Disclaimer: I, of course, own nothing. BtVS belongs to Joss, ME, ect. I'm not sure who owns The Pretender, but it sure isn't me. *sigh*
Distribution: Just tell me if you want to take it.
Feedback: Feedback is always appreciated.
Spoilers: None really. Now and forever: No Spuffy!
Summary: The Centre wants Willow. Will Jarod be able to save her?
A/N: It's been a while since I've written anything for this, but now I'm trying to finish it. Previous parts can be found at: www.angelfire.com/dragon/seeker0
Sorry for the lack of fic lately. I know I promised to finish up all my WIPs, but I've had major writer's block lately.
"Jarod came to talk to you?" Mr. Lyle frowned. He didn't need to feign worry this time. It was genuine. He wondered what Jarod had told Willow.
"It was just...it was just terrible." Willow shuddered. "He was telling all sorts of lies. He said that The Centre held him captive when he was a child, said that they experimented on him. Robert, he said that you experimented on him, that you tortured him, and that you plan to do the same thing to me." Willow looked up at Robert, tears filling her eyes.
Lyle moved around the table and put his arms around Willow. " He didn't hurt you, did he? What did you do?" He held his breath, hoping that all his hard work in these past months wouldn't go to waste.
Willow shook her head. "He didn't hurt me. I pretended to believe him. It seemed the best way to get out of the situation. I told him that I believed everything he said. I said that I'd help him bring you down. I was just was frightened. I had to do something."
Mr. Lyle had to refrain from smiling. This was even better than he had expected. Jarod actually believed that he had gotten through to Willow. Willow had heard everything, and she didn't believe it. Willow would probably agree to helping him catch Jarod.
"You did the right thing, Willow. If you had provoked him he might have gotten violent. I don't know what I'd do if you were hurt."
Willow squeezed Robert's hand, laying her head on his shoulder. "I was just so scared. I know you want to protect me, but I want to protect you too. I won't let anybody hurt you. I may not have Slayer strength, but I do have my magic, and I won't hesitate to use it on someone who hurts the people I love."
Robert was taken aback by the force of her words. He had never heard that kind of venom in her voice before. It was great. The Centre could definitely use her. They had to harness this power. He smiled. It wouldn't be too long before he was bringing Willow to Delaware, hopefully with Jarod in tow.
"Stop the car," Miss Parker ordered. "There it is. 'The Magic Box.' This could be a good lead for finding my brother."
Broots pulled the car to a stop in front of the store.
"What exactly are you planning on doing when you do find Mr. Lyle?" Sydney asked.
"I'm going to find out if he knows Jarod is here," Miss Parker said as they got out of the car. "If he doesn't he's incompetent, if he does he should have contacted The Centre. Either way I want to wring his neck."
"And what about Miss Rosenberg?" Sydney asked.
Broots cleared his throat nervously. "I know you don't want The Centre kidnapping another young woman. I sure don't want it either, but how can we stop it? The Triumvirate doesn't respond well to betrayal."
"Maybe I can't do anything openly, but I can certainly engineer my brother's demise."
Sydney frowned, "You don't mean that literally do you?"
Miss Parker smiled coldly, "Of course not. Why would I want to see my beloved brother dead? Come on, let's see if we can find him." She entered The Magic Box, Broots and Sydney close behind her.
She walked up to the counter and smiled at the blond who stood behind it. "Hello, we're from out of town, and were hoping that you might be able to help us."
"Of course." The blond smiled, "I'm Anya, I'm sure I'll be able to help you spend your money in any way you wish, whether on spells or magically enhanced weapons."
"Actually I'm not interested in purchasing anything."
Anya frowned. "Oh." Why did people come into a store if they weren't going to buy something?
"We're looking for my brother. He's been in town for several months now. He says he's found the love of his life here. We had business in L.A. and thought we'd stop and see how he was doing. Unfortunately I seemed to have lost his phone number, and I don't know where exactly he's staying. He's been interested in magic for sometime now, so I thought he probably has spent sometime here." Miss Parker reached into her pocket and pulled out a picture.
Anya glanced at the picture and smiled. "Oh, that's Robert! He has been with my friend Willow for a while now."
"So you know where we can find him?" Sydney asked.
"Yes." Anya scribbled down some information on a scrap of paper. "Here's where he's staying. But he isn't there very often. He spends a lot of time with Willow. I can call her if you like, and have her tell Robert you're looking for him."
"No." Miss Parker said quickly. "We'll just wait at the hotel. I'd really like to surprise him."
"Ok. Are you sure you don't want to purchase anything? We're having a sale on Verakan crystals."
"I'm sorry, I don't' really have time now. But maybe we'll stop back before we leave. Thank you for all of your help. I can't wait to see my brother again." Miss Parker gave Anya a grateful smile and left, the others trailing after her.
"Allright. Now for the fun part. Let's go find my brother."