Thank you all for reading. I love each and every one of you. The song at the end is "Love Song for a Vampire" from Bram Stoker's Dracula performed by Annie Lennox. It fit the story very well. Be sure to read my other story if you want… I promise you won't be disappointed. Cheers!

Claire was returned above after a few more hours of play between the two. With these memories in her mind she made it through the rest of the week without seeing him. The opening night of Ill Muto was upon her. This was truly an exciting time. That night she packed her things before retiring to the dressing room she would get changed in. She was not center stage that night but she felt as though she was. She knew Erik would be watching her from a silent perch somewhere. Madame Giry cast watchful and intense glances her way as she stretched backstage.

"Your posture has gotten terrible," she scolded Claire as she made her way down the line. Claire silently hated her.

The performance was magnificent and the audience roared their approval. Claire felt that her last night at the Opera House was well spent. As the curtains closed and the cast was lined up for curtain call, Claire rushed away. She wanted to get a head start without anyone being the wiser. She rushed towards the dormitories. She moved as if the devil were hot on her tail.

Halfway there she was grabbed and pulled into a dark corner. She didn't even need to question who it was. His lips on her said it all. She held him tightly.

"Dear god I've missed you," he said as he covered her face with kisses. She returned his love without question. How she had missed him.

"In less than an hour we will leave this place behind us!" Claire cried. Erik smiled broadly and lifted her off the ground. Her lips came to rest on the side of his neck. His flesh was cold. He placed her back on the ground but did not loosen his grip on her.

"Go now," he commanded, "Get your things. We can leave in secret." Claire nodded and after giving him one last kiss she continued her sprint towards her room. When she got there she paused before going into the room. This would be the last time she ever stepped foot in there.

As she reached for the door knob, a spasm sent her lungs into a fit. She began to cough violently. Her hand fell away from the handle and she leaned against the wall. A trickle of blood came from the corner of her mouth. She waited until the gagging stopped and wiped the blood away with the sleeve of her costume. She didn't want to alarm Erik.

Upon opening the door she was met with a sharp pain. At first she thought she might have run into something but that thought was quickly pushed from her mind. Madame Giry stood in front of her, an evil and knowing smile on her wrinkled face. Claire looked down at her belly and her eyes went wide. The handle of a knife protruded from her stomach. She looked back up to Madame Giry and collapsed onto the floor. Her vision was swimming. She could feel the blood as it cascaded from her wound.

"Good evening darling," she said coldly. Claire's breathing was heavy and irregular. She looked towards the door with hopeful eyes. Madame Giry made a sound in the back of her throat and closed the door.

"No one will be bothering us," she reassured. Giry took a seat in a chair she had pulled up beside Claire.

"Why?" Claire managed to get out. Madame Giry smiled wickedly. She took her cane and poked near the wound making Claire cry out in agony.

"You took him away," the dance instructor cried, "He loves you and not me!" Claire couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"You're so young and beautiful. Everything I can't be for him. How could he resist someone like you?" Claire felt the tears stream down her face. She was dying at the hand of someone she had considered a mother. Madame Giry laughed and stood.

"Oh, I know someone who would love to see this," she yelled, "Come and see her die Erik!" Claire waited, knowing he would hear and come. There was a moment of silence and then a panel in the wall opened.

"What have you done!" he screamed. Giry smiled and pointed at Claire's body.

"I've only done what her illness started. She would have been dead anyway." With a cry of rage, Erik threw Madame Giry to the floor and kneeled beside Claire. He collected her tiny body in his arms. He reached for the knife but she stopped him.

"It will only make it worse my love," she whispered, the life flowing from her body in red rivers. Erik could not hold her close for fear of hurting her further.

"I can't let you die," he sobbed. Claire smiled weakly and lifted her hand. It found the edge of his mask. She removed it.

"She was right Erik, I was dying." Erik shook his head and began to sob. He didn't want to accept it.

"Please," she pleaded, "Just be with me now." He nodded. Madame Giry stirred on the floor from where she fell.

"We would have been happy," he said. Claire didn't respond but simply smiled. Erik's sobs became louder. Claire did not want to hear him in such pain. Her eyes began to feel heavy and the chills took over her body.

"Now I'm as cold as you," she joked. Erik tried to humor her but did nothing but continue to cry. He leaned down and kissed her lips, already paled by the throes of death. She returned the kiss but without as much force. Her time was almost up.

"I love you," Erik said and then began to softly sing, "Say you'll share with me one love one lifetime, save me lead me from my solitude. Say you'll need me with you here beside you. Anywhere you go let me go to…" At that last line he could not continue on. He knew he could not follow her into death. He ran a hand through her hair and then knew she had left him. Her eyes stared blankly at the world, unseeing.

"Claire…that's all I ask of you," he finished and closed her eyes. He kissed her forehead and brought her cold body to his. For once he was the warm one. He knew he still had Madame Giry to deal with but that would come in time. All he could do now was hold Claire tightly; she had finally come to rest in Death's Embrace.

Come into these arms again
And lay your body down
There's a lovers trembling heart
Is beating like a drum
It beats for you
It bleeds for you
It knows not how it sounds
For it is the drum of drums
It is the song of songs

Once I had the rarest rose
That ever deigned to bloom
Cruel winter chilled the bulb
And stole my flower too soon
Oh loneliness
Oh hopelessness
To search the ends of time
For there is in all the world
No greater love than mine

Love O love O love
O love O love O love
O love Still falls the rain (still falls the rain)
Love O love O love
O love O love O love
O love Still falls the night
Love O love O love
O love O love O love
O love Be mine forever (be mine forever)
Love O love O love
O love O love O love
O love O love O love
O love O love O love

Let me be the only one
To keep you from the cold
Now the floor of heaven is laid
With stars of brightest gold
They shine for you
They shine for you
They burn for all to see
Come into these arms again
And set this spirit free