Twilight. She was bathed in an ostensibly perpetual twilight, her beauty ethereal in the soft shadows. She cast her eyes towards the heavens, void of the sun and awash in rich hues before turning to stare at the too tranquil water stretched out in front of her like a blanket to eternity. Eternal. It had been for him.
The news, even though expected, had ricocheted through her like a bullet searching for that perfect organ to puncture. Her heart had taken the direct hit.
Those around her wondered if her mind would break as well but it didn't. She didn't collapse, there was no psychotic break, no nasty conversion disorder. She didn't sob. She didn't even cry. Not even one tear. She had accepted her mission gracefully when Raines ordered her to investigate the reports of debris floating in Tamuda Bay.
She had only nodded in what appeared to be a sign of loyalty when she was instructed to sweep, to even clean that area, to clean the officials in Morocco as well as Mr. Parker's body if necessary so that no tracks could be traced back to the Centre. The golden rule. Anything for the Centre. Death before dishonor. She was sure there were other reasons. Her twin wanted to take over the Jarod project. It was personal to baby brother now. Now that he and Raines had fabricated to the Triumvirate, the events the night of Mr. Parker's jump.
Still staring out at the Mediterranean, she allowed herself a single tear for the man she loved, the man her mother had loved, painfully aware as it made it's lonely descent along her cheek that it was more than he deserved.
Underneath the bowl of stars, clear and bright on the lonely stretch of beach, her resolve was solidified. She felt a calmness rain upon her. Leaving the Centre had always appealed to her but pleasing daddy had always come first. Daddy was gone now and a flesh eating twin wasn't reason enough to stay. Hell, if anything, it was all the more reason to run.
She stood, set her shoulders in unyielding determination and dusted off the sand. She took another long look at the water, as if she could simply absorb that tranquility and store it somewhere inside for later use and then pivoted around to return to her villa.
The long walk was somehow liberating, the air and water seemed to infuse her, body and soul, with energy.
Closing the door to the villa, she kicked off her shoes.
Suddenly, the air seemed different. She felt his presence before she even looked in his direction.
He wore a tux and a five o'clock shadow. The jacket unbutton, the bow tie loosened around the shirt collar, the top three buttons of his shirt undone to expose chest hair and a sculpted body. He had thrown himself into weight lifting, hitting the gym harder than ever before to expend all his pent up rage and despair. It hadn't helped. What he wanted was her, not the physique of Hulk.
"I came to offer my condolences."
She considered his words, watched him as he strolled across the floor towards her.
"Condolences?" She hissed out, pulling her gun and pressing it right against his chest. Jarod took another step.
He found it all very interesting that though the barrel was digging into his skin, it was Parker who attempted to retreat.
She stared in disbelief, her anger ratcheting up a notch when he showed no fear of the gun. The anger increased ten fold when she felt something foreign slip under skin. Fear. She took a moment to shake off that feeling before unleashing the rage.
"I know how much you hated my father Jarod so skip the fucking song and dance and tell me what the hell you want!"
He placed his hands on either side of her, his palms flush against the door behind her. His body was not in contact with hers in any way but she was pretty well trapped between Jarod and the door.
"I thought I made that clear two weeks ago.." He began, taking the gun from her trembling hands. The gun was now turned on her. She was fuming at the slight smile on his face. "but if you need further clarification..."
He leaned forward, bending down just slightly, ever so slowly, gauging her every reaction as he stared into her eyes, and gently pressed his lips to hers.
"Jarod!" The threat fizzled out of her voice, leaving just a tremulous whisper of uncertainty against his lips.
He shoved the gun into the waistband of his pants and was not the least surprised when her hands moved for the pistol.
Jarod captured both her hands in his stronger left hand.
"Let me go!" She struggled against him in vain.
His eyes held hers as he pulled back just a bit before once again leaning in, parting her lips with his tongue, his right leg slid between hers. He lifted her hands above their heads.
Parker was engulfed by the man, swallowed whole by the moment. He felt all resistance crumbling beneath his touch.
Skilled fingers caressed her body softly, removed the suit she had chosen to wear just ten hours earlier. The clothing pooled around her feet. Releasing her hands, he slid them around her.
"It's not going to be this easy you son of-" Her hands were on his chest, a last ditch effort to push him off. Once again, he captured both of her hands in just one of his much stronger hands.
"Jarod!" Again, little bite remained in the bark.
Maybe she needed to offer up this defense, pretend to play the meek maid for some irrational reason which he would never understand.
It felt so erotic, his tux against her naked body; however it was not erotic enough to eclipse all the doubts in her mind.
Holding her hands above her head, against the door, his other hand made quick work of his clothes.
"You can't do this." She sneered.
"I haven't done anything." He stated calmly. "Yet." Jarod tacked on with a smile.
He lifted her naked form in his capable arms, carried her into the bedroom and gently deposited her onto the bed.
"Damn it Jarod, you-" The back of her hand made contact with his bottom lip. He reached for his lip with a thumb, glared at the blood.
She started, began to bolt from the bed.
He pinned her hands to the mattress.
"We can't do this...it's-" She was breathlessly searching for some perfect phrase, some mystic incantation which could convince him. And herself.
"Don't fight it Parker." He returned softly solemnly gazing down at her. He shifted quickly, so that her hands were above her head and in the tight grip of just one of his hands. "You're only fighting yourself." He whispered against her lips.
She closed her eyes as a finger brushed her thigh. It had been so long since she had done this, so long since Thomas.
"I have killed men for less than...oh god.." She moaned in pleasure, interrupted briefly. "You have to stop this, you have..."
"When I'm making you feel so good? Why should I stop?"
His body bare, warm against hers, his hands on her face, gentle caresses. Jarod pulled her fingers in his mouth, suckled each one so expertly. Somehow his hands were everywhere at once.
His adeptness amazed her. Every touch.
He kneaded her breasts, his tongue traced her warm skin. He pulled an erect nipple into his mouth, gently involving his teeth and tongue as his hands gently spread her legs and he positioned himself between them.
"Don't do this Jarod.." There was panic, genuine panic in her voice. "Please, please don't-"
"I'm not going to do anything that you don't want me to do. Tell me what you want."
He offered her an easy out.
"I don't know what.." She mumbled aimlessly, breathlessly between kisses and the night wore on similarly. She knew what she wanted, was too afraid to admit that she wanted this with someone she supposedly hated so intensely.
Still, 'I don't know' was a step closer to 'yes' than 'no' had been.
"You are not going to allow him to control you even in death. I won't let you."
His finger brushed her clitoris, her breathed hitched, her pelvis thrust upward.
"...but...it's wrong .." A litany of nearly incoherent murmurings, obscenities and she didn't mean the first word.
"Your words say no, your body says yes." His finger danced along the wetness between her legs and dared to slip inside.
There was a yelp followed by his name, which she hissed lashing out at him in both pleasure and contempt.
Again, her body writhed beneath his. He began to wonder if maybe he'd been wrong, if she'd never stop fighting. But then, she was confrontational by nature. The fight was sometimes all she'd had and surrender was not in her vast vocabulary.
"And which will the police believe Jar.." her counter statement was broken by guttural, primal moans.
"What are you afraid of?"
She pretended she didn't hear that one but they both knew. Control. She couldn't give a drop of it away, hadn't in some time. Not since Thomas.
But Jarod didn't want control. He wanted to free her, to love her, to give her back what it seemed she had buried with Thomas' body.
"Stop fighting yourself."
"Because I fucking...oh god...I said so!" She attempted to twist her hands from his grasp, to kick him away. Impossible. "Stop before I..."
"Before you what? Before you say yes? Because you equate saying yes to giving up, to losing, to relinquishing control? It's not the same thing and you know it."
"What do you want?" She asked with tears in her eyes.
"I want you."
Later, he wouldn't even remember which combination of words it had been and neither would she.
Maybe it wasn't his words, maybe she had tired of the fight, decided that he was right. Perhaps she finally wanted something for herself and to hell with everyone and everything else. It didn't matter. The journey didn't matter.
The destination was sweet, was all that mattered, to have her in his arms, glistening with sweat, glowing with pleasure, shaking uncontrollably in absolute satisfaction and the tears, the tears he had whispered away. It wasn't easy to let go of the past and the years flew through her mind, every chase, every game, every lie, every trap, it had all been wasted, the hard work, the cold threats echoing with emptiness that she had repeatedly leveled at him, all of her pretending and that fucking gun forever in his face, it had all culminated to this, to surrender, to calling the game, the fight, the hatred, calling it all on account of sex.
To hell with the journey, her reluctance and the lies that had nearly killed them both.
What mattered was the first touch of her, the first taste, those delicious gasps as his fingers pleasured, stretched her, explored every inch of her. More gasps when he finally entered her, slowly burying all of himself into her in one gentle motion. Her entire body shuddered beneath him as he reached beneath her, his fingers sinking into the flesh of her ass. He pushed further, eliciting delicious cries which he enjoyed smothering with his mouth.
What mattered was the way her body finally adjusted to his, the moment she relaxed and believed that it wasn't so wrong after all.
What really mattered was that it was his name she was crying out just before the sun peaked from behind the clouds the next morning, the way she gasped for breath and sliced him open with her finger nails. The sight of her in the eerie predawn light filtering in through the sheer curtains, he watched as her face relaxed and her body stilled, the waves of pleasure subsiding.
They had crossed a line, the tide had turned and after years of wondering how to take the first step, the first step had been taken and now nothing would ever be the same again.