Paige slammed on her brakes as a body hit the hood of her car. It tumbled and rolled. She slowed her car to a stop just as the figure got to its feet. A flash streaked in her headlights and the man, she was pretty sure of that from its build, cried out. He fell to his knees grasping his arm. She was out of her car before she even thought about it.

"Are you alright?" she called going to the man's side.

"Get back in your car!" Someone yelled. She glanced up to see an older man running with something in his hands. As he stepped into the streetlights, she recognized the weapon he was carrying. He held a crossbow loaded with an arrow.

"What are you doing?" she demanded.

"Get away from him! He's dangerous!" The older man stopped, aiming his weapon at the man still kneeling in the street.

She bent down next to the hurt man. "Are you okay?"

Two brown eyes met hers. "You should leave."

"But you're hurt,"

"Get away from him, Miss." The older man was only two feet away.

She stood up and glared at him. "I don't see HIM threatening YOU with a weapon."

"Oh, he's lethal. Make no mistake about that."

Upon closer inspection the man looked like an escapee from a bad eighteenth century novel. He wore a floppy tan hat, stained brown overcoat, and muddy boots. He pointed his crossbow at her. "Get out of the way."

She vaguely saw his intended victim rise to his feet. "Leave her out of this. Its me you want."

"Get back in your car. Drive away." The look in the man's gray eyes spoke death. She had no doubt he would use his weapon on her and then his victim.

The other man moved, knocking the crossbow from its owner's hands. The ancient weapon scrapped across the asphalt. He whirled, kicking the older man. His body flew hitting the sidewalk. He staggered to his feet.

"Get in the car!" the man ordered, shoving her in. She obeyed and found he was already buckling himself in on the passenger side. "Go!"

She peeled out, leaving the over-coated man screaming behind them.

"Thanks," Peter said. "You can pull over anywhere and drop me off."

"I don't think so. You're hurt. I'm going to take you to an emergency room." His very pretty red headed rescuer gave him a stern look.

"No hospital."

"But you're hurt."

"No hospital," he firmly repeated.

"Fine. Then you're going home with me. No way am I going let you wander around town. You could get an infection." She speeded her car up.

'Great.' Peter thought. 'More complications.' He knew his arm would heal quickly enough. One good thing about being a vampire. All he had to do was pull out the arrow and let his body do the rest. He doubted, though, his rescuer would be able to handle a supernatural creature.

"You don't have to do that," he objected. " I can take care of myself at my place."

"And does Mr. Overcoat know where you live? What if he's waiting for you?" She shook her head. "No. I'm taking you to my house. You'll be safe there."

Unfortunately, Peter knew she had a point. That particular vampire hunter had been stalking him for several months. He started tracking Peter just after he'd left his father. The two Caines had returned home to visit the Ancient. The elder Caine had decided to stay in Chinatown and again be the healer for the community. Peter had chosen to move on. Everyone he knew had been at his funeral. It would have been risky to stay and be seen.

Besides, he's learned a lot from Angel. He had finally accepted his new life and could deal with the blood lust. Maybe a trip to LA was in order, he mused, to visit his old friend. He also knew he should call Buffy and let her know he was okay. He'd parted company with the slayer and friends after Riley had joined the group. The younger man constantly had thrown jealous looks in his direction. In light of the blooming love between them, Peter had gracefully bowed out. Not that he'd ever been interested in her. He thought of her as a younger sister.

"Penny for your thoughts," his pretty companion's voice broke into his contemplations.

"My name is Peter Caine," he introduced himself.

"Paige Matthews." She pulled the car over in front of an older house. The street sign read Prescott Street. "Welcome to the manor." Peter followed her up the concrete stairs as she unlocked the stain-glassed door. "Come on in," she invited.

Inwardly, Peter sighed with relief. She adverted an awkward situation. He didn't have to explain to her why he had to be invited to enter her home.

"Let's go into the kitchen."

Someone bounced down the stairs. "Hi, Paige, where have you been and where.." She stopped noticing him. "And who is this?"

Peter admired the girl. Kind of pixie like, with dark brown hair pulled up attractively and dressed in tight jeans and revealing top.

"Hi, Phoebe. This is Peter."

"And why is he bleeding on my rug?" Another woman demanded. She wore her blondish-brown hair long and obviously pregnant.

"Some guy was shooting arrows at him," Paige explained.

"Arrows?" the longhaired sister questioned with an odd tone. "Paige, I think we need to have a little talk."

Paige looked puzzled. "What for, Piper? Peter's hurt. He needs help."

"She's right," Phoebe agreed. "Let's go into the kitchen."

Someone stood behind him. Peter hadn't heard the door open and had no idea how the person got there.

"You don't need to. He's an innocent. The elders told me to tell you, you need to help him."

"Leo!" Piper objected. He's a.a."

"Yes, he is." The man walked around and Peter got a good look at him. He was a little taller then Peter himself, short cropped brown hair and hazel eyes. He wore comfortable clothes. No sense of fashion though, Peter noted. He himself did try to keep up on the latest trends. He liked to look good. Besides, he noticed Paige give him the once over while they were in the car.

"Look," Leo explained. "There are several species. Peter Caine here," Peter glanced at him in surprise. Leo gave him a reassuring smile. "has a soul. For the past few years he's been helping the slayer. The elders consider him one of the champions for good."

"He's a champion for good and a vampire." Phoebe seemed doubtful

"A vampire?" Paige's face reflected shock. She backed up. "Oh, not again."

"Yeah. A vampire," Leo confirmed. "Relax Paige, he's not like the Queen who wanted you and your sisters."

"And we're suppose to help him?" Paige wrung her fingers nervously.


"Okay, then." She took a deep breath and motioned for Peter to follow her. "Let's get that arrow out of our arm and get you fixed up." He followed her into the kitchen. He watched the other two sisters converge on Leo. He heard Piper growl, "Are the elders out of their freaking minds!? A vampire? In our home!" He lost the rest of the conversation as they entered the sunshine yellow kitchen. He paused taking in the old-fashioned glass cupboards, the island in the center of the kitchen, the window overlooking the backyard above the sink, the polished kitchen table with flowers in a vase, and just the general homey feeling.

"Your sisters seem upset." Understatement probably.

"They'll get over it. We do this kind of thing all the time." Paige cast him an uneasy glance. She turned opening several cupboards and removed various jars filled with herbs, roots, and some medical gauze. It reminded him of all the times he'd seen his father do the same. She placed her choices on the island. "Now, let's take a look at that arm."

Peter obediently extended it for her to look at. She grimaced. He'd earlier broken the back off. He grabbed the front and pulled it out. She must have noticed his pained look because she asked in a concerned tone, "Does it hurt?"

"Some," he answered. "I'll recover." He dropped the arrow on the island.

Paige quickly dressed the wound with smelly herbs and wrapped it with the gauze. Her face carried a quizzical look. The puncture had already half healed. "Wow. You heal fast."

"One of the advantages of being a vampire. It would heal faster if I had some fresh blood."

She took a step away from him. His remark about fresh blood must have frightened her. Peter reached out and took her hand. "Don't worry. I haven't feed from humans for several years."

"That's nice to know." She didn't pull her hand away. "But you did,"

Peter nodded. Sadly. "I couldn't control myself. I've learned to, from an older vampire named Angel."

"At least you learned." A smile tugged at her red painted lips.

"I take contaminated blood from the banks. They don't seem notice or else they just don't report the theft. I don't know."

"Guess we'll have to so something about getting you some blood."

"I have some at my place. Enough for a couple of days."

"Leo," Paige called.

He walked into the room. "What?"

"Could you go to Peter's and pick up his blood supply. He's a little thirsty."

"Sure. Where's your place?"

Peter told him and then almost freaked out when the man vanished into little white sparkling circles.

"He's our Whitelighter," Paige explained. "Sort of like a guardian angel."

"Oh." Curious he inquired. "And why do you need one?"

"Because we're witches. They call us the Charmed Ones."

The Charmed Ones! Peter had been hearing rumors about them for several years. He thought maybe they'd been a myth, but too many stories about dead demons kept surfacing.

"I hope you intend to clean up your mess," Piper said, her hands on her hips.

Paige smiled. "And why wouldn't I?" She finally pulled her hand from Peter's. She gathered up her stuff and returned them to their proper places in the cupboard.

Piper glared at him. He wasn't exactly sure what for. "Looks like were stuck with you," she brooded.

"I'm sorry I'm intruding.."

"I'd rather stick you in a dark corner of the basement with a stake in your heart."

"Piper!" Paige admonished.

"Okay," Phoebe sing-songed as she entered the room. "We've got a room all set up for you. I put some extra blankets over the windows. Should keep out the sun so you don't go" she snapped her fingers, "poof!"


"Phoebe will show you to your room," Piper declared. "Paige, I want to talk to you for a minute."


Peter followed Phoebe out with a last glance at Paige. She seemed puzzled by Piper's behavior. Quite frankly, so was he. He followed Phoebe upstairs. She chattered at him, sending him a friendly smile.

"We put you in grams old room. It's not fancy but you should be comfortable."

"I'm sure I will be."

"So, how long have been."

"Paige, bringing a vampire into the house was not the brightest thing you could have done. Remember what happened last time? We almost lost you!"

"I didn't know he was a vampire," she snapped back. "Besides, you heard Leo. Peter's an innocent the elders want us to protect."

"And what if he hadn't been? What if he'd come here to kill us?"

"Well, he didn't. Peter," Paige shook her head, "just doesn't seem the type." She was confused by her thinking. No way had she forgotten how close she came to being a vampire.

"Paige," the lecturing seemed to be over, Piper really was concerned. She could tell by the very serious look on her sister's face. "Be careful. I know he's charming and friendly, just don't get too attached to him, okay?"

She couldn't believe it. An innocent to protect and Piper was acting like it was some big deal. "Piper, I know he's going to leave. You act like you think I want to date the guy."

"Do you?"

"Well, he is kind of hot," she smirked. "Don't worry. I'm not that stupid."

Piper nodded. "I just don't want you to get hurt. Leo and I are lucky. You know what happened with Phoebe and Cole. Just keep in mind we're protecting him because the elders told us to. When its time for him to leave,"

"Let him go." Paige gave her sister a smile. "Don't worry. Given my luck with guys, I doubt Peter will even give me a second look."

Piper gave her a look and Paige gave her a reassuring smile. She really didn't have any interest in the handsome vampire.

Peter slept through the day. Leo had returned and brought him his blood supply. The Whitelighter had also packed some clothes and some other stuff he figured the vampire would need. Peter thanked him for his thoughtfulness. He'd also asked what was up with Piper.

"We almost lost Paige to a vampire coven," Leo told him. "She's just being protective of her younger sister."

Sort of like Peter had been with his two Blaisdell sisters and later with Buffy and Willow. He could definitely understand where she was coming from.

After he awoke he took a shower and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. He ran a comb through his dark brown hair and headed downstairs. Leo had put his blood in the fridge. Peter found it, helped himself to a mug and heated his meal in the microwave. He sipped it and watched the last bit of sun set.

"Hi, Peter," Paige greeted him.

He looked over his shoulder. She wore tight jeans and a low cut pink blouse. She gave him a smile. "Did you sleep well?"

He shrugged. "About normal." He took another sip.

She walked up beside him and glanced out the window. "What's so interesting?"

"Just watching the sun set. It's about the only time I see some of the sun."

"Oh, Peter," her face showed her distress, "I had no idea. I take it so for granted, I never thought,"

"Its okay," he stroked her cheek. He noticed her blush. "I'm used to it. Besides, it hasn't been so long for me. Only a few years. A couple of vampires I knew, it had been decades."

"Still," she leaned toward him.

He took a step back. He wasn't immune to a pretty woman. He also didn't want lectures from big sister. He moved to the island attempting to put some distance between them. He took another sip and made a face. His blood had gotten cold.

"Want me to warm it up for you?" She put her hand out for the cup.

"If you want," he gave it to her.

She put it back in the microwave. "How long?

"About a minute."

The microwave hummed and dinged. She took it out. She brought it to him. He accepted the mug back. "Where are your sisters?"

She put her hands on the island. "Phoebe is working late. Leo took Piper to a movie. The elders actually gave him a night off."

So, the two of them were alone. Peter didn't know if he was comfortable with that. "No hot date for you?" He took a couple of drinks, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer.

"I'm not seeing anyone."

Peter concentrated on finishing his meal. Paige watched him. He rinsed his cup out and placed in on the counter. "Any plans at all tonight?"

She shook her head. "Was thinking of maybe watching a movie and popping some popcorn. Curling up on the couch." She smiled at him shyly. "Want to join me?"

He did actually. "It's been a long time since I just watched a movie."

"Good." She grabbed a bag and tossed it in the microwave.

At least she didn't choose a chick flick. She put in Speed, which contained enough action and romance to keep them both interested. Paige had dumped the popcorn into a bowl and then liberally added butter. She munched happily though the film, pausing it a couple of times to get a soda from the fridge.

After the movie, they sat and talked. Paige told him about her life growing up with her adoptive parents, finding her sisters, and discovering her powers. Peter spoke of growing up in the temple, the years apart from his father, and the two finding each other again.

"Is it hard, " she asked, "being away from him now?"

"Yes and no. I mail letters to him. It just wasn't safe for me to stay."

"Took a lot of courage, Peter. To make the right decision." She seemed to admire him for it.

He nodded. His father had told him the same thing.

"How did you end up in San Francisco?" She picked up her soda and took a swallow.

"Just wandering. After I left my father, I hitchhiked around. Camped out in the Rockies, visited Yellowstone, took a cruise on a paddle boat down the Columbia." He sat back in the chair. Paige watched him with very interested eyes. She had very beautiful ones. Large, luminous, deeply brown. "I wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge."

"And you did." More a statement than question.

"Yeah. In the park is where I encountered the hunter. I had sensed someone tracking me, he just waited until then to make his move."

"I can't imagine anyone hunting you."

"I haven't told you about my adventures in Sunnydale. I'm very used to it."

"We have all night." She tucked her feet under her and settled back in the couch. Briefly, Peter wanted to join her and feel her head on his shoulder. He hadn't put his arm around a woman for a very long time. He found he missed doing it. He glanced down and then back up at her.

"You know what a slayer is?"

They finally went to bed around two. Phoebe had come in around midnight, bid them both a sleepy goodnight and gone to bed. Leo and Piper had come in earlier. Piper had been about to say something when her husband rushed them both upstairs. Paige was certain her older sister didn't approve.

Paige flopped down on her bed. She liked Peter. He was interesting, he listened to her, and she could tell, very lonely. His adventures with the slayer and her friends spoke of a tight family like group who depended on each other to survive. Just like she and her sisters did.

She turned over and inspected the ceiling. Peter was the type who needed family and friends. He needed a place to belong. Part of her wanted him to belong here. 'What am I thinking?' she asked herself. Having a vampire in the house would not be good and once he was safe from the hunter, Peter would move on, wouldn't he?

She groaned and crawled under the covers. "Don't get involved with a vampire. It can only lead to heartbreak. Look at Phoebe and Cole." Yet her words didn't ring true. She had only to watch Piper and Leo together. They were happy, in love, and expecting a baby.

She wondered if she ever wanted a baby. She knew she wanted a man to share her life with. Eventually. What if Peter.No, she couldn't go there. But she didn't want to deny the attraction she felt for him either. Her earlier experiences with vampires didn't change that fact.

"What am I going to do?"

The loud crash woke everyone. Peter opened his doors as the rest of the house flung open bedroom doors, still pulling on housecoats.

"What the hell was that?!" Piper demanded.

"Sounded like it came from downstairs," Leo observed.

"I'm going to be very cross with whatever it is," Piper promised, as she headed downstairs.

Her sisters quickly joined her.

"Where is he?" Peter heard a voice bellow. He dashed down the carpeted steps and stopped on the landing. No way could the three of them handle this!

"You're intruding in my house," Piper grouched. "Just look what you did to our front door."

The hunter had knocked the door in. It hung precariously on its hinges. Luckily, he hadn't broken any of the stained glass.

"You foolish women!" he bellowed. "Harboring a vampire demon. You're lucky he didn't suck you all dry."

"How do we get rid of a vampire hunter?" Phoebe whispered to Piper.

"I have no idea," Piper replied.

"Look, " Paige said, looking the hunter straight in the eyes. "Peter is no threat to anyone. You better leave here."

"Ha!" He stomped in and knocked the red head aside.

The other two scattered. Phoebe cried, "Piper, freeze him!" The oldest girl moved her hands and the hunter froze in his steps. Peter rushed down the rest of the stairs to Paige's side.

"Are you hurt?"

"Only my pride," she rubbed her lower back and he helped her up. He steadied her with his arm.

"Okay," Phoebe wanted to know. "What do we do with him?"

"Unfortunately," Leo commented, "vampire hunters are the good guys."

"So we can't vanquish him." Piper stated the obvious.

"So, what do we do with him?" Phoebe asked again.

"I guess I'll orb him somewhere else. There isn't much else we can do."

"Good. Get him out of my house." Piper threw her arms up. "Just look what he did to the doors!"

"Its fixable, Piper," Leo reassured her. "I'll take care of it as soon as I get back." He took the hunter's arm and the two vanished.

"I need a cup of tea," Piper declared heading for the kitchen. Phoebe went with her.

Paige leaned against Peter. He tightened his arm around her. "Are you hurt, Paige?"

She shook her head. "I was just thinking how good this feels."

He smiled into hair. He had to agree.

"Peter, will you stay awhile? I know you're safe now and all, but I'd really like you to stay." She tilted her head and looked at him. Her eyes pleaded.

He shouldn't stay. He knew that. Yet what his head told him to do and what his heart wanted were two different things. Besides, he was tried of drifting. He had been on the road for several years. "What would your sisters think?"

"I don't really care." She slipped her arms around him. "My love life," she blushed, "is my own business. Not theirs."

He pulled her desirable body close to his. "Love life," he teased.

"I want a chance to see where this could lead, Peter," she said seriously.

He kissed her forehead. He didn't trust himself to touch her lips. "I'd like that too."

She smiled at him. "I'm so glad you feel the same." She kissed him.

Peter felt like he'd come home. Her lips were sweet and all he could ever want.

Her eyes were shining. "Wow!"

"And just what is going on here?" They looked up to see Piper watching them. Phoebe stood a little behind her.

Paige tried to pull away except Peter wouldn't release her. She resisted then relaxed. They didn't have anything to hide.

"I like Peter," Paige informed her.

"I warned you, Paige." Piper's face grew furious. "But I guess you aren't listening."

"Of course I was listening," Paige retorted.

"He's a vampire!" Piper waved her hand in his direction. "And after last time," Peter just hoped she didn't freeze him.

"I know." She bit her lip. "Let go, Peter," she requested. He released her.

"And where are you going?" Piper stood with her hands on her hips as Paige started up the stairs.

"To the attic to consult the BOOK OF SHADOWS. There has to be something in it about vampires."

"How to KILL them! Paige," she started after her. Phoebe stopped her.

"Let her go. She's not going to listen you anymore than I did about Cole."

'What is it with this family and dating demons!" Piper raged. She pointed a finger at Peter. "Home wrecker!" She stomped up the stairs.

"Don't mind her," Phoebe smiled at him. Upstairs a door slammed. "She'll cool off."

"I hope so. I care about Paige." He just hoped Piper didn't end up driving a stake through his heart to keep him away from her sister.

"Vampires..Vampires." Paige rapidly turned the pages of the old book. It stood on a small podium in the middle of the attic. Many of windows where red, yellow, and many other colors of stained glass. Paige didn't like to recall how many times they'd been broken.

"Here's the stuff about the vampire queen. Been there, done that." She turned to the next page. "Vampires claim their rightful prey are humans," she read, "drinking blood to survive. Some are demon hybrids, some are just human conversions. Powers and abilities vary according to species, see below list. Often killed by hunters or the slayer, cross- reference slayer. Ways of killing a vampire: stake, fire, decapitation, garlic stuffed in the mouth, ehhh, pleasant bed time story." She glanced through the list of abilities. The only interesting side note was about some gypsies casting a spell on a vampire named Angelus. "I wonder if that's Peter's friend Angel"? There wasn't however, any reference on how to cure a vampire.

She shut the book disappointed. If she and Peter were to have any kind of a future."Am I nuts?" Already she was thinking of the two of them together. Did she want that? Or just a fling? She drummed her fingers on the book. Just because there wasn't any cure in the book didn't mean there wasn't one. She was a witch after all. She knew about potions and spells. Maybe she could find on her own. It was worth a try. With that happy thought she left the attic. "Paige, what are doing?" Phoebe asked the next morning. Paige had herbs spread all over the island and the caldron bubbling.

"Making a potion."

"For?" Phoebe grabbed a cup of coffee. She had a few minutes before she had to leave for her job at the paper. She was decked out in tight black leather pants, rose tank top, and a jeans jacket.

"Promise you won't laugh." Paige wore a simple blue sundress.

"I promise." Phoebe crossed her heart.

"Well, I looked in the BOOK OF SHADOWS. There was all sorts of stuff on vampires and how to kill them."

"You going to vanquish Peter?"

"No. Of course not. But I have some of his blood and I decided I'd try to and make a potion that would make him human again."

"Hmmm." Interesting thought. "Was there one in the BOOK?"

"No." Paige dropped another herb in. The potion hissed dark smoke.

"What makes you think there is a way?"

She shrugged. "It's worth a try."

"You're in love with him," Phoebe gave her a knowing smile, "aren't you."

"I don't know. Maybe." Her eyes expressed her helplessness.

Phoebe patted her younger sister's hand. "If there's a way, Paige. We'll find it. Together. It takes the Power of Three, after all."

"Do you think Piper will agree?"

"I don't know, kiddo. I hope so." She glanced at her watch. "Oh, gotta go. See you tonight." She rushed out the door. .

"You're trying to do what?" Peter couldn't believe what Paige just told him. He sat on the brightly colored quilt spread over his bed. Paige sat beside him with one leg tucked under her.

"Oh, come on, Peter. Don't make me say it again." She held the blood red vial tightly in her hand.

"Paige," how did he begin to explain. "I knew of only one vampire who tried to be human again. Nickolas Knight. I honestly don't know if he ever succeeded."

"Yeah, but he didn't have the Charmed Ones to help him."

"And neither do I. Leo told me earlier Piper hasn't come out her room all day."

"She's moody and pregnant."

He touched her arm. Their eyes met. "Paige," he said gently, "she cares what happens to you."

"She's got a funny way of showing it." Nervously she shuffled. A few thoughts about personal gain crossed her mind. Was she helping Peter to help him? Or herself?

"I appreciate the thought." She had no idea how much! The mere thought of being able to hold and love this woman almost drove him nuts with desire! The simple dress she wore didn't help. It accented her shapely figure.

"But you're going to say no."

"For now." Peter rose and pulled back a bit of heavy blanket. Phoebe had done a great job protecting him from sunlight. His eyes quickly adjusted to the night. Leaves rustled in the backyard and a couple of dogs barked down the street.

"Peter," he looked at her. "do you care about me?"

"Very much." He knew he loved her. For her to go to such lengths for them to be together, probably meant she loved him to. Yet, they hadn't said the words to each other. It made the decision he had to make more difficult. "Paige, I'm going to go away for awhile."

Alarm flashed over her beautiful face. "Peter, no,"

"Look," he sat back beside her. "Piper needs some time. So do you. We can't really be sure what we feel for each other isn't just a result."

"Of what?" She rose from the bed and glared down at him. "Me rescuing you from the hunter? Him breaking into our home? A wonderful evening of watching movies and talking?"

He nodded. "I think it would be best if I left. Before we hurt each other."

Tears leaked from her eyes. "Its already too late." She fled his room.

Peter quietly repacked his bag. He smoothed the quilt and quickly left the house. The night air filled his nostrils. This is where he belonged. Free to roam. "I hope you're satisfied!" Paige screamed at Piper the next morning in the kitchen.

"What did I do?" Piper put down her tea. Leo and Phoebe looked on puzzled from the kitchen table. Fresh pancakes, syrup, bacon and eggs sat on their plates.

"Peter's gone. He left last night. All because you." she started crying.

"Leo," Piper urged. He orbed out. Piper and Phoebe both converged on their sister. They hugged her offering comfort.

"He's gone," Leo confirmed reappearing.

"Did I do this?" Piper asked. Leo shrugged and nodded. "I didn't mean to drive him away." She sat back down in her chair.

Phoebe spoke, "Paige made a potion. She hoped to make him human again."

"Its never been done," Leo told them.

"What about personal gain? Are you doing this so you can have him?" Piper looked at Paige.

Paige wasn't sure. "Maybe." She took a shuddering breath. "Leo," she pleaded. "there is a first time, isn't there? He didn't willingly become a vampire. He was forced. Couldn't we help him with the Power of Three?"

"I don't know," he said honestly. "Any idea where he'd go, Paige?"

She shook her head. "He didn't even say good bye." She started crying again. Phoebe hugged her, gently stroking her back.

"Leo," Piper stood beside her husband. "We have to find him."

"There'll be repercussions if this is done for personal gain."

"We know. Maybe you could ask the Elders."

He nodded. "After breakfast." To Paige he added, "I doubt we'll be able to find him. We'll just have to wait and see if he comes back willingly."

Paige cried even harder.

Peter walked the dark streets. He'd hitchhiked all night. He found a small alcove on the beach and slept there during the day. When he awoke, he'd stretched and treated himself to a rare swim in the cold salt water. He'd changed into jeans and a light shirt and continued on his journey. Finally, he flagged down a friendly salesman who had taken him the rest of the way into LA.

He stopped before an old hotel. It was impressive. Several stories with only a few lights showing on the lobby level. A small courtyard with trees led the way inside. He followed them to the door. Opening the double glass he stepped in, The entry was large, kept up, bare of too much d├ęcor. Just a desk with a pretty brunette examining her nails.

"Can I help you?" she asked looking up. Recognition flashed in her dark eyes. "Peter!" She dashed around the desk and gave him a huge hug. "What are doing here? Can I get you anything? A mug of blood?"

He returned her hug. "Hi, Cordelia. Been a while."

"I'll say." She dragged him back to the offices. He took a moment to admire her stylish clothes and they way they showed off her figure. "Wesley, Angel," she cried delightedly, "look who's here!"

"Peter!" Angel's face split into a huge grin. The older vampire still dressed all in black. Despite his cherub like face, it didn't hide his short dark hair or eyes. Just accented them. "Long time no see! Where have you been keeping yourself?"

"I traveled a lot." He put his bag down and took a seat. He gave Wesley a cordial smile. He and the ex-watcher had never quite gotten along. His fashion sense hadn't improved either. The man wore plain jeans and a top hanging on his lean frame.

"How's your father?" Cordelia inquired.

"Fine. Last I heard. Still in Chinatown." She opened her mouth to ask and he shook his head. "Long story."

"What brings you here?" Angel sat back and regarded him.

His friend had done well for himself. The office was large with a bookcase filled with old books, probably for Wesley's research, a good desk, and several comfortable chairs. He noticed the small fridge in the corner. "Just thought I'd drop in for a visit. Would you mind if I stay for a few days?"

"No," Angel shook his head. "I have plenty of room"

Several nights later, Angel joined Peter in the courtyard. He wordlessly handed the younger vampire a mug and sat down sipping his own. Silence reigned for a few minutes.

Angel broke the quiet. "You want to tell me what you're really doing here?"

"Do you ever wish," Peter paused, "you were human again?"


"I hadn't thought about it until Paige," he stopped.

"Who's Paige?" Angel looked at his friend.

Peter toyed with his cup. "A witch. A Charmed One."

"A Charmed One?" That surprised him. He'd been hearing about them for a couple years. They had vanquished some pretty nasty demons. Demons he was just as glad he didn't have to face and kill.

"Their Whitelighter called me a Champion for Good. Can't I be a champion and human at the same time?"

"Sure. Look at Cordie, Wesley, and Gun."

Peter hadn't met the other member of Angel's group yet. Gun had taken some time to be with his homies in the hood. "But if you had the chance?"

"Peter," Angel considered his words. "Some time back I got to see what it was like to be human." He caught Peter's surprised look. "The thing is, Buffy still loved me then. We spent a wonderful day together. But the Powers That Be showed me she'd die very soon if she had to protect me as a mortal." He took another drink. "I made the choice to be a vampire to safe guard her. They backed up time, like it never happened. She'll never know the choice I made."

"And you can't tell her."

"No. I can't. Now, we've both moved on with our lives. I fight for good here. She fights on the Hellmouth. You're Charmed Ones in San Francisco. I'll bet your dad does in Chinatown, too."

Peter chuckled. "He always did." He took a sip. The blood was cooling. "Problem is, Angel, I don't think I've done much lately. Not since I left Sunnydale."

"Why did you leave?"

"It was time to move on." No need to go into much detail.

Angel accepted that. Most vampires knew when the time came. He'd certainly had during his long life.

The two sat in silence listening to the traffic.

"Paige made a potion." Peter volunteered without any prompting. "She wanted to make me human again."

"She must have good reason."

"She's in love with me."

A Charmed One? Angel wasn't certain Peter understood the significance of that. Of course, there were the demons to consider and whether or not his friend would be in danger. But experience had taught Angel mortals could handle a lot more than most thought. He had only to look as far as his 'family' to know that. They were well trained and could hold their own in battle. So could Peter. He'd had more than enough experience fighting beside Buffy.

"Do you love her?" Angel finally asked.

Miserably Peter nodded. "Her older sister doesn't approve. I didn't want to get between her and her sisters." He stared at the ground. "I didn't want to hurt her."

Angel understood. He'd done the same for Buffy's sake the night they killed the mayor who planned to devour the senior graduating class. One long look after the battle was all they had shared and then he'd left. "How long do you think you'll stay?"

"I don't know." Peter drained his cup. "Planning on kicking any demon butt tonight?"

Angel laughed. "No. We're going to visit Lorien's tonight. I think you need to have a reading done, my friend."

"I don't think this is a good idea," Peter protested as the group entered an underground bar.

"Sure it is," Cordie assured him.

Lighting was very dim. Humans and demons freely intermixed, sipping drinks, all listening to various performers on the small curtained backed stage.

"Hey, Lorien," Angel greeted a green faced demon with horns in his forehead.

"What's the occasion?" it asked.

"We want you to read our friend here," Wesley informed him sitting down at the bar. Vaguely it reminded Peter of the bar he and his cop friends always hung out at.

"He'll have to sing for me." The well-dressed creature pointed to the small stage.

"Great." Peter took the stage and picked a song. He sang 'Feelings' and then returned to his friends.

"Interesting," Lorien stated.

"Well?" Angel pushed.

"You're in love with a witch. One of the Charmed Ones."

"That's not exactly news," Peter grumbled. "This is a waste of time." He started to rise, Angel held him in his chair.

"No," the demon replied. "I saw a circle of light and the Power of Three. You are a Champion, Peter, both as a vampire and a human. What your father taught you will serve you in good stead. And your children,' that caught Peter's attention, "they were playing in a Victorian House with stained glass windows."

"How's that possible?" Wesley inquired. "No one has found a cure for vampirism."

"Yet." Lorien replied. They'd been hunting the damn werewolf for three nights now. Paige shivered and wished she'd brought her jacket. Her skimpy top simply wasn't warm enough. She rubbed her cold hands on her jeans. The shadows of the trees could hide the beast anywhere. Piper stood a few feet to her right and Phoebe on her left. They kept each other in visual sight.

A lone howl echoed through the night. Why did it have to choose Golden Gate Park to hunt in? During the past two months it had killed ten people. Tonight, they were going to vanquish it.

"Come on." She urged the creature. She was tired of waiting. She heard padded footsteps and tensed. A low growl and it lunged.

"Paige!" Phoebe screamed.

Peter heard Phoebe's scream. He launched into the air using his sharp night sight to find the three sisters. Some huge furry beast had just knocked Paige to the ground. Phoebe and Piper were both running, trying to get to her. He landed beside the monster and hurled it off her.

"Get out of here!" he ordered all three. The thing hit him and knocked him to the ground. Sharp claws and fangs ripped at his flesh. Peter acted on instinct, using all his father's training and his experience fighting demons in Sunnydale, to throw it off.

"Peter! Get out of the way!" Piper yelled.

He rolled to the side. Piper held up her hands like she was throwing something. The beast shattered into a million black pieces.

Paige ran to his side and threw her arms around him. He held her. She pulled back. "How badly are you hurt?" she asked, fear in lovely brown eyes.

He gave her a crooked grin. "I'm going to be sore for a couple of days."

The other two sisters joined them. "Peter," Piper's tone spoke volumes. "Look, I'm sorry about before and.are you okay?"

"I'll be fine," he assured them.

"Sure, you are," Phoebe put in. "Let's get you back to the Manor and get those wounds cleaned up."

Peter got to his feet with Paige's help. "How did you know where to find us?"

"Leo. He was at the Manor when I arrived."

"My husband and I are going to have a little talk," Piper said, although he doubted it would be serious

Peter stood at the kitchen window watching the sun begin to rise. He sipped some blood. Paige had fixed him a cup as soon as they arrived back at the Manor. She and her sisters had hovered over him until his wounds were treated and dressed. Leo had stood back and watched the whole scene. The Whitelighter couldn't heal a member of the undead.

Paige came up behind him and slipped her arms around his waist. She laid her head on his back. He felt her warm presence. She was home for him.

"Why did you come back?"

"I had my destiny read. I liked what I heard." He'd left Angel's just after they'd arrived back from Lorien's. He knew the older vampire understood. Angel had just shook his hand and left an open invitation to come back and visit.

"Care to share?"

He smiled pulling away slightly so he could draw her to his side. He kissed the top of her red head. "Not right now." He didn't think she was ready for what Lorien had told him.

"You'd better get away from the window. I don't want you to end up like French fries," she teased.

"You heard the woman," Piper chimed in. "Get away from the window. In fact, get your vampire butt upstairs to your room. Now!"

The couple started and laughed. Peter threw Piper a mock salute and gave Paige a quick kiss. He then trotted off upstairs, mug still in hand. Once safe in his room he finished his drink allowed his body to scrub to weariness. He needed to sleep and heal. He curled up under quilt and fell into the dark nothingness.

"Don't be so surprised." Piper planted herself by the island. "I remember what a terrible time Leo and I had before we were allowed to get together and marry."

"So did Cole and I," Phoebe added. She poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down at the table.

"Do you think we can help Peter?" Paige looked at her two sisters.

"I had Leo check with the elders. They said it was worth a shot," Piper answered. "Since Peter was turned unwillingly and with all the personal sacrifice and good he's done, they have graciously decided to allow us to try." She clicked her nails on the island top. "What did you do with that potion you made?"

Paige opened a cupboard and pulled it out. She'd lovingly written Peter's name on it. "I just hope I made a potion that'll help him. Not vanquish him. Although, I'm still not sure about the possible personal gain angle on this."

"The elders have approved this. I don't think we need to worry about consequences," Piper assured her. "Leo said they're thinking of it as a reward for all Peter has done."

"Then they think we'll succeed?" Paige asked.

Piper shrugged.

"Well," Phoebe picked up one of the bloody clothes they used to bath his wounds. "Let's try out the potion." She tossed it on the island. Paige opened the vial and put a drop on it. The stains wobbled. They all held their breath. The color changed from deep rust to a running red.

"Yes!" Paige's triumphant cry filled the kitchen.

"Spell. We need a spell." Piper frantically searched for a pen and paper.

"Here," Phoebe thrust both at her older sister.

Piper moved to the table and thought. From somewhere the inspiration hit and she scribbled the words. She held the spell up for her sisters to see.

"Perfect," Paige breathed. She couldn't wait to tell Peter at sunset.

When Peter came down, he could tell something important had happened. The three sisters chattered excitedly in the kitchen. "Hi," he greeted them

"Peter!" Paige ran to him and hugged him. "We've done it. We've found a way to make you human again!"

He lightly kissed her. "I knew you would. Lorien mentioned a circle of light."

"Of course." Piper looked like a light bulb had gone on. She grabbed a piece of paper from the table, changed something, and ordered, "Meet us in the attic, and Peter," he met her chocolate brown eyes, "don't drink your blood."

The three dashed upstairs. Puzzled, he waited a few minutes and then followed them. He found all three standing around a drawn circle on the floor, each holding a candle.

"Step into the center, Peter." Piper invited him.

He obeyed and waited. Paige took a vial from her pocket and handed it him. "Drink it." He unscrewed the top and drank. He made a face. Yuck!

The three began to chant:

We three stand in the circle of light, To ask for our brother to remove this plight, The blood lust from he be removed To loose the craving for it as his food, Return him to mortality, please hear our plea. So he can walk in the daylight, human and free.

His body began to burn and his blood boiled. He fell to his knees. His head swam in circles and the witches voices echoed around him as they repeated the spell. In slow motion he fell backwards onto the floor. He felt like he was ripped in half. He saw a part of himself lift upward. The dark shadow twirled like a figure eight and exploded. The spell repeated again. He took a shuddering breath. His heart started pumping. He closed his eyes and passed out.

"Peter?" His head rested on something soft. "Peter?" He heard the voice again. He groaned and opened his eyes. "Are you all right?" Paige's lovely face, filled with concern, was a wonderful vision to wake up to. He nodded at her. Shakily he sat up. Paige kept an arm around him. "How do you feel?"

"Hungry. Like I haven't eaten in." Funny. He was hungry. Not the frenzied bloodlust he'd come to accept, but actually, physically hungry.

"A long time, I'll bet." Piper beamed at him. "I'm going to go down and whip up a wonderful dinner to celebrate."

Phoebe also gave him a smile. "Welcome back to humanity."

"Thanks." He needed a drink of water. "I'm thirsty."

"I'll get him some water," Phoebe offered. "You stay here."

"Are you sure you're okay?" Paige stroked his face. Her warm fingers felt good. "When you passed out, you really scared us."

"I'm fine. My body was just adjusting back to being human. It was kind of a shock."

She brushed a lock of red hair away from her face. "Now what?"

He stroked her cheek with his thumb. "We see where this goes, Paige." He leaned forward and kissed her. She responded almost shyly. "We can take as much time as we need," he said softly.

"Not too much time." Her eyes shined. "I love you, Peter Caine."

"I love you too, Paige."

She kissed him again. "Welcome home."