Wandering Child

Chapter One

Christine walked slowly towards the mausoleum. The wind pierced through her body, the coldness forcing all the hairs on her body to stand on edge. Yet her father's grave, a place barren of life, looked so inviting. So comforting and soothing. A warm supple light was released from the tomb, and slowly the gates began to open.

"……Have you forgetten your Angel?"

Had she? Christine didn't know to whom or what she was being drawn to. All she knew was the death of her father had taken its last toll on her. She wanted to be protected and guided by what was enticing her through beautiful sounds behind the gates. She began to ascend the steps, each one bringing her closer to euphoria. She and the voice she heard sang together in a glorious harmony. They sang of confusion, protection, and betrayal.

Christine entered the mausoleum. Suddenly the warm light was erased. The gates were abruptly clamped shut, and Christine was left standing breathless in the dark.

Erik gazed upon Christine. He hated doing this. He hated pretending that once again he was the Angel sent from Gustaave Daae to his daughter. He knew it was a lie. He knew it was a mere coincidence that he loved Christine so and was poisoned by a voice of the god's. He had tried to make Christine understand he was a man desperately in love. He had seduced her down into the dark hell in which he thrived. And he thought she seemed to understand his feelings and connections towards her. He presented her with the figure that haunted him everyday, the figure of her as his bride.

"This", he had thought, "This will show her how I truly feel. I am not only someone to teach her and guide her. I am someone who loves her as a husband loves a wife, not as a teacher loves a pupil!"

Alas, Christine was still a child and could not comprehend the information with which she was being presented. The next morning, she had deliberately disobeyed him, by tearing away the one solace in his life, his mask. This action convinced Erik further of Christine's childish ways, and he scolded her as a father would a daughter. After that morning, communication ceased to exist between the two, except for a brief encounter at the Masked Ball, when he discovered she had been secretly engaged to that boy; that poor excuse of a man. He thought he had lost her forever.

But this was his second chance. He knew that as of now, Christine could only love him as her Angel, her father's spirit. Although he hated only being thought of as a spirit or ghost, by Christine, he realized it was the only card he had to play. All he needed was time. And the only way he would get it with her, was if he were to take her now, during her most vulnerable state. And so tossing his pride aside, he revealed himself to his beloved.

"Christine", he spoke in a command, although in a whisper.

Christine quickly turned around at the sound of the voice from heaven, and felt her eyes begin to fill with tears. Who was this man?

Erik heard her begin to whimper.

"Christine," he said again, this time more gently.

"Who are you?", Christine asked, speaking to the beautiful darkness.

"You know who I am, my child."

"No, I don't!", shrieked Christine. It took Erik by surprise. He was about to speak again, when Christine's heart began to pour out, to anyone or anything that would listen.

"I don't know anything anymore! I don't know why I can't forget about my father, and move on with my life! I don't know why I can't open myself up to Raoul! I don't know why I can't make myself fall in love with his voice, as I do yours. Oh, God! How much simpler my life would be if I could!"

Erik stepped up to Christine, expecting to comfort her. Instead, she began tearing at him with her weak fists. He stood as he was, receiving each blow, thankful Christine was touching him, even if it were under frustration.

"And you……you….you….you faceless Angel", yelp Christine, as she ran he fists into his strong stomach and chest, "who haunts me as a living man! You confuse me most of all….I don't know what to make of you anymore…. I don't know….I don't…I…I…."

Christine's voice began to trail off and she melted into Erik's chest. She didn't know who she was melting into, all she knew is that this was the first time she felt comfort in a long while. She pressed her tear streaked face into the silken vest he wore.

Erik, wrapped his masculine yet soothing arms around her fragile and frustrated body, relieved that she had grown tired of attempting to figure out who he was in relation to her. He could not even answer this question for himself. She began to sink to the ground in agony, and he guided her, and held her as she sobbed into his chest. He loved the experience of holding her, comforting her. With one hand he gently held her face, cupping her left check, and with the other he lovingly ran his fingers through her chestnut spiraled hair.

"Ssshhh…", he calmed, "I know, I know." He held reassuringly, as if she were a lost child, whose parent has finally found them. "I know you are very confused right now. Everything is going to be alright."

As he spoke to her, staring into her dazed and impressionable eyes, he longed to kiss her tears away. To let her know that he was who she was meant to be with, and she was causing herself unnecessary grief. He forced himself to look away from her, and pressed her face into his body. Right now, he knew he must be the comforting mentor she needed.

"Your Angel's here. I'm never going to leave you, Christine."

Christine, still crying in hysteria, forced herself to believe the words this figure was saying to her. For the sake of her own sanity, she forced herself to just believe. And with that thought relishing in her mind, she lost all sense of consciousness, and collapsed adoringly into her Angel's arms.