From the Journals of Erik:

Clearly Galileo was wrong. The Sun revolves around the Earth. Newton, too—water flows uphill. Ice is hot, and fire, cool and wet, for this night I dined with men of learning, power and influence, beautiful women smiled on me, and we spoke of matters both important and trivial. They asked my opinion, sought my attention. I know there was food and wine. I know I ate, drank, talked—and the world did not end.

More than that, Katherine kissed me—twice, and on the mouth.

Those kisses—the first I stole, since it happened inadvertently, but she…did not fight it, nor shrink from it. She returned my passion with ardor that matched it. Wonderful—miraculous!

A line from Richard III: 'I do mistake my person all this while. She finds…myself to be a marvelous proper man.'

Later, then, when she kissed me again…

I had imagined, only so lately as this morning, that persuading her to marry me could be accomplished only after long hard effort, that I would have to assure her that I would wait for her to be ready, for her to be used to me, before I would touch more than her hand.

For all the physical urgings that wrack me and torment me, I could wait, for it would be enough, or almost enough, for a while, to have her here, in my house, where I could see her, hear her, talk to her, take our meals together, until the day came when she told me she was ready to be married as other women are. Merely to be no longer alone—that was important in itself.

But now, to imagine that if Katherine were to consent to be my wife, it would not be because she has no other prospects, no other home, the only two living ghosts in the world huddling together in the basement of an opera house. Instead, she would consent because she wanted to marry me—to be my wife, in every regard.

If such a thing could be…It is too much.

Perhaps I am the one who has gone mad, and in reality I sit in the decaying remains of my home, writing about people who exist nowhere but within the confines of my skull.

Except that I cannot help but wonder what dark secret was hidden within the seemingly harmless exchange between Sir Erich and Professor Xavier—like the bright colors of the American coral snake, which belie the poison it carries in its fangs. Their thoughts were violent, dark and murky. It is reassuring—darkness I am familiar with. I know where I stand.

Again, my thoughts return to Katherine. Before she left, I begged a favor from her—the rose from her hair, although I gave it to her in the first place. It is here before me now—wilted from being out of water and in the heat. That makes no difference to me. I shall dry it and keep it, until it crumples into dust, and if dust is all it remains, I shall treasure it all the same. It is the rose she wore in her hair, when first I kissed her.

I doubt I shall sleep at all tonight. I am too happy.