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rivendell

The Many Faces of the Opera Ghost

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This is my latest fan fic! Please read and tell me what you think!

~rivendell

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Chapter One: The Opera Ghost

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It all began three years after the disaster. When a small carriage made its way through the streets of Paris, and pulled up in front of the Opera Populaire. The carriage was built for two people, but only one person traveled inside. As the carriage stopped, out stepped a woman dressed in a grey suit. Emmeline Rothschild was her name. She was a painter who’d been imported from London by the new manager to paint scenes of productions at the opera house. A young woman barely in her twenties, Emmeline stepped onto the sidewalk. She gazed at her new home. The Paris Opera House. Paying the carriage driver, she picked up her luggage, which was one suitcase. With confidence, she held her chin up, and walked inside.

She made it to the middle of the grand hall, before she had to stop and just look at the place. It was exquisite. Marble floors, golden staircases, crystal chandeliers, and candelabras were everywhere. Emmeline thought to herself. She closed her eyes and reminded herself that she was here to work. She would have to concentrate on her real goal after she finished her first job there at the opera house. What no one knew was that secretly Emmeline was a portrait painter. Her life dream was to paint a face. Not just any face; a face that was special, a face that the world would always remember and never forget.

Emmeline stood there for a moment when she felt someone tap her on the shoulder.

“Oh!” she said.

“Oh, excuse me, I didn’t mean to startle you.” came a woman’s voice.

Emmeline turned around. Standing there, were two women, one middle-aged and the other probably close to Emmeline’s own age. The older looked stern as stone all dressed in black and holding a cane. The younger one, however, stood there in white and pink ballet rehearsal clothes, and wearing toe shoes.

How was your trip?” Asked the one in black.

“It was lovely, thank you. My name is” –

“Emmeline Rothschild, yes, we’ve been expecting you. You are our newest production painter.”

“That’s right.”

“I’m Antoinette Giry, but you may call me Madame. And this is my daughter, Meg.”

“Bonjour,” said Meg smiling.

“Oh, hello,” said Emmeline, who barely knew French.

“Come, we’ll show you to your room. It’s not too far from the ballet dormitories.”

“Thank you.” said Emmeline.

As they walked down the halls, Emmeline could feel a strange sense of sadness around her. The place seemed so dark and lifeless. Looking down the halls, she saw that all the doors and windows were shut. Suddenly, she saw an open door. The room had red interior walls on the inside. As Emmeline poked her head inside, Madame Giry quickly pulled her arm, yanking her out of the doorway. She quickly closed the door and locked it. She then looked at Emmeline.

“I’m sorry, I should’ve told you before. That room is not to be disturbed. The door is to remain closed and locked.” She said.

Emmeline was puzzled.

Then why was it open before?” she asked.

Madame Giry didn’t say anything, but quickly glanced at Meg as if telling her not to say anything to Emmeline.

“Here we are. This is your room.”

Emmeline blinked.

Her room was right next door to the room that was to remain undisturbed.

Oh perfect.” She thought.

Emmeline’s room was rather nice. It had a double bed, a vanity, a changing screen, a bookshelf, a desk, and a full length mirror in the corner.

“This room used to be a dressing room.” said Meg.

“Oh, I see.” Said Emmeline.

“Well, we’ll leave you here to unpack and get some sleep. In the morning, you are to report to the manager’s office.” Said Madame Giry.

“Yes, Madame. Goodnight.” Emmeline said.

After the two women left, Emmeline closed the door. She tossed aside her suitcase and threw off her hat and coat. She splashed some water on her face and sat down at the desk. She pulled out her sketchbook and began to draw.

2 hours later…

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Meg knocked on Emmeline’s door to see how things were going.

“Things are fine.” she said.

“Good. What’s that? What are you drawing?” Asked Meg.

Emmeline held up the finished picture. Meg’s jaw dropped. It was a portrait of herself! A perfectly drawn portrait; with every detail imaginable.

How did you do that?” Meg asked.

Emmeline blushed.

Practice.”

“It’s beautiful, Emmeline. Thank you.” she said.

“You’re welcome.”

Meg and Emmeline continued to talk.

So what’s London like?” Asked Meg.

“Boring and cold. What’s Paris like?” Asked Emmeline.

“Warm and exciting, I guess.” Said Meg, laughing.

“You’re lucky to have your own room.” said Meg.

“But don’t you have your own room?” asked Emmeline.

“Not really, the new dancer will be here in a week. She’s here to replace Christine.”

Ooops.

“Who’s Christine?” asked Emmeline, who was now very interested.Meg looked at Emmeline. She knew that she’d already said enough, but in the long run, Emmeline was harmless. Why not tell her?

“Christine Daae.” She said.

“Daae? You mean Gustave Daae’s daughter?”

“Yes, we were best friends.” Meg replied.

“What do you mean? Aren’t you still best friends?” Asked Emmeline.

“No, I haven’t seen her since she left the opera.” She said.

Emmeline was confused.

Why did she leave?”

Meg was silent for a moment.

“Because of him.”

“Who?”

“The Opera Ghost”

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Chapter Two : The Rafters

The next day, Emmeline woke up early. She washed her face and hands. She put on her favorite green skirt with a white blouse and emerald broche that her father had given her. Stepping into her plain brown shoes, she sat down at the vanity. She took some pins and swept up her wild, red hair. Putting on her trademark scent; Jasmine, she stood up and walked over to the full length mirror. Emmeline spun around in her green skirt. She loved to spin. Leaving her room, she met Meg for breakfast. Forty – five minutes later, she returned, grabbed her painting materials, and set out to work.

The opera was putting on a production of Giselle. The rehearsal was interesting. First, Emmeline took a look at the ballerinas to see what they look like up close, to determine what they would look like far away from the audience’s point of view. Second, she made them all take the classic poses from the ballet itself, to get an early start. Then, she let them all take a break while she concentrated on the sets themselves. Finally, after about three hours, she worked with Giselle herself : Meg Giry.

It was a long day. Everyone was exhausted. Not Emmeline though. She was a tough worker and a perfectionist. She loved working long hours, never quitting until she was completely worn out. She shook with everyone and thanked them for their time and bid them goodnight.

As Emmeline walked onto the stage towards the halls, she looked up at where the stagehands were working.

“Hmm, wonder what the place looks like from up there.” she wondered.

She thought for a minute.

No, she couldn’t.

No, she shouldn’t

No, it was too risky.

What if someone saw her?

What if she fell?

What if –

“Oh who cares! Sounds like fun anyway!” she said to herself.

With that, Emmeline walked backstage, opened the stagehand door, and began to walk up the winding steps taking her up…up…all the way to the rafters.

After a few flights, Emmeline found herself staring down at the stage. An exhilarating feeling washed over her. She kept her sketchpad and pencils in her bag and over her arm. She held on the railing and stayed out of sight until all of the stagehands were gone.

Moments later, they had all vanished. Now, she was her chance. She lifted up her skirt and decided to walk down the middle beam to center of the stage.

But before she could take her first step, a large, black rope hooked by the waist and yanked her back onto the platform. Emmeline let out a little squeal before her mouth was covered by a large, cold object. The large hook tightened on her waist.

But then something happened.

She felt something near her ear.

It seemed to be a cold, object made of some type leather. She looked over at it. Inside the object she saw something else that made her heart stop.

It was a beautiful green eye.

A human green eye. It stared down at her. Whatever was holding her began to loosen a bit. Then, this time Emmeline heard something.

It was man’s voice.

“Shh, do not struggle Emmeline and everything will be fine.” the voice said.

Gently, the man with the green eye and the musical voice guided her backwards into the darkness.

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Chapter Three – Rescuer and Captor

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As her rescuer and captor dragged her back to where it was black, Emmeline knew her life may have been saved, but now she was in trouble all over again. Finally, the man who had her stopped. He had a steel like grip on her, yet somehow he was holding her gently. As if she were made of glass. The two of them stood at the railing just so that Emmeline could see the stage. It was a beautiful scene, but it also could have been a death scene.

Her death scene.

She was grateful to whoever caught her. She just wished he would talk some more. She wanted to hear that beautiful musical voice again.

He must have heard her wish.

You have spine, Emmeline. To come to a place where the opera ghost is rumored to have been seen.” The man with the green eye and the musical voice hissed.

Emmeline realized that like he said if she didn’t struggle, he wouldn’t hurt her. She could easily talk her way out of this. However, she was a bit confused to start with.

Opera ghost?”

“Yes, he is known for his murderous tendencies.” Erik said. He was beginning to have fun with this.

“He?” She asked.

“Of course, what did you think I meant?” He snapped.

“I’m sorry but you must be mistaken, but everyone knows that the opera ghost is a woman.” She replied.

Suddenly, Emmeline felt the grip on her tighten like a vice. From behind her came a deep and powerful laugh. Then he spoke again.

“Where did you hear…THAT!!!” He said with a snicker.

Emmeline was even more confused.

Was he making fun of her?

Was he calling her a liar?

She had no idea what to say, so she stayed silent.

“Answer me.” Erik said.

“What?” She asked.

“Where did you hear that the opera ghost was a woman?” he demanded.

Emmeline decided to tell him the truth.

“It was my own assumption, Sir. I thought it might a young operatic singer floating around in a white gown or something singing the High C, and breaking every mirror she passed.” She explained.

Erik was astounded. This so called opera ghost of Emmeline’s reminded him very much of Christine Daae herself. However, he was more interested in this young woman’s imagination even more. He knew her name, where she was staying, and why she was at the Opera Populaire. He didn’t expect her to stay very long, though. Female painters weren’t known to have any talent to be taken seriously. But Erik noticed that when he’d snatched her, the drawings in her bag of the opera’s Giselle had fallen out… and he had seen them.

He had to admit that he hadn’t seen such different talent before. She had used brown tones to paint the tree’s leaves and bushes during sunset. But in the graveyard scene, she’d used dark greens and blues for the grounds, stones, and trees, and even the gravestones themselves, instead of black and gray.

He was impressed.

Um, Sir? Can I go now? I’m thankful for what you did, but I must get back to my painting.” said Emmeline.

Erik realized that while he’d been thinking he’d been holding her all this time. He decided something.

“No, you’re going to return to your quarters. Don’t come back up here, or you will receive a punishment beyond your imagination.” He warned her.

Emmeline shivered, not with fear, but excitement. She was fascinated with her rescuer. She could tell right away that he was dangerous. But something in his voice told her that none of that danger would ever be directed towards her.

Yes, Sir, I’ll do as you say one condition.” She said.

Erik frowned.

“And what might that be?” He asked in deep voice.

“Would you mind introducing yourself? I’ll go first. I’m Emmeline Gabrielle Rothschild, how do you do.” She said.

Erik sighed and watched her as she held out her hand waiting for it to be kissed as is customary in Europe.

Emmeline stood there for a moment and waited. He seemed hesitant, so she decided to just curtsy instead. As he watched, she could have sworn she saw a small grin on his –

Wait a minute.

Half of his face is cover—oh my.

He’s wearing a mask, a white half mask. And the rest of him is black. His hands, his hair, his body,…but his eyes…

This time Emmeline saw his other eye. The other beautiful green eye. She was finally able to glue all together. He had grabbed her from behind with his black-clad arm. He covered her mouth with his black leather-clad hand. And she had felt his mask against her own face when she first saw his eye gleaming through it.

“Erik Desslar, Bonjour.” He said bowing.

Before she could ask any questions, he quickly turned around and made for the back door beyond the last beam. Then he heard it.

Pleased to meet you, Sir Opera Ghost.” Emmeline said from across the way.

She then picked up her bag and made her way down the steps. As she reached the bottom, she looked back up at the rafter. Erik was still standing there watching her. Quickly, she went into the stage wings, whipped out her sketchpad and pencil, and managed to trace the shadow of the opera ghost before he disappeared into the bowels of the opera house.

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Chapter Four – Back Once More

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So I’m dancing on stage, and the next thing I know, a dead body comes falling from above!” cried Meg.

Emmeline sat stock still in the chair as Meg told her the story of Il Muto and Josef Buquet’s death. First, Meg told her about the time he dropped a piece of the set on Carlotta’s head during the rehearsal of Hannibal. She thought that that was rather humorous, but after the Buquet incident, she had goose bumps.

If he was a murderer like everyone was saying, then why didn’t he do anything to her?

There were a million things he could’ve done to her. Rape…Torture…everything, but nothing.

Why?

“Why what?” Meg asked.

Emmeline didn’t realize it, but she’d been thinking out loud and talking to herself, asking questions to herself. She looked at Meg. She was all wide – eyed. Emmeline decided to tell her. She didn’t see Madame Giry come into the room behind her.

Meg, I met him…in the rafters, the very place where Buquet was murdered. In fact, I almost died there.”

“What!” Meg cried.

“Oh my dear, did he hurt you!” shouted Madame Giry as she put her hands on Emmeline’s shoulders as if trying to shelter her from harm. She surprised Emmeline.

“No, he did not. Actually, it was quite the opposite. He saved me…saved my life.” replied Emmeline.

“Wait, I’m confused. What were you doing in the rafters in the first place?” Asked Meg.

“Excellent question.” said Madame Giry.

Emmeline smiled and began her story. When she was finished telling them about how she was warned to stay away, Madame Giry and Meg looked at each other. When Emmeline wasn’t watching, the two of them exchanged glances of worry. They watched Emmeline pick up her drawing bag and leave the room. Secretly, they knew where she was going.

Going up the stairs to the rafters, Emmeline looked down at the stage and clung to the rail. This time, she went to the place where he’d taken her, and hoped for the best.

Thinking about the past week, she remembered everything she’d heard about the famed opera ghost. She learned that he had stolen things, rigged sets and played pranks on the performers and even more about the Great Disaster that Meg told her about. She also learned more about Christine Daae.

The girl had come to the opera house as a child and received singing lessons from a special teacher. For a time, she was the star soprano of the opera house. But the opera ghost himself wrote an opera that he demanded she sing in. He performed in the sensual opera with her where she took off his mask and revealed him to the world.

The opera ghost is a monster!” people said.

“His face is that of a beast!” they also said.

All that the people in the opera house would say about what happened next was that Christine and the Count de Chagny were married two days later and the opera ghost was never seen again.

But you if you’re not careful, you may just run into the opera ghost’s ghost!” another person said.

Emmeline came to a conclusion. She had to get the truth, no matter what. She had to know what really happened that night…

For he was still alive.

Sitting there on the ground, she finished a little something she was sketching and stood up to stretch. As she held out her arms, something cold and wet was clamped over her nose and mouth. Emmeline was going to struggle, but she remembered.

“Do not struggle, Emmeline, and everything will be fine.”

Relaxing, she inhaled the chloroform and fainted. Once more, the opera ghost slowly but gently picked her up and carried her back once more down the steps, and into the darkness.

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Chapter Five - Punishment

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Waking up with a headache was one thing, but being surrounded by red silk sheets and black lace curtains was another. When Emmeline opened her eyes, that is exactly what she saw. She was lying down in some sort of object that she guessed was supposed to be a bed. It was black and carved in an odd shape. She tried to move, but found that her hands had been tied. She was too tired to struggle, so she decided to explore things from where she was.

Looking around, she saw that the room was actually a stone cavern. The room itself looked similar to her own. It too had a vanity, a changing screen, a clothes closet, etc.

Did a woman live there?

Or better yet, did anyone live there?

Was she all by herself?

Where in the world was she?

Then it all came back. The rafters… the opera ghost… the chloroform…but where had he taken her?

Was he going to prove his reputation and do something to her?

At that thought she began to panic. Suddenly the curtains began to rise. Emmeline blinked. Standing there before was the opera ghost himself. This was the first time she actually saw him in the light.

He was beautiful.

The candlelight made his green eyes glow like gold. His black clothing cast a haunting shadow on the stone walls. His tan skin shone like an angel’s. And his lips…his full sensuous lips seemed almost forbidden to touch, they were so gorgeous. However, his mask seemed the same as it was before:

Mysterious and stern with a hint of a frown.

Erik stared at her strangely. She looked like she was lost in a dream. He walked towards the bed. He was still a bit annoyed that she had returned. Yet he was intrigued by her curiosity and rebellious nature. Then he heard it.

“Good evening Sir Erik.” Said Emmeline from her tied position on the bed.

“You may address me as Erik. You are not in London anymore.” He said sternly.

Emmeline realized that if she was to do this, she would have to lighten up the situation. And she knew exactly where to start.

“If I may ask, would you mind untying me? You have my word that I will not leave here without your consent.” She said hopefully.

“Emmeline, I tied you up for a reason.” Said Erik.

“What reason is that? She asked.

“So you will not run away when I tell you your punishment.” He said with mischievous tone.

Emmeline had forgotten all about that!

“Very well, what is my punishment, sir?” she asked.

“I will paint you.” he said.

“That seems fair eno”- she started.

“Naked.”

Emmeline’s eyes widened. Naked! Oh my! Emmeline had always wondered what it was like to painted in the nude. She wondered how long it took, what position you sat in, etc. It was one of her many goals.

But Erik did not know this.

She would have to keep her fascination to herself. Erik untied her. Leaving the room, he spoke with his back to her.

You have five minutes to get undressed. I’ll be waiting out in the main chamber.” He said.

“I have a proposition for you.” said Emmeline as she got out of the swan bed.

“Whatever it is, the answer is no.” he quickly answered, and left the room.

Emmeline sighed and closed the door. She took off her clothes, folded them and put them on the bed. She then put on a black silk robe that had been laid on a chair for her. In cold, bare feet, she took her hair down, and walked out of the bedroom toward the main chamber. Tonight was going to be interesting.

Now out in the open, she could that she was in a large cavern that was made out to be a home.

His home.

In her eyes, she had never seen anything more magnificent. Candles everywhere, stage furniture, stone steps, several different chambers, huge mirrors. She then noticed that the place was actually ashore. A green lake came up to it. Looking down she saw a beautiful black gondola trimmed with gold.

She walked down the steps, her robe draping behind her, and past the huge pipe organ. She sat down at the bench and waited for Erik.

He appeared wearing instead of his black suit and cloak, a white shirt, black trousers, a black Persian robe with long sleeves. The shirt was open at the top showing his well muscled chest. Emmeline was blushing.

“Are you ready to be punished?” he asked.

Emmeline gulped and said, “Yes.”

Erik held out his hand. Emmeline saw that he was not wearing gloves. She took his hand and he led her into a corner where there a small couch waiting for her. With confidence, she took off her robe and let it fall to the ground in a pool around her feet. Erik looked at her.

Her long red hair was down now. She had long legs, pale swan – like arms, a graceful neck, a flat stomach, and a pair of beautiful round, luscious…

“Excuse me? Is something wrong?” she asked.

Erik finally shook himself out of it. Feeling the constriction in his pants, he knew he had to gain control.

“Lie down.” He ordered.

She obeyed. As she turned around, Erik couldn’t help but notice her derriere. Emmeline, on the other hand, hoped that she would be able to do this without fainting. But what Erik did next was something she never would have expected.

Pulling out the silver chains, Erik cuffed her wrists and ankles to the couch. He left her laying there while he positioned himself at his easel. He began to sketch. While she sat there uncomfortably, he was amazed. Any woman would have died from shock at what he’d just done! But this woman didn’t do that. In fact, she seemed to be enjoying it.

When he was finished with her legs and arms, he moved on to sketch her inner section. This was a tad uncomfortable for him. As a matter of fact, very uncomfortable! He’d never had naked woman this close to him. When he cuffed her hands and feet, he could feel the softness of her skin scraping against the metal of the chains. That thought made him actually feel guilty. With that, he got up and went to her.

What is it?” she asked.

“Nothing, here it’s time to remove these.” He said taking off the chains. “You’ve endured my punisment long enough.”

“Are you done with the painting?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“May I see?”

He gave Emmeline her robe and helped her off the couch. He then went to his easel and picked up the painting. Showing it to her, Emmeline smiled. She’d seen herself naked in the mirror before, but he’d made her out to be a muse.

Why did you come back?” Erik finally asked.

“I wanted to ask you something.” she asked.

“Oh? And what’s that?” he asked.

“About the things people say you’ve done, especially the fact that you are a murderer. Would you ever murder me? Would you ever hurt me? And what about Christine Daae? Is that true?”

“You ask a lot of questions, Miss Rothschild.” Said Erik.

Emmeline decided that this was the best time as any.

“Yes, I know, and I have one more question to ask. Actually it is more of a request.” She said.

Erik put his back to her…again. He walked up the stairs and into the bedroom. Emmeline followed him. She wasn’t about to be denied this easily.

As he was about to shut the door in her face, she stopped him and fought her way into the room.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!!!” he bellowed.

“I want to paint your face.”

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Chapter Six

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They stood in silence for a long time, practically cemented to their spots. Each person studied the other’s features to make sure that the previous words had just been said.

I want to paint your face.”

Emmeline watched Erik waiting for any type of reaction. Erik watched Emmeline wondering if he had heard her correctly. Finally, she said broke the silence.

Without the mask.”

Erik had to answer back. No one had ever dared to…talk to him like this. As if he was someone else… someone normal…someone…

Human

“Oh? And may I ask what possessed you take on such a suicidal mission?” he joked arrogantly.

Emmeline was getting a little annoyed.

“You can call my way of paying you back for what you did to me. For taking advantage of me.

“I didn’t do anything to you. You could have left if you wished.” he said.

“You know very well that if I left this place alone, I never would’ve made it home alive! And yes you did do something to me!” she shouted.

“You are right, you wouldn’t have made it home alive, but as far as what I did…” he said.

“You chained me up, for Christ’s sake!” she interrupted.

“It all comes with the territory I’m afraid.” Erik said, smiling, remembering how tempting and yet helpless she looked wearing those silver chains, all sprawled out on his couch.

“Sir…I mean Erik, I think if you’ve seen all of me; it’s only fair that I see all of you.” she said, reasonably.

“Life’s not fair.” he said sternly.

Emmeline could tell she wasn’t going to win this. She sighed and shook her head.

“Very well then. I only thought I could help you to stop hiding from yourself.” she said.

“What do mean “hiding from myself?” he asked.

Emmeline’s eyes lit up.

“When was the last time you looked in the mirror?” she asked.

Erik tilted his head down. He knew she was right. Since the disaster, he’d kept all the mirrors covered. He just couldn’t seem to get rid of them. That’s was when he saw her brush past him over to the bed where her clothes were sitting. He inhaled her Jasmine scent.

“Beautiful” he said to himself.

As Emmeline finished putting her blue dress back on, Erik walked to the vanity. He picked up a brush that was supposed to be Christine’s. It was meant to untangle the chocolate curls in her hair.

But Christine is not here, you idiot.” He thought to himself.

SHE is.

Give it to her.

“Let her brush the knots out of her wild red hair.” Eik thought to himself while watching Emmeline put on her plain brown shoes. He gave her the brush and she put her hair back into a bun. When she was ready, she walked right up to Erik and asked:

“Are you going to take me home now?”

“Yes.” he said.

“Thank you, but not without my painting.” she said.

“The painting stays here.” he said.

“Alright, you keep a picture of me and I will keep a picture of you.” she replied.

“Out of the question!” Erik shouted.

“Don’t you yell at me!” she shouted back.

With that Erik charged at her. Emmeline wasted no time. She quickly got down and lay on the floor and covered her head. Then she waited.

She didn’t have to wait for long.

Erik calmed down and stooped to see just exactly what it was she was doing.

“Why are you doing that?” he asked.

“Because if you hit me, I don’t want to hit the floor too hard.” she replied.

That suddenly reminded Erik of how he’d rounded on Christine and knocked her to the floor, when she first took off his mask. He then felt guilty for frightening her like that. Slowly, he helped Emmeline to her feet.

“It’s time for you to go home.” he said.

Quietly, the two of them made their way through the tunnels deep below the opera house. Emmeline kept staring at Erik. She had found her inspiration…

Her face…

Her lifetime achievement.

Erik Desslar

Secretly, she was also memorizing the way through the dark stone tunnels. She had a photographic memory that Erik didn’t really need to know about.

Finally, they reached the door to the rafters where they first met. When Erik let Emmeline pass him, she stopped and turned to look at him. That’s when it happened…all at the same time.

They lunged at each other and crushed their lips together. They completely lost themselves in the most passionate kiss either one of them had ever experienced.

But as soon Emmeline pulled back to take a breath, Erik quickly let go of her, swung his cape over his head and disappeared down into the catacombs, without a word. Emmeline looked down.

He was gone.

She fell to her knees and wept hot tears.

And lying in front of her on the ground… was Erik’s mask.

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Chapter Seven – The Rooftop

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Emmeline bent down and picked up the white object that lay at her feet.

Erik’s mask…The mask of The Phantom of the Opera.

She ran her hands across the surface of the mask. It felt cool with a leather texture. As she looked at it closer, she noticed a tear stain just beneath the eye.

“What had caused him to cry?” she wondered.

She was upset. Erik had run away from her just when she managed to get close to see his face. Emmeline was determined. She had to see him. Walking down from the rafters, she discovered that it had become quite easy for her to do so. She was getting good at climbing. Soon she would know the opera house as well as Erik knew it…maybe. First, she had some work to do.

She would have to gain Erik’s trust. She felt his attraction to her when they had kissed. The kiss they’d shared seemed to come out of nowhere. Erik must have been keeping a lot of emotion bottled up inside. All she could guess was that some of his desperation to let her know how he truly felt about her was to give her a quick kiss.

“No wonder he wanted me to stay away. It’s obvious that he was a struggler with self-control. Maybe he felt it would be better not to see her so he wouldn’t be tempted to do God knows what.” She said to herself.

But then she felt proud and touched that he had not taken full advantage of her when he’d painted her naked. He’d managed to keep his inner urges under control. Of course she was only guessing. It was pretty obvious that he held some sort of love for her.

Just what kind of love? Was it friendship or something deeper?” she wondered.

She just hoped that this wasn’t the kind of relationship that never went any further than lust.

As she walked back to her room, she closed the door behind her. Without even changing, she lay on her bed and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning ….

She woke up in a wrinkled dress. With heavy eyelids, she looked at her clock and gasped. It was already noon! Quickly, she stood up unsteadily, grabbed her art bag, and headed for the auditorium.

Thank God, she was received with a friendly “Good afternoon, sleeping beauty!” from Madame Giry. She thought she would get her salary decreased from the managers of the opera house. Instead, Emmeline was given word that her salary was to be increased! Deep down, she had a feeling that this was Erik’s doing.

It was a long day. Emmeline kept yawning. She needed more sleep. Her time with Erik had worn her out. Afterwards, as she walked down the hall, she noticed something.

Her door was open. She went inside and saw what appeared to be a piece of paper with a black ribbon tied to it. She opened it and went into shock.

It was her picture… the nude painting.

Erik had made her so beautiful, she thought she would cry. Everything from her eyes to her hand structure to the pout of her lips was perfectly sketched. And the detail of her breasts, she could tell he had spent some extra time working on. Emmeline then noticed a small envelope lined in black with a red skull wax seal on it. She opened it and pulled out the paper.

It was from Erik. It was invitation to meet him on the roof of the opera house with directions on how to get there. Emmeline decided that it was harmless enough. She went to her closet and took out her pine green cloak, left her room, and made her way upward.

Walking down the steps from the door on the roof, Emmeline stood there and waited. Suddenly a black leather clad hand reached out and covered her mouth. Somehow, she knew it was Erik. She could feel his breathing as he pulled her back against him. He hummed to her softly. He took her hand and gently put it on the bare side of his face. Emmeline closed her eyes and stroked his cheek and brushed her fingers along his lips. He placed his hands on her stomach and pushed inward. He was pressing her tightly against his groin. She could tell what was on his mind.

“That is me wanting you.” he said in a seductive tone.

Emmeline pulled away and turned around to face him. She opened her eyes. There he stood in front of her…without a mask. She saw his whole face. Marred with welts and scars and red flesh, with no eyebrow. She also saw that his hair was not black but a light shade of brown.

She couldn’t stop herself. Slowly, she reached up to touch his red cheek. To her surprise, it felt warm. She ran her fingers through his hair and traced the scars. She looked into Erik’s eyes that were now full of tears.

“And this is me wanting you.” she said to him.

“I’m sorry I ran away from you.” he said.

“It’s alright. Just promise you won’t do it again.” She replied.

“I promise.” He said.

Emmeline smiled. She then asked why he’d invited her to the roof.

“I want to ask you something.” he said.

“And what might that be?” she asked.

“Is there any way I can make it up to you for doing what I did?”

Emmeline knew that this was her chance.

“Let me paint your face with and without the mask, and we’ll call ourselves even with each other.” She said.

Erik looked down for a moment. Then he turned around and walked toward the statue of Apollo.

“Yes.” He whispered. But if you do this, you must paint me in all of my guises. As the Phantom, Don Juan, the Red Death, and the Angel of Music.

Emmeline wasn’t quite sure what he meant, but she was willing. She walked up behind him. She reached her arms around him and pulled him back against her. He could feel the swell of her breasts on his back. Turning around, still in her embrace, he kissed her lips.

“Agreed.” She said afterward.

“Agreed.” He replied.

She yawned. Erik wasted no time. He swept her into his arms, and carried her back down to his lair. She was so tired that she fell asleep in the boat on the way there.

Putting her in his bed, Erik took off her cloak and shoes. Slowly, he took the pins out her bun and let her hair fall down around her shoulders. He then took off his clothes until he was wearing only his white shirt and black trousers. Climbing into the bed, he wrapped his arms around Emmeline possessively. He laid his head down. Just before closing his eyes, he said it.

“I love you.”

**************************************

Chapter 8 - The Red Death

**************************************

Emmeline sat there waiting for Erik to come out of his bedroom dressed as Red Death. The day before, she had drawn his image as the Phantom of the Opera in his black suit and white mask. Erik let Emmeline pick Red Death as the second painting. As she sat there nervously, he finally came out of the bedroom disguised in his masquerade outfit.

As the two of them went through the tunnels to the ballroom of the opera house, Emmeline could smell the spice of Erik’s cologne. It made her feel incredibly lustful.

In the main hall, the two artists lit every candle and locked all the doors so no one would stumble upon them. For two hours, Emmeline sat behind her easel and painted the grand staircase with Erik standing at the top of it. She looked up at him. The darkness of the Opera Ghost had been enraptured in the red velvet of his masquerade costume as The Red Death. With form fitting pants whose legs stopped at the knees continuing down in tall shiny black boots, on his hip rested a gleaming sword with a skull’s hilt. As he looked at her with devoted love in his eyes, she had to stop. She told him to give her a look that tells how he felt that night: A raging and fiery glance. He did just that. His eyes became a shining yet glaring gold, representing his now resent of Christine and the hatred he had for the Comte de Chagny.

Suddenly the clock struck midnight. Erik looked back at the clock.

“No backward glances.” She said.

Erik looked back and stared at her with his black hair blazing in the lights of the chandeliers. His fists tightened and Emmeline quickly drew them as they clench back and forth as his black gloves make a stretching sound. He then gave her a grin of mischief, and his eyes turned into a beautiful emerald green. She sketched his torso with the golden buttons on his jacket, the apparent curve of muscles of his chisled chest beneath the red velvet. She felt a bit uneasy because as she drew his inner section, she couldn’t help but notice how large his impressive member had now become. Erik smiled because he’d noticed it too.

Finally, Emmeline went after his face.

Tracing every curve and crease of the skull mask, she could see the black surrounding his eyes and how they were narrowing towards her. She knew that he wanted her, but she remembered that he’d mentioned the Don Juan outfit. She decided right then and there that later on, she would surprise him.

How’s it going?” he suddenly asked.

“Actually, just one more thing. Come closer.” She said.

He descended the stairs and walked to look at her. For a minute, Emmeline just looked at his mouth, and then sat down to draw. Erik knew what she was doing. She was painting a closer view of his lips. When she looked up at him, he gestured a kiss at her. She smiled.

Done.” She finally said.

Erik walked around the easel to take a look, but Emmeline stopped him.

No peeking, not until it’s fully painted and ready.” She said.

“Fair enough. Let’s have some supper.” He said.

As he turned around, Emmeline caught him by the hand. He looked back at her questioningly. Taking her handkerchief out her pocket, she removed his mask.

What are you doing?” he asked.

“Shh.” She said.

Slowly and gently, she began to wipe the black make – up off of his eyes. When it was all gone, he took his own handkerchief and wiped the lipstick off her lips.

Kissing her, she suddenly took his hand, stripped of the black glove, and placed it on her breast. Erik tried to pull back, but stopped when she began to stroke him. He quickly fell back into her embrace. Moaning, the two of them kissed each other with the passion of the Red Death as the raging fire flooded their souls.

Oh by the way, readers, Don Juan is next!”

~ rivendell

************************

Chapter Nine - Disguise

************************

Erik turned over in his bed. Since the day, he’d rescued his newfound love from falling to her death on the stage of his opera house, he hadn’t found a full night’s sleep. He was too busy trying on masks to see which one would look better for her paintings, or tossing and turning trying to keep his lustful visions of her out of his mind.

It had taken all of his strength just to stay away from the boat that took him over the lake, through the tunnels, and back to her world. Deep down, he was still feeling remorse (a feeling he’d never experienced) for chaining her down, and sketching her naked. But the more intense feeling was that of nervousness. The night before, he’d returned to the Red Death at the masquerade ball, but this time he would be forced to face the path of manipulation he’d taken to do what he did to Christine Daae.

He couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like.

Would it be painful?

Remorseful?

Then it struck him.

He now knew what to do. He would perform again. He would reach the point of no return, but not with Christine Daae. This time he would finish his song, his performance…his proposal…to Emmeline Rothschild.

The next night, Emmeline hurried to finish her last sketches of the performance of “The Magic Flute”. Racing back to her room, she threw her art bag on the bed, and went to her closet.

This was the night.

The night of her surprise for Erik.

Before she’d started work that morning, she quickly sat down with Madame Giry and explained the situation and relationship between her and Erik. The ballet mistress was shocked to the core at what Erik had allowed Emmeline to do. She never thought Erik could be so open and willing. That was something he would never have done for Christine.

But instead, to Emmeline’s surprise, she gave her approval, and agreed to tell the manager to cancel the opera house’s performance for that night. The auditorium would be sealed. Erik and Emmeline would be alone.

Alone to do whatever they wished.

Alone together to reach the point of no return.

Then Emmeline asked her why the disguise of Don Juan was so important to Erik. Madame Giry explained and she understood. Emmeline decided to do something else to make this night extra special for Erik.

She sat down at her vanity, pinned a red rose in her hair, and splashed some scented oil on her arms, chest, and neck. She took off her shoes and stockings, and laced up her black silk corset. Pushing her sleeves down till they spilled over her shoulders, she then reached into her drawer and pulled out a ruby bracelet. She put it on her right wrist. Slipping on her golden laced skirt, she went to the mirror and spun in front of it.

Suddenly, she found that she’d forgotten to do something. Reaching up and taking out the pins, Emmeline let her long, red, wild curls fall like a waterfall around her bare shoulders. Finally, she went and picked up her basket of roses and her art bag. Walking out of the room, she started down the hall.

The hard wooden floor was cold against her bare feet, but if Christine Daae could do it, then so could she. For that was who she’d disguised herself as…

Christine Daae

Erik waited for her. She was late. He thought about going to her room, but decided against it. Sitting down at the piano in the orchestra pit, he looked up at the ceiling. Watching the chandelier, he suddenly noticed that it had dimmed. In fact, the entire auditorium had gone dim.

As if a performance was about to begin.

Suddenly, he heard something.

A woman’s voice coming from behind the curtain on the stage.

No thoughts within her head

But thoughts of joy

No dreams within her heart

But dreams of love!

Erik left the orchestra pit and began to walk up the stairs. Reaching center stage, he tried to look through the curtains.

Suddenly, the red and gold trimmed curtain swung up above his head. Erik looked. In front of him was the scene of Don Juan Triumphant. The torches, the stairs, all was present is it had been in the past.

Then some music started. Erik stood still. When his cue was on, he began to sing.

Passarino

Go away for the trap

Is set

And waits for it’s prey!

The performance had begun.

And its star soprano, as she walked out from the side wing, rose basket in hand, was young Christine Daae.

Wearing her gold gypsy gown, she sat down on the stage, pulled out a sketchbook and began to draw. Erik walked towards her.

You have come here

In pursuit of your deepest urge

In pursuit of that wish which till now

Has been silent…

Silent…

Christine looked away from her drawing, but not at Erik. She closed her eyes and breathed slowly. Erik grinned at the effect he was having on her.

I have brought you

That our passions may fuse and merge

He swung his black cloak over in front of his masked face.

In your mind, you’ve already succumbed to me

Dropped all defenses

Completely succumbed to me

Now you are here with me

No second thoughts

You’ve decided…

Decided…

Finally, Christine put down her drawing, and slowly got to her feet. Erik narrowed his eyes and grinned even further as he continued to wreak his revenge on the woman who’d broken his heart.

Past the point of no return

No backward glances

Our games of make-believe

Are at an end

Christine looked up and gave Erik the most sensually mischievous smile he’d ever seen.

Past the thought of if or when

No use resisting

Abandon thought and let the dream descend!

At those last words, he swung up behind her and pulled her against him, wrapping his large hand around her slender neck. Christine gasped.

What raging fire shall flood the soul?

What rich desire unlocks its door?

What sweet seduction lies before us?

He slid his hands down past her breasts and lifted her arm. Taking her hand in his, he continued casting his spell.

Past the point of no return

The final threshold

What warm unspoken secrets

Will we learn?

Beyond the point of no return

This was Christine’s cue. And so she began.

You have brought me

To that moment when words run dry

To that moment when speech disappears into silence…

Silence…

Erik stood back in shock. Her voice had changed. Almost as if the voice belonged to someone else.

But who?

I have come here

Hardly knowing the reason why

In my mind I’ve already imagined our bodies entwining

Defenseless and silent

Now I am here with you

No second thoughts

I’ve decided…

Decided…

Erik’s eyes widened.

That voice…

Past the point of no return

No going back now

Our passion play has now at last begun

Christine backed away from him and started up the stairs.

Past all thought of right or wrong

One final question

How long should we two wait before we’re one?

Erik followed his cue and started up his flight of steps.

That voice…

When will the blood begin to race?

The sleeping bud burst into bloom?

When will the flames at last consume us?!

Erik and Christine reached the top and began their way across the burning bridge.

Past the point of no return

The final threshold…

With the speed of light, they flung themselves at each other and embraced with the strength of sunlight itself.

The bridge is crossed!

So stand and watch it burn!

Erik took Christine’s hands and put them at her sides. Slowly, he ran his own hands up from her abdomen, brushing past her breasts, and finally settling his right hand around her neck.

We’ve passed the Point of No…Return

Christine was practically panting from the fire crazed desire she was feeling for this man. This strange man who’d saved her, kidnapped her, painted her, and finally seduced her.

Her memory of how Erik had come to her in his black Spanish style suit, with his white shirt open exposing his chest, and his face well hidden behind a black mask, was clouding her vision…her very sanity.

For Erik it was the same. The feel of her soft skin…the scent of her…her eyes…her sweet lips.

Except for that voice…

That voice…

Yes! Of course!

He quickly whipped her around and back into his arms. Hugging her tightly, he buried his face in Christine’s red wild hair and inhaled her exotic scent.

Say you’ll share with one love

One lifetime

Lead me, save me from my solitude

Say you want me with you here beside you

Anywhere you go let me go too!

Christine, that’s all I ask of…

He never finished.

Instead, Emmeline took off his mask and kissed him, breaking the spell, and taking him back to reality.

Beyond the Point of No Return.

************************

Chapter Ten – The Face

************************

Slowly, their senses returned to normal. Erik was so aroused that he was hyperventilating. As for Emmeline, the red color of her blushing cheeks resembled the fire of love that had flooded her face.

“Christine?” Erik said.

“No Erik, Christine is gone. It’s Emmeline who’s here with you. And Emmeline did all of this to prove something to you.” she said.

Despite his confusion, Erik took a deep breath and listened.

“Christine put you under a spell. One that broke your heart and nearly destroyed your soul. But it was Emmeline who broke that spell. And it is Emmeline who wants you.

Not as an angel…

Not as a phantom…

But as a man…please understand…do you?”

Erik thought for a moment. He was exhausted and tried to concentrate. And he could only come up with one explanation. Emmeline had recreated his past to find out what he truly wanted. Or better yet…who he truly wanted.

Was it the purity and beauty of Christine? Or was it the love and trust of Emmeline?

Which one?

He looked upon her and finally it all fit. Emmeline was all of it. She was everything. Pure, beautiful, loving, and trusting. But she had something else. Something Christine did not.

Courage

A strong will that could be broken by the threat of a man in a mask. True, she’d feared him at first, but she gave in to her instincts, and looked beyond the mask. In return, she found the man who seemed a beast, but dreamed of beauty. Her fear had turned to love.

“Erik…Erik?” said Emmeline who was beginning to worry. But all of that suddenly faded when…

“Emmeline, I love you.”

She stopped breathing and stood there silent for a moment. Finally, she forced herself to speak.

“Erik, I love you, but aren’t you angry with me for what I did?” she said.

By now, Erik had regained his strength and was able to comprehend what was happening.

“No. You took me beyond the point of no return. You helped me finish the music of the night.” He said.

Emmeline smiled.

“And?” she asked.

“Marry me and the love of life will begin.”

***************************************************

1911

“Congratulations, Monsieur Leroux! “The Phantom of the Opera” is truly an original, and by far your most intriguing work!” said Pierre, an employee of the French newspaper, Le Matin.

“Thank you Pierre, but I’m afraid the papers have not been as kind as you. Le Matin seems to be the only paper that is giving positive reviews.” Said Leroux.

“Oh you just wait, Gaston. It’ll be a sensation…a classic. One everyone is sure to treasure and remember.” He said.

“I appreciate your attitude towards my newest work, and I do hope your predictions will prove correct. He said.

“But…?” asked Pierre.

“I still have my doubts. After all, the face of the opera ghost, the details I mean, are not mine to take credit for describing.” He said.

“What do you mean, Monsieur?” Pierre asked.

Leroux decided to confide.

Let me tell you a story. Here, sit down.” He said.

The eager employee took a seat in a velvet chair in Gaston Leroux’s office at Le Matin. Leroux took off his jacket and hung it on the coat rack. He then went to his desk. Opening the middle drawer, he pulled out a piece of yellowed paper. It was folded so Pierre couldn’t what was on it. Leroux began to speak.

“I suppose it all started about four years when I was inspecting the deeper levels of the Opera Populaire.” He said.

He went on about the dreadfully cold and dark corridors, the rats, and how he’d discovered a green lake that led to a large cavern. By now, Pierre was enchanted and lost in Leroux’s tale. However, Leroux wasn’t a man who wasted time, so he came to the point of the story rather quickly.

“On the way back to the top level that led to a stairwell, I stumbled upon this.” he said, holding up the piece of paper, he’d taken out of his desk.

Pierre leaned forward. Finally, Leroux gave him the sheet. Pierre’s eyes went wide and bloodshot. His teeth chattered, and he began to shake in his chair.

“The details are exactly as you described them. And you used this as an inspiration?” He asked.

“No, it was more of a guide. But whoever drew this, I give credit to for its magnificence.” Said Leroux.

“Yes, he was your guide.” Said Pierre.

“But he was her inspiration.” Leroux added.

“Whose?”

Leroux smiled and pointed to the drawing. Pierre looked only to find a small signature.

Emmeline Desslar

“And the face - ?” he asked.

“– Could have only belonged to one man. A face that everyone will remember, and one that they’ll never forget.” said Gaston Leroux.

The Phantom of the Opera

Edited by rivendell

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I think your story is wonderful. I was sorry to come to the end of it. I hope there is more to come. Keep going, its so good. I really enjoyed it and can't wait for the next chapter.

hugs, midnight :pointy: :santahat: :rudolph:

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A wonderful story. I loved it... Hope there will be more!

love, midnight

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