"WHATEVER YOU DESIRE"
(NOTE: This chapter is rated R and features sexual situations. Which is why it took me so damn long.)
Steam rose above the sherry brown liquid inside the punchbowl. Paige stared at it. "What is this?" she asked, wrinkling her nose.
"Glogg," Nathalie answered. "It's a Scandinavian punch. Very delicious. It's usually served around the Winter holidays. However, I don't think you should drink any of it. There's whiskey in it. And I had added a touch of Valerian in it to put everyone to sleep. At least for an hour or two. And I had also added some cloves and Cedar Wood to help cleanse out the potion." She filled four plastic cups with Glogg. "Okay, there's a cup for each of our prisoners, upstairs. And I'll deliver the rest of the punch to the other guests."
Both Paige and Cole grabbed two cups each, and disappeared from the kitchen. They reappeared in the middle of the second-floor corridor. "Okay," Cole said, "how do you want to handle this?"
"I'll give Phoebe and Paul their punch," Paige replied. "And you can provide the same service for the McNeills."
Anxiety flared in Cole's blue eyes. "Uh . . . maybe you should deal with Olivia."
A knowing smile curved Paige's mouth. "Why?" she asked in an innocent voice. She stared at the half-daemon.
"Because . . ." Much to Paige's delight, Cole squirmed with discomfort. Then, "Never mind. I'll deal with her, myself." Paige allowed herself a smile. Which disappeared after Cole's next words. "Oh, by the way, I noticed that you left me to deal with a certain young Harrison McNeill." Paige glanced up and saw the cryptic smile on Cole's lips.
She frowned. "And what's that supposed to mean? Are you saying that I'm trying to avoid Harry? Because I'm not." Cole's smile remained fixed. Paige added, "And did you just call him Harrison?"
"Yes. Harrison. Like in Harrison Ford," Cole said. "And I never said anything about you avoiding him. You did." He opened one of the doors and peaked inside. "Speak of the devil, he's in here. Are you sure you don't want to deliver his punch?" Paige glared at him. Cole's smile widened. "I guess the answer is no." He entered the room.
Paige walked over to the next room. She peeked inside and found Paul Margolin pacing back and forth. She entered and greeted the Assistant District Attorney with a cheerful, "Hey! How are you doing?"
Paul faced her, his expression marred by a scowl. "What the hell am I doing here?" he demanded angrily. "And why can't I get out?"
After a brief hesitation, Paige answered, "Uh . . . I think Cole may have cast some kind of spell to keep you from leaving. Sorry about that. Here." She handed Paul one of the cups of punch.
He glanced down at it. "What's this?"
"Glogg. Nathalie made some more punch. Only it's a hot punch. Some kind of Scandinavian drink. It's very good."
The male witch glanced at the punch for a second time and dismissed it. "I'm not thirsty. What I am is pissed off for being stuck in here. And finding out what Belthazor is up to."
"Paul, he's not up to anything," Paige assured him. "And his name is also Cole. As for the punch," she held out the cup, once more, "try it. Before it gets cold."
Paul ignored the offer. "You know, when Leo first told me about the job opening at the DA's Office, I had wondered why he seemed so eager for me to move to the West Coast. Now, I know why."
Paige frowned at Paul's words. "Did you just say . . .? Leo had told you about the job opening?"
"Well, yeah," Paul continued. "I didn't understand it myself, until I met Olivia. And Belthazor. I'm beginning to see that Leo needed me . . . to save Olivia from 'him'."
For a second, Paige wondered if the ADA had lost his mind. "Wait a minute," she demanded, "are you saying that Leo wanted you out here . . . to save Olivia from Cole?"
"Of course!" Paul retorted. "Don't you see?" He resumed his pacing. "Or understand? Olivia . . . she . . . God! I don't know how to begin to describe her. On the surface, she seems completely wrong for me. She's too independent. She doesn't respect the relationship between a whitelighter and a witch. She breaks the rules, all of the time. She's sarcastic and perverse. And worst of all, she's just a little too tolerant of the wrong kind of people. People - if you can put him in this category - like Belthazor. And yet," Paul's expression softened, "I love her so much. God help me, but I do. There's no one like her."
Paige stared uneasily at the other witch. "Yeah. Well, you've described Olivia to a T. Um, you still want some punch?"
Paul's next outburst nearly caused Paige to jump out of her skin. "I have to save her! I have to save Olivia. If Belthazor ever get the best of her . . ." He shook his head in despair. "It'll just be a repeat of what you and your sisters went through."
The mention of Cole and Phoebe's relationship sparked a brief flare of anger within Paige. Along with a touch of guilt over her own contributions to the couple's breakup. Paige took a deep breath and reminded herself on why she was here. Sporting a false smile, she held out the cup of punch, once more. "Well, while you're thinking of ways to save Olivia, why don't you have a drink?"
To Paige's relief, Paul took the cup.
* * * *
As Cole entered the bedroom, he found Harry sitting in a nearby chair, staring out of the window. The redhead glanced at the half-daemon, at the sound of the door closing. He stood up. "Finally! Someone! Why in the hell can't I get out of here?"
"After I had sent you here, I cast a spell to keep you inside and give you a chance to cool off. By the way," Cole held out the one cup of punch, "Nathalie made some more punch. Something called Glogg. Want to try it?"
Harry seemed more interested in a certain witch than punch. "Where's Paige?" he demanded. "Why didn't she come to see me?"
A sigh left Cole's mouth. "She's . . . uh, she's somewhere else. Look, why don't you try the punch?"
"Somewhere else?" Harry frowned. "She's with someone, isn't she? Who?"
"Harry . . ."
The youngest McNeill continued, "Oh God! I know! Paige doesn't want to see me, does she? I bet I came on too strong."
Cole stared at the witch. He noticed the lipstick smear on the younger man's mouth. Lipstick that happened to be Paige's particular shade of red. "God, you two really did kiss, didn't you? Or did you force . . .?"
"No! Nothing like that!" Harry protested. "It was nothing. Just a little kiss between the two of us." His face almost matched the coloring of his hair.
An amused smile quirked Cole's lips. "Well. That must have been some little kiss," he murmured. "I didn't realize that you were interested in Paige."
Looking outraged, Harry retorted, "Who said I was interested?" A pause followed before he continued, "Okay, so I am interested in her. But I don't have a chance, now that she's dating that Sonny Crockett look-a-like. What's his name? Ned."
"Nate," Cole corrected, still feeling amused.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Whatever. What does she see in this guy, in first place? Do you think this thing with Crockett Junior will last?"
"Why don't we cross our fingers and hope for the best? Meanwhile," Cole handed the cup of Glogg to Harry, "why don't you try this punch?"
Heaving a disappointed sigh, Harry took the cup and lifted it in the air. "Thanks. Here's hoping that Paige and Ned . . ."
"Yeah. Nate. Here's hoping that it won't last." Then to Cole's relief, Harry took a swig of Glogg.
* * * *
A disconcerted grumble reached Paige's ears, as she entered the second bedroom. "Well, it's about time!" Phoebe cried. "Where have you been?"
Paige glanced around the room. Judging by its size and furnishing, she suspected that it belonged to the mistress of the house. She smiled at her older sister. "Hey Pheebs! How is it going?"
"Why can't I get out of here?" Good old Pheebs. Always to the point.
"I don't know," Paige replied. "I think that Cole must have added some barrier spell or shield to keep you from leaving. I mean, you guys were acting pretty weird."
Outrage poured out of Phoebe's mouth, as she denied any kind of strange behavior on her part. "It's not my fault! Olivia was the one acting like a bitch! You should have seen the way she had tore into that Winifred woman. And me!"
"Uh, Pheebs? May I remind you that you tried to punch Olivia? You're lucky that all she did was toss you on the floor."
Phoebe huffily retorted, "I was holding back!"
"Yeah. Sure Phoebe." Paige held back a sigh. Poor Phoebe. Delusional, as always. "Anyway, here. Try this." She held out the cup of punch.
Phoebe demanded, "What's that?"
"Glogg." Paige explained that after Nathalie had ran out of cordial for her Raspberry Sunset, she decided to make something different. "It's one of those Scandinavian hot punches. Although I think your cup is only warm by now. Try it."
Phoebe took the cup and murmured, "Thanks." She took a sip. "Hmmm, not bad."
"Really?" The moment she uttered the word, Paige realized that she had made a mistake. The older stared at her with suspicious eyes. Paige quickly added, "I didn't get to try it. Whiskey. But Paul thought it was great."
Nodding, Phoebe took another sip. "Speaking of Paul, is he in another room?"
Paige cheerfully replied, "How did you know?" Phoebe gave her another sharp glance. The younger sister added, "He was acting a little hostile toward Cole. And I think he was getting on Olivia's nerves."
"She really doesn't appreciate him," Phoebe commented. "I think he's too good for her." She sipped once more.
Phoebe nodded. "Yeah. Did you see how she treated him? Like annoying pest. He's ten times the witch she is. And he's a hell of a better prospect than someone like Cole."
"Then why don't you date him?" The sarcastic remark came out of Paige's mouth before she could stop herself.
Paige quickly added, "I'm just saying that I think Olivia is better off without the noble ADA. The guy's weird, Phoebe."
"Are you saying that Olivia should be with Cole?" an incredulous Phoebe demanded. "Have you forgotten what I had to go through, because of him? What we all had to go through?"
Paige sighed. Heavily. "God, Phoebe! Do we have to go through this, again?"
"Cole is dangerous, Paige! Look at the mess he had caused, downstairs."
Rolling her eyes, Paige replied, "Cole didn't cause that mess, Pheebs! It was that Winifred Whatshername. She tried to hit on Cole. She even tried with Paul. And it was Olivia who came down on her in a jealous fit. And don't forget that not only did you try to interfere; you even tried to get Cole to admit that he still loves you. And what's up with that?"
"Well, it's the truth!" Phoebe angrily insisted. "Cole still loves me! In a sick, twisted way, of course. He's only hanging around Olivia to make me jealous."
Paige regarded her sister with sad eyes. "Oh Phoebe."
"What? Why are you looking at me, like that?" Anxiety filled Phoebe's dark eyes. "Are you saying that I still love Cole?" She finished the rest of her Glogg.
Reluctantly, Paige opened her mouth. "Well . . ."
"Well, forget it!" Phoebe retorted. Then she paused, as guilt crept into her expression. "All right. Maybe I am. But there can never be anything between us. Don't you understand, Paige? Cole is dangerous for me. He's too dangerous for Olivia. And you."
What the hell? Paige stared at her sister, as if the latter had lost her mind. "What are you talking about, Phoebe? I'm not in love with Cole!"
"But you're his friend." Phoebe approached the younger woman with concerned eyes. "Paige, try to understand. Cole is not a safe person to be around. Maybe you should . . . you . . ." She began to weave back and forth. Then she gave Paige another suspicious stare. "What . . . what was in . . . this punch?" The empty cup slipped out of her hand, before she fell forward - onto the bed.
Paige sighed and picked up the cup. She stared at the sprawled figure on the bed. Poor Phoebe, she thought. Mixed up and unhappy, as always. It did not surprise Paige that her sister remained in love with Cole. But she wondered if by rejecting him, Phoebe had made a colossal mistake. Paige also wondered if Olivia was doomed to follow in her sister's footsteps.
* * * *
Cole allowed himself one last glance at the slumbering Harry, before he closed the bedroom door behind him. He found Paige leaving another room. "So, how is our favorite ADA?" he asked the half-witch/whitelighter.
"Fast asleep," Paige answered. "And so is Phoebe."
"Phoebe?" Cole frowned. "You were coming from her room?"
Paige nodded. "Well, yeah. You're finished with both Harry and Olivia, right?"
Cole explained that he had only seen Harry. It had taken quite a while for the portion to affect the youngest McNeill. As Paige started toward the staircase, Cole added, "Where are you going?"
"Hel-lo? Back downstairs?" the Charmed One replied. "To help Nathalie with the others guests. Why?"
After a brief hesitation, Cole continued, "Well, I . . . I was wondering if you could . . ." He noticed the amused glimmer in Paige's dark eyes and realized that she knew . . . that he wanted her to give the last cup of punch to Olivia.
A smile now tugged Paige's lips. "If I could do what?" she asked.
Cole took in the smirk and Paige's amused expression. He heaved a sigh. "Nothing. Never mind. I'll . . . see you later." Paige turned away and resumed her walk toward the staircase. Another sigh left Cole's mouth. He squared his shoulders and entered the remaining bedroom.
The moment he entered, Olivia bounced from the large bed and rushed toward the half-daemon. "Cole!" he cried. Relief throbbed in her voice. "Thank goodness you're here! I can't seem to leave this room!" She threw herself into his arms.
Gently, Cole kept Olivia at arms' length. "I had cast a barrier spell to keep you guys inside. You were . . . acting pretty strange."
"What do you mean we were acting strange?" a frowning Olivia asked. "How?"
Cole opened his mouth to speak, but he found himself unable to bring up her fight with Phoebe. Or the confession that had taken everyone by surprise - especially him. He shook his head. "It's nothing. You and Phoebe were about to get into it."
"You mean that I was about to kick her ass." A bright smile lit up her beautiful face. "Right?" She moved closer to Cole. "But let's not talk about Phoebe. I'd rather talk about us." Olivia now stood less than an inch away from Cole.
Desperate to ignore the warmth radiating from the redhead's body - and his own growing desire - Cole held out the last cup of punch. "Before we do, how about a nice cup of Glogg? Nathalie had decided to make something new."
Olivia touched the side of the cup. "Isn't this supposed to be a hot drink?"
"Wait a minute." Cole waved one hand over the drink. A stream of fire briefly touched the surface. When he finally handed the cup to Olivia, steam rose from it. "Here you go."
"Where's your cup?" Olivia asked.
Cole's eyes widened in surprise. "Huh?" He glanced down at his hands. "Oh. Uh, just a minute." A second later, he held another plastic cup. Only it was not filled with Glogg. Cole raised the cup to his lips. "Well, cheers." He quickly drained the Seven-Up, inside.
Olivia blinked. "Wow! You really must be thirsty. Oh well." She took a drink of her Glogg. "Hmmm," she said between sips, "not bad. And I even like the bits of almond." Then she drank the rest of her punch and placed the empty cup on the small table, next to the bed.
Cole observed her closely. "How do you feel?" he asked.
A sultry smile curved Olivia's lips. She closed the space between them and slipped her arms around Cole's neck. "Ask me in another half-hour from now."
"Uh . . . Olivia, what are you . . .?"
"Doing?" she finished. The redhead planted a light kiss on Cole's nose. "What do you think?"
Cole felt himself grow tight, between his legs. He gulped. "Olivia, I don't think this is a good ide . . ." Slim fingers began to unfasten his shirt buttons. After she had unfastened three, Olivia leaned forward and lightly kissed the patch of flesh, just below his throat. Cole felt himself grow even tighter. "Olivia . . ."
"Shhhh. Relax," she murmured. "What do you think I'm going to do? Hurt you?" She kissed him again.
"Olivia . . ." Cole paused, as Olivia's mouth captured his lower lip and tugged. "Olivia, this is not a good idea. Not now."
She slowly forced Cole to step back, until he found himself falling on the bed. He let out a grunt, as Olivia's body landed upon his. "What's not a good idea?" she murmured. "This?" After unfastening more of his buttons, she pushed back his shirt, exposing his chest. Then she flicked her tongue across the tip of one of Cole's nipple. He shivered.
"Oh God!" he moaned.
Her mouth hovering over his nipple, Olivia murmured, "Hmmmm, you don't say." Then she covered said appendage with her lips and tugged and suckled it, simultaneously. Her ministrations drove the heat of Cole's desire several degrees higher. Olivia's lips then traveled down the center of his chest, until they reached the edge of his waistline. Just as she began to unfasten his belt, all reason left Cole, as he grabbed her waist and flipped her onto her back.
"Well, this is unexpected," Olivia said in a surprised tone.
Cole murmured, "Shut up." Then he stared briefly into green eyes that matched the desire he felt, before lowering his mouth upon hers. Cole kissed her with as much passion, as he could possible mustered. And judging from Olivia's response, it seemed to be a lot. Her mouth parted slightly and he slid his tongue inside, allowing it to touch hers. While they explored each other's mouth, Cole slowly unbuttoned Olivia's blouse. She moaned slightly, as his hand gently cupped a lace-covered breast. Cole's lips disengaged from Olivia's momentarily. He glanced at her lacy bra and noticed something different. "Oh, a clasp in the front." Breathing heavily, he released the clasp and pushed back the bra, revealing a pair of fleshy globes that quivered before his eyes.
While he marveled at Olivia's breasts, he noted that they were perfectly shaped. Not to big and not too small. A perfect size 38. "What are you staring at?" she growled seductively. "Come here." Olivia grabbed the back of Cole's head and guided him toward her lips for a deep and passionate kiss. Then Cole removed his lips from hers, stared deeply into her glittering eyes, and took one protruding, coral-colored nipple into his mouth and gently began to suckle. Olivia arched her back and moaned out loud. As he continued to form wet circles around the tips of Olivia's breasts, one of her hands strayed back to his belt and began to unfasten it. Then she unzipped his pants and slipped the said hand inside. Cole's body nearly bucked upward, as he felt her fingers wrap around his member. She gently squeezed him several times, and Cole felt his body growing hotter and hotter. Then he decided that two could play at this game. He slipped his own hand underneath Olivia's skirt. She moaned again, while he caressed a smooth thigh. Reveling in the warm flesh, Cole allowed his hand to slide upward, until he reached Olivia's panties. He slid his hand inside the garment that was now damp and Olivia's moans grew louder. Just as he was about to slip two fingers inside her, Cole's eyes fell upon the empty plastic cup on the night table. And remembered why he was here.
Cole took a deep breath - barely impossible, with her hand still around his member, and removed his own hand from between her legs. "Olivia," he murmured in a low, harsh voice. He removed Olivia's hand from inside his trousers. "We have to . . . stop."
"Wha . . .?" Confusion and disappointment whirled in Olivia's green eyes. "Why did you stop?" she demanded breathlessly.
Staring into those eyes, Cole found himself unable to speak. When he finally regained his voice, he said, "Look . . . I . . . don't think . . ." A sigh left his mouth and he tore his gaze away from Olivia.
"Cole? Is there something wrong?" Olivia clutched at his arm. "You're not going to walk away from me again, are you?"
Memories of that New Year kiss flashed in Cole's mind. He did not want a repeat of that little debacle - the kiss, his flight and Olivia's anger, which had lasted for nearly three weeks. But that cup on the night table reminded him that Olivia was under the influence of Nathalie's potion and not in her right mind. He almost came close to taking advantage of her. And it was the last thing he wanted to do.
Taking another breath, Cole reached down to push Olivia's red curls away from her forehead. "Look, Olivia. I want to be with you. More than you can possibly know. It's just . . . well, now is simply not the right time."
"Why the hell not?" Olivia demanded.
"Olivia . . ."
Before Cole could say another word, Olivia captured his mouth with her own. Lips and tongues soon danced together, to form another passionate kiss. As his reluctance dissipated, Cole again allowed one of his hands to slide up Olivia's thigh. Before he could do anything further, he felt her body relax. Olivia flopped back on the bed and drifted into a deep sleep.
Cole removed his hand from her thigh. He slowly scrambled off the bed and began to fasten his shirt buttons. His eyes took note of Olivia's face and her half-naked state. With a wave of his hand, she was fully clothed again. Then he heaved a regretful sigh and left the room.
END OF PART 4