Vice and Virtue
Summary: Sixteen year old Prue Halliwell is kidnapped by demons who unbind her powers and attempt to convince her to use her magic for their cause. As the various demons consistently threaten her well-being and tell her that her grandmother is the villain, Prue struggles to know who to trust and whether or not to try to escape.
"Hey, little girl!" Someone called out from behind her.
Prue frowned. Surely whoever it was wasn't talking to her... She was sixteen years old... NOT a little girl. She pulled her backpack further up her shoulder and quickened her pace down the sidewalk.
"Excuse me! You in the little green dress!" The voice shouted again.
Prue felt her cheeks grow red. She was wearing a green dress. But she chose not to turn toward the voice anyway, if only because him calling her a 'little girl' had felt so offensive. She had no obligation to respond to catcalls or idiots. She held her head high and continued walking.
It was bad enough that her grandmother treated her like a child. She wasn't going to let some strange man she didn't even know get away with doing the same.
"Honey, I'm talking to you." The voice was closer now. Too close, in fact.
Prue held her breath as she turned toward the noise, now accompanied by the sound of a car driving very close to the sidewalk. Whoever the guy was, he was actually following her. What a creep... She glared at him through his car's window as he grinned back at her, obviously happy to have finally gotten her attention.
"What?" She growled at the stranger. He wanted her attention... Well, now he had it. That didn't mean she was going to be nice to him.
He smiled up at her and laughed. He looked to be in his mid twenties or early thirties. His hair was a sort of shaggy cut falling almost to his shoulders and his eyes were a vibrant shade of blue. If she weren't so annoyed by him, she may have even been charmed by his appearance.
But she was annoyed, so she continued glaring, waiting for him to answer her question. She wasn't the one who had initiated this. He was. It was his turn to explain himself. She crossed her arms over her chest as she stared. He looked so smug and amused.
"Sorry if I scared you." He smiled very subtly, his eyes looking like half-moons.
"Um... I wasn't- Y-you didn't..." Prue stuttered, feeling almost taken in by his unnaturally blue eyes. Shaking her head, she blinked and refocused. It didn't matter how gorgeous his eyes were. "What do you want?"
He laughed again. "Again, I didn't mean to be creepy... I know how that must have looked. It's just, I run a company that does photography for various clothing lines, and we're in need of teen models."
Prue laughed nervously and rolled her eyes. "You don't mean to be creepy? And that's your next line? No thanks."
She turned to walk away. How stupid did this guy think she was? He expected her to believe a random guy would just show up out of nowhere and make her rich and famous? That kind of stuff only happened in movies... Or television crime shows where the young girls lured in my rapists pretending to be capable of turning them into famous actresses and models ended up found naked and dead in a ditch somewhere.
"Wait!" He pulled his car up next to the sidewalk and parked it, finally getting out and following her on foot.
Prue swallowed as she looked back at him. He was clearly in good shape. Muscular, tall... long legs... Which meant he could out-run her if he wanted. She quickened her pace, and so did he.
"I'm not interested!" She called over her shoulder as she walked faster.
As she quickened her pace to a near-jog, Prue looked up at the buildings and houses lining the street. Half of them were abandonned, stores that had been closed years ago, houses which were deemed unsafe to live in when inspected. Why did the creepy murderer have to approach her during the stretch of her walk home where there would be no witnesses?
"I know it sounds bad... but I'm being honest here!" The man persisted, quickening his pace too.
"Go away!" Prue yelled back to him. "I'll scream if you don't stop following me..." She threatened, sounding out of breath.
He laughed. "That's not necessary, Sweetheart. Honey, stop... Stop running. Look. I'm not following you. I just want to talk."
Prue frowned and looked over her shoulder, slowing her pace when she noticed the man had stopped his brisk walk. He just stood there, in the middle of the sidewalk, looking at her as though he thought she was being ridiculous.
"I'm being honest here, Love." The man went on. "I know it sounds far-fetched, but modeling is a legitimate profession lots of young women like yourself pursue. You've got just the look a lot of clothing brands would love. Sweet, innocent, girl next door... but with something extra. Honey, you're beautiful! And you'll make a lot of money. Your picture will be in teen magazines... And if you're good enough, you could even end up on the runway in places like Paris."
Prue glanced back at him. What if he were telling the truth? That sounded really amazing. And it was certainly much cooler that anything she'd end up doing otherwise. What did her future look like right now? Grams already said she wasn't going to pay for Prue to go away to school anywhere that wasn't local. Any passion Prue ever felt toward an activity such as cheerleading or photography was seen as just a hobby. What career would she even pursue in her life? Nothing very interesting...
"Can you prove you're not lying?" Prue finally asked, feeling both excited and stupid for even thinking about taking this offer seriously.
He shrugged. "I'm not sure... I mean, I have a business card."
"Show me." She demanded. "And your driver's license."
He chuckled, turning his eyes to that alluring half-moon shape once again as he dug into his pants pocket and produced a wallet. He pulled two cards out of it and held his hand out, waiting for her to approach.
Prue took cautious steps toward him, watching his eyes and posture. He didn't seem to be trying anything... And no one was around. He could have easily just snatched her up if he wanted. Prue was barely over five feet tall. She didn't know how to fight either, and surely this guy could see that.
She reached out and took the cards out of his hand, looking at them carefully. The first was the business card, stating he was a photographer. There was an address and a phone number as well as his name, Nickolas Ash.
The driver's license, complete with his photograph for further evidence displayed the same name. She looked at his birthdate, doing the math in her head to find he was thirty-two. Six-foot one inch. One hundred and ninety-two pounds.
She handed the cards back and narrowed her eyes as she looked him over. He didn't look like a criminal... He had the business card, and the name on it was definitely his. The driver's license proved it.
"I can do a test photoshoot with you today... send the photos to some clothing companies and see if they like any of them. Then we can go from there." Nickolas offered. "You can even bring your mom with you if you'd be more comfortable."
Prue frowned. She didn't have a mom. Only a grandmother who would definitely not let her accept this job. She thought about Grams then... No way would the woman ever endorse this. She'd say Prue was too young, that modeling was dangerous. That she'd be sexualized more than a young teen girl ever should be. Prue felt annoyance and anger just thinking about what her Grams would think of this idea. It made her want to do it even more.
"Okay." Prue finally agreed. "I don't need to bring my mom. We can do it now."
"Very good." Nickolas smiled. "You won't regret it." He turned back toward his car and Prue followed.
She held her breath as she got into the car's passenger seat. This still didn't fully feel like a great idea. Every part of her logical mind told her this was reckless and dumb, but part of her didn't care. What did she have to lose? It wasn't like her life was going great right now anyway.
"I have some cold drinks in the mini-fridge in the back if you want anything." Nickolas offered as he started the car and put it into drive.
Prue laughed, taking that to be a joke. What kind of a car had a fridge in it?
"I'm serious. Do you like pink lemonade?" He asked.
Prue frowned and looked in the back seat of the car. Sure enough, there was indeed a tiny refrigerator, separating the two spots where passengers could sit in the back. She opened it and took out a very cold glass bottle of pink lemonade. It looked so fancy. "There isn't alcohol in this, is there? I'm only sixteen..." She reminded him.
He smiled at her. His eyes almost looked like they were in love. Maybe he always looked like that though. His eyes were so beautiful. He shook his head. "I work with underage models a lot. I wouldn't keep alcohol in here."
She nodded and took the lid off the lemonade, taking a long drink. It was very sweet and cold, extremely refreshing after walking so far from school. If Grams would have let her get a car, she wouldn't be so tired and thirsty now... but then, she probably wouldn't be on her way to be a model either. Maybe Grams being stingy and overly protective was a good thing for once.
Prue exhaled as she leaned back against the seat of the car. She was feeling more exhausted by the second. Hopefully she wouldn't look tired and sweaty in the test photos. She frowned and glanced toward Nickolas. "Will there be a place for me to... you know, like wash my face and brush my hair and everything? I've been at school all day and it's hot out... I doubt I look my best..." She took another drink of the lemonade.
"You look gorgeous, Sweetheart, but yes... As I said, I work with young models a lot. I have everything you'd ever need to look your best." Nickolas assured her.
Prue smiled and closed her eyes. Maybe today was going to be a good day after all.
Nickolas's car seats were very comfortable and the air conditioning was perfect. Cool, but not cold. Often Prue found that summer air conditioning was a gift and a curse. It would feel really refreshing for a minute after coming in from a hot day, and then before you knew it, you were freezing. This wasn't like that. It was cool, but almost cozy at the same time.
In fact, Prue wasn't sure she'd ever felt so relaxed in her life. She almost felt like she was glowing from the inside out.
She flinched as she almost dropped the bottle of lemonade. She gripped it tighter, opening her eyes and pulling herself more upright. Had she almost fallen asleep just then? She looked embarrassed over toward Nickolas, whose eyes were still on the road. Good. He hadn't seen that.
Prue took another drink and blinked her eyes. She felt so tired. Sure, she'd gone to bed late last night and had gotten up early for school, but she did that all the time. She was hardly ever this tired right after school.
"Are we almost there?" She wondered in a voice so soft and exhausted she could barely believe it was her own. Prue swallowed, feeling herself begin to panic. It wasn't normal that she was so tired... She wasn't this tired before she got into the car. She stared down at the bottle of lemonade in her hand. It was half full. What if he'd drugged it?
She looked over at Nickolas, sticking her lip out in a pout and feeling tears stinging at her eyes as he pulled the car over and looked back. "Let me take that for you, Baby." He gently uncurled her fingers from around the bottle.
"Did you put something-" Her voice slurred. "What-" Every word was an uphill battle. "Y-you..." She breathed in and out, trying to force her eyes to stay open.
"Relax, Prue." Nickolas's voice was still deceptively gentle. "Don't be scared. You'll be fine."
Her throat felt tight as tears rolled freely down her cheeks. Grams would have warned her that something like this could happen. She reached weakly toward the door handle, but couldn't pull on it hard enough to do any good. She could barely move.
"Don't cry, Sweetheart. Nobody's gonna hurt you." Nickolas promised as he took her hands in his own, keeping her from reaching toward the door again. It didn't matter though. She could barely lift her arm, let alone pull the door open.
Prue tried to pull her hands away as her head lolled back against the seat. Her mind felt so fuzzy. She couldn't focus. She wasn't even sure she was breathing. She wondered what he had put in the drink. Would it kill her? Probably not. He'd probably do that himself after taking what he wanted from her. Men didn't kidnap teen girls just to kill them...
She let her eye lids fall heavily as she felt his hands let go of hers and the car was put back into drive.