A quick note to my FC fans:
Hey everyone out there who has been missing this story. I know this chapter has been a long time coming and for that, I apologize. I usually send a chapter to Nifty after the one following has been completed; but I lost some inspiration for a bit with chapter 17 and everything else after it. It was a struggle to get it back... but not impossible!
So, expect lots more from the journey of Pete, Wyatt and Chris. I've got some great things coming up with this story and I think you will always like where the story turns. I'm in the middle of the second version of Chapter 17 (the original version will be used later... it was too much of a great idea to throw away completely) and it's coming along nicely.
Thanks to all of you that have sent me kind words of praise and enjoyment of "Forever Charmed". You help me keep this going and I am so glad you all enjoy it.
A big thanks to my newest friend X. You're definitely a big help to keep me in the right spirits.
"Forever Charmed" uses characters from the Aaron Spelling TV show,
"Charmed". Spelling Enterprises; all rights reserved. I do not own most
of these characters. I, however, do own some, but the main Halliwells
belong to Aaron Spelling.
If you're under 18, you really shouldn't be here reading this, so please
hit the back button now. All responses and comments can be sent to
Chapter 16: The Sins of the Father
"OK... what's going on"; Piper asked as she walked into the kitchen.
"Um... nothing, Mom"; Wyatt responded while wiping his hands off with an apron. "What makes you think that?"
"Well, there's food here"; Piper responded, pointing to the table.
"Well, food is normally here... served on the table"; he said, while removing the apron and heading to the fridge.
"OK, let me reiterate this. You cooked food for me... and everyone else in that house."
"That he has"; Pete answered.
"I thought the cooking gene was recessive in you"; Piper smiled.
Wyatt sighed. "Just sit down, Mom. I need to talk about... something."
"OK"; Piper said slowly as she sat down next to Chris. "Is there something going on here"; she asked looking toward him.
Chris gave his mother a quick glance and turned back to his plate.
"Peter"; she said sternly. "Out with it."
"Um..."; Pete started to say. Chris gave Pete a hard look and Pete quieted quickly.
"Alright, Mom"; Wyatt began; stepping forward. "You've always told me not to be ashamed of my decisions... and I'm not ashamed of what's going on with me and Caleb."
"You and Caleb"; Piper repeated. "Whoa..."
"What"; Wyatt said as he stopped dead in his tracks.
"This doesn't involve a name change, does it?"
Wyatt laughed nervously. "No, Mom. We're not getting married."
"Good"; she replied as he sat down next to her.
"Where's Dad"; Wyatt asked.
"He had to grade some papers at Magic School. Now, stop stalling. What's going on?"
Before he could begin, there was a knock at the back door.
"Got it"; Pete and Chris said, both standing up from the table.
"Sit down"; Piper said to the two boys. They both did as they were told. "I've got it."
Piper stood up and answered the door.
"Caleb"; she said brightly as she held the door open. "You either have the best timing in the world or the worst in history."
Caleb walked in slowly and looked around the kitchen. "Is this a bad time?"
"I don't know. You tell me."
"Hey baby"; Wyatt responded. "Um... I guess you should be here for this, too." Wyatt walked toward Caleb and took his hand for support.
"Are you going to tell her..."; Caleb started.
"I'm getting there"; Wyatt said with a nervous smile.
"Getting where exactly"; she asked looking around at her sons. Pete and Chris shoved food into their mouths quickly.
With a loud sigh, Wyatt started to talk. "I don't know if you noticed, but Caleb and I... we've been getting really close lately."
"Yes, I have noticed that"; she answered. "I also noticed that you haven't been here most nights."
Wyatt started to interrupt, but Piper continued. "Look, I was young once, too. Just try being honest with me, baby. I'm not going to explode every time you're going through something. And try to stay home on school nights."
"Now, you were saying?"
"Oh, yeah"; Wyatt realized, clutching Caleb's hand tighter. "So, anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Caleb asked me something really important."
"You're just going to keep skirting around this issue, aren't you?"
"No, I'm getting there, Mom. I'm just nervous, I guess." He let go of Caleb's hand and sat down in the chair next to his mother. Caleb walked behind Wyatt and placed his hands on Wyatt's shoulders.
"Maybe I should speak now, because you may never get there if I don't"; Caleb said with a smile. Wyatt nodded and Caleb continued on.
"Piper... I've asked Wyatt to move in with me."
Chris and Pete stopped in mid-chew and locked their eyes on Piper. She seemed somewhat surprised, before relaxing her gaze and reaching for a glass of water. "Oh."
"Mom, I know what you're going to say: that we're too young and this is too fast. And I agree that Caleb and I have only been together for a few months... but what we have is real and strong and... I love him, Mom."
Piper placed the glass on the table and stood up. She moved to the counter and looked around at all of the faces locked on her. She then did something none of them saw coming.
She laughed. Loudly.
"Mom, I'm serious about this"; Wyatt said, standing up and walking to his mother.
"No..."; she said, still laughing. She tried to speak, but laughter continued to overtake her.
"No what"; Caleb said, walking to join Wyatt. "No disrespect, Piper, but I don't think this is a funny situation. Your son opens his heart to you and you laugh in his face."
After a second, Piper placed her hand on her stomach and her laughter calmed. "No. I was trying to say, "No, that was not what I was going to say"... about the whole fastness of you and Wyatt. I was laughing because you all thought I was going to go off on someone."
"Oh"; Wyatt realized. "I guess I can understand that."
"Wyatt, look"; she said, taking his hand in hers. "I'm not an expert on love, trust me. If it wasn't for countless demon attacks, you probably wouldn't be here."
"I don't get it."
"It took me almost forever to get to realize the fact how much your father meant to me. He and I almost lost each other so many times and if I had half of the courage you did, we probably would've been together much sooner than we had..."
"What are you talking about? You and Dad are together."
"I know that"; she said with a light smile, "but it just took me too long to accept just what I was feeling for him... but this is not about me. Wyatt, are you sure you love Caleb?"
Wyatt looked to Caleb and smiled. "I've never been more sure of anything, Mom."
"And Caleb? Are you sure not only that you love Wyatt, but that you want him to move in with you? And wait a second... don't you live with your father?"
"Actually"; Caleb said, stepping forward to the two of them, "he moved out about a month ago. His business does that sometimes."
"So, I see. And another thing you two have kept from me."
"Sorry"; Wyatt and Caleb responded.
"Well, Caleb"; Piper questioned.
Caleb smiled widely and looked toward Wyatt. "Yes, Piper. I'm more than sure. On both counts."
Piper looked at Caleb, then at her son. "Then, I'm guessing you're asking for my permission to... move out?"
"Yeah"; Wyatt responded, a little more sadly than expected.
"Having second thoughts and I haven't even given my view on this proposal"; Piper asked.
"No, it's not that. I mean... the whole "moving out" thing. It's just weird."
"Like I told you before"; Caleb responded as he moved forward and placed his head on Wyatt's shoulder, "you don't have to stop being a Halliwell. You're only going to be about 5 minutes away."
"I know"; Wyatt said, leaning his head into Caleb's hair. "It's just... different."
With a sigh, he picked his head back up and looked at Piper. "So, what do you say?"
"Can Wyatt come and live with me"; Caleb asked, pouting his lips for effect. "Please?"
Piper smiled for a moment. "Well, who am I to say "no" to two people as happy as you both are?"
"Are you serious"; Wyatt asked. "Is it really OK?"
Piper nodded and smiled, holding back a tear. "Yes, it's OK with me."
"She said yes"; Caleb said happily.
Wyatt turned around and faced his boyfriend. "She really did, didn't she?"
Caleb squealed happily and embraced Wyatt, kissing his lips lightly over and over again.
"Caleb, not in front of my mother"; Wyatt said jokingly, before pulling him into a tight hug, which Caleb enthusiastically returned.
"Hold on"; Piper said, breaking up the moment. Wyatt turned around and Caleb placed his arms around Wyatt's mid-section.
"There are going to be a couple of rules... and I think it's only fair considering the both of you are still underage."
"Actually, I turned 18 last week"; Caleb said with a smile.
"Well, happy belated birthday, but Wyatt doesn't turn 18 for another couple of months, so still... rules."
"OK"; Wyatt said. "We're listening."
"Don't worry about them now. Besides... I haven't talked this through with your father yet. Just consider this a victory for now and let it ride."
Piper looked at her son's smile and couldn't help to smile herself. She had never seen him so happy.
"Now, I don't know about you, but I'm starving"; she said, looking toward the table. Wyatt knew she was trying to hold back her emotion and didn't hold it against her. "And I'm dying to taste Wyatt's cooking. Caleb, I'll take it you're going to be joining us?"
"I guess I am"; he said with a smile as wide as Wyatt's.
"Well, you can serve yourself"; she responded as she walked back to the table. She had just picked up her fork... and realized something. She looked toward Pete and Chris, who were also smiling.
"You both knew about this way before I did, didn't you"; she asked.
Chris and Pete quickly put more food into their mouths.
"I think I've been quiet a little too long"; Pascal said to a man in a cage. "It seems that Drage has gotten too comfortable in his... human life."
The man whimpered, but did not dare look Pascal in the face. Beaten and battered, he shook in fear, but did not respond.
"He wants to involve himself with the Hallwells and pretend that all is well. I think it's time to spice things up. And I believe you're just the person to do so... Nicholas."
The older man finally glanced up.
"But we can't have you looking like this. I guess we'll have to clean you up a little."
Pascal leaned into the cage and the man known as Nicholas, in fear of his life, did not move.
"Besides, you have to look decent for your son."
"You-you're letting me go"; the man asked shakily.
"For now"; Pascal responded with a sneer. "Of course, there will be rules."
"Why did you put us in the middle of that"; I asked Wyatt as he cleared the dishes.
"Really"; Chris responded, sitting next to me. "That was so freakin' stressful. You know Mom can read right through us!"
"I'm sorry, I just needed the support. Mom can be pretty scary sometimes, you know."
"We know"; Chris and I both admitted.
"You guys do that a lot"; Caleb said with a smile.
"What do you mean"; Wyatt asked, placing a dish into the dishwasher.
"If the three of you aren't finishing one another's sentences, you're saying the exact same thing."
I had to smile a bit. "I never even noticed that. I guess it's the whole brother thing."
"OK, speaking of this whole "brother" thing... is it because you guys are so close? Because with everything between Chris and Pete, that's kinda weird to call yourselves "brothers"."
Wyatt paused in the middle of washing dishes and I kind of stood there stunned.
After a second, Chris said, "Yeah. That's exactly why."
"You guys must think I'm really dense or something"; Caleb said.
I looked at Chris and he nodded.
I stood up and walked to Caleb. "Um... Caleb, this is going to be a little weird to explain."
"Let's see. You guys are witches who fight demons, have all sorts of magical problems and Pete, a boy, is pregnant. I don't think life can get any weirder."
"You're right"; I said, reaching my hand behind my head. "Um... short version: The three of us; Chris, Wyatt and I... we're brothers."
"I got that"; Caleb said. "But what I...."
"No... we're... actually brothers. Piper... is my birth mother."
The smile on Caleb's face changed into one of surprise. "What? OK... this is... what?"
"I guess I have to go into logistics. My mom is a witch, too. Not Piper, my real Mom. Amanda Heskith. There was a demon attack and my mom almost lost me... and Piper, Phoebe and Paige cast this spell to bring me into another body until I was born. That body was Piper's and... I guess that explains it."
Caleb stood there in silence, not able to take his eyes off of me.
"Are you OK"; Wyatt said, coming from behind him.
"I... I guess so. I mean, I'm not freaked out about that. I think I'm more freaked out about... how I'm not freaked out about that... and who is Phoebe?"
"My other aunt"; Chris said. "My mom's other sister."
"And no one else knows about the two of you? I mean, you and Chris."
"Just Wyatt, Aunt Paige, Noah... and now you"; I said. "I hope this doesn't bother you too much, Caleb. I mean, I know this is not normal..."
"Like I said, your lives aren't normal."
"If I had a dime for every time I've said that."
"Well, we all have skeletons in our closets"; Caleb admitted. "Although, in this case, it's more like a graveyard. But don't worry... it's cool with me."
"Good to know"; Wyatt said, giving Caleb a kiss on the cheek and heading back to the dishes.
"Besides, if you kind of think about it, you're actually all half-brothers. Pete, you have blood from your mother running through you, too... I mean, Amanda, by the way."
"Wow"; I said. "You know... I never really thought of it that way."
"So, we're not as freaky as we thought we were"; Chris asked. "Damn, we're not as original as we thought."
"I don't know many half-brothers who date each other"; Wyatt said. "You're still pretty original, if you ask me."
"Yay, I'm special"; I said, leaning over to give Chris a kiss.
"Speaking of weirdness and freakiness"; Caleb countered, "how are you feeling, Pete? I mean, with the baby and all."
"Well"; I said, lifting up my shirt, "Layla was right...sort of. I haven't grown too much since last time. I mean, it's not that noticeable. Right?"
Caleb placed his hand on my stomach. "This is so cool, yet so beyond weird. You don't mind if I..."
"Please"; I said with a smile. " I basically have to lift my shirt and let Chris and Wyatt touch it every time I walk past them."
"He's... only half-lying"; Wyatt joked as he placed the last dish in the dishwasher. "But, come on. Aren't I supposed to be a doting uncle?"
"More like a future spoil-my-kid uncle. Wow... it's still so weird to say that."
"You'll get used to it"; Chris said with a wide smile. "I'm going to be a dad!"
Caleb giggled at Chris' random happiness moment.
"At least someone's excited about all of this"; I said.
"You're not"; Caleb asked, finally moving his hand away, allowing me to bring my shirt down. "I mean, you're going to be.... a parent, too."
"You were about to say "a mom", weren't you"?"
Caleb smirked and joined Wyatt around the chopping table at the sink.
"I mean, I just don't know how to feel about all of this just yet. I'm happy and all... it's just all new to me. I don't even know when he or she is going to be born."
"Don't the usual 9 months rule apply"; Caleb said. "And there's still another dish there, babe."
"Damn"; Wyatt said, turning the faucet to the sink back on.
"Not this time. Layla said since this is a magical pregnancy, the normal rules don't apply."
"Do we need to discuss... where it's coming from"; Wyatt asked. "I mean, we're guys... and..." He moved his hands around, making the movements more lewd than necessary.
"No. Layla assures me it won't be as painful as a normal birth... which scares me more, actually. Ew."
"OK"; Wyatt said. "I'm officially done with the dishes." He wiped his hands off on the dish towel and turned on the dishwasher. "So, are we going to your place tonight?"
"Didn't you just spend the past couple of nights there... especially considering they were both school nights"; Chris asked, standing up and reaching into his pocket.
"I have no idea what you're talking about"; he responded slyly. "And besides, it's the weekend now. It shouldn't be a problem."
"Except you're not going anywhere"; came Mama Piper's voice as she walked back into the kitchen.
"I guess the rules come into effect now"; Wyatt said, leaning against the table.
"Nope. Still haven't gotten them all set. Besides, I still have to talk to your father about everything."
"Uh-oh"; Caleb said.
"You know, I said all of this before. I guess someone wasn't paying attention."
Caleb and Wyatt smiled in response, knowing that they had let their ears deceive them.
"But, that's not the reason you can't go tonight."
"Then why"; Wyatt asked, "We're not going to do..."
"Finish that sentence and you may never come back over"; Caleb interrupted.
Wyatt nodded and quieted himself.
"Smart boyfriend"; Mama Piper continued. I glanced at Chris and he quickly moved his hand out of his pocket.
"Anyway, are we forgetting that this is your father's birthday weekend?"
"Is it that time of year already"; Wyatt asked.
"You know it is"; Chris responded. "I've been pestering you most of this week to go out with me and get Dad a present."
"I... guess I've been busy"; Wyatt said, smirking at Caleb.
Mama Piper gave them a look.
"Studying for tests"; Wyatt quickly covered. "You know, end of term stuff and SAT's."
"That's great"; Mama Piper said, "except you took SAT's at the end of last year."
"Busted"; Caleb said.
"Anyway, we're having a dinner celebration tomorrow night, which Caleb is invited to if he pleases."
"I do please"; Caleb said with a smile. "Do I have to bring something?"
"You don't have to. You're off the hook this time considering you didn't know about it."
"That's true, but I still feel bad. I'll pick up something tomorrow morning."
"Totally kissing up to the boyfriend's mother"; Piper said with a smile. "Not necessarily a bad thing."
Caleb and Wyatt smiled.
"OK, since you're being way too kind, I'll inflict one act of kindness of my own. Wyatt, you can stay at Caleb's tonight... but you have to be back in time for the party tomorrow. It starts at 6."
"Cool"; Wyatt said. "I guess I'm going to need some clothes."
"For what reason"; I muttered. "They'll just be on the floor in minutes."
Chris snickered lightly. Wyatt looked toward me and gave me a hard look.
"Thanks, Mom"; Wyatt said and walked to give her a kiss on the cheek.
"Well, I'm on my way upstairs, anyway; just wanted to get a glass of water." She went to the fridge with a glass and filled it up.
"Good night, boys. And remember, Wyatt. No later than 6."
"He'll be here on time"; Caleb assured her. "I'll make sure of it."
"OK, now you're just showing off"; Piper responded as she walked back to her room. "But, I'm not complaining."
I laughed and glanced over at Chris; whose hands were back in his pockets.
"Alright, what the hell are you looking for"; I asked him. "You've been digging in your pants forever."
"Just for my cigarettes"; he responded. "I know I had them here..."
He glanced back at me and I couldn't look him in the eye.
"What's going on"; Chris asked as he stepped forward to me. "And no lying!"
"OK, OK... so I kind of... didn't want to be tempted watching you smoke... considering I'm with child and all..."
"You threw them away"; he realized. "You're funny."
"I'm sorry, babe"; I said. "But, you shouldn't be smoking around me since I'm pregnant anyway. It's bad for the baby."
"And you were afraid you didn't have any maternal instincts"; Caleb said with a smile.
"Ha-ha"; I responded. "It's just common sense."
"It's fine with me"; Chris responded. "I have another pack upstairs."
"Um, no, you don't"; Wyatt said. "Pete had me throw those out yesterday."
Chris sighed and walked back to the table. "You know, it's your fault I smoke in the first place, Pete!"
"I know, I know... but think of it this way. I got you into a bad habit and now, I'm getting you out of one."
"You're lucky I love you"; he answered as he kissed me on the forehead.
"You know, Chris"; Caleb responded, "I may have a cigarette in the car."
"And right now, I love you more"; Chris said, walking to Caleb and giving him a huge kiss on the cheek.
"Hey"; Wyatt and I both shouted.
"What"; Chris said with an odd grin. "Alright, I'll make this promise: until the baby is born, this will be my last cigarette."
"And I promise to keep my filthy habit away from you both"; Caleb continued.
I looked at Chris and he had his lips pouted.
"Oh, no. I'm not falling for that face ever again"; I said, standing up from my chair. "But, fine... one last cigarette."
"Cool"; Chris said.
"Alright, I better go upstairs... and pack my things"; Wyatt said.
"Wait a second"; I said. "I have a feeling about something."
I held out my hand and said, "Wyatt's backpack!"
Into my hands from his room, Wyatt's red travel backpack appeared in my hands. I gave him a look that confirmed my suspicions.
"OK... so I had some clothes set aside to stay over at Caleb's already. Call me spontaneous."
"Whatever"; I said. "See you guys later. Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"Don't do anything he would do, either"; Chris countered.
"Too late"; Wyatt said with a smile. Caleb punched him in the arm and he ran away from him.
Caleb gave me a quick hug. "See you tomorrow." Wyatt kissed me on the cheek and followed his boyfriend.
"I'm going to get that cigarette... and smoke it outside"; Chris said, following them out.
"Last one"; I yelled back at Chris.
"Last one"; he responded.
"Damn... I wish I could have a cigarette"; I said, rubbing my stomach.
Piper was laying in bed that night when she heard the door open.
"Honey, is that you"; she called out.
"Of course"; Leo said, in his usual pleasant voice. "Who else would be coming into our bedroom this late at night?"
"I was hoping it was Brad Pitt"; she replied. "Just kidding."
"Sure"; Leo responded. "Did I wake you?"
"Actually"; she said, as she turned on the lamp next to the bed, "I haven't gone to sleep yet. I was kind of waiting on you."
"Really, because Brad Pitt comes to mind"; Leo answered jokingly. He walked to Piper; his robes swishing with his movement and kissed her lightly. "How was your night?"
"Interesting, to say the least"; she answered, sniffling.
"Hey, have you been crying"; Leo asked as he removed his robes and walked back to the bed.
"Damn"; she said with a light smile. "I was hoping you wouldn't notice."
He sat down next to her and pressed his hand against her head. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing... well, nothing that wasn't probably going to happen eventually."
"You're confusing me"; Leo responded, his face twisting with concern. Piper sighed and moved Leo's hand to her own.
"Wyatt made me dinner tonight..."
"And you're upset because he burned something?"
Piper laughed softly, before glancing away from her husband. "No. He had an announcement to make."
"It must've been something big if it's making you this upset."
Piper squeezed Leo's hand, before releasing it and looking at Leo. "He... he asked me if he could move out."
"Move out"; Leo asked, his voice slightly raised. "Why? What happened?"
"Nothing bad. Caleb asked him to move in with him."
Leo pursed his lips. "Wow. That's... wow."
"Exactly my thoughts. But... he's so happy with Caleb and they seem to never stop smiling whenever they're around each other..."
"Isn't it a bit too soon? I mean, haven't they only been together... I don't even know how long my son and his boyfriend have been in a relationship."
"I don't think that should concern you too much. And it's been four months; maybe longer."
Leo sighed and looked to his wife. "So, what did you tell them?"
"After some convincing words... I told them it would fine with me."
"Did you even consider consulting me on this, Piper? I mean, I am his father."
"Of course you're his father"; Piper responded, moving herself around the bed and sitting next to him. "And yes, I planned to talk to you about this."
"When; after their wedding?"
"That's not funny, Leo. I mean... it was a shock to me. I didn't see this one coming."
"You knew something was up"; Leo said, a bit angrily and standing up. "You knew how serious they were getting. Do you even know if they're... they're..."
"Having sex, Leo"; Piper finished. "Yes, I think they are."
"I don't believe this."
"What did you expect, Leo"; Piper answered, standing up to face her husband. "For them to play video games and Tiddlywinks? They're teenagers; we can't always keep after them!"
"But we can put a halt on some things, Piper. He's only 17. He doesn't know what he's doing..."
"Doesn't know what he's doing? Wyatt's a smart kid; I'm pretty sure he knows what he's doing."
"He's still young, Piper! I mean, for all we know, this could be a phase."
Piper laughed suddenly and sat back down on the bed. "You know, sometimes I forget that you were around in the 1930's and your mentality doesn't always stretch past the Great Depression or whatever."
"What is that supposed to mean"; Leo said angrily.
"It means that, no, it is not a phase. Wyatt likes boys and so do Pete and Chris!"
"What"; Leo nearly screamed.
"Oh, shit"; Piper muttered, stepping away from Leo.
"No, you cannot step away after saying something like that"; Leo responded, following closely behind Piper.
Piper turned around and faced Leo. "This is not how I wanted this to come out..."
"Funny choice of words"; Leo said.
Piper sighed and placed her hands at her sides. "All of the boys... Wyatt, Chris and Pete... are either gay or bisexual."
In disbelief, Leo stepped away from his wife a few feet. After a minute, he spoke. "How long have you known this?"
Piper sighed. "Since earlier this year; about the same time I found out about Wyatt's sexuality."
Leo laughed sarcastically and turned around. "And let me guess... you were eventually going to tell me."
"No, I wasn't"; Piper responded.
"Nice to know."
"That's not what I mean. I'm not supposed to know about this. It just... sort of came out."
"There goes that term again"; Leo said.
"Look. They are still the same boys... and you knew about Pete when I found out years ago. You've always seemed fine with it."
"I was fine with it"; Leo responded. "As long as..."
"What"; Piper yelled, stepping to her husband. "As long as it didn't affect our family? Are we forgetting that Pete is family?"
"I... I didn't mean it like that"; Leo said.
"I think that's exactly how you meant it, but it doesn't matter how jaded your view is."
"Jaded"; Leo repeated.
"Yes, jaded, because let me tell you something. Whether you like it or not, our sons happen to like boys. And there will be boyfriends, sex and Hell, maybe even marriage if we ever can get someone in the Oval Office who isn't a complete ass."
Leo looked away, but Piper grabbed his face and forced him to look at her.
"The point is... at the end of the day, they are our kids. Our family. Our blood. And no matter what they choose, we need to stand behind them. They love us unconditionally; why can't we love them the same way?"
"I do love them unconditionally"; Leo said, a bit calmly. "It's just.... I don't know how to take this."
"Well, I suggest you find a way, because it's not going anywhere."
Leo sighed and walked away. "I can't deal with this right now. I'm going to sleep on the couch."
"Fine"; Piper said, stopping Leo in his tracks. "But first off, you know nothing about this. And if I catch you acting even the slightest bit different around the boys, I will let you know."
"Anything else, dear"; Leo said, still facing the door.
"I can't force you to accept anything. If you think that denial is the best way for you to deal with this, then so be it. Good night."
Leo sighed once more and exited the room, closing the door behind him.
Piper sighed and said, "I think that went quite well..."
"Welcome home"; Caleb said; drying his hair off from getting out of the shower.
"Don't get too excited"; Wyatt responded, while lying in Caleb's bed with nothing but his boxers on. "My dad still hasn't put in his two cents."
Caleb sat on the bed and placed the towel on the side of him. "Do you think he'll be OK with you living here?"
"I really don't know. He's a weird book to read."
"Well"; Caleb said; moving in to be closer to Wyatt, "if I got the read off of him right from when I met him, it shouldn't be a problem."
"Trust me. He's not that easy to understand. He's kind of an "old-timer" when it comes to some things."
"Well, what's so hard to understand"; Caleb said, crawling on top of Wyatt. "I'm here"; he said, before giving Wyatt a light kiss, "you're here"; he said before another kiss, "and we're in love with each other."
"That we are"; Wyatt responded with a smile. "And you're not wearing any underwear."
"That I'm not"; Caleb said lustfully. "I'm guessing it's not that hard to understand where I'm going with this."
"To understand, no. Hard... well..."
"I feel it"; Caleb said with a giggle, before leaning in and kissing Wyatt deeply. Wyatt ran his hand to the back of Caleb's head, pushing his mouth even closer. Caleb moaned with intensity as Wyatt's cock grinded against his own. This caused Caleb to rock slowly against Wyatt's hips; bucking back and forth against Wyatt's 9 inches. Wyatt moved his mouth from Caleb's lips to his neck; lightly licking and biting the skin surrounding his jugular.
"Mmm"; Caleb moaned loudly. "This feels great, but you should really take your boxers off."
"Someone didn't give me a chance to before he attacked me"; Wyatt nearly whispered.
Caleb stopped moving long enough and lifted upwards for Wyatt to reach down and pull of his underwear.
"How's that"; Wyatt asked, dropping his boxers to the floor.
Caleb sat back down; feeling Wyatt's hard dick pressed beneath his own.
"Much better"; he answered. "Now where were we?"
"I think we were just about"; Wyatt said, moving Caleb's head back down to his, "here."
Wyatt attacked Caleb's mouth once more; his tongue sliding hard and slow in Caleb's mouth. Caleb moaned once more; getting himself into the kiss.
"Whoa"; Wyatt said, separating himself from Caleb. "What was that?"
"You just made me leak a little"; Caleb responded with a smile, "if you know what I mean."
"Not that"; Wyatt answered. "There was a noise."
They both stopped talking and listened out. Downstairs, they heard the front door open and close shut.
Caleb jumped off of Wyatt quietly and tip-toed to the door. "Someone's down there!"
"Your dad's here"; Wyatt asked, also jumping off the bed and putting his boxers back on. "I wanted to meet him and all... but not like this."
"I don't know... what's going on"; Caleb said shakily, reaching behind his door and grabbing a metal bat. "My dad didn't call me or anything."
"What's with the bat"; Wyatt asked; joining his boyfriend. "You're going to attack your father?"
"Well; in case it isn't him; I'm going to knock the shit out of whoever it is"; Caleb whispered.
"You might want to put something on first"; Wyatt said, pointing to Caleb's naked body, "unless you're going to hit him with 2 bats."
"Funny"; Caleb said, walking to the bed and throwing on a pair of jeans. "Better?"
"Fine"; Wyatt answered. "Now, let's see who's breaking into our house."
With Caleb close behind, Wyatt snuck out of the bedroom door and walked across the 2nd floor landing, which led to the stairs.
"There's a light switch in the corner"; Caleb whispered.
"Gotcha"; Wyatt responded, reaching the switch. He could make out the silhouette of someone at the bottom of the stairs, walking into the living room. With a sigh, he started down the stairs when Caleb grabbed him.
"Um, what the hell are you doing"; he asked.
"I'm going after his ass"; Wyatt answered.
"And what if he has a gun"; Caleb continued.
"That's when being a witch comes in. Now let's go."
Caleb moved closer to Wyatt as he made his way down the stairs. As he reached the corridor that led to the living room, he could see the person moving around. He reached over and clicked the light switch to the living room and clicked it upwards; illuminating the once darkened room.
"Got you, you son of a..."; Wyatt said.
"Who are you"; the man said, looking a bit disheveled. "And what are you doing in my house?"
"Your house"; Caleb said, stepping to the side of Wyatt. "This is not your house."
"Look. I haven't been here in a while, but I'm pretty sure this is still my place. I got the key from behind the light post on the porch." The man reached into his pants and pulled out a key.
Wyatt looked at the man and said nothing.
"Wyatt, now would be the time"; Caleb said through gritted teeth.
"Oh, my God"; Wyatt finally said, stepping forward. "Mr. Anderson, is that you?"
"Yeah"; the man said, stepping forward. "And who the hell are you? And why are you nearly naked in my house?"
"Do you know this guy"; Caleb said, stepping forward.
"Yeah"; Wyatt said, a bit angrily himself. "More than I would like to. Trust me."
"Dad"; Chris said with surprise as he walked into the house that night. He had a couple of plastic bags with him. "Um... hey."
"Hey, son"; Leo responded, while sitting on the couch. "You're coming in kind of late, aren't you?"
"Not really. I stayed in tonight, but I just made a trip to the store to stock up on some snacks for Pete... and me."
"Not that I'm not happy to see you"; Chris continued, walking to the couch in the living room, "but what are you doing down here?"
"Your mother and I... we're having a bit of a disagreement about something."
"Sorry to hear that"; Chris said, sitting down next to his dad. "Why do I have a feeling is has to do with a certain announcement made by Wyatt... and before you ask, no, I didn't use my powers."
"You wouldn't need powers to figure that out, son... but yes, that's part of what it had to do with."
Chris sat there in silence and nodded.
"It's just... don't get me wrong. I love Wyatt, no matter what he decides to be..."
"You're just not sure on how to deal with him actually living and being with another guy"; Chris finished for him.
Leo looked at his son and nodded. "Also... I just didn't realize he had grown up so quickly."
"I know it's kind of a hard hurdle to get over, Dad, but Wyatt's still Wyatt, no matter who he decides to date and be with. Would you rather have him be with a girl and be unhappy?"
"Of course not. At the end of the day, I want him to be happy with himself."
"And that's what he is, Dad. You and Mom... for as long as I can remember, you both told all of us that we should grow up to be the best person we can be and live our lives to the fullest, because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Wyatt got lucky and found someone who loves him for him and accepts the fact that he fights demons and other weird monsters on a daily basis."
"Something tells me that has to also do with the fact that he's saved Caleb once before."
"More than once, actually"; Chris countered. Before Leo could cut him off, he put his hand up and continued, "It's a long story, but we did what he had to do. And that's not the point. What I'm trying to say is... Wyatt's living his life for him, just as you and Mom taught us to. And isn't that what any parent wants: for their kids to do what they tell them to?"
Leo sat there with a smile on his face.
"What"; Chris asked.
"How did I raise such a smart son"; he responded.
"Believe it or not"; Chris said, standing up once more and grabbing his bags, "even when we were total butt pains... we listened to you. Now, Pete and I have movies to watch and munchies to snack on."
"Don't let me keep you"; Leo answered. "And... thanks."
"No problem, Dad"; said Chris with a smile, before turning away and making his way upstairs.
"Chris"; Leo called out once more.
"Yeah"; he answered; looking behind him.
Leo paused for a second before deciding to say, "Good night."
"Good night, Dad. And happy birthday."
As Chris made his way back upstairs, Leo thought of the irony of that even though it was his birthday, his youngest son's maturity far surpassed his.
"Thanks"; Mr. Anderson said, taking his cup of coffee from Caleb. Instead of responding, Caleb walked back to where Wyatt sat on the couch and sat next to him; grabbing his hand instantly as he did so.
"So, if you don't mind me asking"; Mr. Anderson continued, "I still have no idea how you know who I am."
"I'm still not sure I shouldn't be kicking you out of our house right now"; Wyatt responded.
"Now it's our house"; Caleb said jokingly.
"It's neither one of your houses"; Mr. Anderson responded; a bit angrily.
"That's funny, because when I moved in, your ass sure wasn't here."
"Look here, son"; Mr. Anderson said, standing up, "you should really watch your tone with an adult."
"And you should really back up from my boyfriend"; Wyatt countered, standing up as well, "before you get knocked back down."
Realizing that Wyatt wouldn't stand down, Mr. Anderson decided to sit down. Wyatt did the same.
"If I'm going to be threatened in my own home"; Mr. Anderson continued, "can I at least know who's doing the threatening; especially since you already seem to have some kind of grudge against me."
Wyatt glared hard at the man across from him... and sighed, relaxing himself.
"My name is Wyatt. Wyatt Halliwell. Do you remember me now?"
"Wyatt..."; Mr. Anderson thought out loud. "Halliwell... wait, little Wyatt; Joshie's old friend?"
"Joshie"; Caleb said, looking at Wyatt. "Your ex, Joshie? How does he know him?"
"Caleb... meet Joshie's father, Nick Anderson."
"His father"; Caleb repeated. "Well, I guess that explains the animosity."
"Not to me, it doesn't"; Nick said. "You're in my house and yet, you have the gall to be pissed at me!"
"It's not your house"; Caleb shouted. "Why do you keep insisting that it is?"
"Because"; Wyatt responded, "once upon a time... it was."
"He lived here"; Caleb asked, standing up once more. "So, that means..."
"Yeah"; Wyatt nearly whispered, "Joshie lived here, too."
Caleb looked at Wyatt in shock, not able to say anything. He walked around the couch toward the corridor to the front door and the stairs.
"And you knew this? And you didn't say anything?"
"How was I going to bring it up, babe"; Wyatt asked, standing up to face Caleb.
"Is that why it was so hard for you to answer if you wanted to live here... because Josh was here at one point in time?"
"It was a lot of reasons, babe, not just that one. I didn't know how to even begin to talk about your house."
"It's not your house"; Nick shouted, standing up.
With a sigh, Wyatt looked toward Nick and said, "Let this man as quick as a sneeze, stop this snit and quickly freeze!"
Nick did not say another word... or move another step.
"What did you do to him"; Caleb asked.
"He's frozen. It's a spell I borrowed from my mother, but anyway... look, I know you're upset."
"I'm not upset about that"; Caleb said, stepping forward. "I'm disappointed that you felt that you couldn't talk to me about this."
"I know... and I'm sorry."
"So am I"; Caleb responded. "Look, I can't deal with this right now. Is there anyway you can just get rid of him... I just want to get some sleep."
"And I want the both..."; Nick said. "Hey, what happened? How did you get over there?"
"Never mind that"; Wyatt said. "Now, we would appreciate it if you would leave now."
"I'm not going anywhere"; Nick responded as he walked toward the two boys. "This is my house."
"And you've got two guys; who are quite strong"; Caleb stated, "who can physically remove at any time. Now, it's late and I really don't want any kind of ruckus, but if that's what you want..."
"Fine"; Nick said, through gritted teeth. "But, this isn't done. I will be back... and I suggest you two squatters find somewhere else to be."
"Really"; Wyatt countered, "Because I'm pretty sure that you don't have a deed to this house. I would love to see you prove occupancy to someone."
Caleb walked around the both of them and opened the front door. With another hard glare at the both of them, Nick turned around and walked out the door.
"Hold on"; Caleb said, holding his hand out.
Angrily, Nick reached into his pocket and handed Caleb his key. With that, Caleb slammed the door in his face.
"Are you OK"; Wyatt asked.
"It's been a long night"; Caleb responded, turning around and heading up the stairs. "I'm heading up. Can you make sure the back door is locked?" Without waiting for a response, he kissed Wyatt on the cheek and continued on to his bedroom.
"Love you"; Wyatt called out to him.
His response was Caleb slamming his bedroom door shut.
"Sorry about that"; I said, coming back into Chris' room.
"It's fine"; he responded with a smile. "We knew this was coming, didn't we?"
"Well, I didn't"; I admitted, making my way back to the bed.
"Don't pregnant chicks pee a lot"; he asked. "I mean, it comes with the territory."
"Pregnant chicks, sure. Pregnant dudes, it's all new to me; including the crazy mood swings, the weird food cravings and me being fat."
"You're not fat; you're big-boned"; Chris joked.
"Baby, I'm serious. You're just as gorgeous as you were before all of this. I still love you the same, if not more."
"You really think so"; I asked him, leaning on his stomach.
"Yeah"; he groaned out. "Amazing."
"Asshole"; I said, moving away from him.
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding"; he said, leaning on top of me instead. "Look, there's no way I could know what you're feeling right now..."
"How about scared"; I said, tears stinging my eyes.
"This isn't normal, Chris. I'm 17, pregnant and, oh, yeah... I'm a male. I don't know how this baby is being delivered; how much more my body is going to change. And of course, if everything goes OK and the baby is born; how am I going to take care of it? I don't have a job and neither do you. And then, how are we going to explain it to our parents? And will they ever be accepting of our relationship and.... I'm just really fucking scared, you know?"
When I finished speaking, Chris was leaning on the side of the bed, facing me. I didn't even know he had moved.
"Done ranting"; he asked sympathetically.
I sighed and responded, "Yeah."
"OK. You don't think I worry about those things, too?"
"I don't know. You're just so happy about everything all of the time."
"Baby, I'm just as scared as you are. I don't know how this is all going to turn out, either. But there's one thing that is keeping me sane in all of this."
"What"; I asked. "Because maybe, it could help me not be such a bitch about all of this."
Chris took my hand in his and looked me in the eyes.
"Oh"; I realized, smiling slightly.
"I have you through all of this. That's what's keeping me calm. And as long as you're not going anywhere..."
"Which I'm not"; I responded.
"Then I know I'm going to get through this just fine. And I hope that it helps to know that I'm not going anywhere..."
"It does"; I answered. I leaned forward and gave him a light kiss... then, pulled back annoyed.
"What"; he asked.
"You had another cigarette, didn't you?"
"OK... so nicotine and you will help me get through this. You're not horribly mad at me... are you?"
With a sigh, I responded, "No... but, you better brush your teeth before you lay back in this bed."
"Only you can threaten me out of my own bed"; he answered, standing up. "I'll be back in a second."
"Chris..."; I called out before he walked away.
"I got what you were saying though... and I love you."
He smiled and responded, "I love you, too."
"Oh, one more thing..."
"When you come back in, can you bring me the ice cream from the freezer?"
"I knew that was coming"; he said as he headed out of the door.
"Decided to get an early move-on with my dad's birthday present; then go home and help decorate. Call me if you need me.
Caleb awoke that morning to find that note on the pillow next to him. He knew that he had probably overreacted toward Wyatt the night before... but there was a lot going on. In the middle of him preparing to fuck his boyfriend and hopefully soon to be co-inhabitant's brains out, the past he had been trying to desperately trying to leave there barged in.
He had no qualms about Joshua Anderson... that just wasn't him anymore. Joshie was a scrawny little kid who questioned everything he did in order not to get the shit beat out of him from his loser alcoholic father; he was a witch who was just coming into his powers; wondering the real reason his mother left them so many years ago. A boy who... lost his chance at a normal (if there was such a thing) life with someone who could've loved him....
Pascal procured this home for him... one that he now knew was once his own. Once whatever inhabited his soul left him in a cloud of darkness; many of his memories of Josh slammed into him. He decided that his life of Caleb, the now 18-year old man with Joshua's possessions of home and a lost love would suffice. With Wyatt, he felt a safeness he had thought he once shared with Pascal... although he knew that the 5 years that he had been a "demon" was all a lie. He felt emotions that he never known he could and lived a life that only other teenagers could dream of.
But, there was still something missing... and he didn't know what.
"I'm just going to fake it until I make it"; he said to himself with a sigh. From downstairs, he heard a knock on the door. With another sigh, he climbed out of bed, grabbed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and made his way to the front door.
"Did you forget your key"; he asked out loud as he opened the door.
"Actually"; said Nick as he stood in the doorway, "it was taken from me."
"What do you want"; Caleb asked. "Still trying to prove this is your place?"
"Now"; Nick responded with a smile, "we both know that this is my house... Joshua. This is not the time to play games."
Caleb just glared at the man... his father, quietly and angrily... before pulling the door open more to allow Nick to enter.
"Wow"; Nick spoke as Caleb closed the door behind him, "you've really spruced the place up. You've done good for yourself, son." He walked into the living room and looked around.
"Don't call me that"; Caleb responded, following close behind him. "I am not your son."
"Oh, that's exactly who you are; deny it all you want. Hell, you're the splitting image of me. Now, come and give your old man a hug."
Caleb stood in place and crossed his arms. "I wouldn't touch you with a 50 foot pole. Now, again, what the hell do you want?"
"Wow... seems as if my son has grown a pair. Took you long enough"; Nick said, stepping forward. "Let's see if Daddy can show his son to stand in line."
Caleb back away. "Do... not... come near me."
"Or you'll do what? Cry and scream like a little girl like you used to?"
Nick stepped forward once more and raised his hand to strike Caleb. In fear, Caleb put his hands to block himself. As Nick's arm moved forward, a wall of energy surrounded Caleb and sent Nick flying backward into the living room. Caleb's eyes widened as the thud from the contact filled the room.
With a grunt and a snicker, Nick stood up and dusted himself off. "That couldn't keep me away from you before... it only stayed up for so long before I got my hands on you."
Caleb closed his eyes as tears rolled down his cheeks. "Stay the fuck away from me!"
"This... what is it? The force field... well, you never could hold it for long."
Nick stepped forward once more and tapped the field blocking his path... then punching it, over and over. After several hits, the shield flickered away; leaving Caleb vulnerable. Nick stepped directly in front of the now shivering Caleb and grabbed him by the neck.
"Told you so"; Nick said with a sneer. "You're nothing but a weak pansy... just like your mother was."
Caleb whimpered and gasp for breath as Nick's grasp grew tighter. Caleb closed his eyes and with all of his strength forced all of his energy in getting free.
He looked down and saw Nick's arm suddenly turn bright red... Nick screamed in pain and pushed Caleb to the floor, looking at his arm.
"What the fuck did you do"; Nick yelled.
Rather than wait for him to fully recover and realizing just how close Nick had come to ending everything once more, Caleb got to his feet and ran back upstairs to his bedroom and locked it behind him... where he grabbed his cell phone and made a call.
"The banner is a little crooked"; Aunt Paige told Chris and I. "Pete, go a little higher."
From the chair I stood on, I lifted it up a bit and looked back to her for her approval.
"Actually, Chris, I think it's more on your side"; said Aunt Phoebe. "Bring it down a little."
Chris brought down his side of the banner a bit. "How's that?"
"Still wrong"; Paige said. "Pete, get down."
With a sigh, I stepped off the chair and Aunt Paige got on it.
"Move out of the way, Chris"; Aunt Phoebe said. Chris got down and Aunt Phoebe jumped and started to float.
"Well, of course it's easier if you cheat"; Chris said.
"It's not cheating if it helps"; Aunt Paige said. She raised her hand out and the tape disappeared from my hand and orbed into hers.
"You didn't even call for it"; I told her.
"She didn't have to"; Aunt Phoebe said. "Her powers matured past calling. Pretty cool, huh?"
"Definitely"; I responded. "Now, Chris and I can go and eat the left over frosting!"
"Not if I get there first"; Chris said, breaking off into a jog toward the kitchen.
"You're both late"; Mama Piper said, exiting the kitchen, wiping her hands off on her apron. "Randy and Reina beat you to it."
"I hate kids"; I said jokingly.
"Watch it"; Chris responded.
"Just kidding"; I told him.
It was then that the front door opened and there stood Wyatt.
"Hey"; Mama called out. "I wasn't expecting you home so early."
"I know you didn't"; he responded, holding a couple of grocery bags. "Surprise. Aunt Paige, I got the stuff you needed from the store."
"Didn't I send you to the store"; Piper asked her sister.
"Well, I got kind of hung up"; she said, placing the last piece of tape she needed on the banner.
"Funny"; Piper said.
"A little help here"; Phoebe called out.
"Oh"; Aunt Paige said, stepping forward to hand Aunt Phoebe the tape. She placed a couple of pieces in appropriate corners and floated down to the ground.
"Piece of cake"; she said with a smile. "Speaking of which, I better go watch the kids before they get their hands on it."
"Oh, no, they don't"; Mama Piper said, turning around to re-enter the kitchen. "I spent all morning making it!"
"So, how was Caleb's"; I asked Wyatt, helping him with one of the bags. "And why isn't he with you?"
"It's kind of a long story"; he answered. "A kind of crazy story, too."
"Well, out with it"; Chris threw out, grabbing his other bag.
"I'll give you the short version, minus the nakedness..."
"Aunts standing in close proximity"; Aunt Paige called out, setting the table and moving one of the bags out of the way.
"Point taken"; Wyatt said.
"Wait... aren't we not supposed to know about this"; Phoebe asked.
"We already know you know about all of us"; Chris said. "Thank Noah for that."
"Thank Noah for what"; Noah asked, coming down the stairs.
"Thank Noah for bringing these bags into the kitchen"; I said. "Thanks so much, Noah. You rock!"
"Payback's a bitch"; Noah said, grabbing both bags and walking off.
"Seriously, what's up"; I asked Wyatt.
Wyatt walked into the living room and sat on the couch. Chris and I followed suit and sat opposite him.
"Well, in the middle of us..."
"Fucking"; Chris threw out. I gave him a look.
"Hey, he was going to say it!"
"Actually, I wasn't. But we were in the middle of messing around... and we heard someone downstairs."
"Someone broke in"; I asked.
"Something like that. It was... Mr. Anderson."
"Joshie's dad, Mr. Anderson"; Chris asked. "Are you serious?"
"As a heart attack"; Wyatt said. "It was pretty surreal."
"Do you get a break on this whole Joshie thing"; I said. "This is getting kind of crazy."
"I guess not. I mean, it was really weird. He found some hidden key and basically tried kicking both of us out of the house. But, I pretty much handled that situation."
"You didn't... hit him, did you?"
"I wanted to... especially after all of the shit he did to Joshie... but, no. It was non-violent. He left without a problem."
"Wow"; Chris said. "How did Caleb take it?"
"Well, he was fine with it... until I told him the truth about the house."
"Whoa"; Chris responded, his eyes wide. "You told him that Joshie lived there?"
"I had to. I mean, Nick was screaming about how it was his house and whatnot. I had to clear it up, I guess."
"I can understand that."
"I'm glad you can... but Caleb wasn't so accepting."
"Well, you did kind of hide it from him"; I told Wyatt.
"How was I supposed to tell him that? I mean, with all of this Joshie stuff constantly coming up all of the time, how do I throw in the fact that the same bedroom where we make love is where I shared my first kiss with Joshie?"
"What about Joshie"; said Mama Piper, walking back into the living room with balloons.
"Nothing, Mom"; Wyatt said. "It's not important."
"The truth"; Chris said. "Wyatt, we promised."
With a sigh, Wyatt responded. "You're right. Mom... last night at Caleb's house, we had an unexpected visitor."
"Who"; Piper asked.
"It was Joshie's dad, Mr. Anderson. He found his way inside last night and tried to kick Caleb out... but everything's fine now."
"Are you sure"; Piper asked.
"Yeah. I told Caleb to give me a call if he came back. Everything's fine."
"OK"; Piper said. "I'm glad I wasn't there. I would've liked to kick his ass around a bit."
"Piper"; Phoebe said as she made her way into the living room. "Whose ass are you threatening?"
"Remember Nick Anderson; Wyatt's old friend Joshie's father? The loser is back in town. After what he did to that poor kid..."
Aunt Phoebe's eyes widened.
"What is it"; Piper asked.
"Am I the only one who keeps up with the news around here? Nick Anderson, Joshua Anderson's father; 43 years old; 5'11; 215 pounds; blonde hair, brown eyes?"
"Um, what's with the stats, Aunt Phoebe"; I asked jokingly. "Got a crush on him?"
"Not funny, Pete. The police have been looking for him."
"Police"; Wyatt said. "For what?"
"Well, they arrested him years ago on suspicion of Joshie's disappearance. Don't you remember?"
"I do. They questioned me, too."
"Well, they found some blood in one of the rooms... Joshie's blood. On top of that, Joshua's mother came forward and spoke of years of abuse and Wyatt's statements proved that Joshie was being abused. So he repaid his ex-wife by going to her house and lighting it on fire. Luckily, she was able to get herself out in time."
"Oh, my God"; Piper said. "Why didn't I know this?"
"Well, in your defense, it wasn't in the news for long. Anyway, he was convicted on attempted murder and arson charges... and he escaped prison about a month later. The police stopped trying to follow up because they could never find him."
"And now he's back"; Chris asked. "But why now?"
"I don't know"; Wyatt responded, "but I need to call Caleb and let him know." He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.
"Damn, the power's off. I forgot to turn it on when I woke up"; he said, hitting the power switch on the phone.
The phone beeped and lit up.
"And I have a voice message"; Wyatt said. "Never mind, I'm just going to go over there."
With that, he orbed out of his chair and away, dropping the cell phone. Mama Piper picked it up and dialed-up Wyatt's voice mail.
"You know his password"; Chris asked.
"You all know nothing of this"; she responded, placing the phone on speaker.
"Wyatt"; came's Caleb's frantic voice through the speaker. "He's back over here... and it's bad. I'm so scared, baby... please come back. Please."
"Open the fucking door, you little faggot! I'm not done with you"; came another voice; faded from the background.
"That would be Mr. Anderson"; Piper said. "Pete, I'm going to need you to orb me over there."
"Mama"; I said, standing up. "It might not be safe. For one, he's human and we could be exposing magic if we're caught."
"Look... I let one kid get hurt by this creep... I'm not going to let it happen to another."
"I know you're upset"; Chris said, "but Pete is right."
"He is right, Piper"; Aunt Phoebe said. "It's too dangerous... even if it is another human being."
"So, what do we do"; Mama asked. "We leave them to possibly be hurt or worse?"
"No"; I said. "I'll go. If something goes wrong, I can orb Wyatt and Caleb here."
"But then, we're still in the same boat of magic getting exposed!"
"Did anyone think of simply walking or driving over there"; Mama said.
We all looked at her as if she had three heads...
"Take my car"; she said, handing me her keys. "And be careful."
"I'm going with you"; Chris said. "No arguments. You aren't..."
"Aren't what"; Mama Piper asked.
"Going alone"; I finished; giving Chris a glance. "Fine, let's go."
"Mama, call the police and tell them about Mr. Anderson. We'll be as fast and quick as possible."
"Don't forget careful"; she threw in.
"I agree with the "careful" part"; said Aunt Phoebe.
I nodded and looked at Chris... before turning around and walking out the front door. Chris followed closely behind me.
"The cake is safe."
Piper and Phoebe turned around and saw Paige... covered in chocolate.
"The kitchen... not so much."
"One problem at a time, Piper"; Phoebe said. "I'll deal with this, you call the police."
"Police"; Paige asked as Phoebe led her away. "She is aware that they're just kids, right?"
"Very much so"; Piper said silently as she picked up the phone.
Wyatt orbed into Caleb's bedroom to find him sitting in the corner of the room.
"Caleb"; he said, running to him. "Are you OK?"
Caleb stared at the wall; his arms crossed, rocking back and forth.
"Baby, what's wrong? What did he do to you?"
Caleb still said nothing, tears falling down his cheek.
"Did he hurt you"; Wyatt asked, bringing his hand to Caleb's arm.
"Don't touch me"; Caleb yelled, automatically releasing his force field, sending Wyatt sliding across the room.
"Wyatt"; Caleb suddenly realized, getting to his feet.
"What... how did you do that"; Wyatt asked; looking upwards.
"I...I don't know. It happens sometimes... I'm sorry."
"You're... you're a witch, too?"
Caleb walked away from Wyatt, pacing the room.
Wyatt got to his feet. "Caleb, this is major... how long have you known this? Why... why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't know what was going on!"
Caleb stopped pacing and walked to the bed and sat down. "These... things just started coming along recently. I thought maybe I was just imagining things at first."
Wyatt stared at him. This time, it was Wyatt's time to be non-responsive.
"Wyatt, I'm sorry. I was scared. I was weirded out... I don't know what's happening to me!"
Caleb suddenly stared to sob. Before he knew it, Wyatt had his arms around him, holding him close.
"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry"; Caleb kept repeating.
"Look... it's OK. This isn't a bad thing, baby, OK?"
"Yes, it is. Now, demons will constantly come after me, too."
"They might"; Wyatt responded honestly. "But you can defend yourself, too. And I'm here, you know. I'm not going anywhere... I'm glad you told me."
Caleb continued to cry; wrapping his arms tighter around Wyatt. "I love you, Wyatt."
"I love you too, beautiful. Now, stop crying. We need to deal with what's going on."
Caleb finally pulled away from Wyatt.
"I guess you got my message"; Caleb said, wiping his eyes.
"No, I didn't... but I kind of figured out what was up. There's a lot we didn't know about that asshole."
"How about the fact that he's psycho and nearly killed me"; Caleb said. "I... I got away."
"That's good"; Wyatt responded. "Where is he now?"
"I don't know. I mean, he was banging at the door really hard and then, he just stopped. I thought he left or something."
"OK"; Wyatt answered. "But, we need to get out of this room. Let me orb you to my place, OK? We'll be safe there."
"No"; Caleb replied sternly. "This is my place. I'm not letting that fucker have it."
"Baby, you don't understand"; Wyatt said. "He's dangerous, OK? He's a convicted felon because of what happened with Joshie. I don't want us going out there until I know he's gone."
"I kind of... have a way of figuring that out"; Caleb admitted.
"What do you mean"; Wyatt asked as Caleb sat on the bed.
"Just give me a second, OK? I kind of need to regain my composure if I'm going to do this..."
Wyatt looked at Caleb as he closed his eyes and relaxed... then after a few seconds, Caleb's head drooped forward.
Chris and I walked inside the door... after using the spell to unlock a door.
"You didn't need to follow me"; I told him, slowly stepping around the couch.
"Yes, I did"; he responded. "We don't know what we're up against and you're..."
"Don't use the baby as an excuse! I'm perfectly able to deal with something like this!"
"Mood swing"; Chris said, walking close behind me.
"It's not a mood swing. I know you're trying to look out for me and I appreciate that, but this is what I'm built to do, right?"
"We should really keep it down"; Chris said, peeking around the bend of the living room.
"Oh, no, you don't"; I said, stopping in my place. "If this is how it's going to be for the next couple of months, then, tell me now."
"Pete"; Chris interrupted.
"No, Chris. I'm serious. Mama Piper was able to fight with Wyatt in her stomach, I'm sure. And look, they're both fine. I can handle this. I don't need you around me all of the time, OK? Just back off!"
Chris gave me a look... one I didn't see coming. One of surprise... and sadness. "You got it." He started to orb away.
"I didn't mean it like that"; I said; grabbing him before he completely left. He materialized back into the position where he once stood.
"Look... I know how much you love me... and you know how much you mean to me. But you said it yourself... the things that happen to us happen because we're built to handle it. And I'm not just referring to this witch stuff. I mean; life in general."
Chris continued to look at me; not saying a word or emoting anything.
"I understand that we're going through this crazy and yes... beautiful thing. And I know you want to be there to hold my hand all of the time... but you can't. If you're busy trying to protect me all of the time, how are you going to live your own life?"
I grabbed his hand in mine.
"I'm yours. This child I'm carrying is yours. But, every once in a while, I'm going to need something that is mine; just like you're going to need something that you want just for you, too. I don't want to cramp your style all of the time."
"You don't cramp my style. I choose to always be around you because I love you. I thought you got that."
"I do get that, baby. But, you have to understand... you can't always be there to defend me. I have to fight my own battles."
"And you have to understand that not every battle is yours to fight alone. Let me be there for you sometimes, OK?"
After a moment, I smiled at him. "I get it. And OK... if you must."
He gave me a smile in return... before his expression changed to one of fear.
"What's wrong, Chris?"
He turned me around to face Mr. Anderson, dead ahead of us... with a gun in his hand.
"And you have to understand"; he said; pointing the gun directly at us, "how to be more quiet when you're after someone."
From behind them, none has noticed Caleb watching over all of this... and fading from sight just as quickly as he had entered it.
Caleb suddenly breathed in hard and opened his eyes.
"What just happened"; Wyatt asked, kneeling in front of him. "Are you OK?"
"I'm... fine"; Caleb said, catching his breath. "It's just something... that I'm not... fully used to yet."
"I'm still confused"; Wyatt admitted.
"Astral projection"; Caleb answered; his breathing much more regular. "He's still here."
"OK, then let's get out of..."
"We can't"; Caleb interrupted. "Pete and Chris are here... and he's got them."
"Took you long enough to get down here"; Nick said as Caleb and Wyatt made their way down the stairs. "I thought I would have to put a bullet in one of these faggot's heads before you did."
Nick stood behind Chris and Pete; who were bound by their hands and feet; sitting on the couch.
"They have nothing to do with this"; Caleb said. "Let them go."
"Hmm... I don't think so"; Nick responded. "Besides, little Joshie might use his powers or whatever on me."
"Powers"; Chris said to Pete telepathically. "Caleb has powers? And why does he keep calling him Joshie?"
"I have no clue on either one"; he responded. "I'm as confused as you are... maybe Wyatt used his powers in front of him?"
"But that still doesn't explain Joshie..."
"If you let them go"; Wyatt said, "he won't. We just want you to leave. Please."
"Why should I have to leave my own house? Besides, Joshie knows the truth, don't you?"
"Joshie? You killed Joshie... or are you just sadistic as hell to not realize that?"
"Uh, uh, uh"; Nick said. "You see? I don't like to be talked down to... it makes me feel like shit. And when I feel shitty..."
He took the gun and struck Chris across the head with it.
"Accidents happen"; he finished.
"Chris"; Wyatt called out, stepping forward.
"Don't do that"; Nick said, moving the gun to Pete.
"It's alright, Wyatt"; Chris said, bleeding slightly from the side of his head. "I'm fine. Just do what he wants."
"You should really listen to him"; Nick said, smirking. "Unless you want your friends to die."
Completely exasperated, Wyatt sighed. "What do you want?"
"All I want"; he said, stepping toward them, "is my son."
"What are you talking about"; Wyatt asked. "He's been gone for years..."
"No, he hasn't"; Nick yelled. "He's right fucking here... and he's acting like he doesn't know who I am."
After a moment, Caleb said, "He's talking about me. I'm Joshie. I'm his son."
Pete and Chris' jaws dropped at Caleb's words.
Caleb stepped forward to Nick.
"Now, was that so hard"; Nick said, with a weird smile on his face. "Now, tell these people that this is my house."
"Caleb"; Wyatt said. "Is it true? Are you... Joshie?"
"This is... his house"; Caleb said shakily. "I'm sorry... I didn't mean to lie to you all. Please... I'm sorry."
Wyatt stood in place, completely shocked. "I don't believe this. Why would you do this to me? To all of us?"
Chris glanced over at me, more confused than ever. Even I had to admit this was getting crazier by the second.
"It doesn't matter why he did it"; Nick responded. "But, this is my son"; he said, placing his free arm around Caleb. "And this is my house."
He lifted the gun and pointed it at Wyatt's head.
"And you're trespassing, which gives me the right to shoot you."
"No"; Chris yelled, standing up. In a second, Nick turned around and pointed the gun at Chris... and pulled the trigger.
The sound of the blast silenced the room.
"Chris"; Wyatt yelled... before realizing he was staring at nothing but pieces of rope.
Chris and Pete had both orbed away.
"What the"; Nick said, wondering what had happened.
"Over here"; Chris spoke; standing behind Nick, with Pete next to him.
Nick turned in a quick second... and Pete threw his hands up, freezing him in place.
"Oh my God"; Caleb said, realizing that they were all safe for now.
Wyatt walked to his brothers. "It took your asses long enough!"
"Well, forgive us for having a gun pointed at us and nearly being killed"; Pete said.
"Excuses, excuses"; Wyatt joked. "We have to get out of here before he unfreezes. Caleb, are you OK?"
"Um... yeah, I'm fine"; Caleb said, wiping away tears. "Just freaked, I guess."
"Wait a minute"; Chris said. "Shouldn't he be frozen?"
Caleb started to speak, when Pete unintentionally interrupted.
"I guess I still don't have control over that power yet. It happened before, remember? I just froze that one demon and Caleb wasn't affected."
Chris looked at Caleb; unsure of what to say. "That's probably it."
"So, I'm guessing that whole thing about being Joshie"; Pete continued, "was bullshit?"
"Yep. All part of the plan"; Wyatt answered. "Give the crazy man what he wants to hear."
Caleb smiled lightly and nodded. "I've watched one too many hostage movies, I guess."
"Next time, let us in on the plan... somehow"; Chris responded.
"Alright, enough talking"; Pete said. "We need to go."
"You're right"; came a voice from in front of them.
They all turned around to face Nick... who had unfroze.
"You all need to go"; he continued, pointing the gun at them.
Caleb grabbed onto Wyatt tightly... before he heard the bang.
"Freeze"; someone yelled.
They all realized the bang had come from the front door being kicked open by a policewoman. Nick, who had been standing directly of the door, turned around with the gun in his hand.
"Put it down"; the policewoman yelled.
Nick slowly moved as he was going to place the gun down... and quickly moved to point it at the policewoman.
In an instinct, she fired her gun at Nick, who quickly fell over to the ground. Caleb gasped and Pete hugged Chris tightly.
"It's OK, boys. It's all over"; the policewoman said. "I'm sorry about that."
"It's... OK"; Wyatt said. "You saved our lives. How could we be upset about that?"
"What...the...fuck"; Nick groaned, bleeding onto the floor from his shoulder.
"You didn't kill him"; Caleb asked.
"He who speaks the obvious"; Pete said.
"Let me go"; came a voice from outside. "Let me go! My kids are in there!"
Piper ran through the door.
"Is everyone OK"; she asked, running for the 4 boys.
"Yeah, we're fine"; Chris said, hugging his mother. Pete and Wyatt followed suit and did the same.
"Are you alright, Caleb"; she asked, hugging him as well.
"I'm good, Piper"; he responded, embracing her. "I'm guessing you called the cops?"
"Damn right I did"; she said, letting him go. "It was the least I could do."
"Well, you guys can get out of here... except Mr. Austin"; the policewoman said. "We have to ask him some questions, if that's OK."
"Um... sure, that's fine"; Caleb responded. "You guys can go. I'll be over once I've dealt with this... and showered and changed."
"OK"; Wyatt said, giving him a light kiss and hugging him. "See you for the party."
"I can so use a drink"; Pete commented, walking out the door. "Just kidding!" Chris smacked him upside the head as the Halliwells made their way out. As they exited, paramedics made their way in to tend to Nick.
"So, Mr. Austin"; the policewoman asked. "What exactly happened here?"
"Um... I don't know"; he said, making his way into the living room. "This... weird guy just came out of nowhere a couple of days ago and started harassing me and my boyfriend; saying that he wanted his place back and what have you. I didn't think it would get to this extreme. I have the deed if you need to..."
"That won't be a problem,"; the policewoman said with a light smile. "And did you"; she whispered, "use your powers against him, Joshua?"
"What... did you just call me"; he asked. "Are you... with him?"
"Oh, no, no, no"; she said quickly, waving her hand. "Your secret is safe with me... son."
She lifted off her police cap and smiled once more, holding back a tear. "Besides, family has to protect each other."
He looked closely at the woman.
"You've got to be kidding me"; Caleb responded. "Now, my so called family wants to make a reappearance?"
"You don't understand. I.. I thought he had killed you, Joshua. I thought you were long gone... and now that I know that you're here..."
She raised her hand to touch his face, but Caleb took it and moved it away.
"Let's get this straight... and I hope that it sticks this time. I'm not Joshua... not anymore. And I would appreciate it if you and anyone else who's part of your family would remember that."
"Do you think I wouldn't recognize my own son"; she stated as he made his way past her.
"You can't recognize him... because Joshua Anderson died 5 years ago."
With that, Caleb Austin walked up the stairs to his room to prepare for a party.
Nick Anderson looked at the ceiling of the hospital room in he was in. The florescent lights overhead blinked on occasion, every once in a while leaving the room in complete darkness.
"You've been missing quite a while"; the policewoman said, standing on the side of the bed. "Almost five years on the lam. How did you pull it off?"
Nick said nothing, staring at the ceiling. He tried to move away, but the handcuffs which held his uninjured arm prevented him from doing so.
"You try to kill your son and nearly kill your ex-wife and her son. You're really one to hold a grudge."
"Whatever"; Nick said. "Where's my lawyer?"
"He's been called, from what I'm told. But I doubt he'll be able to protect you now. You're going to be away for a long time."
Nick decided to go back to the silent treatment.
"Well, at least Joshie is safe from you..."
"Joshie"; Nick spoke, "won't ever be safe from me. When I get out of here, he'll pay... just like you will, Katrina."
"Threatening a cop could be considered another offense if I have my way, Nick"; the policewoman said with a smile. "But, I'm not worried. I got away from you just like he did. And you're not going anywhere this time."
"And you never did know when to shut up... which is why I had to teach you how."
"Make me shut up now, Nick"; she said, moving in close to his face.
Nick glared at her, but said nothing.
"That's what I thought. But, at least I don't have to worry about Joshie. He has more protection than he needs."
"What? You and your gun? You always were an awful shot."
"Maybe I was, Nick"; she responded, walking toward the door. "But as you saw for yourself, things change. However, I'm not talking about firepower. He has more strength than you will ever know. And your punches and threats will do nothing to take that away from him."
With that, she backed away and headed for the door.
"Do yourself a favor... and move on with your life. And leave our son alone... or you will regret it."
She opened the door and slammed it shut... which caused the power of the lights to go out completely.
"Just fucking great"; Nick muttered. "Now what?'
As if on cue, a wall of fire filled the room... which dissipated to show Pascal.
"Nick, Nick, Nick"; Pascal said, walking to the handcuffed man. "Looks like quite the situation you've gotten yourself into."
"It's... it's not my fault"; Nick said, cowering. "I didn't know his powers were that strong... or that he had found more freaks like himself!"
"Not freaks, Nicholas. They're witches. Powerful witches."
"And what made you think I had a chance against something like that?"
"Because, Nick"; Pascal answered, "there is no greater fear than that of an abusive parent. They hold the power, no matter what."
"Please... let me go"; Nick whimpered, "and I promise I won't fail again, I promise..."
"I'm sorry, Nick. I can't do that. You see, if I let you go, I risk being exposed as the one that held you in it's corner. You were my secret weapon... and you failed horribly. Drage no longer fears you... and will kill you first before you got the chance to try again."
"No, he won't. I... I promise. Please..."
"And now, you're nothing but a blubbering man whose strength has been taken from him. I have no more need for you."
"You're going to kill me"; Nick asked.
"I should... but I think I'll leave you alone. Besides, I have a feeling the torture you'll receive from where you're going is more than justified. What do they say in this situation? Oh, yes... don't drop the soap."
Pascal laughed and disappeared beyond another wall of flames.
"That was Joshie's mom"; Chris asked. "How did you pull that one off?"
"I called Darryl at the station at had some strings pulled"; Piper responded as she grabbed the candles from the cabinet. "He was more than happy to oblige."
"You have a bit of evil in you, Mom"; Chris said, getting the cake. "Remind me never to get on your bad side."
"Well, you mess with my kids or any kid... How's Wyatt taking all of this?"
"I don't know. He's been trying so hard to let go of Joshie's memory... and to have it shoved back in his face like that couldn't be easy. I think he still blames himself for what happened."
"I know he does"; Piper responded, placing the candles on the top of the cake. "He was Joshie's best friend and he feels he spoke up too late about what was happening. But he was just a kid himself. It's a lot to handle."
"Mom... I think they were more than friends."
"No way"; Piper responded. "Wait... we're they?"
"Nothing serious. But, it was like puppy love. I think it's just a lot of "what if's" when it comes to Joshie for Wyatt. I can understand that."
"Really"; Piper asked. "Is there someone you're pining for?"
"No, Mom"; Chris responded with a light smile. "I'm fine. Just..."
"What"; Piper asked. "You know you can tell me anything."
Chris paused for a second. "Nah. I'm fine, Mom. It's just been a long day."
Piper decided not to push. "OK, babe. Well, are we ready to sing?"
"Isn't Dad past this whole singing thing?"
"You're never too old to sing "Happy Birthday"; Leo said, entering the kitchen. "Wow, Piper. The cake looks great."
"Leo"; she said. "You're not supposed to see the cake until I bring it out there!"
"Sorry, I couldn't help it. I just wanted to hug my son and tell him I love him."
"OK"; Chris said surprised. "Dad, are you alright?"
"Actually, yeah... I am"; he said with a smile, looking toward Piper.
"Are you sure"; Piper asked. "I know it's a lot."
"You know, it is a lot. But it's my family. And I wouldn't change them for anything in the world." With that, he walked to Chris and hugged him tightly.
"Um, Mom. I think Dad's been in the icing."
Piper giggled and smiled.
"OK, OK. Out into the dining room, Leo... and act surprised, damn it!"
"OK, I'm going"; he said with a smile. He released his son and gave Piper a quick kiss; before covering his eyes and walking back into the living room.
"Did I miss something"; Chris asked.
"No. Just your dad getting a bit older... and finally, a bit wiser"; she said, lighting the candles.
"Mom"; Chris continued, "Can I ask you one more thing?"
"Sure, honey, but make it fast. The wax is going to drip all over the cake if you don't."
"When you first got your powers and you froze something... did everything freeze around you?"
"Actually, no. I would be able to freeze something in the same room, but in another room; everything would be normal. Why?"
"Um... no reason. Just something I was confused about"; Chris said.
"Some things still don't freeze for long... or at all."
"I know, like upper-level demons."
"And other witches. Remember, you can't use your powers on a fellow witch."
Chris paused to take the information in.
"OK, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1"; Piper said as she made her way to the kitchen door.
"Happy birthday to you"; she sang loudly as Chris followed behind her... but didn't sing along.
Wyatt sat on the front steps of the manor, waiting for Caleb to show up. It had been a long day and it taken a lot out of him. He just wasn't in party mode at the moment.
"Hey"; Caleb said with a smile, as he climbed the steps. "Shouldn't you have a wacky party hat on right now?"
"Probably not. It would mess up my hair."
"You are such a gay male"; Caleb joked. "Mind if I join you?"
Wyatt patted the space next to him and Caleb sat there.
"So, what's going on"; Caleb asked. "Seriously."
"It's just been a fucked up day."
"Tell me about it"; Caleb said. "But, we made it through... again."
"I guess so"; Wyatt responded. "It's just... every time I seem to forget about Joshie, he gets thrown back in my life somehow... and I just wish I could move on."
"Baby, you don't have to forget about him. He was an important part of your life. And you loved him a lot, didn't you?"
"I don't know"; Wyatt shrugged.
"I don't mean in a romantic type of way... although, I think you did a little. I mean, as a friend. You were close. It only makes sense that he would be on your mind a lot."
"I guess. It's just... I'm going to be living in his place. His family keeps popping up. Remember that police woman?"
"What about her?"
"She's Joshie's mom."
"Wow"; Caleb said. "That is kind of crazed."
"I know... I just wish I could move on. If he's dead or not, he's been gone for years. I'm pretty sure he's not thinking about me as much as I'm thinking about him."
"I doubt that"; Caleb said suddenly.
"What"; Wyatt asked.
"I... I just mean that, you're a hard person to forget or ignore, Wyatt. You're a powerful force... not easy to let go of... no matter how hard you try... or lest we forget our so-called break-up."
Wyatt smiled a bit.
"You're a special person. Wyatt. And I don't mean your powers. I mean, the man you are. You're exceptional... and don't forget that. And don't forget Joshie... because he's going to always be with you."
"Thanks for saying that"; Wyatt said.
"No need to thank what's from the heart. I do have one question, though."
"Do you think you can push Joshie over just a little bit in your heart... so I can get there?"
In response, Wyatt moved forward and kissed Caleb; his lips lightly massaging Caleb's own.
After they had parted, Wyatt breathed out, "Wow."
"You can open your eyes now"; Caleb said; giggling.
Wyatt opened his eyes and locked them on Caleb.
"What"; Caleb asked.
"Nothing"; Wyatt responded, breaking into a smile. "Just a good memory to hold on to."
Caleb smiled in return.
"Now, do you want to talk about this witch thing"; Wyatt asked. "I mean, we have time."
"Not now. I mean... I'm just kind of getting used to it myself. Can we just keep it between us for now?"
"Sure. Whenever you're ready."
Caleb smiled and nodded.
"Now, I feel the need for some sugary goodness. How about some cake?"
"Sounds good to me"; Caleb responded, standing up. "After you."
Wyatt stood up and grabbed Caleb's hand; leading him into Halliwell Manor.
I came into Chris' room that night with two pieces of cake. "I brought you a snack."
Chris lied on his bed, staring at the ceiling. "Thanks, but I'm not really that hungry."
"But, it's chocolate"; I said, trying my best to tempt him. "It's pretty yummy."
He didn't respond... he was lost in some thought.
"Are you upset with me"; I said, placing the cake on his table. "Is this about what happened earlier?"
"No"; he said quickly. Finally, he turned around and faced me, sitting up as he did so. "There's just something... that's been bothering me."
I walked to the bed and sat next to him. "Well, I'm listening. What's going on, baby?"
"That's the thing"; he said, half-giggling. "I'm not sure if there is something going on or if I'm just bringing in some bullshit drama where it's not needed."
I gave him an odd look. "I'm confused."
"Alright. But, you promise you won't be upset with me if I tell you so?"
"So, it is about me"; I said.
"No, seriously. It has nothing to do with you. It has to do with... Caleb."
"OK. Well, I'm off the hook"; I said, jokingly. He looked at me with a contorted face.
"Alright, no more joking"; I responded. "Something must be really upsetting you."
"OK. So... I know that Caleb is a good guy. He makes Wyatt really happy and he's altogether a really cool person. But... I don't know. There's just something off about him."
He stood up and walked across the room. "For one, do you notice that these demon attacks have been all about him lately? The one that killed you, for example."
"Don't remind me"; I said.
"Sorry... but I have to go there. Anyway, why would he hold Caleb captive? He's normal; no magical connection other than dating Wyatt. But, then... he doesn't freeze."
"I thought that we figured that out, babe. I still don't have a handle on that power yet."
Chris nodded, then walked over to the table where the plate with the pieces of cake sat and picked it up along with a pencil.
"Do me a favor. Concentrate on the cake only."
Before I could interrupt, he threw the cake up in the air along with the pencil. I threw my hands up and froze the cake. It stood in mid-air...
"See"; I said. "The pencil is..."
"Look higher"; Chris responded. I looked toward the ceiling... and sure enough, the pencil was frozen in air as well.
"See? It doesn't matter what you freeze"; he said, walking to me. "Everything and everyone in a room freezes when you use your power... not just one thing. That's not how it works."
I stood up and walked to where the pencil hovered.
"And of course, I don't freeze because I'm a witch.."
"That's impossible"; I said. Before I knew it; time started up and the cake started to fall... I couldn't catch it in time.
"Sorry"; I said.
"That's not the point. I'll clean it up... but seriously, Pete. There's something going on with Caleb... and I think that something that is up is that he's a witch, too. Or maybe even... I hate to say it... an upper-level demon."
"No... there's no way he could be a demon"; I responded. "Demons don't bleed red blood... and that time we saved Caleb, he was bleeding red blood... just like you and me."
"You need to re-read the Book"; Chris said, referring to the Book of Shadows. "Lower-level demons have green blood. Upper-level ones have red blood... and can appear human if they choose."
"So... what are you saying"; I asked him.
"I don't want to think this... and I hope I'm wrong... but not only do I think Caleb is either a witch or a demon... but I don't think he's who he says he is, either."
"Well, if he is either one... which I'm not saying he is... but then, he's already not saying who he says he is."
"No... there's something else... and you're going to think I'm really fucking bananas."
Chris stepped around the fallen cake and sat back on the bed... taking a second before continuing what he had to say.
"I think Caleb... is really Joshie."