocked.

    "In a safe-deposit-box of your mom's," he simply replied. "I don't want to lie to you, so I must admit I found it quite a while ago but it took me a long time to find out about the place she wrote about when she said that she wanted to free us and that she had already bought a *house* big enough for all eight of us." He now felt guilty the he hadn't given her the diary earlier but it always was a joker for him. Parker flew over a few pages and sank down onto the corner of the huge bed. It was covered with a wide white cover so the only thing people could see was the beautiful wooden top. Tears began to well in her eyes and she tried hard not to cry. Jarod felt uncomfortable next to her. He didn't know what to do. Whether to act like he didn't see her weakness or try to comfort her. He decided for the later and spoke on. Softly, almost whispering in the huge room. "She wanted to bring us here and hide so that the Centre wouldn't find us again. She bought the island only two weeks before she ..."

    "Before she was murdered," Parker finished his sentence with the same small voice as his.

    "Yeah, she came here for a day to get everything ready. She made fixed a single room for everyone and arranged a few other things then flew back to Blue Cove."

    "Straight into the arms of her murderer." She finished again. "What else did you find?"

    "Not much. I just got here a few hours before you. By the way, are you here alone? No sweepers?"

    "No, but I brought Sydney. He's still at the shore."

    "Got sea-sick?" Jarod grinned at her.

    "Yup. Pretty bad. He looked, well, green."

    "He never had the right stomach for a ship."

    They were only together for a while yet already felt more comfortable with each other. It was like an unspoken understanding, something surviving from their childhood.

    "He's coming as soon as he can walk straight again," Parker smiled too.

    "Here..." Jarod took to the diary careful not to slop it with his blistered and bloody hand.

    "See, she wrote about the place here but never named it. She also wrote that she hide some important things somewhere in the castle."

    "Shouldn't you bandage or at least clean you hand?"

    "Mhm, what, oh yeah, later."

    "Do you believe she knew about the place before she bought it, Jarod?"


    "I mean do you believe it's possible, that she was here before. She used to tell me about this castle, the one I told you about when we were kids. I pictured it just like this."

    "Yeah, why not. Maybe she was here on vacation before ... anything is possible."

    "Have you looked around in here?"

    "Mhm, no, not much. I just put my stuff in the place she described in the diary and then searched for the other hiding place in the dining room. You know the rest." He made a face at her.

    "Let´s go. I want to see every corner of this castle." Her enthusiasm worried him but he was very excited himself.

    "And we should open the front door for Sydney. I don't want to make him climb over the wall." he grinned boyishly at the thought of it.

    "Come on." she said and yanked at the cuffs.


    Jarod unlocked the frontdoor and opened the gate for Sydney. But the older man was nowhere in sight. He and Parker looked around and tried to see something in the halfdark.

    "Shouldn't he be ok by now?" Parker asked herself loud.

    "The trip wasn't too bad, was it? But Sydney never a had good stomach on ships."

    "How do you know?"

    "Because he told me once?" Jarod replied in a question.

    "Mhm." Parker turned around to look in the other direction but was held back by Jarod and the hand cuffs.

    "Argh. Come on!" she ordered and once more yanked on them.

    "It wasn't my idea to walk around like this." Jarod held up his cuffed hand.

    "There's no way I'm letting you escape me this time, oh no."

    They walked back to the beach beside each other in silence. Sydney still sat on a stone where she left him, he held his face in his hands and looked up when he heard someone walking towards him. From what they could see he still looked sick. Sydney's eyes widened when he spotted Jarod beside Miss Parker.

    "Jarod!" he stood up and walked unstably to him.

    Forgetting that he was still bound to Parker, Jarod tried to hug Sydney and pulled her with him.

    "Hey, calm down." She protested.

    "How are you?" Sydney blinked his eyes.

    "Better than you."

    "Hm, I'm much better than before!"

    "Do you want to stand here all night? I'm going back inside, it's getting really dark and cold here." Parker began to walk and Jarod had no choice than to follow her. Sydney did the same.


    Finally back inside, Sydney's mouth fell open like Parker's before. He had never seen such a place before.

    "What ...?" he began.

    "Mom. She wanted to bring us here." Parker knew what he wanted to ask.


    They walked around a bit and looked in each room in the basement until they found, in the kitchen, in a huge closet, a large box. Jarod almost went right inside to get the box out and Parker had to follow him. Just as they both gripped it, Jarod hit his head on the shelf above them and a huge cloud of dust surrounded them.

    Sydney watched them from behind and couldn't hide a grin when they stood before him.

    "What?" Parker asked angrily.

    "If it isn't two *Casper*?"

    "Wha .... oh." Parker looked at Jarod and he at her. Both were covered with dust and looked almost white. She tried to brush it away and Jarod did the same. Another dust cloud surrounded them.

    "Mhm, Parker?" Jarod looked at her and starred.

    "What?" she snapped.

    "Don't move ..."

    "Why the hell ..." she started to say but Jarod already reached out to her and snipped something from her hair. She looked behind her to see a big spider rushing over the floor and under the closet.

    "Oh." Was all she could say. She never liked spiders much.

    They put the box on the table and opened it carefully everyone excited about what might be inside. They looked stunned by the contents. Parker reached out and took some papers in her hand.

    "They're, they're ..." she began.


    "Faked passports!" Sydney stepped next to her to get a better look. She held one with the name "Brian Maney" and a photo of young Timmy. The one Jarod took out was for "Neve Chandler" and a photo of the young Miss Parker. She tossed Timmy's back in the box and pulled hers from Jarods hand to look at it, stunned. "Neve? What's that for a name?"

    "Heh, look at this!" Sydney held a passport for Jarod in front of her.

    "She chose Luke Walker for him."

    "That's fitting. Luke *Sky*walker. I never knew she was so sarcastic. Parker seemed surprised.

    "Luke who?" Jarod was confused.

    "Star Wars - Luke Skywalker - Han Solo - Princess Leia - and Darth Vader. Oh don't tell me you've been out for two years and never watched it. Even I know it and I'm sure no sci-fi fan."

    "Mhm, no. Maybe you could tell me..." he started but decided against it when she gave him her best *Shall-I-shoot-you* look. "about it, another time." He tried to defend himself.

    "Oh shit!" Parker shook her flashlight.

    "Batteries are dead." Jarod informed her.

    "You're a real genius. Thanks for telling me. Why haven't you got new batteries in it? I thought you were so clever?"

    "I have some new ones upstairs. Are you coming with me?" he asked innocently.

    "Do I have a choice?" she murmured then they walked off and left Sydney with Jarods flashlight.

    "Oh no, I'll wait here." Syd remarked sarcastically as they left him.


    Getting upstairs wasn't as difficult as Parker expected. The moon was bright and lit the house though the windows with a soft blue light. It was just like in one of those romantic gothic movies. Except for the princess and the heroic knight. In the room, Jarod took some new batteries out of his bag and filled the torch. Whenever he used is two hands he got trouble with Parker. "Would you, please?" he asked a bit nerved.

    She didn't reply to him just didn't resist as he moved his hand.


    Parker looked around as though she was searching for something.

    "What?" Jarod looked up at her when she turned back to him he lit his face from under with the flashlight and made a "Buh!" sound.

    "You watch to many horror movies, freak!  Where's the toilet here?" she pulled the torch roughly out of his hands.

    "Mhm, don't know? We'll have to search."

    "I hope, at least we have running water here even if we don't have electricity."

    Out of the room Jarod walked right, Parker left and were held back bound together.

    "This way." Jarod pointed towards the left.

    "I thought you didn't know where it is." She said nerved.

    "Yeah, but.."

    "We walk this way." Parker held the flashlight directly on his eyes.

    "Sure. Fine. Whatever." he shielded his eyes with his free hand and followed her. At the other end of the hallway was another huge stair case down and a smaller one leading upstairs to another story, probably to the tower. Above them was a glass dome with colourful pictures. Parker could only stare at it a moment. It took Jarods breath away, too. The moon shone through and threw a ray of light down to the ground in several blue colours. Jarod spotted the toilet-sign first and lightly touched her hand and nodded there.

    "Oh good."

    She opened the door and walked inside. It was not a large bathroom but also not too small. There was a big mirror on the wall and an old ceramic bathtub, two sinks and a toilet. Jarod tried the water at the sink and to his surprise, after some weird blubb-sounds there actually came water. It was a bit brown at first and smelled musty but soon clear water ran through.

    "Ahm, turn around." Parker gave him the flashlight and cursed herself for cuffing him to her and throwing the key away. 'Not my brightest idea but soon it'll all be over'. Jarod did what she said and tried as much as possible not look back at her. Too bad he stood facing the window and the dark outside made everything reflect like a mirror.
    After washing her hand, Jarod cleaned his hand, now covered with dry blood, as well as possible and because there were no towels dried them at his pants. Parker tried to shake hers dry and then decided not to ruin her clothes and dried them on Jarod shirt.

    "Hey," he protested as she tore at his clothes, using him as a towel.

    "Shut up," she said staring into his eyes to daring him to argue further.


    Back in the kitchen Sydney showed them some papers he had read. He found nothing interesting except a document that declared Catherine Parker as the true owner of this island.

    "That means it's yours now." Jarod mumbled to Parker.

    "No, my father's the next heir."

    "Ahah, look here, there is written that in the case of her death it goes directly to her daughter." He pointed at the last lines.

    "Great, now I own a castle." she spoke more to herself. Sydney yawned beside them and Parker also felt very tiered. First the late night call from Loverboy, then the flight and now all the searching in the castle.

    "We should call it a night and start searching again tomorrow morning" Jarod said.

    "That's probably your best idea today." Parker responded and Sydney nodded sleepily.

    "We should go upstairs and try to build a fire in the grate. It's cold in here."

    "Yeah, I honestly can't feel my legs and feet anymore." Parker remarked.

    Sydney smiled again as he entered the room with them. They argued, almost like old buddies which they both tried to hide. He smiled even more when he saw the sleeping arrangements. With the handcuffs there was only one choice. Sydney lowered himself onto the couch next to the chimney and watched Jarod try to light the fire. Parker gave him her lighter after he put the wood in order.
Jarod took some pieces of paper from his newspaper and shoved them between the wood. After a few minutes the room was lit in a soft yellow and red and it actually started to get warmer. Jarod and Parker sat beside the couch to warm up. Sydney lay stretched out and sleeping beside them, covered with a few blankets from the bed. Parker looked sceptically at Jarod when he gave them to him but calmed her when he pointed at his sleeping bag.

    "We should just need this one. It's made for camping outside in freezing temperatures."

    'Great, now I have to share Jarod's sleeping bag with him. What's next?'

    "Still cold?" he asked softly.

    "Not as much as before. I can feel my feet again and I can feel my upper legs" she had to laugh. It was too weird. Now they sat side by side, him still alive, after not long ago she tried to shoot him. She wanted to say something to him but he was already asleep. Parker gave him a soft nudge with her shoulder to wake him.

    "Time to go to bed."

    "Mhm, good idea." He rubbed his eyes and they stood up.

    Standing before the bed Jarod hesitated first but Parker pulled him with her. "What? Getting shy?"

    "No, just wondering if you would try to suffocate me with a pillow if I accidentally touch you."

    "Just don't test it."

    He made a face and took the sleeping bag from next to the bed, pulling it out of the bag and unzipping it to make it a large blanket. They took off their shoes and climbed under the blanket, pulling it to their noses. Parker curled up as much as possible without touching Jarod and enjoyed the felling of getting finally warm. But with the damn handcuffs it was almost impossible to not touch each other and they both had to admit that it was at least was nice to share the bodyheat. Parker could only smile at her situation. Bound to Jarod in an old castle, after discovering what her mother tried to do and now laying side by side with her hunted and former best friend.

    'Yeah, that's what we were once, best friends. If it wasn't real, it could be a fairy tale. Best friends who lost each other, found one another again in a beautiful castle. That would surely be a great movie. But unfortunately without the happy ending. Did I just said unfortunately?' She was startled as Jarod tried to move and lay himself on his side, with his back to her.

    "Jarod?" she whispered.


    "What do you think it would have been like?"


    "If Mom really brought us here, I mean all together."

    "Mhm..." he took a deep breath and rolled onto his back again. "It's hard to imagine. No, hard is the wrong word, more ..."

    "Sad." she finished for him.

    "Yeah." He remarked sadness in his voice.

    "Do you think we would be still friends?"

    The question came unexpectedly to him and Jarod was at first stunned.

    "I ... I don't .... mhm, truth is that I never gave up on you. But you have."

    She was silent for a while and thought about what he just said and then turned to look at him. She just looked, said nothing. It was like they were both thinking of the different directions their lives could have gone in. Parker was overcome with a feeling she didn't felt since her mother
died. It was hard to describe.

    "Jarod," she began then "We can't change our past ...." she shook her head at the things she was about to say 'Get a grip' she told herself.

    "I know." Jarod respond and reached out to caressed a strand of hair on her face but she slapped his hand angrily away.
    "Don't!" she warned him with an icy look that scared him. One minute she was the friend he once knew and the next second she was again daddy's evil daughter.

    "Don't even think of it or I'll shot that big brain of yours."

    "What the ..." he said to her angrily and whispered through clenched teeth so as not to wake Sydney, "What the hell is with you? Huh? I'm just trying to be nice to you and you explode. Aren't you used to it when someone is nice to you. Just pretend I'm one of your lovers, maybe then you could stand me beside you for this single night." Then she slapped his face so hard his lip split and began to bleed.

    "Nice, really nice." He wiped the blood with the back of his hand.

    "If you were one of my *lovers* I already would have had had my fun and kicked your ass out of here." she hissed. "And what do you know about my love-life, huh? Stand outside my house and watch?"

    Jarod was so stunned he could only lay there and let her hiss at him.

    "If you had been there, you wouldn't have seen anyone for a long time. To inform you, I'm very busy all over the country trying to catch an asshole." With that she turned around and gave him the cold shoulder. She jerked around so fast that she pulled his arm with her. Jarod tried as much as he could to hold it away from her and did not dare to pull at hers and lay it between them so he held it there until he followed her to sleep.

    Sydney was also able to sleep again. He was woken by the sound of Parker slapping Jarod and had listened to their *conversation*. He shook his head lightly and slept again.


    The following morning Parker woke and felt miserable. Not because she hadn't slept well but because of her fight with Jarod last night. She regretted, yeah, regretted what she had said to him and also the slap to his face. But she was not used to doing otherwise. She had never learned from her father to forgive something or ... so much more. She at least felt warm again, 'But what's that?' she focused of the warm spot on her hip. 'Jarod!' the urge to hit him again grew inside her. His hand rested comfortably on her hip and as he sensed her moving he softly caressed her, sending a light shiver down her spine. Seconds later Jarod woke and sat up in bed as he realised what he just did. 'Please don't kill me!' was all he could think. Parker turned back to him and he looked down guiltily. She wanted to yell at him but saw what she did last night and changed her mind.

    His bottom lip was cut in the corner and a dry stream of blood reached to his chin. To take a better look at him she reached out and he jerked back, afraid she would hit him again.

    "It's ok. Just let me look." she was now kicking herself for being so mean. "Does it hurt much?"

    "Only when I kiss." He remarked smartly.

    "Then you don't have to be afraid. I won't hurt you again." she looked in his eyes, a touch of sarcasm in her voice. "If you behave yourself," she added. 'Too bad!' he thought.

    Sydney woke by the soft whispering in the background. He sat up and spent a few moments reminding himself where he was. 'Oh, yeah, I'm on *vacation* at Parker-island.' he laughed inside. When he looked at the bed he was surprised to see Parker holding Jarods face in her hand. He cleared his throat and both looked at him, Parker releasing Jarod.

    "'Morning, Sydney." Jarod whined as his lip split open again.

    "´Morning. God, what happened to you?"

    "´Morning Syd. It looks much worse than it is, right Jarod?" Miss Parker said.

    "Mhm." Jarod nodded.

    "I don't want to know. Where's the bathroom folks?" Sydney stood up slowly and stretched.

    "Out the door, then to the left. It's the last door on the left." Jarod directed him.

    When Sydney was gone, Jarod grabbed his bag from the base of the bed and took a kleenex from it. He forgot again about the cuffs and almost threw Parker out of the bed.

    "Sorry," He quickly excused "now we're even." And gave her a questioning smile.



    When Sydney was back, they walked to the bathroom. This time Jarod asked, "would you please turn around?"

    "Why, got something I've never seen before?" she grinned but let him his privacy and turned. When Jarod was finished, they stood side by side at the two sinks, looking at their reflections in the mirror. Parker blinked. She looked like hell. Her normally perfectly styled hair hung wildly and she looked almost younger and softer. Most of her make-up was gone, too. Jarod on the other hand looked perfect like always she had to admit. His short hair stood up a bit but it looked incredibly sexy. After he washed his hands in her sink he looked at her "May I?" and raised his hand.


    He bent down and washed his face and then combed his hair with wet hands to put it in order. Parker then cleaned the last bit of make-up off her face and tried to smooth her hair.

    "I have a hairbrush in my bag." Jarod gently offered.

    "Oh, mhm, good. Let´s go." Parker was confused she was never a morning person and without a cigarette much less, but talking with Jarod was somehow pleasant in the morning.

    "Wait." She stopped and made him turn back to her and took a step towards him and reached out to comb her hand through his hair. She made the last few fractious strains down and pushed the hair at the front up like he normally wore it.

    "Does it still hurt?" she lightly brushed his lip with her index finger and he jerked back.

    "Yau, but I'll survive."

    "Ok, then let´s go and get me the damn brush."

    Jarod held the door open for her and slipt out after her.

    After finally combing her hair Parker felt better. As she glanced at Jarod she caught him staring at her. "What?"

    "Mhm, nothing, just there's nothing else interesting to look at." he lightly blushed. Sydney was enjoying their stay more and more. He liked watching the two of them, though he felt almost like an intruder. They had a very special way of communicating.

    "I don't suggest you brought any food with you?" Sydney asked Jarod.

    "Actually I have. Let´s go downstairs. I think I left it outside."


    When they walked over the yard, the sun was already shining though it was very cold. Parker tightened her jacket even more to shield herself from the cold wind. She and Jarod walked a bit closer, just to keep warm, she told herself. Near the frontdoor Jarod lead them to a small hut and opened the rickety old wooden door. He reached inside and pulled another bag out.

    "What else did you hide around here?" Parker asked curiously.

    "That's all. I had to carry everything." He reached inside his bag and pulled out some 'food'. Cracker Jack, muffins and a bar of chocolate and held them out for Sydney and Parker.

    "Nothing else?" Parker reached inside the bag herself, searching for some real food.

    "Wait, yeah, I have some apples and a few bananas." He filled her in.

    "Much better." Parker took out two apples and held one out to Sydney who took it gratefully. His belly already screamed for breakfast.

    "No coffee, I guess?" he at least could ask.

    "Nope. But I have a few packs of chocolate-milk."

    Sydney took one pack and Parker tried to grab the other one but she had no free hand so Jarod fixed the drinking straw for her and held it in front of her face. "Better than nothing." She hesitated at first but then took it in her mouth and took a huge draft.

    "Hey, leave something for me. I have only two."

    "Your bad luck." but she saved him some.

    "You're too kind to me."

    "I don't want to break up your little chat but shouldn't we go back inside. I'm freezing." Sydney remarked.

    "Yeah, I want to read the book now." Parker said.

    "Which book?" Sydney asked.

    "My mom's diary. Frankenboy decided to finally share it with me." She gave him and knowing look and he again felt like he had betrayed her.

    "I said before that I'm sorry, ok?"

    "Sure, and I'm the Queen of Forgiveness."

    Sydney could only shake his head.

    "What, Dr. Frankenstein. You wanna add something?" Miss Parker was again like on her best days and Sydney felt familiar with her.

    "No, no." He stared in front of them not meeting her eyes.

    "I should have brought some coffee for her!" Jarod whispered to Sydney and he nodded.

    In the warm room again, Jarod made a new fire and then Parker led him to the couch taking the diary with her. She hesitated a moment before she had the strength to open it. Sydney stood by the window and watched them both carefully. He knew it must be hard for her to finally read what her mother thought and how her life had been. He knew himself some details from their sessions but in this book were surely the most personal thoughts of Catherine Parker.

    Jarod felt really uncomfortable sitting next to her just doing nothing. He didn't even dare look at her.

    "Mhm." Sydney broke the depressed mood. "I'll go and look around again." and slipped out of the door unnoticed by Parker who was immersed in the most intimate thoughts of her mother. Jarod shifted his weight uneasily on the couch.

    "You read all of this?" Parker asked with and unusually soft voice.

    Jarod nodded, his eyes on the flames before them.

    "How dare you to hide all this from me for so long. You know how much this means to me. I feel like I barely know the woman I knew as my mother."

    "Truth is, I used it as a kind of joker" he began and Parker was about to slap him again just for those words but he quickly spoke in defence of himself.

    "But I also knew it would hurt you. You loved your mom and you should keep her in mind the way you know her. There are things written in here that you shouldn't read"

    "Like what?" her voice rose and she had trouble to keeping the tears that swelled it her eyes held back. Jarod breathed hard and finally looked in her beautiful blue eyes. If she didn't want to return him to the Centre he could have compassion for her. No, he had compassion for her, no matter what would come. He shook his head lightly and mad an effort to look at her. In this moment, this minute, the only thing he wanted to do was take her in his arms and make all the pain, the suffering, the denying go away. He wanted to comfort her and be comforted by her. Without thinking he reached out to pull her into a hug but she resisted and tried to hit him, but Jarod didn't break away but held her until she finally gave in and just clung to him and sobbed. In this moment Parker didn't care what was, or what will be, she just let her guard down and let out all the feelings she denied all her life. She didn't care if Sydney came in and saw her like this nor that it was Jarod who held her in his arms and sobbed with her into the hollow of her neck. Jarod held her so close he could feel her heartbeat against his chest. It seemed like eternity they sat there like that. Her hand wandered from his back to his neck and the other one, the cuffed hand held his shirt tight, she could feel his warm hand softly caressing her side. After a time she had her feelings slowly under control again and released him not daring to look in his eyes, just inches away from her. She quickly wiped away her tears and cleared her throat but Jarod spoke first.

    "Please let me help you!"

    "How can you help me, huh? Wanna make my life worse?"

    "I can..." he began after taking a few deep breaths.

    "No!" she cut him off and stood up, taking him with her. "You can't do anything for me. I have to take care of myself. I'm not gonna end up like mom because I help other people." she hissed at him.

    Jarod was at first speechless and carefully chose his next words.

    "Your mom, the things she did were her own decision." but she cut him off again.

    "She was forced into these things because she was weak."

    "No! She was human. She cared about other peoples lives. I thought you had changed a bit in the last months and learned, but you...." he walked after her as she turned away. "I'm afraid they killed every piece of humanity in you." Jarod felt and unfamiliar emotion of something like anger and despair the same time and grabbed her arm to turn her back again to her.

    "I believe they gave you the cruelest training, worse than Kyle or Bobby. They made the perfect instrument to pursue their needs. The Centre and your *dad* can be very proud."

    Parker looked in his brown eyes and was scared of the emotions she saw there. She never thought he had to be afraid of him but now....

    "How dare you? How dare you decide other peoples futures. Who are you to do so?" she defended herself and stepped even closer to him, not wanting to show how much he scared her. Before something else could happen, they heard Sydney call them. But neither would step back. It was some kind of power demonstration. She couldn't tell how, but the look in his eyes changed, he stared at her and it was like he tried to communicate with her without words. As Sydney's footsteps grew closer Jarod did something she wouldn't have expected from him, at least not in this situation. He kissed her hard on the lips and stepped back to leave her shocked as Sydney entered.

    "Captain Jankins is here. He's waiting in the court." then he looked at them both and realised that something wasn't right but decided not to ask.

    "Thank God." Parker felt like she was in a nightmare and the boat was the rescue alarm clock.

    "Pack your things together lab-rat, we're leaving." she looked at him icily and then turned to Sydney "Have our packed the stuff from downstairs?"

    "Oh yeah, I have a bag down. I'm ready to leave."


    As they walked back to the boat, Sydney took the bag with the most important things in it, Jarod carried one of his bags and the captain the other. Miss Parker had grabbed Jarod's hand as soon as they spotted the captain. She didn't want to make him ask unnecessary questions. The captain wondered why the lady and her friend never let go of each others hand but didn't asked further. They paid good money so he just did what they asked for.


    "Mhm, Miss Parker?" Sydney asked when they arrived back at the car.

    "What?" she turned around to see Sydney stumble off of the boat.

    "I think it would be better for me to wait at the airport for you. You better go to the city hall alone. Captain Jennkins offered to take me with him back."

    "Ok. It shouldn't take us long. We'll met you at the plane." then she drove into town with Jarod. Parker parked the car outside the office and pulled Jarod out of her door after checking that no one was watching them. They entered and Parker grabbed Jarod's hand to hide the handcuffs. Finally finding the authorised civil servant she had the island transferred from Catherine to herself, in a fake name. Parker hadn't yet decided what to do with it but she could do that after Jarod was back at the Centre. Unfortunately they ran in a cop as they left the city hall and Jarod used his chance.

    "Mhm, officer?" Jarod spoke and Parker gave him a icy look.

    "Can I help you?" the friendly young officer responded.

    "Mhm, yeah, we have ... we have a little problem here." Jarod spoke quietly and lifted their cuffed hands to show him. "Well, it's actually a little accident. You know, mhm, it's awkward. We played a kind of *game*, you know? And we lost the keys." he stumbled.

    "Oh, I understand. No problem." the man took out his keys and quickly removed the cuffs.
    "Thank you so much." Jarod said very glad.

    "Yeah, thank you." Parker said and raised her hands to her hips. Her jacket moved a bit and showed her gun.

    "Ma'am?" the officer glanced at her back.

    "What?" she snapped at him.

    "Can I speak with you a moment, please?"

    "Sorry boy, I don't have time for this shit at the moment." as she walked past him he grabbed her arm and took her weapon.

    "What's this?"

    "What does it look like, huh?"

    "I'll have to arrest you until I've checked you. I'm sure you understand."

    "I have the right to wear a gun, damnit." she hissed at him and saw Jarod smile behind him.

    "Not here, ma'am. Maybe you can walk around in America with a gun like John Wayne but not here. Please follow me."

    Miss Parker had to wait in an interrogation room till the police checked her. Jarod entered and grinned.

    "Jarod, you are going to pay for that. And how dare you to visit me here?"

    "Oh, officer Kinnley still thinks I'm your husband."

    "Great. And now?"

    "I just wanted to say good-bye and give you back the diary. Here." he offered her the red book.

    "How kind. Why do I deserve that?" she remarked sarcastically.

    "You deserve a lot better. Think about it." with that he turned and walked to the door.

    "Jarod!" she called after him. He stopped to look back at her and lifted his eyebrow in question.


    Parker slowly walked towards him and looked at the ground.

    "You're sure you're not my brother?" she asked still looking down.

    "Absolutely sure. Why?" he was a bit irritated.

    She met his gaze and took another step towards him.

    "Good." then she grabbed his neck and his cheek and pulled his head to her giving him a passionate kiss that almost made him fly. He waited for her to pull back and kill him but she deepened the kiss. Seconds later their tongues danced their own dance and Jarod pulled Parker tighter to him. When she finally released him, both were out of breath and she whispered to him.

    "Now I have one more reason to catch you!"

    Jarods response was another kiss and then he released her and walked out of the room after grinning boyishly at her. "Till next time!"

    "You can count on it." she mumbled.

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