Disclaimer: Must I repeat myself again? I don't own them except in my dreams! Those, however, I do own, stay out of them!

A/N: Pure sap. I'm writing this really quickly (three chapters within 6 hours) and I'm not sure I like how it's working out, but then I'm not an R/C fan anyway. ::loves E/C all the way:: ::blushes since that came out wrong::

(( Christine's thoughts ))

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Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh! by AngelCeleste85

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Ch.3 - His Lordship Sure Would Die of Shock!

Christine checked the time on the tall grandfather clock as Raoul ushered her inside his country villa. One servant - Jeannette, she thought - took her cloak and the elderly housekeeper, a kindly woman everyone called Lini, offered to ready a room for Christine.

"That would be fine," Raoul said: the warmth was as evident in his voice as the tenseness. "Jeanette, bring something cool to drink for both of us, the heat is murderous outside." Christine smiled again: the man loved her. "Any time you want to, Christine, you can come here. The room will always be ready for you."

Erik had done the same thing, Christine remembered unguardedly, and the room was still used. There was more to a marriage than merely exchanging rings before a few witnesses and a priest, and that, Erik had not been able to bring himself to do. Not when he saw the tears streaming down her face: he had only kissed them and held her through the night.. Christine had left her bridal bower as virgin as she had come to it, though it wasn't something she had been willing to talk about. Raoul probably thought... No, it didn't matter what he thought, the fact remained that Erik was not her husband and not her lover. (( I love Raoul. ))

Raoul must have seen the troubled expression that came across her face. "Christine, what's wrong?" he asked, leading her to the parlor.

"Only memory, Raoul," she replied.

"Him again. Damn the man! He ruins everything!"

The singer laid her hand on the angry young man's arm. "It's all right, Raoul. It's just that I do live with him, because I have to. He'd try to find you and kill you if I didn't. It's dangerous enough that I'm even here, but -"

"But that's a risk I'm willing to take," Raoul finished. "He wouldn't harm you, it's only I that he would want to kill and I know it. I know his tricks now. I can defend myself. I'm willing to risk it, dear Christine, because I love you."

"I know, Raoul... But I am so scared for you, I don't want him to hurt you."

Raoul's arms came around her one more time and this time she held him tightly.

"Come with me, Christine."

"What?"

It seemed there was a struggle within the young noble's mind, reflected on his face as he sought to find the words he was looking for. "Christine, I love you. You must know that by now. Come back to me, love, come with me. We can leave Paris, travel the world. You'll never have to be afraid of him again."

Christine's eyes were wide. (( He can't be asking what I think he's asking! ))

"I asked you once before, but it was only play, if you would marry me. I'm serious now." He took a deep breath before speaking again.

"Christine, will you marry me? Be my wife?"

A torrent of emotions poured through the young opera diva at those words, spoken with truth and longing behind them from the lips of her beloved. This was what she had always wanted, to marry Raoul de Chagny, and there were his sky-blue eyes looking down into hers with the strangest expression...

(( He thinks I might still reject him. ))

Christine Daae rose up on her toes and kissed Raoul very delicately on the lips, arms behind his neck.

"I would be honored, mon amour," she whispered, watching his eye flood with tears that magnified the brilliance of his smile. "I love you, and only you."

In a flash Raoul had swept her off her feet and whirled her around laughing. "Oh, Christine de Chagny, I never heard such beautiful words in my life as that!

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Feed me? Not really going for much depth right now, I promise I'll edit it and repost a better version, just trying to get the basic ideas out right now, though...

AC85