To know Phoebe is to...


Part 1:Better to have loved and lost


Chapter 5


After a day of leaving messages for Cole, which were unanswered Phoebe arrived home, calm of mind and determined. Piper sitting in the kitchen, breast feeding Melinda, eyed her sister curiously, as she came in smiling and seemingly happy, asked  “Everything okay.”


 Phoebe put her things on the table and stopped to gently stroke Melinda’s forehead. “Everything is fine” she said sweetly  “I had a very easy day at work. Elise is in New York, I wrote the column, went to lunch with the fashion staff, finished by six, see I’m home early.”


Piper eyed her suspiciously  “Heard nothing from Cole’, no problems from him” she asked.


 “No” Phoebe answered brightly  “Not a thing. No problems. Nothing”


Piper who would have liked to have the time to just enjoy her daughter and not worry about her sister eyed Phoebe with irritation. Phoebe bounced out the door to the stairs, a definite spring and purpose in her step “I know you, Phoebe” she muttered  “You’re up to something”.


Phoebe rang Paige from her room and suggested the two have a night out. Paige came home a half an hour later and the two decided to go off to P3 together and check out the talent.


Phoebe dressed in her sexiest and skimpiest new outfit, a skirt that barely covered her hips and a silver and aqua lame tube top that did not cover her breasts and high, high stiletto heels and her hair longer and blond streaked now, Paige was wearing a body hugging red dress with spaghetti straps and a slit to her waist and even higher heels than Phoebe.


Piper put her daughter to bed before her sisters left. She was wearing old track pants, a tee shirt that was still stained after Melinda had thrown,. Her hair was not washed for two days and caught up in a clip just to keep it out of the way, and she was looking forward to a night of ironing baby clothes. She watched her sisters go and felt very old and matronly. She thought about the way her sisters were dressed, tits bouncing around under their clothes ,then became aware of the maternity bra she was wearing and wondered if she would ever feel sexy again.


As Paige and Phoebe left. Leo had orbed in. He too said goodbye to Paige and Phoebe while he stood slightly behind Piper, his fingers gently stroking he arm, as she leaned rather tiredly against him. Phoebe noticing this was almost overwhelmed by a nauseating rush of jealousy for the security of he sister’s marriage and guiltily swallowed the thought.


Phoebe and Paige spent the night at P3. Paige managed to pick up 3 guys of various descriptions and physical types and have a pleasant night juggling them encouraging them and making them jealous while claiming she could not go off with them because she could not desert her sister ands somehow forgetting her cell phone number. She said her sister was minding her purse, she would give them the number later. When one pressed suspiciously “Can’t you remember your cell phone number” Paige smiled innocently “I never dial myself”.


Phoebe danced with a few guys and in between used the time to dial Cole on her cell and leave increasingly annoyed messages on his answering machine at the apartment. Toward midnight, Phoebe was on the sofa in the girls’ favourite corner of P3 locked in a clinch with a guy she had danced with. He claimed to be a manager but was probably a clerk. He was a couple of years younger than her, and suitably scruffy and had an interesting little boy lost look and was plainly after sex as the amount of alcohol he was consuming, prompted his interest, and the level of his efforts. Phoebe was aware that all the aching warmth in her loins  which had been her constant companion for the last few days died away as his efforts increased. Her mouth felt dirty from the taste of his tongue and her neck felt wet and unclean from the amount of saliva that had been distributed over it. Phoebe felt the nausea growing.


As she pretended to deep breathe while the guy, damn what was his name, she called him Joe, as the pet names she had used for Cole remained clearly off limits for any one else, sucked and licked and bit, Phoebe started to wonder what Joe would say is she suggested some of the more interesting things she had done with Cole. She shivered and as the guy felt her body shake he breathed deep and suggested they leave. Phoebe put him off by grabbing his face and tongue kissed as deep and hard as she could. “ What in the hell was his name?” she thought. He came up for air, wondering what he had got himself into and thinking that his chances were very good.


As Phoebe gave him a chance to check his options, she had a nasty and intruding thought about a time when she could suggest, hell she could demand anything she wanted, go where she wanted and play the games she wanted and feel safe and sure in how they would be received, when teeth on her neck and saliva on her shoulder made her feel wet and exited, when a tongue in her mouth  was tempting and teasing and sweet.  Damn it damn it damn it, why when she thought of sex did he have to think of Cole?


The guy, opted for a little more alcohol courage and offered to get a drink of some Perrier water for Phoebe. She sent him on his way and lent back trying to swallow the dirty feeling of stale alcohol from her mouth.


As Phoebe sat on the sofa she sighed  ”Damn Cole, damn Cole, damn Cole.” She had three time called him at the apartment that night, leaving increasingly longer and annoyed messages, and it was obvious Cole must be ignoring any messages from her cell .She spied Paige’s purse on the table beside her, opened it and saw Paige’s cell phone, she took it out and dialled Cole’s number. 


She  reached the answering machine and for a second Phoebe listened with a sigh to Cole’s voice telling her to leave a message. Phoebe felt another sudden rush of warmth to her loins, damn Cole damn Cole, damn Cole. When she thought of sex she thought of Cole, when she heard Cole’s voice she thought of sex.  The answering machine clocked off and Cole interrupted the message to say “Paige what’s the problem” Phoebe hung up,. Then with an annoyed glare, she grabbed her own phone and dialled Cole’s number. He did not answer.


To say that she was furious was an understatement.


The guy came back with Perrier water and smelling strongly of brandy. Phoebe smiled and drank the water while more saliva was liberally applied to her neck and face and shoulder. “God” she though  “Did he have to use his whole tongue, why couldn’t he use the tip of it”. She sighed deeply  “Maybe I ought to give him Cole’s number to get a few lessons” she thought. “I wonder if Cole would answer the phone for him”


The guy slobbered over her some more. The smell of brandy nauseated her. Phoebe felt he whole body go cold. Smiling she planted a big kiss on his lips, and whispered sexily. “ I have to go to the bathroom.” She picked up her purse and Paige’s. She pushed her way through the crowded dance floor to where Paige was entwined around a guy with his hair in dyed blond dreadlocks and a dreamy expression on his face. She tapped Paige on the shoulder. It took a couple of taps to get Paige’s attention but she finally turned to Phoebe. Paige sighed dreamily  “What“ and then a little sharper  as she saw Phoebe’s expression said “What Phoebe?”


“We’re going home” Phoebe said in a no nonsense voice


“What. Okay” Paige said as she was hauled away from the dreadlocked dancer.


“Okay bye I’ll call you” Paige said over her shoulder.


‘You don’t have my number” dreadlock answered a little stunned


‘”I’ll find it” Paige called as she was dragged up the P3 stairs.


“What was that all about” she demanded as Phoebe pulled her into the car park.


Phoebe shuddered “That guy he was horrible. I had to get away from him”


Paige gasped “You were all over him, you were encouraging him. Hell you were practically jumping him”


Phoebe stood  “I did not” she answered indignantly  “He was just a slob. I bet he’s never made love in his life”


Paige pursed her lips  “I doubt he’s a virgin” she said dryly.


Phoebe put her hands on her hips “I‘m not talking about sex“ she said “I’m talking about making love.”


Paige stopped in front of her car and turned to Phoebe “Sometimes Phoebe I feel I just don’t know you.” She unlocked the car and the girls got into it.


Just before Paige started the engine she sighed. “Although if I ever found a guy who knew how to turn sex into making love every time he touched me, I think I would grab so tight, the poor bastard would never have a hope of escaping.” She started the car and in the dark did could not see her sister turn a sickly shade of white.


The girls went home and Paige went to bed where she fell into a peaceful sleep. Phoebe was restless all night long. She got up several times and finally when she could not sleep she went downstairs to make some camomile tea at 4.00 in the morning . She spied Paige’s purse on the bench and gave way to temptation. She picked up the cell and dialled Cole’s number. He answered immediately “What Paige” and his voice was not sleepy. Phoebe hung up. After that she went back to bed and slept.


In fact, Cole did not arrive at the apartment until nearly 11. He had worked late and then spent some time chasing some information about the Rodriquez case that was only available at night and then he had got distracted with preventing a drug store robbery where he had stopped to buy alcohol. Cole wondered if San Francisco was the crime centre of the world or it simply followed him.


He was curiously depressed from the information about Rodriguez case. He knew evil, god he knew evil. He had hoped that the case was just Reynolds doing his best to help an innocent, but he wasn’t surprised that what he was really seeing was a dark plot of corruption, blackmail and crooked lawyers. As the Source, he had used Jackman, Carter and Kline because he knew that certain unethical practices happened there. He should not resent it when others used the firm for such things. But he did.


When he arrived back at the apartment and saw thew answering machine flashing he played the tape and it had four messages all from Phoebe and for nearly an hour he distracted himself from alcohol and other thoughts by listening to her yell at him. He finally removed the tape put it in a safe spot and replaced it just in time for the phone to ring again. He recognised the number as Paige’s. He answered and the phone went dead. As Phoebe called a few minutes later he guessed the other call was probably Phoebe on Paige's phone. The call at 4 worried him more. As he could not sleep he had distracted himself with drafting complicated tender negotiations and was still awake when it came.


The next morning, hangover less he was at work before Francesca. She came in at 8.30, late for her and he went to a 9.00 am meeting with the partners, They wanted a report on the Reynolds interview and again made it very clear that Cole’s last lapse had not resulted in termination because they needed him for the Reynolds case. Cole was tempted to correct them and say Rodriguez case but thought better of it. Jackman made a fuss threatening with removal from the firm if he could not keep Reynolds happy and it was with a real effort that Cole kept energy balls out of his hand, not because of the threat but because of the pomposity of the partner. Francesca had been at the meeting and had sent him a glare when his temper was strained. It settled him down, Cole sighed. Phoebe contacts him and he was thinking of fireballs. Carter interrupted and pointed out that he did not have to win the case, as long as he got it resolved to Reynolds satisfaction.


“Make it go away will be the best result” he encouraged  “No one wins if this gets to court Make sure Reynolds and Rodriguez know this” Carter was sure the authorities would really deal or be reasonable if Cole approached it the right way,

Cole smiled easily and promised he would do what was best for the client.


He and Francesca went back to the office and around 10.00 am and there were two messages from Phoebe. Cole swallowed and said he would deal with it as Francesca expressed her disapproval of Cole’s disrespectful attitude to the senior partners.


He was distracted for an hour by a meeting with a client but all those calls during the night got to him and mostly all he could think of what in the hell was going on in Phoebe’s head And he worked himself up to being furious with her as he thought about it. Then he seriously began worry that the Charmed ones had a problem after all. He finally got to the point where he decided that Phoebe’s calls were genuine, that at Paige had been trying to contact him because they were in serious trouble and that he killed Phoebe because he had ignored her calls.


He dialled Paige’s cell. After a few seconds which seemed like an eternity to Cole, Paige answered sleepy and distracted because after her late night and because she was not working anyway she was in the habit of sleeping late.


“Paige“ Cole asked anxiously “What’s wrong? Is Phoebe all right? “


“What“ Paige asked totally disorientated “Yeah Cole? “ she asked waking up in a hurry.


“Is Phoebe all right?“ Cole asked urgently.


“Yeah I think so“ Paige said sitting up in bed. “I’ll check.” She got up and wandered over to Phoebe’s bedroom. The bed was neatly made and the room was tidy.


Paige said into the phone “Looks okay to me, and how are you” she asked chattily to Cole. “Are you being good“ she said to him “No nasty urges to go kill landlords or biker? “


I’m fine“ he snapped tightly “You didn’t call me, did you?”


“No“ Paige answered ”Why do you think I did?”


Cole said as disinterestedly as he could “I had a couple of calls on your number. I assume it was Phoebe. Could you just make sure she is where she is supposed to be?”


Paige wandered down the stairs and found Piper in the kitchen with Melinda awake in the day cot. “Where’s Phoebe?“ she asked Piper not covering the phone.


“At work“ Piper answered distractedly she unloaded the dishwasher


“I can do that” Paige said to Piper


“What?” said Cole.


“Stop trying to be the perfect mother and housewife” Paige said to Piper


“What?“ said Cole.


“Nothing?“ said Paige.


“What?”´ said Piper.


“Phoebe’s okay“ asked Cole


“She’s okay? “ Paige asked


“She’s okay?” said Piper  “Why wouldn’t she be? “


“She ‘s okay” Paige said to Cole.


“What?“ said Piper


“Hold it?” Paige said to Cole.


“What?“ said Piper and Cole.


“Cole “ Paige said “Shut up“


“Is Phoebe okay?” Paige asked with some exasperation.


“Yes” Piper said “Why? “


“Doesn’t matter“ said Paige “Cole, Phoebe's fine. If you’re worried why not ring her. “


“No thanks“ Cole said and then his nerves snapped  “Paige just tell her something for me will you?”


“Okay “ said Paige doubtfully.


“Just tell her” Cole snarled, letting is temper get the better of him “Tell her to leave me alone. You tell her that I’m fine. I’m okay. That means I’m being good if she needs a translation. You can tell her I am being better than good. You tell her that yesterday I made someone’s life just that much better by fixing something up instead of going out to stop the bad guy. I wasn’t evil, I didn’t act like a vigilante and if she doesn’t like that making me better than she’s been acting then she can take it and stick it somewhere I used to enjoy sticking something else“ and Cole slammed the phone down.


Paige gulped twice and stared at her cell phone.


“What?“ said Piper.


Paige very slowly told Piper what Cole had just said.


“What do you think Phoebe had been saying to him? “ Paige asked distracted.


“Well knowing Phoebe“ Piper said “I don’t care to think“. She and Paige both sighed.


Paige suddenly giggled “Just sometimes, only sometimes I almost feel sorry for Cole “


Piper stared at Paige . “Paige “ she said in a horrified tone then she too laughed “Me too“ she said




Cole sat and stared at the phone in its cradle. He wondered how just thinking about Phoebe got him in such a state. He looked up to see Francesca standing at the door to his office with a disapproving expression. “I expect better of you“ she said and turned away.


Cole grimanced and turned back to the pile of paper on his desk.


Francesca went to morning coffee with a couple of the other paralegals. They talked generally and then one could not resist telling her that the office gossip was that her boss Cole was acting very erratic again.


The other paralegal laughed  “Must be his ex wife again. He always goes off the rails when she’s involved. “


Francesca did not answer directly but could not resist asking if the girls had ever met Cole’s wife, ex wife


They both nodded and said she had been round the office quite a bit when the two were still married and just getting divorced.


“What’s she like? “ Francesca could not resist asking.


Mary and Jessica exchanged glances


Mary answered  “She’s a manipulative bitch“


Jessica smiled “She‘s a real sweetie“ and the two looked at each other in surprise.


Francesca went back to her office. Cole was working away with the door open between the offices, she checked her messages then answered two from Cole’s ex wife. She went into his office and told him he would have to do something about Phoebe.


Cole regretfully nodded.


 “I will;” he said “I’ll talk to her“ he promised.


Francesca stood in front of Cole’s desk, a severe expression on her face that made him feel he was a very naughty schoolboy “some people might think what she is doing is irrational” she said ” Some people might even think what she is doing is stalking. “ Somehow Francesca made it sound as if it was Cole’s fault.


Cole looked up from his work. Suddenly he smiled and the effect was not lost, even on Francesca.


“I know“ he said gently  “Phoebe would to, if she was doing it to anybody but me “


“That does not make sense“ Francesca said primly.


Cole only laughed “Not to you maybe but Phoebe had this idea she has ownership rights on me. She has the right to tell me how to behave, how to feel, how to think “


“That does not seem very reasonable“ Francesca said


Cole openly laughed, “Yeah well she only does it because she thinks I’m in love with her. She thinks I love her unconditionally, irrevocability, eternally“


“Why would she think that? “ Francesca asked severely


Cole winced “Because I told her“ he said


“Did you mean it” Francesca asked even more severely


Cole nodded “Yes” he said in a sad tone.


“ I’m very confused“ Francesca answered almost defeated


“Well“ he smiled “ To know Phoebe is to live in a state of total confusion. “