Charmed Ones: Part 5

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"What the hell happened here?" Connor came out from the basement looking very shock to see the living room in a very big mess. The wooden coffee table was smashed. Its debris scattered across the room. Connor looked at it. The table held loads of memories when he was growing up in the house. The hot chocolate he'd share with his dad, the cinnamon flavored cookies his mom baked every Saturday evening, the place where he'd put his drawings he brought back from the kindergarten. As the table shattered into pieces, pieces of his memories of his childhood shattered with it. But that was no longer the concern. He realized that when he thought about his memories in the living room with his parents, his only brothers, Caleb and Charlie were trying to get onto their feet. He ran towards both of them, put the thick green book that he was holding on the floor beside him and helped them.

"You guys okay?" Connor asked both Caleb and Charlie. Caleb seemed fine from what he saw but Charlie on the other hand had some bruises on his face. The fair complexion of his skin made the bruises appeared more bright.

Charlie was a fair skinned guy with a fairly wavy dirty blond hair. His hair was lighter blond compared to Connor's and had a strong squared bone structure which emphasized masculine look in his face. The bruises on his sharp nose and left side of his forehead didn't affect his handsome look one bit. He managed to put on a smile on his face, hiding the slight pain he felt on his face. The smile made a few lines visible at the corner of his hazel eyes. "I'm okay." He said shortly.

"This guy just brought us back from the hospital." Caleb pointed at Charlie and cleared the dusts in his brunette hair.

"Seriously? How?" Connor asked in disbelief. Both Connor and Caleb were looking straight into Charlie's eyes.

Somehow, Charlie didn't like the way his brothers looked at him. He said, "How should I know? I'm trying to figure it out myself."

"Look at the place. It's a disaster." Connor said it with a sigh.

Charlie shot a look at him. He didn't like the tone Connor was using. He felt like he was responsible for making the living room a mess and making their childhood memories vanished. He thought Connor didn't understand that he too had memories of growing up in that place. It was so unfair that he had to feel so accused of doing something he didn't do. He could still remember playing with small trucks and Connor would always be there to make his life miserable by taking them away and Caleb would help him to get his toys back from Connor. Growing up, he would always see him as the bully. He didn't understand why he couldn't just leave him alone. Up till today, he would never be sure he if could count on Connor about anything ever. "What's that supposed to mean? Are you saying that I'm responsible for this?" Charlie asked Connor exasperatingly. There was a bit of anger in his tone.

"Well, weren't you the one who landed on it? Do you know how precious that table was?" Connor raised his hands in desperation. He wasn't sure why he reacted that way. He knew Charlie didn't deliberately destroy the coffee table, but he felt sad by the fact that there would be nothing they could hold on to as a remembrance of their father anymore. Somehow, he knew that he was being unfair towards Charlie.

Charlie was about to say something but Caleb stopped him and said, "Charlie saved my life. I think destroying the coffee table isn't much of a big deal right now. I think someone wants me dead."

Connor was stunned. His attention was no longer on the destroyed coffee table. He asked, "What happened?"

Caleb told Connor how he'd revived Mr. Vasquez, a dying patient, by only using his bare hands. He also told that he could shoot red electrical discharge from his fingers. After Caleb had done telling Connor what happened to him in the hospital, Charlie later told Connor how a weird looking bearded guy who wore all-black outfit shot a fireball at Caleb.

"That was so impulsive, Charlie. You could've gotten killed." said Charlie. There was a bit of concern in his tone.

"Yeah, I wasn't thinking clearly. Caleb could've gotten killed as well. I just didn't want that to happen." Charlie was trying to act indifferently.

"I'm just glad both of us are safe now. Plus, we need to figure out what the hell is going on right now." Caleb stopped before continuing, "I can shoot electricity from my fingers, Charlie can teleport us back here. How about you? Anything weird happened to you today?"

"Something did happen to me today.Think I can run very quickly. Like super-speed or something." Connor said it hesitantly. He couldn't believe himself that he was talking about this right now. He wouldn't have believed it if this happened last week. But series of inexplicable things had been happening to the Alexander brothers, Connor didn't know what to believe in anymore. The only thing that could probably explain what had been happening was the thick green book that was lying on the floor right where Connor left it when he went to check on Caleb and Charlie.

Charlie asked, "Does anyone have any idea what's happening? I have a really bad feeling about this." 

"I think this book explains everything." Connor went to pick up the book from the floor. "This is the Ultimate Book of Shadows."

"Ultimate Book of Shadows?" Caleb sounded astonished. "That sounds a bit witchcraft-ish to me."

"It is indeed a book of witchcraft." Connor stopped from saying anything. He felt there was a big lump in his throat that choked him, preventing from uttering any words next. It wasn't because he didn't want to, but it was because he found it extremely hard to believe what he was going to say to his brothers himself. He continued, "Guys, I think we are the descendants of a great witch. And whatever that's been happening to us today, they're actually our powers."

"We are witches? And we have powers?" Charlie couldn't seem to get everything sunk in into his head instantly. It was too much of big news for him. Slowly, he sat on the dark purple single seat couch in the room. He brought his right hand and slide it in his hair all the way back. His dirty blond hair followed the motion his hand made and later get back into wavy messy position where it was.

"And what is the purpose of having these powers anyway? Any explanation from the book? Plus, if we are magical aren't we supposed to be wizards instead of witches?" Caleb couldn't seem to stop himself from asking questions. He would love to ask for more as his head was full of questions that needed answers. He felt like he needed every explanation Connor could give him, but he decided not to overwhelm Connor with unanswerable questions as he thought Connor was as new as he was in this witchcraft thing.

"Apparently, we're not. Somehow in this weird universe we're known as witches. Wizards are a whole different type of magical being, which powers usually come from their designated staffs. According to the Ultimate Book of Shadows, witches are magical beings who protect the innocents from the evil of the world. The first line of defense in the battle between good and evil. Our powers are meant to do great things in the world. We're supposed to maintain the balance of good and evil by, well, protecting the innocents." Connor explained pretty much what Caleb asked him. "The book pretty much explained everything we need to know about us."

Connor went on explaining further on what types of powers they each owned. Connor inherited the superhuman magical abilities, Caleb possessed the magical power of elemental control and Charlie acquired the power of magical defense. Connor further explained that their powers would grow as much as they practiced their power for good purposes. Connor then explained the guy they met at the hospital might be a demon, witches' typical sworn enemy.

"I don't know. Don't you think this seems a bit too farfetched?" Caleb said reacting to what Connor had explained. Yesterday he was just an ordinary medical assistant who was extremely busy attending to his patients at the hospital. Today, series of weird events happened led to him finding out that he had magical powers and he needed to protect innocent people now.

"Caleb, do you have any better explanation on what have been happening to us all day? I think Connor is right. Think about it, why did the guy we met in the hospital want you dead? It must be the fact that we're the good guys and they're not. I think if we're supposed to be the so called guardian of innocent people out there, the bad guys must want us dead." Charlie supported Connor this time. He knew it was something he'd rarely do, but he needed to have something to believe in. It seemed ridiculous to him at first, but when he thought about it everything made perfect sense.

All three of them began to be preoccupied into their conversation on their new discovery, they didn't notice that someone came from the kitchen. The footsteps were so silent the Alexander brothers only realized his presence at the very last minute when they had come facing one another.

"Haven't anyone told you that it's very rude to run away from a battle?" The bearded all-black outfitted guy said it while fireballs suddenly integrated in both of his palms. He threw the fireballs at the brothers who were caught off guard.

Panic with the situation, Charlie suddenly disappeared for one second in his blue light and reappeared the next second which made him able to evade the fireball. Unfortunately, this time the fireball hit Caleb who wasn't prepared when they were attacked. The fireball hit him on the right shoulder which made a huge wound consequently. Caleb was thrown away a few steps back and fell on his back. Seeing what had happened before his eyes, Connor ran towards the demon very rapidly using his magical speed and punched him in his face which somewhat brought no effect. The demon slapped him using the back of his hand and that threw Connor across the living room. Charlie made the next attempt by disappearing from the place where he stood to reappearing behind the demon. Quickly, he grabbed the table lamp and smashed it onto the demon's head. The demon seemed unaffected, turned around and slapped Charlie using his backhand just like Connor. Charlie got thrown across the other side of room.

Seeing his brothers beaten up like that made Caleb very angry. He began to stand on his feet. The anger he had in him built up his emotion, which made the electrical sparks started to appear in between his fingers. The demon noticed it and put a big grin in his face and said, "Now, that's what I called a challenge. A real power."

The electrical sparks turned into continuous red electrical discharge. Caleb heard what the demon was saying but he chose to ignore it. "Nobody messed with my brothers and got away with it." With that, Caleb put all he had to one target, the demon. He blasted a big red electrical discharge towards the demon with both of his hands. It hit the demon and he was electrocuted continuously. Caleb's anger had made his power unstoppable. The electrical discharge began to take its toll at the demon. The demon screamed very loudly. Every parts of his body were in a great deal of pain as if he was burned by volcanic lava and his body began to smoke. It was very unbearable, the demon shouted, "This is just the start, witches! More will come for you! You will die!" 

As soon as he finished his last sentence, the demon blew up into pieces. The explosion threw Caleb across the room near to the kitchen. He hit his head on the dining table before landed on the floor. The falling made him bleed his head. Despite the pain they had, both Connor and Charlie quickly stood up and ran to check on Caleb. At first sight, Caleb was in pretty bad shape. The bleeding on his forehead didn't seem to show any sign that it would stop.

"Connor, what should we do?" Charlie grabbed Caleb in his arms, shaking Caleb's body a bit to wake him. He checked on Caleb's pulse, it was still beating. "He's alive." Charlie continued his attempt to wake Caleb by continuously calling his name and shaking his body harder.

"I think we better get him to the hospital. There's nothing we can do here. I'll get the car." Connor tried to stand up but he fell back on the floor. His injury was more serious than he anticipated. He couldn't stand.

"Maybe I can teleport us to the hospital." Charlie tried to focus as he closed his eyes very tightly but nothing happened. "Why can't I do it this time?" Anxiety filled into Charlie. He looked at Caleb's bleeding and got more anxious. "No!" He screamed in exasperation.

Connor tried to calm Charlie down and said, "Calm down, Charlie. Maybe you need to focus more. I got your back." He reassured that. "I have faith in you."

Before Charlie could do anything, suddenly green flashing orbs appeared in front of Connor and him. The green orbs levitated on the air for a few seconds before it slowly took a shape and became very bright. The green orbs later fully turned into a human form, it was like someone just teleported before their eyes. Someone very familiar to the brothers.

"Luke!" Connor was taken aback by what he saw. "How did you do that?"

Luke said, "I'll explain later. Now, let me save Caleb's life."

Charmed Ones: Part 4

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Caleb stared at his cup of cappuccino. He felt very nervous. Somehow, he himself was puzzled why he was being so nervous about. Whether it was about meeting Luke Greene or about asking him who he really was. He kept thinking how to put what he wanted to ask into words. He grabbed the cup and took a few sips of the drink. He remembered the text he sent Luke last night after Connor and Charlie brought up the topic that Luke might be a fraud.

Could I see you tomorrow? I need to ask you something very important. It's about the will.

Sure. Is breakfast okay?

Definitely. See you at Al's Diner?

Okay. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Caleb stared at his BlackBerry screen for quite some time. That was the conversation he had with Luke the night before. So there he was, waiting for Luke to show up at Al's Diner. He was wearing his hospital uniform. Working as a medical assistant, the uniform he wore was light green in color but since he hadn't checked in to the hospital, he put on a grey sweat shirt and put on the hoodie onto his head halfway because it was pretty cold.

"How many of those have you had?" A familiar voice asked Caleb from behind.

Caleb jumped a bit as he was caught off guard. He took off the hoodie, stood up and turned to his back. It was Luke in his dark brown suit. He was wearing dark green shirt and a polka-dotted bright yellow on apple green colored necktie. His dark hair was brushed to the side in an attractive way instead of geeky one. His eyes were light green, his skin was fairly pale. There was a trail of greenness on his face; the area where he let some of his facial hair grew. Well trimmed and groomed. He got closer to Caleb. Compared to him, Caleb stood few inches taller than he was. They shook hands and Caleb asked him to sit down.

"This is actually my first cup." Caleb started the conversation answering Luke unanswered question.

"Sorry I was a tad late. Traffic jam. Same old same old in LA." Luke widened his eyes, insinuating that it was very ridiculous. He took the menu, "Any suggestions on what's best here? I'm hungry I could even eat a horse!"

"I'm not so sure, but I usually have pancakes if I have breakfast here." Caleb shrugged.

"Is that what you're having? Make it two." Luke smiled at Caleb. Caleb smiled back faintly. Something was obviously bothering him and Luke could see that. Caleb placed their order to the waitress, and asked her to refill his cup with coffee this time. "Is everything okay?" Luke asked once the waitress went away.

"Yeah, pretty much." Caleb only answered Luke very shortly. He actually didn't know what to do. It was like he was battling inside of his head.

"Something is bothering you. What is it?" Luke looked at Caleb. From where he was sitting, he could see that Caleb's forehead was a bit frowned. Though Luke thought that Caleb appeared a bit agitated, he still looked handsome. His brunette hair was short and spiky to the left side. His skin was fairly tanned. His eyes were dark brown and when he smiled, Luke noticed that a dimple appeared only at his left cheek.

Caleb let out a big sigh, "If I ask you a question, could you please be honest with me?" He looked into Luke's eyes for assurance.

"Certainly. Does this have something to do with what you wanted to talk about last night?" Luke guessed.

"As a matter of fact, yes. Who are you, actually? I don't think you're a lawyer because an Assistant District Attorney who handled our father's will and attended some divorce cases at the court sounds bull to me." Caleb was hoping for some straight answers.

Luke was going to say something before the waitress came to their table and brought their orders. Luke grabbed the cutlery and started enjoying his breakfast. On the other hand, Caleb seemed uninterested about the meal before his eyes though he was a bit famished. He hadn't had anything but a cup of cappuccino.

"Why aren't you eating? These pancakes are 'da bomb'!" Luke cut another piece of pancake and shoved it into his mouth.

"I'm not that hungry." As soon as Caleb said that, his stomach growled, pretty loudly.

Both Caleb & Luke stared at each other. For one second, it was silent. Then they both laughed till some people around them glanced at their way.

"Okay, fine. I'll eat." Caleb gave in to his hunger, grabbed the cutlery and started eating. "This doesn't mean you can get away from answering my question." Caleb looked at Luke in a skeptical way.

"I must say, if looks could kill I'd be dead by now." Luke finished his pancakes. He put his food aside, "Okay, what do you want to know?"

"I want to know who you really are. My brothers don't trust you and I'm starting to feel the same way." Caleb said frankly.

"Okay. Truth is I'm not really a lawyer. I don't even have any idea how does the law work." Luke replied.

"Then what were you doing barging into our lives? Who knows if the will was a fake one?" Caleb said in exasperation.

"No, it is real. I went to your house as a lawyer because I couldn't think of a better explanation on how to give it to you. All of you. I assure you, I'm a friend. I'm not the bad guy here." Luke explained.

"I don't even know if I can trust you." Caleb buried his face into his palms. "So, who are you really?"

"I can't tell you that, Caleb. At least, not until you're ready." Luke said it slowly.

"Not till I'm ready?" Caleb repeated. "This is ridiculous. What kind of game are you playing, Luke?"

"I'm not playing any games, Caleb. It's just…I'm not allowed to tell you anything unless you discover it yourself." Luke said guiltily.

Caleb looked at Luke and said, "Look, I like you, Luke. But I don't think I can trust you unless you're being honest with me."

Luke said, "Yeah, about that. I think there's been a misunderstanding." He took a very deep breath. "I'm straight."

Caleb froze. He didn't know what to do. Confusion took over himself. It was like his heart skipped a beat, only in a very bad way. His mouth felt dry. He wanted to say something but he choked.

"Caleb, I'm sorry if I've been sending you mixed signals but I'm not gay." Luke explained it to Caleb.

Caleb suddenly burst into a big laughter which made Luke astonished. "Of course you are! You misunderstood. I mean, I like you as a friend. Sorry I didn't make it clear enough to you."

"Oh really? That's great to know." Luke said skeptically.

"Oh! Look at the time. It's almost time for my shift. I need to get to the hospital." Caleb said as he was looking at this watch on his left wrist.

"Okay. Let me take care of the bill." Luke called for the waitress and signaled her to get the bill.

Caleb said, "No, you shouldn't. I was the one who asked you to come here today. I'll take care of it. I insist."

As soon as he had done take care of the bill, Caleb excused himself. He told Luke they'd be in touch. Caleb walked away from the diner awkwardly quick, making it very obvious that he wanted to avoid anymore conversation with Luke. Luke looked at the way where Caleb was headed until he disappeared from his sight. Luke let out a big sigh. That was a big fat lie, he told himself. Not being completely honest with Caleb about his destiny was one thing, lying about his feelings was another thing. Luke liked Caleb, but the only reason he told Caleb that he was straight because it was forbidden.

Caleb reached the hospital miserably. He really thought that Luke showed some interest in him, he was very positive about it. All he could do was lying about his feelings towards Caleb. He couldn't think as he felt humiliated. Luke was just being nice, he thought. He felt stupid and vulnerable. He checked in for his shift and headed to his workstation. He tried to make himself busy with work. He tried to focus but to no avail. He began to be preoccupied with his work till someone patted his left shoulder pretty hard. He jumped a bit and accidentally let everything he was holding fell on the floor.

He turned around and he saw Charlie. "Charlie! You scared me. What are you doing here?" He bent down to pick up the things which were scattered on the floor.

Charlie bent down to help Caleb pick up the things, "Sorry, dude. Didn't mean to scare you like that. I came because I figured I could help you with Luke Greene predicament."

"Too little, too late. I talked to him this morning." Caleb started walking and Charlie just followed him everywhere he went.

"You did? So, how did it go?" Charlie seemed curious.

Caleb told Charlie everything that happened in the morning, that he wasn't a lawyer and claimed that he was a friend instead of a foe. He also told Charlie about how he misunderstood Luke's mixed signals and he was indeed straight, or so he thought.

"Luke? Straight? You've got to be kidding me!" Charlie said in incredulity.

"Tell me about it." Caleb seemed uninterested to continue talking about the topic but Charlie couldn't see that.

"Dude, I had my ‘gaydar’ all over him. The way he looked at you, there's no way he could be straight." Charlie shook his head.

"Charlie, you're not supposed to have ‘gaydar’. Only gays do." Caleb chuckled at what Charlie said as they arrived at the staff lounge.

"I'm not? I thought everyone should have that." Charlie became a bit confused.

"Sometimes I think you know more about gays more than I do, Charlie. Are you sure you're straight?" Caleb said it teasingly.

"Straight as an arrow! You want proofs?" Charlie defended himself.

"There's no need for that, Charlie. I know you're straight. I don't doubt that at all. You can't even take your eyes off of Maria since we came here." Caleb pointed at a redhead girl Charlie kept staring at. "I know what you're thinking. I don't allow it. Not from my workplace!" He gave Charlie a smirk.

"Who's so lame to make such rules? That's not cool, man." Charlie complained.

"I don't care if forbidding you 'do' my co-workers is lame. I've got reputation to keep here too. Back off, okay." Caleb warned Charlie.

"Chill, man. Okay, I won't mess around with people from your work place. But I'm still not going anywhere. You still owe me lunch and u promised to land me some bartending gig here in LA." Charlie said mischievously.

"Okay, but not now. I'm still on my shift. I'll only have my break in an hour from now." Caleb looked at his watch.

"I can wait. It's not like I have better things to do." Charlie crossed his legs and leaned his back on the comfy sofa.

Caleb indulged himself in his work, updating patients' charts, attending warded patients. One hour passed just like that. He thought of going back to Charlie at the staff lounge before one of the warded patients, Mr. Vasquez's heart stopped. He quickly went to the room tried to revive the patient. Considering that he was just a medical assistant, he didn't have the authority to revive the patient using electricity. 20 seconds had passed and no one arrived to help him. He performed CPR, and pushed his palms onto Mr. Vasquez's chest. He put all his willpower to save Mr. Vasquez but he began to think that if the heart wasn't revived, the patient would be gone for good. Desperation engulfed him. It was very intense. He wished that the doctor would be there to authorize the electrocution revival. Suddenly, a spark of electrostatic came to life on his hands. He was dumbfounded with that. He tried concentrating and this time it wasn't just electrostatic that came to life. It was red colored electrical sparks coming out from his fingers. It wasn't fatal, but it was strong enough to electrocute the dying patient in front of him. Suddenly, Mr. Vasquez's heart began to beat. It progressively gained normal heartbeat rate. Caleb took a step back. He couldn't believe his eyes. He couldn't make sense what just happened and the episode astounded him. The doctors and other medical assistants arrived to the room only to realize that Mr. Vasquez had been revived. They were all looking at Caleb for explanation, but he could only shook his head in disbelief. He dismissed himself from the patient's room and went to the staff lounge to find Charlie.

"You won't believe what just happened to me." Caleb startled Charlie who was listening to music tracks in his BlackBerry. They were alone.

"Hey, buddy. Calm down for a second." Charlie stopped the song that was playing in the playlist. He took off his earplugs. "Now, tell me what happened. You look like you'd seen a ghost."

Caleb took a deep breath before began to talk, "I've just electrocuted a dying patient."

"Huh? Don't you medic people usually do that to revive people?" Charlie stated, began to think that it wasn't a big deal.

"No! You don't understand! I did it with my bare hands!" Caleb pulled out his palms. For a second, the red colored electrical spark appeared again between his fingers. They both were taken aback. "Now, you believe me?"

"Whoa! What just happened, man? That was bizarre!" Charlie widened his eyes.

"That was his power. Cool isn't it?" suddenly a big bearded guy interrupted Caleb and Charlie's conversation. He wore a black t-shirt and a black leather pants. His shoes were black, and his arms were full of tattoos which appeared to be satanic. His eyes were ebony black, not even a single color of white was present in his eyes.

They both were surprised by the interruption and stood up. "And who are you?" Caleb asked the fully black attired guy.

"I'm your death sentence." The guy said. He held out his right hand and suddenly a fireball magically integrated in his palm. He threw the fireball at Caleb.

Caleb froze and he had no idea how to react. From the look of it, he could anticipate that the fireball was targeted towards his chest. He wanted to move away but he knew it was too late.

"Look out!" Charlie pushed Caleb to the side. He didn't know what he was doing but it was his reflex to do that. As they fell onto the floor, Charlie was surrounded by blue shining light. He was confused by the occurrence. His surroundings began to shimmer and slowly changed into the villa's living room. During the transition, the blue light followed the direction towards their movement. This happened so fast, the next thing that Charlie saw before his eyes was the wooden coffee table in the middle of the living room. Too bad they fell on it and Charlie slammed his face onto it. Caleb was lucky that he landed on his butt. Their crashing made a loud booming sound.

They took time to regain their balance before they realized that they were back home. Charlie felt the ache on his face.

Caleb brushed off some of the debris from the breaking of the coffee table. He helped Charlie back on his feet. "How in the world did we get here?"

Charlie looked at Caleb before saying, "Caleb, I think I've just teleported us back home."

Charmed Ones: Part 3

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Charlie swiped the dust off of the peculiar book. The book was huge and bulky. The dark-green leather on its hard cover gave the impression of its being old. Scratches appeared on some parts of it as if it had survived centuries of battle. He opened the book. The first page had a sentence written on it. He thought it could be like some sort of an incantation but it was too short to be one. The power of the trio will set us for go. He whispered the words. He kept reading. The first few pages of the book narrated the history of magic. The grand design of good and evil, a sense of duality like yin and yang. Magic had been seen as the means of evil but it wasn’t revealed that over the centuries magic was used to fight evil of the world. Demons that walked among people, warlocks that killed good witches to gain powers and fallen witches who practiced dark magic.

“This is ridiculous.” Charlie told himself. “So I read this and I become Harry Potter or something?”

He closed the book thinking that it was such a waste of time spending a few hours reading some old witchcraft history that had nothing to do with him. He put the book back into the chest and went out of the basement. As he walked to his room, the triquetra symbol glowed. He tucked himself to sleep when the triquetra symbol became brighter. The glow levitated on the air and broke to individual symbols. The symbols flied across the villa and reached Connor, Caleb and Charlie. The symbols landed on their chest then disappeared like they were absorbed into the brothers’ bodies.

Charlie woke up the next morning. He was drenched in sweat. Perplexity filled his mind when he discovered that he wasn’t in his room. He rubbed his eyes hard. Disbelief overwhelmed him as he was lying on the living room floor. He got up and went to the kitchen only to see Connor was having his breakfast.

“I could use some of that coffee you’re having.” Charlie sat on the stool next to Connor. Connor got up and dispensed some coffee from the coffee-maker and handed it to Charlie. “Thanks.”

“You alright? You look terrible.” Connor took a sip of coffee.

“Thank you.” Charlie said sarcastically. “I don’t know what happened to me. I woke up at the living room floor.” He took a few sips of coffee from his blue colored mug. “I clearly remember that I slept in my room last night.”

“Maybe you were sleepwalking.” Connor took a guess.

"If I had sleepwalked, wouldn't I had been having that since I was a kid?" Charlie asked Connor.

Connor took a bite of peanut butter toast before saying, "I don't know. The other day I saw on Desperate Housewives that one can develop that out of guilt or something."

"Or something?" Charlie repeated, skeptical.

"Don't ask me. I'm no medical expert. I work in an advertising company, okay. Maybe you should ask Caleb about this. Figure he would at least have some ideas about it." Connor went to the toaster and took two slices of toasts, placed it on a purple ceramic plate and handed them to Charlie. "Here are some peanut butter and various flavor of jams."

"Thanks. Speaking of which, where's Caleb?" Charlie grabbed a butter knife and took a big chunk of peanut butter before putting them on the toasts.

"I guess he went out early. Maybe he went out to work." Connor could only guest as he didn't know anything about it any better.

"Or maybe he went to see Luke? Or investigate about him?" Charlie took more wild guesses.

"I hope everything will turn out fine for him. I don't want him to face another sorrow after we lost our dad, you know." A bit of concern was present in Connor's voice.

"I wouldn't worry much about him. He's a grown man. Sure he can take care of himself pretty good." Charlie finished off his first toast.

Connor said, "Well, both of you are my only brothers and I sure don't want anything to happen to you both. Whether you like it or not, I'm looking out for you two. I'm the big bro, aren't I?"

Weirdly, Connor put on a very warm smile on his face which was something he rarely did. The denotation behind that smile was understood by Charlie. Though he wouldn't admit it in a million years, Charlie cared for his eldest brother regardless. He would always be known as the one who rebelled, the one who got into trouble for no reason but never meant all that to be a sign of defiance toward his brothers.

"It's like you can count on me like one two three…" Connor started singing.

"Whoa! Hold it right there. Don't you go all Bruno Mars on me. It's just weird, man." Charlie dropped his toast onto the ceramic plate and raised both of his hands.

"Yeah, probably not a good idea." Connor started laughing and Charlie joined him.

There was a familiar feeling to that. They were one big happy family. Their parents were pretty much crazy in love with each other years ago before it all shattered into pieces. Pieces that couldn't be put back together.

"Guess we can have a civilized conversation without shoving knives to one another's throat." Charlie muttered after he was done laughing.

"Yeah, I guess we can." Connor agreed.

"Hey, I forgot to tell you last night I got the chest opened." Charlie changed the subject.

"Seriously? How?" Connor was invoked by confusion and curiosity.

Charlie started telling Connor how he carried the chest into the basement and found out the padlock was unlocked as he believed was caused by the impact he made from putting the chest onto the floor pretty hard. He also told Connor that he found a big thick green leathered book with a triquetra symbol on it inside the old wooden chest. He told Connor he read a few first pages of the book about witchcraft history and how they somehow related to those stated in the book.

"Witchcraft?" Connor was flabbergasted.

"Nah, I wouldn't worry much about it. Probably just nothing." Charlie cleaned up the kitchen and put everything into the dishwasher to get them cleaned.

"I'll get down and see the book for myself later. Now, I'm just going to get ready for a jog." Connor stood up from the stool.

"You do that. I need to get ready myself." Charlie started leaving the kitchen.

"Where are you going?" Puzzled by this, Connor asked Charlie.

"Think I'm meeting Caleb at the hospital. Maybe he needs help with Luke Greene investigation thingy. Plus, he did promise to land me that bartending gig here." Charlie put on his mischievous look.

"Don't do anything stupid okay. Be safe." Connor said to Charlie half yelling as he already left the kitchen running towards the shower.

Connor put on a pair of black shorts, sleeveless red muscle shirt and a pair of red running shoes. It suited his muscular built even though he wasn’t as well-built as Charlie was. He locked the door behind him and headed to the nearby park to go for a jog. His dirty blonde hair shined under the hot scorching sun of the morning. A girl ran passed him couldn't help but become aware of the hazel eyes he had. Connor saw the girl was looking at him so set a smile on his rose-tinted lips which also showed a set of white dazzling teeth. 

He began to do his stretches to warm up his body as he arrived at the park. He felt effortless when he jogged. He wanted to challenge himself so he changed his pace to be more rapidly. Gradually, he gained the momentum to run faster, and faster. It was late till he realized that he was in the middle of the city of Los Angeles. Some cars honked at him for standing in the middle of the road. He didn't understand how he could get to the city when it usually took 45 minutes to get there even by using a vehicle and he somehow got there in a couple of minutes. He walked around and found Starbucks. He sat there trying to make sense what just happened.

Connor thought there must be a very good explanation to this. He took a cab and went back to the villa. He immediately went to the basement and tried looking for the chest that Charlie brought down the night before. As he found the chest, he quickly took the book out from it and flipped through the pages. He read again what had been read by Charlie the other night, only Connor decided to read further.

Connor found out that the Alexanders were the descendants of a once very powerful witch who sacrificed herself to obliterate one of the most powerful forces of evil in the entire universe. According to the prophecy written in it, there would be a time where three witches would inherit the gifts to continue the legacy. These witches, regardless of gender, would possess three types of magical powers. The first was superhuman magical abilities, the second was the magical power of elemental control and the last one would be the power of magical defense.

Connor read the last line that illustrated the powers. "These powers when combined would be the most powerful ever existed on the face of Earth. And this power would be known as the ‘Power of the Trio’." He closed the book. He let this new discovery sink in to his head. “I’m a witch?” He shook his head in disbelief.

Before he could open the book to continue reading it, there was a loud booming sound upstairs.

Charmed Ones: Part 2

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Connor stared at the house grant blankly. He didn’t know what to do with it. He didn’t know where to start. He would have to go back to New York in few days time yet he hadn’t talked to his brothers about the villa. What they were going to do with it. He had thought about selling it, but that would not be approved by Caleb. Since the delivery of the will from their father’s lawyer, Luke Greene, Caleb had expressed his wish to stay in the villa considering that the hospital where he worked as a medical assistant was closer to the villa compared to his old apartment.

Connor went down to the living room. He saw Charlie was lying on the sofa browsing through the TV channel. Charlie was wearing grey shorts and white muscle shirt which had “YOLO” written in the middle of it. He was eating a box of popcorn while watching the rerun of “Pimp My Ride” on MTV. Charlie saw Connor coming to his way but he didn’t bother to turn his head to look his direction. His eyes were so glued on the screen of that 42-inched LED Samsung TV in front of them. Connor joined him, unsure how to start the conversation with his youngest brother.

“What are you watching?” Connor cleared his throat because his voice sounded dry. “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“This is the best thing I can do in this freaking old villa.” Replied Charlie, still glued to the TV screen.

“Just got back from the gym, I see.” Connor looked at the TV and the show turned to commercial break.

“I don’t wake up one morning then ‘poof!’ this hot body suddenly become mine. I put extremely lots of work to gain this.” Charlie turned to look at Connor, bringing his eyes up and down. “I think you should spare some time at the gym too.”

Ignoring what Charlie said to him, Connor said, “Have you seen Caleb? Think it’s time for dinner.”

“He BBM-ed me earlier saying he would be back in a bit. He bought dinner for us. Hope you’re not allergic with Chinese food.” Charlie checked on his BlackBerry to see if there was any notification he hadn’t opened.

“Oh, okay. Could you please tell me when he arrives? I need to do some conference call in my room. I’ll leave to whatever that you’re doing right now.” Connor stood up, prepared to leave Charlie alone.

“Sure. I’ll just text you. Keep your cell phone close. Too bad you’re not using BlackBerry. I could've BBM you. You don't even have WhatsApp installed in your iPhone.” Charlie said with a smirk.

Connor left Charlie alone in the living room. He got upstairs and sat on the bed. He didn’t really have a conference call he needed to do. It just felt weird being in the same room as Charlie without Caleb’s presence there. Plus, he didn’t want to risk being in an argument with Charlie again. He didn’t quite remember what had happened between them when they were small, but they hadn’t had the best brotherly relationship.

He pulled out his iPhone 4S and started browsing through the net. He logged on to Facebook. His jaw literally dropped as he stared at the first post on the News Feed that read ‘Lisa Grimaldi is in a relationship’. Lisa Grimaldi was the love of his life, or so he thought. They broke up just a few weeks before Connor got the phone call from Caleb’s on their father’s death. She told him that she didn’t feel the excitement in their relationship anymore. ‘Irreconcilable differences’ as she told him. He had suspected that she might be cheating on him, but it wasn’t his style to accuse people without having any proof. He couldn’t even do that when the person he suspected was the person he was in love with. A notification suddenly popped up onto the screen that read ‘Caleb’s home.’ Perfect timing, he thought to himself. He deleted the notification and placed his phone in his pocket.

Connor went down only to see that Caleb and Charlie were already sitting at the dining table. Seeing the Chinese takeout made him realize that he hadn’t eaten anything since Luke Greene’s visit to the house. Luke Greene. He thought there was something odd about that guy. Well, he knew that Caleb was already head over heels about him but he had an anomalous feeling about that lawyer. All the more reason to be cautious.

“Thanks for the dinner, Caleb.” Connor broke out the uncomfortable silence.

“Don’t mention it. I’m just glad both of you are here right now. It sometime feels kind lonely here in LA without any family members close to you, you know.” Caleb looked at Connor and Charlie both.

“I’m just glad Connor isn’t allergic to Chinese takeout. Who knows if he needed CPR right after? I ain’t doing it in a million years.” Charlie burst into laughter. “I’m sure Caleb wouldn’t mind giving you CPR, Connor.”

“Watch it, Charlie. Even though he’s gay, it doesn’t mean that he wants to kiss me.” Connor paused, thinking about what he said. “You wouldn’t, right Caleb?”

“Of course not! That’s just disgusting! Euw! Can’t believe you thought about it like that. I won’t do you CPR if you needed one. I’ll just punch your chest instead. Sure you can handle it.” Caleb said humorously.

For some reason, they laughed about it. Somehow, they needed it after the bad day they just had.

“So, any decision on the villa and that old wooden chest?” asked Charlie. He looked at Caleb who later turned to look at Connor. Connor felt trapped, like they both were ganging up on him.

“That’s what I wanted to talk about.” Connor put his food aside. “I don’t know what to do actually. I was hoping we can all decide what our next move will be.”

“I was wondering if both of you could move in.” Caleb turned to Charlie. “That would be okay with you, right?”

“Well, I’m going back to Miami to tend bars. You know a guy have to do what he’s got to do. I’m a career man. Plus, it’s YOLO.” Charlie pointed at his muscle shirt like some sort of a rap singer.

“YOLO?” Connor looked baffled.

“It means ‘You Only Live Once’. Dude, you really have to keep up with the Internet lingo.” Charlie gestured something signifying that Connor was old.

“It’s also the dumbass’ excuse for doing something stupid,” Caleb put his food aside now, “and I know you’re better than that, Charlie.” Charlie seemed unconvinced so Caleb continued, “Come on, Charlie. I’m sure you can tend bars here too. It’s LA, for God’s sake. You’ll get paid better here.”

“Fine. I’m staying, but just because you said I’ll get paid better here. And you’re going to help me with it. Deal?” Charlie pulled out his right hand and set his picky finger out. “Pretty please?”

“God! You’re the most annoying brother ever! You didn’t really have to make that voice. It’s a deal.” Caleb ignored Charlie immature acts and voice for that matter. “How about you, big bro?” He later turned to Connor who looked agitated about the whole conversation.

“I can’t leave my job in New York just like that.” He said to Caleb. He didn’t want to look at Charlie. “I’m leaving this weekend.”

“Can’t you ask for a transfer? You said they have an opening here, right?” Caleb asked.

“They do, but it’s a lower position.” Connor said.

“So, you’re worried about being paid less? Thought you’d care about family bonding and whatnot.” Charlie said exasperatingly.

“Now look who’s talking. Who has been away doing ‘God knows what’ in Miami? Don’t you think I know that you’ve been tending bars because you dropped out of college?” Connor looked into Charlie’s eyes.

Flabbergasted, Charlie turned to Caleb and said “Damn! That was supposed to be a secret. Thought I could trust you on this.”

“Come on, Charlie. Who would have believed you’d finished your bachelor’s degree this soon? I had to tell him somehow.” Caleb said as he tried to talk some sense into Charlie. “Connor, you sure you can’t pull some strings on this?”

“I don’t think I can. I’m really sorry.” Connor said feebly. “I’m okay with you both staying in this house but I can’t leave my commitment just like that. Hope you would understand.”

There was an awkward silence for a couple of minute before Caleb asked everyone, “Ok, that’s it about the villa. How about the chest?” 

“Since we can’t open it, I was hoping if Charlie could bring it down to the basement?” Connor turned to Charlie, “Is that okay with you?”

“You expect me to carry that alone? Who knows what’s inside? It might be extremely heavy for me.” Charlie felt like he was being bullied.

“Come on, Charlie. I think you can handle it. All those times you spent in the gym must have given you a lot of strength.” Caleb tried to persuade him.

“Very well, I’ll do it but you owe me tomorrow’s lunch. I’m a college dropout after all.” Charlie continued, “Or you have a date with McSmiley?” he said mischievously.

“McSmiley? Who’s that?” Connor seemed confused.

“It’s Luke Green, Connor. Didn’t you see how Caleb responded when he smiled? He practically melted many times.” Charlie blurted it out.

“I did not! Plus, why would you be that observant on a guy? It’s incredibly odd for a straight guy like you.” said Caleb, trying to put the attention on Charlie as he began to blush.

Connor said, “Caleb, you’re blushing. I could basically see it from here.” He let out a small laugh.

“I…may…have…liked…the…way…he…smiles.” Caleb said slowly and softly.

“Told ya!” Charlie said to Connor. They both ended up laughing out loud.

“Whatever you do, we support you 100%, Caleb. You’re our only gay brother.” Connor assured Caleb “But I think you should be careful with him.” He continued.

“Why is that?” Caleb questioned.

“He said our father appointed him as his lawyer, but he needed to attend some divorce cases at the court? That sounded peculiar to me.” Connor insisted.

“I’m on the same page as Connor on this one; even a college dropout like me knows that lawyers have their areas of expertise.” Charlie agreed.

“It says here that he’s the Deputy District Attorney of LA.” Caleb told everyone as he pulled out the name card he got from Luke before he left.

“That makes it even stranger. The DA is supposed to take care of crime cases, against the criminals.” Connor took the card from Caleb then gave it to Charlie.

“This is strange. Think you should look into this, dude.” Charlie gave the name card back to Caleb.

“Maybe I’ll ask him about this tomorrow.” Caleb stopped there. “Think I’m going to call it a day. I’m so tired.” He quickly left the dining room, leaving only both Connor and Charlie looking bewildered at each other.

“He seemed upset.” Connor muttered.

“Of course he was. If the girl I like turned out like a serial killer or something, I’d be upset too. He liked the guy.” Charlie tried to rationalize Caleb’s gloom.

“Think I’m heading to my room too. There are a lot of things I need to settle.” Connor wiped his mouth with the napkin. “Don’t forget about the chest, okay?” he pointed to the chest. “Good night.”

“Night.” Charlie replied short. He then looked at the chest, “You and I, we’ve got serious problem. I need to carry you to the basement. Wish I had a magical power to teleport you down there.”

Charlie cleared the dining table and threw away the leftovers into the bin outside the villa. He found it surprising that the chest was actually lighter than the weighs he lifted at the gym. So he put the chest on the basement’s floor. As he turned away to get back upstairs, he heard a click behind him. He returned to the chest to check it out. The padlock had suddenly been unlocked. “The impact must have made this happened.” Charlie thought to himself. He got curious; he wanted to see what was inside the chest that their father left. The same chest that Calvin looked at as he took his final breath, only Charlie didn’t know that. He opened it. There was a creaking sound as he opened the chest. Chills went down his spine. It was abruptly cold in the basement. It was so eccentric considering that the basement got no windows but Charlie didn’t think about any of it. His curiosity empowered him to look into the chest. Inside, there was a green-leathered book with a triquetra symbol. Charlie grabbed the book. He said, “What in the world is this?”