To know Phoebe is to...
Part 2:Phoebe being Phoebe
Phoebe went home, feeling far from having completed any exorcism. The problem she acknowledged was that fucking for fucking’s sake and that is what she had done with Cole, left you unfulfilled. Then she grinned to herself well actually this hadn’t left her unfulfilled, in fact she was down right sated as far as sex was concerned when they finished. But even feeling totally replete sexually made her uncomfortable because she had not felt like that since, well since the last time with Cole.
However the feeling of sexual satisfaction only lasted about as long as it took him to roll off her and put that whole wide bed between them physically, and an impenetrable wall between them mentally. She had not even been able to insult Cole into bringing it down and then all the insecurities and nagging doubts and guilt starting climbing in her. She desperately needed him to say it, hell he had been able to say it so easily when she had not wanted to hear those words, why couldn’t he say I love you when she needed it so badly. And then she could have said it and explained enough time had passed. She could have told him he was dear to her, if he had just let the fucking barrier down enough to talk to her.
She snuck into the manor creeping up the stairs to make sure her sisters did not hear her. She had not done that since Grams was alive. She froze as her foot struck the same creaking fifth stair that it always did when she was eighteen. She made it back to her bedroom and glanced at the clock, it was just after 4.00 am, not much over 2 hours since she had left the house and so much had happened. She dragged her clothes off and lay on the bed feeling very restless. Then she got up, found the t shirt of Cole’s that she had been wearing. and held it close to her. She started to feel terribly guilty for demanding he fuck her not only because of all the issues between them but because it as Cole and he did care maybe not like he had but he did care and what she had done, got him to do, left him hurting. Cole got nasty when he was hurting and he had been nasty at the end.
Then she thought damn it, why should I feel guilty. It was only fucking, and it was not as if she had never done that in her life before, only as she lifted the t shirt nearer her, it wasn’t fucking it was Cole. And then she started to get angry. She threw the T shirt across the bed. How dare he do that, there she was itching for a good fuck and he screwed it up by making it personal, by pretending a it was something else. Damn him and his obsessive, possessive, neurotic, unrelenting love. She sighed then lent over and retrieved the T shirt, hugged it close and on a promise to herself that she would never fuck him again she fell asleep.
She awoke in a couple of hours and felt her body resist the movement, and then when she remembered why, she got up and inspected the damage. She did not even remember the bite marks getting there and when she turned around, there were Cole finger size bruises on her back and the inside of her thighs were tender and well, no doubts, last night wasn’t a dream or a premonition. She licked around her mouth, lips were sore but at least her mouth did not taste like stale brandy, actually it tasted of Cole, and she smelt of Cole.
With a surprising amount of reluctance she had a quick shower, the addition of a small ensuite to her bedroom was one of the luxuries, her well paying job had brought, one in each of the other bedrooms. Piper and Leo got the main bathroom mostly to themselves. It had been a while since she had anyone to share the bath with. She got dressed, comfortable stretch pants a nice modest shirt that hid the bite marks even from Piper’s quick eyes. She made her bed and found Cole’s T-shirt under the sheets, Quickly before she could stop herself, she folded it and pushed it as far as she could to the back of the top drawer of her dresser where she kept her treasures. Then she went into the hall. Piper’s door was open and she could hear the murmur of a TV down in the kitchen, which meant Piper was up.
Phoebe went over to Paige’s room and opened the door, Paige was lying there with her eyes shut but she opened them when Phoebe came in.
“How are you doing?” Phoebe asked her sister.
“Mm” Paige said “I slept okay but I woke up about an hour ago. I know that white lighter healed me but I feel like my soul, feel like part of who I am has been battered so hard, it feels I don’t know ..cold” she said weakly. Paige smiled “Does that makes sense.”
“Yes” Phoebe said “big time sense” She leant over and hugged her sister, “You stay in bed and think, think of good things, nice things. I’ll get you some breakfast.
“Feels better already” Paige smiled
Phoebe went downstairs. Piper had Melinda in the day cot and Phoebe could hear the washer going and could smell baking. Piper was being very efficient, that meant she was going to have a panic attack in about two days time, when she couldn’t juggle all the balls.
“I was going to make Paige breakfast” Phoebe told Piper.
“Already on it “Piper said.
“Leo?” Phoebe asked.
“White lighter, this morning” said Piper with a briskness that in no way hid her worry from her sister “Said it would take a couple of days.”
“So you’re baking” Phoebe said dryly.
Phoebe took a tray from the cupboard and found Grams best breakfast set and even a flower, a red geranium from garden. She put the coffee in a pot the muffins, butter and Paige’s favourite strawberry jam on the tray and took it upstairs Paige was lying in bed with her CD player going and happily accepted the breakfast.
“You want me to stay” Phoebe asked and Paige said no but asked for some magazines on the dresser and Phoebe left he sister feeling spoilt and happier.
Piper was by this time cleaning the kitchen. Phoebe helped herself to muffins and coffee and watched Piper work. Finally she said Piper “you are going to talk about this if you get worried aren’t you?”
Piper nodded “I’m not upset, just a bit anxious” she stopped cleaning, “you know just filling waiting time, until I am sure Leo’s okay . How about you?” she asked.
Phoebe said ”Me nothing happen to me yesterday” a little to quickly.
Piper pursed her clips “Seeing Cole again” she said.
Phoebe answered “No that it all happens do fast I really did not get a chance to think about it being Cole” she said honestly.
Piper grimanced “Well I thought about him” she said “Do you know, I saw some one I used to be very fond of .. not doing so well. It worried me the way he just pulled back and went off like that, just like he did after the demon of fear and well you know what.. shit happened after that”
Piper narrowed her eyes, as Phoebe did not answer.
Piper said “I’ve been thinking that you need both of you to close it put an end for his sake as much as yours”
“Why are you suddenly so concerned about Cole?” Phoebe asked.
“Because he just saved my husband and I owe him” Piper said honestly , and then relented. “I did hold Cole in some affection before all the shit started” she said, then Piper shook her head “when he wasn’t being an arsehole.”
“I thought you said he never anything but an arsehole” Phoebe smiled then she leant over and took Piper’s hand. “There’s something I need to warn you about.” She gulped a little “I think I .. there is a future for me Piper. There is some one for me. Has been for quite some time. I just needed to get past this year.”
“And I going to be told who this man is” Piper said
“He’s some one I used to know and I’ll tell you when and if it works out” Phoebe said.
“And does Cole know about this mystery man” Pipe asked.
“No” Phoebe said.” I tried to tell him last week but he did not give me a chance.”
Piper shook her head at her sister “He’s going to be hurt “she said.
“I think he’s going to be relieved, to know its all finally at an end” Phoebe said primly and picked up the morning paper.
Piper looked at her in disbelief, wondering if Phoebe really understood how much Cole loved her. And she started to get that awkward feeling that even though Cole had given her back a future with Leo he was going to get torn apart himself as a result. Piper swallowed a really selfish thought that she could have a guilt free life if Cole and Phoebe ever found a way to get together, that and if she did not have to wean Melinda.
After breakfast Phoebe did Sunday things, cleaned her room, washed some clothes, played with Melinda, took her car for a wash but about 11.30 after promising she wouldn’t she gave into temptation and dialled Cole’s number. When he did not answer she had a panic and thought maybe he was refusing to take her calls again and she yelled down the phone to call her back and then slammed it down. The frightening feeling of rejections shuddered through, that he would say he did not want to contact her because it was bad for him, when he came into contact was one thing, that he would he would have her like he did last night and then reject her was. Sickening.
Paige got up and Phoebe took her and Piper and Melinda out to lunch at a special bakery shop and the three sisters had a couple of hours together just being sisters and a mother and aunts and Paige was much happier than she had been that morning. After lunch, as they walked back to the car Paige caught her sisters in a hug and said “Do you know how special it is to have sister, too have some one to are when you are hurt “ and tears came to both Phoebe and Piper and Phoebe gulped a little guiltily, because she knew someone who was hurting and alone but her concern was missed by both hers sisters.
They went back home so Melinda could have her afternoon sleep and Paige decided to go running. Piper started some more cooking for the family meal they usually had on Sundays and Phoebe gave way to the need for sleep to make up for the night before and lay down. She was awoken around six by her cell phone ringing. It was Cole.
When Cole had got back and seen that message from Phoebe he had known a couple of things. No matter how much he resisted temptation, he was going to call back and that when he did he was going to be on the receiving end of some sharp words from a very annoyed and irritated Phoebe.
He called her, asked if she was okay but his voice was very distant and Phoebe felt the barriers were well and truly up. Phoebe badly needed him to tell her he loved her but for all the times he had said it as a reason in the first months after he returned from the wasteland, he seemed no longer to be able to say it as a promise and Phoebe badly needed that promise. As it did not come she almost enjoyed pushing him to the limit.
The call was fairly short, but she got her point across. She said that she had no regrets about last night but she just needed to exorcise a few old memories, that he would not see her again and that it would not happen again, which was why knowing Phoebe, Cole was not even remotely surprised when shortly after midnight, the elevator bell rang and the doors opened and Phoebe was there.
He was lying back in his favourite chair, bare topped and bare feet on the table watching TV, a late night political commentary. The more Cole lived human, the more he realised for all his years he had big gaps in his understanding of how they lived. His confidence as a demon when he thought that he could blend in with them, he now felt was had been a more than a little misplaced. The room had a very lived in look, papers books everywhere, unwashed glasses and mugs, cushions at odd angles Phoebe barged out of the elevator This time she had a large cotton shoulder bag.
She met Cole’s eyes as he looked up at her sardonically, then she glanced around. She bet herself there was not one glass or mug left in the kitchen cupboard. “You live like a pig” she said.
He stood up “ Is that what you came to tell me” he drawled.
“No” she snapped “I came to tell you, to make sure you really understand that last night was all that is going to happen, that we have no future” he winced a little “that I just needed to make sure. Get it?”
“Tell me you love me” she pleaded silently. But Cole did nothing more than keep looking at her quizzically. He offered her no reaction at all. She tried to read something in his face and he just looked at her cynically. She turned with a short sob and went to leave.
He stood up. He nodded then stuck his hands in his trousers pockets. “Yeah” he said slowly “I get it. Are we going to bed?”
“What” she demanded “Didn’t you hear what I just said”
“Yeah” he said taking his hands out of his pockets because he had a pretty good idea of what was about to happen. “Are we going to be? Sex?” he asked in case she misunderstood him.
She hesitated a fraction, then muttered “Yes” and launched herself at him. He caught her, and with her hanging off his neck, they kissed hard and deep.
“Floor or bed” Cole asked in between kisses.
“Bed” Phoebe muttered indignantly.
“Just asked” he said and headed into the bedroom.
He lay her on the bed and leant down over her. She lay there very passively as he kissed her gently on the lips.
She happily savoured the feel and taste of him, but as he stood up to strip off she sat up to watch him hungrily and to his amusement glanced round and said accusingly. “Clean sheets you cleaned up in here”
“For you” he answered “I knew you were coming” he said lowering himself beside her.
“You don’t know me that well” she whispered in his face because it was so close.
“Yes I do” he whispered smugly.
She tried to pull back enough to hit him, but he caught her hand easily. He caught the other one and forced them on either side of her head then bent over her. She lay there, still brown eyes wide open, indrawn breath. He stopped just above her mouth and then gently touched her lips, She had to lift he head to deepen the kiss and he let go her hands and rolled on his back, taking her with him, letting her be on top of him while he savoured every touch of her, the feel of her skin, the smell of he hair, her breath, the taste of her. They made love, played some remembered games, explored some new places, gentle passionate, loving.
But when it was over Cole rolled off her again and lay on his back staring at the ceiling. This time though he did not move to the edge of the bed, he stayed close beside her. Phoebe lay quietly beside him. She moved her leg so it was touching his.
“You say something?” Cole asked after a few minutes, in a very flat voice.
“No” she answered not looking at him.
‘You going?” he asked in the same flat voice.
“Not yet” she said.
Silence was heavy between them. To many things to say; all to hard. They lay side by side staring at the ceiling.
Finally Phoebe had to ask “When was the last time you made love?” She could not look at him.
He did not hesitate “28 January” he said “last year. In the morning” He kept staring at the ceiling. He did not look at her.
“Oh” she said. She knew that date. It was the day they vanquished the old source.
“Participated in a few good fucks after that though” he added. Then asked “You?”
She hesitated and then answered. “Same day, in the morning.”
“Oh” he said, “Seems we’ve got quite a bit in common.”
“Had a few good fucks since then though” she said still staring at the ceiling. “Last night was one of the best”
“I’m glad” he said flat voiced still staring at the ceiling.
She moved her leg across his leg and started rubbing against it.
“What are you thinking?” she asked.
“I wish I smoked” he said “I really could do with a cigarette right now” and Phoebe started to laugh. He sat up to rest on one arm and he watched her laughing eyes, bright, happy. One wish had been granted to him, he saw her happy again. She met his scrutiny and she reached up and caught his hair pulling him over onto her.
After making love they didn’t really sleep, but this time he did not roll away, stayed close beside her, stroking her and petting her.
Much to soon Phoebe said finally “I better go”
“Yeah” he said She sat up, he made no attempt to stop her. In the dawn light coming into the apartment, she could see his face. It was not happy.
She started top lean over him to switch the light on, familiar easy, but he stopped her and did himself. She got out of bed and found her clothes where they still ended on the floor, found her bag and caught Cole’s amused eyes watching her as she pulled out the spare underwear she had brought.
“What?” she said and blushed. “All right I knew I was going to stay”
He did not get up and she leant forward and went to kiss him on the mouth. He pulled back so it was a light brush.
“Bye” she said. She waited held her breath for the words. They did not come.
“Goodbye” he said pointedly.