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The Demon Within 

by Tasha


This story is a New Professionals/Charmed xover and is rated NC-17 for violence and sexual situations.

Part 4

Sam and Chris had left their new compatriots preparing anything and everything that might help in the fight against Benias' minions. Unfortunately the agents were still at a loss as to how to fit the witches into their scenario. Sam was in his own little world working on the puzzle.

"How are you holding up?" Chris asked as he drove them towards the hotel.

Sam actually blinked and looked at his friend with a little surprise. It wasn't that he was shocked at his partner's concern, it was just that he realised he hadn't actually been thinking about his situation at all. His mind had been on the problem of keeping the Halliwells and Leo a secret from Malone, not on himself at all.

"Surprisingly well," he said truthfully.

His friend glanced at him as gave him one of the patented Chris-wants- to-know-if-your-telling-the-truth looks.

"You sure?" Chris asked calmly.

"Yes," Sam replied with a smile, "honestly. I've already done the freak out thing. My mother's a very practical woman and she instilled it me. If you can't change it, just get on with it." He thought about it for a moment. "That's probably why I'm here talking to you and not dwelling in the murky world of demons."

"That's it?" Chris responded. "That's all you're going to say? Yesterday demons and witches were fairytales; today there are three witches who want to be our very best friends and you're part demon, and all you have to say is you've done the freak out thing!"

At that Sam took a moment to look at his friend. Things had been so weird and mixed up that Sam had never actually taken the time to wonder how Chris would be dealing with the whole situation.

"You're not very comfortable with this are you?" he finally decided.

Chris didn't say anything.

"You've always been the believer," Sam commented, actually quite surprised.

There was more than a few seconds' silence.

"I know," Chris finally admitted, "but I'm having a little trouble with the reality. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and it'll all be a weird dream. How the hell can you be so calm about it?"

"To tell you the truth it's because of Backup," Sam told him. "If it wasn't for that vision I ... ah ... borrowed from Phoebe, I think I'd be a little more off kilter. When this is all over you might have to check me into the nearest loony bin, but until then we have a job to do."

They lapsed into silence for a while longer

"Okay, ask," Sam said firmly when Chris kept glancing at him. "I don't care what it is you want to know, just ask."

His partner looked a little awkward, and Sam could see curiosity warring with concern on his friend's face.

"What's it like?" Chris asked as if it was the hardest thing he'd ever said.

"Scary and exciting," Sam told him and grinned at Chris' expression when he paused. "Okay, I'm not really sure," he decided. "Like this I barely feel any different, there's just this little nagging sensation at the back of my mind. Oh yeah, and if I can get through two seconds without thinking about sex I'm doing really well."

Even Chris grinned at that.

"No change there," he commented.

"Oh, it's worse," Sam said with a smile. "As for the other me, I'm beginning to remember bits about last night, but not much. It's like I'm not quite in control, everything seems so much stronger; emotion, my senses, the world. I never thought about it before, but I think there's just so much humans don't perceive."

Thinking about it brought another memory of the previous night bubbling to the surface. His mind's eye filled with the slightly remote view of Chris' empty stare. Sam came to the sudden realisation that he was looking through another person's eyes at his friend. The feeling the memory brought with it was not pleasant and the agent shook his head to clear it.

"You okay?" Chris' voice snapped him back to reality.

"Yeah," Sam replied and pushed the recollection to the back of his mind. "Just a little flashback that I could have done without. Every now and then remind me that ignorance is bliss."

Chris was still looking a little unhappy. There was obviously more bothering him, but Sam didn't think his friend would be forth coming about it just yet. Instead the Englishman decided to get back to practicalities.

"So how on earth are we going to get Pru and sisters into this operation?" he changed the subject smoothly.

"If it was any other resource," Chris replied, "I'd suggest the truth, but can you see Malone's reaction to witches?"

"You can take the padded cell, I'll take the cage," Sam shot back.

"Exactly," his partner agreed. "First things first though, we have to make sure Backup is out of the firing line."

"Agreed," Sam acknowledged, "even if we have to lock her in the wardrobe."

Chris grinned at that.

"She'll kill us," he commented mischievously.

"And accuse us of being macho, chauvinistic, bastards," Sam finished. "Do you have a problem with that?"

"As long as she's alive to call us whatever names she wants to, it's fine by me," Chris replied.

They lapsed into silence again for a while, but this time it was a concentrated, 'agents on the clock' silence, not the awkward silence which had permeated the car before.

"Maybe it would be easier to just get Piper to freeze everyone for a while and let us get on with this," Sam commented eventually. "Talk about making our lives difficult. If Malone sees one of the Halliwells the game will be up."

"We could make them suspects," Chris suggested, "give us a reason to keep an eye on them."

Sam raised his eyebrows.

"I can see that going horribly wrong," he decided firmly, and Chris just nodded. "How about victims?"

Chris glanced at him with a questioning look.

"One of our boyfriends is missing," Sam elaborated. "We can tell Malone we met them poking around at the club. A male is missing, last seen in the vicinity, and his girlfriend plus sisters were looking for him. We've been interviewing them this afternoon. If they happen to turn up later they're overzealous civilians, and we can always pull Leo out of the bag as missing boyfriend at a later date."

A thoughtful look replaced the frustrated one that had been on Chris' face. Slowly he nodded.

"Sounds like a plan," he agreed cautiously, "but what have we been doing all afternoon? We wouldn't have talked to a lead like that for more than a few minutes, we have to have been looking into something else."

Sam pondered this for a while.

"Something they told us jogged my memory," he suggested eventually. "We've been checking out what I remember, but it was a dead end."

This time Chris's nod was a little more definite.

"Just tell me what you remembered," the ex-SEAL decided evenly, "and we have a workable scenario. Just keep it simple or Malone is going to smell a rat straight away."

"That's the problem with working for a man who lies better than a politician," Sam said with a grin.


When the job called for certain things, Backup was quite willing to play her part, but she did feel a little uncomfortable in the outfit her current assignment required. PVC was not the most subtle of materials and it was also hot and sticky, but it got her noticed the moment she walked into the club. The bustier was precariously tight and it lifted everything to give just the right effect, but even if she looked calm on the outside, she didn't have to feel great on the inside. She smiled at the bartender, sat down and ordered a scotch on the rocks. He smiled back and his eyes wandered all over her, just as she had expected.

"You're much prettier than the clientele we usually get in here," the man said as he put down her drink.

"I always like to scope out the opposition," she replied and ran her finger around the rim of the glass.

"Oh," the bartender acted surprised, "are you, ah, in the business?"

Backup gave him one of her most seductive smiles and licked her rouge- covered lips. Leaning forward so the man couldn't do anything but look down her cleavage, she drew him closer with a conspiratorial beckon.

"I work for one of the smaller clubs downtown," she said sweetly. "The place isn't as classy as this, but the money's good. I'm always looking for better offers though."

Just as expected the bartender leered at her lecherously. Backup let him have an eye full and then sat back on her stool.

"Anything going around here?" she asked and took a long slow sip of her drink.

The man in front of her was like a fish on a hook, all she had to do was reel him in. This excuse for a human being did nothing to improve her faith in male kind.

"Well I could put in a good word for you with the management," the bartender said and wiped the counter as casually as his fixated gaze would let him. "My name's Johnny, what's yours?"

"Jessabelle," Backup said with a grin and drew a laugh out of her target, "and you know what they said about my namesake."

Her net enclosed around the bartender, and the hunt was over. The man was putty in her skilful hands.

It took her about ten minutes to figure out the man didn't know anything useful, and another ten to convince Johnny he wanted to take her back stage. There were a few girls wandering around but no one really took any notice of her. She asked a few questions, wandered around a bit, fended off the wandering palms of the bartender and came to the conclusion she was wasting her time. There didn't seem to be anything in the club worth investigating; it appeared to be a dead end. Very unhappy with the way things were going she made her excuses, flirted one last time with Johnny just in case she needed to come back and then left.

To make sure no one could blow her cover she had parked the hire car a few blocks away and putting away any thoughts of how vulnerable her outfit made her look she began to walk. It didn't take her long to hear the footsteps behind her and slipping her hand into her bag she put her fingers around her gun. Backup continued to walk and the footsteps continued to follow her, by the time she neared the car she was worried. Her most vulnerable moment would be when she tried to get into the vehicle. Before that point she really needed to know if the danger was real and what it was. Taking a deep breath she tightened her grip on her gun, mentally prepared herself for a confrontation and turned around.

Nothing, there was no one in the street behind her. The road was empty and there was no sign of anyone who could have made the footsteps.

"Tina, get a grip," she whispered to herself.

Still on edge she turned back to the car and came face to face with a woman.

"Tina," the stranger said lightly, "a pretty name to go with that pretty face. The master wants you."

Before Backup could respond or react the woman lashed out with a fist. The movement was so fast even CI5 training couldn't save Tina and she went flying into the nearest wall as the knuckles connected with her chin. Her head snapped back, thudded against the brickwork and the world went black.


Phoebe really was going to P3. She was going to liase with Piper and then return to Halliwell Manor for a group meeting, she really was - only reality had other ideas. The youngest witch was just stepping out of the car when the premonition hit. She saw a woman by a car telling herself to get a grip and she saw the vampire creature come up behind her. Putting together what Sam and Chris had told her about Backup, Phoebe knew exactly who the victim in the vision was and the witch couldn't help herself; she had to do something. Pulling out her mobile phone she dialled home.

She waited impatiently chewing her lip and then to her dismay the answer machine kicked in. Knowing she had little time she tried to come up with a sensible message as the machine told her no one was available to answer the phone.

"Pru," she said as the beep sounded, "if you're there, pick up."

She waited a couple of seconds but nothing happened.

"Okay, I had a vision. Sam and Chris couldn't have got back in time to stop their friend being sent out. She's been caught by Benias' she- demons. I'm going to try and reach Piper, but if she doesn't answer the phone either I'm going to see if I can help Backup. If I can follow the demon back to Benias' lair it'll give us the upper hand."

Phoebe hung up and dialled Piper's number. The phone went straight to her sister's answering service, which meant Piper was in one of the many mobile black spots. There was nothing for it; following her instincts and the vague ideas she had from the vision Phoebe went into action.


"Mr Curtis, Mr Keel," Malone greeted as the two agents walked into the borrowed offices they were using as their base of operations, "anything to report?"

"We've found another lead," Curtis told his boss smoothly. "There were some civilians at the club. It seems that there is another man missing."

"Civilians?" Malone said evenly.

"Three sisters, sir," Keel explained quickly. "It appears that the middle sister's fianc‚ went missing last night. Since he hasn't been floating down the river we think he may have been a last minute catch after we got away. It's possible he's still alive."

Malone observed his two agents calmly. There was something about the two that bothered him; he had a feeling they weren't giving him the whole story. Of course when it came to 3.7 and 4.5 sometimes it was hard to gauge what they were up to. They were undoubtedly his best agents, but sometimes they were almost more trouble than they were worth.

"Any new information from these civilians?" Malone asked eventually.

"We think our new missing person disappeared somewhere in the warehouse district close to the club," Curtis replied and quite calmly looked Harry in the eye. "It's possible that because of last night's operation our targets have changed their MO. We'd like to take a look down there, see if our escape made them make a mistake."

The head of CI5 looked from one agent to the other considering the request. It was the next logical move after all. Finally Malone put his doubts down to his over active paranoia and nodded.

"Very well, gentlemen," he said slowly, "but I want to know the moment you find anything."

"Yes, sir," they said simultaneously.

It was only as they turned to go and Malone went back to the case folder he had been reading that anything odd occurred.

"If you don't mind me asking," Curtis spoke calmly, "where's Backup?"

"I sent her to investigate one of the other clubs," Malone replied finishing the sentence he had just started reading.

When he looked up he was just in time to catch the tail end of a flash of what he assumed was anxiety on Keel's face. He flicked his eyes over to Curtis and the man was totally unreadable. Malone knew that Sam Curtis only ever had that expression on his face when he was hiding a strong emotion.

"Is there something I should know?" Malone asked pointedly.

"No, sir," Keel said quickly, "you know us, we just worry about Backup."

Harry didn't really buy the explanation, but he had learned to trust his agents. If there was something they didn't want to tell him they probably had a very good reason. It annoyed him slightly, but he was sure he would find out in time.

"Miss Backus is quite capable of taking care of herself," he said sternly; he was not letting them get away with that last comment.

"Yes, sir," they both said a little too quickly and hovered.

"Goodbye, gentlemen," Malone said pointedly.


Sam was still seething when they reached the car. It had taken a great deal of will power to face Malone and not tell him quite how far out of his depth he was. When Chris' mobile had started to ring Sam had a distinctly bad feeling and his partner's face as he listened to the person on the other end of the line did not help.

"That was Pru," Chris said as he folded his phone away. "She just found a message on their machine. Phoebe had another vision about Backup. She went charging to the rescue and now they're both missing."

Sam just stared at his partner for a moment and the image of Backup lying dead on the altar flashed through his head yet again.

"We have to find them, and fast," he said coldly, and he felt the first stirrings of a rage in his body that he was not sure he could control.

Usually he could turn all of his emotions off; squash them down in a little place where he didn't have to acknowledge them until everything was over. Yet he didn't seem to be able to do the same thing now. It was a little frightening to find his rigid control so completely breached, which of course didn't help him come up with a solution.

"Malone shouldn't have sent her," he half said, half growled. "It's obvious how dangerous it is."

"Yeah, well, it's too late now," Chris commented, also more than a little annoyed. "We're just going to have to clean up the mess."

The American glanced away towards the car, obviously thinking about what to do next. Sam couldn't help himself, the anger bubbled through his mind and the world went suddenly luminous. It was irrational, it wasn't going to do them any good, but he really wanted to kill something, preferably with his bare hands.

Chris turned back and his eyes went wide. When his partner took a step away from him it didn't help Sam's equilibrium much. The Englishman knew his demon was in control, but he couldn't do anything about it.

"What the hell are you doing?" Chris asked loudly and anxiously.

"Getting ready for Benias," Sam growled and rational thought had little to do with his motivation.

"Sam, you're beginning to worry me," Chris responded, his voice rising a little.

The ex-SEAL actually looked a little more than worried, he looked about ready to run. Sam glared at him, unable to hide his anger at all.

"Well I hope I have the same effect on the bad guys," the Englishman said maliciously.

Sam took a step towards the car and Chris looked as if he wanted nothing to do with anything for a few seconds, then the ex-SEAL put himself between his partner and the vehicle.

"Get a grip," the American almost growled. "For god's sake calm the hell down. What if someone sees you?" The blonde man's voice began to rise. "We have to come up with a plan. Charging in there like a demon army isn't going to help anyone, and I'm sure as hell not going anywhere with an irrational hellspawn." Chris was almost shouting now and he didn't seem to be about to stop. "I mean, look at you. You look like something out of a Stephen King novel. They're going to see you coming and then they're going to kill you. All those nasty things will get what they want, and Backup'll die."

At that point Chris seemed to have worked himself up into a tirade and Sam actually drew to a halt as his friend inundated him with words. Chris didn't very often loose his rag quite so completely and he actually began inserting the odd expletive into his diatribe. Sam stood there in shock as Chris yelled at him. The thing was, Keel out of control actually struck Curtis as funny. In his thoroughly screwed up brain, Chris standing in the street, shouting almost incoherently at him made Sam want to laugh, and that emotion struck the wall of anger that had been building inside him. The two feelings battled each other for a little bit and Sam actually felt the anger start to die down to manageable levels.

It took a few seconds but slowly the world resolved back into normality and the Englishman had himself back under control. Chris on the other hand was still going, and he wasn't even looking at Sam anymore. The smile that was playing at Sam's mouth evolved into a chuckle and finally into a full fledged laugh. Then and only then did the ex-SEAL appear to catch on to the fact that the crisis was over and he was the one freaking out. His torrent of words drew to an unsure halt and he just stood there looking at Sam, obviously at a loss to deal with the sudden change in his partner.

Before the laughter could turn into hysterics Sam clamped down on it and with a supreme effort of will asserted his CI5 operative rational. He'd always had a somewhat black sense of humour and he couldn't quite wipe the smile completely off his face.

"Let's go find Backup," he decided eventually and Chris just nodded.


Pru opened the door with a very black look on her face. She didn't even greet the two agents, just left the door opened, turned her back and stalked towards the kitchen. Sam let Chris enter first and then followed, closing the door behind him. The strange feeling that the house was staring at him settled in the back of his mind, but he shook off his disquiet and went to join the others.

"I get the feeling things are worse than when we spoke," Chris said as soon as he was into the kitchen.

"We tried a scrying spell," Piper explained from where she had the Book of Shadows spread on the table. "It didn't work."

"Benias' power is diverting the spell," Leo added extra explanation. "Phoebe and your friend could be anywhere in a twenty block radius. We're looking for a stronger spell."

"You can't find them at all?" Sam asked, ruthlessly trying to detach himself from the idea and the emotions it threatened to produce. Digging his nails into his hand seemed to help.

"Not at the moment," Pru said coldly, "but we will."


Phoebe tried to struggle, but the demons were too strong for her. She couldn't believe how close she had been to her goal when they had finally caught her. It was annoying as well as being somewhat terrifying. The demons dragged her down a long corridor and into a slightly larger room that the young witch could only describe as a chamber. It had a high domed ceiling with ornate designs all over it, and at the very centre was a chair. The room was empty except for one person, a woman Phoebe couldn't quite see properly lying across the chair in some state of unconsciousness. Once inside the room the demons released her with a shove and then quickly retreated the way they had come.

"Great hospitality," Phoebe muttered to herself. "Love what you've done with the place."

In the youngest Halliwell's mind there was no point in getting upset when there was nothing you could do about it. In her usual practical manner Phoebe berated herself for being quite so stupid and set about trying to figure out how to dig herself out of the proverbial hole she had managed to stumble into. First things first: She walked closer to the unconscious woman. It was only as the young witch was within a few feet that she could see her companion's face properly for the first time. At that point Phoebe did recognise her and cold fingers of fear ran up her backbone.

"Well, now at least I know where you are," the youngest Halliwell said to herself and the unconscious Tina Backus. "You look different alive."

Backup's face was relaxed in sleep, but at least she wasn't glassy eyed and dead. Phoebe knew that she probably didn't have long, but while both of them were alive she had a chance.

"You wouldn't consider giving me a hand and waking up, would you?" the witch said hopefully and put her hand on the other woman's shoulder.

There was no response.

"She can't hear you," said a cultured male voice and Phoebe spun on the spot. "I've enchanted her mind and she will sleep until I wake her."

Fear settled in the pit of Phoebe's stomach as for the first time she saw the creature they were up against. He was actually handsome in a supernatural kind of way and very easy on the eye. Benias was tall, blonde, and built like a god. Claws tipped long sensual fingers, and the black silk he was wearing shimmered in the light. His features were classically beautiful, but his face was missing one thing - warmth. Totally black eyes caught Phoebe's gaze and there was no life in them. It was like looking at a dead thing and Benias made the witch shiver.

"Why is she here?" Phoebe almost surprised herself when she spoke.

The demon warlock smiled at her and momentarily dark patterns materialised on the skin of his face and neck, fading as quickly as they had come. The youngest Halliwell was reminded of an octopus changing its camouflage.

"She is the sacrifice," Benias explained calmly. "Her death will make you mine. Mortals are so fragile, but their souls can be so useful. My power can kill you, but I can never control you with it. She'll do that for me. Her essence will corrupt you, change you and allow my power dominion over you. Once she is dead you will have no will but mine."

"If it's so easy, why all the talking," Phoebe tried a bit of false bravado, not that she had any idea what she was going to do next.

Benias laughed at her.

"Everything in its proper time," he said calmly. "My little pawn isn't quite ready yet. She has a strong will. No match for mine of course, but I must make sure she has no defences left by the time of the ceremony."

The demon walked calmly towards the chair and, unable to help herself, Phoebe took a step back.

"She is quite beautiful," Benias said whimsically and ran a claw along the side of Backup's face. "I would take the time to enjoy her but other matters occupy my mind at the moment."

It didn't take a genius to realise that Benias was, by human standards, completely insane and for a demon he was pretty freaky too. Phoebe sent up a silent prayer that her sisters and their secret weapon would find them soon.

"Tina my dear," Benias said gently. "Time to wake up. You must meet the woman you're going to destroy."

For a few moments Backup didn't move, but then ever so slowly she stirred. At first her eyelids just moved and then they flickered open for a fraction of a second. Eventually after a few more blinks, unfocussed brown eyes wandered around the room. A small frown marred the beautiful face for a second or so and then Benias reached out and took her hand. All expression vanished from her face at the contact. Phoebe watched, fascinated, as the demon helped his victim sit up. The long black robe Backup was wearing pooled around her on the chair.

"Greet your kindred sister, my dear," Benias said gently. "Soon your life will be driving her body."

Almost like a mannequin the woman stood up slowly and walked towards the stunned Phoebe. Without pausing and looking straight through the young witch, Tina put one hand on either of Phoebe's shoulders and then kissed her lightly on the cheek. Then she turned and walked back to their captor.

"Delightful isn't she?" Benias said as horror crept up on the witch. "Her will is all but gone. All that needs to be done now is to replace that with carnal desire and she will be the perfect catalyst for your transformation."

He reached out to the insensible woman and turned her back towards Phoebe. Placing a hand on the back of her head he closed his eyes and there was a brief flash of light from his hand. The blank look on Tina's face slowly transformed into one of hunger. She breathed deeply as if trying to fight the obvious urges in her body. As if she were on a string she began to move towards her tormentor and she reached out her arm towards him. Benias in turn laughed and Phoebe felt sickened by the whole scene.

"How much do you want me?" the demon asked slowly.

All that came out of Backup's mouth was an animalistic growl.

"Show me," Benias said callously.

Under Phoebe's horrified gaze Tina reached for the clasp on her robe and without pausing released it. With a simple shrug the cloth slipped off her shoulders and fell to the floor, landing around her feet. She was wearing nothing beneath it. Falling to her knees Backup reached out to Benias, running her hands up his legs.

"Stop," he said simply before the woman could get any further. "By the time you die, my pretty," he said, capturing Tina's chin in one hand, "you will be begging for anything that moves. Remember the hunger in her eyes," Benias continued, turning his attention back to Phoebe. "Soon it will be yours."

Then he disentangled himself from his helpless pawn and strode towards the door.

"Wait," Phoebe said almost desperately, "what happens now?"

"I'll leave you two to become acquainted," the demon said calmly, "and tonight we shall have our ceremony."

He swept out of the room and left Phoebe with the still sitting Backup. Ruthlessly shoving panic aside the witch picked up Tina's discarded robe and carried over to the motionless woman. She placed it around the Canadian's shoulders gently, and was rewarded with a look at the agent's desire filled face. There was no personality in the eyes that looked at her, just hunger.

"My sisters will get us out of here," Phoebe promised quietly, but Tina's expression did not change.


Sam tried really hard not to pace, but the urge just got the better of him. It was either wear a hole in the Halliwell's kitchen floor or kill something, and just then there wasn't anything available for slaughter. Sam didn't like not being in control; his whole life was one long mission to be on top of every possible situation. That he and Chris were waiting on someone else and that Sam wasn't aware of all the pieces in the puzzle made him a very annoyed individual.

"Found something," Piper announced and slammed her hand onto the book of shadows.

Sam came to a halt directly behind her.

"What?" he demanded a little more harshly than he had intended.

Piper gave him a withering look and the Englishman had to clamp down on the anger that threatened to make a reply to her reaction.

"There's a way we can find Phoebe," the young witch explained, "a ceremony to locate her. It's in Grams' handwriting and it's a version of the scrying spell. The problem is it takes three witches and we only have two."

"Know any more?" Chris asked which was fortunate because Sam's comment would not have been so polite.

"It wouldn't work." It was Leo who spoke as he glanced over Piper's shoulder. "It needs three witches who understand the individual they seek. I believe it was written so your Grandmother could find one of you if you were taken by evil. It looks like she designed it to use the other two with herself as focus."

Sam felt the anger bubbling inside him; his demon half crept towards the surface and the world tinged slightly. He saw Leo glance at him a little worriedly, but the white lighter did not comment. The nails in his palm seemed to be helping the half-demon less and less.

"But," the blond man said, "we might be able to work with what we have. I can't use my power directly but I can act as a focus. That leaves us two witches and," Leo looked directly at Sam, "one demon."

The shock of what the white lighter was suggesting actually gave Sam back control of his raging emotions. The incubus retreated as confusion entered the Englishman's head. Several different questions entered the agent's mind at the same time. He settled for the simplest.

"But how?" Sam asked.

"When you shared Phoebe's premonition you were actually inside her head," Leo explained. "Unconsciously you leached some of Phoebe's power which gives you a fundamental understanding of her. That makes you the perfect third, except for the fact that you have no clue how to use your abilities."

"Find Phoebe we find Backup," Sam half asked half stated.

"That's the plan," Pru said evenly.

"Can I do anything?" Chris asked calmly, but Sam could tell his partner was feeling like a spare wheel.

"How's your will?" Leo asked slowly.

"He's as stubborn as a mule," Sam said, finally feeling that there was at last a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

"Then you can act as a guardian to the circle. With the amount of black magic floating around it's best to be safe," Leo told the American agent. "All you need to do is keep one thought in your head."

"I think I can manage that," Chris said with a rueful grin.

End of Part 4