I hope all of you had a happy and healthy holiday season and a fantastic new year. I apologize for not updating sooner but I was waist deep in work, literally, so I needed to get that finished first.

New Friends

The Opera Populare was the most confusing and complex Opera house to navigate your way around. Yet somehow Erik knew every turn and passageway to get to every room. He also knew everyone who lived or had visited the Opera House and what their stories were. Celia could do nothing but stare in amazement she had never known there was so much history to one place. She was utterly amazed at what Erik had been able to remember and learn just from hanging around the Opera House.

"How do you remember all of this?" she asked.

"I've had a lot of spare time to observe and learn about what happens in this place. When you hear certain stories over and over again, they tend to stick." She gave him a puzzled face, "The ballerinas love to gossip."

"So you peak in on the ballerinas…sketch." She gave a small giggle as Erik gave her a horrified face and tried to offer her a babbled conclusion.

"N..no….it's no..t…lik…Oh you're just being evil." He gave her a scowl but couldn't help but laugh along with her. That was close I must redeem myself. Wait what are you talking about…what does this woman matter to you.

"See I am a monster." She said with a grin. Oh how I love his confused face…and his flabbergasted face…and his angry face…and all of his faces they just make me want to… GET A GRIP he's the phantom of the opera, he's not even from the same time period you aren't even supposed to like him let alone anything more.

"Shhh, someone is coming, quick get behind me." He fanned out his cape to block her. She took a step behind him and peaked over his cape like a small child. She saw a woman, about late forties, and a girl or at least she looked like a girl but was probably older. They were walking down the small hallway to another room which Celia later found out was the ballerinas' bedrooms.

"Alright ladies it is time to practice. Everyone to the stage!" shouted the older woman.

"That's Madame Giry, she's the ballet director here." Erik whispered to her "The young woman walking with her is her daughter Meg. She is a ballerina here."

Celia signed in recognition, "yes, I remember them now they were in the play." Erik eyebrows arched but he said nothing.

They stayed hidden in the shadows for five more minutes before Erik finally said it was okay to go. He showed her the entire Opera House. There was neither a room left undiscovered nor a story untold. In a few long hours, Celia had become an expert at every work schedule, every opera, and every piece of gossip that had passed through these walls.

Celia soon realized that she was having far more fun than she had ever planned too. Now she could better understand Erik and where he had come from. She felt sorry for him because of the extent of the hard life that he had to live. They had passed through the Opera house with relatively no interruptions and were on there way back, when they heard footsteps again. They were in a cramped corridor and there was not much room to hide behind Erik. Celia took one step to the right and fell out of the shadows.

She could no longer see Erik whom had somehow kept his composition instead of falling beside her, but she could see a pair of very well kept black boots stopped in front of her. Celia's eyes traveled upwards and were met with the smoldering gaze of a man's perfect piercing brown eyes.

"Êtes-vous d'accord? S'il vous plaît laissez-moi vous aider en place." said the man extending his hand to help her. (that's supposed to mean "Are you okay, please let me help you up" if its not right, blame the google translator)

"Oh umm, thank you…uh merci?" she mumbled as she rose to her feet.

"Oh I did not realize you spoke English. My name is Andre. Are you alright?" Ohh he speaks beautiful English. Focus, did they find America yet, okay maybe not…alright BE BRITISH.

"Yes I'm quite alright, thank you for helping me up." Damn I'm good.

"You must be one of the new ballerinas. May I help you find something or someone?" He stared at her with those beautiful eyes.

"Actually I'm a guest, but my mother used to be a ballerina here long ago. She left only because of me but she used to tell me stories of when she would come to pray in the chapel here. I've come to visit the chapel as well, but I am finding myself quite lost and in need of your assistance."

"Of course, please follow me." He extended his are to her and she followed him. "What were you doing in such a dark corridor of the Opera House?"

"Well I figured that with my luck the very place I'd been looking for would be in the one spot no one would think of, but I was obviously wrong." He had lead her to a small chamber, where faint lights could be seen flickering under the door. When he opened up the thick wooden door, she saw a table of candles and small statue. She let out a small gasp and he smiled.

"Will you be okay to find your way back? I have a meeting I must be getting to and I cannot be late."

"A job interview?" she asked, with a small smile on her lips.

"Something like that. It was lovely meeting you…I don't know your name."

"Oh how rude of me, it's Cecilia and it was nice meeting you as well." He took her hand and kissed it lightly.

"Maybe we shall meet again."

Yeah well you keep sweet talking while I go gag. But instead she said, "Maybe we will," with a polite smile on her face.

He left and she could hear his heavy footsteps making there way down the corridor. No sooner than his footsteps disappear did clapping begin behind her. She jumped slightly and turned around to face Erik.

"Well you are quite the actress, Celia. I had no idea." My name sounds so lovely on his lips…wow…calm yourself, your talking crazy talk. He gave her a small smile and her heart melted. He has the most perfect smile I have ever seen.

She returned his smile with a sarcastic one of her's and said, "Well it is what I do."

"You never told me about what it is that you do exactly." He said to her in his very serious Erik tone. "I feel like I know nothing about you" he led her down the small corridor back to where Erik's home was.

"Someday maybe I'll decide to tell you all about it." She replied, smiling softly.

"I'll be waiting but for now there is one last thing I have to show you." He smiled his deep, dark smile.

"And that would be…?" she gave him a quizzical look.

"You'll see soon enough." What could he possibly be talking about? We saw the entire opera house; I don't think we missed a thing. As they neared the end of their path she could hear water and when Erik finally moved from her view, she could see the water. In the water stood a majestic black gondola and next to it stood Erik holding his hand to help her in.

Read and Review PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!