To know Phoebe is to...


Part 3:Keeping it in the Family


Chapter 22


When Phoebe told Piper and Paige she was spending a weekend with the unnamed man who she said was very important to her, Piper, already in a temper from arriving home and seeing the supposed demon damage done to the mirror and lamp, was furious with her and made it very clear it was not the weekend away but the rush into committing that was angering her.


Piper could not resist getting in another crack about the damage to the mirror. Paige waited ready to get angry in self defence because Phoebe had a great affection for Jemima’s mirror but Phoebe ignored the news it was broken and went on to furiously telling Piper she had a right to a life. When Piper had yelled herself out, Phoebe in a high temper bounced herself upstairs to pack and Piper was not mollified when Paige wondered out loud why Phoebe was not upset about the mirror


“To busy being besotted about this, this man.“ Piper snarled “and don’t think you’re off the hook Missy" she added to Paige.


Cole picked Phoebe up at the manor stopping a few houses down. When she went outside to retrieve a jacket from her car Mrs Taylor took great delight in passing on to Piper that Phoebe had run out and jumped into a new green Mercedes.


Piper was tempted to call Darryl and ask him to run a check on the car. Leo had to be very firm to stop her.


The trip to the small bed and breakfast about an hour north of San Francisco that Cole, had booked, was strained because Cole immediately demanded to know why Phoebe had told Victor they were together without warning him. “Because he’s my father“ she said “and we talk to each other. “


“One hurdle down“ she thought to herself.


“And are you going to tell me before you tell the rest of the family?“ Cole demanded.


“Maybe“ Phoebe said. Because she knew as soon as she brought up the subject of dealing with her family the romance was over and they would have to face some very hard facts. She avoided the subject by demanding to know whether Cole thought she was having second thoughts and he said he thought about 4th or 5th by that stage.


“What do you mean?“ she asked, indignant.


“ I know you.“ he said. “Two steps forward and one back?“ he said.


“Better than the other way“ she answered with the expression of some one who thought she had won the argument. Cole sensed the emotion coming from Phoebe was one of feeling in control and he was so annoyed he refused to talk the rest of the way.


Phoebe stayed in the car while Cole paid for the room, a really lovely top floor room with a view of the Pacific and a big comfortable brass bed. Phoebe stalked in ahead of Cole.


“I’m tired“ she announced and disappeared into the bathroom, to get ready for bed out of his sight, and finally returned wearing pink pyjamas with blue kitten pattern. She brought the pyjamas because in his demon days when Cole had shimmered in unexpectedly he had liked to find her in pyjamas. He liked to rip them off. She insisted that if he was going to sleep with her he was going to shower and shave. When he returned she was lying on the side of the bed nearest the door. Cole did not have a thing about which side of the bed he slept on. He just liked it to be on the one nearest the door. She looked up at him with a smug expression. He bent down picked her up and dumped her none to gently on the other side of the bed.


Phoebe was intensely annoyed. To the point where she turned her back on him, getting as far away from Cole as possible. Only he was better at that game than she was and just waited, lying on his back not to concerned. She finally gave in rolled over and flung herself on him wrestling and fighting as hard as she could. He may have been stronger than her, but as she knew where he was ticklish, it did not take that long for her to get him to say she had every right to tell her family what she wanted then she hit him for lying.


They drove north the next day, stopped at two small town markets while Phoebe shopped, at small café and, for reasons because it was fun to do bickered over who would pay for each bill, and meal. Cole usually won because if he got hold of Phoebe’s card, Phoebe did not have a hope of reaching it above his head. She did win on one occasion when she checked to see no-one was watching and levitated up and took it from his hand. They fell onto a fairly stupid argument about the risks of magic in public. Cole who was stuck using male logic did not have a hope of winning the argument so he did the next best thing and sulked for half an hour; they enjoyed making up.


They stayed in another bed and breakfast, by the ocean, had a meal at a local cafe and wandered along the beach at dusk, alone watching the water lap on the shore. Cole picked Phoebe up playing with her threatening to drop her in the water so she had to clutch at his hair and collar She manage to wriggle free and ran and he chased her until he caught her and lifted her to kiss her. They wandered back toward the bed and breakfast, stopped as it got dark and sat on the beach and watched the water.


It was getting cool and Phoebe sat in front of Cole leaning back so he wrapped his arms and jacket around her.  He held her tight against him and she could feel the warmth of his body through his shirt. They watched the final sunset. Cole went very quiet Phoebe sighed and snuggled into him that’s beautiful she whispered half turning to put her hand on his face and found it suspiciously wet. She felt the smile more than saw it.


Awkward, a little shy he said softly “Something I just used to think I wanted to share with you. Didn’t think I ever would. Beach sunsets.“ he said “I’ve seen a lot of beaches over the last months. By myself .“


Phoebe twisted against him and kissed him softy caring, beyond passion, sharing joining, aware only of each other and the faint noise of the waves and the smell of sea air.


The mood got lost a little back at their b &b when Piper rang she said just to see if Phoebe was oka, confirming to Phoebe the level of concern and suspicion  she had about the new boyfriend. “Where is he?“ Piper demanded.


“Lying on the bed pretending he isn’t listening to what I’m talking about.“ Phoebe said which was only half true Cole was lying on the bed naked and pulling stupid faces trying to make her laugh. As he nearly succeeded Phoebe threw the nearest objet she could lay her hands on at home, fortunately only her shoe that he caught easily. Piper aware of some distraction, snarkily reminded Phoebe to be home for Sunday family supper, which Phoebe agreed to. “I have to be home by seven for supper.“ she said Cole waited half hoping, half dreading an invitation to join her. Nothing came. He sighed. "What’s wrong?" Phoebe asked. 


“Nothing“ he said.


“Stop lying.“ she snapped.


They played, had some more sex, Phoebe told Cole she felt safe with him and he was a little offended. She tried to explain it was the safety of not being frightened of being loved, of being wanted rather than taken, and he was slightly mollified but after that seemed to take a demonic enjoyment in making the whole thing as adventurous as he could coax her into. Then they spent rest of the night fighting over the remote to see who could find the stupidest early morning TV show. Phoebe won because she had a lot more experience at finding TV shows than Cole had and she already knew just how bad Dennis the Menace was. They slept late had more sex, and a very late breakfast, found another market where Phoebe spent ages buying clothes, second hand clothes that made Cole raise his eyebrows, and presents for Leo and her sisters and Melinda. Cole secretly regretted he would not be around to see Piper’s face when Phoebe gave her the bright purple jumpsuit with large green and yellow and pink balloons she bought for Melinda.


She made him carry the parcels and he grizzled and then she complained when he spent time searching for old books. They drove back, ate a very late lunch at a seafood restaurant half way back to San Francisco and spent some more time on a beach before Cole dropped Phoebe at Prescott street a few minutes before seven. He stopped the car just out of sight of the manor but not out of sight of the neighbours and bent over to Phoebe for one more kiss.


Cole pulled away finally, Phoebe with her hand on his face still, he sighed. “This reminds me of when I was courting you 3 years ago.“ Cole said as she pretended to struggle to get out of the car, while he kept hold of her wrist.


“You weren’t courting me, you were seducing me for the purposes of evil.“ Phoebe whispered primly.


“Says you.“ he retorted.


Another kiss and Phoebe managed to fight he way out of the car and Cole sat there watching her go. She turned to blow him one more kiss and he drove off. He went back top his very empty apartment. Could not stand it, went to a movie and walked out half way though, found a bar, had two drinks and went back to the apartment an spent half the night writing water tight contracts for a pre nuptial for a very rich client.


Phoebe went in and found her sisters ready to be angry with her for being late and annoyed she wasn't. Neither Paige sitting primly on a chair on the parlour reading books on herbal remedies and drinking colas, Piper breast feeding Melinda or Leo setting the table missed that she had no makeup, her lips were swollen, her eyes glowing, her hair was a mess and her clothes looked like they had been pulled on and off several times and she had a liberal amount of sand sticking to the sunscreen on her back. Phoebe put her presents on the hall table and ran upstairs to shower while Piper took her daughter to be the nursery and Paige got the meal ready.


Her family faced with a dreamy, sexually sated very happy Phoebe mooning over her food at supper could get any more answers than she had a really nice time and a big sigh.  Even when Leo trying to bring her back to reality asked her if Cole knew about the new boyfriend, in an effort to make her realise the consequences she only replied “He knows and he‘s okay with it.“


Piper muttered, “This is so much trouble. What ever comes out of this is trouble. “  And knew that part of the trouble was going to be her own quite unrealistic guilt over what Cole had done for her


"Aren’t you worried about this?“ she said to Paige while they cleared the table “You really believe Cole is okay with this?“


“I’m praying he’s not okay with it.“  Paige answered.


Phoebe went to bed fairly early but woke with her cell phone ringing, at 2 a.m


“What are you doing?“ Cole asked.


“Sleeping“ she said happily.


"What are you doing?“ she asked.


“Not sleeping.“ he said


“I miss you.“ she said


“Really“ he said “want me to shimmer over?“


“No“ she answered regretfully “Piper would know.“


“I hate sleeping alone“ Phoebe said.


“Sleeping or no sex.“ Cole said teasing.


“I’ve decided I’m only ever going to have sex with somebody I love; it's really boring otherwise.“ she whispered confidentially.


“I’m glad“ he said seriously.


“I did tell I love you“ she sighed “damn it“


“You sound like you resent it“ he said a little hurt.


“I do a bit“ she said “it would be so much easier if you were just a nice normal person who was only worried about whether you could support me and keep me happy and whether I really cared and if my family liked you.“


“I worry about those things.“ he said lying back in the bed and pretending she was lying beside him. “Any way.“ he said “That guy would just freak out when he found out you were a witch, be scared of your family, worry and bitch when you fought demons and hate it when you ordered him around.“


“You do that.“ Phoebe said.


“See I am everything you ever wanted in a man.“  Cole said.


“I know“ Phoebe said “I do love you. I mean love you, not just….. I care about you Cole“ and then she smiled to herself “I like you, you know .“


“I know“ he said “honey I really do. “


They ended the call with sweet words leaving him to think wryly of the rocky road ahead and softly of the image of the girl he loved, difficult, demanding, loyal, obsessed and honest, intense, caring, annoying, loving. Her to think of this strange magic creature she loved. He wasn't perfect, but the image of those beautiful blue eyes, the intensity and courage of him, the caring, the fidelity, the compassion, the bitching, the fear, the danger, the reckless, passionate nature. He wasn’t perfect but what she had was good. And if he wasn’t perfect and the darker side of him intensely frightened her, it also attracted her and besides she wasn’t going to get any better and she had no idea how any one else could.