Disclaimer: I own Christine Danes, Erik Destler (this version anyway!) Max, Tom, Cara and basically any other characters you don't recognise. I also reserve all rights to Trister because he's so cool! I don't own The Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately. And yes, I am deeply bitter about it.
This is a sequel to From Angel's Eyes.You MUST read that first or I doubt much of this will make sense!
From Heaven's Mind
Christine settled back in her chair, stretching leisurely. This was good. A bit of relaxation was just what she needed. She was looking forward to having a couple of weeks off from work, just her and Erik.
"No! You fool, what are you thinking?" Erik barked down the telephone. Christine glanced over at him in amusement. He was fuming, grimacing down the telephone and shouting orders to whoever was at the other end. He slammed the phone onto the hook and groaned in despair.
"Perfect. Just perfect."
"Erik, will you relax? We only just got back; you can afford to stay away from work for a while." She pointed out.
Erik glanced at her, the scowling white mask peering at her. And then he smiled slightly.
"Very well. I suppose they'll manage for a while. Even if they do act like incompetent fools half of the time."
"Nadir is vaguely competent."
"Ooh, I'm telling him you said that!" She teased. Erik lifted an eyebrow and sat beside her on the sofa. They were sat in the large house that Erik owned, having just returned from Rome on their honeymoon. It had been over two years since they'd first met, at a university performance of The Phantom of the Opera and had spent the time busily. Christine had starred in Erik's opera in New York, they had planned and had their wedding and had just returned to find that Erik's plans for his next opera were not going well.
Christine leant her head on Erik's shoulder and closed her eyes.
"This is nice." She said absently. "I wonder when Nadir's getting back." Nadir had been visiting London whilst Christine and Erik were on their honeymoon. He'd also taken Christine's dog, Trister with him and she was eager to see them both.
"He said today, but knowing him it could be at any time." Erik said.
"Hmm." She sighed. Erik looked down at her.
"Is everything alright?"
"Yup. Everything's good. Best honeymoon ever."
"Absolutely. I mean, it's not like I have anything to compare it to. But if I did, it'd still be the best." She smiled. Erik arched an eyebrow.
"That's a relief."
"Anybody home?" A voice called. Christine sat up in delight.
She dashed into the entrance hall and Erik followed to find her hugging the dark-skinned man, an excitable looking dog bouncing around them, barking.
"Well, don't you both look wonderful? You look very tanned, Christine." Nadir said and then glanced at the pale Erik. He accidentally snorted and Erik sighed. Christine laughed.
"How was London?"
"It was fine. Nothing particularly exciting, but I got a few good ideas ready for the next show."
"No! There will be no talk of work. We've been back two hours and Erik's already been on the phone to the Opera House." Christine said firmly. Nadir laughed.
"Glad you could relax after your honeymoon, Erik."
"I do my best." Erik said dryly as they returned to the living room. Christine fell to her knees and hugged the dog.
"Oh, Trister! I missed you so much! Oh, come here, give me a kiss." She planted a kiss on his head and he licked her cheek. She laughed. "You're the best dog in the world! Yes, you are. You're my favourite guy ever."
Erik cleared his throat and Christine smiled sweetly.
"We've been through this. Love me, love my dog." She said, hugging Trister before taking a seat in an armchair. Nadir laughed.
"Tell me Erik, is it depressing to know that your wife loves a dog more than you?"
"Nadir, would you like a pay cut or would a simple firing do?"
"Point taken. So, what are your plans next?" Nadir asked, pouring himself a drink. Erik settled back in a chair.
"To get that opera running."
"That means going back to New York." Nadir said.
"I've still got the penthouse. But we'd prefer to stay here for at least a while." Erik said, glancing at Christine.
"What about you, Christine?" Nadir asked.
"I want to sing in more operas. That's pretty much it."
"You're not going to be a housewife then?" Nadir winked. Christine snorted.
"Are you kidding? Erik can do his own dirty washing. I love him, but not enough to sort out his gross underwear."
"Could we please not discuss my underwear?" Erik said, a little put-out. Christine giggled.
"OK. Oh, I should really let Meg, Max and Tom know we're back."
"Maybe later." Erik said. Christine smiled and he shrugged, "Is it so bad I'd like to keep you to myself for a little while?"
"It's rather selfish." Christine replied.
"Then call me selfish." Erik said, eying her.
"I think I'll leave." Nadir said, getting quickly to his feet. "Come on Trister. We know where we're not wanted."
They left and Christine reached over to punch Erik gently on the shoulder.
"You embarrassed him!"
"He'll survive." Erik said, pulling her towards him.
Christine stood outside the door to forty-two Jameson Street the next day and rang the doorbell. After a moment she heard two voices shouting.
"Get the door!"
"I'm busy, you get the door!"
"Tom, I am trying to work! Get the damn door!"
"Will ONE of you get the bloody door?" A third voice shouted.
"And these are the people I let live in my house." Christine muttered to herself. She bent down and peered through the letterbox.
"Guys, let me in!"
"CHRISTINE?" Three voices cried at once and she jumped back as three people ran for the door at once, pulling it open. Before Christine could say anything, a blonde girl had launched herself at her, knocking her to the ground.
"Christine! When did you get back?"
"Hey Meg." Christine said, struggling to breathe. One of the two guys helped her up and hugged her.
"Hey Christine. How was the honeymoon?"
"It was fantastic, Tom."
She turned to the last person, a guy standing in the door with a cheerful grin on his face.
"Don't I get a hug, Max?"
"Depends. Did you bring presents?" He asked.
"Unless Meg just broke them, I certainly did." Christine said, holding up a bag. Max pulled her into a hug.
"So, Mrs Destler, would you like to come in?" Tom said.
"Considering I own the place, yes I would."
They moved into the living room and Meg grinned cheekily at Christine.
"So… honeymoon details?"
"Hot weather, great sights, nice people."
"You know what I mean." Meg pouted.
"I do, and definitely not. I'm not sharing. I don't even like it when you tell me your details." Christine said. Tom looked startled.
"You… she tells you stuff?"
"Oh yeah." Meg said. Tom swallowed hard and looked at Christine.
"Did she tell you stuff about us?"
"Of course." Christine said and then couldn't resist smirking at him. He stared at his girlfriend in horror.
She simply smiled at him and then turned back to Christine.
"Shouting down the phone to the opera house. He's not supposed to be, but I know he is. We planned to relax before diving back into work, but you know what he's like." Christine said.
"A workaholic if I ever saw one." Max agreed.
"Anyway, tell me what you guys have been up to! Good summer? I can't believe its September already." Christine said. Tom nodded.
"I got a job at the local newspaper. Theatre critic. They keep telling me not to be so nice."
"I got a tutoring job." Meg said. She's been studying French for several years and was hoping to become a full teacher. But a tutoring job would certainly help.
"What about you, Max?" She asked. He stretched.
"I'm a man of leisure."
"He's unemployed." Tom added.
"I'm getting there." Max protested. Christine laughed and Meg said,
"We wanted to talk to you about the house. Are you sure it's OK for us to still live here?"
"Sure. It's not like I need it and I'd rather have people I know living here than a group of strangers who might wreck the place. And if you ever decide to move out I can just lease it to students."
The telephone rang and Meg picked it up.
"Hello? Oh hey. Yeah, he's right here." She glanced at Max, covering the speaker. "Cara. Good luck." Max groaned and took the receiver.
"Hi Cara." He got up, talking quietly. Christine glanced at Tom and Meg.
"His on-off girlfriend. Whenever they're on they fight like crazy and become off. But once they're off they can't wait to get back together again." Meg explained.
"And you didn't call me to tell me that he was going out with someone? Meg, I told you to keep me up with the gossip!"
"You were on your honeymoon!"
Tom snorted at their argument.
"Anyway, they went out two days ago, Max came back in a foul mood and hasn't spoken about it since."
"What's she like?" Christine asked curiously.
"She's OK, I guess." Tom said, shrugging. Meg rolled her eyes.
"I don't mind if you describe her. I won't hurt you." Tom didn't look convinced. Meg sighed. "Fine. She's quite short, black hair, pale skin, brown eyes and she's very pretty. See Tom? That wasn't hard."
Tom just muttered something under his breath. Meg chose to ignore it. Christine smiled.
"Is she nice?"
"Sure. I mean, I haven't really talked to her that much, but she seems nice enough." Meg commented. Max returned and put the phone down.
"Everything OK?" Tom asked.
"Yeah, I guess… she's coming over in a few minutes so we can talk." He said. Meg sighed.
"Poor Max. I think your head might explode if you have another 'talk' with her."
"It's so stupid. I really like her but we always end up arguing." Max said, falling into a chair. "It's not supposed to be this complicated."
"Relationships are complicated, Max." Christine pointed out. Max snorted.
"Yeah. Sure. Because you and Erik are always arguing."
"Well, we don't really argue a lot but it's still difficult. I mean, he's never fully gotten over the fact that I love Trister more than him."
"That's… weird." Tom said idly.
A short time later the doorbell rang. Max let Cara in and took her to the living room. Christine smiled and stood.
"Hi. You must be Cara."
"Yeah. And you are…?" Cara asked, clearly confused.
"Oh, the Christine who owns the house?" Cara said. Christine nodded.
"That's me. I just got back from Italy yesterday so I thought I'd come and see everyone. And make sure my house was still in one piece."
"Italy? That's amazing! Were you on holiday?" Cara asked, taking a seat. Christine sat back down too and laughed.
"Not quite. I was on my honeymoon."
"Yeah. We live at his place so I let these guys live here. Speaking of which, I think I'm going to clear out the music room and move it over to Erik's. But it can wait." Christine said.
For the next hour the five of them sat chatting. Eventually Christine glanced at her watch.
"I'd better get home."
"Aw, missing Erik already?" Meg teased. Christine stuck her tongue out.
"I've only been away for about an hour and a half! I'm sure we'll manage without each other for a while!"
At that moment her mobile phone began to ring. She answered it quickly.
"Hello? Oh, Erik, you don't need to… you are? Oh, OK! See you in two minutes." She ended the call and looked rather sheepish.
"He's on his way to meet me here."
"Ooh, is he bringing the limo?" Max asked. Cara blinked.
"He has a limo?"
"I doubt it, Max. We only use the limo for special occasions."
"You have a limo?"
"Erik's like a billionaire. He and Christine live in this awesome mansion." Tom said. Cara's mouth fell open and she stared at Christine who went rather pink.
"Well, we haven't even been living there for long."
"No, they were in New York for ages." Meg put in.
"You lived in New York?" Cara said incredulously.
"We were working there! It wasn't a holiday!" Christine objected.
There was a knock at the door and Christine stood up.
"That's my ride." They all went to the door and Cara stared at the luxurious car outside as well as the masked man on the doorstep. He and Christine kissed briefly before he glanced at the four.
"Mr Hodges, Mr Sutherland, Miss Grayson. How are you all?"
"Don't be so formal, Erik." Meg said. "Have fun on your honeymoon?"
"It was most enjoyable, thank you Meg."
His eyes fell on Cara.
"I don't believe we've met."
"Cara Linson." She said weakly. He shook her hand.
"A pleasure. Christine, I need to talk to you. Rather urgently."
"Not here." He said quietly. Christine narrowed her eyes and looked at her friends.
"I'll see you later. I think I may have to kill my husband."
"Have fun with that." Max grinned as Erik took her hand, guiding her to the car.
"What is it, Erik?" Christine asked as soon as they got back to their house. Erik opened the door to the living room and she went in, starting to feel worried. She sat in an armchair, watching as he closed the door and went to stand by the window.
"It's the opera." Christine's heart sank.
"They want you back."
"By next week at the latest." He said, sitting on the sofa opposite Christine. "Apparently everything is going disastrously wrong and they need me there to sort it out."
Christine bit her lip. This was so unfair!
"But we've only just got back. I haven't even had a chance to see Trisha and Jack yet."
"I know." Erik said, sounding angry and resigned. "I know, Christine."
She looked at him and then sighed.
"Well… at least our stuff is still packed." Erik glanced at her.
"It's not your fault, Erik. Although I do sometimes wonder what those people are being paid to do," she said, "Other than ring up every ten minutes and start crying."
Erik couldn't help smiling. Christine crossed to him and sat beside him, leaning her head on his shoulder.
"You know, if you wanted, we could have Tom, Max and Meg to stay. I'll have them flown out." He said. She smiled up at him.
"Is that a peace offering?"
"That depends. Is it working?"
"Good." Erik said, satisfactorily. He reached into his pocket and pulled out two pieces of paper, handing them to her.
"Just to set the peace in concrete."
Christine examined the tickets and smiled.
"For tonight. The final showing, it ends tonight."
"You're the best husband ever!"
"Who are you comparing me to?" He asked. She laughed.
"Just accept the compliment!" He kissed her instead and Christine smiled. "You're welcome."
As they emerged from their private box after the show, Christine turned to Erik.
"What did you think?"
"Not bad. I would gave done it differently though." He said, as they walked into the entrance hall, where people were gathering to meet-and-greet. Christine smiled, slipping her hand though his arm.
"That's because you always have to be different."
"Original, Christine. I'm original." He said in a slightly patronising tone as they walked through the crowds. They were instantly accosted by a plump woman whom Christine had met several times before.
"Mr and Mrs Destler! How absolutely lovely to meet you again. Did you enjoy the opera?"
"I did, Mrs Colman. Erik, on the other hand, is far too critical." Christine said with a mischievous smile at him. He rolled his eyes and Mrs Colman laughed gaily.
"You must have only just returned from your honeymoon."
"We got back yesterday."
"And how was Italy?"
"Perfectly charming, Mrs Colman. Excuse us, I believe I see Andrew Norton over there and I must have a word with him." Erik said, pulling Christine away. She pretended to look stern.
"That was rude, Erik."
"The woman is insufferable."
"Not the point."
"Entirely the point and you're just as relieved to be rid of her as I am, stop pretending." He said, eying her. She pulled a face.
"You could at least have been subtle about it!"
"Why? I can be as rude as I want to people like that, they still gather around. All because of a little money and stature." He sounded rather bitter. Christine pouted and patted his cheek.
"You poor little rich man."
"You're the only thing I have that is worth anything." Erik said, pausing to look at her. Christine flushed and he smirked.
"I also enjoy making you turn that delightful shade of red."
"Erik, that's so mean!"
"But you lovely." He smiled. She glowered at him for a moment and then looked away haughtily.
"Are the happy couple fighting already?" Andrew Norton, the owner of the Opera House, said, appearing with wineglasses for them. Christine smiled.
"Only because he's so very annoying."
"You both look wonderful. No chance of persuading you to come and do some work here, Erik?"
"I'm afraid I've been booked in the New York Opera House. We're flying out next week."
"Are you performing again, Mrs Destler?"
"Oh, please call me Christine. 'Mrs Destler' makes me feel old." She caught the look on Erik's face, "What?"
"Are you saying that I'm old?" He asked. Christine rolled her eyes and turned to the amused owner.
"No, I'm not performing."
"I'm only thirty-three!"
"Oh, Erik, stop it." She said crossly. Erik smirked and she groaned. "I hate it when you do that."
Andrew burst out laughing.
"You're like an old married couple!"
"And this is after a month and a half of being married. Imagine what we'll be like by Christmas." Erik said. Andrew grinned.
"I can't wait. Oh, there's Jennifer Thompson, I must speak with her. I'll see you both later."
He vanished and Erik peered around before murmuring in Christine's ear,
"I think it's safe for us to leave."
"Then let's go." She said, putting their glasses down on a table and they made their way to the door.
Trister was curled up by the fireplace when they got back, lying at Nadir's feet as he read a book.
"How was it?"
"Don't ask. Erik will only start analysing every scene." Christine said cheerfully, collapsing onto a sofa and stroking Trister's head as he came to greet her. Erik sat beside her and Trister jumped up onto his lap. Erik blinked and patted the dog who settled down to sleep across him.
"I've booked you a flight for next Friday, midday." Nadir said.
"Thank you. Are you coming too?"
"Not right away. I want to sort some things out here first, and then I'll join you. And I think you deserve a little alone time." He grinned.
Christine laughed and Nadir asked,
"What are you going to do until the opera is over?"
"I haven't the faintest idea. I'll need to keep in practise though. And I've been thinking about trying to write some of my own songs."
"An excellent idea." Nadir said and Erik added,
"And you're more than welcome to come to the Opera House. I need someone to stop me going insane."
"I'm sure I'll be able to help out." She smiled and then yawned, "I'm going to bed. Goodnight Nadir."
"Goodnight." He nodded. Christine glanced at Erik, who said,
"I'll be up soon."
"OK. Come on, Trister."
She left the room, dog at her heels. Nadir smiled at Erik.
"You know, if I hadn't known you to be the same man from two years ago, I would never have recognised you."
"What on earth are you talking about?" Erik said, standing to pour himself a drink. Nadir grinned.
"That healthy glow. Marriage must suit you very well."
Erik sipped the brandy and considered his friend and employee. A slight smile touched his lips for a moment.
"I think it rather does, Nadir."
A/N: A pretty slow opening chapter but I hope you enjoyed it anyway! I normally never write sequels but I think I left off too early and could do a lot more with these characters. So I'm gonna! But don't expect updates everyday because I haven't started the next chapter yet! Anyway, please review, love you all and it's great to be back!