By Julien Gregg
Book 1 - Chapter 11
Lost And Bound
"What happened? Why do I feel different?" Damon demanded, staring at Jason with shocked and scared eyes.
"You used your powers against each other," said Jason simply, looking from one to the other two and back. "Your powers have been stripped from you."
"Jason!" gasped Dean. "We can't fight demons without our powers."
"You should have thought about that before you used your powers on Drake," replied Jason. He was angry with them for being so foolish when they knew that the world needed them.
"That's not fair," said Damon. "It isn't like we're required to get along all the time."
"No, but you are required to only use your magic to save innocents or vanquish evil," he replied. "Using your powers on each other is the fastest way to lose them."
"I've heard enough," said Drake. "Which powers did we lose?"
"All of them," said Jason.
"Fine then I'm going home," he snapped. "I never wanted to be a witch in the first place."
"Drake, wait," called Dean as they watched him walk across the club and up the stairs.
"Well that's just great," said Damon. "Do we even have the Power of Three anymore?"
"No," said Jason. "You've got to make up and work together to get your powers back. You have to do it soon or the demons will pick you off one by one."
"Thanks, Jason," Dean said sarcastically. "No pressure or anything."
"Will you at least go after Drake?" Damon asked.
"I will, but you two stay here," he said, glaring at them both before orbing out of the club.
"Come on," sighed Dean. "Let's clean this mess up. Maybe Jason will allow us to go home soon."
They set about picking up the ashtrays from the floor and wiping down the counters again. Damon righted chairs that had been knocked off the tables by their powers while Dean finished counting the money and preparing the nightly deposit. They were finished by the time Jason orbed back in with Drake. While they'd worked they'd each calmed down. Both were still very worried about what could happen to them while they're powers were gone, but they weren't ready to forgive each other just yet. Working together to get them back would have to wait.
"Is that the deposit?" Jason asked, nodding at the blue bag in Dean's hand.
"Yeah," sighed Dean. "We're all set."
"I'll be orbing you home," said Jason. "I'll also orb that to the bank for you."
Once they were home Dean and Damon went straight to their rooms. Drake sat in the sunroom to wait for Jason to come back. He had questions and a few things he wanted to apologize to the White Lighter for. He couldn't believe they'd been stripped of their powers for fighting with each other. Surely the Elders knew that without their powers they would be killed. There had to be a way to fight demons without powers.
"What are you doing sitting here by yourself?" Jason asked as he came into the sun room and sat down on the sofa beside Drake.
"Thinking about how stupid we were tonight," sighed Drake. "Jason, there has to be a way to fight demons without our powers."
"If the pages of the Book weren't erased, you could use potions to duplicate your Charmed power as well as some of your others," Jason said.
"What do you mean the pages are erased?" Drake asked, feeling cold and scared.
"Drake, when your powers were stripped the Book was also," he explained. "It's all tied together."
Drake thought about that for a moment. If potions were their best hope, and the Book had been erased when their powers had been stripped, how were they supposed to stay alive? Could he remember the recipes for the potions without the Book? That was something he needed to think hard on. If he could remember then maybe they'd have a chance. In a way he felt like this was all his fault. If he hadn't cast that damned spell to remember the new past none of this would have ever happened. That meant that it was up to him to save them now. He just hoped he could pull it off.
"What if I can remember some of the potions?" he asked, turning to look at Jason. "We still have all of the ingredients, right?"
"Of course you do," said Jason, but his tone sounded less than convinced.
"It's worth a try, right?" Drake said, standing. "If I can remember the ingredients and how to put them together then maybe we'll be able to defend ourselves while we work out our problems."
Jason followed him into the kitchen. He stood silently in the doorway and watched as Drake began to assemble ingredients and tools. He hoped, for their sake, that Drake could remember the potions. He didn't know if he was allowed to help them or not. Breaking the rules at a time like this wasn't really advisable. The Elders were watching the Charmed Ones carefully to see if they displayed behavior worthy of having their powers reinstated. They'd surely see if he did anything to help them remember the right potions.
The first potion he tried had Jason excited. As he watched Drake, he thought about their time together. He'd watched over all three cousins since they were toddlers, but Drake had been the one he'd watched the most. With his demonic powers and the constant pull that possessing them had to have on his heart toward evil, he thought that Drake deserved to be watched closer. He'd watched him grow up and discover things as he went along. It made Jason happy when Drake was successful at anything he tried his hand at. In secret he thought the spell to make them all remember the past was really brilliant. He was proud of Drake. He just couldn't let the others know that. His thoughts were interrupted when a fireball rose from the pot that Drake was adding ingredients to and exploded in the air with a very loud discharge.
"You've done it," Jason said softly, too softly for Drake to hear with the ringing in his ears.
"That's one," Drake said loudly as Damon and Dean rushed into the kitchen.
"What are you doing?" Dean demanded.
"Calm down," Jason said quickly, putting a hand on Dean's shoulder. "He's trying to help. He's trying to remember potions and put them together to give you each something to defend yourselves with. He's just replicated his fireball power, Dean."
The three stood there and watched as Drake began to work on another potion. He'd replaced the pot he'd used for the fireball potion and started again, setting the other on the table behind them to cool. He mumbled to himself with his eyes closed as he stood in front of the cabinet to select herbs and other ingredients each time he needed something else. Soon a white ball of what looked like ice rose from the pot. Suddenly it exploded sending a wave of cold air through the kitchen.
"That's your ice kiss, Dean," Drake said without looking at his older cousin. "At least as close as I could come to it. It might be a bit more deadly. I'm not sure."
Drake worked well into the night. The sun was starting to rise when he finally announced that he was finished. What he had was four different potions; one for fireballs, one to replicate Dean's Ice Kiss, another to duplicate his own Electric Pulse and one that would replicate energy balls. Jason stood silent as he watched the three cousins begin to transfer the pots of potions into small bottles and set them on the counter. When they were finished, Damon washed the pots while Dean began to put together some ordinary provisions.
He made a small bomb out of ingredients he found about the house and then set about making as many as he could. Next he began to make smoke bombs out of three candles and set those beside his exploding bombs. He sighed as he looked at the small amount of items he'd created and then looked at the multitude of potion bottles on the counter. Would this be enough? He hoped so. If not they would be dead and the world would be in jeopardy.
He was both amazed and proud of Drake for remembering how to make the potions. He supposed that without the spell he'd cast to let them remember their past it would have been impossible. There were many benefits from the spell and only a few harsh realities to deal with. Now he couldn't even understand why he'd been so upset with Drake for casting the spell to begin with. Sure he should have talked with them about it, but did he need permission to be a witch? Did any of them need that permission?
Damon's spell to make Drake tell the truth was pushing things far beyond acceptable however. Anything they did that forced each other into a position that they didn't want to be in should be off limits as well as using their powers against each other just because they were angry. He sighed as he realized that it was he who'd struck Drake with his telekinesis. He was the guilty party in that little battle, the battle that had cost them their powers, and if these potions and trinkets didn't work, their lives ultimately.
"I'm going to bed," Drake suddenly said. "I've been up all night and I sure don't want to face a demon with no sleep. I'll see you guys later."
With that said, Drake walked out of the kitchen. Damon looked at Dean, but when Dean looked back at him his cousin turned away from him again. Dean sighed. He had to find the right way to apologize and get Drake and Damon to apologize to each other as well. After all that would be the first step in getting their powers back. Damon wasn't ready though. The evidence was plain as he walked out of the kitchen shortly after Drake.
"You might as well get some sleep, Dean," said Jason after Damon was out of the room. "Drake was right. You don't want to face a demon with no sleep."
"You're right," Dean said with a sigh. "Thanks for bringing us home and getting the deposit to the bank."
"You're welcome, Dean," said the White Lighter. "I'll be here when you wake up. I've decided to stick around and watch over the three of you while you sleep. You three not having your powers makes me a little anxious."
Four hours later found Damon in the kitchen cooking while Jason sat at the table trying to talk to him about his cousins. Damon was ready to apologize and accept that they'd each made a mistake and move on but he wasn't sure that Dean and Drake were ready. He thought about that while he made food for each of them.
"Hey," said Drake as he came into the kitchen. "Smells good."
"It'll be done in just a minute," said Damon. "Have a seat and I'll bring you a plate."
"Thanks," said Drake as he sat across from Jason.
"How'd you sleep?" Jason asked as he passed him the milk.
"Not well," sighed Drake. "I kept worrying about a demon showing up."
"I was here the whole time," informed Jason.
"Thanks for that," said Dean as he came into the kitchen.
Shortly after that Damon put plates in front of each of them and then sat down with a plate of his own. Jason watched as the cousins silently ate their food. He wished that they would at least talk to each other. It would be the best way to get them started on the road to getting their powers back. He was sure that the longer they were without their powers the harder it would be to get them back. He just wished he could make them see that.
The silence continued as they ate. Jason noticed that Drake kept looking at Dean but he never said anything. He wanted them to at least try. He knew it would take more than words, but words were where it would have to start. If only he could make them talk to each other. He was bout to say something when Drake broke the silence.
"Dean," he said, looking at his older cousin with a pleading look. "Please don't be mad at me anymore. I can't stand it."
"I'm not mad at you, Drake," Dean said. "I've just been trying to find a way to apologize. This whole thing is my fault."
"No it isn't," Damon said, shaking his head. "Drake cast a spell, and then I cast one. Then we all got into a fight about it. It was all three of us, Dean. If you have blame in this then so do me and Drake."
"So we forgive each other then?" Drake asked, looking from Dean to Damon and back.
"Yes," said Damon and Dean at the same time.
"Good, because this was driving me crazy," said Drake. "I know we've been mad at each other before, but . . . "
"You know, we wouldn't have known that without your spell," said Dean, making Drake's face fall. "We also wouldn't know that we can do this without our powers. Now I know that in our new reality they were never bound and we've had them all our lives, but we can work together. We've done it so many times before."
"So you think my potions will work?" Drake asked.
"I'm sure you're potions will work, Drake," said Dean. "I'm blown away that you remembered enough to make them. It all depends on team work. Now, what do you say to getting this place ready for an attack?"
"Do you know something I don't know?" Damon asked.
"No, but it's better to be prepared than to be caught with our pants down, gentlemen," he replied.
So after loading the dishes in the dishwasher, the cousins set out to move furniture and find things to cover the windows. Dean told them that fixing the glass in the windows was getting expensive. They laughed about that as they worked. Jason couldn't have been happier. They were doing exactly what he wanted them to do. By the time they were all seated in the living room the place looked like a fortress. It took a little time to get through the barricades to let Lacy in when she rang the bell.
"What's going on?" she asked, looking around the living room and sitting room.
"We sort of had a little fight and lost our powers," said Dean as he hugged her. "Because of that we're thinking that the Underworld might think this would be the prime time to attack us."
"You lost your powers?" she asked, looking worried.
"Yes, but don't worry," said Dean. "Drake whipped up a bunch of potions that replicate some of our powers, the most offensive ones."
"Should I leave?" she asked, looking from one of them to the next.
"It might be a good idea," said Dean, hugging her again. "Without my powers I can't really protect you."
"All right then," she said, pausing to kiss Dean. "I guess I'll go bug Trevor and see if he wants to go grab a bite or something."
"You do that," Dean said, smiling warmly at her. He walked her to the door and kissed her once again when she was standing on the other side of the doorway. "I'll call you when I think it's safe."
"I'll be waiting," she said, turning to walk down the porch steps.
* * *
"Your little plan seems to be doing nothing for you," said the dark shape on the wall before the demon Ash as he stood with his head bowed. "Damon Halliwell is still alive."
"Not for much longer, My Liege," said the guttural voice of Ash. "I have almost all of the information I need."
"You have all of the information you need, Ash," said the dark shape. "Kill him. One gone ends the threat of the Charmed Ones completely. Without all three, they can't access the Power of Three."
"Yes, My Liege," said Ash. "I will kill Damon tonight."
Silence stretched, and Ash became uneasy. When silence grew between himself and his Master there was always trouble. Perhaps He was not pleased to be made to wait the few hours to end the threat of the Charmed Ones. Ash could only hope that He wasn't angry with him truly. Pain would be the result if he was.
"A human approaches," said the dark shape. As it faded from the wall it said, "Get rid of her."
Ash's body shook. To relinquish his demon form and become the lowly human that was the other side of himself was always painful. He looked at his face in the mirror where only seconds ago the shadow had blocked it out. The red and black tribal marked skin began to change, to soften and shrink. The very size of the demon shrank to a more human size. Then the dark hair began to sprout from the top of the now pink and brown scalp. Slowly the transformation completed and Ash was Trevor Banks once again as whoever was coming, probably Lacy, knocked on the front door.
He stood, waving his hand to make the scene of the pentagram and candles disappear. Then he shimmered and reappeared fully dressed in his "Trevor" outfit. His black muscle shirt and jeans fit snugly. The black boots on his feet were tight as he walked through the dining room of the house to the front door.
"Hey," said Lacy, smiling at him when he opened the door. "I've come to ask if you want to go get some food."
"I'm not feeling very well." It wasn't a total lie. The last scraps of pain from the transformation were still there in his joints.
"What's the matter?" she asked, stepping past him and into the house.
"I'm just run down," he said, being careful not to touch her as she made her way past him. "I think I'm coming down with the flu."
"That's terrible," she said. "I'll make you some soup. You get off your feet."
"That isn't necessary," he said, trying to think of a way to get her out of the house. The Shadow might still be lurking about, watching his every move. If he didn't do as he was told there would be consequences that he'd rather not pay.
"This isn't a great day," she said as he followed her to the kitchen. "First Dean and his cousins fight and lose their powers, and now you're sick."
"They lost their powers?" he asked, suddenly not wanting her to leave at all. He was hoping The Shadow was listening to this. This could be his best chance to not only kill Damon but all three of the Charmed Ones.
"That's what he said," she replied. "He said they'd had a little fight and they lost their powers as a result. They've got the house all barricaded, waiting for demons to attack. Dean sent me away because it wasn't safe."
"He thought you'd be safer over here?" he asked as she busied herself with a sauce pan and searched for his can opener. He let go of his human facade with great ease. It was always ecstasy to change back to his demon form.
"Oh I'm not worried about catching the flu," she said with a chuckle as she opened the can. "It's demons that scare me."
"Like me?" he asked in a mocking voice, causing her to turn around. A smile was on her face as she turned, but when she saw Ash it melted off her face to be replaced by a mask of horror.
"Trevor!" she screamed, throwing the pan of soup in the demon's face and running out of the kitchen.
Ash watched her go, wiping soup from his face as he shimmered. He reappeared in front of the door, blocking her escape. She screamed and turned to run in the opposite direction, but he waved a hand at the floor and a red disc appeared at her feet, stopping her from moving.
"Oh but I am Trevor, Lacy," he said as he walked around her still body. The look of horror was trapped on her face, making him smile and show his jagged teeth.
"Dean and his cousins will vanquish you," she said, forcing the words out of her mouth.
"Not without their powers they won't," he said, smiling as his wings extended behind him to nearly fill the dining room. "Thank you for that information, by the way. I've been planning to kill Damon when we're alone together, but he rarely ever spends any time over here. I suspect that on some level he senses the evil in this house. Too bad he doesn't have the power to sense magical ability in others. Then he'd know he's been dating a demon for years. Now that they've lost their powers I can kill all three of them."
"They'll vanquish you," she said, but her voice told him that she was no longer sure of this.
"Not without the Power of Three," he laughed. "And not before I kill you."
He held out his left hand and suddenly a long black athame appeared in it. She tried to scream, but the point of the athame was pressed into her throat as the demon sliced through her skin. She stared at him in surprised denial until the life left her eyes and the demon laughed.
* * *
"Well we can't get more prepared than we are now," said Damon as he sat on the couch. There were bottles of potions stashed all over the room and each of them had at least six on their person.
"Do you really think that demons will come for us?" Drake asked.
"I'm sure they will," said Dean. "It just depends on how soon they learn that we're powerless. It would be the perfect time to attack."
"At least Lacy and Trevor are safely out of the way," said Damon.
"I still can't get over how much I really care for her now that the past isn't a mystery," said Dean with a look of wonder on his face. "Strange what one spell can do, especially when it wasn't meant to do this."
"Do you feel more for Trevor now that the spell has been cast?" Drake asked Damon.
"I do," he said, smiling. "I didn't think I would ever get used to being with him. Then you cast the spell and I started to worry about him when he wasn't with me."
"Are you worried now?" Dean asked.
"Not really," said Damon. "Lacy and Trevor are safe. I'm more worried about us."
"If we stick together and use the potions we'll be fine," Dean assured him.
As soon as the words were out of his mouth a demon shimmered into the living room. The cousins got to their feet and armed themselves with potions. One look and they knew who the demon was. Ash had come, and they couldn't have been more vulnerable than they were right now. Dean wondered if the potions would be enough after all. Their parents had powers and couldn't stop Ash from killing them. How were a bunch of potions going to stop him.
"How sweet," said Ash, leering at them. "All three of you all lined up for the slaughter." He turned to Jason. "You can sit this one out, Whitelighter."
He waved a hand and a red disc appeared around Jason's feet, immobilizing him. Dean wondered if it would stop him from orbing, but Jason stood like a statue without orbing so he assumed that it was stopping that, too. He turned his attention back to Ash just as the first energy ball left the demon's hand.
"Heads up!" he cried, shoving Drake out of the way and throwing a potion without having time to determine which it was.
The potion collided with the energy ball and exploded with a deafening crack and a shockwave that knocked them all off their feet. Even the demon was down. Dean noticed that Jason had fallen back onto the chair he'd been sitting on before Ash had shimmered in and the red disc was still on the floor. It took seconds for Jason to orb from the chair to his fallen witches. They quickly got to their feet as the demon did the same. Another energy ball formed in his hand.
"Now!" cried Dean, throwing the icy potion as Damon and Drake threw the same ones.
The three potions hit the demon in three different places and exploded, making him scream in pain. He fell to his knees and his entire demonic self shivered and nearly became his human half. He fought to keep control of his form as he stood once again. He crooked a finger and the remaining potions the cousins were holding shot from their hands and hit the floor, exploding on impact. Next he formed another energy ball as he got back to his feet.
"No," cried Drake as he raised his hands and miraculously electricity shot from them, connecting with the demon and lifting him off his feet as his wings spread and then jerked before he shimmered out.
"We've got our powers back?" Damon asked, looking from Drake to Dean and back.
Dean waved his hand at the boarded windows and the board sailed away from them and hit the floor. "It looks like it."
Drake flamed out and reappeared, smiling at his cousins as he did so. Damon froze Jason and then laughed as he flipped his wrist to unfreeze him. They were back. Their powers were exactly where they should be. They'd fought Ash with no powers and lived to celebrate.
* * *
Ash shimmered into his house and fell to the floor. His entire body hurt from the lightening. Slowly the pain began to fade as his regenerative abilities, given to him by The Shadow, began to heal him from the attack. He couldn't believe they'd outsmarted him. Had Lacy lied? Drake had used his power of electricity against him. The Charmed Ones weren't without their powers after all.
But if Lacy had lied to him, did that mean that Dean had asked her to? Did they suspect him? Surely they didn't, but why would Lacy lie? Could it be that they'd lost their powers, but working together to fight him off had restored them somehow? Good magic was strange at the best of times. Ash didn't understand it any more than he understood these Charmed Ones.
He'd stood back and watched the Underworld cough up demon after demon to the original Charmed Ones. He'd remained safe by hiding in the shadows with Eliza. Then when the Charmed Ones believed that they'd vanquished all of the upper level demons, Ash had finally felt safe. Then Wyatt Halliwell and his brother, Chris, had come to the Underworld to hunt for Fahr after he'd been released from his prison.
Ash had almost been vanquished by Wyatt. He'd never seen such power before. Wyatt Halliwell had vanquished scores of demons at the same time simply by raising his hands and letting forth some type of energy that had turned the demons to dust. Ash and Eliza had taken their newborn son and fled the Underworld. It was easy to blend in when they used their human forms. Eliza didn't have a demonic form, so for her it was simple.
She'd had to cast one of her mother's spells on their infant son, Dax, to get him to keep his human form. As an infant the child reverted back and forth between demonic and human forms until she'd cast that spell. Until then he'd believed that there wasn't a drop of witch blood in his mate. She remained devoted to him so he didn't see a problem.
They took up residence in one of her family's homes after Ash had killed every living human in the house. They'd lived there until Dax was six years old, and then Eliza had run off and met Adam Halliwell. Ash had been surprised to find that so much time had passed between the days of Wyatt and the calmness of his grandchildren.
Eliza married Adam Halliwell and began to fight on the side of the witches. Had she given up her quest to kill her entire human family? He wasn't sure about that until Drake was born. Then he decided that like the rest of the Halliwells, Eliza had to die. Killing her had been sweet sorrow. He'd hid it from Dax for as long as he could, but Dax had surprised him by telling him that he didn't care that he'd killed his mother. She'd turned on them after all.
Then, after Ash had killed Adam's siblings and finally Adam himself, Daniel Halliwell cast some sort of spell and the infant children were gone from his radar. Oh he knew they were in the manor, but he couldn't get to them. Suddenly, so many powerful Halliwell witches were coming and going from the manor that any demon who dared show his face there deserved to be vanquished. Of course there were still some of them, Ash included, that couldn't be vanquished by an ordinary witch. Even the famous Halliwell witches could only hurt him. They couldn't banish him to the wasteland. No, it had to be the Power of Three with a special spell and a special potion that required a piece of his own flesh.
Then he'd learned that Drake and his cousins were Charmed. The Charmed Ones had finally been reconstituted. That was reason enough to stay away. For he wasn't sure that he could challenge the Charmed Ones even as teenagers. They were vanquishing demons all over the city and Ash waited and bided his time.
When The Shadow first came to him and ordered him to form The Kin and build it until they were strong enough to challenge the all mighty Charmed Ones he was sure that it was The Source. He hoped that if he did what The Shadow wanted the powers of The Source would be given to him, and he would become the next King of the Underworld.
That never happened, though. Countless demons tried to claim the throne and were knocked back down or banished completely by The Shadow. So while the Charmed Ones grew to their full power, Ash did the bidding of The Shadow. He no longer believed that it was The Source. No. He was waiting until he could challenge The Shadow. He thought that if he could somehow steal the powers of the Charmed Ones he could finally face The Shadow.
Today's battle told him that wasn't going to be easy. They were strong even without their powers. He'd have his work cut out for him with these witches. He thought about how crafty they were as the telephone rang. He shifted back to his Trevor persona as quickly as he could, nearly howling as the pain gripped him.
"Trevor, you can send Lacy back now," said Dean's voice on the line.
"Lacy?" Trevor said, playing dumb. "Dean, Lacy didn't come here. She called me, and I told her that I'm feeling a bit under the weather so she said she'd check on me later. I haven't heard from her since."
"I'm sorry to hear that you're not feeling well," said Dean. "Do you want me to send Damon over?"
"No, that won't be necessary," said Trevor. "I think I might be coming down with the flu. I don't want to make Damon sick."
"All right," said Dean. "Call me if you hear from Lacy, and please tell her to call me."
"Will do," he said, hanging up the phone and laughing as he thought that Dean would never see Lacy again.
* * *
"He says she called but never showed," said Dean as he closed his phone. "He also said he's sick."
"Well that sucks," said Damon. "But we have something to do. The fact that Lacy isn't here and Trevor isn't coming over only works in our favor. If we summon Ash and they're here it could get really ugly."
"Damon's right," said Drake. "We need to do this while the significant others are safely out of the manor."
They'd consulted the book and read everything there was on Ash. They knew that in order to make the vanquishing potion they needed a piece of his flesh. Drake had already made the potion. All it needed was the flesh. So they planned to summon Ash and get a piece of flesh. They just weren't real clear on how they were going to do that.
"The three of you had better come up with some sort of plan before you summon him," said Jason. "And whatever you do, don't let him get one of those discs under your feet."
Dean had been the victim of one of those discs once, as he watched Lacy almost drug away by Ash. He knew better than to present the demon with an opportunity to do it again. No, he wouldn't give him the chance. Jason was right about one thing though. They did need a plan. It wasn't as if Ash was going to sit still for one of them while they cut a piece of his flesh from his body. No, he was going to arrive fighting and they had to be prepared.
"All right," said Dean. "How about this, we summon him and Drake starts in with the electricity while Damon freezes him, and I'll cut the flesh?"
"That sounds good," said Drake.
"It does," agreed Damon. "But what if I'm the one to cut the flesh? I mean, after all, I can freeze him again as soon as it's cut. Then I pass it to you, Dean. You throw it in the potion pot and then hurl it at him."
"That actually sounds a bit smarter," said Drake. "He can freeze him."
"All right," said Dean as he walked into the sitting room and overturned the coffee table. "We start from behind this. It's heavy enough to withstand an energy ball."
"I'll get behind it with you," said Jason. "That way he can't put one of those discs under my feet. I'll be able to heal you if something goes wrong."
"Ready?" Dean asked his cousins as Jason came to stand beside him.
"As we'll ever be," said Damon as Drake nodded.
They walked over and joined Dean and Jason. Together they squatted down as Dean handed them slips of paper with the summoning spell written on them. They looked at each other and sighed. As one they held up their slips of paper and began to read them out loud.
"Magic forces, black and white, reaching out through space and light. Be he near or be he far, bring us the demon Ash here," they read together.
A swirl of black smoke appeared before them. Red sparks shot out of the center and the funnel spun faster and faster as the smoke dissipated. Ash was standing in the spot where the funnel had been. He grinned at them and formed an energy ball in his hand as Drake stood and put his hands straight out and let loose the lightning. Damon stood and raised his hands, and Ash was frozen. He pulled the athame out of his belt and raced over to the demon. He put the blade to the demon's face and quickly sliced flesh. As soon as he had the piece of flesh, the demon was unfrozen. He froze him again. This time, however the demon simply became sluggish, his movements were slow as if in slow motion.
"Get out of there!" cried Dean as he stood and put his hand to his mouth. The icy air hurled at the demon, but Ash shimmered out just as it touched him.
"That was easier than I thought it would be," said Damon as he walked over with the piece of bloody flesh between his thumb and index finger.
"We'll put that in the potion and wait for it to cool," said Dean as they headed for the kitchen. The three stood around the potion pot.
"Here goes nothing," said Damon as he dropped the piece of flesh into the pot.
There was an instant explosion, and the cousins were knocked backward to the floor. Jason hurried to them, but they weren't injured. They looked at each other and then at the pot, fully expecting it to be gone. It was still there. It was smoking an awful lot, but they could still hear the sound of the bubbling concoction inside it.
* * *
As soon as he shimmered in, he fell to his knees. He couldn't hang on to his demon form any longer. It was ripped from him and replaced by the lowly human, Trevor Banks. He put his hand to his face and winced in agony. They'd cut a piece of his flesh! That meant that they were making the vanquishing potion. He couldn't believe it. And how had they summoned him?
". . . be he near or be he far, bring us the demon, Ash here."
He could hear them. They were trying to summon him again. That just wouldn't do. Thankfully in his human form he was immune. He stumbled to the bathroom to have a look at himself. A gaping hole could be seen in his skin and blood ran freely from the wound. He reached in the medicine cabinet and found the rubbing alcohol. He nearly became Ash again after splashing the wound with a hand full. Next came the gauze and he used a rag to clean his face and neck of blood. Then he stumbled up the stairs to his bedroom and crawled into bed just as the phone started to ring.
"Hello?" he said, trying to keep the quiver out of his voice.
"Trevor, you sound terrible," said Damon's voice on the line. "I'm coming over there to check on you."
"No, Damon," he said quickly. "I'm all right. It's just the flu. There's no reason for you to catch it." Then an idea hit him. "Lacy called about twenty minutes ago and said she was running errands. She asked if I was better and said she hoped to see me at the club tonight."
"If you come to the club I'll freeze you and put you in the office," Damon warned. Crisis solved.
He talked to him for a few minutes longer and then let sleep claim him as soon as they were off the phone.
* * *
"Have either of you seen Lacy?" Dean asked as the three of the sat down in their reserved booth at P3 later that night. "You said that she told Trevor she'd be here."
"I haven't seen her," said Damon. "That's what he told me though."
"Well maybe she's just not done running her errands," said Drake as Cain Miller came into the club. "Uh oh."
"What's Cain doing here?" Damon asked as they watched him look around and then spot them. He started heading toward them.
"I'm not sure," said Dean. "Maybe he needs help on another case."
One thing the spell that Drake had cast had done was let Dean remember the friendship he used to have with Cain. They'd been best friends and told each other everything. Cain came from a magical family as well, though they were nowhere near as magical as the Halliwells. It had been a demon that had come between them, and Dean felt the pain of loss for their friendship.
"Dean, can I talk to you in private?" Cain asked when he reached their booth.
"Sure," he replied, looking at his cousins briefly before he stood and headed for the office. He wondered what was going on.
"I don't know how to tell you this, Dean," Cain said once they were in the office. "I'm just going to have to come right out with it. We found Lacy in her car about three blocks from your house. Her throat was slit. I'm sorry, Dean."
Dean had to sit down on the edge of the desk as tears welled in his eyes. Lacy was dead? His sweet, beautiful Lacy was dead. He couldn't believe it. He'd sent her away because he thought it wasn't safe for her at the manor, and now she was dead. He'd sent her to her death.
"Do you have any suspects?" he asked, looking up at his one time best friend.
"That's the interesting part," said Cain as he removed a piece of paper from his pocket. "If they find out I removed this from the scene without letting the team have a look I'll be in big trouble. I just think it has something to do with magic."
Dean took the paper and gasped when he read the three lines that were written in block capital letters.
ASHES TO ASHES
BYE BYE LACY
Then speak to me.
It's only fair.
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Note: There have been several updates to the Book of Shadows. An entry for Ash and The Shadow are now in place. Both can be found on the Demons page.