Do You Really Want to Know?
(Now that the story is finished, I have condensed it into 4 parts. Chapters 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20.)
Summary: Chris has a deeper reason why he hates Leo so much, and why he wants to save his brother so badly. Phoebe is determined to help him through his issues and find out what it is. WARNING--Rated "R" for violence and the mention of rape.
AN: I wasn't sure if I should post this under my regular pen name, cause it's a bit out of my element. I've never written anything even remotely close to it, cause it's kind of dark in nature. So let me know what you think, ok? I guess Wyatt isn't the only one with a dark side huh? :
Disclaimer: I don't own Charmed and any of the characters from the show, just borrowing for the moment, get no money from it…
Everyone in the manor was asleep after an exhausting day with the Spider Woman. Everyone, that is, with the exception of Phoebe. She sat on the couch in the darkened house awaiting his return.
Hours after his brief confrontation on the bridge with his father, he felt worse than he had in years. Now that his secret was out and Leo knew part of the truth, it didn't make him feel any better. Even the anger and resentment he harbored towards his father didn't diminish after the pounding he laid on him.
He orbed in just outside the manor to avoid running into any of his family. He really wasn't in the mood to explain his actions earlier tonight. Putting the key he "borrowed" from Phoebe in the lock, he tip-toed into the house.
Phoebe spoke quietly so that she didn't startle him, "How are you, Chris?"
Chris was startled regardless of her caution. He sighed loudly, "What are you still doing up?"
Phoebe rose from the couch and approached him, "I was waiting for you. I thought you might need someone to talk to."
Chris rolled his eyes and tried to step around her, "Well you waited up for nothing cause I don't need to talk. Goodnight."
Phoebe stepped in front of him again, blocking his access to the stairs. "I think you do." When he tried to move around her again, she rested her palm on his chest to prevent him from trying further. "Chris, I know you're hurting right now. And I know that it's bad. Your emotions are so strong right now; that I can feel them even through the blocking potion. And even if I wasn't an empath, the way that you laid into your father tonight, would have left no doubt as to your feelings. Do you want to tell me what that was all about?"
Chris folded his arms defiantly, "No. It was nothing."
Phoebe: "Chris, you beat your father into a bloody pulp…"
Chris: "So, he's already dead. It's not like I could've killed him."
Phoebe: "Yes, but he can still feel pain."
Chris mumbled, "Good. Now he knows…"
Phoebe spoke quietly and finished his sentence, "…how you feel?" She felt a rush of painful emotions flood over her at his partial admission. The feeling was so strong that it stung her eyes as they watered up. She gently pried his folded arms from his chest and shifted into them. Wrapping her arms around him, she spoke, "You're my nephew. My family. And I love you. I just want to help you. Sometimes when you talk to someone, it makes it easier for you to handle. That's why so many people write to "Dear Phoebe". And that's why I help them. Whatever it is, you don't have to go through it alone. Let me share your burden. I'm stronger than I look, you know. I promise, it will just be between me and you."
He sniffed as his vision blurred and stared at the ceiling, "I can't. I just can't tell you."
Phoebe: "Then show me. You don't have to say a word. I'm an empath, and I'm a Charmed One. I'm sure I can write a spell to allow me to see why you're feeling this way."
Chris shook his head, "Personal gain, remember?"
Phoebe: "I'm not doing this for myself. I'm helping a loved one. An innocent in need of help from a Charmed One."
Chris grinned sardonically, "I'm not an innocent."
Phoebe: "Oh, come on. You must have been an innocent at some point in your life."
Chris' grin faded as he stared at the wall absently, "Yeah. I was. But that was a very long time ago."
Shortly after, Chris orbed them to the back office of the club. Phoebe was ready to recite her spell after writing something down. Chris sat on the couch unaware of his body's rhythmic swaying. His breathing sped up, "I can't do this Phoebe. Please, I can't do this…."
Phoebe sat down next to him and held his face in her hands, "Chris, it's ok. Whatever it is, I'll be right here for you. You don't have to worry. Now lay back."
He sat back on the couch, his body still rigidly tense. Just as she thought she had him calmed, he suddenly bounced back up ready to change his mind. She rubbed his back soothingly, "Just relax. I'm here."
As he closed his eyes, he felt her hand touch his forehead and guide him back down. The spell had begun, but Chris' mind barely registered her words as the scene that changed his life began to play out in his mind. He was back in the forest. Back to the day years ago that he found out just how evil his brother really was.
Chris: "Wyatt? What are we doing here? Isn't this where the Valkyries live? Cause if it is, I think we'd better get out of here."
Wyatt: "Just stick to the underbrush, and they won't find us. I need to show you something."
The went through the shadows of the underbrush hiding at even the smallest hint of movement by the Valkyries until they reached a clearing.
Chris whispered, "What is this place?"
Wyatt: "Someplace a young Valkyrie showed me a while back. No one else knows about it, and it's protected by magic. You don't have to whisper, no one can hear us here."
Chris raised his voice, "Ok, what are we doing here?"
Wyatt: "I've been doing some thinking."
Chris raised his eyebrows and prodded him, "About?"
Wyatt: "You. Or rather, your behavior in particular. You are--stubborn. Willful, and do nothing I tell you."
Chris crossed his arms defensively, "So! You're not my father."
Wyatt fired back angrily, "I'm the closest thing to a father you've got! Your own doesn't give a damn about the mistake he made with our mother almost 18 years ago!"
Chris' shoulders sank at his brother's harsh words. He wanted to object, but didn't think he could do so convincingly since that's how his father seemed to act around him.
Wyatt ignored the wounded look his brother gave him, "There's a new order coming to power--and you're either with it or against it. There is no longer any good or evil. Power is the only thing that matters. And if you want it, Christopher, I am the only one you can go through to get it."
Chris stood staring at his older brother in disbelief, "Why are you talking like this? What's wrong with you, Wyatt?"
Wyatt: "There's nothing wrong with me. I've just finally seen the truth. And you going out and doing whatever you feel like is going to stop. I've told you countless times to stop hunting demons."
Chris: "I'm still trying to find the one who killed mom. Doesn't that matter to you anymore?"
Wyatt shook his head casually, "No, actually it doesn't. What matters is that you've been killing off too many of my followers, and that needs to stop."
Chris' eyes widened in surprise, "What? Followers? How can this be? What happened to you, man?"
Wyatt struck out quickly and wrapped his fists around the front of his shirt. He spoke through clenched teeth, "You WILL do as I say, OR ELSE!"
Chris tried to shake him off, "Like hell, I will…"
Wyatt grew angrier and shook him, "Do you understand me? Many of the others find you to be an uncontrollable nuisance, much like our father finds you. Only they think I should kill you."
Startled by his words, Chris pried Wyatt's fingers from his collar and stumbled backward as Wyatt glared at him with a stony expression. He was dismayed that not even a hint of the compassionate blue eyes that he was used to seeing remained in his sibling. For the first time in his life, he feared his own flesh and blood. His heart pounding, he frantically flicked his wrists at his advancing brother, but nothing happened.
Wyatt: "I bound your powers this morning while you were sleeping, by the way. And don't even think about orbing away either. That's why I brought you here, you can't just "orb" out of Valhalla. But don't worry, I'm not going to kill you. I think that there are other ways to tame that headstrong temperament of yours."
Though he was tall for his age, Chris didn't think that his lightweight, lanky frame would be any match for the taller, much more muscular frame of his brother in a fair fight. Hoping that the element of surprise was on his side, he charged Wyatt with a well-placed fist to his jaw. Knocking him backwards, Chris jumped on Wyatt and began relentlessly throwing punches to his face.
Wyatt grew angrier with each hit and swung his own fist into Chris' chest, wincing slightly as he heard the crack of a rib.
Stunned, Chris fell and grunted as Wyatt rolled over and kneeled into his ribs. "Get off me, I can't breath!"
Wyatt shifted his weight a bit to allow him to exhale, "I can't have you disobeying me any longer, Christopher. It's making me look bad among the others. Before you leave here---one way or another, you will learn to do as I say."
The look of defiance on Chris' face told Wyatt that he wasn't going to get his way easily. He shook his head and looked at his younger brother sadly, "Don't fight. It'll only make it worse for you."
Despite the pain it took to utter the words, Chris spat back angrily, "Go to Hell!"
Wyatt muttered so quietly that Chris thought he heard wrong, "…too late…" He raised his hand and focussed all of his telekinetic power into his three middle fingers.
Dropping them quickly, Wyatt snapped his collarbone and immobilized him.
Chris felt his head hit the dirt as his upper body suddenly went numb. His eyes followed his brother as best as they could as he stepped back and summoned a black hooded figure.
The man lowered his cowl and smiled sinisterly, "You were supposed to kill him, yet he still breathes. Why?"
Wyatt glared at him, "Change of plans. He is NOT to be killed. He'll learn to heed my command."
Tem'al: "You can't control him."
Wyatt: "Not yet. But you can. And you will. I've seen you do it before."
Tem'al narrowed his eyes suspiciously, "How?"
Wyatt: "Break him. By any means necessary. Just so long as he is still alive--with all body parts I warn you--when you're done. Summon me when you've gotten through to him." He turned and tried to avoid the terror-filled eyes that desperately searched his own.
Tem'al grinned evilly down at Chris as he summoned three of his minions. One by one, they shimmered in as he communicated his plans, along with Wyatt's warning, for the teen.
As Tem'al and his minions surrounded him, Chris tried unsuccessfully to spur his body into movement. He began hyperventilating as they dropped their cloaks--their nude figures leaving no doubt as to their intentions. His eyes quickly scanned for his brother and desperately pleaded with him, "Wyatt! Please--don't let them do this! Don't leave me! Please, Wyatt! Wyatt! WYATT!!!"
Blocking out all sounds, Wyatt tried to appear calm as he tracked through the forest walking as quickly as he dared away from the clearing. This was one time where he wished he had the ability to shimmer instead of orb. At least that way, he could have been long gone. Then he wouldn't have to hear his little brother's horrific screams echoing in the distance.
He walked for quite a while before he no longer heard anything but the usual sounds of the forest. Wearily, he leaned against a tree and put his head in his hands. Sinking down slowly, he tried not to think of the betrayal he had just committed in his quest for power. The innocence that he had stolen and given away freely, would never again be attained. Both of their lives irrevocably changed by his actions today. Wyatt allowed himself to give into the sobs that threatened to wrack his body, as it would be the last time it would ever happen. For he knew that his soul was now well and truly gone.
Chris bolted up from the couch in a cold sweat. He snatched Phoebe's hand away from his forehead. "That's enough. I'm sure you get the picture. It's bad enough that you even know."
Phoebe fought back the tears in her eyes as she still pictured the torturous night her nephew suffered at the hands of his brother's minions.
Chris jumped up and started to orb when Phoebe grabbed his arm and pulled him back. "I shouldn't have let you see that. No one else but Bianca knows. And no one else can know, either. Please don't tell anyone? What the hell was I thinking…"
Phoebe wrapped her arms around him as he tried to hide his head in her hair. "Sweetie, it's not your fault. You have to know that, right?"
Chris: "Not according to Leo."
Phoebe's head shot up, "What?"
Chris: "I didn't show you what happened afterward."
Phoebe: "Honey, you don't have to. I'm sorry for pushing you to bring any of that up."
Chris straightened up and tried to play off his earlier reaction, "It's ok. It was a long time ago. I'm over it. I'm over it…"
Phoebe could hear the rapid pounding of his heart and wasn't fooled by his attempt at indifference, "No, it's not ok. What he did was inexcusable. I'd like to kill him myself."
Chris: "Look, let me just show you so I can be done with this."
Phoebe nodded and guided him back over to the couch. Immediately after touching his forehead, her mind no longer showed here the club's office, but the forest of Valhalla. Though it was Chris' memory, she saw him and his surroundings as a bystander.
Phoebe was amazed by the clarity of the vision, as hers were typically in monotonous hues. 'I wonder if it's because he remembers it that clearly?' She noted that he obviously took her past the attack and seemingly endless hours of torture, though some of it broke through in brief flashes.
Phoebe began to survey the forest around her as a voice spoke and she turned in its direction. She snarled at Tem'al and tried to hit him. When she passed straight through and landed on her hands, she remembered that he was only a figment of a memory. Picking her head up, she gasped as she saw her nephew lying face down on the ground naked. His face was barely recognizable through the numerous bruises and blood. And certainly, the overconfident, assertive young man that she had come to love, was no where evident in the trembling mass before her. She reached out and tried to stroke his hair, silently wishing that he could feel it and derive some small bit of comfort from her presence.
She watched as he struggled to listen to Tem'als words.
Tem'al bent down and spoke into Chris' ear, "This is your first warning. The next time you disobey Wyatt, our sessions will be longer--and much more painful. And with many more of my "employees". Now I will ask you one more time--Who is your master?"
The response barely audible, Chris mumbled, "…Wy..att."
Tem'al stood up proudly, "Finally. The correct answer. You're learning, boy. I think we're done for now." Signaling to the others, they shimmered away in search of Wyatt. As soon as they were alone, he reached down and wiped a stray tear from his face, "Please--Please--disobey him again. I would love to get together again sometime?" He laughed ominously as he shimmered away.
Alone at last, Chris breathed a difficult sigh of relief. He called out for the only person whom he thought he could still trust, "…Dad!" He paused for a moment as he listened for the telltale sounds of orbing, then tried again, "DAD!" Instead of orbing sounds, he only shimmering. His heart pounded frantically as he heard the branches creak behind him. Breathing heavily, Chris knew he was going into a full-fledged panic attack when someone touched his shoulder.
"It's only me, Chris. I won't hurt you. I'll take you home now." Wyatt looked up at the demon waiting to shimmer them home as he held onto Chris with one hand, and held out the other for the demon. Nodding his head, all three disappeared.
Do You Really Want to Know?
Wyatt didn't trust the demon enough to have access into the Manor, so he had him drop them off in an apartment he had been keeping on the side. He turned and spoke to the demon, "Leave us."
The demon replied snidely, "My Master instructed me to stay. Make sure his lesson took."
Wyatt stood up and drew an energy ball in his hand, "I will NOT say it again."
The demon seemed unfazed by his threat, "I have my orders."
Wyatt narrowed his eyes and gave him no further chance. He threw the ball and disintegrated him immediately, silently pleased to hear the echo of his screams. Turning once again to his brother, he bent down and orbed him to the couch in the living room.
He reached over the back of the sofa and lifted the blanket to cover Chris. Wyatt tried to hold his hand over his face to heal him.
Chris struggled to move away, causing further damage to his already injured body. He mumbled, "Don't touch me!"
Wyatt: "I'm only trying to heal you. You need my help right now."
Chris: "Get away from me. I don't need your help." He tried to lift his head, "Dad? DAD! I need you!"
Wyatt: "He won't come when you call, you know that. He never has time to come for you…" He sighed loudly when Chris ignored him and attempted to call for their father again, "Fine. Let him do it then." Looking up, "Dad? Come quick!"
Seconds later, Leo orbed in worriedly as Wyatt blocked his view of the couch, "Wyatt--what's wrong?"
Wyatt: "You need to heal your son."
Leo reached for Wyatt but he swatted his hand away, "Not me. Your "other" son. He won't let me get near him." He stepped aside and closed his eyes at Leo's sharp intake of breath.
Leo cautiously approached his youngest son and kneeled down beside the shaking teen. Holding his hand over his face, he began to heal the wounds he could see. He saw the blood soaking through the blanket and gently lifted it back to expose his back for healing. As he pushed back the blanket and reached the base of his Chris' spine, he noticed that the wounds and bruising seemed to go further. Gasping again, his head shot up in a questioning glance.
Wyatt nodded slowly, "You need to heal a bit further down."
Leo flexed his fists in anger at whoever caused this. Pausing for a moment, he knew he couldn't heal if he didn't calm himself, so he took a deep breath. Shortly after, Leo resumed the lengthy healing process due to the extent of the injuries. "Don't try to orb for a day or so. It would be too draining on your body and undo some of the healing."
As soon as he could move, Chris exhaustedly turned over and faced the back of the couch. He flinched again when Leo touched his shoulder.
Leo pulled his hand back as if he had been burned and sat down on the edge of the coffee table, "What happened?"
Chris fought back the tears, "Wyatt…"
Leo misunderstood his response to mean that he should ask his oldest child. Turning to face him, "What happened?"
Wyatt: "He doesn't listen. I told him to stop hunting demons, and it finally caught up with him."
Leo's anger quickly returned, misguidedly directed at his youngest son. He slapped his hands on his thighs, "Damn it, Chris! When are you ever going to learn that just because you're the son of Charmed One, that doesn't mean you're invincible. Wyatt has more powers than you to handle it, and that's why I've told you to let Wyatt take care of finding your mother's killer."
Chris rolled over angrily, careful to remain covered under the blanket, "He's not interested in finding them." He glared at his brother, "It's all about the power isn't, Wyatt?" Suddenly unable to look either of them in the eye, he lowered his head, "He did this. He let them. And he left me…"
Leo's eyes widened in distress, "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU! You go out and do something stupid--as usual--and get into trouble--as usual--and blame him for it? You had to know that this neurotic, self-destructive behavior of yours was going to lead to trouble, and today you found it, didn't you?"
The shock of hearing his father's accusatory words wiped out the tiny bit of fight he had remaining. He shrunk back into the cushions and curled his fingers around the frayed edges of the blanket. He voiced his objection, "I didn't do anything wrong…"
Leo scoffed in disbelief, "Oh no? Because I'm sure that this was on their "to do" list today." He ticked them off on his fingers, "Let's see, take over the world, kill a few innocents, hunt down some witches, oh--and one more thing--screw the son of a Charmed One! Yeah, that sounds about right! You provoked them again, didn't you Christopher? Taunted them with that cocky attitude and smart mouth of yours?"
Chris' face flashed with the seeds of doubt at his earlier conviction. Muttering softly, "No. I didn't do anything wrong? I didn't. Did I?" He didn't hear the response or anything else for that matter, as he curled up tighter and rocked himself into a fitful slumber.
Back in the club, Phoebe removed her hand as she noted him absently rocking back and forth, repeatedly asking if he did anything wrong. She tried to pat his back but he jumped away from her with a confused expression. "Chris, honey, you're back here in the club with me. It's ok. And no, you didn't do anything wrong. I don't care what Leo thought. He's wrong! No wonder you hate him."
Chris suddenly found his shoelaces interesting, "He never believed me. I tried to tell him a few times after that, but he just said that I was trying to get his attention. Eventually, he stopped coming around at all--even when Wyatt called. I don't know if it's because he thought that Wyatt had turned, or because he just couldn't stand the sight of me anymore."
Phoebe: "Oh, honey, I'm sure that wasn't the reason."
Chris: "Whatever. It's late, and I'm pretty tired. Let's go home."
Phoebe felt the turbulent emotions racing through him, and knew that he wouldn't get any sleep if he went home. She stood up and pulled the cushions off the couch.
Chris looked at her inquisitively, "What are you doing?"
Phoebe smiled at him, "You know this couch has a hide-away bed. And Piper keeps extra blankets in the storage cabinet over there. We can sleep here tonight. Oh don't give me that look mister, I know that if you go home tonight, you're not going to get any sleep. I'm an empath, remember?"
Giving in, he shrugged and went to retrieve the blankets. A bit unsure, he placed them under his arm and watched her climb up on the bed.
Phoebe held out her hand and pulled him down. As he huddled in next to her, she scooted up a little higher to reach the top of his head comfortably.
Chris: "What about Leo?"
Phoebe: "Shhh. Go to sleep. We'll talk about it later." Still holding on to one of his hands, she stroked his hair with the other and soon lulled him into a deep sleep. For that small wonder, Phoebe was grateful. After convincing him that she was strong enough to lean on, she certainly didn't want him to back out now as she covered her mouth to control the sobs from escaping. She couldn't stop the tears from flowing down her cheeks for the nephew that had suffered so much. She just hoped that he would sleep long enough until she could be strong again for him in the morning.
Do You Really Want to Know?
Inside the manor, Piper was the first to wake up. Her first thought was of her youngest son, which lead her to go find him. She called him quietly, hoping that he would come talk to her about what was obviously troubling him after the "incident" with Leo yesterday. "Chris? Can you come here a sec?" She waited a bit before trying again, "Chris? Can you hear me?" Puzzled by his unusual lack of response, she went to ask her sisters if they knew where he was. She knocked and opened Phoebe's door when she didn't get a response. "Phoebe, have you seen…" She paused when she didn't find her sister so early in the morning. Phoebe was usually a late sleeper unless she had to work and was always expected to be in her room at this time of morning.
In a panic, she flew through the house looking for her sister and her son. Bursting into Paige's room, "They're gone!"
Paige rubbed her tired eyes and tried to focus, "What are you talking about?"
Piper: "I don't think Chris came home last night, and Phoebe's bed hasn't been slept in!"
Paige jumped up now fully alert since those facts could mean something terrible had happened in their family, "Did you check the attic? You know how he is with the book."
Piper: "Of course I checked the attic. Can you sense them?"
Paige closed her eyes, then frowned a moment later, "No. He may still have some of that spider venom in his blood. He's still off my radar."
Piper: "What about Phoebe?"
Paige closed her eyes to focus again, "Faintly. She seems to be blocking me or something. She's only ever done that when she was with one of her gentlemen friends, if you know what I mean. I'll try her first. If she doesn't know where Chris is, I'll bring her back so we can go look for him." She waggled her eyebrows suggestively, "That is, if she's not currently occupied."
Piper: "Well I'm coming with you."
Paige: "No, Piper. Stay here please? It could be a trap."
Piper: "All the more reason I should go! What do you expect me to do? Just sit here and wait?"
Paige: "That's exactly what I expect you to do, I'll come back if I need you or the Power of Three. You have to be careful for the baby."
Piper sighed, "Alright. But I'm giving you 20 minutes before Leo and I come charging after you; trap or no trap."
Paige pulled on her jeans and gave her a thumbs up, "Deal. 20 minutes."
Paige orbed into P-3 behind one of the stages so as not to alert anyone to her presence. She cautiously approached the closed door to the back-office and turned the knob, unsure of what she'd find. She peered into the room and saw her sister and nephew cuddled up together and holding hands on the hideaway bed. Her eyes widened as she exhaled sharply. Definitely not what she was expecting. She shut the door and tried not to disturb them since they were obviously in a deep sleep.
Walking back into the club, she paced the floor nervously debating on waking them up to ask what was going on. 'I really hope I'm just jumping to conclusions here, because I don't think Piper could handle the idea of her son and her sister together.' She glanced at the clock and realized that her 20 minutes had nearly expired. She stopped her frantic pacing and orbed home before the calvary showed up and saw what she saw.
Back at the manor, Piper was engaged in a similar frantic pacing in her bedroom. She was just about to call for Leo when Paige orbed in. "Well? Did you find them?"
Paige put her hands up to calm her, "They're ok. It looks like they just crashed at the club last night. You know, they did have a rough day."
Piper gestured wildly with her hands, "Well so did the rest of us. You're not the one who was stuck in a cocoon all day. Why didn't they sleep here?"
Paige: "Calm down, Piper. It's not good for the baby for you to be getting upset."
Piper threw her hands up and dropped onto the bed, "I know, I know. I'm just worried about him, that's all."
Paige tried to ease the tension with a bit of levity, "He's a grown man, Piper. He's allowed to miss curfew every now and then."
Piper: "That's not what I meant and you know it. He's got some serious issues with Leo and I'd like to know what they are."
Paige: "He'll talk when he's ready."
Piper: "You mean if he's ready. Maybe I can get my father to come and talk to him again?"
Paige: "How about we wait on that one until he gets back. He may talk to one of us first."
Piper: "Alright. I'll give him some time--like until the second he shows up. I'm going to lay down for a while. Will you do me a favor and wake me when he comes in?"
Paige nodded absently while plotting her own ambush when they returned, "Sure. Sure."
Phoebe woke up after hearing the door close. A bit disoriented, she looked up and saw her nephew asleep in her arms. Then everything that he had revealed to her the previous night hit her full force and made her want to loose it again. Fortunately, the need to help him through it outweighed her own sadness and horror at the situation. As he began to stir, Phoebe quickly plastered what she hoped was a genuine smile on her face.
Chris went to rub his sleepy eyes and lifted his hand, only to find that it was still entwined with hers. Embarrassed, he tried to drop it quickly, but she wouldn't let him. "Uh, hi."
Phoebe: "Good morning to you too."
Chris lowered his eyes, "I should go."
Phoebe squeezed his hand, "It's all right. You don't have to run."
Chris avoided her eyes and tried to smile, "No, but I've got things to do. You know, demons to find." He started to orb out but she pulled him back.
Phoebe: "You have nothing to be embarrassed about, Chris."
Chris glanced up briefly before sinking his head back into the pillow. He mumbled unconvincingly, "I'm not."
Phoebe: "Do you want to talk?"
Chris sighed and felt a bit drained, "Not really. Maybe later though."
Phoebe: "How about tonight? I could meet you back here? Even if you don't want to talk and just want to get a good night's rest. I'm here for you. Whatever you need…"
Chris nodded, "Ok, I guess. But later. Just not right now. But we'd better go. If I know mom, she's probably having fits right now. She was always so overprotective."
Phoebe got up and folded the blankets before holding out her hand to go home.
Unable to sleep with her worry, Piper got up and went to sit on Phoebe's bed to await their return. As soon as saw the orbs coalescing, she stood up with her hands on her hips. "Where have you been? I was worried…."
Paige walked past the room since she had been hovering near by to question them, "Piper, you know where they've been. I told you."
Piper: "That's not the point. In this house, you don't just vanish willingly without letting someone know. Who knows what could have happened to you?"
Phoebe: "Calm down Piper. We thought we'd be back before you even woke up. And what do you guys mean you already knew?"
Piper: "Paige told me you guys crashed at the club." Turning to Chris, "Honey, you know you are welcome to stay here, right?"
Chris put his hands in his pockets and shuffled his feet, "Yeah thanks. I just had some things to do back at the club, and Phoebe volunteered to come with me."
Piper noticed that he looked a bit "out of sorts". She took his hand, "Chris? Are you ok?"
Chris didn't want to upset her and tried to smile, "I'm fine mom."
Piper eyed him suspiciously, "Are you sure you're ok?"
Chris quickly changed the subject to avoid her question. Rubbing his stomach, "Yeah-How about some breakfast? I'm starving."
Piper picked up on his avoidance tactic, but decided to let it go for now. "Sure, what do you want?"
Chris passed her and headed for the kitchen, "I wasn't asking you to make it. I'll do it. What do you want? One of my specialties is homemade waffles."
Paige: "I didn't know you could cook?"
Chris grinned mischievously and put his arm around Paige, "I learned from the best!"
Paige puffed her chest out proudly, "See. I will learn how to cook. And teach my nephew!"
He winked at Piper on his way into the kitchen, "Actually, I was referring to mom."
At the dining room table, everyone was finishing up their gourmet breakfast that Chris made. Much to his delight, Piper was distracted from her earlier worries as she savored the last bite on her fork. "Ohhhh. These are scrumptious Chris. You have to give me the recipe for these. This could be my new favorite breakfast."
Chris leaned back in his chair grinning, "I can't give you the recipe, mom."
Piper wined, "Why not?"
Chris: "Because you gave it to me! And if I give it to you now before you come up with it on your own, it could seriously mess with the timeline. You know about future consequences…"
Piper rolled her eyes, "Oh come on. Are you trying to tell me that waffles could alter the timeline?"
Chris grinned at his successful avoidance of her earlier questioning, "You never know. That could be what turns Wyatt. You get him addicted to these waffles at an early age, then somewhere along the line--you deny him his favorite breakfast; and he goes off in a fit of rage destroying everything in his path until he gets his waffles. Cause you know, I never really asked him if it was about the waffles."
Piper narrowed her eyes at him and replied sarcastically, "Funny mister. Very Funny."
Chris stood up and kissed his mother on top of her head, "I thought so. Look, I gotta' go, ok? I think I have a lead on who turns Wyatt, and I'm a bit behind because of the spider woman." He began to orb as Phoebe called his name and he turned back, "Yeah?"
Phoebe studied him carefully at his sudden change in behavior. She tried to ask him subtly about their appointment later tonight, "We'll see you around later, huh?"
Chris nodded hesitantly and understood her question, "Yeah. I'll see you guys later." He orbed out without waiting for anyone to respond.
Paige watched the interaction with interest. She noted that they both seemed to be acting strangely, and Chris doubly so. He had even reverted back to his initial behavior of slyly changing topics. And since he only did that when he was hiding something, she was convinced that now was no different. She was interrupted from her musings when Piper announced that she was going upstairs to lay down for real this time. As soon as she heard Piper's footsteps on the ceiling above her, she turned to Phoebe. "Ok. Spill…"
Phoebe cocked her head to the side in confusion, "What?"
Paige: "Don't play dumb with me. What's going on between you two?"
Phoebe: "Well you're going to have to explain what you're talking about, because I'm sure not following you."
Paige: "I'm not going to spell it out for you. I don't even think I want to spell it out for you. But what I do want is for you to tell me the truth. I saw you two together this morning. And you looked pretty cozy. Now I don't know…"
Phoebe jumped up defensively and hissed, "You're right! You don't know. And frankly--it's none of your business." She calmed at her sister's hurt expression, "Look, I'm sorry. Nothing is going on between us. You know me better than that."
Paige: "Yeah, I do. And I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions. But in my defense, you did kind of have the hot's for him when he first got here, and you looked quite comfortable this morning when I peeked in…"
Phoebe rolled her eyes disgustedly, "Don't remind me. But believe me, since I found out who we was, I certainly have no feelings for him other than, I guess you could call it maternal feelings? He's my nephew. And he needed me. He still does--that's why we won't be home tonight either. So I would appreciate it if you would keep our secret for the time being. Can you cover for us?"
Paige: "Of course. But I don't know how long I can keep it up. First thing this morning, Piper was ready to call your dad in here to come and talk to him."
Phoebe: "When and if he's ready, ok? One step--or family member--at a time."
Paige nodded her grabbed her hand, "I'm sorry I doubted you."
Phoebe smiled and squeezed her hand in return, "It's ok, honey." She turned and started to leave.
Paige: "Whatever it is…The reason he needs you…It's worse than we thought, huh?"
Phoebe turned and shut her eyes to prevent the tears from betraying her with a response of their own. Walking away, she muttered quietly without turning around, "See you later, Paige."
Do You Really Want to Know?
Phoebe picked up the phone, "Elise? Hi, it's me. Could you do me a favor?", pausing to listen on the other end, "Yes, I'm working on that. But could you have one of the girls fax me some of the letters so I can work here today? Thanks so much. You're a life saver."
Hanging up, she mentally planned out her day. She had decided to stay at home today so she could also concentrate on finding a certain demon. She went to the attic and started flipping through the book.
Hours later, Phoebe still hadn't found anything, so she decided to call for her brother-in-law. "Leo!"
Leo appeared, "Blessed be…"
Phoebe was still angry with him for the way his future self treated his own son, "Oh, don't' you blessed be me."
Leo immediately dropped the passive and calm behavior in favor of a startled reaction, "What's wrong? Is it Chris?"
Phoebe tried to control her emotions, however, her anger managed to seep through. "No."
Leo: "What did I do?"
Phoebe mumbled, "Nothing. Look, I'm trying to find a demon named Tem'al. Heard of him?
Leo: "No. What kind of demon is he?"
Phoebe: "I don't know. He wears a black cloak, though I could probably describe him for you."
Leo: "Isn't he in the book?"
Phoebe replied exasperatedly, "Would I have called you if he was in the book?"
Leo looked down sadly, "Sorry. I guess you hate me now, too."
Phoebe realized that he hadn't done anything yet, and tried to put her anger aside. Putting her hand on his arm, "I'm sorry, Leo. It's just been a rough day. I don't mean to take it out on you. Can you help me find him?"
Leo accepted her apology, "Sure. What's he done."
Phoebe: "More like what he will do."
Leo: "What's that?"
Phoebe wanted to keep her promise and didn't want to give away Chris' secret, so she embellished a bit. "Chris and I think that he may play a major role in Wyatt's turning." She thought to herself, 'there. That's not entirely untrue!'
Leo: "Speaking of, where is Chris? Still avoiding me?"
Phoebe admitted, "Probably. I wouldn't recommend you mention this to him, or Piper and Paige for that matter, either. I don't want to get their hopes up. Just come to me if you find him."
Leo seemed to ignore most of what she said, "What could I have done that was so bad?"
Phoebe looked down, afraid that her emotions might get the best of her again. Her head shot up suddenly as she felt Leo's sadness and distress at his son's apparent feelings toward him. She took his hand gently and lied to him, "I don't know honey. He'll talk when and if he's ready. But don't push him, OK? He's really hurting right now."
Leo focussed on Phoebe intently. He noticed her jaw twitching and eyed her suspiciously, "you know something don't you? Did he tell you why he hates me?"
Phoebe replied honestly, "I swear to you Leo, he didn't tell me anything. But I'm an empath. I feel when he's hurt, remember?"
Leo didn't quite believe her, but let the matter drop for the moment. "Ok. I'll go check with the other Elders. See if they know anything."
As he orbed out, Phoebe let out a deep breath. 'Damn! That was close. I'm going to have to be more careful with my emotions.' She closed the book and grabbed her laptop in the hopes of getting at least some work done until Leo came back.
Piper was in the kitchen making dinner when Paige walked in, "Why is Phoebe home today?"
Paige had her own suspicious, but tried not to let them show. "She's working from home today."
Piper: "I know where she is. But what I asked you was why she is--here today, that is."
Paige: "I don't know. Maybe--she wanted to take it easy."
Piper: "Nice try. But if she wanted to do that--she would have went to work, instead of staying home--especially since with all of the demons that attack around here make it anything but peaceful enough to take it easy."
Paige tried to think quickly to steer Piper away from her train of thoughts, "Well, I think I remember her saying something about wanting to dodge Elise this week, maybe about some new column."
Piper narrowed her eyes at her in disbelief before turning back to chop vegetables. "Right. Have you seen Chris?"
Paige: "Not lately, but I've gotta' go." She orbed out quickly to avoid further questioning.
Piper muttered under breath to herself, "Yeah. One way or another I'm going to find out what's going on around here."
After dinner, everyone seemed to be exhausted from a tiring day of their own activities.
Piper: "I'm going to put Wyatt to bed and turn in a bit early myself. Goodnight."
Chris: "I'm going to go take another look at the book before I turn in." He stood up and kissed his mother on the cheek, "Goodnight, mom."
Paige glanced at Phoebe to see if she was watching him; which surely enough, she had been doing. As soon as they had left, she spoke, "Piper's getting suspicious, and it's only been a day. She asked why you stayed home today."
Phoebe: "I was trying to find something to help him. What did you tell her?"
Paige: "Nothing. I just said that I thought you were trying to avoid Elise this week because she wanted some new column."
Phoebe: "That's good. I'll probably do it again tomorrow. I'm leaving soon. Thanks"
Paige smiled, "Happy to help. Good luck."
Phoebe: "Thanks. We'll be back first thing tomorrow. Hopefully, before Piper wakes up. If we're not, can you call my cell phone and warn us?"
Paige and Phoebe said their goodnight's while heading up to their rooms.
After ruffling up the bed a bit, Phoebe stood back to examine her handiwork. Satisfied that the bed looked slept in this time, she grabbed some of her things and tip-toed upstairs to find her nephew. "Hey there."
Chris had been busy flipping through the book intently and was startled by her sudden appearance. "Hey. Wow. Is it that time already?"
Phoebe held up her bag and shook it, "Yeah. I got my jammies. You ready to go?"
Chris grinned at her attempt at humor. He didn't voice his response, but rather walked over and touched her shoulder as he orbed them to P-3.
As they settled in for the night, she waited a while before asking him, "Do you feel like talking tonight?"
No sooner had he said no, that he began talking a moment later and she resisted the urge to smile.
Chris: "I guess I just kind of wish I knew why I was never good enough for him. Why he hated me so much."
Phoebe: "Chris, your father didn't hate you."
Chris said bitterly, "You didn't see him."
Phoebe: "But I did hear him. Even though he acted like a jerk to you, he did seem to care about you. I want to try something…."
Chris asked hesitantly, "What?"
Phoebe: "I want to try and see what your subconscious saw. Leo was saying something to Wyatt just as you were falling asleep. I think you might have heard him."
Chris sat up defensively, "What difference does it make. I'm not really interested in anything he had to say."
Phoebe pulled him back down gently, "Because I think there was something there that may have been important."
Chris thought it over for a few minutes before finally giving in, "Ok, I guess. But I can't see what good it could possibly do. How are you going to do it anyway?"
Phoebe: "I'm going to modify the spell a bit to allow me to see, or at least hear, what your mind heard."
He closed his eyes and felt her touch his forehead. Shortly afterward, he no longer saw just the blackness of his eyelids. He also felt, or rather heard something more. Something that completely surprised him. His father--yelling at Wyatt? The perfect son?
Leo stood up flailing his arms, "Wyatt! How could you let this happen?"
Wyatt: "Oh, so I'm his keeper now?"
Leo: "You're his big brother! You're supposed to be looking out for him, not letting him go off and do whatever he wants so he can get into trouble."
Wyatt decided to play along since Leo was none the wiser of his duplicitous actions. He narrowed his eyes and sneered, "You're his father. That's "your" job!"
Leo: "And I'm an Elder too. You know I have other responsibilities. That's why I asked you to watch over him."
Wyatt smiled and replied sarcastically, "Well thanks for coming, Dad. He's healed now, so you can just go back to your "other" responsibilities because you're neither needed nor wanted here. Chris has done just fine without you for this long."
Leo crossed his arms angrily, "EXCUSE ME! I'm his father…How dare--"
Wyatt spat back, "SINCE WHEN? Certainly not since mom died."
Leo opened his mouth to protest, but realized that his oldest son was right. He had avoided both of his sons since Piper died, especially Chris. The boy reminded him so much of her, that it hurt to be around him. Everytime he looked at his face, he saw his wife smiling back at him. The spitting image of the love he had lost. Even the anxious, short temper was Piper through and through. He never meant to reject his son, and he wanted to change that, but he just didn't know how.
Wyatt knew he had struck a nerve with his father and laughed cynically. He started to orb out when Leo stopped him.
Leo calmed down, "Wait. Can you find him some clothes? So he'll be more comfortable?"
Wyatt nodded and left him standing there next to the couch to watch over his son. As Leo got closer, he noticed his face scrunch up as he began to kick out, all the while mumbling something incoherent.
Leo soon realized that he was in the throes of a nightmare, probably reliving whatever horror he had so recently been subjected to. His fists clenched repeatedly, silently cursing whoever had hurt his child as his anger renewed itself once again.
When Chris' thrashing became more violent, he was immediately pulled from his own anguish and went to try and calm his son's distress. Touching his forehead, he snatched his hand back quickly when Chris recoiled from his touch even in his sleep. He resorted to holding his hand over his body until it relaxed into a deep slumber.
Wyatt orbed back in holding a new set of clothes. He grimaced at Leo, "You still here?"
Leo was so absorbed in watching Chris sleep that he apparently didn't hear the displeased tone of voice. "I was just leaving. But I wanted to put him under a little deeper so he could at least sleep peacefully. He'll have enough to deal with when he wakes up."
Wyatt: "Yeah, whatever."
Leo: "Maybe I could make him forget, like I did for your mother when you were a baby?"
Wyatt scoffed, "I don't think so. The way I hear it, she didn't know who any of us were. But, if your goal is to make him forget that you've been a lousy father to him--then yes, that would be the way to go!"
Leo finally caught on to his sarcasm and shouted back angrily, "DAMN IT WYATT! Why do you have to be like that?"
Wyatt wasn't fazed by Leo's outburst and replied calmly, "And why do you have to pretend like he doesn't exist."
Leo suddenly sounded defeated, "I don't do that, I don't…I don't mean to. He's just so much like your mother. I see her face every time I look at him…"
Wyatt interrupted, "Just do us a favor? Go back up there and don't bother coming back."
Leo stood in front of Wyatt glaring at him for his brash behavior. He didn't get to protest as Wyatt turned his back and waved his hand, dismissing him. Leo looked around at his surroundings in surprise to suddenly find himself back up "there" as he cursed under his breath. "Why that little…I didn't even know he could do that."
One of the other Elder's approached him but he waived them off angrily, "NOT NOW!!!"
Immediately, he tried to orb back down, but found the apartment blocked by some type of invisible force field that Wyatt had apparently erected to keep him out. Standing on the curb, Leo ignored the curious glances he got from neighbors as he shouted back up to the window, "DAMN IT WYATT! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO KEEP ME OUT! GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE! I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME!….."
Chris opened his eyes in surprise, "Wow! I had no idea. I've never seen him that angry with Wyatt before. He was always the perfect son".
Phoebe: "So Wyatt told him not to come back."
Chris: "That doesn't mean he had to listen. He could have tried harder! But instead, he left me with…with…HIM…and his buddies! When it really came down to it--he didn't care what happened to me!"
Phoebe: "Chris you saw that wasn't true. Wait. You said he left--did something else happen?"
Chris jumped up and stormed off to the bar angrily. Slamming a mug on the table, he filled it to the brim with the strongest alcohol he could find.
Phoebe followed, "Chris, you don't drink. That's not the answer."
He seemed to realize the same thing as he fought to control his hand from shaking and sat the glass back down.
She started to approach him, but was startled back when he suddenly grabbed the full glass and hurled it against the back of the club wall. His face gleamed with pleasure when it shattered into tiny pieces. So he picked up another. And another. And another--until he ran out of glasses within reach. Before he could venture out further, she wrapped her arms around him, "Feel better now?"
Her interruption seemed to drain his new found energy for destruction. His shoulders slumped as he whispered, "..no.." He sagged down to the floor, pulling her with him. "Every time I woke up, he wouldn't let me leave. He wouldn't unbind my powers. Didn't quite understand why at the time. Funny thing was--I didn't care. I didn't want to go back out there. I figured it was safer inside."
As his voice faltered, she understood that it was difficult for him to continue. "Do you want to show me?"
His barely perceptible nod gave her permission, and she touched his forehead again to see his memory.
Wyatt stormed into the bedroom where his younger brother had been housed for the past several months since their return from Valhalla. He had grown weary of the now eighteen-year old's sullen and withdrawn behavior. In fact, if he hadn't heard him speak to Leo when they first came home, he might have thought that Tem'al had damaged his vocal cords. As it was, the only person that he seemed to be the slightest bit comfortable around, was most surprisingly, one of Wyatt's recent additions to his assassin fold. A Phoenix he enlisted when he vanquished her former master. "Get up. Now."
Chris visibly tensed at Wyatt's demand, but continued to stare at the floor unmoving.
Wyatt: "Look at me when I'm talking to you!" When he still didn't respond, Wyatt forcibly lifted his head to look into his glassy eyes. "Have you learned--NOTHING!!! After everything, you STILL refuse to do as you are told! Well you are--out--of--time, Christopher. No more games. You have about--", glancing down at his watch, "--four minutes to learn to do as I tell you. Yes, I can see by the look in your eyes that you know what I mean. That's right--they're coming. And this time--you may not survive. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?"
Do You Really Want to Know?
As Wyatt held Chris' chin to look into his eyes, he silently thanked whatever being that graced him with powers, had not seen fit to include empathy. The flurry of emotions that emanated from the crystal blue depths before him--Anger. Betrayal. Pain. Fear, would have all simply been too much for even the Twice-Blessed Son to take. As it was, the single tear that pooled from them was nearly enough to undo his resolve. He leaned in and whispered into his ear, "Just do as I tell you. And I promise--that won't happen again. I won't let them hurt you. But if you don't--they will either kill you, or--Just do it, Ok?" He stepped back and pulled on his shirt to coax him off the bed.
Chris started to follow until he heard the sounds of someone shimmering in the living room. A lot of someone's by the sounds of it. He paused trying to decide if he should try to make a run for it, or trust Wyatt. 'No', he thought, 'There's no way I'd make it past all of them and Wyatt. What choice do I have?' He was interrupted from his musings when Wyatt tugged on his shirt again like he used to do when they were kids.
Walking out into the spacious living room, Wyatt paused as he scanned the room and quickly counted off nearly two-dozen of Tem'al's minions.
Tem'al: "Wyatt? So nice to see you again." He sauntered over to them, eyeing the younger Halliwell greedily. "It seems as though he's behaving. None of the other's have gone missing since Valhalla. Well, of course, with the exception of my humble servant Brechior. He disappeared after he dropped you off from Valhalla. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?"
Wyatt gave him his best innocent look, "No. I haven't seen him. I do hope nothing has happened to him. But if it has, I know Chris didn't have anything to do with it. After all, you did quite an exceptional job of breaking him out of that nasty habit of hunting demons."
Tem'al narrowed his eyes suspiciously, "Is that so? I 'd like to see how well he can follow directions." He began circling them before he suddenly struck out, too fast even for Wyatt to react. He pulled Chris away from his brother's side and had him pinned against the wall in mere seconds.
Wyatt was too stunned by the swiftness of the move and didn't react quick enough. He had tried to grab for Chris, but he was already too far out of reach when several of Tem'al's demons surrounded him, while yet another brought an athame to his throat. He should have expected a double cross. After all, they were demons. But oddly enough, he didn't anticipate the situation. He did his best to cover the surprise in his voice, "What's going on Tem'al?"
Tem'al: "I'm just making sure that you don't try anything. Just in case you were thinking about having second thoughts. You do know why I'm here…"
Wyatt: "Why would I do that? I gave him to you once before. I certainly have no problems doing it again. That is--should I deem it necessary."
Tem'al: "Yes, but you really don't want us to kill him, do you? I mean--it was your idea to trade his life in exchange for his body--to teach him to behave. It would be such a shame--if we were to find out, that nothing had changed. And you wouldn't want to risk loosing him now after all of the training we gave him before, now would you?"
Chris clenched his fists angrily at their casual conversation and disregard for his life--his soul. He took a deep breath and tried to stem his reaction, hoping that it would go unseen.
Unfortunately as luck would have it, Tem'al noticed, "Oh, is he getting angry? I don't think you've done such a good job, Wyatt. He laughed heartily as a room full of demons crowded around both Halliwell's and shared a laugh. He wanted to see just how far he could push the teenager; to see if could provoke him further. Prove that neither Witch could be trusted. He leaned in closer and blew a stray hair from his face, purposely brushing past his lips to gauge his reaction. He wasn't surprised as the young man quickly squeezed his eyes shut.
Tem'al taunted him, "Open your eyes, boy. I want you to see what's coming. " He waited for a moment, but still received no response.
Tem'al spun on Wyatt hissing, "You expect me to believe that you can command my army--yet you CAN NOT even command your OWN--flesh--and--blood? A mere child at that?" He turned back to face Chris and continued his conversation with Wyatt, "You are of no use to me, Halliwell." He ran the back of his hand down Chris' neck, "This one, on the other hand--has many uses." Turning back and grinning at Wyatt, "On second thought, there are so many of us here today. And perhaps, two would go much further than one."
Wyatt responded with a calmness he didn't feel, "You are mistaken, Tem'al. I have simply seen to it that he obeys only me."
Chris heard the banter and laughter that Tem'al's comment had produced at Wyatt's expense. But somehow, he just didn't think Tem'al was joking. He was currently contemplating whether or not it would be worth it to go through all of that again, just to see his traitorous brother suffer and be humiliated in the same way. And would he live long enough to see the irony of the situation? The gleam in Tem'al's eyes just before he shut his own just didn't seem to convey any mercy--so that wasn't very likely. And he knew that he definitely wanted to live.
His decision made, he patiently waited for the command that most assuredly would come from the older Halliwell. He didn't have to wait long.
Wyatt: "Christopher. Open your eyes!"
Chris responded to his command with a glance in his direction. He noticed, with no small amount of satisfaction, that Wyatt appeared, if only to his eyes, as apprehensive as he was. He was brought back to the situation as his breath caught in his throat and realized just how close Tem'al was. Now that he could see him; feel the heat from the demon's breath on his face, the fear replaced his anger and returned full force. He struggled to fight his own instincts for either flight or fight. If it was even possible, he stiffened his body to stand closer to the wall, and further from the demon.
Tem'al seemed to be paying very close attention to him and noticed the minute movement to distance himself. To remedy that, he reached down and grabbed the young man's waist to pull him closer, eliciting a sharp gasp.
Chris was glad when Wyatt spoke again.
Wyatt: "Christopher! Come over here, now!"
Chris was grateful for the opportunity and breathed a sigh of relief to be able to pry the hand from his body. So eager to get away, he nearly bounced over to Wyatt's side.
As the demons holding Wyatt at bay relaxed a bit, he moved the athame from his neck slowly. He was starting to doubt the merits of leaving the boy's powers bound. If things didn't work out, then they could have at least fought their way out.
He tensed as he thought of his next move, and wasn't confident that it would work. After all, he hadn't heard his brother's voice in months, and now, their very lives depended on the response--if any, he would get from him. He closed his eyes momentarily, knowing that it could very well be the last thing he ever did as he addressed Chris, "Who is you Master?"
Chris looked down sadly before answering, "You are."
Wyatt breathed his own sigh of relief. He quickly regained his brazen attitude, "Look at me when I address you!"
Chris' eyes shot up immediately.
Wyatt pointed to the ground, "Then on your knees and bow before me."
Tem'al laughed at the absurd scene--of one brother bowing to the other. But he was satisfied of the younger's obedience when he kneeled. Tem'al knew that the arrogant young witch must have been ashamed and humiliated to be reduced to such servitude, as his shoulders sagged along with the head that bowed. 'Perfect'. He added for good measure, "While he's down there…"
All eyes in the room shot to him. The only two voices that could not be heard laughing uproariously belonged to the Halliwell brothers.