To know Phoebe is to...


Part 3:Keeping it in the Family


Chapter 21


Cole went back into his office, and started to work then thought better of it and rang Phoebe


“What do you want?“ she asked dreamily.


“You“ he answered “Fancy leaving work early and going up the coast with me?“


“Not Paris?“ she asked.


“Next week.“ he promised.


“Okay “she said happily and put the phone down.


Then she picked up the phone and dialled Cole’s number “Love you“ she said and hung up.


He dialled back and as Phoebe answered said "Francesca, oops Mrs Rinaldi just gave me your message"


“What?“ screeched Phoebe in his ear.


“Just teasing“ he added “Love you“ and hung up the phone.


They kept it up for about 10 minutes until Francesca stalked into his office and told him to get off the phone he had a visitor, “a Miss Matthews who says she’s your sister in law. “ she said expressionlessly.


“Paige is there“ said Phoebe in his ear.


“Bye“ he said quickly and hung up.


“I need to talk to you“ Paige announced sharply at Cole and stalked straight past Francesca into his office. She was very casually dressed in running pants, and crop top and hair in pigtails, she was not carrying a bag and Cole could only guess she had orbed from somewhere.


“Alone“ she said eying Francesca off. Francesca made a tusk tusk noise while Cole raised his eyebrows as she walked out with slow dignity. Cole had barely shut the door when Paige spun around demanding “Cole I need your help. “


“Paige“ he said as gently as he could “if its witch stuff I can’t help you. I tried to explain the things I can do the other day but…“


“Shut up“ she interrupted him “I need some help with magic“ she said then she gulped a little “I think I stuffed something up“ she said awkwardly. “Piper will kill me“ she added.


“Piper won’t kill you“ he said.


“She’ll make me wish she had“ Paige said.


He grinned “What did you stuff up?“ he asked.


Paige started to pace not quite able to look him in the face. “You know last Saturday at your place.“


“I remember“ he said sitting on the edge of his desk arms crossed watching her with amusement.


“Well when we could not orb in you said you had some magic protection against it. I thought that would be a good idea. “ paige told him nervously.


“Paige you didn’t.“ he sighed.


“And“ she continued in a hurry “I went over to your place and checked it out.“ She saw his expression “Well you wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t told.“ she added defiantly. “Well you don’t use spells so I figured it was some power I could duplicate. I thought it might help, you know we can put a spell on Melinda to protect her from magic but that means we can’t use magic around her and I thought... “


“Paige“ he interrupted “That protection is to stop magic not orbing. You can’t use magic in the apartment without getting the protection off. I have to take it off to shimmer“


“I know now“ she answered irritably “I worked out what you did, using telekinesis and deflecting it with mirrors. So I found a potion that duplicates the power and I did it at the manor, only now I can’t use magic at the manor.“


“And you can’t get it off.“ Cole finished for her. “Paige have you any idea how powerful you have to be to turn that off?“


“Well obviously you have to be more powerful than me.“ she snarled.


“Why did you have to invent such a thing?“ she demanded of Cole who was left shaking his head wondering how he was always to blame for Halliwell problems.


“Because I got sick of my in laws arriving unexpectedly trying to blow me up.“ he answered more than a little annoyed. He caught Paige’s angry expression. “I got sick of witches and warlocks scrying for power and homing in on me. I have a bar in here too.“


“Isn’t that dangerous not be able to use magic?“ Paige asked.


In exasperation Cole muttered "I can turn it off. “


“Well you’d better come to the manor and turn it off before Piper or Leo get back“ Paige ordered but she was getting upset. Come on.“ she said grabbing his coat sleeve and opening the door.


“I have to go.“ Cole said unnecessarily to Francesca as Paige dragged him out. Francesca noted once again he did not take his car keys.


“We better find a storeroom like superman’s to shimmer and orb out.“ Paige giggled


“What in the hell are you talking about.“ Cole said, as Paige pulled him into an empty elevator. He shimmered off almost immediately and left her to follow him.


She had done a good job on the manor because he could not shimmer within twenty yards of the house. He hoped to god Mrs Taylor the neighbourhood busybody was not watching, but he did notice a curtain move opposite at her house.


Paige orbed in beside him, “Thank god.“ she said Piper’s not home, “Hurry up.” she said dragging Cole toward the house. 'The neighbours" he started to say 

But she said "Damn the neighbours hurry."


She dragged him into the manor and into the conservatory. Cole did not have any doubts that she had worked some strong magic in the house because he could feel the effect crushing him.


“You’re right“ he said to Paige “Piper will kill you. This is about 10 times stronger than I use. “


Paige was looking very miserable enough to make Cole laugh.


“You won’t tell Piper“ she asked. Cole not even bothering to hide his amusement promised.


She pointed out a set up she had done She had used a chandelier lamp with hanging crystals in front of one of the family antique mirrors. Cole recognised the lamp as a wedding present from the staff at P3 “What did you do?“ he asked.


“Used telekinesis potion and spell on the lamp and then put a deflection spell on the mirror and joined them“ Paige said. “That what you do isn’t it?“ Use a mirror to deflect it, isn’t that what you did at the apartment. ?“


He nodded “But I make sure the damn thing is a lot less powerful than me. “


“Can you fix it?“ Paige asked.


“Sort of“ he said “Open those doors“ he said indicating the outside ones. Paige did so and he picked up the mirror. As soon as he touched it, sparks and lightning went off, but he managed to get it outside with the power still scorching at him and to raise enough of his lightning power to shatter the mirror and then fireballed it in to powder.


He turned around, his hair on end and scorch marks all over his cloths. Paige screamed at him “You broke Jemima’s mirror.“


“Yeah well I’m about to break Piper’s lamp.“ he said and walked past her and fireballed the crystal lamp. It shuddered and he sent in another one and it finally disintegrated in a satisfactory explosion of coloured light and scorch marks.


Paige looked at the resulting mess of glass and scorched room and screamed even louder “You blew up Piper’s lamp. She’ll kill me. Look at the damned mess you made.“


Cole sighed and waved his hand. The scorch marks and room cleaned up. “Can’t help you with the lamp and mirror .“he said with a wry smile.


“Just remind me not to ask your help again.“ Paige snapped


“I will" he said seriously.


"Don’t be an idiot Cole“ Paige snapped at him.


“I better go“ he said


"Yes do that“ Paige answered, then, added not very graciously as she surveyed the powdered wreck of Piper’s lamp “If ever I can return the favour“.


Cole went to shimmer off and then stopped with a glimmer of a smile “Actually“ he said.


“What?“ Paige asked suspiciously.


“There is something you could do“ Cole grinned.


"What?“ said Paige even more suspiciously.


“That protection spell you use for the baby.“ Cole asked “Is it just for magic, can you make for anything else?“


“Yes“ said Paige really worried and doubtful.


“Could you use it to protect some one against being murdered, more or less on permanent basis? “ Cole asked.


"Yes" Paige answerd


“I‘ll call you“ Cole said and just before he shimmered off he winced and said “Another favour. Can you tell Leo to call me?“ and it cost him to ask.


Paige stood in the conservatory and glared at the powdered lamp. “I’ll just tell Piper a demon did it “she said out loud and then sucked her lip nervously


Cole returned to his apartment and changed the seriously singed suit.  When he returned to work Francesca noticed the change but chose to raise an eyebrow and asked “Did you solve Miss Matthews’s problem?“


Yes But I don’t think she to happy about it.“ Cole answered, but then suddenly grinned “God I love Phoebe’s family.“ he said. He went into his office and called Phoebe.


“What did Paige want?“ Phoebe asked obviously worried.


Cole grinned "I'm not supposed to tell you.“


“Why not?“ Phoebe asked getting really worried.


“Oh hell“ he said “I only promised I wouldn't tell Piper“ and told her what happened.


“You blew up Jemima’s mirror“ Phoebe screamed at him. “That mirror made it from Virginia in a covered wagon. I am so pissed at you“ she said and hung up.


He looked up to see Francesca at the door “God I love Phoebe’s family“ he said again “Even the dead one’s make my life hell.“


“Your father in law is here“ Francesca said rolling her eyes. Cole shut his eyes and opened them again as Victor appeared behind Francesca, she ushered him in and a smile on her face that Cole could only describe as wicked.


“Hello Victor“ Cole said finding his usual seat on the edge of the desk.


Victor was not happy “Let me get right to the point“ he said


“Please do.“ Cole answered as pleasantly as he could.


“I spoke to Phoebe this morning“ Victor said standing straight opposite Cole, determined to hold his position.


Cole decided attack was the best from of defence “So did I.“ he said.


“What sort of magic did you use on my daughter to keep her so besotted with you?“ Victor asked ignoring the response.


“Magic?“ Cole answered dryly  “None. Just the charm of my personality. “


“I came to warn you“ Victor said “that if you hurt Phoebe again I will find a way to get you, if it takes every piece of dark magic I can get hold of..“


“Victor“ Cole interrupted.


“Cole I mean it“ Victor said “My daughter has had enough pain in her life from men who are supposed to look after her. Its not going to happen again.“


"Men in her life hurting her" Cole said bluntly “including fathers?“


“I’m doing everything I can to make that up to her.“ Victor snapped.


“Then we understand each other don’t we.“ Cole answered pleasantly


“You. Had. Better. Cole“ Victor said stressing every word, then he sighed “When she called me and told me you two were back together this morning. Its just about ... You’re dangerous for her Cole..“


“Victor I.“ Cole stood up and threw his hands in the air and turned away for a second. He took a deep breath to regain control and turned back. Very quietly, dangerously quiet he said “There’s danger everywhere Victor, Sometimes the only way to win, is to face the danger. “ He softened “Phoebe knows that Victor.“


“I love my daughter.“ Victor said almost defensively.


“So do I.“ said Cole Victor “When was the last time you saw her happy?“


Victor winced “When she was with you.“ he answered.


“She’s been happy the last couple of days.“ Cole said.


Victor nodded and swallowed “Don’t hurt her.“ he repeated.


“I don’t intend to.“ Cole answered Victor he said in a different tone, as he gave way to temptation “What did Phoebe tell you she meant by together?“


Victor did not miss his concern, almost happily he answered “She just said you two were together, a couple again.“


“That’s more than she told me.“ Cole said in such a tone that Victor almost felt sorry for him “Screwing you around badly is she?“ he asked Cole. 


Cole nodded and opened the office door for Victor. As Victor went out and regardless of Francesca sitting at her desk he turned and said “Which dead relative is making your life hell ?“


Cole glanced toward Francesca who watched without bothering to hide her interest. “I smashed Jemima’s mirror.“


“Hmm“ Victor said considering it “I guess if that is the only dead relative you have a problem with you should consider yourself lucky. “


Victor did not miss the fact that Cole visibly paled.


Cole had barely returned to his office and sat at his desk when Francesca came in to tell him his brother in law wanted to see him. She did not say ex this time. Francesca was having an entertaining day.


Leo was waiting looking decidedly suspicious. Francesca waved him in while Cole stood up and came around his desk.


“Paige said you left a message for me“ Leo said.


“Thanks for coming.“ Cole said purchasing himself on the desk again and having to hold on to the edge to stop himself protectively folding his arms.


Leo observed him carefully “What do you want Cole?“ he said.


Cole took a deep breath and plunged in “I need to ask you a favour. A big one?“ he added


When Leo did not answer Cole pressed “Something I said yesterday. I need you to forget. “


“I’ve forgotten most of what you said.“ Leo answered smugly.


“Well there are some things I would prefer you remember.“ Cole retorted before he could stop himself.


Leo just looked at Cole


“I would be very obliged if what I said about the magic soul, my magic human soul stayed in this office.“ Cole asked as contritely as he could.


“Why?“ Leo asked bluntly.


“I suppose me asking isn’t enough reason.“ Cole said and answered his own question “No. Because Leo" he pushed on, "its not just my secret and that is all I can say. The reason I am asking is good.“


“And if I say no?“ Leo asked.


Cole shook his head “Then I think then I will have to protect the secret.“ he said regretfully. “Leo I’m really getting to begging here. I don’t want to do the wrong thing for all the right reasons. And if you tell my little secret to Elders or others then, I may just have to. “


Leo was very quiet, not missing at all the battle Cole was having with himself not to explode, nor the novelty of having Cole begging for something.


Finally he relented “Well we wouldn’t want that to happen would we“ Leo said “I did tell Phoebe and Piper just so you know. But I guess we can keep it in the family.“ he said


Cole nodded “That’s okay Leo. I... Thank you.“ was all Cole could say in the end as he realised Leo was agreeing.


“You’re a fool Cole.“ Leo said “What happens the next time you let some-one goad you into saying it?“


“No-one has been able to for over a hundred years.“ Cole answered defensively “You all, Phoebe, your family . You all push.“


“You’re an idiot Cole“ Leo repeated.


Leo turned again to go and Cole said “Leo thanks“ and held out his hand. Leo looked at it and for a second Cole thought he was going to refuse to shake hands but he turned back and took Cole’s hand.


Francesca watched Leo go “Any more in-laws I should know about?“ she asked.


“Phoebe has another sister.“ Cole answered distractedly then he came back to where he was “Well two sisters but one’s dead. “


“Then I don’t suppose she’ll be visiting.“ Francesca said conversationally.


“Not likely“ Cole said, then he grinned “but if some-one comes in, about 30 so high and he put his hand half way up his chest really pretty, black hair, green eyes and a mole there he pointed at his cheek, with a real bad ass attitude, hit the buzzer and run because I’ll be out of here so fast you won’t even know how I did it. “


“I wouldn’t bet on that Francesca answered.