A/N - Here is the final chapter of my story that I promised. Sorry for taking so long to write it. I guess it was hard to finish this story. Or know how to finish it. But I suddenly felt the inspiration today and couldn't deny myself from finishing it. I want to thank all of the readers, especially those who reviewed and provided positive encouragment. It really meant a lot to me.

I do plan on writing more soon. I already have a small scene written out after having a moment of inspiration a week ago. I can't give you a timeline. But I would like to post a new story in the next few weeks or so. Keep your eyes open.

This chapter, like the last, also has an M rating. If you would care to skip that part of it, continue scrolling down about halfway through the story until you reach the divider. It's safe to read after that. Without further adieu, the final chapter. . .

Chapter 25

Soft breathing sounded beside her and she turned beneath the quilts to face the sleeping figure of her husband beside her. Erik's arm still lay across her, long tapered fingers splayed across her stomach as though out of an unconscious desire to utterly possess his beloved. Christine took advantage of his state and quietly studied him. His face was more relaxed then she had ever seen it. Stripped of its defenses and masks of emotion, his face was filled with a strange peace that somehow suited him, even though it had evaded him for much of his life. She brushed aside a tendril of dark hair from his brow and smiled softly. The marred flesh that covered half his face was no longer startling to her. There was a certain endearing quality to the vulnerability of his deformity. He was still hesitant to expose his masked face, but he had grown surer of himself now. After all, he had made love to her without the guise of his white mask.

Green eyes opened slowly and regarded her for a moment before she noticed. A soft gasp fell from her lips when she realized he had been watching her, caught in her close study of him.

"My love," he said softly, his hypnotic voice hampered by the hoarseness of morning. His hand reached out to stroke her face and he watched as she smiled, pressing her cheek against the caress of his fingers.

"Erik," she replied softly.

He pulled her into his embrace, feeling the softness of her skin against his own. I will never tire of this sensation. She pressed her face against his shoulder, nuzzling it with tender affection. Finally, her eyes sought out the morning light, but it was hidden behind the heavy drapery at the windows. Christine rose from bed, carrying a sheet with her out of modesty.

She turned to look at him as she walked towards the windows. Erik watched her intently as she strode away from his side, his green piercing eyes never leaving her. Did I really give myself to this man? It seems like a dream. A soft blush rose to her cheeks and she quickly turned away from him, drawing back the curtains with one hand, while the other rested at her breast, holding the sheet carefully in place.

Sunlight spilled into the darkened room. Christine reveled in its warm rays, lingering in the light that seemed to have been missing until this very moment.

He studied her. The angel, aglow with morning light, stood framed by the unearthly veil of white, her long curls spilling down her naked back. He smiled wickedly at her modesty. Surely, she did not need to hide from him now. Erik rose quickly from the bed, discarding the sheets that had hidden him, and drew up behind her with the stealth that only he possessed. His hands rested upon her bare shoulders and gently drew across the skin in a loving caress. A soft sigh fell from her lips, but she refused to turn and face him.

His mouth sought out the tender flesh at her neck, and he heard her whimper softly as he nipped at it.

"Christine," he seemed to purr.

The mere sound of his voice, uttering only her name, was nearly her undoing. She would never be able to escape that voice, never be able to deny him anything. She was a slave to the voice that the angels had bestowed upon him. Her eyes fluttered closed as she felt his breath upon her skin, which ached for his touches and his kisses.

"You still hide from me?" he seemed to ask, rather then state.

She could not respond, for he held her under his thrall. His love still frightens me, she thought. But I would not have it any other way. His hands found the sheet that she still clutched to her breast and slowly, with agonizingly deliberate caresses, slid the sheet down her body until it pooled upon the floor.

"Please," she whimpered softly.

"What, my love?" he breathed at her ear, raising more then a few goose bumps across her exposed flesh.

"I am yours," she breathed.

"Mine," he seethed, running his hands across her breasts.

Christine shuddered uncontrollably in his arms, leaning back into his strong chest as he continued to tease her. She could feel the nakedness of his body behind her. His desire for her was quite evident, and a soft moan escaped her lips as he drew himself against her.

His hand drifted lower, and her breath hitched in her throat as the dexterous, musician's fingers found the source of her own desire. She found her body pushing violently against his. His hand remained firm, tormenting her with each movement, with each dip of a finger. Her breaths came quickly, and she felt her hips thrusting blindly outwards with each stroke.

"Do you want me?" he asked, so quietly that it was nearing a whisper. But even a whisper from her angel could send her over the edge.

"Y-yes," she managed.

She felt his hand fall away from her and a cold emptiness fill her bones. But he was leading her back into his chambers. The light did not shine in this area of the room. Only the dying light of a fire flickered in the large fireplace. There was a thick, soft rug set on the floor before the fireplace, for she could feel it beneath her feet. Before she could question his actions, she found that he was guiding her down upon it, resting her body upon the luxurious carpet. Christine suddenly felt vulnerable as she lay beneath him. Erik towered above her in the dark like a strange, avenging angel. Only his eyes shone from the darkened silhouette of his body. A shiver ran throughout her body. He looked both frightening and incredibly alluring at the same time.

"Do not be afraid, my angel," he said, the gloriousness of his voice at its peak. Her body trembled with each word he uttered. She feared what would happen if he fell into song.

"I am not afraid of you," she uttered. "But I. . ."


"I am afraid of what you do to me. . .how you affect me so. Your voice. . .it seduces me. I cannot control. . ."

"Let go," he replied, his baritone voice both low and raw at the same time. "Don't hold back from me."

"But angel, it is hard for me. It embarrasses me."

"Never be embarrassed. Do you not see? I want every part of you. I want every touch, every sound from your lips, every hitch in your breath, and every cry of your body. All of it."

"When I hear your voice, even in my dreams, I want nothing else but you. I feel as though I cannot live apart from you, that I must be joined to you always. Is it wrong to think such thoughts? Is it wrong for me to want one person so much?"

His answer came not in words, but in action. He moved upon her, claiming her lips in a suggestive fashion and begging for entrance into her closed mouth. She willingly gave in, felt him claim every part of her. Erik pulled away for a second, still a looming shadow in the dark with his soft, delicate angel beneath him. He began to sing, as though reading the darkest desires of her mind, and she began to quake. Every note seemed to shake her body to its core. Every change in melody seemed to induce a new wave of pleasure that she had fought for so long to control. Drop all defenses. It was hard to let go, to allow the feelings he awoke within her to spill over the dam of her will.

She clutched frantically at his arms as he held her. Her eyes were alight with a strange gleam not so unlike a wolf's keen eyes. And for a moment, they seemed to match the fire in his eyes. We are truly of one flesh now, she thought, the same in every sense. When they finally merged, their cries muffled in each other, she could feel her tedious grip on control finally loosen and break away. It did not matter anymore. She felt him within her, moving with such passion and vigor, that she no longer cared of the propriety she had held so dear. When the pleasure filled her face, she found him smiling back at her, stroking her face softly, and gently resting his marred cheek against her own.

There was nothing to fear anymore. Giving in was hard, but now she was past the point of no return. She could deny him nothing. She could deny herself nothing.

Months had passed. The health that had once escaped the Countess Bellamont had quickly returned. The thin frame was now healthy and firm. Eyes that had once been dimmed with sorrow and illness were now more vibrant then they had ever been. Her cheeks glowed with such color that many wondered what her secret was for retaining such beauty.

But then again, the Countess Bellamont was somewhat of an enigma, just as her elusive husband. They rarely ventured into public, preferring to live their life together in the quiet world of their own estate, with a few friends and servants to care for them.

But suddenly, one summer evening, when all of Paris eagerly awaited the introduction of a new diva upon the stage of the Opera Populaire, the couple stepped out of obscurity. Box Five was now theirs. Rented from the managers on a generous fee, Count Bellmont could often be spotted sitting in shadow amongst the plush red chairs. Dressed in the finest of evening clothes, dark and rich in color, he remained silent in his seat, watching each performance with such intensity that a stranger might think he had a personal interest vested in each show.

But to the knowing spectator, his wife was the new diva upon the stage. Countess Christine Bellamont, trained by none other than her own husband, by far excelled any previous soprano. Some swore that her voice was heaven sent, for no one could possible sing so beautifully, and draw so many tears from even the strictest of eyes. Upon further investigation, one could learn that the new composer to hit Paris' opera was none other than the Count himself. He was indeed a great musician. None could rival the powerful emotive qualities of his music, nor surpass the passion that played out in his operas.

Some even speculated that the character of Don Juan, in the similarly titled opera, was played by the Count himself. But since he did not remove his mask in the latter half of the opera, no one knew for sure. Yet, the effect that the singer had on the new diva was unmistakable. There was more to their performance then pure camaraderie. There was a love so deep, a hunger so pronounced, that only lovers could display in such a way.

Taken from the Diary of Christine Daae Bellamont,

I could not imagine ever loving someone so dear. And yet our love grows more and more with each passing day. I once feared this love when I was young. Perhaps because it is a love so encompassing, so all consuming, that one loses oneself in it. But I was reborn the day that I gave myself to my angel.

I was once angered that he took me away from my life in a village bordering a very large forest. That he had watched me since my father's death and plotted my flight from that place so meticulously. But I see now the love that he had for me. Never will I find anyone who rivals that love. I once thought a young man to be my salvation. But I look back on that with wiser eyes. I see that I was afraid of Erik's love for me. Raoul was only an escape from it, but nothing else. When I learned that Erik was not alone in his love, I knew that I must stay with him, that I was meant to stay with him, for I shared his love even though I dared not admit it.

I love Erik so much. This entry cannot possibly relay the depth of our love. But I can say that music has never left my mind and heart since I married him. It died every time we were parted. But now that we're together, it will remain with me forever. He trains me every day and we sing together to heights that exceed all mortal capacity. My angel has given me everything I could possibly want or need. But truly he is all I want or need.

I remain his captive in mind, body, and soul. . . but a willing captive. He is also as chained to me as I am to him. The pain that we have both endured has been slowly forgotten. The pain he had held against God has diminished over the months since our wedding. I even saw him taking communion at mass. For once, I believe my husband has found the peace that has escaped him for so long. He is still reluctant to tell me of his time in Persia, or of the troubled childhood he had endured. But he is slowly confiding in me. I know that someday we will move beyond the past. God is forgiving, and whatever sin that has been committed at his hands has been repaid over the course of his troubled life. He has given up the hatred that held his heart so firmly, and I see a kindness, a philanthropy, replacing it.

We will continue to heal together.

I must go to him now. The hour is late and I long to sleep in his arms.