Christine added a touch of blush to her cheeks and ran a brush through her curls one last time before leaving the room. Below she could hear a knock at the door, followed by the voices of their guests as they entered.
"She'll be down in a minute," Erik told them, "we can wait in the parlour until then."
"Erik, did you get us presents?" Fleur asked excitedly.
"Fleur," Colette scolded, even as the other two children chimed in with the same question.
"Of course," Erik gasped, "what sort of man do you think I am? If you go into the parlour you will find them under the tree."
Christine smiled to herself as the scampering of feet echoed up the marble staircase. She half expected to hear the thump of someone hitting the floor, but instead heard Charles' objections, "Don't run in the house!"
She made her way down the stairs then, just as there was another knock on the door, "I'll get it!" she called, nearly running to the door to open it.
"Christine!" Meg exclaimed, wrapping her arms around her neck, "mmm, merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, Meg," Christine laughed, going to hug Antoinette.
"Merry Christmas, my dear," Antoinette smiled, "and thank you for the invitation. The house is gorgeous."
"I know," Christine smiled, "two years, but worth it, no?"
"Definitely!" Meg agreed, "Hello, Erik."
"Good evening," he smiled, giving a small bow before accepting hugs from both Meg and Antoinette, "and merry Christmas."
"To you as well," Antoinette nodded, "thank you for the invitation."
"Think nothing of it," he replied, "come, everyone else is in the parlour."
They all seated themselves in the parlour, where the children had already found their presents and were more than ready to open them. Charles and Danielle's little boy was shaking his box in attempts to identify what was inside, and Fleur's little sister was already untying the ribbon, while her sister tried to stop her.
"No, you can't do that, Michelle," Fleur protested.
"Its fine," Erik said, sitting down beside Christine, "go ahead, open your gifts."
That was achieved quickly and with much thanks before they were quickly occupied with their new toys. Charles smirked, "You spoil them, Sabina."
"I do try," he answered, "and it is Christmas, Armand."
"I guess so," he laughed, "and for New Years the celebration will be at my house, understood? No stealing the party then."
"I wouldn't dream of it," Erik said, "I will be far too busy then to even think about a party."
"Oh that's right!" Danielle gasped, "It's after new years that the Opera Populaire will be reopening, isn't it?"
"It is," Antoinette confirmed.
"Charles, you did get tickets, didn't you?" Danielle asked, "Please say that you did, I've heard that they have sold out, and we must attend. I would not miss Christine's debut on stage for anything."
"Of course. I got them ages ago, the second they went on sale in fact," he chuckled, "and we cannot forget Miss Giry either, prima ballerina hmm?"
Meg blushed, "I'm excited."
"As you both should be," Antoinette said.
"Ewik?" Charles little boy asked, tugging on his pant leg.
"Yes?" he asked, leaning down to look at her.
"You do magic?" he asked excitedly.
Erik gave a low chuckle, "After supper, hmm?"
The little boy smiled widely. He was just like his father, though Erik always teased that he got his looks from his mother. Charles whole heartedly agreed though, so it took some of the fun from it.
"Is supper soon?" Fleur asked, "I'm hungry."
"Yes, in fact we could go into the dining room now. How does that sound, Michelle?"
The little girls nodded her slowly, staring at him from under her blonde bangs. The little girl was definitely much shyer than her sister.
"Well then, shall we?" Christine asked, motioning towards the door.
"We shall," Charles laughed, leading the way out.
Erik and Christine left the room last, and Erik paused outside the dining room to steal a quick kiss. Christine smiled up at him, placing her hand over her stomach and glancing down. Erik smiled back and kissed her forehead tenderly.
"Coming you two?" Meg called.
"Yes," Erik replied, then turned his attention back to Christine and placed his hand over hers, "you're feeling well?"
"I feel wonderful. Stop worrying so," she replied, placing a hand on his cheek, "come on, we can't keep our guests waiting."
He nodded his head and led the way into the dining room, pulling out Christine's chair before sitting himself. The meal was already ready to be served and he couldn't help but smile to himself.
"Well everything looks perfect," Charles commented.
"Indeed," Erik agreed, "everything does seem perfect."
A/N: And now...it is really finished (NO WAI!!!)! Wow...I feel empty inside. I've spent so much time on this and now its done. Yes..empty but accomplished. Like when I spent an entire semester working on an essay on Jack the Ripper and then I handed it in and suddenly the books were gone and so was all the work. ;A; So leave a review. I've already finished re-writing the first chapter of "Time to Heal" and will permaybehaps have a modern day story posted soon...maybe...review!