Victor’s usual dancing eyes seem confused seeing his two grandchildren. Andrianne kept her smile to herself as she saw the younger version of her most loved grandfather. The deep lines on his face were lighter and the deep dark circles around his warm eyes were barely there. Piper sat opposite Chris who kept Andrianne by his side at all times. Victor sat at the head of the table.
Andrianne tugged at Chris’ arm as she looked up to make him look upon her face. “I have to go do some homework.” She said quietly to Chris. Piper just smiled as Chris frowned. He knows she did not have much of a homework to do; she just wanted him to have a face to face with their mother and grandfather.
Chris just nodded signing her she could go if she wanted and he would be okay to be with Victor and Piper. “I’m sorry, I have home works. Can I excuse myself?” Andrianne said breaking the thick barrier of cloud between them.
“Are you sure this fine young lady is your daughter?” Victor asked jokingly to Piper. Andrianne just smiled at her grandfather as she neared the old man.
“I am, grandpa.” Andrianne said smiling. “I’ll see you.” Andrianne said and kissed Victor’s cheek before she retreated to her room.
“You sure, you’re fine?” Chris asked softly to his little sister. Andrianne nodded.
“You talk to him. You guys are close.” Andrianne said hinting something to Chris and she smiled slyly. A smile that Chris dreaded when it came from his little sister. The sinister smile that he knew she had planned in her head all along.
“So we’re close?” Victor asked. Andrianne was still within earshot. She smiled to herself. She knew Victor is by far the only person who can influence Chris. As hardheaded her brother was, he still has a soft spot for her and their grandpa after the absence of both their parents.
“Yeah. You’re awesome, Grandpa.” Chris answered, a little crack of a smile forced on his face.
“Hear that?” Victor said looking at Piper. “Awesome.” Repeating Chris’ exact word.
“Yeah.” Chris said quietly. “After the event happened…” Chris started and paused mid-sentence. Afraid he might just give out what he was not supposed to. “We got really close.” He concluded.
“What event?” Piper asked.
“I can’t tell you.” Chris said softly. Andrianne sat behind the door listening to every word being uttered between both her brother and grandfather.
“Is this event, um… my fault?” Piper questioned, looking at Chris. “Is that why you’re treating me like a non-person?” Piper asked.
“I can’t talk about it. It will mess with the future.” Chris said trying his best to explain. Warm droplets fell from Andrianne’s eyes as she remembered the exact day the event happened. The event that changed many things in her life. The event that changed Wyatt and the very event that made Chris the man he is.
“But you did say I was ‘awesome’, right?” Victor said trying to change the subject. “You can talk about that?” he asked. A short laugh escaped from Andrianne’s mouth. Victor will forever be Victor, the person that cheers the saddest person on the planet, the person that gives hope when none could be seen.
“Yeah. You’re the best. I love hanging out with you.” Chris replied quite gladly.
“I got to admit, I’m a little surprised.” Victor said looking at Piper. “I mean it’s no secret I wasn’t the world greatest dad.” He said with a little sigh and a little tinge of remorse is in his voice. “It means a lot to me that I could do something… To make up for it.” he said looking at Chris.
“You do.” Chris said quietly smiling to himself. He had, had this conversation before with his grandfather. The exact same one with the exception of Piper.
“After the ‘event’?” Piper asked, wanting to know more about the future. Demanding an answer with the tone of her voice.
“Right.” Chris answered. His voice low and sadden.
“That you won’t tell me about.” Piper said, still trying to pry out some answers from Chris.
“I told you, I can’t talk about it okay.” Chris said rising his voice slightly with a gist of annoyance.
“Hey.” Victor meddled. “Don’t talk to your mother like that.” The hint of authority in his tone was clear for anyone to hear. Piper smiled smugly at Chris as he surrendered in his seat.
“You’re right. I’m sorry.” Chris said sighing as he leaned back in his seat.
“Piper!” Paige called from the front door. Piper and Victor stood up and walked towards Paige and Phoebe, leaving Chris alone at the dining table sighing. He sipped more of his coffee in his mug and went to join the commotion at the foyer. Andrianne was already there beside Victor.
“What happened?” Chris questioned, as he saw Phoebe walks up the stairs.
“Well, you’ve heard of recapturing your youth.” Paige started. “I think Phoebe’s youth is trying to capture her.” Paige said enthusiastically.
“Explain.” Piper urged.
“I don’t know. It’s like one minute she was totally normal, the next she’s like ‘Freaky Phoebe’.” Paige replied.
“Great.” Chris sighed. “Who else saw?” He asked.
“No one. She changed back before anyone noticed.” Paige answered.
“I’m having a little trouble keeping up here.” Victor voiced. “Phoebe is being chased by what? Demons?” He questioned.
“Maybe inner demons? Or a spell gone wrong?” Paige said doubtfully. “It seemed to happen after someone named Paula Marks called her…” She continued to recall the name. “Freebie?” she said finally. Somehow, as Paula Mark’s name popped everything seems to make more sense to Piper.
“Oh, yeah. That’ll do it.” Piper said simply.
“You want to go upstairs with me and check the book, see if there’s anything?” Paige said to Piper.
“Okay.” Piper replied.
“You two go ahead. I need to get back to the Scabbard demons before they know I’m missing.” Chris said, unconsciously trying to get away from Piper. In his heart, he was squirming from whatever was going on. He just needed to be by himself doing what he knows best. Fighting demons and supernatural beings.
“Hey, wait, what, and leave your ‘awesome’ grandpa alone? Grab a sandwich, grab a beer, get an answer.” Piper said as she eyed Chris then her father.
Victor was lost in how to deal with Chris; he was never good with his younger generation, moreover prying an answer from them. He pulls out his cigar and offered Chris. “Cubans?” He tried. Chris made a face but he accepts it anyway. Just as long as he could at least make his mother happy. Andrianne concealed a laugh that made her stomach hurts. Chris had never lit a cigarette in his life, she doubts he even know how to smoke.
“What’s so funny?” In a whispery voice, Chris said to his sister. Andrianne just shrugged and went to her grandfather.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, gramps. Chris doesn’t know how to smoke.” Andrianne said smiling widely. Victor just ruffled her hair and smiled at her sweetly. “I think I need to leave you guys alone. You have a lot to talk about.” Chris stared at his little sister disapproving of her action right that second.
“Grandpa, I really do think you should reconsider your habits.” Chris started as he hands Victor the still wrapped cigar. “For future consequences, you know.” He said as he inched towards his little sister. Victor quickly stubs the newly lighted cigar on the edge of the wall.
“Thanks, for the pointer.” Victor said to his grandson. He looked over at his granddaughter whose resemblance to her brother was impeccable at first glance, “You two are really close aren’t you?” Victor smiled. A question with a rhetorical answer that none of them needs to voice out loud. “Have the two of you eaten?” Victor suggested. Andrianne just smiled.
“I’ll skip dinner.” Andrianne voiced politely. “Not that I don’t want to go and eat with you, grandpa, it’s just sometimes, I don’t feel like eating.” Andrianne said.
“You sure you are fine?” Chris asked as he placed his hand on her temple, checking for any temperature difference between them. Andrianne pushed his hand away from her face and nodded. “Headache?”
“A little.” Andrianne answered quietly.
“Andrianne, you promised me to tell me if you are not well.” Chris said as he sat down and sat her on his lap.
“Chris I’m ten. I’m perfectly fine. Just a little headache. Stop treating me like I am five.” Andrianne said softly as her eyes never left her brother’s face. “Grandpa, you go ahead with Chris okay?” She asked. Victor just shook his head. “Okay fine. I’ll go.” Andrianne grumbled as Chris smiled at Victor.