A Mother's Story
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from Charmed. This is just for entertainment purposes.
Summary: Cole was not the first demon to fall in love – so did his mother.
Author's Note: I was wondering about whether it was possible for a full demon to fall in love and this came out. Plus, I wanted to see if I could portray Cole's mother as something more complex than a bad, manipulative, evil demon. Also, I've chosen to refer to Cole's mother as Elizabeth to make things easier instead of coming up with a demonic name. I apologise if there are any errors and thank you for reading!
Elizabeth walked into the ballroom, proud and confident. She knew that she looked beautiful and all the stares from the people there proved it. Not that their opinion mattered to her. She was superior to them. They were just mere humans that she could crush effortlessly. Tonight, only one human's opinion mattered.
And that was only because she was on a mission.
"Miss Lane!" a middle-aged woman dressed in green exclaimed. "Come, we must introduce you to everyone here."
"Mrs Robertson," Elizabeth acknowledged with a smile and a nod. Mrs Robertson was the wife a rich banker and the type of woman who made gossiping her main occupation in life. Frankly, she couldn't stand them. But, it was only through her that she could meet him.
After being steered around the room she finally got her chance.
"And this is Mr Benjamin Turner," Mrs Robertson said, smiling brightly. Elizabeth looked at the tall man standing in front of her. He was better looking than she had expected. He had a face that showed a man who laughed and smiled often but it was his eyes that attracted her attention. Those chestnut brown eyes seemed to look through her. All the goodness in his character was reflected in those eyes. Elizabeth found them extremely unsettling but couldn't bring herself to look away.
"And who is this angel that stands before me?" he asked playfully as he lifted her hand to his lips and gently kissed it.
Elizabeth smiled at the irony. She was hardly an angel – the anathema to one actually. She was one of the demons who served the Brotherhood of the Thorn.
Elizabeth had rose quickly within the demon ranks, taking just decades to reach a status that many other demons could only dream to reach or would take centuries to do it. She had served as an assassin, a spy, seducer… whatever was required of her. Then, not too long ago, she had received her latest assignment.
She was about to start enjoying some well-deserved rest when Raynor had come to her quarters.
"What are you doing here?" she had asked irritably.
"The Source wants you to return to the human world," he had said. "You've been given a new assignment."
"What now?" she said, sighing.
"You are to kill a human called Benjamin Coleridge Turner."
"And what's so special about this human?" Elizabeth had asked curiously.
"The Source has received word that a descendent of this human would play a large role in the defeat of the Source. He doesn't want that to happen. So, you're to get rid of that human before he gets the chance to procreate."
"That's putting it rather delicately," Elizabeth said sarcastically. "What sort of harm could a human pose to the Source?"
"It is not up to you to question the Source," Raynor had said coldly. "You just have to follow orders."
Elizabeth was annoyed but there was nothing she could do. Raynor was right, much as she hated to admit it. She could have easily killed the human, but Elizabeth decided that she might as well have some fun as she was doing it. After all, she had been cheated of vacation time. In any case, she was curious to see just what was so special about this human.
"… Miss Lane is here with her uncle who is on business. They will be here for two months," Elizabeth's mind returned to what Mrs Robertson was saying. The woman glanced at Elizabeth mischievously before turning to Benjamin Turner and said, "Since you don't have anyone accompanying you tonight, would you mind showing Miss Lane around and keep her company?"
"It would be a pleasure," he said as he offered his arm to Elizabeth. "So where are you from originally?"
"I actually live in London, although my family travels often."
"Why aren't your parents here?"
"They're dead," Elizabeth said quietly, looking at the ground. She relished playing the part of the poor, sweet, orphaned girl. "They died a month ago."
"I'm sorry," he said softly and Elizabeth looked up into eyes that stunned her with their depth of compassion and it took a lot to surprise her after the countless times she had played this role.
"There's no need to be," she said then, smiling up at him. "But why should I be answering all the questions? It should be my turn to ask you a few."
The two of them spent most of the night in conversation. There was a strange chemistry between them and it was as if they could talk about almost anything with each other. The role that Elizabeth had assumed didn't seem to matter anymore. Once, Benjamin had told her about his middle name Coleridge. Elizabeth had laughed then and asked, "After the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge?"
Benjamin nodded. "My mother loved his poetry."
"He was an opium addict you know," Elizabeth said, laughing. "I don't think your mother wanted you to follow in his shoes."
"I think that's why it's my middle name instead of my first. It was more as if he was honouring him."
They had stared at each other then as their smiles faded, caught in the rapport between them. The outside world held no meaning or significance at that moment – they were barely aware that it existed. All that mattered was that they were together at that moment.
It was a while before Elizabeth returned to reality with a sense of panic. She had never felt like this before and she was frightened. She was a demon – it was impossible for demons to have feelings for humans, or anyone else for that matter.
She wasn't sure. She broke the stare and breathed deeply, trying to think rationally and ignore the pull within her to let herself go, to lose herself in their private world. She told herself that she didn't feel anything for him. She had merely gotten too deep in her role – the persona that she was playing was beginning to dictate her behaviour. It was just an anomaly, a strange, once-only occurrence. She got up abruptly and said coolly, "It's late. I should get home."
Benjamin blinked. Her sudden change in behaviour had brought him crashing back to reality. "Of course," he said, flustered, getting up as well. Then he said wistfully, "When will I see you again?"
"I'll be out walking tomorrow to take a look at the sights. You can join me," she said, telling herself that she was just meeting him in order to complete her assignment and nothing more.
He smiled at her then. "All right then. I'll escort you home?"
"There's no need," Elizabeth said quickly. She didn't want to spent any more time with him, it made her too confused, made her forget her true nature. "Good night Mr Turner," she said firmly.
"Good night Miss Lane."
Elizabeth shimmered back to her quarters in the Underworld, troubled. She sat down and passed her palm over the black candle on the table in front of her, lighting it. Then, her fingers played with the flame as Elizabeth fell deep in thought.
What was it about Benjamin Turner that attracted her so? He was just a human. She was a demon, she was evil and she could not love.
She had to settle this quickly. There was no telling what would happen if she spent more time with him. She couldn't let any demon find out about this. It would be viewed as a weakness – at best, they would exploit it, at worst, it would lead to her destruction. She couldn't let herself get involved any further. She had to cut the weed by its roots before they got too deep into the ground.
Her choice was simple – she had to kill him.
Then why was she still so confused?
The next morning, she came down from her room to find Benjamin waiting for her. He was standing by the window, his brown hair catching the morning light, his expression thoughtful.
"What are you looking at?" she asked.
He started. He had not noticed her presence. He turned to her and smiled. "Nothing, really. I was just thinking."
"Thinking about what? Whether it would rain today?"
He laughed. "No, nothing that specific. I was just letting my mind drift."
"Nothing as prosaic as the weather, surely," she said, grinning at him.
"It actually has happened on occasion." He took her arm and steered her to the door. "So where are we going?"
"Well, I've only been here for three days and I haven't seen much of the area. Perhaps you could show me around?"
He smiled at her broadly. "I know just the place."
He brought her to one of the small parks near-by. It was a beautiful and serene place, but most important of all, there were very few people. It was the perfect place to kill him.
But Elizabeth couldn't do it. She kept telling herself to wait a little longer, that there was no rush. She was enjoying his company far too much. He had told her more about his background and his life. He was the only son of a rich family and was a lawyer. He was a good man, one who helped whoever and whenever he could.
Elizabeth was all too aware how different the two of them were. He was everything she wasn't. And she couldn't understand it. She could not understand how anyone could devote their whole lives to good. She couldn't resist asking him. "How can you devote your whole life to doing good knowing that you probably wouldn't get anything in return? That there would still be so much more evil going on in this world that you can do nothing about? What's the point?"
He looked at her in surprise then said simply, "Someone has to do it." He paused, thinking. "You have to start from somewhere. It's difficult sometimes but I know I have to at least try. It's a little hard to explain."
I'll say, Elizabeth said to herself. That was the thing about good. They had so much faith – faith in their ideals, in the inherent goodness of people… which Elizabeth found hard to believe. She was well aware that humans sometimes made it so easy for evil. The evil that some humans did with little or no demonic encouragement was sometimes beyond what a demon could desire.
"Do you believe that people are born good or evil and nothing can change that?" she asked, wanting to know his thoughts yet unsure why it was so important that she know them.
He shook his head. "Perhaps to a certain extent. I think people might be born predisposed to either good or evil but I don't believe that they can't change. Ultimately, we're still given the choice to do good or evil and it's a lot more complex than I'm evil by nature." Then he grinned at her, "Why all the philosophical questions all of a sudden?"
"Hm?" she murmured, distracted. She was still thinking over what she had just said. Then she said quickly, "It's just the quiet. It tends to make my mind wander off into all sorts of strange directions."
"Then let's get you off to somewhere a little noisier. Thinking too much about this sort of thing is tiring for the mind," the last was said in an exaggerated patronising tone.
"Are you implying that my mind is weak?" Elizabeth cried in mock outrage.
He laughed. "Stronger than mine, my lady, stronger than mine," he took her hand in his and brought it to his lips and kissed it gently. The smile on Elizabeth's face faded as she was caught entranced once again by the man standing before her.
A man whom she had to kill or risk death.
She quickly withdrew her hand from his grasp and looked away, saying, "It's getting close to lunch time, shall we go get something to eat?"
"Of course," Benjamin said after he recovered his composure.
Elizabeth sighed in relief. She needed to be in some place where there were more people to keep her grounded and tied to reality. She couldn't afford to forget who she was and what she came here to do. It didn't strike her then that there was no way she could complete her assignment in a crowded place.