Charmed ~ Duo Story

Chapter 3

Emotional Discord - Carol

"You're not actually thinking about this are you?" I say incredulously as Ed pulls out a dark grey dress shirt and tie from his closet.

"I was thinking, you know, about the dying part of that conversation and thought that maybe we should have dinner with Miss Callahorn the Third." He says with a posh accent. "See what she's getting at without a time restraint."

"We have a schedule Edgar. We have shows and - and dates to keep."

"Relax." He comes up to me and places his hands on my shoulders. "We just need to figure this out. We're in danger."

I stare at his hands enveloping my shoulders. He always touches me and it doesn't mean a thing to him, I can sense the vibe of friendliness emitting from him. Love but not the kind that I long for.

"So," he shrugs his t-shirt off and my eyes follow him as he walks to his bed, "are you in?"

Why do you do this to me? "No. I don't want to get involved in anything dangerous."

"Didn't you listen, Carol? Our lives are in danger. There's strength in numbers." He begins to button his dress shirt and as he turns towards me I glance away. "Plus that Cecelia girl is pretty cute, yeah?"

It takes everything in me to not snarl out loud. "Is she?"

Ed pauses. "I mean that's not the point, Carol. The point is us not just surviving but thriving. That girl is rich and she looks pretty desperate to take us in. I'm just saying I'll take her in too if she wants."

"You're a pig." He begins to change into red pants. "Why?"

He freezes, hands on his waistband. "What?"

"Why do you change in front of me like this?"

Ed laughs, "Dude, you're like my bro. Does it make you uncomfortable? I'll go elsewhere." Confusion sweeps into his mind along with the happiness, happiness and concern for me. Then I feel a sharp stab of nervousness before he asks, "We are just bros, right?"

"Of course." I say quickly, a bit too quickly, but the relief that goes through Ed assures me he doesn't notice.

"Good. You have to be my wing woman with that Cecelia girl."

"What do you want with her?" Calm voice, disinterested voice. I clench my fists to keep them from trembling.

Ed's gaze flicker to mine before giving a conspirator's smile, "A gentleman never tells Carol."

"All you are ever after is women and money, Edgar. It's disturbing."

"It's life. Now let's get dressed and tally ho to Bellagio. Heh, that rhymes."

So of course, two hours later, I'm in Gerald the Butler's car as he taxis us to the casino. Ed's face is a mask of concentration as he stares out of the tinted window. He didn't once compliment me on my dress, red to match his pants and actually tighter than I wanted it to be, and heels taller than they needed to be. I suppose if you cause a tilt of his lips and a thumbs up a compliment then I got all the compliments.

Knowing him he's thinking about Cecelia and her rich as-s. I feel around for his emotions but he's essentially neutral. Maybe a bit of nervousness, but his face was a poker face and with his hair combed away from his face it looked like he meant business. As if he feels me meddling in his head, he turns and looks at me.

"Why have we never used our skills at a casino?" He hush whispers, eyes alight. "We could make a killing."

"Already losing track of our purpose here?" I say, rolling my eyes. That's all Ed is a gambler. He'd gamble me if he thought he had a slim chance of winning.

"I never lose track of what's in my sights." Ed's smile is mischievous, "However I'm merely thinking of the future."

"Isn't that Cecelia's job?"

"She can't control us Carol. We're playing her game until it stops benefiting us."

"You know you can't control everything Edgar. Including me."

Ed frowns, "You follow me around Carol. I'm not controlling you. You have choices you just choose to follow mine. You always think that I gamble but you've got to remember that every moment you spend with me is a gamble darling. I love you, just don't blame me if I screw up one day and you come down with me."

My lips tighten. "Where is this coming from?"

"Just want you to know that you're not obligated to hang with me."

The car stops and Gerald steps out so I suppose that we're at the casino. The door on my side of the car opens and he gestures for me to step out. The first thing I can see when I duck out of the car is Cecelia, standing near the entrance and looking out at us. She waves and I simply pretend not to see her as Ed ducks out from behind me. He waves smiling. The only time he smiles and waves is when he's trying to impress. He's good-looking but somber and uninviting, until he likes someone of course.

There's another guy standing a bit away from her but clearly with her. His white hair standing out in a crowd. I don't care from what I sense from him. He might be fine, but nothing about his appearance or emotions interests me at the moment.

I feel a spike of intrigue from Cecelia and I don't know where or to whom that's directed. I don't know how this is going to go but I don't like it.

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