Prue stared at the book in deep concentration. She really wanted to read it, but she only knew two words on the cover - "cat" and "hat". She didn't know what the rest of the title said. Well, she did, because daddy read this story to her before, and she knew it was called "The Cat in the Hat", but she couldn't read it by herself. She walked around the penthouse. Her babysitter, Kyra, was very annoying. Kyra is 21 years old. Daddy says that that means Kyra is in charge and that Prue must do as she says.

Kyra goes to Stanford, which daddy said means that she is smart. Daddy knows someone named Dean who works there. Maybe Kyra is smart, but Prue didn't like her very much. Kyra didn't ever want to play or do anything, only read. And she never ever let Prue eat pop-tarts, but daddy let her have them when she was a good girl. Uncle Jake let her eat them whenever he watched her. Sometimes, Kyra read books to Prue, but they were sometimes in a different language like French, so it was not possible for Prue to understand the stories. Daddy told her there was a word for not possible, but she couldn't remember what it was. She would ask him when he came home from work. Kyra was cooking in the kitchen and Prue was sure she wasn't being watched, so she decided to go on an adventure. She made sure Kyra did not see her and went outside the door carefully. She didn't want to wait for the elevator because that might be enough time for Kyra to come looking for her, so she ran down a few floors, but then her feet started to hurt, so she decided that waiting for the elevator wouldn't be so bad. She frowned at the way her shoes looked. Daddy bought them for her only one week ago and they weren't as shiny anymore and that made her sad. She sat on the floor in front of the elevator to rest her tiny legs as she waited for it to arrive. She'd pressed the button ages ago, it must have been hours by now! Maybe even days! This was taking forever! She stared at the door, willing it to open. She kept hearing the ding of the elevator, but it never opened to let her inside. Then, finally, after waiting forever, the door dinged and the big metal doors opened. Prue hopped up and skipped inside happily. She took the elevator down all the way to the second floor, but then she got out so she could walk down and surprise Donnie herself. Donnie is big, and he works in the desk in the front of the building. Daddy says Donnie helps keep everyone who lives there safe because he makes sure nobody goes inside unless they're supposed to. Clarke also works downstairs. He always opens the door for everyone who comes inside, and takes packages for them. Daddy says Clarke is the doorman.

Prue skipped down the steps to the lobby and walked up to Donnie's desk. She was sure he couldn't see her though, because she couldn't see him. She hated being small. "Donnie?" She tried to be very loud and she hoped he heard her. She saw Clarke laugh and gave him a mean look. She saw Donnie come stand next to her and she smiled brightly at him. "Hey, Prue, what are you doing here? Does your dad know you're down here by yourself?" She shook her head, "Daddy's not home. I'm hungry, can I have dinner from Eagle?" Eagle is the restaurant conveniently situated only two buildings away. They have delicious food and Prue absolutely loved eating there. "But isn't Kyra going to make you dinner? I'm sure she's trying very hard." Prue gazed up at him with her best puppy face and watched as he gave into her demands, "Okay, okay, fine. What do you want?" She thought about it for a moment. What was it that daddy liked to order when they had dinner there? Oh yes, lamb ellington. "Lamb ellington." "You mean lamb wellington?" She nodded her head and waited for him to call over to Eagle. It is a fancy dress restaurant and it made her feel fancy to eat the same thing daddy got. Sometimes he got the truffle something but she couldn't remember the name of that and it didn't look as tasty as the lamb ellington - no, wellington. She would remember that. Princesses were fancy people and fancy people knew fancy words.

Donnie let her know that he'd ordered the food and that Clarke would go get it in a little while. Then, the phone rang and Donnie had to answer it. It was Kyra, but he told her that he didn't see Prue and that he'd call her if he did. "Donnie, you told a lie!" "No I didn't munchkin, I said I didn't see you and I don't. Not right now at least. Just stay over there and I won't be a liar." She nodded. Then, daddy came in the door, which Clarke opened for him. "Daddy!" She ran over to her father and jumped into his arms. "Hey princess, what are you doing down here?" Donnie answered, "She wanted us to order her some food, I hope that's okay sir." Daddy laughed and shook his head, "It's fine, but next time, just send this little monster back upstairs." Prue giggled happily as her father tickled her. A half an hour later, after daddy called Kyra and apologized, and paid her and let her go home, he went to pick up Prue's dinner from Eagle. She didn't really like it all that much, but if daddy ate it, she would too.

"Daddy, when are we going to see my mommy again?" She watched as daddy took off his tie and his jacket and sat down at the table with her. Daddy gave her a bowl of pasketi that Kyra cooked, and she was very happy to have something other than lamb wellington to eat. Daddy put his hands on his face like he did sometimes when he was upset or tired. "I, uh, it's complicated, princess." She pouted at her father, "Why?" "Well... because, your mommy and me didn't see each other for a long time before you saw her and it's... hard for us to be around each other sometimes." She scrunched her eyebrows, "But don't you love each other? Uncle Jake says you're in love with mommy." Daddy rubbed his hands on his face again, and she knew it was because he was upset this time. "Sweetie, I... it's hard for me.. because, uncle Jake is right. I do love your mommy very much, and it makes me sad to be near her sometimes." Prue hopped off her chair and climbed into his lap, "I love you, daddy. We don't have to see mommy if it makes you sad." Daddy shook his head,"No, I don't want to do that, princess. I love you too much. I know seeing your mommy makes you happy, and I want to make you happy. Okay? So we will see your mommy." She nodded happily and hugged her father tightly.

It was the end of a long day for the two of them as Cole tucked his tiny daughter into bed. He read her a story and kissed her forehead before leaving his daughter's room. He sighed. He realized today how selfish he'd been. His three year old daughter was more selfless and concerned about his feelings, and that was unacceptable. He loved that little girl more than anything, and she helped him realize that sometimes, there are people whose feelings are more important than your own.

He took out his phone and dialed her number. On the third ring, she picked up, "Cole, hey." She sounded surprised, as he'd expected. "Hi, Phoebe." "I didn't think I'd hear from you anytime soon. I was so stupid to kiss you like that -" "Just stop. Yes, you shouldn't have done that. You can't play with my feelings like that, not anymore. But, you know what, I'm not the only person whose feelings matter to me. I can't just ignore you because I feel like it, because her feelings are more important than mine. I'm her father, I can't be so selfish and I should have realized that a few days ago instead of ignoring your calls. So, why don't we just go ahead and set up a day for you to come and see her." There was a minute of silence before Phoebe's response, "Okay, um, I'm free on Saturday until 5, but after that, I'm pretty busy until the week after." Cole sighed, of course she was free on a day he had to work. This huge case he'd been working on was kicking his ass, and he needed to work late on Saturday. Besides, Sunday and Monday were his days off. Not to mention the two other cases he was heading, but he didn't want to wait an extra week for Prue to see her mother. It'd already been three and a half weeks. "Cole?" He'd seemingly drifted into his own world. "Well, I'm working on Saturday, my colleague's wife was supposed to watch her, so.. I guess you can come here and she'll supervise you while you hang out with Prue." "Really, Cole? Why don't you just let her come here and let me watch her for you?" Cole laughed, "Are you kidding, at the manor? Not exactly the place to be for a mortal toddler." He heard her sigh and almost felt pity, but he shook it off. "Fine. I'll be there in the morning." "Great. Anna will be here to greet you if I'm not."

He couldn't get to sleep, once again, as he laid in his bed consumed with thoughts of Phoebe. Damn it. Why the hell did she have to go and kiss him?

"Cole, she never wants to see you again, just stay the hell away from us! You're evil." Paige's words hurt him but he could see Piper consoling Phoebe in the other room, helping Phoebe control her powers, the ones that belonged to the baby. She was four months pregnant, damn it. Who gets a divorce when they're four months pregnant? Especially when the husband doesn't care that you killed him. Who else was that forgiving? He didn't even care. He just loved Phoebe so much and he loved their baby so much. "Don't tell me what to do, Paige. I want to talk to Phoebe." "She doesn't want to talk to her, you can see her in court, and then you can leave her alone. Just go and once we get custody, we'll be sure that the baby never comes anywhere near you." The words cut him and he'd been so hurt, so alone, so sad, and so damn angry.

There had been so many conversations with Paige and Piper, but none with Phoebe. He knew, as well as she did, that if she was the one to talk to him, she'd take him back, if not for the fact that she loved him, then for the fact that she was feeling their baby's desire to be near him. He remembered everything about those months all too well. Especially the court dates. He remembered seven month pregnant Phoebe showing up at court, with her lawyers and papers all claiming that one parent had to have exclusive custody of the baby because they couldn't stand to be near each other.

Landon Carter wore his best suit when coming to court to help his colleague and friend, Cole, settle this damned custody battle. Cole had been so happy when Landon offered his services. Cole was to become a partner soon after winning a huge case, and Landon was not only his boss and friend, but also a damn good lawyer. The judge asked, "Mr. Carter, why does your client believe he should have sole exclusive custody of the unborn child as opposed to it's mother?" Landon stood up with his natural air of confidence and spoke, "Your honor, my client is soon to become a partner at a very prestigious law firm and makes more than enough money to not only support himself but the child as well. Our offices also have a policy that partners and select lawyers may bring their children to work with them and either let them play in the daycare center, or stay with them in their own office. Mr. Turner would devote all his time to the little one. He is not only more able to provide for the little one, and give it more attention, but he has his own apartment with a nursery and child area already set. The Halliwell home, although I'm sure it's nice, is filled with too many people, especially with Ms. Halliwell's sister expecting as well. Ms. Matthews barely makes enough to support herself on a social worker salary, and with both Halliwell sisters on maternal leave and unable to go to their jobs - neither of which pay much - who will provide for the two children and four adults who will be living in the house? I'd also like to draw attention to the sister's various run-ins with the law, and the fact that they are mysteriously connected to various unsolved cases ..." Cole hated every moment of it. He knew he was going to win, because Landon's case was pristine, but he felt bad about bringing all those issues up in court. But, what the hell, he wasn't going to sit back and let her take his child away from him. Screw Phoebe. He didn't love her anymore, he was over it. Why bother with her feelings? He was going to adhere to her rules and treat her the way she'd intended to treat him if she'd won. He was going to do as she asked and cut himself out of her life, and take his child with him.

Looking back, he'd been heartless, and he should have tried to cooperate with Phoebe, but she'd been the one who'd insisted on the terms and she was the one who was so against them ever seeing each other again. It hurt to think of that day. It hurt most to think of the satisfaction on the sisters' faces when they'd walked into the court room, and after Phoebe's lawyer had said her piece. They were so sure about winning, so smug about hurting him. But, he'd won, and he knew he was going to, and he knew he was a damn good father who adored his child. He'd raised her better than the sisters would have been able to, because although him and Phoebe raising Prue together would have been the best option, Prue being raised by the sisters' in a world filled with magic, not knowing how to control her demonic powers, not knowing how to keep herself from going evil ... that would be the worst option. So, he'd won, and he'd hurt Phoebe, and he'd been satisfied, at the time. Now, he felt guilty, but he couldn't bring himself to regret what happened that day. Did that make him a bad person? Was he truly evil? He sure as hell hoped not.


Ta Da! Not much happened here, but I've been soooo busy, and I already gave you guys my spiel about why I hadn't updated, and I just wanted to put something up before school starts and I'm swamped with work. Leave a review and let me know what you think. I'm completely opened to suggestions, and I encourage them. Thanks for reading.

Love,

xoxo A