wasn't sure who was more nervous, her or Sam Curtis. Although
she'd never show it the half-demon made her a little anxious.
The fact that her power seemed to have no effect on him what so
ever was disconcerting and at the moment he seemed so angry all
of the time. The witch could imagine what he must be going through,
having suddenly discovered that he was not completely human, and
his friend disappearing at the same time. Her mind flicked back
to Jeremy and how difficult it had been for her when her powers
had first manifested themselves. She smiled at him as he glanced
in her direction.
"Nothing to worry
about," she said as Pru drew the last part of the chalk circle
"Are you trying
to convince me or yourself?" Sam replied with a half smile.
"A bit of both,"
Piper told him in kind.
"Okay, are we
all ready?" Pru asked decisively as she finished drawing
and stood up.
"As I'll ever
be," Sam commented, but there was a determined look on his
Piper just nodded her
agreement and Leo did the same.
Pru continued, "then let's hold hands round the map."
They had the section
of map the scrying spell had indicated set up on a small table
in the middle of the attic. On it was the pointer from the spirit
board. Piper bit back on the sudden anxiety which threatened to
overcome her when she actually had to take Sam Curtis' hand. This
was no time for girlish fancies; they had a job to do. No matter
what things her imagination could conjure up about the half-demon,
there were more pressing things to think about.
"I cast this circle,"
Pru said calmly, "may it stand against all evil and protect
those within it. Let the guardian refuse entry to all that would
seek us harm."
Piper glanced at where
Chris Keel was standing just outside the chalk ring. He was staring
at the line on the floor and the single-minded expression on his
face was almost scary. The middle Halliwell had the distinct impression
that being on the wrong side of the two mysterious agents would
be very bad for a person's health. With these two men focus was
not a problem and the witch was very glad they were the good guys.
on the pointer and think of Phoebe," Pru said calmly, "I'll
recite the spell."
Piper fixed her eyes
on the wooden device and tried to put her sister at the front
of her mind. She recalled a moment only a few days ago when she
and Phoebe had been laughing in the kitchen, talking about the
younger woman's latest conquest. Happy thoughts always seemed
to work best for these types of spells and Piper put all darker
ideas out of her head.
"One is lost,
a sister indeed, guide us to her, in our hour of need," Pru
It wasn't the most
elegant of spells but Piper could feel its power almost instantly.
The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she was suddenly
keenly aware that she was not standing next to a normal human
being. The young witch almost turned as she experienced what Phoebe
would probably have called "a rippled in the force".
Magic was strange like that; sometimes a spell would go off and
there would be no indication that it had worked, at other times
the supernatural aspect of what they did made itself very plain.
This time Piper found herself hyper aware of everything around
her including Sam Curtis and Leo.
For a while nothing
happened. There was absolute stillness, only the sound of breathing
disturbed the silence. Then very slowly the pointer moved. At
first it simply twitched and stopped again. Piper felt a pressure
on her will, almost as if something were pushing back on her.
It actually annoyed her and without really knowing what she was
doing she shoved back. The pointer twitched again.
"We're being blocked,"
Pru said in a very cold voice that meant she was very far from
happy. "Even with the circle we're being blocked."
"Like hell you
are," the voice belonged to Chris Keel and Piper couldn't
help but glance at him.
If the witch had thought
the American looked determined before she was shocked by the righteous
anger that flared through his expression now. Much to Piper's
surprise the chalk line on the floor began to give off a faint
light. Dragging herself back to her own task she fixed her eyes
back on the pointer.
"One is lost,
a sister indeed, guide us to her, in our hour of need," Pru
The wooden device twitched
again and this time it moved off the spot.
Piper whispered to herself, "find my sister."
With every ounce of
will she had the middle Halliwell threw herself into her task.
With the smiling face of her sister at the forefront of her mind
she focused totally on the pointer. It moved again, a little more
freely this time. The most peculiar sensation began to spread
up her arm. It was like the lightest touch of ice, and it started
where she held Sam Curtis' hand and moved upwards. It travelled
across her chest, down her other arm and into her right hand.
The pointer moved again but this time it slowly began to spin
on the spot. The pressure was back and it was more than a little
Piper tried to ignore
both the sensation of hitting her head against a wall and the
prickling that wouldn't go away. They didn't matter, they weren't
important, the only thing that mattered was finding Phoebe. The
pressure began to grow and so did the tingling. Eventually it
was completely impossible to ignore both sensations. Piper had
to fight not to pull away from the circle of people they had made.
heard Curtis more growl than say and suddenly everything happened
The attic vanished
in a flash of somewhere else. A place that looked very much like
a warehouse. Phoebe was there and she was standing beside another
woman who seemed to be in some distress. There was a noise and
a large door opened to reveal a demon with the face of a handsome
man. Piper knew she was looking at Benias. Just as soon as it
had begun it was over, and the witch was staring at the map again.
However, something had changed, the pointer was no longer sitting
on the map, it was standing on it. To be precise it was balanced
on the very corner of it's pointy end and it was spinning. In
shock Piper let go of both hands she was holding and with the
link broken the pointer fell over, still once again. It left behind
it a small hole in the map.
else see it too?" she asked, wanting to know if everyone
else had felt the some thing she had.
Sam Curtis said and his voice sounded strange. "One of Phoebe's
Piper glanced at him
and had to stop herself from taking a step back. The agent no
longer looked exactly human, and he seemed as anxious about it
as she felt. She watched as he took a deep breath and closed his
eyes. She recognised stress-relieving techniques when she saw
them and gradually the sharp, almost silver nails on his hands
morphed back into ordinary ones. It appeared to take a supreme
effort, but when he opened his eyes again Sam Curtis was back
on dock street." It was Pru who spoke and when Piper dragged
her eyes away from Sam she found her sister pouring over the map.
Curtis said, his voice icy cold.
it was Chris Keel who voiced exactly what Piper was thinking.
"Now we get them
both back," Pru said decisively.
Chris flicked his phone
shut after giving Malone a fake rundown on what they had found
so far. He disliked lying to his superior, but in this case it
"Okay, so the
old man is diverted," Chris said, much too brightly for the
situation. "So what's the plan?"
"Why exactly are
you so cheerful?" Pru asked pointedly. She wasn't handling
the situation very well, and Chris had just made himself a prime
Sam sat down on the
nearest stool and looked at his partner, who did not appear in
the least repentant.
Sam said when Chris failed to give an appropriate reply. "He's
addicted to it. Ignore him: he can't help it. It comes with the
"This isn't a
game," Pru snapped. "My sister is in danger."
"So is one of
our best friends," Chris said, suddenly serious, "but
if you can't laugh occasionally you go crazy."
Pru looked like she
would argue about that, but Leo walked into the kitchen and interrupted
the discussion before it began.
"Sam, we need
to work on the control of your supernatural half," the whitelighter
"And you're the
instructor for demon 101," Sam said, not exactly pleased
by the prospect before him, but knowing that he couldn't get out
of this one.
Leo smiled and nodded.
"I'm the closest
thing we have to an expert," he said good-naturedly. "If
Cole was here I'd conscript him, but you're stuck with me."
Sam asked knowing he was simply changing the subject, but not
being able to help himself.
Pru supplied in a tone that suggested she didn't fully approve.
"He is also half-demon."
That confused Sam.
"I thought you
said half-demon's were rare." He looked to Leo for clarification.
rare," Leo corrected in his normal passive tone, "half-demons
are more common than you might think. Baltazar, Cole's demon alter-ego,
is powerful, but he's not in your league. If Incubi spent more
time fighting for the dark and less time obsessed with sex the
light would be in serious trouble."
Sam wasn't quite sure
how to deal with that information. It had been a mad two days
and Sam found himself just accepting things and trying not to
think about them.
"Okay, where are
we going to do this practice session?" He switched back to
the real topic.
Leo suggested helpfully. "It's quiet and no one will disturb
"Just try not
to break anything," Pru said and Sam wasn't sure if she was
"Lead on, Macduff,"
Sam said, resigned to his fate.
If he was going to
have to do this it might as well be now.
"See you later,
Sam," Chris said with an unsure look on his face as the half-demon
headed for the door.
all the Englishman managed in reply as he tried to guess what
this was going to be like.
"You have to learn
how to do it on demand," Leo said calmly. "Stop being
afraid of yourself or we may as well just leave."
Sam glared at the whitelighter;
he was not happy with the man just at the moment. The lesson was
not going well. He knew what he had to do, but he didn't like
it much. When the demon came out he didn't feel in control and
Sam was very much a person who appreciated control. Ever since
his other half had first emerged Sam had been able to feel it
just below the surface. If he was completely honest with himself,
Leo was right he was afraid, and whenever Sam Curtis was afraid
he tended to bury it with anger.
"I don't know
how," much to his surprise he found himself admit.
"Then you have
to learn and you have to learn in the next two hours," Leo
attitude was deliberately confrontational and had Sam been a little
more rational he might not have risen to the bait. However, he
wasn't thinking as clearly as usual and Leo's tone annoyed him.
"And exactly how
am I supposed to do that?" Sam almost growled.
"I can't tell
you," Leo snapped back, "you're the half demon, you
figure it out."
That was it, Sam temper
hit boiling point and he snapped. Before he really knew what he
was doing he had Leo pinned against the wall and the world was
luminous. The whitelighter made no move to struggle and simply
looked at Sam. With nothing to provoke him the Englishman's brain
clicked back in and it dawned on him that he had been quite obviously
he said icily, but took a step back and released his grip on Leo.
Now the demon was out
Sam wasn't completely sure how to get rid of it and he seethed
"You have to get
used to what you are," Leo said, more gently this time. "The
demon is you and you have to control it. You are the only person
who can defeat Benias."
"It doesn't feel
like me," Sam said, unable to calm the demon back into its
than your instincts," the whitelighter told him calmly. "Accept
yourself and find control."
The CI5 agent looked
at Leo's sincere and understanding expression. Everything he said
was true and Sam knew he couldn't shy away from this. It was time
to stop acting like an idiot and remember he was an agent of CI5.
His demon was not going to go away and he had to deal with it.
Under better circumstances he would have had time to come to terms
with the changes, but there was no time and there was a need.
Taking a deep breath he closed his eyes and looked inwards. Rather
than shying away from his demon nature he mentally stared at it.
Emotions surged and adrenaline flooded his system as the thrill
ran through him. His demon both horrified and excited him at the
same time. Its power was magnificent but its wildness was frightening.
In his mind's eye Sam
visualised the raging inside him and embraced it. Rather than
backing away he took the power and tried to bend it to his will.
It was hard; he felt as if he'd stepped off a cliff and was falling
out of control. Vaguely he realised that he had taken a path and
there was no turning back. This was his heritage, his genetic
makeup and there was no hiding it any more. With a gasp he opened
his eyes and looked at Leo and the world was normal again. The
whitelighter smiled at him.
he encouraged warmly. "Now bring it out again."
As far as Sam was concerned
this had to be much easier. Closing his eyes again he looked inside
and there was the power. Rationally he reached for his demon and
the only way he could explain it was that he missed. Sam opened
his eyes in surprise and tried to figure out what had gone wrong.
"I ... ah ...,"
he tried to explain but couldn't.
In consternation he
closed his eyes and tried again. This time he put a little more
force behind the thought and felt himself touch the demon. It
flared but did not rise to the surface. This was actually harder
than he had assumed. It also gave him an insight into the fact
that his demon wasn't as dominant as he had thought. He had assumed
that it would take over given only a slightest chance but he was
discovering that it wasn't that easy. This fact gave him confidence
as he realised that he had some control. With that realisation
he reached for his demon, embraced it and willed it to the surface.
Even without opening his eyes he knew he had changed.
said as soon as Sam did look at him. "Now we have to work
on the finer points."
With a totally new
outlook on the situation the Englishman nodded and steeled himself
for whatever was to come.
When Sam finally reappeared
from the attic Chris met him in the hall. The look on the American's
face told Sam that his partner was in a talking mood. He'd gained
that pensive, slightly confused expression he always wore when
he was about to broach a subject he was not one hundred percent
sure of. Sam had been headed for the kitchen to get a coffee,
but Chris was hovering by the living room door so the Englishman
diverted. Giving his partner a large smiled he wandered past him
and flopped gracefully onto the sofa.
constipated or you have something on your mind," he said
lightly and grinned unrepentantly.
Sam was in a good mood
after his success and he was pleased when Chris smiled back.
"Am I really that
obvious?" the American asked and took a chair opposite Sam.
"Your poker face
only works on the bad guys," the half-demon replied cheerfully.
"I take it your
lesson from Leo went well," Chris said slowly, and Sam had
the sneaking suspicion that this was the beginning of the build
"Lets just say
I'm more in control now," the Englishman revealed lightly.
"And we all know
what you're like about control," Chris said with a grin.
"Are you saying
I'm a control freak?" Sam asked with mock indignation.
"Now, would I
ever suggest a thing like that?" his partner said lightly
and looked at the far wall.
He was obviously considering
what he was going to say next and Sam left him to his thoughts.
When Chris was in this type of mood he needed space.
"I've been thinking,"
the ex-SEAL eventually began.
"Well that's a
bad start," Sam said lightly.
Chris had the good
humour to grin.
"I'm sorry for
reacting so badly, um ... ah ... when you changed," the American
stumbled a little bit on his apology.
Sam said evenly, growing serious. "This is weird for both
"Yeah, but you
have so much to deal with, the last thing you need is me freaking
out," Chris seemed determined to apologise.
"If you remember,
I believe it was your 'freak out' that stopped me making a complete
prat out of myself," Sam pointed out calmly.
Chris raised his eyebrows
at that but couldn't really disagree.
"Well I don't
want it to happen again," the ex-SEAL said firmly.
"So how do we
achieve this?" Sam asked reasonably although he had a sneaking
Chris looked at him
hard as if the answer was obvious and Sam finally relented.
said calmly, "how's this for a party trick?"
With that he embraced
his demon and let his form change. Chris didn't move a muscle
and just sat there. His expression was fixed as if he was trying
very hard to control it and Sam simply looked at him calmly.
"Well at least
I'll never have to buy another Halloween costume," the Englishman
broke the awkward silence and grinned.
It occurred to him
that this might be a little unsettling since he had just revealed
his fangs, but it was too late now. To his relief Chris actually
"Just don't look
at me for backup when someone asks you where you got the contact
lenses," he said and although there just a touch of trepidation
in his voice he seemed mostly normal.
Phoebe had been trying
to get some sense out of Tina all afternoon, but the woman was
on a completely different planet. What ever she was normally like,
Sam and Chris' friend was completely useless while she was under
Benias' power. Knowing that she was on her own until the cavalry
arrived Phoebe had tried to find her own way out with just as
As the day had worn
on Tina had become more and more like a wild thing and less and
less like a real woman. There was a desperate look of hunger in
her eyes that frightened Phoebe a little. It was not a hunger
for food and the youngest Halliwell did not want to end up the
same way. Unfortunately desperation did not help the young witch
and she knew she had run out of options when the door opened for
the second time to reveal Benias.
Tina was on her feet
like a shot and Phoebe didn't think anything could have stopped
the woman from reaching her target. The bewitched secret agent
fell to her knees in front of the demon warlock and ran her hand
up his leg as if he were the answer to her prayers. Benias simply
laughed and bent down putting his hand under her chin.
"I think you are
just about ready," he said with an evil smile. "Do you
want to kiss me my little slave?"
All that came out of
Tina's mouth was an incoherent grunt and she threw herself into
the offered kiss. Phoebe felt sick. Benias laughed again as he
broke away from his victim and looked over at the youngest Halliwell.
"Now you understand
my power, witch," he said maliciously. "Soon you will
be as willing as her."
Phoebe said defiantly.
The demon warlock just
smiled at her.
"You have no choice,"
he said and stepped past Tina.
Two of his she-demons
picked the bewitched woman off the floor and took her out of the
room. Phoebe thought that was a very bad sign.
"You are mine,"
Benias told her calmly. "It is that simple."
He continued to walk
into the room and Phoebe couldn't take her eyes off the still
open door. She was desperate; no matter what face she was trying
to put on the situation she knew that this creature's power could
take her soul away and it frightened her. In a last ditch attempt
for freedom she waited until Benias was out of reach of the door
and then she ran. Her heart beat rang in her ears as her system
flooded with adrenaline and she couldn't quite believe it when
she made it past the demon. However, with escape in sight her
hopes were shattered as two more she-demons appeared in the doorway.
"There is no way
out," Benias said from just behind her ear and Phoebe jumped.
She hadn't even heard
him move and she was trapped between him and his minions. His
hand touched the back of her neck and she flinched away from his
touch. It wasn't just that she didn't want to have him near her,
it was that she could feel his evil.
"Take off your
clothes," he said simply and shocked Phoebe some more.
The witch really didn't
know what to do and she remained motionless.
"Take your clothes
off or I will get them to do it for you," Benias said coldly,
"and I cannot guarantee how gentle they will be."
Phoebe turned to look
at her captor and with complete certainty she knew that if her
sisters did not arrive soon there would be nothing to rescue.
Somehow the knowledge that she was on the verge of loosing her
soul strengthened her. She pulled herself up straight and raised
her chin. If this was going to happen she was going to maintain
her dignity. As calmly as she could manage she began to unbutton
It took her a minute
or so the shed her clothes and then she glared at Benias defiantly.
"Like what you
see?" she asked bluntly.
Benias merely smiled.
"Hold out your
arms," he instructed simply.
Phoebe paused momentarily
in rebellion but eventually did as she was told. With little warning
the demon warlock reached out and bound her wrists with a thin,
strangely coloured rope. Almost instantly Phoebe felt her mind
"A binding spell,"
Benias said as the youngest Halliwell's world slowly faded. "Temporary,
but highly effective."
Phoebe's last thought
was at least she wouldn't see her fate coming.
End of Part