Cole Turner was not having a good day. He had been late for work because of an accident. He had lost a case due to a technicality. He got home to discover some idiot had been trying to put in a swimming pool and had accidentally severed the electrical wires and his block had no power.
Sometimes he wonder why he bothered to live like a mortal. They were just so inconvenienced so often. Then he would remember the alternative and stopped grumbling.
But there was no way he was going to sit at home in the dark. There was still enough natural light to see, but it was fading fast so Cole quickly got changed and left. He had heard some of the interns raving about this club, P3 he thought sounded right, and decided to give it a try.
"Ooo, check out the hot guy by the wall," Prue Halliwell said, sliding into the seat next to her youngest sister.
"Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Incredibly-Gorgeous?" Phoebe asked, following her sister's gaze, not that her own hadn't been there before.
"Yep." Prue looked him over. "Nice taste," she said approvingly.
"Expensive taste," added Phoebe, who had an eye for that kind of thing. "Look at his clothes; they're all designer labels." Then, worried about the look Prue was giving him, she added defensively, "I saw him first."
"Did not!" Prue protested.
"Did too. Who do you think I've been watching all evening?"
"Ah-ha!" Prue exclaimed and Phoebe realized she had been set up. "Thought so." She turned back to her sister. "But don't worry about me being competition. He's checking you out, you know."
Phoebe tried not to blush. "No, he's not," she said, although she had been hoping the same thing.
"Yes he is," Prue said. "Now I'm going to go so he can come over here." True to her word, Prue took off.
Prue was right; he was extremely hot. He noticed Phoebe staring at him and grinned. Phoebe smiled flirtatiously back. He finished his drink and then made his way towards her.
"Scotch," he ordered, sitting down on the stool beside Phoebe. "I'm Cole," he said to Phoebe when his drink came. He left the bartender a fairly large tip, Phoebe noticed.
"Phoebe," said Phoebe.
"Phoebe," he repeated, sounding like he was trying out the name and the end results were pleasing. "So Phoebe," he said her name again. "At the risk of sounding like I'm so pathetic that I have to resort to using old, corny pick-up lines, can I buy you a drink?"
"Don't worry," Phoebe assured him. "You don't come off sounding pathetic."
"That's good," Cole said, with a wry grin. "So does that mean I can buy you something to drink?"
"No?" Cole looked so surprised that Phoebe had to fight to keep herself from laughing.
"I mean, there's no sense in you wasting your money buying me a drink. I get them for free."
"How do you manage that?" Cole asked quizzically.
"My sister owns the club."
"Oh." Cole looked impressed. "So Phoebe, the owner's sister, if I can't buy you a drink, can I at least have this dance? And I'm warning you," he added, "I don't think my fragile ego can bare being shot down again by you."
"Well then," Phoebe said. "I guess I will just have to say yes."
"I was hoping that would be the case." Cole said as he led Phoebe out to the dance floor.
Cole had made a good choice. P3 had good music, wasn't so crowded that you that you couldn't move and, most importantly, wasn't inhabited by mostly thirteen year olds who, trying to look older, had enough makeup on to look like cheap hookers. No, P3 had been a good choice. He would have to come here again.
The music was good, but Cole didn't much feel like dancing just yet. Actually, he never much felt like dancing, but would put aside his preferences when he was with a girl who liked to dance. Currently he was off to the side of the club, sipping the scotch in his hand, checking out the other occupants of the club.
His eyes settled on a gorgeous girl sitting by the bar. She was wearing a short red dress that, although it showed a lot, still left some to the imagination, just like Cole liked it. He looked her over. Red was definitely her colour.
A friend went over to join her. If Cole wasn't mistaken, they were talking about him. They weren't being too subtle about looking his way. At least they weren't pointing.
The next time he looked, the girl's friend had left again and the girl was staring rather obviously at him. He smiled suddenly and she returned it. Yes, she was definitely interested in him.
He downed the rest of his drink and went over to meet her. Her name was Phoebe and Cole had been right; she was interested in him.
The danced for almost an hour straight, chatting, but keeping the conversation light while on the dance floor. She was a good dancer, which probably came from her being the owner's sister.
"So what do you do?" Phoebe asked eventually, as Cole knew she would.
"I do lots of things," Cole said, teasing her. "For example, right now I'm dancing. I also sleep a lot, and sometimes I will eat."
Phoebe rolled her eyes, but could barely hide her smile, just like Cole thought would happen. "You know that's not what I meant," she complained.
"I know," Cole said. "Actually, I'm an ADA - Assistant District Attorney," he clarified in she didn't know what ADA stood for.
"Wow." Phoebe seemed to be impressed. "That's interesting."
Cole made a face. "Boring's more like it. It isn't nearly as fun as they make it out to be on tv or movies. A lot more paperwork and the good guys don't always win."
"Life seldom turns out the way it would on tv," Phoebe said sagaciously. Cole wondered if she was talking from experience.
"So how 'bout you? What do you do? For a living," he added so she wouldn't reciprocate his smart mouth.
"I'm a student," Phoebe told him.
He must be losing it. She didn't look nearly that young and Cole was usually a decent judge of age. He didn't rob the cradle. Well, technically speaking, all women he went out with were decades younger than he was, but it was hard to find a mortal who had been born in the eighteenth century anymore. But Cole would not go out with girls who were that much younger than his physical age. Besides the looks he got for it, Cole found girls in their teens and early twenties to be very immature.
"Yeah," Phoebe continued, oblivious to Cole's reaction. "I just went back. I didn't go to college the first time around, but decided I should've. So," she raised her hands, "here I am."
So he hadn't misjudged her. "I think that's great," Cole said. "I was worried there for a second. I mean, no offense, but you look way too mature to be in college now if you went straight out of high school."
"Too mature?" Phoebe questioned. She didn't seem to be taking it the wrong way, which was good. "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
"A good thing. Definitely a good thing," Cole whispered into her ear. A slow song had just come on so they were now dancing very close together.
The song ended and Cole reluctantly pulled away. "Do you mind if we sit this one out?"
"No," Phoebe shook her head. "I need a break, too. Besides, I'm dying of thirst."
They went back to the bar where Cole ordered another scotch while Phoebe stuck with bottled water. As Cole pulled out his wallet to pay, Phoebe said, "Don't bother; it's on the house."
"What?" Cole asked, a bit startled.
"Have you forgotten already?" Phoebe asked, a smile playing on her lips. "I'm the owner's sister, remember?"
"I'd forgotten," Cole admitted. In truth, he hadn't actually believed her in the first place. He thought she had made it up to impress him. Women had done it to him before and he in turn had done it to other women.
"Phoebe, there you are." It was Phoebe's friend from earlier. She noticed Cole and asked slyly, "Well, aren't you going to introduce me?"
Cole couldn't interpret the look Phoebe gave her friend. They seemed to be close, however. "Prue," Phoebe said, "this is Cole. Cole, this is Prue."
"Nice to meet you," Cole said, holding out his hand. Prue took it and they shook.
"You too," she said, her eyes sparkling mischievously. She gave Phoebe another indecipherable look, which the latter pointedly ignored.
"Prue's my sister," Phoebe explained.
"Oh." That explained the looks. It was an old-fashioned case of sibling rivalry. Or maybe sibling bickering - Cole couldn't decide. "Then you must be the owner of this club."
"Nah," Prue said. "That's our other sister, Piper. She's not here right now."
"Anymore siblings gonna turn up?" Cole asked Phoebe."
"No, it's just me, Piper and Prue."
Phoebe, Prue and Piper. "Suddenly the name makes a lot more sense," Cole commented, mostly to himself.
"What's that?" Prue asked, looking mildly confused.
"P3," Cole said. "Phoebe, Piper and Pure. That's why you called it that, isn't it?"
"Yeah," Phoebe said, but she said it a little oddly, making Cole wonder if there was more to the story. He didn't pursue it, however.
"Anyways," Prue said, turning her attention back to Phoebe. "I just wanted to let you know, I'm going now. I have a early shoot tomorrow and need to get some sleep."
Phoebe glanced at Cole. "I'm not ready to go yet," she argued.
"But Phoebe, I have to go now."
"I can give you a ride home, Phoebe," offered Cole.
"Could you?" Phoebe looked at him hopefully. "That would be great.
"Well, if you're sure," said Prue, who did sound as enthusiastic about the idea as her sister did.
"I'm sure. It won't be problem."
"Okay, then," Prue said. "I'll see you tomorrow," she added to Phoebe.
A new song came on and Phoebe perked up. "I love this one. Let's dance!" She dragged Cole back onto the dance floor.
They didn't leave until closing time, they were having so much fun.
"C'mon," Cole said at last. "We should probably get going."
Phoebe looked around. There were less than a dozen people left, and that was including the people who worked there. "You're right," she agreed. "But how're we getting home?"
"I'm driving, remember?"
"You're not driving," Phoebe said firmly. "You've had too much to drink."
Cole seemed to be more amused than anything else at that observation. "I'm not drunk," he stated.
He wasn't, either. In spite of all the scotch he had consumed over the course of the evening, he still seemed sober. Still, better to be safe than sorry. "Maybe not," Phoebe allowed, "but you've still had too much to drive."
"Fine," Cole said. "Then you can drive." He handed her the keys to his car.
"Nice car," Phoebe said when she saw it. It was an understatement. Cole's car was very nice, and very expensive.
"Thanks," Cole said, getting into the passenger side.
"Where do you live?" Phoebe asked.
Before he would tell her, Cole wanted to know, "How're you going to get home if you drive me home first?"
"I'll call a taxi," Phoebe said. She had already thought of that.
"Are you sure?" Cole asked. "You can always go home and I can call a cab from there."
"No, that's okay," Phoebe said. She had the feeling Cole wouldn't call a taxi but would drive home himself, intoxicated as he was, if she took his suggestion.
"Okay then," Cole said. He gave her directions to his apartment. When they got there, he asked, "Do you want to come up for a cup of coffee? Before you call a taxi, I mean."
It took Phoebe a second to realize Cole hadn't really asked her for coffee. A few years ago, she would have said yes without the slightest hesitation, but since she had become a witch, she had matured a little.
She wanted to say no, she should have said no, and if it had been anyone other than Cole, she would have said no. But somehow, Cole seemed different than most guys she met. As clichéd as it sounded, she felt like she had know Cole for a lot longer than a few hours.
"Yes," she found herself saying.
They didn't actually drink any coffee and Phoebe never called that taxi.
Sunday, January 28, 2001