|A Phantom's Touch
Author: cristy201 PM
When Christine finds herself unable to stop thinking of the man she left behind she decides to go looking for him in hopes of mending what she broke, but the road she must journey is not straight or flat and she will have to face many trials. C/E--C's POVRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 5 - Words: 9,998 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 02-12-10 - Published: 01-05-10 - id: 5644641
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello! As some of you may have noticed, this chapter is a few weeks late, I sincerely apologize for that, I was having some serious PC issues but they have been worked out, have no fear!
As always, the disclaimer blas. and now the chapter!
Chapter 5: Sick Hearts
Before I knew what I was doing my feet were moving, rushing forward to where Erik lay unmoving. I fell to my knees beside him, momentarily struck with indecision.
Should I touch him?
I had left him for another man, he would hate me even more for coming back, so why would I want to touch him when it would only bring pain to both of us?
But I knew I had to help him, weather or not he would despise me for it.
I carefully placed my hands on his shoulder and pulled him over slightly on top of my knees, finally able to get a good view of him.
"Oh God, Erik!" I put one hand over my mouth to stifle the gasp of horror that tried to escape.
He seemed to have passed out and his face was deathly pale and beaded with sweat. His hair looked as if nothing had been done with it in days. He was also much lighter then I remembered him being, and his clothes were in very bad condition, as if he hadn't bothered to clean them in weeks and on top of that was cutting at them.
But it wasn't just his physical appearance that shocked me, it was also this entire situation. He was the strong, proud type of man who would never leave himself in such a degraded, vulnerable state. What had driven him to such destructive ends?
I held his face in my hands and tilted it up to me, trying to better take in his features. Gingerly sweeping aside his long hair I touched my hand to his forehead.
"He has a fever" were the only thoughts that came to mind, and they kept repeating louder and louder until it was roaring in my ears. I had to do something quickly, but what? It was all so hellishly unreal. What kind of horrible situation had God thrown at me now?
With a sudden surge of determination and adrenaline I jumped up and ran through the first floor of the house, locating the bedrooms. Erik's bedroom was no doubt on the second floor but I didn't have the strength to haul him up the stairs, so instead I put his arm around my shoulders and dragged him as carefully as I could to a bedroom down the hall.
At least he's lighter I thought bitter-sweetly, emitting something of a laugh as I strained to carry his still very heavy body into the room. How I could laugh in this kind of situation I didn't know, maybe it was the overpowering fear that had driven my mind off the edge.
After getting him into the bed and taking off his sweat soaked vest and shirt I ran to the kitchen to grab a wet towel. When I cam back to him he was violently shaking, his whole body shivering.
"Hold on, just hold on. You'll be okay soon, you will be alright." I whispered shakily, sounding more like I was trying to reassure myself.
My mind was racing from one thing to another; I knew I had to get something more for his fever then a wet towel. I couldn't help him without medicine, but where would I find anything? I was completely new to this town. Wait, yes I did know, I had passed a drug store by the wine shop.
I turned to leave but paused before I could reach the door. Should I leave him alone in his condition? Would I be able to get the medicine and get back in time to save him? Was he too far gone to even be saved?
I didn't know, I didn't know anything, but I left the house anyway, sprinting down the road into town, hoping this was the right decision.
All the crisscrossing roads on the town became a labyrinth, a maze, and I was the mouse, trying to find my way to the prize at the finish.
When I finally found the drug store and burst in I was so out of breath that I could hardly tell the tall man in the store what I needed, and once I got it out he simply gave me a criticizing look and told me to wait where I was.
I did so, considering asking him to come back to the house to help me, but decided against it in the end. Who knew what Erik might do to a stranger in his fever induced state. He was unconscious now but there was no telling how long that would last. I couldn't risk it.
Of course, there was also the very large chance that he would attack me as well and I was putting myself in a very dangerous situation, but I would take my chances, though it would be all to fitting for me to meet my untimely demise at his hands.
It felt like it took forever for the man to reappear from the back of his shop carrying a bottle of liquid in one hand. I couldn't have been anymore excited even if it had been pure gold, and I quickly paid for the bottle.
"Make whoever is sick drink this twice a day, mornin' and night, and it'll break the fever." the man called to me as I rushed out the door.
It was getting on to mid day and the heat was beginning to make everything very muggy. The sun continually beat down on me with no cloud in the sky to stop it, and the humidity made my heavy breathing a labor.
After miraculously finding my way back to the road that led to the house I sprinted the rest of the way. I burst through the front door as quietly as possible, then rushed down the hallway to Erik's room.
I began to open the door when something heavy bumped into it. I pushed it open to find Erik staggering around the room, clearly disoriented.
He put his hand on the wall to steady himself but his body still swayed, bringing him dangerously close to falling. I quickly ran to his side, wrapping one arm around his waist and with my other taking his hand and pulling it across my shoulder for more balance, slowly pushing him back to the bed while supporting most his weight. At least it was easier when he had his feet under him, and he was surprisingly easy to move. Besides a bit of stumbling and worthless stubbornness, I quickly got him to lie back down, and he apparently was so delirious he didn't even register that someone else was there.
I fell into a chair near the vanity and let out a sigh of relief and exhaustion.
All I could think was he's still alive before I remembered the medicine and hauled myself out of the room and into the kitchen.
My quest was to find a spoon, but that proved harder then it might sound as the kitchen looked as though no one ever used it. It had very little supplies, but after some hard looking I found a box of silverware.
After thoroughly cleaning off the spoon I had selected I made my way back to the room to find that Erik had thankfully not gotten up again but was now thrashing around in the bed, mumbling things that had no understandable meaning.
I hesitantly stepped closer, not sure how to get him to drink the medicine, not sure how he would react, not sure how long I could wait. I wasn't sure of anything anymore.
I couldn't do this, this wasn't what I had been preparing myself for, this wasn't how I was supposed to come back to him.
He was supposed to be angry, even violent, but not sick and dying!
I tried to swallow the lump in my throat that formed as my eyes began to water and my chest constricted. I took a step back, then another until I had finally turned and left the room. I couldn't take it, I couldn't care for him like this, not when I wasn't strong enough to watch him in so much pain. What was I even doing here?
I crumbled to the ground in the hallway and berried my head in the folds of my skirt, covering my ears with my hands in an attempt to shut out the noise.
For a moment I simply sat there, allowing my mind to go blank, soaking in the few moments of peace it offered. I didn't want to stand up and go back into the room, that would mean I would have to face reality.
But I could feel reality slowly creeping in once more. Whether I liked it or not, sometime I would have to stand up and do something. I couldn't keep running away, letting myself slip into denial like I had before.
If I had stood up for myself and not let Raoul or Erik carry me off as they liked I could have spared us all a little horror and heart break. Or if I had used any scrap of common sense I wouldn't have been so disillusioned by the thought of my father sending me an "angel of music", then I wouldn't have been so terribly shaken when I realized he as merely a man, flawed, yes, but still just a man.
So I stood up, took a deep breath, and swore to myself that I wouldn't run away again, I would stay and do what I came here to do; help Erik in whatever way possible.
Even though, as I walked back into the room, it felt like all the wind was being knocked out of my lungs I still pushed through, my goal firmly set in my mind once more.
It was no simple task making Erik hold still. Often I found myself in very odd or embarrassing positions on top of him as he either rolled to one side or pulled me over, both forcing me to sit on him to hold down his movements, but eventually I found that singing to him softly was the best way to calm him.
When he was finally still enough I proceeded to fill the spoon with the cool, liquid medicine and slowly tipped it into his mouth, all the while humming a little tune I barely remembered as best as possible.
After a little while he stopped moving entirely and I froze in fear, until I heard the soft, steady breathing of him sleeping, quickly melting me into a puddle of relief.
I slipped off the bed and slowly fell to my knees beside it, resting my head on it in utter exhaustion. If I thought I had been tired after running through town and back, it was nothing compared to how I felt now after wrestling the bear of a man, Erik.
I laughed again, he sure was as strong as a bear, with all the charming qualities of a peacock, the voice of an angel, and a brain so far beyond a regular humans yet still so childlike.
Once I realized the path my mind was on I quickly stood up and shook my head to try and dislodge the thoughts but they still persisted to invade. I had to do something to take my mind off of him, so I desperately scanned the room.
On the vanity I spotted an old comb and I moved to grab it and the chair and bring them both back to the bed side. I carefully leaned over Erik and began to brush out his matted, greasy hair, starting on one side then slightly tilting his head and finishing on the other side. Well, so much for taking my mind off of him, because now I was very much fixated on his face.
At least he looks better then before, I thought as I swept the untangled strands of hair from his face before wiping it again with the towel I had grabbed earlier while running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. I started to have a little hope that things were going to get better faster, but I also dreaded when the time came when I would have to explain why I was here, why I thought I had the right to care for him, and everything else I knew he would ask, if he didn't just throw me out immediately.
My heart hurt in my chest as I thought of that. I didn't know if I could take his rejection. Everything was finally so clear to me, I could truly say now that I wanted Erik more then life itself, I would do everything in my power to make him happy. But what if he had moved on? What if he didn't want me? I had come so far just building myself up for this encounter, but in a few short hours it was reduced to nothing.
What would happen when he finally awoke?
So I hope you will forgive the lateness of this chapter, and sorry to keep you waiting.
Okay, so you probably don't really care, but what is important is that you tell me how you liked this chapter by reviewing it!
For the next chapter I think I'll play around with creative genius gone wild (aka, what Erik did while Christine was with Raoul), and maybe the return of Germain, so that's your sneak peak!