"Past the point of no return, no backward glances; the games of make believe are at an end." Christine heard the Phantom's dreaded voice resonating throughout the halls. Her time had come, she knew. There was no escaping now.

Struggling fiercely against her own self and will, she let her feet carry her on stage. Desperately, her eyes scanned every row in every corner of the hall, as she made her way steadily to the center of the stage, searching frantically for Raoul's face. Every sense strained. Yet the Phantom's voice, forcing her to succumb, beat against her wildly, as it sang: "Past all thought of if or when no use resisting, abandon thought and let the dream descend."

Suddenly, as her eyes met the Phantom's masked ones, a feeling grasped her so powerfully she couldn't push it away. It was as if some enchantment had been suddenly cast over her. She turned to face the Phantom, passion flooding every inch of her body. The strange feeling seemed to sprint inside her veins, and somewhere deep inside—deep where the Phantom could not touch her---fear knifed through her heart. What was happening to her? What was this strange effect that the Phantom was having on her?

Gasping for breath, she advanced upon the Phantom. Beneath his crow-black "Don Juan" mask, his eyes were blazing with desire. With a recklessness she had never encountered before, Christine threw aside her fears and put herself close to the Phantom's body, letting him study her, touch her.

"What raging fires shall flood the soul? What rich desire unlocks its door? What sweet seduction lies before us"? His voice was gravel-like and coarse, harsh but adoring as he sang. All of a sudden, Christine felt the Phantom's hands on her naked shoulders, and the indescribable beauty of his touch was eclipsed by the branding heat. Willingly, she let herself be carried away by the music. Since her childhood, she had always been soft when it came to music… always ready to give in to its power, never hiding from it.

"Past the point of no return, the final threshold, what warm unspoken secrets will we learn….beyond the point of no return?"

For a terrible moment, her mind was blank. But instantly, the grasping lyrics of Aminta's song would come flooding back soon. She somehow found her voice, and the words came pouring from her throat.

"You have brought me to that moment where words run dry, to that moment where speech disappears into silence…silence." She shuddered at the extravagance in her voice, the fire she had never before heard herself embody. Heat raced through her body. Her very blood seemed aflame. Slowly, with steady steps, she made her way to the center of the hanging bridge on which they were standing…the bridge that was a prop, a symbol that the Phantom had created. All eyes were upon her. Music still spilled from her throat. Her voice was more beautiful than ever; full of aching grace and gripping elegance. She stood, moving slowly, struggling to control the trembling of her legs, and fiercely trying to fight tears. "I have come here, hardly knowing the reason why, in my mind I've already imagined our bodies entwining, defenseless and silent, and now I am here with you. No second thoughts, I've decided—decided.

"Past the point of no return, no going back now, our passion play has now at last begun !Past all thought of right or wrong, one final question; how long should we two wait before we're one?'' she sang. Each and every note seemed to require her full strength now, and yet, with every breath, she gained bravery. "When will the blood begin to race? The sleeping bud burst into bloom? When will the flames at last consume us?"

A yielding dance was born between the two of them, the Phantom taking control of her body. She let him do it, slowly abandoning her sensible mind. She danced feverishly, wildly, their voices carrying her through. His touch was strong and intense as his grasped her by the waist, his fingers slipping against the silk. Christine leaned against him, as if intoxicated by his power and strange beauty. He held her, and her breath melted into one against his. Her body screamed at her to go…to turn from the Phantom's seducing glare…to run from the stage…to return to Raoul's side. But she ignored the panicking cries of her body, and slowly they died away.

The Phantom's skin was on hers now---his hands touching her bare skin just above her breasts. How his touched differed from Raoul's tender one. How she longed to succumb to him, to let his lustful passion fill her. It was a frightening feeling, but Christine couldn't hide from it. The rapture was overwhelming.

They danced, his breath and face upon her own. She was panting as she let him take her over, her chest rising and falling heavily with every new second, barely aware of all that was happening.

"That's the point of no return, the final threshold, the bridge is crossed, so stand and watch it burn! We're past the point of no return."

Her heart was racing; trembling, almost. Her face was lined with sweat. The Phantom still held her, as if unwilling to let her go. Suddenly, sadness seemed to well through him. Christine was shaking, her entire body shivering uncontrollably, and she backed from him to control herself. Her eyes were fixed upon his as she drew away. What did she feel? She no longer knew. Her heart seemed to have opened as it never had before---opened in a frightful way---and she wanted nothing more than to burst into tears.

At last, she regained her strength, and pulled herself together as she realized the Phantom was on her again. The music around her seemed distant. Slowly, with tense fingers, he slipped upon her a thin, gorgeous gold ring. Time seemed suspended as she watched him, in awe and horror and daze. And as he sang again, his voice was filled with such terrible yearn ing, such aching; she wanted to silence him with….. her own lips.

"Say you'll share with me one love one lifetime. Save me, lead me from my solitude. Say you want me with you, here beside you...Anywhere you go let me go too! Christine that's all I ask of---"

Christine knew that instant that she could no longer hide. His voice, reverberating and breaking beyond endurance, circled through her soul. Extending a trembling hand to his face, her fingers crept beneath his mask. And the next thing she knew was horrified screams all around the hall.

And then darkness swept around her.

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Hello to all readers! I hope you've enjoyed these two chapters. I know the second one was very different from everything else I've written so far, so it must have been a shock and surprise to you all, b/c...for one thing, it's darker, moredramaticand tenser than the other stories, and for another, it's NOT Raoul/Christine. I was surprised at my own self for making that decision, to be honest, because I love RC so so much. They were made for each other, and it was wonderful that they found each other.

I think that my true, original reason for writing this chapter was this: the music. It made me wonder, intrigued me deeply, and stirred my curiosity like no other scene has. Of course I countless favorite pieces of music in this musical,but the PONRremainsthe one that tugs at me most, even if it's not the one closest to my heart. It's so heatrending; I love it so much.It makes me want to go inside Christine, and explore her emotions. I hope this has done the music justice.