Author's Note: (Points at FFJ) It is all her fault.

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters and am making no profit form this story.

He sighed in irritation, sleep should have come so swiftly, all was quiet, the midnight sky was clear and there was nothing more to worry about. Indeed the very vessel that would bear him away could be seen from his tiny window. He sighed again; sleep would not be a visitor this night.

Rising to a stand he stretched muscles still sore from the confinement of the horrendously long and cramped carriage rides. It was hours till dawn, hours and hours of endless waiting. He could hear the soft sighing of the waves brushing against the ship, incessantly caressing the docks. He had always hated the sea.

Lighting the lamp beside his bed, he glanced about the room desperate for a distraction when he noticed the small writing table hiding in the corner. It was an old piece, ugly and scarred, not fit for any respectable man's home. Struck by the notion of writing to pass the vast hours he settled down to write.

He hadn't seen any great things and had done even less. In no time at all he had penned a meager paragraph. That seemed to be the sum of his creative muse for nothing further flowed from his pen. Casting his thoughts about for anything else to fill the page and help pass the time, he never noticed the shadow that loomed just behind.The lasso was tight before he could even gasp.

He could only look on in immobile terror as everything he had run from stood mere inches away. Blacker and blacker the night crept in, drawn to the blazing eyes that sparkled madly. He knew it had been pointless to run, but he had survived much longer than he had guessed. No mercy would he receive, no mercy did he expect. Fading into the darkness he smiled vaguely, at least now he wouldn't have to suffer that miserable trip to Australia…


The Persian sighed as he bent to retrieve the rope from the dead man's neck. It was too bad Monsieur Lefevre had thought he could escape, it had cost him quite some time to track the fool down. No doubt even now Erik was gleefully celebrating his absence by terrorizing the Opera staff, that man caused more trouble that he was worth. Still he did have his uses and he was marvelous at chess…

Quickly scanning the room to insure nothing was left behind, he ducked out the window and headed back to his horse. Two months would see him back in Paris if the rains stayed light. Then with any luck he could settle down for a bit before the next money-hungry idiot came along. Really the Shah should have caught on by now, no matter how high the ransom, for you cannot catch a ghost…

Author's Note: One solution to the burning question: Where did the Persian go?