I Heart NY

Well guys this is the last chapter in this story! But fear not…I have a second one on the way! I just want to thank everyone who has been reading and reviewing…when I started this story I really thought no one would like it but it had turned out to be the most popular one I have written! I love writing it to…so there will be more of Erik and Olivia to come!

Kudos to Barb for noting the nod to Annie in the last chapter…yes I am a tool who does things like quote musicals and such!

And about the song in the last chapter…I knew the Turtles and the Beatles both did the song, I just said the Beatles because that was the one I was familiar with but thank you to everyone who corrected me…just thank you to every reader!

Love you all and enjoy! "Season Two" will be here soon!

Erik kissed me again. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world; one of his hands pressed against my back, the other buried in my hair. We broke apart for a moment and stared into one another's eyes. I was so happy to see his eyes again. It was as though for a few moments, nothing else existed.

His lips pressed down on mine again; gently, tenderly, languidly. It was paradise.

Very slowly we both became aware of the commotion around us. One voice suddenly cut through,

"So this was your underlying motive,"

Raoul de Chagny and his wife Christine had walked up the stairs. Erik was so excited about having me again he didn't even care who he was talking to.

"This is Olivia Moss, this is my fiancé," He said excitedly. His arm was wrapped around my waist and mine around his back. I had to slightly dislodge myself when I met this Raoul person. I uncoiled my arm from around Erik to extend it to him.

Raoul took it and lightly brushed his lips across my knuckles. So that was where Erik had gotten that foolish habit. Erik decided that seeing the boy touch even my hand was too much. With a jerk he pulled me backwards a bit.

Glad to be as near to him as possible, I replaced my arm around Erik's back. I felt his hand squeeze my waist. I let my head drop against his chest.

"I am almost afraid to do this; Christine, you remember Erik?" Raoul motioned to him.

For the first time, Christine looked at Erik. Damn it if she didn't faint…again.

"Oh no," Raoul sighed as he caught his wife in his arms before she fell to the floor.

"She does that a lot doesn't she?" I asked.

"She's been known to," Raoul said, struggling slightly to hold her up.

"Oh no did she faint again?" Meg had come up the stairs as well. She turned around to face Philippe, "Would you go and get me some more champagne?" He nodded and went off to fetch it. Meg turned back to Raoul, "We can take her to my room,"

Raoul nodded and began to drag his limp wife along behind Meg.

"Don't you think you should help him?" I asked Erik.

"I think I have done enough," Erik said, lightly kissing the top of my head.

I smiled up at him, circling my arms around his neck, "Come on, he's going to drop her,"

Sighing Erik helped Raoul de Chagny for one last time. It wasn't so much that Christine was hard to carry; it was her huge dress that was making things difficult. I followed the funny little train of people heading toward Meg's room

We all made it to the room. It was reminiscent of the one I had come out of the mirror into that first day. It was strange, it had only been a week ago but it felt like much more.

"This is a really nice room," I said to Meg as Raoul laid his wife on the bed.

"I'm a prima ballerina! I deserve the best," She said smiling.

At that moment there was a knock on the door. Nadir stepped into the room.

"I asked the de Winter fellow where you all went," he said.

Erik looked around the room. It was by far the strangest and most unlikely mix of people. Never had he expected to see all of them in one room. Erik and I leaned against Meg's dresser. Erik wrapped one arm around me again.

"We're all here, aren't we?" Erik said, looking around, "Everyone who was involved…last year,"

Everyone looked around at everyone else. Raoul de Chagny sighed before turning his attention back to his wife. He brushed a stray piece of hair out of her closed eyes, "Yes, we are all here again," he said.

"What do you mean Monsieur Pitt?" Meg asked and I realized she still didn't know who Erik was.

"That's not 'Monsieur Pitt,'" Raoul scoffed, "That's who you used to call the Phantom,"

Meg's eyes shot to Erik's face, a baffled look in her eyes and her jaw agape.

They all looked down at the floor, lost in thought. I had no idea what it must have been like to be one of them. Of course I was not involved in what had happened the year before, but as I was engaged to Erik I was still connected to all of them.

From what I had heard these people had done a lot to each other, both good and bad. It was stunning that they would all be standing again with each other after all that. The heavy silence of the room reflected how much had passed between them. I looked around the room.

"Erik," I said quietly, "It that…?" I pointed to something hanging on the wall. Once I saw it it was all I could look at; a white mask.

Erik followed my gaze and his arm around me clenched tighter. The biggest representation of his former life stared him in his now perfect face. He had thought that his mask had been given back to him by the strange gypsy. Yet Erik reasoned that if the gypsy man could move people through time he could also have obtained one of his old masks. He wondered how this one had gotten there.

"Oh…I found that the night it all happened," Meg said quietly. "I don't know why I kept it," I stared at her and I noticed that she blushed a bit.

I walked over and took it off the wall. I felt everyone's eyes on me as I held the thing in my hands. I traced over the edges and the plain of the cheek. I turned back to face Erik, still cradling the mask in my hands. Erik couldn't bear the sympathetic gaze of my eyes and he looked away.

Everyone watched me as I looked back down at the white thing in my hands. It seemed to be porcelain. It must have been ungodly uncomfortable to wear. Christine had told me all about it, about how Erik had refused to be seen without it, about how ashamed of his face he had been. And I remembered just how hard it had been for him to go out in New York.

I let the thing fall to the ground. It fell with a thud on the carpeted floor. I lifted my dress a bit so I could see my black stiletto heels. Determination on my face, I stomped my foot down hard on the white mask. It cracked and broke into a million pieces.

I walked back to Erik and slid my arms around him, my head resting against his chest. I felt his arms cross around me. "Thank you," he whispered in my ear.

Christine moaned at that moment and all heads swiveled in her direction; all except for mine and Erik's. I was too content with my head against him to be bothered with moving. Erik was thinking about what I had just done and too distracted to even notice Christine was coming to.

"Are you alright?" Raoul asked her as he gently stroked her hair.

Christine blinked slowly, "Yes…I was just having the strangest dream. Erik was here again…and his face! Well you wouldn't believe me if I told you,"

Raoul sighed, "I might," He paused for a moment before he jumped into the explanation, "Christine…Erik is here…you saw him just before you fainted,"

Everyone waited for her reaction.

"Fell free to be shocked Christine," Meg said, looking from her friend to Erik, "I was,"

"But…" Christine's eyes locked on Erik. He had turned and was looking at her now. I still had my arms around his middle but I had turned my head to face her as well.

"How is it possible?" she asked softly. In a semi trance state Christine rose off the bed. She walked over to Erik and with a trembling hand she reached out and touched his face.

Distinctly Christine remembered Raoul asking her, 'What if Erik was handsome? Would you love him and not me?'

She remembered her answer well, 'Why tempt fate? It could never be'

Erik was the ugly monster hiding below the opera in the cold dungeons. He was not the handsome, well dressed man who stood before her. No, she thought, this could not be!

Her hand lingered on the side of his face. Erik felt awkward; the woman he had once loved was touching his face, while he held the woman he was engaged to in both arms.

I glared at Christine. Seeing her touch even his face was too much. Feeling my eyes upon her she looked at me. And then she knew; whoever this Erik was, he was not hers.

Her husband had come up behind her, "Maybe we should go back out to the party," He suggested in a low voice, placing a hand on Christine's shoulder.

Silently she nodded, seeming to awaken from whatever trance she had been in right before our eyes. Raoul guided her back out the door of Meg's room. For one last moment Erik appreciated them all being together again in one room. He knew it would never be so again. It had all come full circle, and now we would be spun off into our own lives.

And then Christine and Raoul de Chagny left the room. Meg offered all of us a smile and then muttered something about finding Philippe. She left too. Something about being in the room was just depressing, and it was Meg's room after all, so Erik, the Persian and I left as well. Erik shut the door, leaving the shattered mask alone in the quiet room.

Back in the main hustle of the party all sprits rose considerably. Maybe it was the music playing, maybe it was all the people or even the lovely decorations…but Erik and I both agreed it was probably the alcohol.

At first all of us split into three groups. Christine and Raoul moved off to speak to some of Raoul's parents friends; all of whom told Raoul how funny he had been on stage. Meg went off to find Philippe again. Erik introduced me to Nadir and we stood at the top of the stairs talking.

"Well Nadir…this is Olivia Moss," Erik said and I noted the mix of pride and excitement in his voice. To Erik, this was the most important introduction of all. Nadir had been his only real friend and the only person who had really seen the soul behind the Phantom.

I smiled widely as the Persian took my hand, "Very pleased to meet you Mademoiselle," He said as his lips touched my knuckles, "Erik has told me a lot about you,"

"I hope he didn't bore you," I said. I had to admit I was nervous; this was Erik's best friend and I wanted him to like me.

"On the contrary Mademoiselle I found everything most interesting; although I should scold you Erik! Your description of her beauty does not do her justice," He spoke charmingly and I flushed bright red. I tried to hide my face in the comfort of Erik's chest but he wouldn't allow it completely. He laughed at my embarrassment. I realized I was acting like a child and I spoke,

"Thank you Monsieur, but you are far to kind,"

"Now! Monsieur won't do! You must call me Nadir," He smiled.

"Only if you call me Olivia,"

"Well, while you two get acquainted, I think I will make a trip to the bar, I'll be back in a moment darling," Erik said, and he kissed me quickly on the lips before heading down the stairs.

I watched him go and I felt nervousness in my stomach. I never wanted to see the back of him leaving me again. On the other hand, I thought as he walked away, he did have a cute butt…

"Olivia?" I turned to look at Nadir. "Olivia…I have been Erik's friend for a long time, and I must say I have never seen him as genuinely happy as he is now,"

I wasn't quite sure what to say, but I certainly was glad to hear this. I smiled at him, "Well I've never been as happy as I've been with him before,"

Nadir smiled, "That is wonderful…but I am sure you have been happy before; Erik never has been," A sad look came into his eyes, "The entire…incident with Christine, it was the worst thing that had happened to him in years. It completely broke his heart. And the worst part was I couldn't stand by him through it! I had to think of the safety of Christine and the boy," Suddenly he looked me dead in the eye, "You know Erik can be dangerous when he is crossed?"

I stared back at him, "He's not dangerous to me," I said firmly.

"No no, he would never hurt you," Nadir said quickly, "But he is jealous…if he thinks any other man is pursuing you…" His voice drifted off. With a shutter I remembered the whole Mark problem. Erik had become jealous and protective…and then he left me.

"I think he had grown a lot in the last year," I said.

"I am sure he has…and I believe that you are responsible for most of it," Nadir smiled at me again, "May I ask you…Erik's face…did you meet him before or after it was…?"

"Before," I said firmly.

"And you loved him anyway?"

"Absolutely,"

Nadir nodded, "As his only real friend I feel like I am obliged to say this…if you ever leave him he won't be able to handle it,"

I took a deep breath, "Nadir, I don't do things without thinking them through completely. I promised that man I could spend the rest of my life with him and I meant it,"

Nadir nodded, "I wish you both the best of luck,"

"Thank you, but we won't need it," I was sure that if we could make it through this, we could do anything.

Erik walked down the staircase and threaded his way through the crowd. Several people stopped him and complemented him on the performance. Others asked him about Mademoiselle Lima. Erik decided that since everyone already knew me by that name, and we wouldn't be staying there anyway, there was no point in correcting them.

Finally he made it to the bar, which was located at the far side of the foyer. It was out of the way in order to give as much room as possible to the dance floor.

As Erik waited in the small line that had formed in front of the bar, he heard two familiar voices. It seemed that they were coming from just around the corner.

"Was all this your idea?"

"I wish I could say that it was…but it was his plan,"

"I can't believe you would cooperate with him!"

"For you I would…and to be honest, it wasn't so bad,"

Erik didn't believe his ears. Had the boy really just said that? It wasn't so bad. Erik had to admit now, looking back, it really hadn't been so bad. Maybe, after all they had done to ruin each other, it was over now. Raoul de Chagny was no longer a threat to Erik, just as Raoul no longer feared the Opera Ghost.

Trying to take the drinks back to us, Erik was again met with a million questions. People were asking him if he wrote the song that Raoul de Chagny sang to his wife. They asked him what he did, where he was from, and how long he had been engaged.

With all the commotion around him, Erik wondered if it hadn't been better to be let alone.

Meg watched the small crowd swarming around the man she had just learned the true identity of. Meg could understand all the interest around him. Though he looked like a Parisian, he had a certain mystique about him. In the sound of his slight New York accent, his uniquely tailored clothes, the shine in his eyes…he was different and therefore he was news.

Meg was not the only one staring. From her husband's side, Christine watched Erik in the crowd. She couldn't believe it…she just couldn't! In the crowd he looked tall, handsome, and dashing…there was not a trace of the madness or sadness that used to surround him. There was not even a trace of the horrible deformity which had been her problem with him to begin with.

It was true, if he had been handsome, she probably would have stayed with him. But she knew that chance was gone; the moment had passed. She had made a choice and it had all turned out alright. She was happy, and Erik was too.

It was hard to believe for Christine though; the man she had pitied and had thought of as pining away for her didn't love her anymore. Erik had always been a safety net, and after Raoul had left her she had begun to think of him more and more often. She had always believed that no matter what, she would have someone to love her. Now all she had was Raoul. And with a jolt in her stomach she realized the only reason she had him was because of Erik.

Christine followed Erik's form as he made his way through the crowd and back up the stairs. Her eyes fell on me. Everything from the way I dressed to the way I danced to the way I talked shocked her. Christine was surprised to see that Erik had gotten engaged to someone who was so…unlike her.

"He looks handsome, doesn't he?" Meg had come over to Christine and she whispered this in her ear, steering her away from Raoul, who was distracted talking to some Count something.

"Yes," Christine sighed, "Who would have imagined?"

"Not me," Meg said, "Did she tell you she was engaged to him when you two met?"

"Yes, but I didn't really believe her…I thought she was crazy or hypnotized or something," Christine said.

"You have to admit, she is fun," Meg said, smiling as she remembered our little night out.

"What do you mean?" Christine said, and she sounded a little offended.

"Nothing!" Meg reassured her friend, "I just think…she's a fun person,"

"More fun than me?" Christine asked in a semi hurt voice.

"Oh my God!" Meg moaned, shaking her head at her friend.

"What!" Christine asked

Meg just sighed and took her friend by the hand, "Come on," She said, dragging her along in the direction of the orchestra.

A few moments after Erik joined us again, I shrieked as the orchestra finally played something I recognized. My eyes searched the floor for the two people I connected with this song. Meg and Christine were waving at me.

This had been one of the songs we had danced to in the lounge. I laughed, "I have to go for a minute," I said to Erik and Nadir, who watched me as I flew down the stairs.

We descended on the dance floor. Immediately people began staring and wondering just what the hell we thought we were doing. I guessed they were not used to seeing three women behaving like that.

The men in our lives gathered at the bottom of the stairs. They all watched us with varying degrees of amusement on their faces.

"If those three become friend…" Raoul de Chagny shook his head.

"I'm afraid they won't have a change," Erik said mildly, sipping the drink in his hand, "We are going back to New York," Erik had decided not to tell me this; if he did he knew I would never sleep.

"Really?" Raoul actually sounded shocked.

"Yes! You didn't think we would be staying in this god-awful place did you?" Erik asked, wondering why the boy was so surprised.

"I guess I just thought you would be staying longer," Raoul felt an odd emotion that bordered almost on regret…he had enjoyed himself the past few days he and Erik had been planning to turn Paris on its head. True he had gotten into a painful bar fight but it beat sitting home and playing bridge with his sisters.

Raoul realized he sounded to upset when he spoke so he added, "Not that I'm not glad to hear it; this city stinks enough without you in it,"

Erik laughed at him, "You say that, but I know you are going to miss me," he spoke sarcastically and he didn't know just how close to the mark he was.

"Miss the man who tried to get me killed in a bar? I think not," Raoul said defensively.

"You know I really think you need to let that go," Erik said seriously, though he could not keep a smile off his lips.

After the three of us gals were done looking like fools all by ourselves, we decided to involve our significant others. Meg and Christine pulled their men out onto the floor where some strange mass waltz was started. Me, not knowing the steps, went and found Erik just off the dance floor.

"Do you want to dance darling?" He asked me. He was so happy with how well the night was going he was ready to do anything.

I wrapped my arms around his neck and smiled as he circled his arms around my waist, "No…I don't know the steps,"

"So?"

"I don't want to look stupid!" I cried and I saw a mischievous look come into his eyes and he started to say something but I cut him off, "This is not the time to say 'I already think you look stupid!'"

Erik feigned a shocked expression, "I would never say any such thing! I was merely going to suggest that we dance anyway,"

Any suggestion of his was awfully hard to resist when he smiled at me like he was, with his eyes shinning…I let him take me out on the floor. We moved among the couples already out there until we reached the middle.

To my surprise he spun me around quickly before catching my waist in his hands, my arms around his neck. I laughed hysterically; in preparation for the Met Ball I had tried to teach Erik some steps I had learned years ago when Susan had made me take a Salsa class with her. At the time Erik had found it more amusing to purposely do poorly in these impromptu dance lessons and frustrate me than to actually learn the steps.

But he had been listening better than he had let on. He spun, dipped, and twirled me among the confused waltz-ers. Normally Erik would have felt very foolish, but he reasoned that if we would be going back to New York soon than he should just do whatever he wanted.

I did feel foolish at first, but then I was having so much fun I didn't even realize what I was doing anymore. It didn't register to either of us that we had cleared a small space in the middle of the floor and some people had stopped to watch us. As the song ended Erik dipped me ridiculously low one last time before pulling me up and sending me hard into his chest.

He leaned his forehead against mine and we both started laughing. It took us completely by surprise when we heard clapping and looked around to see everyone watching us. It only made us laugh harder.

After this we were both asked another hundred questions; how did I dance in those shoes? In that dress? Where had we learned to do that?

As fun as all of it was, I was glad when the night came to an end. I was tired and I just wanted to be alone with Erik for awhile. It was actually sad for me when I said goodbye to Meg; she had become like a friend. I saw potential in her; she was talented with a wild streak. I had to admit I liked her.

In one amazing act of kindness, Raoul offered to take us all home in his carriage, saving me from having to walk to wherever the Persian lived in three inch heels. In a very round about way, Raoul actually offered to have Erik and I stay at his house for the night.

Erik had stared shocked at him. With a strange shiver, Erik realized that the feud between him and Raoul was truly at an end. However, Erik respectfully declined the offer. If, as he suspected, this was our last night here than he thought he should be at his faithful friend Nadir's apartment.

On the ride back to the de Chagny mansion I felt myself drifting off to sleep. I closed my eyes and leaned against Erik. Erik was tired as well, but he didn't feel like sleep just yet. He had to admit he was a bit stunned. Everything had gone so well. He had what he wanted and so much more. He had closure.

Raoul de Chagny sat across from him. He was staring at both of us. To him we seemed so peaceful together; Erik's arm was wrapped around me and I was sleeping on his shoulder. As he felt his own wife nestle against him he felt that finally everything was as it was supposed to be and the drama of the past was over.

For a moment Erik and Raoul's eyes met. They exchanged the smallest trace of a smile.

When the carriage stopped in front of the de Chagny mansion Erik shook me awake gently, "Do you want me to go in and get your other dress and you stay here or do you want to come in to?"

With a groan I blinked my eyes and got out of the carriage. Erik called back to the Persian that we would only be a minute.

We went into the house,

"God it is good to be home again," Raoul said contentedly as he re entered his house at last.

Erik waited in awkward silence with Raoul and Christine in the drawing room as I rushed upstairs to get my dress. As I ran through the house I took it all in as if for the first time; the grand stairs, the plush carpets and the lavish wooden furniture…

I wondered if I would be coming back. Would Christine and I be friends? Would Erik and I even stay in Paris? I still didn't know the second part of the gypsy's deal allowing us to go home.

Erik sat quietly across from Raoul and Christine. He didn't really know what to say to them. Christine didn't either. She felt like she owned Erik something, but she couldn't think of what.

Erik was glad when I returned with the dress. With out any real words we all walked back to the door. I hugged Christine goodbye and smiled at her. To his surprise and to Erik's slight discomfort I embraced Raoul as well. I didn't know what to say to Christine other than goodbye. If I had known that I would not be staying in 1882 I might have said more.

Erik and Raoul stared at each other for a few moments, wondering what to do. Neither of them hated the other anymore, but neither of them wanted to admit it. At last Erik extended a hand to Raoul, who shook it once before they both let go.

We had turned to go when Christine called out,

"Erik!" Erik turned in back to face her, He saw in her eyes that she was struggling with what to say. "Erik…congratulations," she managed at last.

Erik gave her a small smile and nodded his head before he turned back around and we headed for the carriage. As far as Erik was concerned he had seen Christine for the last time.

We reached the Persian's apartment some time later.

"Now," Nadir said when we were inside, "I am willing to offer you two the use of my bed for the night…mainly for your comfort Mademoiselle,"

Erik shook his head, "You don't have to do that, we can both sleep on the sofa,"

"Yes! We will be fine! You don't have to give up your bed!" I agreed with Erik. I took a look at the small sofa and I knew it was going to be a tight fit, something I was sure Erik was more than aware of, the wicked man.

"Well, if you are sure," Nadir looked from one of us to the other, "I think I will turn in…it has been a long day,"

I embraced him and thanked him for letting us sleep on his sofa before I asked him where the bathroom was. When I was gone for the moment Erik looked at his friend.

"I-I just want to thank you," Erik stammered, "For all you have done for me, and if I am not here in the morning…thank you,"

The Persian shook his head and embraced his friend. He stepped back and took a look at Erik, "I'm just glad to see that the man I knew you where has shown himself at last,"

Erik didn't know what to say, so he just nodded. They bid each other goodnight. In the dark living room of the apartment Erik whipped his eyes, knowing he had seen the Persian for the last time.

When I came out he was lying on his back on the sofa.

"Now how are we both going to fit on that?" I asked smiling.

Returning my smiled with a wicked grin, Erik slapped his thighs. Rolling my eyes I lay myself down on top of him. Immediately his hands moved to caress my butt…

"Erik, if you think I am going to have sex with you on your friend's sofa you are sourly mistaken," I whispered into his ear.

"If you didn't want to make love to me tonight darling than you shouldn't have worn this dress…and you also should have worn underwear," he said gruffly, running his hands up and down my bare back.

I had to admit it was heavenly to feel his touch again, but still…

"Erik stop it!" I laughed as one of his fingers tickled my side.

With an overdramatic groan of displeasure Erik stopped, "Fine…but I thought you were supposed to be easy," he teased me.

I hit his chest.

"Goodnight darling," Erik said to me, kissing my lips one more time. I rested my head on his chest and my arms lay around his shoulders. He had one arm wrapped around my waist and the other dangled off the sofa.

"Erik?" I said softly a few minutes later.

"Erik is sleeping," He grumbled.

"Two minutes ago you wanted to have sex and now you want to sleep!"

"I have mood swings," but he woke up to listen to me.

"Isn't this amazing Erik?" I asked him.

"What the sofa?"

"No!" I hit him again, "Oh never mind!" I laughed, to tired to argue with him.

I fell asleep shortly after this, but Erik found he could not. He just lay there on his back and listened as my breathing evened out. He lightly traced little circles across my back, more a subconscious act than anything else. In my sleep I let out a soft sigh of content.

Suddenly there was a voice next to Erik's ear.

"I sure know how to pick them don't I? I knew Olivia would be perfect for you,"

Erik nearly jumped out of his skin as he saw the gypsy man sitting in the chair next to the sofa.

"Jesus you scared me!" Erik said, looking down at me to see if I had woken up.

"I'm not Jesus Erik," The man said, "And don't worry about Olivia, she won't wake up,"

"What are you doing here?" Erik asked.

"I just wanted to congratulate you on your success," he said with a smiled.

"So we will be sent home like you said?"

"Back to New York 2005 yes,"

"Good," Erik stared at him, "Can I ask just who the hell you are?"

"Fate," The man said.

Erik blinked at the absurdity of the statement, but when he opened his eyes, the man was gone.

I knew I was dreaming. I heard a horn honking. I knew I was awake but the noise persisted. With a groan I lifted my head to see what was making the noise. I screamed.

I was looking out my own New York City apartment window. Beneath me Erik jerked awake as I scrambled off my bed and ran to my window. It was all there; my beloved New York City stretched out before me.

I screamed again and stared jumping up and down with joy. Suddenly from behind I felt a hand cover my mouth and an arm wrap tightly around me.

"You are coming back to bed my dear," Erik's voice sounded in my ear. With a tug he pulled me back down on the bed. Pinning my body beneath his he hungrily pressed him lips to mine.

"Erik! We are back!" I yelled happily, and I was torn between wanting to make love and wanting to make a trip to 5th avenue.

Of course sex prevailed over shopping. I had almost forgotten how good he felt. It was heaven as I felt him undo my red dress and run his hands all over me. I ripped his expensive dress shirt off, sending buttons all over the bed.

His lips fell first on my own, slowly working their way down to my neck, then my collar bone…

When we came together at last I gasped out loud. This moment of extreme pleasure was worth the week apart, but I still knew I would never spend that much time away from him again.

We lay contently in bed for awhile. Erik was on his back and I was nestled between his arm and chest. In an odd stream of thought, I realized that for the past week I had not been taking my birth control pills…and Erik and I had just…so that meant there was a chance…

But I would worry about that later. After about ten minutes I shot out of bed and pulled Erik with me. He laughed as I enthusiastically insisted that we get showered and dressed.

I ran out of our room like a kid making for the tree on Christmas morning. Sammy jumped at me. I had never been happier to see that stinky mutt. After sufficiently licking me Sammy moved on to Erik. I turned on the TV…God bless TV! I checked the news…it was still Saturday…it was like that whole week had never happened.

Clean and dressed to the New York nines, Erik and I left our apartment with Sammy on the leash. We hit the sidewalk; I was wearing a blue vintage dress with a pair of Manolo's. Erik had never looked like he belonged in the city more with the trendy outfit I had picked out for him, a dog leash in one hand and me on his arm.

We walked down the road and I smiled at the large buildings like I hadn't since I had first come to New York City. Erik felt like he owned the whole city. Never had two New Yorkers been so happy.

And that was how it went. In the city of tall towers and four AM restaurants and little yellow cabs Erik and I lived our own urban legend. Falling in love with the one next door and not letting anything; cynicism which is so rampant, beach houses, shoes, ex's, friends…not even 125 year time warps come between us.

I chalked it all up to New York City; always changing so you can never live in the past, always awake to listen to your problems, and most importantly such a mix of all that is life that anything can happen. Anything; even a dreaded lawyer can find love…and yes, even a former phantom.