DISCLAIMER: They are not mine, I'm just rubbing them together to see what happens. No money was made and anyway, I have no money, so don't sue...
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Though I do follow both shows, and just love them to bits and pieces, I don't know enough about the characters or the shows to be completely accurate about anything.
SERIES: This is a Cold Case/Pretender story and the sequel to The Divine Miss Parker, Rush Hour and Get Parker!.
SPOILERS: Rudimentary show stuff, but nothing specific that I can think of.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Lilly of the Valley
By The Raven

Since water still flows, though we cut it with swords,
and sorrow returns, though we drown it with wine,
since the world can in no way answer to our craving,
I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishing boat.

-- Li Po

As she had predicted, Miss Parker managed to arrive at The Center on time to start her day. Miss Parker was not the sort to take any kind of chance with the sociopaths that she interacted with on a daily basis. Arriving at The Center, did not however mean that she was mentally there... Hours of endless driving, no sleep and the very delicious nocturnal activities that had burned much of her energy for the past few days had taken their toll. However, her current state of being a walking coma patient, was small punishment for her state of elation and arousal, even happiness, Lilly Rush was proving to be an experience worth having, tenfold. Looking around with a casually menacing glance, an automatic response to realising that her guard had slipped fractionally, Miss Parker reminded herself to pay more attention, it would not do for anyone to notice her current state of being. Though Broots already had, damn that little man.

Oh well, Miss Parker was not a 'cry over spilt milk' type of woman. More like a have the minions clean the mess up and go purchase a dairy farm as consolation. Miss Parker continued her internal monologue as she moved to her office a triple cappuccino in hand and her game face well and truly on. It was time to get ready to rumble, Mr. Lyle and his smarmy little bitch Brigitte had been making suspicious sounding noises. If there was anything Miss Parker was determined to achieve, it was that the two deviant misanthropes would not be the ones who would capture Jarod. Not that it was likely, Miss Parker mused as she sat down at her desk and lit a cigarette, the two of them were as clever as a two headed calf and about a subtle, something which Jarod would be able to smell miles away and hear hours before it arrived. That said, Miss Parker really did need to get down to business, at once. Rubbing her hands across her tired face in a vain attempt to make herself look more alert, Miss Parker keen senses managed to pick up the most subtle whiff of musk on her fingertips. Miss Parker allowed herself one delicious and full smile before she rummaged in her desk for her hand sanitizer, she really did need to focus, she needed to think about and concentrate about something else except for Lilly Rush, if that was at all possible... Her inner voice seemed to blow a raspberry at her as she picked up the phone and prepared to make one of at least the dozen calls needed in the next hour or so.

Not much later, on the same day, Miss Parker had made her way to the shooting range, locked away in the bowels of The Center's vast complex, her goal being to work off some extra energy and excise some frustration. The day had been particularly trying, and it had only just begun. Now standing, gun in hand, facing an array of targets, with an allotment of full magazines resting on the narrow ledge in front of her, Miss Parker collected her concentration and worked to eliminate the distractions that fluttered like birds at the edges of her mind. Miss Parker had been shooting guns since she was a small girl... From her mother, had come ballet, from her father, guns. So, not only could Miss Parker control her body, she was deadly with it. Her father had also put her through The Center's 'covert operative' training, where she had learned everything she needed to know about being deadly, cunning and hard as a diamond. Miss Parker had augmented her abilities with specialized training that she had sought out away from her father and from The Center, wishing as always to have her own identity and have secrets that no one except her could access, that no one but she herself would know about. Now it was simply a matter of keeping her abilities honed to a razors edge and her ear to the ground, thus Miss Parker raised her gun and fired at the target without even a moment of hesitation. The dual tone HK P2000 9.mm was a compact and efficient handgun, one that she had chosen after much thought and testing and had learned to use and fire until she felt like it was an extension of her body and senses. It felt good to fire it, not that Miss Parker was shy of using other guns and weapons for that matter, the 6 inch long folding dagger ever present in her right boot and the garrote that was always available at the cuff of her left jacket sleeve being a testament to that fact. The firing range put Miss Parker through her paces and then she spend long meditative moments carefully cleaning and oiling her gun, completely ignoring the environment around her, her hands working automatically, while her mind strayed yet again to thoughts of 'Her Detective'. Sliding her gun into her holster and closing the metal box that contained the gun cleaning equipment she had been using, Miss Parker glanced at the employee who had arrived to clean up the spent cartridges and replace the targets. The man was carefully schooling his body languages into insignificance, knowing that it was a better thing if Miss Parker did not notice him, address him, or interact with it. Miss Parker had earned and cultivated her reputation carefully, she did not need any more shit than she already had. So, reputation and rumors helped... Without a second look, Miss Parker walked out of the shooting range, she was scheduled for lunch with her father and had 5 minutes to get to the cafeteria, plenty of time, but Miss Parker was never late, unless it was intentional.

Evening finally came for Miss Parker, and she was once more able to leave The Center mostly behind, having first made sure that her father knew what bumbling fools Mr. Lyle and his pet slut Brigitte were. Her father was, of course, sympathetic in his own mysterious way, a way that infuriated Miss Parker. However, he was also someone that she could rely on, in that though he might interfere with her personal investigations, he would do whatever it took to guard her back when push came to shove. His motives were always questionable, but not his loyalty. Now, as she pulled into her driveway and grabbed her suitcase from the backseat of the car, she reminded herself to check her house and premises for surveillance equipment before she did anything else. Thinking about her father was always a good way of reminding herself to stay on her toes when it came to The Center. It had, no doubt' come to the attention of someone, that she had spent the past few nights away from home, and no doubt the opportunity had been used to plant the usual obvious and no so obvious surveillance devices. Miss Parker was relatively confident that no one was regarding her absence with suspicion, her desire to find Jarod was well known, and few people would risk running afoul of her father by poking too much into her business or making their curiosity too obvious.

An hour later, Miss Parker had fired up her gas fire and was busily tossing a half dozen listening bugs, a tiny digital video camera and a motion detector into the flames. The expensive crackle gave her a measure of satisfaction and enabled her to relax, of course, the fine sipping scotch in the glass that she held also helped. There was always the possibility, that someone was listening from across the street, but Miss Parker did not regard her home as her castle, if anything, only her own body fulfilled that description. However, it was imperative that whatever 'they' did, she managed to make it as hard as possible. Maybe they would eventually give up, or maybe they would become so sophisticated that she would no longer be able to detect them. Either way, for the moment she simply did not care... It was time to sip the whisky, think about what she needed to do next. Food, shower, suitcase and bed came to mind just immediately, but now that she was home, and finally able to let her guard down as much as she was likely to, thoughts of Lilly Rush flooded her mind and body. Lilly Rush, the woman was an enigma, though she was also an open book. The contradiction was compelling to Miss Parker, as was the other woman's tenacity and complete disregard of Miss Parker's behavior, attitude or darkness. The knowledge that Lilly Rush wanted her stoked the fire in Miss Parker's gut, caused the flames of desire to flare constantly, insistently, as her inner animal roared for release from her self imposed prison. Yes indeed, Miss Parker mused to herself, the good Detective was something else, so much so, that Miss Parker had decided over the past 24 hours or so, that she would risk almost anything, and defy anyone, to keep the woman for herself. This was one area where The Center, her father, her life, her history, even Jarod, would not be allowed to interfere in any way. The decision once more confirmed in her head, Miss Parker set down her empty glass and moved towards the kitchen, intent on food and knowing that she would be a one finger cook tonight, the one finger it took to dial a take out place and have the food delivered. After accomplishing that task, Miss Parker moved to her bedroom, tossing the suitcase onto her bed, and repeating the procedure she had just a day ago, repacking it and locking it up, minus the file she had taken from Lilly Rush, which she had decided to transliterate and then burn in her fireplace. It seemed like the safest thing to do, all things considering. One just never knew where The Center would stick its grubby nose into next and it never hurt to be overcareful when it really mattered.

Sometime later, Miss Parker seated herself Indian style on her bed, having eaten, showered and set her ashtray and cigarettes close by. The file was open before her and Miss Parker was busily transferring the information from the file onto a legal pad, the muted scratching of her pen interspersed by the flick of her lighter and the clink of ice in her glass as she sipped her drink. She was just finishing up, and was trying to decide between getting another drink, or going to bed, when the decision was made for her. Her cell phone rang, the shrill noise causing Miss Parker to jump slightly before she registered what it was and stubbed out her cigarette as she snatched the device up. "Parker" she snapped into the phone, mediating her voice carefully to indicate that she did not want to talk to anyone, about anything. There was a pause and then the voice that was haunting her daydreams and her nighttime spoke. "Hi."

Miss Parker closed her eyes and a moment later she spoke into her phone. "This is becoming a habit of yours, calling me at night." Lilly Rush chuckled into Miss Parker's phone, causing the raven haired woman to shiver slightly. "Well, considering that you already have so many bad habits, what's one more?" Miss Parker chuckled in response to the implication that Lilly Rush was a bad habit. It was not so far off the truth in fact, especially as Miss Parker's whole body was telling her to get into her car and drive to Philadelphia, or somewhere, anywhere, and persuade the good Detective to join her, wherever that was. "So, do you want to talk about guns or something?" Lilly Rush asked her, a smile colouring her voice. Miss Parker rose from her bed, tugging down the men's dress shirt that she was wearing as a night shirt. Moving to her window, she listened to Lilly Rush breathe into the phone, the sound bringing with it a whole host of memories and sensations to Miss Parker's body. "I want you." Miss Parker said into the phone, allowing her voice to dip into its lowest register. There was silence on the other end of the line, as Lilly appeared to be holding her breath, and then Lilly released her breath in a quiet moan, her control slipping in response to the provocative words and the tone of Miss Parker's voice. Miss Parker felt her toes curl into the carpet as heat spread through her abdomen to her loins. "Fuck this!" Lilly Rush said sharply, her voice echoing her frustration and matching what Miss Parker was feeling. "How the hell did you do this to me?" The question was rhetorical but Miss Parker was compelled to answer anyway, "What did I do to you? Hah! What the fuck did you do to me?" Miss Parker allowed aroused amusement to filter through her tones as she walked over to her end table and went through the motions of selecting and lighting a cigarette, waiting for Lilly to respond, feeling the moments trickle by slowly. "The sound of your lighter makes me feel a little crazy." Was Lilly's immediate response to the sound of Miss Parker's lighter. The words caused Miss Parker to drop her lighter and fumble with the phone slightly as she was forced to sit down rather heavily. No longer trusting her voice or her legs, Miss Parker simply closed her eyes and breathed for a few long moments, knowing that Lilly Rush would wait for her to respond until her phone battery ran out. The woman was a force of nature with her stubbornness and tenacity and for the first time, Miss Parker felt that it was highly unlikely that she would be able to drive her away with her walls, masks and attitude, something that had never happened to her before.

Miss Parker continued to say nothing however, as she tried to find a way to erect some kind of protective wall, something that would enable her to regain control of the situation. Detective Rush had caused a larger measure of her self control to unravel and it was unnerving to Miss Parker, who over the years, had perfected the art of self control. Miss Parker did not know how much time had elapsed before she heard Lilly's voice again, "I need to kiss you." The words were simple, delivered without any hesitation, but they were loaded with desire, with feeling, with raw lust. Miss Parker found her voice once more and spoke, "We have to sleep tonight." The words came out in a half whisper and without much conviction. Miss Parker stubbed out her cigarette and walked with the phone to her kitchen, opting for a glass of water, instead of 3 more fingers scotch. Lilly Rush's voice seemed to smile into the phone as she replied, "No, we just need to get to bed." The voice wrapped itself around Miss Parker, touching her deep inside. "How are we going to do this?" Miss Parker whispered, almost to herself, her voice barely audible. Unaware that she had spoken outloud, Miss Parker picked up her water and walked back towards her bedroom, remembering that she wanted to burn the file, right away. The only sound that was coming through her phone was the sound of Lilly breathing, the sound was driving her crazy with a madness that was going to make her irrational. It was Lilly who broke the frustrated silence between the two women, "Go to New York City. I will meet you there, let me know when you can get away. We'll arrange the details then..." Lilly's voice was rich with desire, but firm and commanding. Miss Parker found herself helpless to resist, now it was just a matter of finding an excuse to go to New York City, without arousing suspicions. She would have to come up with a valid reason, at the very least for her father, who would field Raines, who in turn should handle Lyle and his pet, Brigitte. Miss Parker heard Lilly gently hang up the phone and smiled, the other woman had spunk and attitude, never mind being gorgeous and drop dead sexy. Smiling, Miss Parker rose and brought the file to her fireplace, carefully feeding it in, before she shut the gas off and went to bed. At the very least, a good night's sleep would insure that she would be able to function at her peak in the morning, something that she would need in order to pull this off.

The End

Sequel What Fresh Heaven is This?

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