Title: Old Friends Made New
Fandoms: Profit/The Pretender
Characters/Pairings: Jim Profit, Jarod, Miss Parker, (implied Profit/Parker)
Summary: Changes at Gracen and Gracen inspire Profit to reach out to an old friend.
Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own any of these characters. The characters from Profit belong to New World Television & Stephen J. Cannell Productions. The characters from The Pretender belong to Mitchell/Van Sickle Productions & 20 th Century Fox Television. No copyright infringement is intended.
Feedback: Yes please! This is the first time that I've written in either of these fandoms, so I'm very nervous about it.
Author's Note: Thanks to Gabrielle for the beta and to Angel's Kuuipo for the beta and encouraging me to write this. Now it's your turn.
Old Friends Made New
The past is resurfacing.
I have known Miss Parker for many years now. She is the Head of Security for her family's company, The Centre. She knows the meaning of loyalty and family obligation.
Don't let her gender deceive you. She is one of the most ruthless people that I have ever met, including myself.
Like a good businesswoman, she keeps her cards close to the vest, but I do know that she is after a man named Jarod. His is a name that has come up often during conversations over the past several years.
Jarod also happens to be the name of our newest Security Consultant.
Jarod Goodman is a valuable addition to the Gracen and Gracen family. His skills are the best that I have ever seen, everything from computers to building security. He knows how to keep what is family business private, as well as how to expose what may harm the family.
Which is why I haven't allowed him access to my office.
The intercom buzzes. "Mr. Profit," Gail's voice comes over the speaker, "Mr. Goodman is here to see you."
"Send him in, Gail," I answer. I minimize all screens on my computer and paste a smile on my face as the door opens.
"We haven't been properly introduced yet," Jarod says, entering my office. "I'm Jarod Goodman, the new Security Consultant."
I stand and shake his hand. He's after something, but I don't know what. "Jim Profit. It's good to finally meet you, Mr. Goodman."
"Call me Jarod," he insists.
"Jarod," I repeat. "What can I do for you? I assume you're not just here for a social visit."
"I just need a few minutes alone with your computer. As I'm sure you know, I've been brought in to update the company's firewalls. There have been too many people gaining access to Gracen and Gracen's private files. We wouldn't want any of those big business deals getting leaked to the press now, would we?"
I smile tightly in response. No, we wouldn't want anyone gaining access to our files; especially not mine, unless that is the plan in the first place. After all, the incident that brought Jarod into our company is one that I had orchestrated to stop a potentially disastrous deal from going forward.
"Do you need to do it right now?" I ask. "I'm kind of in the middle of something."
"Sooner really would be better," Jarod quips. "But I can wait until a better time. Just have Gail call me when you're going to be out of your office."
"Of course," I reply. I sit back down, dismissing him. "I won't keep you."
"Until later," he says, closing the door behind him.
Time to double check my computer to make sure that I haven't accidentally left anything incriminating behind. Granted, most of the more dangerous files are on my home computer, but it never hurts to be safe. Especially with Security specialists lurking about.
Sitting in my sanctuary, I dial a number I haven't used in years.
"What?" the woman barks.
"Parker, always a pleasure to hear your lovely voice," I say.
The smile in her voice is evident, silky smooth, like a snake. "Jim Profit, what brings you out of the woodwork?"
"Where are you?" I ask.
"Work. Where else?"
"Those late hours can't be doing much for your social life."
"What social life? I live for my job." Is that sarcasm I detect? "You and I are two of a kind."
"Which is why we get along so well," I agree. "I'm emailing you the profile of our new Security Consultant here at Gracen and Gracen. I think that you may find it intriguing."
"And why would I be interested in the employees of Gracen and Gracen?" she asks.
"Just wait and see." I sound smug and I know it. I deserve to be for the bounty that fell into my lap.
"It can't be," she exclaims a moment later.
"If I am correct, that would be the Jarod that you have been searching for, for the last few years."
"In the flesh. And you say that he's working at Gracen and Gracen?"
"Just started a few days ago. He's upgrading the computer security." I roll my eyes, even if she can't see me.
"What have you done, you naughty boy, to bring in someone like Jarod?" she laughs.
"What makes you think it was something that I did?" Parker always could see through me.
She laughs again. "We're two of a kind, in case you've forgotten."
"How could I ever forget?"
Parker could be your worst nightmare if you piss her, or her employers, off; but she is a hellcat in the bedroom. We spent as much of our time together in bed, on the desk, against the wall, etc. as we did scheming.
"Can you keep him busy until I can get there?" she asks.
"Of course. I met him personally today when he tried to upgrade my computer. I was able to put him off for a little while. I'll see what I can do to create an emergency elsewhere in the company that will need his immediate attention."
"Perfect," she purrs. "I'll get the company jet ready as soon as we're done here."
"I won't keep you then. I look forward to seeing you again, Parker."
"Only if Jarod's still there," she warns me.
"He will be," I promise.
"He'd better." She ends the call without saying goodbye. I would expect nothing less from her.
Gail enters my office two days later holding a notepad.
"What is it Gail?" I ask when she just stands there.
"Mr. Goodman has left several messages for you, wanting to know when he can upgrade your computer's firewall."
Man, this guy is persistent. No wonder he drives Parker crazy.
"He should be able to do it today. I have a meeting with a corporation that I know out of Delaware. He can have access to my system then."
"That's great," Gail says, relaxing. "I'll let him know."
"Uh, Gail," I caution her, "Don't tell him who the meeting is with, just that he'll be able to do it today and that you'll call him later with the time."
"Of course, Mr. Profit." Gail really is a wonderful assistant.
Barely an hour goes by before I hear Parker's voice outside my office. The door to my office bursts open and Gail comes trailing in behind Parker.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Profit, she wouldn't wait," Gail apologizes.
I stand to greet Parker. "It's fine, Gail. Miss Parker needs no introduction. You look stunning as ever, Parker."
"You're not so bad yourself," she says, as we kiss cheeks.
Gail takes a step backwards and nearly bumps into one of the men that had followed Parker into the office.
"I-is there anything that you need, Mr. Profit?" she nervously asks. She's a wise woman to cower before the power that Parker exudes.
Never taking my eyes off of Parker, I say, "Call Mr. Goodman. Tell him he can do his worst to my computer now."
"Are you going to take this meeting to the conference room? We didn't book it ahead of time," Gail natters on.
"No, we'll be staying here. Just tell him that he can come up, the sooner the better."
"Y-yes, sir." Gail scurries away to do as I asked. Such a good little mouse.
"Wherever did you find her?" Parker sneers.
"I stole her away from one of the VPs when I first started. You'd be amazed at the lengths that she'll go to with the proper motivation."
"You haven't changed a bit," she says, cracking a smile.
"Neither have you," I reply.
"Make yourselves scarce," Parker instructs her goons and they silently obey, closing the door behind them.
"Aren't you going to greet me properly?" I ask, holding my hand out to her.
"When have I ever been proper?" she retorts, allowing me to pull her into my arms for a passionate kiss.
There is a single knock at the door before it opens and Jarod comes in, saying, "Gail said you were finally ready for me."
"Oh, that I am," Parker answers him, turning to face Jarod.
His face pales comically as he sees whom my meeting is with. "No, no, no, no!"
"Oh, yes." Parker sounds triumphant. "I've finally got you right where I want you."
The goons appear in the doorway, blocking any attempt that Jarod may make to run for it.
"How did you find me?" he whines.
"You really should do your homework better," I tell him.
Parker slides an arm around my shoulders proprietarily. I allow her. I know that this is her show.
"Jim and I go way back, didn't you know?" she says conversationally.
"You have a lot of skeletons in your closet, Miss Parker. How can I be expected to know about all of them?" Jarod answers.
"So who are you trying to save this week? Are you trapping an embezzler? Some poor old sod interfering with company deals? What righteous act are you trying to perform today?"
"You're touching him," Jarod sneers. "Jimmy-boy there has been coercing and blackmailing his clients into doing business with him. He's manipulating everyone around him to make it look like he's not the one doing it, but he's been playing everyone."
"You have no proof of that," I say calmly. I've worked very hard to make sure that nothing can be traced back to me. I'm very good at what I do.
"No, but I would have," Jarod fumes.
"The security update," I scoff. "Did you really think that I wouldn't know about whatever spying you were doing on me? I'm a shark. And you're in way over your head."
"It's time to go home, Jarod," Parker says. She looks like the cat that ate the canary.
"You know that I'll just escape again. I'll always get away from that place," Jarod says. The goons step up and twist Jarod's arms behind his back and begin to drag him out of the room.
"I better make sure they can handle him. That man is slippery as an eel," Parker sighs. "It was great seeing you again, Jim. I won't forget about this."
I kiss her. "Hopefully we'll be able to spend more time together the next time you're in town."
She runs her eyes over my body and licks her lips. "Definitely," she purrs.
She closes the door behind her and I sit back at my desk.
Sometimes reconnecting with old friends can be very rewarding.
Copyright© October 2007