Authors: Wicked R and Charmed-Snow
A/N: Thank you for your reviews! Here is the next chapter.
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Chapter 5: Dungeons and Demons
Cole took a sip of wine, looking admiringly at Phoebe, who was so beautiful in her bridesmaid's gown. She accepted to do this job because she and the bride had been close friends when they'd been living in New York. Her friend seemed proud of having her as one of the bridesmaids since she and her column were getting more and more popular here.
He smiled vaguely seeing how glamorous Phoebe was towards the camera, wishing they could remarry some day. They had dated for a couple of weeks, it's lots of fun and pressure. He of course felt happy to be with her, even though it wasn't quite comfortable playing a different person. He'd read all of the books Christian had given, it's hard to understand them thoroughly, but it'd served him well when Phoebe'd accidentally been writing an article about plastic surgery for her paper, and thought about asking him to explain some technical terms. Thanks to his son and his ingenious courting strategies where he though about every detail, he was familiar with the terminology as well!
He had also taken time to study football, some great teams, and some famous players since it happened to be her favorite sport. They seemed to be discussing it a lot, one of what they had never done when they'd been together. They had never got into a real argument except for the day the muses had disappeared. Unfortunately, their discussions usually resulted in frustration, because of their divergent points of view on everything. Hey, Cole wasn't seriously interested in those things, who knew Phoebe was a David Beckham fan, he wasn't the best half back after all. And nobody ever told him that she adored the actor who had once played in "Profiler"! Hadn't she admired the guy in "Kill it before it dies"? He had foolishly criticised this actor, and couldn't forget how severe she had retorted, it'd ruined their date! Well, he actually didn't know how the actor had done his job, because he'd been concentrating on his own job when "Profiler" had been airing on tv. Stupid mistakes!
Cole had gathered all of Christian's information, but he hadn't had enough time living with him, so he didn't know much about his son's habits or character. Luckily, Phoebe didn't know him either. Therefore, he just had to make sure he didn't act like himself, thinking he would be safe as long as Phoebe didn't realize who he really was. And that meant he should take his eyes off of her right now! Cole turned to another direction, seeing a young woman walking towards him, smiling seductively. He didn't know Phoebe was glancing at him at the same time, and finding him not looking at her. A sexy girl approaching him added more displeasure to her feeling.
"Hey, Christian! I couldn't believe how lucky I am to see you here!" the woman greeted.
Cole presumed this beautiful woman must be Christian's regular client since no features on her face remained natural, and her inviting breasts in addition. He should give compliment to his son instead.
"Hi!" he greeted her back.
"I called to arrange a surgery for my hands." She held up her hands "You see, they're bony and the tendiness crops out hideously. They said you're on vacation here."
"But my partner's still there, right?" Cole said nonchalantly.
"I just want you to perform my surgery." She persisted, then reaching her truly not so beautifully shaped hand out to touch his arm "Don't you think we should go to my place after the party?"
He wouldn't have been surprised to know this woman and his son had slept with each other. Before he could answer, Phoebe appeared behind him, grabbing his other arm "Who are you talking to, Christian?"
"Oh you go with her!" the woman found out.
"You're right. So, excuse us!" Phoebe pulled Cole in.
"Wait, take my phone number, you can call me later!" the woman refused to let him go "I'm still here for a couple of weeks."
"Sorry, we've already had another plan." Phoebe replied instead.
"Have you?" the woman questioned Cole.
Phoebe stared at him, she had never competed with anyone for a man. And she wouldn't believe if he's going to say something that went against her word.
Cole glanced at her, and answered the other "Yes. But I'll be back to Miami next month. Call me then!"
Phoebe really tugged him this time, they walked fast to a corner where she pulled him out. "What do you mean saying you'll see her next month?"
"I mean exactly that." Cole said "I'll see her after coming back to work."
"What about us?" Phoebe glowered her eyes "I thought you're considering our relationship as serious. And I'm not some fling embellishing to your vacation. If you don't think we match, that's fine. But you couldn't court some other girl in front of my eyes, still thinking I'll be with you as long as you're here."
"No, you've gone too far." Cole defended "She's my patient, we're just talking about her next surgery."
"I wasn't born yesterday." Phoebe snorted "All I saw was she got surprised knowing you'd be with me longer than a day, and she wanted to give you her phone number."
"Did I get it?" Cole challenged.
"Hey, Turner! Is it you?" a middle aged gentleman walked to them "Well, I can't mistake the both of you. Nice to meet you again. How are you doing?"
Cole turned around to see his former boss, Mr. Kline, as soon as his last name was addressed. Phoebe also turned to take a look at the caller, so she didn't realize Cole had responded quicker than he's supposed to. Turner wasn't Christian's last name considering!
"Hello, Mr. Kline." Phoebe greeted him "Glad to see you. But this is not my ex husband, he's Christian Troy, plastic surgeon." She then told Cole "This is Mr. Kline, a partner of the law firm Jack, McCarter, and Kline, where Cole worked."
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Kline!" Cole held his hand out.
"I'm sorry for my mistake." His former boss took it confusedly "You look definitely like his twin brother."
Taking a deep breath Cole pressed the doorbell, hearing it ring through the wooden and glass door, just like the very first time four years ago when he had come with the pretext of swapping books back. He waited for the answer nervously. Just because he was able to deceive Phoebe for a couple of weeks into thinking he was somebody else, it didn't mean Piper or Paige would not look through him. After what had happened in her friend's wedding party, he'd thought she would've been going to end their relationship again, but she'd decided to keep on at last. Despite of how 'uncongenial' they seemed to be, Cole found Phoebe was patient with him, so he should demonstrate his good intentions to her as well. That's why he hadn't opposed her idea of meeting at the manor today. Besides, he had to meet everybody at some point, if he wanted to continue being her surgeon boyfriend.
The door swinging open interrupted his thought, Cole would rather Phoebe to welcome him, but the one before him was his ex brother in law, "Dr. Troy, please come in," Leo mustered him, offering his hand.
Cole took it, expecting the itchy orbs to bother him on his palm, "Dr. Wyatt I take it," but he felt no burning sensation on his hand. Of course, Leo was human now, "so what area do you work in?"
"I just started taking some shifts at Francisco General. Emergency medicine." Leo smiled, trying to be polite. Actually he was puzzled seeing 'Christian' and hearing his voice.
"Really?" Cole was genuinely surprised. Leo was possibly coping with being human more than he ever could.
"Well, excuse me, the baby is needing changed upstairs…Phoebe's in the kitchen. That way. Have fun!"
Cole toddled in the indicated direction, all weirded out by the experience. He knocked on the open door of the kitchen before entering, "Phoebe?"
Phoebe looked up, greeting him with a grin "Come in, I'm cooking dinner for us." She's wearing an apron and hardly anything else.
Remembering a lot of her illustrious catering catastrophes, Cole managed not to stiffen up, "that's...w…wo…wonderful…but I only want the afters anyway," he attempted to derail her.
Phoebe smiled sadly, 'Christian' shouldn't react as if he'd already known she wasn't good at cooking. He reminded her of Cole. Cole would have reacted this way knowing he would've had to eat most of whatever she'd made. Yet she had confidence that the food would be fine tonight. Hopefully everything would be fine.
She decided to take the next step in their relationship tonight, if possible. Otherwise, she would put an end to them. She felt disappointed when 'Christian' did something unlike Cole, but she's sad if he did something similar to him. It's self-contradiction. But she couldn't help her own feeling. She knew she should see 'Christian' as himself, not Cole's copy. And she should be with him if only she loved him. It's about time to get the answer.
"Why don't you go over to the living room over there? I'll join you in a minute after I make sure everything's under control," Phoebe handed him a glass of red wine.
Cole nodded and made his way out uncertainly. It might have looked like as if he was unfamiliar with the house and that was why he was so hesitant, but in fact he doubted every minute that this deceiving game would work out well at the end. He emptied his glass in a oner, sat down and willed himself to try to enjoy the moment, rather than think about the future. He was so happy when he was with her. Was it possible that he could continue misleading her the same way for the rest of her life? However small, that was a possibility. And in the name of that deception, he started humming a melody he'd heard on the radio when he heard her coming. Cole assumed he couldn't act like a hundred and twenty year old and not know anything about current music. Christian would certainly know at least some songs.
'Cole wouldn't remember any lyrics.' Phoebe thought, this man looked so much liked her soulmate, as a matter of fact, both of them had nothing physically different, but they distinctly were two different individuals. She sighed, then cursed herself for keeping on playing the comparison. She's dating with 'Christian' now, and that's only what counted.
"Pleasant tune, what is it?" Phoebe asked Cole, sitting down next to him.
"It's a song by Dannii Minogue. Can't remember the title, but it's catchy."
"I like it," She saw her image reflecting in his amorous blue eyes, that look encouraged her to slip her arms around his shoulders, she started kissing the muscles at his neck, her hands touching him in the most distracting manner at the most pleasurable place at the same time.
His enjoyment was violently interrupted by an unmistakable smell, the odour of something burning, "uh…maybe you should go into the kitchen." Cole whispered.
Phoebe shot up in apprehension. It was a proverbial phenomenon with her. She had checked the timer. How could this be happening? She rushed to inspect the veal, hoping that it could be rescued in some way, but discovered to her appal, that it was beyond repair, "oh no, dammit, no...!"
"Geez! What'd you do?" Cole peeped in the pot with the unidentifiable gooey material that was supposed to be his dinner. That was even a bit far for him.
"I'm sorry," Phoebe said contritely, "I hate ruining our evening."
"It's no problem. This was your plan anyway, mine was to go into town for a meal."
"I'm still sorry."
"Don't be. It's not your fault that you can't cook…I mean it is your fault, but it doesn't matter. It's not as if I go out with women for the way they find their place in the kitchen."
"But I wanted to make it a romantic evening, then go upstairs and finish it in my room. Maybe you can relax enough there." Ironically, her plan had broken up before it started, as if proving to her they're not meant to be.
"Do you know me as somebody who is high on romance? However we can do all that after we had something to eat. You need to try out my Lamborghini I hired today anyway…"
'Can we?' Well, it wasn't important where it was as long as they could develop their relationship. But Phoebe highly suspected the feasibility now.
"Where were you all night?" Piper shouted at Phoebe and 'Christian' as they entered the front door, shivering from the coolness of the morning air, and pulled Phoebe away from her date, and into the kitchen, away from 'Christian's' supposed hearing distance, "I was just about to send Paige after you."
"No, I was just worried. Why don't you have your mobile on?"
"I did," Phoebe looked in her bag, "must've had no signal. We were kinda in the middle of nowhere. You see, the dinner I said I was going to prepare for him last night? Well, it didn't work and…"
"Ah!" Piper exclaimed, "so that's what was stanching in the kitchen this morning when I came down! I should've thought it was only one of your cooking disasters. Grrr! What did you put in it? Gremlin skin powder instead of parsley and oceans of garlic after that to hide the initial tang?" She shook her head.
"No, I swear I made it exactly the way I saw it on the Grabham Show's quixotic addition and I had only the cooking times mixed up with an hour or so and the gravy got solidly stuck on it, but that was nothing comparing to his sense of directions. You would think he didn't have the experience of distinguishing a motor way sign from dust road diversion if he wasn't constantly going on about fast and flashy cars. Or he did that on purpose so we avoid going to bed together again. Anyway, we eventually ended up in Santa Cruz when we only wanted to go down to one of the restaurants in the bay area. Now who's worse? Me or him? Finally we arrived back to Golden Gate Park and watched the sunrise from there." Phoebe couldn't restrain her depression anymore.
"That must've been romantic. I did it once, quite a while ago with Dan, but I'd like to repeat it with Leo one day." Piper said thoughtfully.
"Romantic?" Phoebe snapped, but then she hung down her hands, speaking in whispers "Not so much. Kept thinking about how I don't really like him. I was dishonest with myself. The more I see him, the more I miss Cole. That's why it has to end. Today."
"Is Christian here?" Paige shouted from half up, half down the stairs, "a guy with a Scottish name on the phone for the second time this morning. Doesn't he know it's hours earlier here?"
"Oh, that would be Dr. Sean McNamara, my partner," Cole supplied, pleased with himself he could remember the person's name, "I'll get it," he almost started towards the telephone, then realised his mistake, "where is it?"
"Hall, behind you. I'll put it through," Paige indicated, then left him, going back to sleep.
"Sean?" Cole picked up the receiver uncertainly.
"Thank God, Christian."
"Something wrong with…uh…Matt, or something?"
"No, it's another Mrs. Grubman crisis. She came here so we perform sub muscular breast augmentation on her friend, and she is actually going to pay for it this time, but she requested you to do it. I don't want to spoil your holiday, but she could still change her mind and blackmail us, if we don't do it exactly the way she wishes it, you know that."
"Okay, when you want me?"
"With the next plane. How are you doing, by the way?" Sean asked apprehensively. It wasn't like Christian not to complain about this recent turn of events, it wasn't like him to disappear on long holidays and court one woman only. He behaved very uncharacteristically since the Carver's strike and he wondered if his friend was getting back on track at all.
"Good. We'll talk when we're there," Cole suggested, putting down the handset. He was quite sure Christian will be able to think of something. He was his son after all, not to mention more familiar with Sean, "I need to go," he wandered after Phoebe into the kitchen, "my partner needs me on a complicated case. But I will be back by tomorrow night," he promised.
"We'll be in P3," Phoebe nodded, giving him a small, insignificant parting kiss.
In the deepest and darkest cavern of the Underworld, the ground frightfully quaked of all a sudden, then separating into two. A red light appeared in the created whole, getting brighter and brighter. Finally it turned into a figure.
"I'm free!" the creature roared with joy, a sledge manifested in his hand. He dematerialized with it.
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A/N : Please review!