Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from the television show Charmed. All characters belong to Spelling Television, and The WB.

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The Pain of Future Wrongs – Chapter 78

Chris took a step back as he tried to formulate some words but found himself unable to do so. "Uh…"

The young man in front of him looked concerned. "Are you okay?"

"Uh…yeah, I'm fine. I think I must have the wrong house," Chris said quickly before turning to go.

"Are you sure you're okay?" the young man asked again. Chris never turned around to answer as he just ran from the house. He felt like he had just been punched in the stomach and he found it hard to breathe. He knew that Jamie was upset but he didn't think that she would do this to him.

He finally made his way to a deserted park and sat down on the bench. He felt so confused. Part of him felt angry but mostly, he felt hurt. Even though everyone around him felt that he was strong, Christopher Halliwell knew that when it came to relationships, whether it was with his family or in this case, with Jamie, he was very vulnerable and insecure.

Chris buried his face in his hands as he tried to come to grips with everything. He was too late – he had lost Jamie. He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't hear someone running up towards him.

"Chris!" Jamie's voice called out, snapping Chris out of his thoughts.

"Jamie?" Chris whispered as he looked up at her. Jamie gasped as she saw Chris' eyes, red from his tears. Her heart ached as she realized how vulnerable and hurt he looked. "What are you doing here?" he asked, remembering why he had run away from her house in the first place.

"I wanted to explain," Jamie began.

Chris knew that he should be angry at Jamie, but somehow he couldn't muster the energy to be angry. Instead he just felt resigned. "It's okay," he said as he tried to stop himself from crying again. "I understand."

"No you don't," Jamie interrupted.

"No, it's okay, Jamie," Chris cut in again. "You don't have to explain. I know I messed up. I won't bother you anymore. I just want you to be happy."

"Then just listen to me before interrupting!" Jamie pleaded, slightly exasperated at how Chris was jumping to conclusions.

"Okay," Chris said softly. Jamie just wanted to hug the man in front of her but she knew that she had some explaining to do.

"The guy who greeted you at the door, his name is Markus. He's one of my best friends and we've known each other for ages." Chris' heart sank as Jamie started her explanation, not understanding why Jamie wanted to put him through the misery of listening to all this. "But we're not romantically involved because I already have a wonderful boyfriend who I love so very much. Markus was over helping me with some plumbing problems and one of the pipes burst while he was working on it, which explains why he was in a bathrobe when you came by."

Chris felt relieved but at the same time felt incredibly stupid. He was so embarrassed at how he behaved and how he had jumped to conclusions so quickly.

Meanwhile, Jamie was observing her boyfriend and found him to be so adorable, especially when he had the confused look on his face. "Is my superhero boyfriend feeling embarrassed?" she teased. "That's so cute!" she laughed before planting a kiss on his cheeks. She kissed him again, this time their lips meeting, the two of them then sharing a passionate kiss.

"So am I forgiven?" Chris asked when they finally broke apart, putting on his best sad puppy look.

"Well…" Jamie started, trying to decide whether or not to prolong Chris' agony. "Only if…only if you promise to kiss me like that everyday."

"Deal!" Chris answered quickly, a smile returning to his face once again.

Jamie leaned into Chris and the two shared a comfortable silence. The quiet was broken by Jamie's giggling.

"What's so funny?" Chris asked with an amused expression.

"Oh nothing…just thinking about something that Ryan had said."

"What did he say?" Chris asked, horrified at what his younger brother could have said about him.

Jamie just giggled some more, refusing to give any details.

"Oh come on," the young Halliwell whined. "This is so unfair!"

"You look even cuter when you're pouting," Jamie laughed as she gave Chris another quick kiss.

"Come on…tell me what Ryan said about me," Chris asked with his innocent puppy look. "Please," he added in a childish voice just for effect.

Jamie finally relented, succumbing to her boyfriend's charms. "Ryan told me that you were always quite a chick magnet and that all the girls would just swoon every time you walked by."

"Well, you obviously think I'm attractive enough to be worthy of your attention," Chris grinned.

"I just found it hilarious to see that cute, confused look on you just a while back. Somehow I couldn't quite put that look with the "chick magnet" image together."

Chris leaned in and kissed Jamie once again. "Well, didn't I ever tell you that you make my knees and my heart go weak every time I see you?"

Jamie pretended to be annoyed but in reality, her heart was melting with happiness. "Oh yeah, and Ryan warned me that you were quite the sweet talker too."

"Ryan's just jealous," Chris whispered seductively in Jamie's ear the young couple continued to enjoy their time together.

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The kitchen was bustling with activity as the inhabitants converged for breakfast. Piper tried her best to navigate through the sea of people as she brought plate after plate of food to the table.

As everyone ate to their heart's content, Piper suddenly noticed that someone was inconspicuously absent. "Where's Chris?" she asked, semi-annoyed.

"Not sure," Ryan answered quickly.

"I don't think he came home last night," Wyatt added before being silenced by Ryan's elbow jabbing his ribs.

"What do you mean he didn't come home last night?" Piper questioned, her eyes narrowing with suspicion.

Before anyone decided to answer her question, the front door opened and Chris walked in. His shirt was all wrinkled and his hair was messy, even by his standards. Ryan and Wyatt smirked knowingly as they watched Chris walking into the kitchen with a goofy grin on his face.

"Mornin', Chris," Wyatt greeted his brother, his smirk still in place.

"Mornin', Wy," Chris answered, oblivious to the stares that he was getting.

"Sleep well last night?" Phoebe asked, barely able to contain her giggles as she looked at her nephew.

"Oh, I wasn't even home last…" Chris caught his slip of the tongue, albeit too late.

"So I've been told," Piper continued. "And where could you have been the entire night?"

"Uh…" Chris cast a pleading look to Ryan, needing some help.

Ryan smirked and discreetly knocked his plate to the floor, causing it to shatter. The distraction worked as Piper immediately lamented over her broken kitchenware and went about cleaning up. Chris rolled his eyes at Ryan's assistance. "Is that the best you can do? You're really losing it, Ry," he whispered to his brother.

"It worked, didn't it?" Ryan whispered back with a smirk. "You owe me one, Chris. I want all the juicy details."

Chris just rolled his eyes in response. "You wish!"

- to be continued -