The Life and Times

Part 4: The truth will set them free. More or less.

Chapter 40

"To expostulate why day is day, night night, and time is time, 
were nothing but to waste night, day, and time"
Hamlet, Act ii, Sc.2

Piper watched her sleeping daughter quite frightened for the decision to let her be involved in witch wars even a little. Piper was well aware of all her family's efforts to protect her from stress and worry and tiredness but sometimes she wondered if they were protecting her from being Melinda 's mother too. Melinda seemed to show decided preference for Unca Cole and games with Phoebe and play with Paige and Mom was the one who sent her to bed.

"You only have one mom" she said stroking her sleeping daughter's hair.

Piper worried about he wild passionate reckless daughter's future. Her heritage was hardly the most stable. She thought of Jade's daughters left without a mother far too young, just like the Halliwell girls. And much as she had loved Grams, Grams had not been the most stable influence in the world of mortals or magic, as much as she loved her grandchildren. In fact it was quite remarkable, she and Phoebe had ended as the responsible adults as they were. More or less, maybe less in Phoebe's case. Even a loving sister could not quite use the word sensible about Phoebe. Phoebe would always be Phoebe. Maybe somewhere in the genes along with the magic came some core of responsibility because god knows Paige left alone as a wild teenager should have been much more bitter and irresponsible than the caring person she had become.

"Perhaps it is in the genes" Piper comforted herself as Melinda snuggled up to her bunny.

She went to bed to find Leo already there. "I checked Wyatt  he said "go to bed."

"Keeping me from my children" thought Piper annoyed.

Leo exhausted from the dramas of the day fell asleep immediately. Piper lay awake thinking of her daughter and her fate and the pain of knowing her baby was growing up even in the smallest way. Her baby was a real witch fighting evil already.

Piper thought of her sisters, Paige finally thank god, finding security of love but slowly almost inevitably looking more to her whitelighter heritage rather than her witch one, moving outside the family circle to guide and care. Phoebe lost in the intensity of magic and slowly slipping her focus on the greater magic and the eternity of Cole 's destiny and future.

It wasn't that the Charmed Ones were breaking up but it did seem to Piper that the sisters' lives were changing growing, and even if the Charmed Ones always existed maybe they would nor quite exist in the same way that they did when destiny called them.

Only Piper felt she wasn't changing. She was always the one who wanted a home and a 'normal' life. Only her life wasn't normal. It was magic and her family was magic. Piper's  visits to fairies and nymphs and the creatures who guarded her house and family had convinced her that family and its continuity was a very important part of the magic world and the great plan of magic, even essential to good winning the great battle.

But Piper was frightened because she felt, she knew. She was the centre of this family and if she wasn't there maybe it wouldn't survive. In the dark hours of the night Piper could admit she was frightened for her health. She hoped it was just the strain of the club and having two children when medically she was not supposed to have any. She knew she should trust magic not science but sometimes in the night the naggings doubt that mostly she suppressed caught her unguarded,.

She wanted to be there to guard and protect her children.  Magically Patty and Grams and Prue still did that but they came only when needed and could not share family life. Piper very much wanted to know that her mortal family would be protected as much as they were magically. Then she laughed at herself and her worrying. She was nearly 35 years old and despite the divorce of her parents, the death of her mother grandmother and sister, she was lying beside her husband surrounded by her children, her sisters, her family. Against what sort of odds.

In the dark, she saw the crustal that Arturo had given them flash orange. Piper would love to know what that peculiar shade of tangerine orange meant, because it flashed regularly, or maybe not. Then it flashed brown. Musha and brownie friends hard at work. Then it flashed a colour she had not noticed before. A grey, soft silvery and peaceful, unobtrusive showed in the crystal and then the spirit winds swirled and Piper found herself looking down at the bed where she and Leo slept, looking at herself, drifting to sleep under the comforter.

Piper found herself moving toward the bed and gently straightening the comforter and softly passed a hand over her head, making gently hush noises of soft comfort and to her surprise the self in her bed stretched and reached for Leo and snuggled against him.

She moved to the nursery corner and watched Wyatt sleep, put down on his back as babies should be, covered in a yellow comforter and green baby suit sucking hard on his thumb in his sleep and blowing bubbles. She stoked his face and a wave of affection flooded her. The feeling of affection was not entirely maternal. It was a gentle comfort and soft affectionate dutiful and responsible connection to her family.

Piper glided across her room, and as she did she saw the figure she inhabited in the mirror. It was a benign figure dressed in a neat floating long grey dress, fitted waist, prim, nanny like. And Piper recognised herself as the Befana, a household entity whose role was to take care and comfort children, sing them to sleep and rock them when they cried and she was surprised to realise this befana regarded Piper 's sisters as well as their babies as her children and was very possessive about them. She had been in this family since summoned by Melinda Warren to care for the children she had left behind when they burnt her at the stake and the Befana had never once considered deserting her family.

This Befana was a strict nanny strongly disproving of many of the games and actions of her family but she was loving and loyal and in a soft and gentle way fiercely protective.

The Befana crossed to Phoebe and Cole 's room. Phoebe was asleep half lying on Cole with her arm stretched out across him, Cole was lying on his back, his chin resting against Phoebe a half awake staring at the ceiling.

He held glanced in the Befana's direction as if he had some sense of her presence and then relaxed.

Piper cursed him "Damn you Cole what the hell are you and what do you know about magic?"

Phoebe was making soft murmuring noises, her head buried against Cole and to Piper's surprise the Befana suppressed a small thrust of jealousy that he baby should be so content with his extremely dubious and alien and secret magic creature.

The Befana pursed her lips, she did not approve of Cole ; she did not approve of the fact he slept naked; she did not approve of the paths he had lead her 'baby' and she did not approve of his disrespect and levity and she did not approve of the way her 'Baby' was obsessed with him.

Of course he had helped her baby create another baby and that was perfectly acceptable as far as the Befana was concerned. However  far to many times she had glided into this room  to check on her babies and been embarrassed to find her 'baby' involved in antics with her most emphatically not mortal husband that were not at all calculated for the procreation of another child but for what the Befana thought was just perverse pleasure.

And regardless of how happy her baby now seemed the Befana had held her and sung her  baby to sleepy far many times as she had cried over HIM to ever approve his presence. The Befana pushed back a fear of the pain her baby would feel if he ever broke his promises again.

She didn't trust him AT ALL. In this family she had sung far too many broken hearted witches to sleep when MEN had seduced and deserted them. She recognised it as a family weakness but it saddened her when she thought of the times that she had sung Penny Halliwell top sleep and her precious Patty when that MAN, the Befana would never even say Victor's name without feeling incensed, had deserted her.

She sighed and glided across to the nursery corner where Patsy was asleep on is tummy. Both Piper and the Befana disapproved. She touched him gently murmuring in her soft singing voice, hushing him and touching his head with love and affection. The Befana was a little sad when she looked at the boy babies because she knew that mostly they drifted away from her and her family, unlike the girl witches, she lost them after their babyhood.

The Befana regarded Patsy with some concern. She and Piper could feel the frustration and anger at the emptiness of his magic soul and the anger that Melinda was hurting him with her magic. Piper was astounded at the extent of the anger in the baby and the craving.

"Damn Cole" Piper thought as she always did when he was right.

The Befana smiled touched her baby boy and sang gently to him of peace and good deeds and his family and the places he could see and  Patsy's craving and annoyance eased and the fist held tightly against his mouth relaxed and he gently fell into a calm sleep. The Befana glared at Cole, blaming him like all cursed MEN for causing her baby pain. Why couldn't he be just a normal mortal. Although THEY caused her babies enough trouble thought the Befana.

The Befana left Phoebe's room. She glanced back at Piper's open door and could just see her whitelighter husband. The Befana preferred Leo to Cole but she still had her issues with him.

It would be along time before the Befana would forgive him for not getting back from the Underworld in time to save there precious baby Prue. Piper jumped at the level of anger and irritation over Prue's death. The Befana knew her babies passed on, to add their legends to the songs she would sing to comfort the new babies but she had not quite forgotten or forgiven Leo for the pain and agony of sitting with her baby Prue, singing to comfort her while she was in pain waiting to pass on. The Befana pushed down a thought that MALES were evil, because she needed them so there would be more babies. But she did not have to like them.

She glided pinto Paige's room and softly opened the door. Paige was asleep, her face rested and her hand flung across the pillow. The Befana pulled her comforter over her and stroked her hair before leaving. The Befana did not approve that her baby was resting peacefully this night because of a MALE. For a year the Befana had sung her to sleep as she huddled alone and despairing when Mark had been taken from her. She cursed that her babies were so dependant on men and that their peace only seemed to come with men. It made her sad that all they seemed to need the fulfilment. The Befana thought to herself of the long and unhappy nights she had sung this baby to sleep when her adopted parents had died and she had not found her sisters. Of the promises she had made to this girl that she would find herself and her life and that she had a great purpose and a good soul.

She kissed Paige on the forehead and sighed. Cursed Males thought the Befana. Not even whitelighters could be trusted with her babies.

She move into Melinda 's room. The night light was on and Melinda was sleeping restlessly, still a very unhappy little girl at the way the retriever was disturbing her family, and  concerned as the Befana knew  by a small fear for she could not explain about her mother, perhaps because her uncle and aunts were always trying to protect her mother.

The Befana stroked her and gently kissed her. Melinda turned to her and whimpered and the Befana whispered in her sing song voice she was safe. The Befana pulled a chair to the side of the bed and sat down and with a wave of her hand the bed seemed to rock gently.

 Melinda turned to the Befana and she sang the little girl songs; songs of her family, and the wonderful history of magic; songs about her great grandmother and other witch babies of the Befana; songs that promised Melinda she would always have the Befana to protect her and love her.

The Befana sang to Melinda of a witch Nancy Warren who had always been there for her daughter through three marriage crisis and a fight with dragons. She told of her grandmother Patty who had saved Melinda's mommy  from the water hag before she was born.

She told of her great grandmother saving her mother from the world in the fairy tale. She sang her songs in a gentle soft voice as Melinda rocked and slowly Melinda fell into an easier sleep. The Befana sighed happily knowing she had a role as her babies would need her and always would have a place for her.

As the Befana sang, Piper felt herself shift in the soft spirit winds and she knew some things she had not known before. She knew of the gift of continuity  of her magic family; she knew that she had never been left alone and neither would Melinda; that there were magic creatures from all sides who cared for her and protected and supported her; that if the Charmed Ones may end but her family never would.

Piper caught in a soft spiralling spirit breeze remembered the dreams she had had of her mother. Now she realised the dreams were the soft voice of the Befana singing her songs.  As she did for Melinda and would for other babies to come so the family magic would never be lost.


The next day Leo just before he orbed, muttered quickly to Piper so she could not yell, that he was going to the Bibliotheque National, the French national library to check some early manuscripts about Nostradamus.

He was wrong about the yelling. She still managed to put her hands on her hips and promise the empty space in front of him he was getting hell when he came home and complain Cole was a lousy influence on him.

Leo knew he was being self-centred and he really should have stayed home and supported his family and he would have stayed if Piper was alone with the children. However Phoebe had decided she was to sick to go to work, to sick of work really so she was staying home, to research some more on Willem and make Piper rest up for the coming warlock fight. Leo justified going because Phoebe never seemed to stress out taking care of kids. Panic yes, stress no.

" Too much of a kid herself." Leo thought. Or blessed with an eternal optimism that their kids would make it despite their parent's mistakes because they were their kids. Or both.

Also he had done something … not good. Not evil, just not quite the truth. He had taken Cole 's suggestion about using his evil side, his not so good side, and he needed to do the deed before he lost his nerve. It was only a small thing really. He discovered that the Nostradamus manuscripts were so valuable the library only allowed them to be viewed by the most highly accredited and acclaimed academics, even noted authors on the subject had not seen them. Leo wanted desperately to see those manuscripts, so he had fibbed, told a slightly erroneous story, actually impersonated a famous Harvard professor, sent credentials that he falsified with magic, strictly personal gain.

Leo hoped that the impersonation and lies were not going to lead him to evil or nasty consequences but the truth was he was willing to take the risk to see them, feeling the answers he needed must be in the one set of documents he could not see. He came out of the orb, enjoying the feeling of freedom being slightly wicked gave him then cursed because instead of coming out at the gate of the Bibliotheque National he was caught in the now familiar spin of the spirit winds, and dragged into the eclipse." So much for me trying to be evil" he thought thoroughly pissed.

When he came out of the winds, he found himself lying on his back eyes shut, screaming out in ecstasy, as not withstanding how happily married he was, Leo or at least the soul he was sharing the body with was experiencing some of the most orgasmic sex he had ever had.

In between gasps and body shudders and spasms that took him to places that he sometimes fanaticised but because he was happily married did not want to go, Leo was vaguely aware the soul he shared Cole 's body with was fanaticising along way from this bed, in a world of passion and love, that was nothing to do with the sex that was happening in the bed.

Leo fearfully managed to open his eyes, terrified what he would see and was so shocked he and Cole stopped thrusting.

Because he was staring into the familiar face of the most famous blond actress of the fifties. She was straddled across him, her head back and screaming in pleasure.

Leo gasped as she rocked forward and the large and famous and naked breasts were thrust toward Cole's face, and she rocked back as they screamed in unison digging hard sharp fingernails into him. Cole came out of his fantasy world and joined her where he was.

"Hell" thought Leo panting nearly as much as Cole " what was Cole thinking."

As Cole grunted and thrust into her, Leo knew the answer, Cole demon that he was, Belthezor, was not thinking with anything higher than his groin. He was blotting himself out to everything in his head, his soul, except the pleasure of the moment.

Leo tried to pull back. The blue, blue eyes across from him, the naked pale perfect body above the one he shared, the whimpered ecstasy. He was married, he was happily married, he had everything he wanted. He was sure of it. Okay he fantasised, who didn't but….he was happily married. Finally Cole's body to Leo's relief and regret shuddered completely and eased as he let his breath out in a long aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh. The girl fell into a satisfied heap on top of him, breathing deep, sweaty replete. Leo only then dared look again. Somewhere in the flooding pleasure Cole was feeling and the embarrassment he was feeling and the sated core the third sharer the demon self was feeling, it occurred to Leo that the girl was not only very beautiful, she was also quite young, her hair more yellow blond than her later famous white blond so it must have been some time in the mid fifties before she became the legend she died.

Cole vaguely came to sanity as if Leo's presence must have pulled him back to some sanity.

"What?" she asked.

"A shadow, something touching me" he said  huskily not there.

"Like some-one walked on your grave?" she asked husk.

"No" said Cole.

"Good" she answered.

"Ο think so "he said.

They lay together silently both breathing deep

She finally whispered, not quite as breathy as she was on screen. " There's more of that, if you make me the best actress in the world."

And Leo suddenly found himself saying, or maybe it came out  the good magic soul that shared the body the demon. "Fame is not everything"  he told her seriously, "fame isn't anything."

The girl threw herself away "I don't want to be famous. I just want to be wonderful" she said breathily " I just want to be wonderful."

"Oh honey you were " he answered honestly" Honey you were wonderful."

Belthezor sat up as a voice in his head called.

"I have to go " he said. He stood up and the girl watched him in frank admiration, which left Leo feeling somewhat disgusted and perhaps a trifle un-angelically jealous as he and Belthezor glanced back and saw her admiring expression. Cole,  Leo, noted accepted her admiration with an amused self satisfaction.

"Arrogant bloody demon" thought Leo pissed at him and still a trifle jealous.

"It may not be worth it " Leo told the girl trying to spike any of Cole 's intentions toward her and maybe the good soul let him. " Being wonderful may not be worth the price of your soul, when it come don to it."

"I want to be wonderful and anything is worth it" she breathed and crossed he legs in an almost manipulative gesture that she noted with pleasure still had its desired effect.

He grinned ruefully and Leo shuddered, feeling embarrassed as if he as looking at a porn movie starring someone he knew and Cole . "I have to go honey " he breathed in a voice that had an edge, a sneer and surprising to Leo almost pity.

The demon dressed and bent to kiss her goodbye" So you won't help me become the best actress in the world" she asked not the least breathily.

"That was some of the best sex I've has in… quite a while" the demon told her " So you know to say thanks you, I'll pass on helping you " he said and slammed the door as an ashtray came flying at his head.

Leo wanted to jump out of the body and punch Cole out for her.

Outside the door Cole shimmered and Leo found himself being dragged and drawn to the underground lair of Raynor  who was sitting at a desk, lit by candle light of the under world. And surprisingly Leo for the first me found out why he Underworld used candle light when there was better alternative. Cole cynically thought how demons were afraid of light, afraid of what they saw about themselves in bright light.

Belthezor stood waiting on Raynor as he finished writing. Leo was able to use the time to get some orientation. He managed to glance at what Raynor wrote, a letter about bribery and corruption in banks, and caught part of the date September 1955. Raynor and the Brotherhood had been manipulating financial markets for a long time, Leo bitterly realised.

Belthezor dutifully waited, his head bowed and his thoughts vicious and cynical. And once again Leo was caught the duality of the being. On the demon side was and contempt and hatred and ambition and greed. On the mortal was disgust, and regret and fear and anger and a large part of it was aimed at himself and the demon, master in front of him.

What surprised Leo was that Cole was not hiding these feelings from the demon, or that the two sides could exist symbiotically when they were so far apart. Because Leo suddenly realised by the date, that Cole 's mortal soul had virtually deserted the cause of evil, that he was already walking on the long path to his destiny as a guardian, and yet in the thoughts that he allowed the demon to feel there was no light, just all the self hate. Leo wondered if demons were so immersed in self hate, it did not recognise the source if it in Cole 's human soul.

"What took you so long? " Raynor asked smoothly as he finally stopped writing. "What have you been doing?" he added with a note of suspicion.

"Killing time seducing mortals" Cole answered truthfully.

"Can't you do any better?" Raynor asked in his soft smooth and evilly silky voice.

Cole nodded "Yes" he agreed mocking " But why bother?"

"I need to you to undertake a task for me? Raynor said changing the subject that made Leo realise this was an old discussion. He was amused to note that Cole could be just as annoying to demons as he was to mortals and other creatures.

"There's a warlock, Willem who leads one of the main factions. Some time ago he set himself up as King in the hidden realms." Raynor told him "You seem to have some gift for locating evil in the realms where evil normally cannot locate anything."

Cole nodded deferentially but said nothing " find this Willem and his hidden kingdom." Raynor ordered.

Belthezor nodded "It won't take me long to kill him" he said.

"It may take you longer than you think Belthezor" Raynor answered severely. "There is little officially on this warlock but I have reason to suspect that he killed a demon. One of the brothers witnessed him stealing demonic power not long ago."

"Not brotherhood powers" asked Belthezor calmly.

"He's not that powerful" said Raynor suavely.

"Why didn't the brother kill him or report him to the Source?" Cole asked.

"Because he knows how to be smart." Raynor answered" I suspect this warlock has other demonic powers" and waited for Belthezor's shock and Leo waited for Cole's usual xenophobic reaction to warlocks but both Leo and Raynor were disappointed. Cole just nodded.

"I want to know what he has got and I want to know how to get them back. " Raynor insisted calmly.

"Send the garganas" said Cole disinterested. "While I kill him."

"I said I wanted them back" Raynor told him smoothly.

"OK " said Cole cynical in the act of betrayal of Raynor to his master, the source.

"I do know that this warlock has stolen in the past some power of memory control from a witch. The ability to make those around forget his presence." Raynor told Belthezor casually.

"And you're not going to tell me how you know that" thought Belthezor even more cynically but he kept his face blank.

"With considerable searching Brother Rastus has located a protection amulet against this power but it is limited so be careful" Raynor ordered. "No meed to tell you not to trust Willem."

Belthezor who from his upbringing with a demon mother who was intensely religious, knew such amulets were hidden away in the source's most guarded vaults. He noted to himself that Raynor was playing a dangerous game but once again said nothing. Leo noted bitterly that disloyalty was a way of life amongst these demons.

"Get Rastus to watch your back." Ordered Raynor.

"I don't need help" Cole said showing some annoyance.

"I'll decide that " said Raynor making it very clear he did not trust Cole any more than the source should have trusted himself. Raynor was a great demon.

Raynor motioned Cole forward and he hesitated a second and then inwardly winced and knelt before Raynor. To Leo's horror and surprise suddenly let the great demon within take over him, in total control so the good soul was buried so deep all Leo could feel was the full evil. He shrivelled in fear and repulsion as Raynor hovered his hands near Belthezor's head and implanted instructions into Belthezor "You have a great evil" Raynor said with an almost admiring smile.

Belthezor shrugged.

"Do what you have to do to find what I need?" Raynor told him as he dismissed him with hand gesture.

"I'm a demon. Don't me always " leered Cole and Leo knew he was lying.

Raynor waved him to his feet. "Don't kill him Belthezor, you'll suffer the consequences if you fail me" said Raynor "I want those powers."

Belthezor nodded and shimmered away, going to the rim where to Leo's relief because the unremitted evil of the demon was crushing his soul, Cole fought like an angel possessed to gain power over the demon spirit self. He then huddled against rock like structure gasping at the effort and shaking a little in relief that the secret of Belthezor good and magic soul had been protected one more time.

He slipped away to a small town in Scotland where he knew the witch realm map was hidden gathering dust in a small museum. To Leo's surprise with an incredible effort he pushed the demon further into the recesses of his being and used his magic soul to scry long enough to locate a warlock centre of activity in the hidden realms. And some warlock activity of the same shade of purple along side the Thames River in London.

"Purple." thought Leo "You and your damned secrets Cole"

Belthezor shimmered to a small town in South America where to Leo's disgust he found his Brother Rastus shouting with the rest of the town as they watched a cockfight. Leo could barely contain his revulsion. What surprised him was Cole 's reaction was similar, he then switched off and let the demon self take control as if he could not bear to be aware of it. Leo was starting to realise that was Cole 's only defence against the evil he was compelled to do was to let the demon control him, and that he hated himself for his weakness. He was also becoming aware that the demon was so focused on survival it would do anything, including not betray the duality of the being to survive.

Rastus, a big burly demon with a broken nose in its human shape and its demonic bullying expression was not interested in moving. He had bets and he wanted a result. He stood there cheering and Leo wished he could do what Cole was doing and hide away from it.

"Raynor wants us to act now" insisted Belthezor exasperated.

"I'm busy" said Rastus. Rastus was clearly aware Belthezor was the one Raynor would blame for anything going wrong.

"Which cock did you bet on?" asked the demon Belthezor.

"Red one" said Rastus.

Belthezor struck out and blew the red one up while startled men looked around at the blood over all of them, wondering what happened. "Looks like you lost your money" he said to Rastus whose eyes were glowing with rage.

"Damn you Belthezor " said Rastus. "You owe me. And I'm not going. There are more birds."

Belthezor put hand out and fireballed the group of men who owned the cocks.

"Now" he said as men ran in all directions convinced the wrath of hell had fallen in them which Leo supposed was true.

Rastus furiously angry followed Belthezor in a shimmer to London, where in the cold seeping fog beside the Thames River, not far from London Bridge they came upon a group of six witches caught up in a massive fight with twelve warlocks.

"I know where the realm is " Belthezor told Rastus "but it's closed and I need to follow these damn warlocks when they go."

"Want me to come?" asked Rastus still angry.

"Only as far as the edge of the realm" Belthezor told him "keep the way out open."

Two warlocks exploded near them.

"We better kill these witches before there aren't any warlocks left " said Rastus.

"Only need one or two" said Belthezor. "Let the witches have their fun..

Rastus and Belthezor settled down on one of the walls near the action, shrouded from the witches and warlocks by the heavy mist, their demonic sight allowing them to see the action.

The witches' fun was interrupted by a retriever jumping in the way of the exploding warlock powers, at the same time shrieking at the witches. Leo had no trouble recognising the beret, balding pate with straggly haired plastered across it and sniffy voice as Rodik.

Belthezor and Rastus were enjoying the fight cheering every woosh and every exploded warlock. One of the witches had some sort of burn power, another witch seemed to have amulet protection. And another had a power to speed up her movement so she flashed from one spot to another. The warlocks could not catch her and Rastus and Belthezor were whooping and cheering as crashed into each other.

The retriever kept trying to dive in and get the warlock and several witches had to run to stop getting killed. The one with the speed run fell over Rodik and was only saved from extermination by her sister witch's diving on top of the warlock and wrestling him in grass mud and warlock goo, while Belthezor and Rastus nearly fell off the wall laughing. The witches screamed at the retriever hysterically, anger exasperation and murderous intent showing in their eyes.

" We should get that damned shit retriever " said Rastus.

"Nah " said Belthezor "Any thing that pisses off warlocks and witches so much is worth leaving around.

"Bugger you Cole " thought Leo viciously "Why didn't you kill him when you were evil? You have no trouble killing anything else."

Rodik pulled the witch who had the amulet in front of him. However while the amulet protected Rodik she was hit side on with a bone breaking sledge hammer power a warlock had stolen and the enormous crack as her shoulder was broken carried along way in the cold London fog.

The four remaining warlocks were amazed when the witches stopped fighting them and turned on Rodik, the burning power from one scorching the ground in front of him, another waving the remains of a broken, pole at him, others converging in an angry sisterhood as Rodik backed away finally falling in the Thames with a very large splash. He went down in the water and then struggled his hand in the air pathetically, as the cold hit him.

"Is the Thames magic?" asked a witch.

"No" said another sadly "It can't kill him."

"I always thought it was" said a third.

"Let's wait and see " said a fourth.

Belthezor and Rastus were hugging each other they were laughing is hard.

"I'm pissing myself" roared Rastus " that was better than a cock fight.

Leo was angrier than he had ever been. He had been Rodik's whitelighter at his time and this was not how Rodik reported the battle. The Elders had dragged the witches through hell for leaving him in the Thames. Leo wished now he had helped them more.

In the end the only thing that saved Rodik was a summons to retrieve the powers he collected and a dripping wet and cold and still orgasmically sated retriever was drawn through the winds.

"Still jerking off " thought Leo bitterly using Phoebe's description of the retriever's thrill when he collected powers.

"Damn I hate good" said Cole in between gasps of laughter.

The stunned remaining four warlocks finally took advantage of the witches' action and blinked away.

"Follow them " Rastus told Cole still laughing. "I'll be close enough."