Charmed T =

Thriller

Three

Trio

Triquetra

Trinity

The T can stand for any one of these words. Pick one.

Charmed T

It's close to midnight,

Something evil's lurking in the dark

Under the moonlight,

You see a sight that almost stops your heart

You try to scream,

But terror takes the sound before you make it

You start to freeze,

As horror looks you right between the eyes

You're paralyzed

Cause this is thriller, thriller night

And no one's gonna save you from the beast about to strike

You know it's thriller, thriller night

You're fighting for your life, inside a

Killer, thriller, tonight

They're out to get you

There's demons closing in on every side

They will possess you,

Unless you change that number on your dial

Cause this is thriller, thriller night

There ain't no second chance against the thing with the forty eyes, girl

Thriller, thriller night

You're fighting for your life, inside a

Killer, thriller, tonight

Season of the Witch

A muscular young man with blond hair, sharp crystal blue eyes, wearing nothing but trunk underwear and a black silk robe sat sprawled out in a chair: one foot on the seat and the other resting on the floor. He bit into a crisp red apple as someone knocked gently on his door, which he stared at from his chair. He set the apple on fire; it disintegrated from the fire he produced from his hand. He walked toward the door, and his right eye changed from blue to red. He opened the door to a young blonde woman with jade green eyes. She was beautiful but nothing compared to him. She looked over his body: her gaze traveling upward across his abs and pecs to his eyes. His piercing stare caused her to avert her eyes.

"I don't know why I'm here," the young woman said. "I shouldn't do this."

"You're here because you're hungry," the young man said.

His words redrew her gaze to his eyes once again.

"Dinner," he said, stepping out of her way.

She walked into his apartment, and he closed the door behind her. She saw a romantic, candle lit dinner off to her right, which caused her to smile. When she turned toward him, he had dropped his robe to the floor and maneuvered her against his wall with a few steps and his eyes. She didn't realize she had held her breath, but he did.

He held onto her arms. He kissed her: small, quick kisses up against her neck. They turned into long, passionate kisses against her lips. He pulled back, and she looked into his eyes. He ripped her heart out. She watched him take a bite out of it as if it were a crisp red apple. She watched him. He dropped her body to the floor. She closed her eyes, a tear falling from one, and met with darkness.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

A young man, slender but built with short, messy black hair and dark brown eyes, played music in a warehouse: headphones, which he used to block out noise and focus on his music, were around his neck because he was about to play what he considered a classic – Heads Will Roll. He danced along with it, looking out on the dance floor. Everyone was feeling it. He set his headphones down and took off hooded jacket to reveal his tank top. The couple closest to the stage grabbed his attention and ushered him to come down and join them. The music played. The three of them danced together. The young woman, with straight edge, jet-black hair, almond-shaped eyes, and dark brown, almost black eyes placed a pill on her tongue and kissed him. He took what was offered him as they French kissed. He found himself sandwiched between her and her partner: a young man slightly taller and bulkier than he was with his hair done in black and brown twists. When the young woman turned him around, he saw the young man's copper eyes behind wire-frame glasses and thick, full lips. Her partner kissed him too. They continued to dance together. As the music played, the DJ continued to hear the music as they entered the old Victorian home and began removing their shoes, boots, socks, jackets, earrings, glasses: clothes. They moved through the foyer, they traversed the stairs, and found them selves in the largest bedroom on the King-sized bed. There was the sound of their heavy breathing. There was the sight of their naked bodies. They tasted joy, happiness, and pure ecstasy. By the time the music stopped, they were all tangled up in one another asleep.

A young man, tall and lean, woke up at five AM. His alarm clock played one of his favorite songs – It's My Life. While it played, he began to go through with his morning routine. He had a head of shaggy black hair and a moderate goatee. He looked at himself in the mirror with his dark brown eyes. He washed his face and brushed his teeth before he opened his door and left his bedroom. He was headed downstairs to make the morning pot of coffee and some breakfast. Afterward, he would take a shower and get dressed. Instead, he found the trail of clothes that led into the room down the hall.

"Oh shit," he said, gathering items and he hurried toward the doorway. When he saw the three naked bodies, he couldn't help curse again. "Shit!" His second curse word of the day stirred the two strangers in the bed. They took notice of him as he came toward the bed with clothes in his arms.

"Good morning," the young man said. "It's early. Sorry to wake you. You have to go. It's an emergency: family emergency. Please collect the rest of your things and…" He tried to find a better way to put it but failed. "Get out." He immediately began to shake the third, familiar figure in the bed "He's going to get home, and if he finds you here, in his bed, he's going to kill us. He'll kill me first, and then he'll kill you. Why? Because he's going to know that I knew you were coming and didn't tell him. He's going to be pissed."

The young man barely awake lifted his head for a second. He looked to the guests from last night and waved them off with an added smile. The young woman smiled in return, and the young man nodded before they saw themselves out. He dropped back down on the pillow and closed his eyes again before he yawned.

"You want me to die," the young man said, placing his head on the mattress before he quickly lifted it. He sighed. "You had to have sex in his bed too." He glanced at his wristwatch. "We've got a little time. Cliff will get home in about ten minutes. Let's go." He snatched the pillow from underneath the naked man's head and hit him in the head with it. "You're not getting me killed Coronado. Get your ass up." He heard his song end.

"I thought you gave up cussing Clive," Coronado said, sitting up, stretching, and yawning again.

"I was supposed to have given up smoking too," Clive said, "but because of you looks like I'll be starting up again before I go into work."

"I told you to tell him," Coronado said.

"You should've told him," Clive said.

"Touché," Coronado said. "Uh, why isn't he here in the first place? Is he finally getting some action?"

"Work," Clive said. "He works night shifts. I thought I told you that. I probably did and you forgot. Cliff doesn't get any action. He doesn't date. He doesn't do anything."

"He works and pays bills," Coronado said.

The two of them shared a look. Coronado turned away, clenched his fists a moment, and grit his teeth a moment.

"I thought that old bastard's death would help him move on," Coronado said. "It just made him worse. You did your best, I know, but now it's my turn. I'll get him to move on with his life: finally do some actual living."

"Is that the reason you came back?" Clive asked, realizing Coronado was naked with only a pillow covering his privates, so he grabbed the nearby silk boxers, wild compared to his own sensible boxer briefs, and tossed them to him.

"Thanks," Coronado said. "It's one of the reasons. Mom was the other."

"We're not going to tell him that," Clive said, shaking head. "We're not going to tell him any of this."

"I might be the youngest," Coronado said, "but I wasn't born yesterday."

"Why are you two in my room?" a third man, older than both of them with a deep, baritone voice, questioned them. "And why is Coronado here and naked in my bed?"

This man, shorter than them both but more burly than them both too, stood with his hands at his sides in the doorway of his room. While his head was shaved, he wasn't bald. He didn't have the great head of hair, didn't want it, but he and his brothers all shared those same dark brown eyes.

"I was going to tell you," Coronado said before Clive tried to explain the situation. "I didn't think I'd see you." It was easier for him to lie to Cliff, so it was best he do it. Clive would stumble over his words and give them away as highly suspicious, leading to a line of questioning that Cliff undoubtedly learned how to do from his soul mate. "I just came to grab a few things I left in the attic."

"Yeah," Cliff said. "All right." He looked away from Coronado, breaking the stare into each other's eyes. "I put on the coffee." He looked at and spoke directly to Clive. "I wouldn't mind breakfast. You know I wouldn't ask-"

"I've got it," Clive said.

"Appreciate you," Cliff said. "Now, the two of you…" He gestured with his thumb over his shoulder. "Out of my room."

Clive left and patted Cliff on his shoulder before he passed him. Coronado dropped the pillow, put on his silk boxers, and tried to leave.

"Don't forget the pillow and sheets," Cliff said.

Coronado grabbed everything up and headed for the door. Cliff raised his hand to stop him before he left.

"Welcome home," Cliff said.

"Always glad to be back," Coronado said before Cliff pulled his hand back to his side and Coronado left.

Cliff went and locked the door behind them. Then, he went into his bathroom and locked that door too. In his head, he played a song – Wicked Games. He would play it on repeat. His life had been so many of these. He continued to play them and continued to lose: one of them was taken from him (his Dad), one of them neglected him (his Mom), one of them left him (Elli), one of them died (his Gramps), and one of them was in this room at this very moment (Macias). When Cliff turned around, he saw him, sitting atop the back of the toilet beside the open window. He climbed down from it and walked until he stood about an inch away from Cliff.

"All three of you are together: the Halliwell Brothers," the man said. "Been about six months since the last time that happened. You're happy about it."

"We're not going to discuss it," Cliff said.

They were an inch apart, but Cliff focused on the bird that sat on the branch in the tree outside of his window. This was after he glanced into the man's amber eyes.

"Are we still on for the gym later?" he asked.

"If I get some sleep," Cliff said, "I'll meet you there."

"Are you going to call your soul mate?" he asked. "Discuss the situation with Ms. Arizona?"

"Probably," Cliff answered.

The man unbuckled Cliff's pants and pulled them down before he bent low and met Cliff's front. Cliff didn't wear underwear.

"I hate you," Cliff said: his eyes still on that bird.

"I'm aware," the man said and laughed softly.

Cliff gripped the bathroom sink at first: hard. It was like he wanted to or tried to crush part of it in his hand, but then he let it go and took the man's head in his hands. Cliff held onto his golden brown curls as he went to work. When the work was finished, he stood, pulled up Cliff's pants and re-buckled his belt. He turned to climb out Cliff's window and leave. Half of him was out on the roof before he returned his attention on Cliff. This time they held each other's gaze.

"See you later Halliwell," the man said, bidding him farewell with a single hand wave and grinning from ear to ear: mischievously.

"See you Macias," Cliff said: his face neutral and withholding anything that might resemble satisfaction. He stopped the song in his head when the man was out of his sight. He went and sat on the ring of the tub and started the shower, staring at the cascading water.

~~~!~~~!~~~!

A young woman exited her SUV. She had shoulder-length, flowing hair, a mix of dark brown and light brown, and serious and ever alert brown eyes. She looked toward the sky after she shut her door. It was gray. Seemed like rain was likely. She walked toward The Chicago River. As she drew closer, she saw her partner with smart phone in hand: no doubt taking pictures and writing notes to herself about this particular case. Her partner didn't look up, but as always knew she was there.

"You're late Arizona," her partner said. "I suspect you've got good news for me or rather for the case." Her hair was a mix of black, dark brown, and blonde pulled back into a neat bun. Her dark brown, nearly black, eyes alternated between her phone and the body of the victim.

"She was a Witch," Arizona said. "She was a Witch practitioner: same as the other victims. We have new information, but no new lead Song. None of these people seem to have any other connection other than they had a different belief system than most."

"I'm tired of finding dead people with holes in their chests," Song said. "He takes their hearts but leaves a single long-stemmed rose with their bodies. Is that a sign of remorse? Does he regret his actions? This case…"

"Hey," Arizona said. "Don't let it get inside your head. This case is proving difficult, but we will stop the person behind this. We can't say for certain a man is behind all of this."

"Yes we can," Song said: finally looking toward her as they both looked upon the body. "That's the one thing I can say for certain."

A droplet of water fell from the sky and onto Arizona's face after she nodded, deciding to agree with her partner's assessment of the possible suspect rather than turn it into an unhealthy debate.

"Ellione," a familiar young woman spoke her name. She walked toward her, drawing her and her partner's attention. "Good to see you too Sora." This was the medical examiner: well-dressed, wearing heels, and walking underneath her regal umbrella. Blonde hair. Crystal Blue eyes. "Good morning Inspectors."

"Good morning Violet," Inspector Arizona greeted her.

"Is the body ready to be moved?" Violet asked.

"It's all yours," Inspector Song answered.

"Do you two think you can actually solve this case?" The medical examiner asked, shaking her head as she took in the victim's body once again. "Or will it go cold? Is it unsolvable?"

Inspector Song didn't answer.

The question angered Arizona for a moment or two, but she took a deep breath and let it pass.

"We'll do our job," Arizona said.

The medical examiner turned and walked away without another word.

Inspector Arizona reached for her own phone. She hadn't checked it yet today. He had already texted her.

[Good morning Elli.] Her soul mate had texted her. She hated what she was about to do.

[Morning. I have to cancel our lunch. Tough case. I'll talk to you about it soon, but we found another victim. I want to sit with it for a minute myself. I'll text you later.] She texted back, and then returned her phone to her pocket as she watched the victim's body get taken away.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Cliff came downstairs in nothing but gray sweat pants and sat on a stool at the island after he poured himself a cup of black coffee. Clive, who wore pajama pants and his t-shirt still, placed a plate of food in front of him. He hadn't gotten ready for work yet; the two waited for Coronado who had decided it was best to take a quick shower.

"Either you're in a good mood or you're going through something," Clive said.

Cliff didn't say anything until after he took a drink of his coffee and checked his phone before putting it back in his pocket.

"Tired," Cliff said. "He's not staying long. Doesn't matter. Exploding on him or you would've been unnecessary."

"Maybe he should stay," Clive said, eating from his own plate on the opposite side of the island. "We have the spare room, and maybe between the two of us we can persuade him to settle down or at least calm down on his overactive lifestyle."

Cliff ate a few bites of his food, chewed them, and swallowed.

"He's not leaving," Cliff said, shaking his head. "As usual, you two have plotted behind my back."

"There was no plotting," Clive said. "He and I talked, and we thought it was a good idea. He was supposed to talk to you. It wasn't my place. Besides, this house belongs to all three of us. He doesn't need permission."

"When he comes down here," Cliff said, "I'll tell him the reasons why he should leave. I won't wait to spring it on him like the two of you always do to me. I won't ignore what he has to say like the two of you repeatedly ignore everything I tell you that are in your best interests. I also won't change my mind after I tell him to be out of the house before I get home from work tomorrow."

Clive sighed.

"I don't understand-," Clive began but stopped himself as Cliff cut him off.

"Did you forget?" Cliff questioned him.

"I do understand," Clive said, "but I just think it's time you forgave him: not just for him but for you too."

"I know he's our little brother," Cliff said, "but sometimes I wish you'd stick to my side when he comes up or he's around. He messed up, and he still won't admit it. That's a problem."

"I'm not on anybody's side," Clive said. "I'm on both your sides. Can you do me a favor, especially because I made breakfast this morning, give this talk you want to have with him a day or two?"

Cliff ate and drank some of his coffee. Then, he glared at Clive.

"Cliff," Clive said.

"Yeah," Cliff said after he finished with his mouthful. "All right."

Coronado came into the kitchen, wearing a tank top and a pair of shorts. Clive directed him to the table with the plate of food he prepared for him.

"I got to take a quick shower before I get ready for work," Clive said, grabbing and throwing a piece of bacon in his mouth as he hurried out of the kitchen for the stairs to his room. "Be right back."

Coronado got himself a glass and poured himself a cup of orange juice. He ate and drank in silence along with Cliff. Cliff read the news on his phone. He read about the most recent murder in the months' long killing spree. Coronado read the newspaper. Neither said anything until they both heard Clive headed back down the stairs.

"They deserved to know the real you," Coronado said, glancing at Cliff and back at his food when Clive entered the kitchen. He avoided Cliff's glare.

"I'm back," Clive said. "I've got a little time to spare too. I was thinking in the shower. I can come home for lunch, actually make us a decent lunch: one that won't clog our arteries, and we can you know…"

Cliff rose from his stool, put his empty plate and cup in the sink, and headed for the kitchen's entryway.

"I know you lied," Cliff said, stopping before he left the kitchen. "I expect you'll tell me the truth before you take off again. If you plan on staying, you don't have a choice. Make sure you do the dishes."

Coronado took his glass and empty plate along with Clive's half drunk cup of tea and half eaten plate of food and put them in the sink.

"I don't think we'll be having lunch," Coronado said, focusing on running and getting soapy dishwater. "I wouldn't be here anyway. I never really eat lunch. I'll take care of the dishes you go ahead and get to work."

Clive mourned his bacon and tea. He sighed over Cliff and Coronado. Then, he gathered his stuff and left to go to work.

~~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Inspector Song sat at her desk looking over their notes while Inspector Arizona sat on top of Inspector Song's desk looking over their photos they had collected since the beginning of this case: photos of the multiple victims.

"Five young men and women have been murdered over the past six months," Inspector Song said. "The murderer followed the same MO. He cut or somehow ripped their hearts out of their chests. Every victim was Wiccan. They either studied or practiced it: like you said."

"The photos tell me they each had the same tattoo as well," Inspector Arizona said. "I researched it this morning. The symbol is called a Triquetra." She pointed it out on a few of the photos to Inspector Song. "I read it supposedly represents three as one or three coming together as one."

"I've seen this before," Inspector Song said, "but I believe it went by another name: Trinity Knot. You really think Wicca and this tattoo, this Triquetra, have anything to do with this case?"

"I think it's all connected," Inspector Arizona said. "I don't think this killer is just killing random people. I think he's on some kind of Witch-hunt."

"You make it sound like this is some kind of Criminal Minds case," Inspector Song said.

"It might be," Inspector Arizona said. "All the victims owned pentagrams and special tools, including ceremonial daggers called athames, they celebrated Wiccan holidays, and some even belonged to covens. Our suspect might be a Christian gone wrong."

"It's a proper lead," Inspector Song said. "Let's investigate. Find out if any strange men have caused frequent trouble over the past several months for any of the covens in the city."

"Let's do it," Inspector Arizona said.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

"Shit!" Clive rushed back into the house because half way to work he realized he didn't have his wallet, and he had no idea where it might be. He was headed for his room to search it. He saw Cliff finish making up his bed with fresh sheets. They both stopped and glanced at each other when they heard bumping and slamming upstairs. Cliff shook his head and lay on top of his bed. Clive didn't have time for this, but he headed toward the attic.

Coronado didn't have a job. He didn't have a car either. He also didn't have much money. And because he didn't plan to stick around the house all day, especially with a pissed off Cliff hanging around, he went into the attic to find his old rollerblades. He did, and he was a little surprised they still fit. What kept him from leaving the attic was coming across his Dad's old trunk, which used to belong to their Gramps and had been in their family for generations. The funny part… It had never been opened: at least not by him. He pulled the trunk out from up under a bunch of old crap, which fell to the floor, and he found that it was already partially opened.

"Why do you go out of your way to piss him off?" Clive asked in the entryway of the attic, which drew Coronado's attention.

"I don't," Coronado said. "That's just how he is. You know he has a problem right."

"What's his problem?" Clive asked, walking toward Coronado while at the same time recognizing the trunk.

"He's still trying to be my Dad," Coronado said, "and I don't need him to be my Dad. I need him not to be an asshole and be my brother."

"I mean," Clive began, "after Dad died, and Mom left, and Gramps being Gramps, he took on that responsibility for us. He practically raised us along with Gramps. He ended up sacrificing a lot of his childhood."

"I know," Coronado said. "I get it. We're not kids anymore."

"As for his being an asshole," Clive said, " he probably wouldn't have become one if you hadn't brought his life down around him."

"So," Coronado said, "you do think I was in the wrong. You finally took his side."

"I'm not on anybody's side," Clive said. "They might've needed to hear the truth, but they probably didn't need to hear it from you." He sighed. "Both of you stress me out. You both want what's best for the other, but you're both…stubborn as hell: too stubborn to ever listen to the other when you both really should."

Coronado opened the trunk, wanting to ignore Clive's analysis of him and Cliff. He was surprised by what he found inside.

"That's Dad's old trunk," Clive said, "right? Well, it became Gramps'…" He leaned over to see what Coronado saw. "What the?"

Coronado pulled out an Ouija board, looked over it and recognized the symbol: Triquetra, and handed it to Clive. Clive examined it, recognizing the symbol too. He turned it over and read an inscription he found. Clive walked for the doorway.

"Cliff," Clive called for him. "Come up here."

Coronado pulled out a large, hardcover book; the Triquetra was on its cover. He opened the book and found its title: The Book of Shadows.

"Look at what Coronado found in Gramps' old trunk," Clive said when Cliff joined them.

"The one we couldn't open?" Cliff questioned.

"Yeah," Clive said. "This was in it. Listen, there's an inscription from Dad."

Cliff listened while he read over it himself, and Coronado looked up from the book and reading it to listen as well.

"To my beautiful boys – my sons: you've got a hard road ahead," Clive said. "But never be afraid of it, embrace it. The power of three will set you free. Peace and Love, Dad"

"Doesn't make any sense," Cliff said.

"I wonder what it means," Coronado said. "It must mean something, but I can't put my finger on it." He went back to reading and checking out the book.

"Why would Dad have this?" Clive asked: almost to no one in particular. "And if it was meant for us, why did Gramps keep it from us?"

Coronado began reading aloud:

Hear now the words of the witches.

The secrets we hid in the night.

The oldest of Gods are invoked here.

The great work of Magic is sought.

In this night and through its hours.

We call upon the Ancient Power.

Bring your powers to we brothers three!

We want the power.

Give us the power.

"Gramps didn't want Dad to get us into anything he disapproved of," Cliff said coldly. "Simple explanation."

Unbeknownst to the three of them, first, the grandfather clock in the foyer's hands turned until they rested on midnight. Next, the chandelier hanging from the foyer's ceiling shimmered and cast light. Then finally, the three young men separated from each other in a photograph on a side table in the foyer were brought together.

"What did you just read?" Clive asked.

"An incantation," Coronado said. He grinned. "We're Witches. We come from a long line of Witches. I helped us get our powers."

Clive glanced at Cliff, who glared at Coronado.

"Do you ever think about the words that leave your mouth?" Cliff questioned him.

That was Clive's cue to separate these two to make sure they didn't kill each other.

"You need to get some sleep," Clive said, going ahead and laying the Ouija board off to the side and grabbing a hold of Cliff's shoulder to steer him out of the attic, "and now that I remember where my wallet is I need to get to work. I'll text you later Coronado."

Cliff left to go back to bed before he headed to the gym. Clive grabbed his wallet from his duffle bag and headed for his car to get to work. Coronado left the book on the nearby podium from his Gramps' days at teaching at the university and went after Clive.

Coronado met Clive as he climbed into his car.

"Wait," Coronado said. "Hear me out."

"I'm late," Clive said, "and I have to prepare for this signature dish if I want to get promoted."

"You'll get it," Coronado said. "You've been cooking and baking your whole life. Listen to what I read."

"You got five minutes," Clive said, checking his wristwatch. "Less than five minutes. Go."

"I read from that Book of Shadows," Coronado said. "It talked about all kinds of stuff, even stuff involving our family. It said something about three essentials of Magic: timing, feeling, and the phases of the moon. I'm trying to wrap my head around it, I didn't get to delve too deep, but I think it has to do with when Magic is most powerful and what our powers are or how they work."

"Magic? What are you talking about?," Clive said. "Wait, our? All the three of us?"

"I'm talking about Magic," Coronado said. "Specifically, I'm talking about Witchcraft. And yes: We brothers three." He wore his charming smile as he repeated the line from the incantation.

The muscular young man with blond hair, sharp crystal blue eyes, wearing nothing but running shorts jogged down the block.

"If you want to delve into one of Dad's old hobbies," Clive said, "go ahead. Just make sure you leave Cliff out of it. I won't be here to break up a fight."

"I'm going to read more," Coronado said.

"All right," Clive said. "Drop by the café for lunch, and we can talk more about it: because I know you're broke and you're not going to cook."

"Thanks bro," Coronado said.

The blond man stopped for a moment and stretched before he looked over at the brothers.

Clive left in his car. Coronado watched after him as he headed back inside.

When the brothers went their separate ways, the blond man continued on his way.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Cliff carried his gym bag from upstairs. The house was empty. Clive and Coronado were gone. He passed by the grandfather clock but didn't notice it hadn't moved from midnight. He made sure the front door was locked, passing by the newly altered photo of him and his brothers, but he didn't notice the photo. Before he left out the front door, he noticed a crystal from the chandelier had fallen to the floor. He glanced at the chandelier, seemingly puzzled, before he tossed the crystal in the air, caught it, and placed it in his pocket before exiting the house, throwing his bag in the back of his truck, and driving off to the gym in it.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Clive and Coronado sat across from each other with Coronado finishing up the lunch Clive brought out to him. Clive didn't eat. They were at Chef Molay's Café where Clive worked.

"Ready for your new position?" Coronado asked. "Are you sure you want the job, working at one of Chef Molay's five-star restaurants? I thought you wanted to own your own restaurant."

"Baby steps little brother," Clive said. "I'm going to get my name out there while I learn everything I can, and then I'm on it. We need to worry about getting you a job, especially if you're staying and we can get Cliff to let you."

"Don't worry about me," Coronado said. "You know I always land on my feet."

"That is true…" Clive said. "Now that I think about it, you're like a mangy alley cat. You have that appeal."

"I'm going to let you have that one because I want you to listen," Coronado said.

He glanced over both his shoulders before leaning in closer. "Time for the main event. That book is awesome. Found out one of our ancestors was a Witch named Corwin Douglass."

"And we've got a cousin who's a drunk, an uncle who's nuts, and a Mom who abandoned us," Clive said.

"Here me out," Coronado said. "He practiced three powers. He could move objects with his mind, Telekinesis, see the future, through Premonitions, and stop time: Temporal Stasis. Before he was hung, he vowed that each generation of Douglass Witches would grow in strength and power, culminating in the arrival of three brothers." He was getting more and more excited as he talked. "These three brothers would be the most powerful Witches the world has ever known. They're good Witches. They take care of others… They do good. I think we're those Witches."

"Learning about our ancestors is fascinating," Clive said. "That's great. But, we are not Witches, and we don't have special powers. That's impossible. You know that, right? Besides, Gramps wasn't a Witch, and while Dad impressed Mom performing as a Magician that was just a part time job to get through school. He wasn't a Witch. So take that, Easy Rawlins."

Someone entered the café that caught Clive's eye.

"We're the protectors of the innocent," Coronado said. "We're known as The Charmed Ones."

"You got to go," Clive said. "What?" Coronado said, looking behind him to see what had drawn Clive's eye.

"I have to go try and get this promotion," Clive said. "Plus, my girlfriend's here, and I don't want you to steal her from me with your ridiculously good-looking face."

"That's Violet," Coronado said, catching sight of her. "She's the one you've been dating the past six months? She was volunteering at the hospital the night Gramps died?"

"Yes sir," Clive said. "She kept in touch with me: checked on me. We got to know each other. Here we are."

"She's hot, hotter in person," Coronado said. "Sounds like she has a good heart too. I'll leave you to it. Call me and tell me when you get the job. If I don't answer, it's because my phone's dead. Forgot to charge it."

Clive nodded rapidly while he gestured for Coronado to hurry out.

Coronado left out the side door while Clive went and kissed his girlfriend.

"I came to cheer you on," Violet said.

"Thanks," Clive said. "I'm about to get started. I'll set you up at the bar, and I'll come meet with you after."

Violet nodded, and Clive led her, guiding her with his hand at the small of her back.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

After Cliff hit Macias with a straight jab, they stopped and took off their headgear in the ring. They were at a little hole in the wall boxing gym.

"Someone's fired up today," Macias said, rubbing his jaw. "Any particular reason why?"

Cliff glared at Macias.

"Hey," Macias said, "you've been beating me up good today. Give me something. Or I'll just start guessing." He chuckled.

"Elli cancelled lunch," Cliff said. He said nothing else.

"I'm sure that was work related," Macias said. "What else?"

"Coronado," Cliff said.

"There we go," Macias said. "He hasn't been here a full day yet, and you already want to kill him. It's okay to forgive him."

"You would say that," Cliff said. "No one gets it."

"I know you pride yourself on being the oldest," Macias said. "God knows you're never going to talk to me. But maybe, if you stop seeing yourself as a surrogate parent, actually talk to your brothers, maybe they would get it."

Cliff didn't say anything only packed up his gear.

"Isn't that Julio?" Macias asked. "That's him: the guy from work that showed interest in you." He was looking toward the locker room.

They watched a young guy in his early twenties with black hair and amber eyes walk into the locker room with two clean cut, bulky guys in their late twenties with dark brown hair and dark brown almost black eyes following close behind.

"Stay here," Cliff said.

"Roger," Macias said. "I know you won't, but holler if you need me."

"Julio," Cliff called to him. When he entered the locker room, Julio was clutching his stomach while leaning against the lockers.

The two bulky guys stepped back from Julio when Cliff walked into the locker room. Cliff went and stood in between them and Julio.

"Problem?" Cliff asked.

"This cocksucker owes my old man money," the taller of the two said. "He can't pay. We got to beat it out of him. That's the deal he made."

"How much does he owe?" Cliff asked.

"He owes 500 bucks," the taller of the two said.

"He'll have it by tonight," Cliff said.

"What are you his boyfriend?" the taller of the two questioned him. He laughed a sick laugh. "Wait, are you his sugar Daddy or something?"

Suddenly, a locker caved in on itself. It drew everybody's attention, except for Cliff's. It looked like someone had punched it.

"You get your money," Cliff said. "He's squared away."

"That's how it works," the taller of the two said: with his eyes no longer on Cliff but on the locker.

"Get out of here then," Cliff said. "Your business has been conducted."

Both men glanced at him before they went out the back.

"I had to borrow some money to help take care of my little sisters," Julio began to explain. "My Mom she's…"

"You don't have to explain," Cliff said. "You'll have the money by tonight. Next time you need help, come to me. You all right?"

Julio nodded.

"Go home," Cliff instructed.

Julio left out the front.

Cliff glanced at the caved locker before he too left the locker room.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

"Time's almost up," Chef Molay shouted from his office. "Get ready to present." He was an older gentleman in his late 40s, who had curly salt-and-pepper hair, and looked younger than he was.

Clive and his coworker, who were both vying for the same position and both the most talented chefs at the café, were putting together the finishing touches on the dish: pan-seared salmon with white wine lemon butter sauce and grilled zucchini, squash, and sweet potatoes.

The café was closed until dinner. Clive only had to present, so he went to see his girlfriend.

"I think it's going to go well," Clive told Violet.

"It will," Violet said. "Your food's a hit with everybody.
Clive gave her a quick kiss and smiled.

"For luck," Clive said.

Clive headed back into the mostly empty kitchen. His coworker, a young woman, brunette, with hazel eyes carried a container of oregano. The dish didn't call for oregano though. She was headed toward his plate. He didn't think she was about to sabotage him. That wouldn't make sense. He was hesitant to say anything: to speak up. He couldn't believe it. He thought they were friends or at least friendly. She was about to pour some of the oregano on his dish. Her name was on his lips, but it wouldn't come. He reached toward her with one hand… she froze.

"Time's up," Chef Molay shouted from his office. "Plating should be done. Bring in your dishes."

Clive walked up beside her, looked at her, and waved his hand in her face. He got no response. He picked up his plate from in front of her and saw that she hadn't managed to ruin the dish. A moment later, she ended up pouring some oregano on the counter. She looked into his eyes: a little surprised to see him standing there.

"He's ready for us," Clive said, and he walked from the kitchen, plate in hand, into Chef Molay's office.

~~~!~~~!~~~!

"Did you enjoy playing the White Knight?" Macias questioned Cliff as they walked toward the parking lot: Macias to his sports car and Cliff to his truck. "I heard it all."

"Shut up," Cliff said. "Have I ever told you you've got a mouth on you?"

"Multiple times," Macias said. "For different reasons."

Cliff shook his head. He couldn't hide the small smile that Macias brought to his face.

"See ya later Halliwell," Macias said.

"See ya Macias," Cliff said.

The two burly guys rode on motorcycles, and Cliff stopped them before he drove for home in his truck.

"You give Julio or his family any trouble after he pays back the money," Cliff said, speaking directly to the talker of the two, "and you'll be the cocksucker."

Cliff turned and waited behind another car before turning onto the street.

The talker noticed an Army decal on the back of Cliff's truck.

"What I tell you about those Army guys," the talker said before he put back on his helmet, gesture with his hand and mouth a cocksucking motion that Cliff noticed in his rearview mirror.

Cliff clenched his fist before he made the turn home, and he didn't notice that the front wheel of the guy's motorcycle crumpled. He also didn't hear the man screech in terror at the sight.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Clive tried to call Coronado. After allowing it to ring a few times, he realized the unresponsiveness meant that Coronado's phone had died. He would talk to him later.

"Congratulations," Violet said when Clive returned to her.

"You were right," Clive said. "I got it."

"I know my guy," Violet said. "Let's go. I'm taking you out: to celebrate."

"You don't have to do that," Clive said.

"I know you haven't eaten all day," Violet said. "You're always taking care of others. I'm going to take care of you."

"I am starving," Clive said, thinking back to his lost bacon.

"We'll have an early dinner," Violet said, "and then I've got a surprise for dessert." She said this seductively.

"I'm intrigued," Clive said.

Violet wrapped her arms around him, and they kissed before she led him from the café.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Coronado was rollerblading back to the manor, listening to a Stephen King audio book. He was going pretty fast, blading forward and backward. When he faced forward, he started seeing glimpses of images. They came in and out. They were like an old black and white TV, trying to show him a clear images or a clear scene. The scene he saw was of two teen girls; one was walking a dog, and the two of them were engrossed in conversation. The scene showed them walking into the street as a car whipped around the bend. The girl walking the dog let go of it. Both girls screamed. The dog ran across the street. The scene ended right as the girls were about to be mowed down and over.

That was a little disorienting for Coronado. However, a minute or two later, he saw the car from the scene. A teen girl was driving wildly with some friends. Coronado saw the two teens girls next. This prompted him to head toward them.

"Hey!" Coronado shouted. He waved his arms wildly, trying to flag either the walking teens or the driver down. "Wait! Wait!"

They couldn't hear him, and the teen girl driving definitely couldn't hear him. Coronado decided he had no choice but to go through this scene before it played out the way he had just seen it. He raced across the street: halting the car but barely avoiding it, grabbing the dog's attention, which caused it to bark at him and stopped the teen girls, but sliding through the rocks and gravel of the alley that led to him falling through trash cans and into the side of a dumpster. The teen girls went to check on him, and the driver called for help.

A black, white and gray mackerel tabby cat sat close by. It appeared to have watched the whole event or was watching it now. Around its neck was a collar that carried the Triquetra on it. It meowed: its eyes focused on Coronado.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Cliff entered the hospital. He went to the lobby to sign in. Then, he went to the floor where he learned Coronado was. At the front desk, he inquired about his brother.

"Evening ma'am," Cliff said. "I'm here about my little brother, Coronado Halliwell."

"I'll be with you in a moment," the male nurse told him.

"Who were you here to see?" he asked the woman standing by.

"Dr. Rana is expecting me," the young woman said. "Inspector Ellione Arizona. I'm with Homicide."

"Elli…" Cliff said.

Elli turned him; she smiled warmly.

"Cliff," Elli said. "We ran into each other today after all. How are you?"

"Same as always," Cliff said jokingly, trying to smile to play it off but it was trying too hard. It didn't suit him. He was nervous and unsure. "It's been a while. You look good. How are you?" He was more natural now: closer to himself.

"Can't lie to me," Elli said. "You're different. Not the same at all. You've still got your looks though." She was a bit nervous too. He always made her… She recovered. "Me? I'm great. What brings you here? Everything all right?"

"Coronado's back," Cliff said. "He got into an accident. He has me down as his emergency contact. Still. I was little surprised. I came to pick him up." He hadn't meant to explain or say that much, but he couldn't help talking to her. It was easy.

"And you came to pick him up," Elli said. "Because at the end of the day, you know everything that happened is in the past now. You two are so similar. You don't want to lose each other."

Cliff didn't say anything. He wouldn't look at her.

"What are you doing here?" He finally said, focusing on the two little kids playing in the waiting room.

"Murder investigation," Elli said.

That redrew his attention.

"Your brother will be done soon," the male nurse told Cliff. "He just has to wrap a few things up." He then spoke to Elli: "Dr. Rana's office is to your right and down the hall. She's with a patient but she shouldn't be long."

They both thanked him at the same time.

"Be seeing you Cliff," Elli said.

Elli took a few steps to leave, and she already knew that Cliff was watching after her. She turned around: looked upon that handsome, serious yet gentle, face.

"We both have a wait," Elli said. "Let me buy you a coffee, especially after I cancelled on you today. Still like it black, right?"

"Right," Cliff said.

They walked over the coffee machine, and Elli bought them both coffees. She added cream and sugar to hers.

"How's it feel to make it to Inspector?" Cliff asked.

"Amazing," Elli said. "My partner is the best. I always knew it was my calling. My Mom is still stressed, but my Dad couldn't be happier. You decided not to re-enlist?"

"A lot of things had to be taken care of," Cliff said. "I'm in night construction, thinking about contracting. Coronado was gone. I didn't want to leave Clive with the house, especially when he's close to fulfilling his dreams. I decided to stay. As of an hour ago, I'm taking the night off. Clive wants to bring the three of us together. Don't know what to do or say concerning Coronado. Tonight's better than any other. "

"Tonight will be the best," Elli said. "Six months is too long a time to let damage fester…"

"You still seeing Greg," Cliff asked, which took her off guard.

"You know about Greg?" Elli said, raising an eyebrow.

"I know people," Cliff said.

"You checked up on me?" Elli said.

"Always," Cliff said softly.

Elli heard him answer her question, but she heard the deeper meaning in his answer as well.

{Mr. Halliwell, please meet your brother at the nurse's station.]

They held each other's gaze for moment before they knew they had to part ways.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

"The Chosen Ones…" Cliff said, nursing a beer. "The Charmed Ones…" He shook his head.

Coronado took one of two of his shots.

"You shouldn't be drinking," Cliff said.

"I wanted to buy you a drink," Coronado said, "but I can't let you drink alone."

Cliff shook his head again.

"You don't believe me," Coronado said. He faced him. "You're telling me nothing strange happened to you today?"

Cliff thought about it. The locker came to mind.

"You've got something," Coronado said, "don't you?" He was getting excited. "Did you freeze time? Did you move anything with your mind?"

"Nothing happened," Cliff said, seeing this meant something to Coronado. "I helped a coworker. That's it."

Coronado tried not to show his disappointment.

"Look," Cliff said, leaning over the bar counter, holding onto his beer, and focusing on it instead of Coronado. "You've always had the ability to see the world, see people and life, in ways no one else could imagine. You've always had vision, which I admired. That doesn't mean you can see into your future or anyone else's."

"I shouldn't have said what I did," Coronado said slowly. "I was used to you always moving forward: making moves and helping others. It didn't seem right or look like you were interested in ever doing it for yourself. Life is short. And feel like, nobody should just settle in what they think is comfortable, easy: dull. Even if you don't believe me or in me anymore, can you trust me?"

"Hard to believe," Cliff said, trying to ignore the words that referenced what caused a rift between them. "I don't have any special power."

Coronado reached for his second shot, and without any control Cliff pulled the shot from Coronado's grasp over to his part of the bar counter.

"Hot dog," Coronado said. "I knew it!"

The shot materialized in his beer bottle before the shot glass flipped over on the counter onto his napkin.

Cliff continued to stare at the glass in disbelief.

"You can move things with your mind," Coronado said. "Whoa boy, you were a force to be reckoned with before, with the amount of stuff you keep bottled up and based on how repressed you are, you're probably the equivalent of a time bomb now."

Coronado's words were barely registering for Cliff because he didn't know what was going on or whether he could trust his own eyesight anymore.

"This means Clive can freeze time," Coronado said.

Cliff chugged the rest of his beer with the shot added in.

"Slow down," Coronado said. "What's going on in that head of yours now?"

Cliff said nothing; he just lowered his head.

"Come on," Coronado said. "This is a good thing. We were born Witches. Now that we know, we can begin to own it."

Cliff stepped off the bar stool and left the bar. Coronado paid before heading after him. They walked down the sidewalk for Cliff's truck.

"When I was looking through the Book Of Shadows," Coronado began to explain, "I saw these woodcarvings. They looked like something out of a Bosch painting: all these terrifying images of three men battling different incarnations of Evil."

"History and Religion considers Witches Evil," Cliff said.

"Contrary to popular belief," Coronado said, " Witches can be Good or Evil. A Good Witch follows the Wiccan Rede: 'An it harm none, do what ye will.' An Evil Witch, more commonly known as a Warlock, has but one goal: to kill Good Witches and obtain their powers. They look like regular people. They could be anyone, anywhere.

"Being Good Witches our job is to stop them and prevent them from accomplishing their goal," Cliff said.

"You've always been a smart cookie," Coronado said. "In the first woodcarving, the men were hidden in sleep: by sleep. In the second one, they had awakened: to their powers, to the fight. As long as we were ignorant and sleep, we were safe. Those days are over."

The black, white and gray mackerel tabby cat sat close by. It continued its watch; this time focusing on Coronado and Cliff. Around its neck was a collar that carried the Triquetra on it. It meowed and pawed at the two from a distance.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

"I don't think I can celebrate anymore," Clive said as he and Violet rode in the back of a taxi. He lay back against the seats, holding onto Violet's hand.

"Don't quit on me now," Violet said and chuckled.

"Hey," Clive said, growing serious. His gaze was focused out the window.

"What wrong?" Violet asked concerned.

"Have you ever experienced…" Clive didn't know what he wanted to ask or was trying to ask. "I mean, if something odd happened to you, how would you react?"

"Like what?" Violet questioned. "Like déjà vu?"

"Close to that…" Clive said.

"Déjà vu is a gift," Violet said. She chuckled again. "It's almost like sensing a different time and place. It's one of the world's wonders: like luck and miracles. Why do you ask?"

"It's nothing," Clive said. "You reminded me. Sometimes your eyes can play tricks on you. Life can surprise you."

"That's right," Violet said. "I know you'll appreciate where we're going, what I want to show you, but you'll enjoy what we do when we get there."

Clive couldn't help laugh.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Cliff and Coronado stopped by the local drug store. Cliff went straight to the back to pick up a case of beer.

"You're not exactly thrilled about this," Coronado surmised.

"Not exactly," Cliff said.

The next thing he picked up was a bottle of Whiskey.

"This is great," Coronado said. "How many people can say they have powers? Think of what we could do!"

"Keep your voice down before somebody has you committed," Cliff said. He was in an aisle looking for his favorite kind of chips.

"We could've inherited money and property," Coronado said, "which we did, but this is better. We inherited a legacy: of righteousness, of goodwill. I think it's safe to say we're a family of saviors. I don't think there's anything wrong with that."

Cliff closed his eyes for a moment: with his case of beer in one hand and bottle of Whiskey in the other.

"There's nothing wrong with that," Cliff said. "I want to be normal. I want my life to be…"

"Who wants to be normal when we can be special?" Coronado questioned.

"I don't know what it is," Cliff said, "but it's like destiny or fate is determined to keep me as far away from a normal life as possible."

"Don't you think it might be time to embrace that…" Coronado said. He remembered their Dad's inscription. "It might be time to accept a new normal."

Cliff opened his eyes and turned to Coronado.

"Looks like this is our destiny," Coronado said.

"If that's the case," Cliff said, "I need my chips."

"You're going to pig out and drown your sorrows?" Coronado questioned him.

"Look," Cliff said after glaring at Coronado a moment. " I just found out that I'm a Witch, that my brothers are Witches, and that we have powers that will apparently unleash all forms of Evil - Evil that is apparently going to come looking for us. So Coronado, I'd appreciate it if you keep your judgmental attitude and comments to yourself."
"I'm not judging," Coronado said, throwing his hands up protectively. "If you need your chips, just have them come to you."

A moment later, a bag of chips popped over into Coronado's hands. He caught it. He smiled at Cliff.

"I didn't do that," Cliff said.

"Man," Coronado said, "I've never met anybody with such a strong grip on denial. You move things when you're pissed."

"I don't get pissed," Cliff said.

"Ira Macias," Coronado said.

A few bags of chips fell from the shelf.

"I'm afraid of what might happen to this place if we talk about Mom," Coronado said.

"Mom's dead," Cliff said.

"Well," Coronado said, "she's looking pretty good for a dead woman, considering I just came back from staying with her. She's part of the reason I'm back. She wanted me to check up on you."

"She's dead to me," Cliff said. "She didn't want to be a part of this family. She proved that when she left after Dad died."

"I know this is a hard concept for you to understand," Coronado said, "but some people make mistakes. You get pissed at them for it. It's not fair that you cut yourself off from people who don't meet your standards: after one mistake. And sometimes, it's not even their fault! Your list is long: too long. Mom, me, Ira, Elli, Gramps, Dad. Why can't you let things go? Why do you get so angry? Why can't you forgive us!"

Both sides of the snack food aisle collapsed onto the floor.

"I didn't realize I do that," Cliff said: his eyes on all the merchandise on the floor. He gave Coronado his attention.

"Better to talk about stuff and get things out in the open," Coronado said, "you think?"

"Maybe," Cliff said.

"The Book of Shadows said our powers would grow," Coronado said.

The both glanced down the aisle again.

"Warlocks better beware," Cliff said. He smirked. He whispered: setting the Whiskey and case of beer on the shelf. "We better get out of here."

Cliff and Coronado tried to hold in their laughter as they snuck away.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Clive and Violet were on the roof of an old building, taking in the site of the bridge and the whole city.

"You like your surprise?" Violet asked.

"I do," Clive answered. He lay back on the blankets and pillows Violet and prepared for them earlier.

"You're not going to tell Cliff and Coronado about this when you get home tonight," Violet said, "are you?" She drew closer to him, hovering on top of him.

"Did I tell you Coronado was back?" Clive asked. He watched Violet's right blue eye become red.

Violet became the muscular young man with blond hair. He pinned Clive down, and while shocked Clive struggled to get free.

"What the fuck…"

"I've waited six months for this," the man who had been Violet minutes before said. "I've been having my fun with you, you're not a bad fuck, but all good things must come to an end. Once your Gramps suffered from that stroke, I knew the moment that old Witch kicked it all your powers would be released: powers that would reveal themselves when the three of you got together again. Coronado had to come back, and with him came the final nail in your coffins."

"You've been killing all those people," Clive said, "stealing their hearts."

"They weren't just people Clive," Violet said. "They were Witches."

"Why…" Clive questioned, wondering if he was about to be next. He couldn't break out of this man's grip. He wasn't strong enough.

"To get their powers," Violet said. He turned back to Violet long enough to give Clive a lustful kiss.

"Now, I'll take yours," Violet said: this time in an inhuman voice. He released Clive's arm to stab through and rip out Clive's heart.

"No!" Clive shouted, throwing up both his hands to try and stop this. He thought he might shit himself over the fact he was about to be faced with his own death. Clive froze the man. He used his Temporal Stasis, channeling it through his hands. He took a deep breath, looked around trying to think, before he slid back and climbed out from under Violet. Right as he stood up Violet grabbed for him. Clive utilized his Tae Kwon Do to kick the crap out of Violet, rendering him unconscious, before he took off from the roof.

~~~!~~~!~~~!~~~

Cliff walked through the house, listening to his messages on his voice mail on speakerphone. Julio called to thank him for the money. He received no calls from Clive.

"Clive isn't home," Cliff said, "and he hasn't called or texted me." He came into the foyer from upstairs as Coronado came in from the living room carrying the black, white and gray mackerel tabby cat.

"A cat?" Cliff asked.

"Maybe Clive brought it home or it got in somehow," Coronado said. He shrugged. "Clive's probably with Violet, getting some action. You might want to try getting some action. Release some endorphins. Relieve anger and stress."

Suddenly, Clive burst through the door. He drew Cliff and Coronado's attention. The tabby cat took him in before he jumped down from Coronado's arms and left the room.

"Cliff…" Clive said.

"What happened?" Cliff asked.

"Coronado," Clive said, trying to put words together. "The Book of Shadows…"

"A Warlock," Coronado said, looking from Clive to Cliff.

Unbeknownst to them, Violet was on his feet on his way to meet them.

"Should we call the police?" Clive asked as he and Cliff headed for the attic. Coronado had already gone up there.

"If it's a Warlock," Cliff said, "it's something we'll have to handle. I don't know how, but we have powers for a reason: to stop things like it."

"I found the answer," Coronado shouted down. "Hurry up!"

Cliff, Clive, and Coronado sit on the floor in a circle around a low table. They have placed candles around them.

"We took care of the nine candles," Cliff said. "They're anointed with oil and spices and in position."

"Coronado," Clive said. "You miscounted. There's only eight."

"We only had eight of the big candles," Coronado said. Gramps hadn't dropped by the local Witch-Mart I'm guessing." He whipped out a birthday candle. "This is what we got."

"We're going to die," Clive said.

"Don't panic," Cliff said. "I wouldn't let that happen."

"Poppet?" Coronado questioned.

"Here," Clive said, holding it up.

Coronado lit the birthday candle with a lighter and placed it in the pot on the low table.

"We're doing this," Cliff said. "Clive, cast the spell."

Clive bit his lip but not enough to draw blood. He took a rose and pressed it into the poppet over the pot.

Clive recited the spell:

"Your love will wither and depart

From my life and my heart

Let this be the end, Violet

Let us never see each other again"

Clive placed the rose and poppet in the pot.

They watch the contents of the pot catch fire and explode before expelling thick, white smoke.

"Now we wait," Cliff said, looking to Clive and Coronado.

"And hope it works," Clive said.

They're all surprised when the rose and poppet, which maintained its shape though on fire, flashed and disappeared.

Violet, running through the night like a track star, suddenly stopped and cried out in agony, falling to his knees. Hundreds of thorns tore through his skin.

"I don't like not knowing," Clive said.

"I'll get Elli to look into it in the morning," Cliff said. "Give you peace of mind."

"You think you can explain this?" Coronado questioned.

"I'll find a way," Cliff said.

Cliff and Clive gathered the candles. Coronado gathered the pot. It gave him a Premonition. He saw flashes: of Violet rising to his feet, of Violet coming for them.

"It didn't work," Coronado said, stopping Cliff and Clive before they left the attic.

"What?" Clive asked.

"How do you know?" Cliff asked.

"My power," Coronado said. "I have premonitions. I saw Violet. He's very much alive and on his way."

"Let's go," Cliff said, leaving the attic.

"Where are we going?" Clive asked, trying not to panic from behind Cliff.

"He's coming for the manor," Coronado said, "but we can't leave." He followed after the both of them.

"For once," Cliff said, "I can admit I don't think I have an answer. We have powers. We'll fight. Together."

"Sounds like an answer to me," Coronado said, "and a plan. I like it."

"I'll do what I can," Clive said. "If it's the three of us, we might be able to manage."

"We aren't dying today," Coronado said, clapping Clive on the back.

They reach the end of the second staircase, which led into the foyer, and as soon as they did Violet kicked open the door. They took in his now horrid appearance.

"Shit," Clive said.

Cliff had thought he might be able to fight him hand-to-hand, but the thorns protruding from his entire body meant that wasn't going to happen. They really would have to rely on their powers to get through this.

"Gentlemen," Violet said.

Cliff stood at the forefront before Clive and Coronado. Clive whimpered. Coronado nudged him.

Cliff used his Telekinesis, channeling it through his eyes, to shut the door and keep anyone from the outside from looking in and keep Violet inside and from getting out. He quickly proceeded to throw Violet back into the wall.

Violet laughed.

"Always trying to be the strong one Cliff," Violet said. "You're out of your element now." He came at Cliff with a hand with had become clawed: bladed like knives.

"Clive, Coronado," Cliff said, readying himself. "Upstairs." He took a deep breath: compared to fight, even if he went down with this Warlock.

Clive threw up his hands: scared for Cliff. Violet froze. He used his Temporal Stasis. Clive was breathing heavily like he might have a heart attack at any minute.

Cliff took this opportunity to use his Telekinesis to throw Violet out of the foyer and to the other side of the living room.

"Attic," Coronado said, leading the way and pulling Clive along.

Cliff ran after them. He shut the door when they were all in the attic. Clive was already pushing and dragging things to bar the door. Coronado sat with the Book of Shadows and started flipping through pages, trying to find something that might help.

Violet kicked the door. He kicked it so hard the Ouija board flipped over and fell to the floor. Clive picked it up and grabbed hold of it. Cliff pulled him behind him, taking the Ouija board from him. Coronado joined them.

"I can't think or know how to use the book to help," Coronado said.

"Your powers are strong," Violet said, "but mine are stronger." He pulled the door open. He knocked away a dresser and a few chairs. "I wanted to pick you off one by one, but this will work. I'll take care of all three of you. You can't stop me."

"We're trapped…" Clive said.

"The power of three will set you free," Cliff said, reading over the Ouija board under his breath. "Peace and Love, Dad." He placed the Ouija board on the low table and faced down Violet.

"We're not," Cliff said. "Dad's with us. We're not alone either. We're together." Clive was to his right. Coronado was to his left. "Repeat after me: The Power of Three will set us free."

Violet's red eye began to glow and then blaze. Everything in the attic began to move toward them. Then, he set it all on fire.

"Together," Cliff instructed. Clive and Coronado each grabbed, braced onto, one of his shoulders.

Violet began to move the flaming debris closer and closer upon the three brothers.

"The Power of Three will set us free," the Halliwell Brothers said in unison. They began to chant it: over and over. Eventually, a strong wind came upon them. It began to whirl around the room, putting out the flames. Flickers of whitish flames… Flickers of golden light… They joined the strong wind. Everything that was burning and becoming destroyed began to repair. Everything began to move back into its original resting space.

Violet looked like he was struggling, struggling against the wind at first: then the flames and finally the light.

"It won't end with me!" Violet shouted. He began changing back and forth between a man and a woman: slowly falling to his knees and clutching himself and herself. "I am not the only one! There are thousands: millions! They'll come from any and everywhere… They'll come in forms you wouldn't believe… We are Hell on Earth…So, gentlemen…" He raised his head to look directly at them. "You will NEVER be safe, and you will NEVER be free!"

Violet's head and body dropped right before he exploded.

Everything in the room ceased. There were no more flames, strong wind, flickers of fire and light… Violet was gone too.

"The Power of Three, " Cliff said.

The grandfather clock downstairs struck midnight and chimed three times. The hands on the clock moved again.

Clive looked to Cliff and Coronado, sighing in relief. Coronado smiled. Cliff nodded.

~~~!~~~!~~!~~~

Cliff went outside to grab the paper. He wasn't going to read it, but he knew Coronado would. Clive was finishing with preparing breakfast.

"Morning," Cliff heard a familiar voice. He looked up to see Elli.

Elli gave him a slight wave. She carried a small bag and cup of coffee in her free hand.

"Good morning," Cliff said, walking toward her.

They met each other halfway.

"What brings you over to my residence?" Cliff asked.

"You sound good," Elli said. "Better than yesterday. Last night was good for you. It went well."

"It did," Cliff said.

"I just swung by to bring you a little something to make your morning bright," Elli said. "It's from your favorite bakery. The coffee's for me." She gave him the small bag.

Cliff already knew the bag held a napoleon: a French pastry.

"I also want to," Elli took a drink from her coffee and looked away before she returned her attention to him. "I wanted to ask you in person if you'd like to go to dinner."

"You sure you want to eat with me," Cliff said. "I don't want to cause trouble for you with Greg."

"You won't," Elli said. "Greg's not in the picture. He's no one, especially compared to you. Are you seeing anyone?"

"No," Cliff said. "No one since you. Macias has been around though.

"I understand that," Elli said. "Can you do tomorrow night, or do you have to work?"

Cliff hesitated to answer.

"You can say no," Elli said. "Don't feel obligated."

"No," Cliff said. "It's not for the reason you think. A lot happened last night. I

was actually going to come to the station to see you after I got dressed. Yes: to dinner unless you'll be working late after you hear what I have to say."

"You've got me curious," Elli said. "You Halliwell brothers… You'll forever be

unpredictable, full of surprises to say the least. OK then, I'll see you in a little while, Cliff."

"Enjoy your coffee until I get there Elli," Cliff said.

They both parted ways smiling to themselves.

Clive and Coronado came from the house. Coronado had his phone on, playing

music. Clive had the black, white, and gray mackerel tabby cat; it was resting comfortably in his arms.

"Elli…" Clive said as he and Coronado joined Cliff.

"She came to see you?" Coronado asked.

"She hasn't been here since…" Clive started to say. "What did she want?"

"She asked me out," Cliff said.

"Imagine that," Coronado said.

"I said yes," Cliff said, "but after everything that we've gone through, what we might go through in the future, and after I tell her about Violet…"

"Don't get ahead of yourself," Coronado said. "The Halliwell Brothers have had several rough months, but things are turning around."

"Is it safe for us to date?" Clive said. "We could endanger other people, and we run the risk of finding ourselves in a Violet situation."

"Not you too," Coronado said.

"You're right," Clive said. "We have plenty of reasons to celebrate. I got a

promotion."

"I've got a job at an auction house," Coronado said. "I can finally put my degrees

to work. I'm going to stay."

"You should," Cliff said. "Not only would it be safer that way it would be better

that way."

Coronado nodded in agreement.

"And I've got a date with Elli," Cliff said. "I never thought there was a chance…"

"I told you back then," Coronado said. "You have to give people a chance if you want them to know the real you and you want to know the real them."

"We also can't forget," Cliff said, "becoming Witches."

Elli looked toward the brothers before she got in her SUV to leave. She noticed the cat but specifically the Triquetra around its collar. The cat seemingly pawed the air as if waving goodbye to her. She got in her car and drove off.

A particular song came on – Season of the Witch. Coronado turned it up. He had a huge grin on his face.

"Everything's going to be different now," Cliff said.

"Our lives won't be boring," Coronado said.

"They'll never be the same," Clive said.

"Is that a problem?" Coronado asked.

"No," Cliff said, heading back inside the house, "but it'll be dangerous."

The three of them walked together side by side: Cliff at the center, Clive to his right, and Coronado to his left.

"What are we going to do?" Clive sighed. "We can't turn back."

"We're going to do everything," Coronado said. "The world is our oyster."

"We're going to be careful," Cliff said, correcting him. "We'll be smart and watch each other's backs. Together, we can do this."

"The three of us will be living under the same roof again," Clive said, "and navigating a world we know nothing about…This is going to be good."

Clive and Coronado headed for the kitchen. All three of them were about to have breakfast. Cliff glanced at the door as he heard some of the final words of the song playing from Coronado's phone: must be the Season of the Witch. Using his Telekinesis, channeling it through his eyes, Cliff smiled as he shut the door with his power.