A/N: I just wished to say that this story is much different than the ones I write with Holl.

Although Holl helped advise me on this story a bit, it mostly centralizes around Erik's thoughts, and is entirely my work.

This story is based on events happening in Leroux, only with a different perspective based on my own wonderings. It also changes the ending a bit, so that, although Christine did not wish to, she felt she should keep her promise to Erik by remaining with him and not leaving with Raoul.

The story takes place one month after Christine Daae's last performance, and is in Erik's house by the lake.

Please give this new story a chance, and review to let me know how I can improve.

Thanks.

Chels

Chapter One

Oh, Christine.

I think it every time I see you.

You poor, wretched girl.

What must I do? I know that I am capable of a tender, gentle love. You could have it, if you accepted me. But no, you have not. You have not seen past this face. You cannot forget these hands. You will never forget my past actions, which, admittedly, were ill-begotten, but how many times have I asked your forgiveness, Christine? What more do you want, than a grown man in a sobbing heap at your feet, asking you what he must do to earn your trust and forgiveness? Are you truly that heartless?

Why have you stayed here with me, only to bring misery upon us both? Why did you not listen to me? I knew what was best for the both of us, promises be damned. But oh, my little Christine, you felt you must do the honorable thing: keep your promise to be my living wife. The boy is gone now, Christine, and he's never coming back. You have lost your chance. We will be forced to live this way for all of eternity. Can you not accept it?

But, my darling, I do not want you this way. I admit, there was a time when I would want you under any circumstances, your happiness not truly mattering to me. I was once a selfish man. I am not any longer. I only want you, if you are happy. And as you lie in your bedroom, tears streaming down your cheeks — I know they are without even looking — I know that you are unhappy. So, so unhappy, to the point of not wishing to live any longer. Oh, Christine, have I driven you to this point? Am I truly that terrible?

I simply do not know what to do for you any longer. I love you, Christine. Every ounce of previously untapped love within me goes directly to you. But you'll hear nothing of that, will you?