Disclaimer: Connor doesn’t belong to me; he belongs to the lovely Joss Whedon. While I do own Olivia, the concept of Charmed does not belong to me. That belongs to Constance M. Burge, Brad Kern, and Spelling Entertainment.

Author’s Note: Thank you goes to Narnian Nymph for the information about Connor and his current life. Also, thank you to LJ, Settiai, and Ladybug218 for the beta read.

Gripping the handle of his ax, Connor let his eyes adjust to the darkness. The demon was in there; he could almost hear him breathing. Quietly, he crept further into the old warehouse, all of his senses on alert. He wasn’t about to let him get away this time.

Ever since he remembered his real past and how to fight, Connor’s second year at Stanford hadn’t been the same. Lately, he was noticing some of the weird things that went on in the dark. Demons, werewolves, vampires, and other such monsters, he'd seen them all. Having made peace with his real father, he chose to do something about it. After all, he was invincible; why not use it?

His latest quarry was a particularly nasty demon named Etep. He faced this soul-sucker a few days earlier, but the meeting hadn’t gone so well. He sliced him in half only to watch Etep meld back together. Connor narrowly escaped with his soul in tact.

This time, he found Etep preparing to suck the soul of a young girl. He distracted the monster by throwing a rock at him. Etep dropped the terrified girl and ran after Connor, only to lose him in an alley. Connor watched from the shadows as his quarry disappeared into the nearest empty building. Grabbing an ax from the back seat of his car (he never went anywhere without one these days), he followed him.

Walking further into the warehouse, he saw something move out of the corner of his eye. Whirling around, he swung only to connect with air. Narrowing his blue eyes, he surveyed the area.

“I know you’re in here,” he dared, his voice sounding older than his nineteen years.

He didn’t see it coming. Out of nowhere someone jumped down onto his back. He dropped his ax as he fell to the ground. Grabbing the arms of his attacker, he flipped him over his shoulder. The person landed with a thud, and Connor pinned him with his knee.

“Who are you?” he demanded. He was surprised to find that his assailant was a rather pretty woman.

Her dark hair fell in a cloud around her face, giving her an angelic appearance. Her dark eyes, however, told a different story. “Let me go!” she countered as she kicked him in the stomach. Connor didn’t even flinch.

“I didn’t know soul-suckers could shape shift,” he responded calmly.

‘I don’t know who or what the hell you are, but you better get off me right now before we’re both dead.’ Connor’s eyes widened when he realized her lips hadn’t moved, yet he had heard her voice clear as day.

He didn’t have time to think about it, though. Connor heard Etep’s growl before he saw him. He jerked his head upward to see the large demon falling towards them. Moving fast, he grabbed the girl by the shoulders and rolled out of the way. He felt around for his ax and swore when he couldn’t find it.

‘You can’t kill him with an ax,’ the girl explained. Once again, her lips didn’t move.

‘You’re in my head, aren’t you?’ he thought, but the girl didn’t answer.

She was on her feet in a matter of seconds, a small bottle of green liquid in her hands. The demon was faster, though, and pounced on her with all of his strength.

“Shit!” he heard her scream.

Connor didn’t even think twice. He ran towards them just as he saw Etep's large mouth open wide to take her soul. Summoning all of his power, he grabbed the monster by the torso and threw him against the far wall. The girl collapsed on the ground, the bottle still clutched in her hand.

Connor took a hold of her free hand. “Come on, he’ll be back.”

She let him pull her up in to a sitting position. “He sure does pack a mean punch.” She glanced over Connor’s head and her eyes grew wide. “And here he comes again.”

Connor swung out his arm and backhanded the demon. Etep reeled backwards, roaring. The young demon slayer circled, meeting his opponent’s eyes. Before he could move, the bottle was shoved into his hand.

‘Throw this at him,’ he heard in his head. Connor did as he was told. The bottle smacked Etep in the chest causing a small explosion and leaving only dust in its wake.

Surprised, Connor helped the dark haired girl to her feet. She dusted herself off and took a deep breath.

“Well, I guess that takes care of him,” she said. “Thanks.”

Connor didn’t keep his gentlemanly demeanor for long. He backed her into a corner, his blue eyes dark. “How did you know how to kill him? Who are you?”

She folded her arms and returned his glare. “Olivia Cristiano, and I knew how to kill him because I’m a witch.”

“A witch?” He inched closer. “Is that how you got inside my head?”

“You’re a sharp one. Yeah, telepathy’s my power.” She sized him up, and he quickly realized that she appeared to be a couple of years older than he was. “You know, you don’t seem normal yourself. I’ve never seen anybody throw a demon against a wall like that before.”

“Let’s just say I’m not exactly normal.” His tone was softer, yet there was still an edge to his voice.

“Normal or not, you shouldn’t’ve been here. That demon has killed more innocents than you can count.” Olivia shoved her way past him. “You got a name?” She slowed down just enough so he could catch up with her.

“Connor Riley, and maybe you shouldn’t’ve been here. You’d be dead if I hadn’t shown up.”

“Hey, I’ve probably been chasing more demons longer than you’ve been alive. How old are you anyway? Sixteen?”

“Lady, I’ve seen more monsters than you have in your wildest nightmares.”

Picking up his ax, Connor turned away from Olivia and headed out into the night air. Something about her reminded him of Cordelia, and he certainly didn’t need that kind of heartache.

Olivia wasn’t about to let him get away. She caught up with him and gingerly touched his shoulder. “Look, I’m sorry. That was uncalled for.”

Connor just shook off her hand.

She tried again. “Thank you…for helping me kill Etep. You’re right; he probably would’ve killed me.”

Connor stopped. He turned around and met her eyes. “Just stay out of my way.” With that, he ambled to his car, leaving her standing in the alley.


© 2004 Crimson Idealist