3

Chapter 1

The orb cloud carrying the three sisters descended into the Underworld lair. They immediately spotted the cage that appeared to contain five witches.

"Stanley!" Paige said, immediately recognizing one of the male witches looking out of the cage from a picture she had seen of him. He appeared to be in his early thirties, muscular, with long brown hair held back in a ponytail. Another male witch of around twenty-five and a female witch of thirty stood next to him. A female witch of forty-five sat crouched in the back corner of the cage, comforting a young man who was lying in a fetal position, his face obscured.

"How do you know me?" Stanley asked.

"Caleb, your whitelighter, sent us after you," Paige replied. "We're the Charmed Ones. We're here to rescue you."

In the back of the cage, the witch soothed the young man, saying, "It's okay. The Charmed Ones have found us. We're saved." There was no response from the young man.

"How did you find us?" he asked.

"It's a long story," Phoebe answered.

"There's no time to explain now. We have to go,." Piper ordered. "How do we open this cage?"
"It's magically protected. Only Slavo can release us," Stanley said.

From behind them they heard a snarl.

"Charmed Ones!" spit .Slavo, a rather human looking demon.

The sisters managed to turn around just in time to see the flaming ball of death being conjured up by the demon. As he hurled it towards them Paige cried out, 'Fireball!" and used her orbing telekinesis to sail it back in his direction, immediately vanquishing him.

Slavo was a witch trader, capturing and trading witches to other demons in exchange for powers.

With Slavo vanquished, the magic around the cage dissipated and the captives were able to get out.

As Stanley and the two witches beside him gathered around the sisters to thank them, Phoebe broke away and walked over to the two witches—the woman and the young man—that remained in the cage. The woman had light brown hair with several streaks of gray. She was stroking the brown hair on the young man's head, trying to urge him to respond.

"It's okay now," she said softly. "They came. Just like I told you they would. I told you not to give up."

"Is he okay?" Phoebe asked, concerned.

Phoebe crouched down next to him and moved his arm, which had been obscuring his face. "Oh my God!"

It wasn't the two black eyes, bruised cheek or the cuts on his lip and chin that caused her to gasp.

"Piper!" she called.

Piper responded by looking away from the people she was speaking with and turned in Phoebe's direction. Shock overcame Piper, followed by a flood of emotions as she saw his face.

She walked closer, mouth hanging open, to make sure her eyes were seeing right.

Crouching down next to the young man, pushing his hair out of his face as he stared blankly ahead, she cried, "Chris…"