To know Phoebe is to...
Part 2:Phoebe being Phoebe
At mid day his hand hovered over the phone expectantly but the only call was from the partner Jackman checking that Cole was working. Cole was only just civil and would not have been that if Francesca had not been watching and listening him. Phoebe rang about 12.20 and cheekily explained she was late calling him because a meeting ran overtime. Cole told her furiously that he did not want to talk to her. She told him that the least he could do was be civil.
“What do you want?" he asked in exasperation
“To talk to you” Phoebe said as if she was explaining to a child.
“Phoebe’ he sighed “We have said it all so there is nothing left to say or we have not said enough and never will. Just either way it doesn’t get us anywhere.” He hung up.
She called again an hour later. This time he said he not want to talk and told her to stop ringing him.
She hesitated, and then said enquiringly “Does it really bother you?”
“It bothers me” he answered.
“Ask me name nicely to stop” she said archly
“Phoebe will you please stop ringing me?” he asked caught between annoyance and amusement.
“See all you had to do was ask” she said brightly “Of course I will”
She did not ring at two and he was relieved, when she did not ring at 3 he was getting angry. Just before 3.30 Francesca came in to remind him of the meeting he had with to major industrial clients and one of the senior partners at 4.30, and she would not leave until he set his watch alarm.
He inwardly vowed to go somewhere where no women would ever order him about. Again. “Did my.. did Phoebe call” he asked Francesca for the fifth time and got a very nasty glare for his trouble.
She went out of his office and shut the door. Loudly.
She had barely reached her desk when there was a knock on her office door and a girl entered, Phoebe stood at the door just for a second a little awkward and wondering what the harpy would be like. The two women in Cole’s life eyed each other off and both concluded that impressions on the phone and from talking to other people were deceptive.
Phoebe saw a plumb older women, who dressed very well and had an obvious glint of humour in her eyes and a manner that said she could not be intimidated by anyone.
Phoebe gulped and said very nervously I’m Phoebe Halliwell Cole’s wi.. Cole’s ex wife is he in.”
She came into the room not quite as confidently as she had bounced out of her own workplace when she told them she was leaving personal reasons.
Francesca, from all the stories she had heard about Cole’s wife had somehow expected a tall blond, very attractive career women wearing a tight business suit and who had a very pushy manner. She was somewhat stunned, to see this very petite girl/woman with her blond streaked dark hair clipped up in a rough bundle and falling attractively around a heart shaped face with biggest brown eyes Francesca had ever seen.
The girl had an earthy figure; she was dressed in a manner that should have been sexually provocative. She wore a tight sheer floral shirt tied unde her bust that clearly showed a bright pink satin bra. She also wore a pink silk jacket of and a floral cotton skirt that totally clashed with the shirt and jacket, the skirt sat enough on her hips to clearly show a tattoo. All this was combined with thick solid gold sandals and bright flower bag over her shoulder. Somehow the clashing pink florals made her look like an innocent little girl dressing up in her big sister’s clothing.
“Is Cole in?” Phoebe repeated a little nervously as Francesca surveyed her intently. So this was the witchy ex- wife that office gossip said sent Cole, into a spin whenever she got near him Francesca thought.
Cole, must have a had a sixth sense for her presence because Phoebe had barely got the words out when he appeared at the door “You said you would stop contacting me” Cole accused.
“No I didn’t” Phoebe smiled “I said I wouldn’t ring you. Why do you think you are going to get out of talking to me?” She added very sweetly, obviously spoiling for a fight.
Cole barely contained a moan. Knowing Phoebe she was not going to let it end without her getting the last confrontation.
And at this point, pushed as far as he could go, Cole was willing to give her what she wanted. He strode to her and to Francesca’s amusement he stepped straight into her personal space to tower over her as he talked. Phoebe should have been intimidated and stepped back but her reaction was to crowd him and thrust her hips in an invitation that was as unwitting as it was natural.
“What is there to say Phoebe?” Cole demanded, apparently so used to the invitation that he quite naturally moved even closer her to her so his lower body touching hers “I told you I’m not saying sorry again”
“You think sorry covers it” she snapped, letting her nerves feed into anger.
He responded to her anger immediately “Just go” he roared at her “I don’t want to have anything to do with you any more.” His lower body was so close to her he had to lean back to make eye contact.
“That’s it Cole” she yelled “just run”
“I thought that was your role” he snarled and she looked up him at him getting redder and angrier.
Cole finally became aware of Francesca’s somewhat amused face and was also noticed people passing the open office door very slowly. Rumour that Cole’s ex-wife was in the building must have been rife already.
One look at Phoebe’s face and he knew this was going to be the yelling match of the century. He glanced at his office and the audience around and he decided no. He put his hands on Phoebe’s arms spun her around and pushed her out the door toward the elevator. She tried to stomp on his instep which he side stepped and when she resisted being pushed into the elevator, he stepped inside caught her wrist and hauled her in after him. He let her go as soon as they were in there and pushed the button for the lowered level car park
“You bastard” Phoebe snapped
“Shut up” he snarled back. The two stood in the elevator glaring at each other until it reached the lower floor car park and Cole strode out ahead leaving Phoebe to scurry along behind him. It was deserted of people as it always was at the time of day; No one left the building before 5.30. At least Cole thought it was deserted. The two cleaners who had come in early to start on some special work in an office and the cat that lived in the cleaner’s room, all had an excellent view and hearing of the argument.
Cole stalked over to a corner of the car park far away from everything but where the sound easily carrying to the cleaners. Phoebe running along behind him finally caught Cole by the collar of his jacket and hauled him to a stop. She grabbed his arm and spun him around.
“Okay there you’ve had your fun Phoebe” he roared. “That’s it .You can stop it . Lay off. “
She was close enough that he could smell the scent from her hair. “Whatever fun you’re having getting your compensation for whatever it is you blame me for stop it. I’ve done as much penance as you’re going to get.’ He snarled down at her.
Phoebe had to bend her head back to meet his eyes. She caught hold of his jacket to balance herself and did not let go. “And since when do you get the right to say when its okay by me” she snapped back “You arrogant bastard. You think I’m sorry is enough. It does not even cover it.”
“I know that” he answered, “so it isn’t said. Let go Phoebe, and let me go” he added forcefully.
“What are you going to do? Run?” she snarled “Sit back . For the rest of your life. For eternity and cry and say I used to love a witch. I do love a witch. But she’s gone, its ended so bad. Woe is me”
“How I spend eternity is nothing to do with you” Cole yelled because he was still not sure which universe he was in and what he was supposed to be arguing about. “I ruined your life. I made you miserable. I came back from the dead and made it worse, not better, I caused you and your family all that pain. Okay I get it.”
He caught her red, angry, unyielding expression. “You want to move on, move on,” he roared at her “Leave me to what I want. Get out of my life”
She screamed at him “I’ll move on when I damn well please, and I’ll let you off when I damned well please. You ruined my life. “
“You’re 29 Phoebe” he bit out, almost deflated. He said almost pleading, “That’ s not the end of your life”. He shook his head sadly “What else do you want me to say? If I could change it don’t you think I would.” He took a deep breath “I did not mean to let the source take me over. If I had a chance to do it again I wouldn’t. If I could go back to being mortal again I would but I can’t change what happened”
Phoebe stepped back and put hands on her hips. Outraged she screamed “You bastard. You think that’s what you did to ruin my life.”
Cole was nearly lost “What else did I do” he said. Stunned.
“Before I met you” Phoebe yelled at him “I was just getting okay with who I was. I never met anybody who even came close to what I wanted but that was okay. I was okay with me and living just with me and then you have to come bouncing; along. ‘ Ladies my name is Cole Turner ‘“ she screamed mimicking his voice “ I was okay, before you did that and I haven’t been okay since.”
“Actually no it wasn’t then, you ruined my life when I was ten years old.’” She managed to find another decibel to her voice level.
“ I didn’t know you when you were ten years old” Cole yelled in total confusion.
“Yes you did.” She managed to get her voice up another level “How in the hell; was there going to be anyone else when this gorgeous dream man, smiles at you like you are the most special person in the world then jumps in front of a fireball, to pretend to be prince charming? How the hell was any one else going to be there for me? I remember the smile, the way you had to be all sweet and heroic?”
“You don’t have any memory of that” Cole yelled back reaching her volume “Grams wiped it “
“I remember” Phoebe said, suddenly much quieter “I watched you do it. I watched you make me fall in love with you. And even if I didn’t remember I knew, inside me, in my heart, in my soul. You bastard. And there were all those men and no one there for me because you had to play like you were some sort of hero. “
“And you know what else you have done you bastard” she yelled finding her range again “Its not the source okay, it happened, I went evil, you did what you did, and we came out so all ‘s fair Good won. I’m good, my sisters are good you’re good isn’t that nice. “
Somewhere in the middle of that Cole was left adrift. He was beyond even understanding what Phoebe was angry about.
Phoebe was on a roll. “I saw what I ended up, saw what I became because of you. You saw her, that bitter old bitch. I hate her and hate you for making me that way. For leaving me with that to become.”
Cole totally on the defensive at where the attack was coming from ‘”You married, me, that didn’t happen. What changed again? Phoebe?” he asked feeling helpless “All I did was love you”
“What changed?” she yelled, “You’re running. You haven’t even got the guts to ask what I want. You want to run away and leave me to be that bitter old bitch. You love me and that’s what you make me, that’s what you make me” she repeated the tears coming fast” I can’t feel anything for anyone but you. You left me with only that. You run and I don’t have a future, I only have that, just because you had to be prince freaking damn charming.” She choked “Prince freaking damned charming”
She moved closer to him touching her body again and barely aware she did it Sobbing she cried “Don’t you understand whatever we had, whatever happened is all I am going to get. You left me with no chance of anything else” She looked into his face, tears pouring down hers “I’m not going to find some one else. I happen to know I never do. I’m left regretting few short years with you, then everything was shot to hell. I‘m left regretting that you are all I ever get for the rest of my life.”
“I told you” she screamed at him between sobs ”I told I would always love you and I was damned, well cursed well fucking well right. You’re all I get. “
He shook his head uncertain even about what he was being accused. “Phoebe you‘re the one who says move on, there are others”. He sighed, trying to be logical when logic wasn’t what she needed.
“There isn’t going to be anyone else for me” she was yelling so loud, the cleaners shut the door to their room. “Say it you bastard” she was screaming in her head "say it."
But he just stood looking down at her baffled.
Goaded she continued “You had to do it didn’t you, make it this big love affair, this big time and space and life and death thing, coming from the dead even, couldn’t even stay dead.” She sobbed, “You stinking bastard you couldn’t even stay dead.”
“Say it please” she begged in her head.
She looked up into his confused bewildered blue eyes “What did Darryl call it epic? Well, you had to make it epic. I was loved by the most powerful creature good or bad on earth, and he gave up everything to be with me and now all I get offered is sex and games and bastards who haven't got the guts to love me like you do.”
He tried to pull back but she caught his coat lapels and pulled him to her.
“Phoebe all I did was love you” he whispered “and want to be with you”
“Dammit” she screamed at him “I love you and you love me. What good has that done? You had to come bouncing out didn’t you all sexy and playing your games. Oh I can hear you Phoebe whatever the future is I want it with you. “
She had tears pouring down her face. “You knew how to love me then” she cried “ You knew loving me was not this, ...this obsessive passion. You just wanted to be with me and hold me and take care of me. You knew how to love me then.”
‘Please say it” she begged silently. But she saw nothing in his face, but puzzlement and anguish.
So all she could do was keep going “You keep saying you love me. What good as that done you?” she shook her head, still crying ‘Have you seen yourself lately? You look like a bundle of misery. You look like a damned kicked puppy”. Her voice gave way “Cole have you seen yourself lately? You look like a beaten dog. I made you that. I love you and I made you that.” And she broke down in choking sobs.
Cole’s world suddenly spun, faster, everything became a blur except the girl in front of him, clutching on to his jacket for support, staring into his face, her eyes red from tears, her face wet, her mouth open inviting him as it slowly dawned on him, that this whole scene was not an ending but a beginning.
“Well damn you, you bastard it isn’t going to happen.” she continued “You’re all I’ve got and I’m all you’ve got and that is what is going to happen. That’s it.” She softened “That’s all we are ever going to have” she whispered.
He gulped out “You love me” then reached to touch the tear-wet face, the blue eyes so blue and vibrant and stunned and confused she almost laughed.
“Phoebe” he started to say.
He moved his hand to her mouth, and she kissed the finger that played with her lips.
“You're so smart” she said softly “Not wanting to talk to me, not wanting one more goodbye. Just thinking I wanted to see you gone. Well you don’t know me as well as you think you do buster” she whispered hoarsely “You got what you want. You got me. Any problems with that?”
Cole stopped his hand then sighed gasping for air almost. He stared into her face, taking in every emotion, as if he was storing the memory of the moment for eternity. He took his hand away from he face and stepped back, almost to get a better view of her. A girl, his witch, pretty, looking at him with tear wet eyes, looking at him with something he had not seen for a year. Love. He leaned against the a nearest car park pillar and crossed his arms almost protecting himself
“In case it wasn’t true” she thought.
“Any problems with that” Phoebe demanded again. Inside her head she begged him to say it. But the words did not come.
All he said was “No Phoebe” he said slowly shook his head “I don’t have any problems with that.”
“I do love you, you know” she whispered.
This time he managed to say something “Phoebe I know that, I do know you.. a little bit.. Do you think I would have stayed if I did not know that?”
He straightened up, unfolded his arms, and touched her face “Phoebe when you started contacting me, I knew something had changed. I thought you really had moved on, you were making sure you finished it. That’s why I wanted to leave.”
They stared at each other and the silence between them seemed an eternity.
“Say it “she pleaded with him silently.
The silence was broken by Cole’s watch alarm going off. Both of them jumped, awkwardly as if brought out of a trance. Cole half turned away from her “I have a meeting. I have to go” he said awkwardly “I do have to go” he said again, half frightened she would think he was running.
Phoebe was out of words Now she had done it she felt teary, uncertain and frightened because he hadn’t said the words she needed so badly. For all her efforts he had not said it. She nodded. “Okay” she said as if it was not an interruption of their world reforming. She smiled.” I’ll be back, when in an hour?”
“Hour and half” Cole muttered said as if the time apart was the most crucial thing in their relationship.
“Okay I’ll take you to dinner” she said smiling through tears.”My party. You can tell me what your problems are.”
“I don’t have any problems now” he said in a dull flat disbelieving voice. All the emotion drained out of him.
Phoebe nodded. It was all she could do. She needed to move, to break the tension. She slipped past him and then stopped and stepped back caught his hair and pulled his face down for a quick teasing brush on his lips, just touching them with her tongue. She felt him shudder.
Then she darted off to the elevator and pressed the button. He unfroze a few seconds later and followed. He stood beside her not sure what his role was. He reached to touch her as the elevator came and she slipped in away from him He followed her slowly She pressed the first floor button and then 15th for him and he had just had time to quickly peck her lips before the door opened and she went to runt out while 3 other people got in. Cole put his finger on the door open button and caught her hand stopping her leaving.
“I love you” he said and she stared at him, eyes wide, hearing the words she needed. For the first time since that day when the Source took him away from her, he said it, not as a reason, or a threat or an excuse. He said it as a promise.
She gulped and nodded and he let her go. She slipped out Cole stayed in the elevator, totally unaware of the three people who tried not stare at him and wondering which alternate universe he had been transported to.
Down in the basement, the cleaners looked at each other. Eric had always rather liked the charming Mr Turner despite his erratic behaviour. Mr Turner was polite considerate and always had a sense of humour. “
“What the hell do you think he really did? “ he said to his friend.
“Beats the hell; out of me” said his friend “but I tell you I ain’t gonna believe a word he says from now on”