The Phantom Of The Moulin Rouge

Chapter 1: Precious Memories

She kissed him slowly at first but the passion spread like darkness itself. She wrapped her arms around his unsure and hesitant body. She didn't want to leave him, in fact more than anything she wanted to stay in this moment forever, not caring that Raoul was still fighting for his life. After what he had done to her, she really didn't care if Erik killed him right now.

"But Erik has changed," she thought to herself, "he wouldn't kill anymore because of me."

A realization hit her, so hard and fast that it almost caused her to faint.

"Because of me…" she repeated in her mind.

Erik had done everything for her; even change his very soul, and Raoul? What had he done that showed he'd die for her, what sacrifices had he made? None. All he did was threaten her if she didn't end her romance with Erik. It was only last week Erik had lovingly tended to a black eye that Raoul had given her because of a costume he said was "Too revealing".

Erik was learning while Christine had been thinking, and a feeling of burning passion washed over her, as Erik slowly understood how to please her. Christine rewarded him by slipping her tongue into his angelic mouth and showed him the inner workings of heaven on earth. He wrapped his arms around her waist and ran his hands over her hips. They both savored the sweet intoxication of the music of the night.

Erik pulled away, breathing heavily. He realized what he had to do. Turning, so Christine couldn't see the pain in his eyes, he spoke:

" Go, forget all you've seen, I…I release you." He started off for the bedroom but didn't hear any movement. He turned and saw Christine standing there with a hurt expression in her eyes. Oh, those eyes. "Go!" He said irritated that she was still here torturing him, " Go and take the boat, don't let them find you!" Unable to take the hurt in his angel's eyes anymore, he retreated into the bedroom.

Christine stared for a moment after him, then followed.

Raoul was obviously jealous, and started shouting at the top of his lungs," Christine, didn't you here what he said we're free! Christine? Christine!" But Christine wasn't listening, even when he started threatening her, which she knew he would later follow through on.

As she neared the room se heard the familiar masquerade tune wafting out to her. When she entered, Erik was sitting on the bed humming along with a little cymbal-bearing monkey. He didn't notice her come in and was still humming softly.

"Masquerade, paper faces on parade, Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you." She sang softly to get his attention. Erik looked up and smiled weakly.

"Why are you letting me go?" she asked sitting down beside him and taking his hands in hers.

"Would you rather live a life always worrying that Raoul will always be there, if he leaves alone, imagine what he would say."

Christine lowered her head.

Erik stood and walked to the other side of the room. "Besides, who could ever learn to love a beast?"

Christine went over to him and stroked the deformed side of his face adoringly, then kissed it. "I could." She replied moving her lips to his. He put his hands on her hips, wanting more but controlling the urge. Christine wanted so badly to give into the natural pleasure that aroused in her whenever He so much as breathed in her direction. She was beginning to lose herself in the paradise that only existed with Erik, when Raoul started threatening again. Erik pulled away, and put his head to her breast and breathed in her scent of lavender. She held him close, then took his face in her hands and brought it to hers.

"Promise me," she said through tears, "promise me you won't give up, that you won't let them find you. We'll meet again I know it."

Erik nodded. She kissed him one last time and just before she turned to leave, he brushed his lips against her ear and whispered, "Never forget me."

Christine awoke not surprised by the dream, for it was one of her most precious memories. She felt around for Raoul and only found an empty space in the bed.

"Of course it's empty," She thought to herself, "he's in America, remember?"

It had been a year since that night, the last night she'd had with her fallen angel. She had married Raoul because of his threats, but had refused to quit the opera, which earned her a few bruises on her back. But she still went secretly whenever Raoul was away.

Raoul had also forbidden her to think of "That Horribly Grotesque Monster" as he had put it. Once she had been admiring a mask in a shop window, much like Erik's, and that got her a sprained ankle and a bloody nose.

Christine sighed and got out of bed. She went to her window to let in some fresh air and saw that dawn was breaking on the horizon. She leaned on the windowsill and watched as Paris started to awake from it's short slumber. For all the nightclubs practically ran till four in the morning. Especially the Moulin Rouge. Now that Raoul was gone, Christine decided to saturate her thoughts with Erik. She smiled to herself, Sinfully thinking of his bare chest and the soft warm flesh that created the shape to the lavish muscles of his body. Christine giggled, then admired the city one last time and went to make a cup of tea.

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"Mademoiselle Christine!"

Christine swivelled around; she was wearing her own clothes, not the clothes of an aristocrat like she always was wearing because of Raoul. Which is why she wasn't expecting anyone to recognize her, especially not at the market. She smiled when she saw the familiar face advancing towards her.

"Nadir, it's so nice to see you again!" She kissed him on both cheeks.

He smiled. "And you as well, mademoiselle." He kissed her hand and Christine giggled.

Christine leaned in and whispered a question she would have traded her life to the answer for it. "How is Erik?" She asked with impatient eyes.

Nadirs smile faded. "He was very ill after you left, mademoiselle, almost died. He must have gotten better since one day he just simply disappeared."

Christine sighed, so he was no longer at the Opera House. If he had been, she would have gone to seen him without even saying good-bye to Nadir. Nadir saw the pain in her eyes.

"Christine, do you…love him?" He asked slowly.

Christine nodded, looking down. "Don't tell Raoul."

Nadir took her by the arm and urged her into a nearby café. They sat down and the Parisian ordered tea for both of them. "If you love him then why did you leave him?" Nadir lowered his voice an intense whisper "He almost died of heartbreak!"

Christine would not meet Nadirs eyes. Nadir took a sip of his tea and noticed a bruised gash on Christine's arm. He put down his cup and took her arm in his hand. "What is this?"

Christine pulled her arm away, and covered her injury. "I fell down the stairs." Muttered Christine, still avoiding Nadirs eyes.

Nadir nodded, understanding. "Do not worry child, your secret is safe with me." He put a hand on her arm to reassure her.

" I think of him all the time you know," Christine said quietly, "all day, and then every night I dream of him." She stirred sugar into her tea, but didn't drink any.

"Do you love him?"

Christine finally met his gaze. "Raoul or Erik?"

"Raoul."

Christine lowered her head again, and answered with a strong voice. "No."