She saw him in the restaurant waiting, a look of depression and despair on his face. "On the phone you said we needed to talk, " she said as she approached the table.
He looked down towards the floor, surprised that he was actually doing this. As much as he loved her, as much as he cared, he had to; she had left him no choice.
"Phoebe, you've done so much for me. I wouldn't be sitting here now, and working in this town as a lawyer if it weren't for you. You're the reason why I've changed. You're the one who inspired me to do good, the one who awoke the side of me that could still love, a side of me which I thought had long since been dead. For that I will always be grateful. I've loved you, I love you." He then paused "But I've come to the conclusion that you can't love me in return."
Phoebe angrily responded, "How can you say that?"
"You don't trust me. I don't know if you ever have, I don't know if you ever will. I can't trust you if you don't trust me," he told her. "Trust is the glue holding any relationship together, and we don't have it. You can't trust me because of my past, because of what I once was, and what you think I am."
Phoebe paused, unsure of how to respond. She wondered where all this was coming from. One day she realized she still loved him and now they were now slowly piecing their relationship back together bit by bit. However; she was still very cautious of him, especially when he tried to prove his love by helping others. Besides that, her family still doubted him. They would never trust him, and she didn't blame them. After all he was half demon and had been the source of all evil! She always wondered whether he could have prevented it and was dubious of the whole seer story. He had in fact lied to her, that day in her bedroom, when she asked if there was something he wasn't telling her, and his reply was an emphatic no.
"You don't trust me the same way you would trust the rest of your family. I can't confide in you. There are things about me Phoebe, things I've done in my past that I've never been able to tell you, because I don't know how you would react."
"Cole, I know what you once were and I still love you the same!"
Cole paused, "That's not true Phoebe. If that were true, you would never judge me. You wouldn't always question my motives, and automatically assume that everything I do is evil." He took a sip of his water, and then continued. "Last year you thought that I deliberately became the source of all evil. You vanquished me without trying to figure out what was going on. If you had done some research, you would have found a way. You and your sisters would have figured out what was happening, and tried to save me. But you didn't. When you realized that I was the source, you went along with it. I was still inside Phoebe, you don't know how much it hurt to see you walking down the aisle with me during the coronation. I couldn't believe you would do that after all we had been through. After how hard you saw me work to change because of you."
He then changed the subject, "Remember the time when you and Piper became warlocks? How did I act then? Was I happy to see you become evil?"
Phoebe looked at him unhappily. "No," she responded quietly, her voice choking up.
"Do you remember what I told you?" He asked.
"That evil can't love," she responded, her brown eyes becoming red and puffy.
"If you remembered that, why didn't you do anything? Why did you go along with them?"
"I don't know," she sobbed.
"Do you really think that I would try to harm your sisters? Phoebe I risked my life saving Paige from Shax. I went along with Piper on her demon raids, to protect you. I would never kill one of your sisters, and put you through what happened with Prue again."
"Cole you became evil," she responded, her voice tinged with anger while still crying, "I didn't know what to think. I'm sorry for what happened, but you were once a demon. After hearing you complain about losing your powers, I assumed that you would go to any means to get them back. You went out and bought a gun one day."
"Phoebe, How many times do I have to tell you this? I didn't just up and choose to become the Source because I wanted to. I took in the hollow's power to protect you, your sisters, and everything else from the old Source. The seer didn't give me much of a choice. If I had not taken the hollow, the world would have ended, you and your sisters would be dead. There is no way you would have been able to stop the old Source."
Phoebe sat quietly, "But still, you could have told me."
"If I had told you, the old Source would have killed you. Phoebe, if you trusted me, you would have figured out what was going on, why I was acting so strangely after the whole incident with the Source. When that wizard came, you could have investigated, and tried to figure out who he was and what he was after. Instead you just assumed things without investigating, and because of it, I almost died."
She sat silently while contemplating his remarks.
"Phoebe, you vanquished me, for all purposes you killed me. Then, I called out to you in the wasteland, but you left me there, you didn't listen. You could have had Leo get the grimoire and bring me back. I told you the Source was gone, that I wasn't evil, but you didn't believe me. You gave up on us. I had to collect powers from vanquished demons to escape. When I got back, you pushed me away. You did everything you could to wipe me out of your life, including breaking up our marriage."
"I'm sorry," said Phoebe. She thought he had forgotten all that. By the way he pursued her after he came back from the wasteland, she was under the impression that all that was never an issue. He loved her despite the fact that her sisters and brother in law hated and could never accept him, and that she would never make them do so.
"If you truly believed in us, you would stand up to your sisters. Tell them to stop making comments about you seeing your 'demonic ex husband.' Tell them that I'm not evil anymore, explain to them I'm not, nor chose to become the Source."
Phoebe responded, "I can't do that Cole. I don't want to fight with them. Its not like their concerns aren't valid. Your powers make you dangerous. Besides that, they are my sisters, I don't want to fight with them. It distracts us from doing our job of protecting innocents."
"Phoebe, part our problem is that you still and have always seen yourself as the middle sister, the youngest sister, never as my wife, never as part of my family. I've always wanted to start a family with you, to have three children and a house of my own, a house of our own. In order for that to happen, you have to love and trust me the same way you love your sisters. If you cant do that, whatever we have is doomed. He then continued, "At this point, I don't even know if you can learn to love me and trust me, or anyone who isn't an angel, the same way you do your sisters. No offense, but I don't think anyone in your family can really love an 'outsider,' or make a marriage work. Your grandmother was married six times. Your father was for all known purposes, kicked out of your lives. I'm beginning to worry that if had children what things would be like."
"What?" Phoebe angrily asked.
"If I ever did decide to have children, I would always worry about them turning evil. Because of that, I would want them surrounded by love, two loving parents, who cared about other, not two hateful people who were always fighting. Besides that, no one would be able to kick me out of their lives the way your grandmother did with your father."
Phoebe paused, as she thought about Cole's accusations. Could she ever make a marriage work? Could she ever make a marriage to him work?
She responded, "We don't necessarily have to have children Cole."
"But that's what I want. I want a family, children, people who love and accept me. People who trust me no matter what happens, people who forgive me, no matter what I do. Phoebe, I'll never have that with you."
Phoebe's sobbing became louder as she realized he was telling the truth. She could never trust him, because of what he was. If only she could have been that strong.
Cole continued, "You're one my closest friends. If you ever need someone to confide in, someone to depend on, I'll always be there. But I can't spend the rest of my life with you." He took his wedding ring off and placed it on the table then stood up from his seat and walked around the table and embraced his distraught ex-wife.
"Goodbye Phoebe," he quietly told her as he kissed her on the forehead.