A/N - I edited this chapter as I felt the need to do so. Reread If you haven't and please review.

Chapter 1 - Panic! At The Restaurant


Summer was here, and it was a nice sunny afternoon at two o' clock. Birds chirping, children playing, the sun shinning down through the trees making what the older generation called 'angel rays'. These sounds and sights alike were not to be missed in San Francisco, but Melinda Halliwell was stuck working a shift at her mother's multi-cuisine restaurant.

She walked out of the Italian Kitchen and into the furnished dining area carrying a pizza in one hand, a grimace across her face. One medium vegetarian pizza, with extra jalapeƱo peppers, and oh, hold the onions and tomatoes, she mimicked the client as she carried the dish to his table.

"Here you go, Mr. Helton" she said, as she placed the pizza on the table, feigning a smile.

The customer didn't reciprocate. Melinda turned away and rolled her eyes. He was a regular here, having an Italian dish every Tuesday and dining from the other cuisines on selected days of the week. Melinda straightened her apron and walked back towards the counter.

"Excuse me, miss," a handsome young man said, his voice raised.

Melinda turned to see him give a sweet smile. She returned it, feeling as to how she felt when no one did the same. "So, what'll it be?" Melinda asked him, her notepad and pen which she withdrew from her apron pockets in hand.

The man's smile twisted slyly. "I'll have one witch and her powers," he furtively ordered.

Melinda's forehead wrinkled and again, she faked a smile. "I'm sorry, what?" she asked, pretending to have not heard his question. The man's countenance grew more evil as Melinda backed away. He held out his hand and generated a fireball. "You're mine." He let go of the flaming ball and that was when instinct kicked in. Melinda raised her hands in fear and then, all was still. The fireball was suspended in midair, the man's evil grin put on hold. The other waiters didn't move and Mr. Helton had his greedy mouth open, a pizza slice ready to enter the monstrous wet cave. Melinda threw her hands in the air in frustration. This wasn't the first time this had happened at Chez Trois. Just then her mother walked in.

"Melly, how long have you-" Piper Halliwell paused on seeing the frozen scene.

"Okay, you remember the exposure talk we had a week ago?" she asked her daughter, annoyed. "Melinda, you can't just go freezing things. Your power range is only limited to a room. What if someone-"

Melinda stepped aside to reveal the fireball and the demon in throwing-position behind her. "Oh!" Piper exclaimed, ceasing her bitching. Melinda responded with a sarcastic smiling headshake. Piper quickly flicked her wrist, exploding the fireball and the demon simultaneously.

"You know what? I quit!" Melinda angrily declared. "I hate this job. I hate these demons. I hate being helpless!" With that she pulled off her apron and angrily trod towards the "Staff Only" area, slamming the door and causing her freeze to wear off. The scene resumed and Melinda's notepad which was about to hit the floor did. Piper looked around and stared at it with, exhaling a sigh.

Handbag on shoulder, Melinda angrily walked out of her mother's restaurant. She had several reasons to be angry. She had frozen the demon, after which she was helpless. And then her mother had the nerve of yelling at her! How dare she?

"You seem to be upset," a familiar voice said from behind Melinda, bringing her back from her world of rage. Melinda stopped in her tracks. "I guess that means I don't get my daily donation today."

Melinda clutched her fists, uttering the words "Why don't I just freeze this piece of filth?" to herself. The homeless man that she saw everyday after leaving was sitting near the entrance, his curtained hair partly covering his smirk. She had always given him a dollar or so everyday, not to mention leftovers from for dinner. Melinda rolled her eyes and encaged her anger. She unzipped her purse and approached him, pulling out the usual two dollars and handing it to the man.

He happily took it. "You know, you're really special," he told Melinda, causing a mixed expression to surface on Melinda's face. "Not everyone stops by everyday to do this." This caused Melinda to force a slight smile. At least someone thought she was special. Sometimes while offering him leftovers and not having anyone else to talk to, she had short conversations with him. Short interesting conversations - about the inequalities of life, about trust, about life altering errors. And yet all she knew was his name - Jett Chaseman - when she had casually asked him the question.

Melinda's smile faded as she heard her mother call her name from the door. She turned away, quickly trying to make it to her car that was parked a few feet away. She slammed the car door hard, and instantly started to drive away. Flushed, Piper turned around, looking for people who might have seen the embarrassing situation. But there were none; just a dog near a fire hydrant and two dollar bills sitting still near the front door.


End of Chapter One.