The last chapter... which also happens to be the longest chapter that has ever been written in the two books! So, everyone enjoy the very long conclusion to 'Destiny's Curse'...


Chapter 30- The Final Threshold

Everybody was now in a state of utter panic. Nobody could honestly say that they were completely ready for the performance that was going to be taking place in no less than three hours. The Orchestra were rehearsing, frequent mistakes were being made and then harshly corrected by Jean. The dancers were becoming a nightmare. All of them were trying to do moves which were much too complicated for them. They kept asking Jennifer to go over the really difficult ones with them over and over again.

The managers were nowhere to be seen at the moment. People assumed that they were in their office, probably praying that the performance was going to go well. Everybody who thought this hated them for giving them such a short time in the first place. Nobody could see the logic in giving them one month. Carrie was ready for the performance as she had been being tutored by her father, who happened to be the composer.

Zurie could safely say that she had mastered all of the songs, and was very happy to have done so. She was used to the type of music that Erik wrote, meaning that this was not really a huge task for her. Everyone was amazed at how Zurie and Carrie could learn such complex things in such a short time, and it was clear that the chorus were all jealous of them.

"And again please gentlemen!" Called Jean as the orchestra rearranged all of their music. "After four… one, two, three, four…"

They struck up the opening bars of the opera. They sounded quite good, but still there was the odd mistake here and there which made Jean very annoyed with all of them. The dancers were on stage going through all of the dances step by step, one by one. Jennifer looked over at Jean.

"I don't suppose you could run through the opening song for act two could you?" She called over the orchestra to him.

"Silence everyone…" He called to his musicians, "…what was that Jennifer?" He could not hear her the first time over the music that had been playing.

"I said can you please run through the opening song for act two?" She called even louder, though this was not necessary now that the orchestra were not playing.

"Certainly…" He called back, he knew that his musicians would not be happy with this however, "…you heard the lady gentlemen, act two song one…"

They rearranged their music yet again so that they were all looking at the first song. They played the opening bars and Jennifer's dancers began to attempt the routine to it. It was a very difficult thing to do, when they had been running through it step by step they had been going much slower than the song actually was.

When the song came to an end several of the dancers fell to the floor in exhaustion. "Oh please, you call yourselves dancers? Get up! You cannot do this tonight can you?"

The ones that had fell to the floor got to their feet in a hurry, not wanting to annoy Jennifer. They were all breathing very heavily. The dance was so fast that they could not believe that they were all still conscious. In the early days of rehearsals several of them actually had passed out due to exhaustion but they had improved in stamina since then, even though it had only been a month.

"Thank you for that Jean…" She said to him.

"Don't mention it Jennifer." He replied, and then told his orchestra to go back to the song that they had been on before they had been requested to do that song for her.

Jennifer went back to the step by step run through. She was not doing this for very long however before the stage managers came on stage. "Managers have given us permission to check the set. We don't want anything collapsing do we?"

Everyone turned very sour at the mention of the managers and yet no one said anything about them. Nobody really needed to however, it was common knowledge that the only people who were happy about the short preparation period were the stage managers, and they after all had the set done within weeks anyway.

The Orchestra continued to play their music but the dancers had to get off of the stage for a while so that it could be checked. Jenifer decided that this would be a good opportunity for her to go and have a nice friendly chat with the managers. She had been wanting to do so for some time now, but had always been to busy rehearsing.

She knocked four times on the door when she got there. "Come in…" She did not hesitate to do so.

Jennifer was very surprised to see that the managers looked as though they wanted the earth to swallow them up. She would have thought that they would have been happy with the progress that had been made. To be sure it was not perfect yet, but nothing ever was perfect.

"Are you disappointed with what we have achieved?" She asked them, they did not need to ask why she asked such a question.

"We are very happy for what you have achieved." Firmin replied, sounding deadly serious. "We are just not feeling one hundred percent at the moment Jennifer…"

She could not truthfully say that she felt sorry for them but was in a better mood with them than she would have been about two weeks ago. Jennifer now felt a little bit out of place. She had come here to have a go at them for the ridiculous time scale and yet now that she saw them like this she felt guilty for even considering this.

"Is there anything in particular you wanted to say to us?" André asked, looking as though he was about to pass out.

"Umm, not really…" She said, then she could not help herself and went on to ask, "…has someone just died or something because you two look dreadful."

"Thank you very much…" Firmin replied to her sarcastically, giving a smirk when he had said it, "…you look very well yourself."

Jennifer looked as though she was about to leave, so André thought that it would be best to say something. "Like Firmin said earlier, we are just not feeling one hundred percent. Things have happened that have just dampened our spirits…"

"No one has died though have they?" She asked, just to be sure that she had not offended them by saying this earlier.

"Good heavens no…" Firmin said, trying not to laugh at the apologetic tone that was clear in her voice, "…you will be the first we have told this to, but we think that we are going to resign after this performance…"

Jennifer had not been expecting this. "But why?" She asked, she could not say that she hated the managers for what they had done. It was only a one off thing after all.

"We are sick of all of this…" André replied, "…and we are pretty sure that everyone is sick of us and so we are going to do everyone a favour and take our leave."

Jennifer could not say that she was sick of them. On the contrary from what she heard they must have been the best managers that the Populaire had ever seen.

"People are not sick of you…" She informed them, trying to put up a good strong reason for why they should stay and continue to run the Populaire like they had done for twenty years.

"It doesn't make any difference my dear…" Firmin replied, getting up and moving over to the table where the chessboard still lay, "…this job has just become far too much for us to handle, and I think that it is best if we leave it to a younger and more able person…"

Jennifer could not see the logic in this. A younger person would not have the experience in managing that they had and so what was the point in giving it to someone younger?

"Messieurs I cannot agree with you…" They did not seem to be listening to her.

Firmin knocked over the white king on the chessboard. "I am afraid that this is game over for us Jennifer… You had better get back to you rehearsals…"

Jennifer thought that she would probably cry if they left, but managed to contain herself. She left the managers' office to go back to her dancers. She had absolutely no intention of letting anyone know that the managers were resigning, so she tried her best to act as if everything was normal.

-

"You do know that this idea of yours is mad don't you?" A figure asked someone who appeared to be a very important person.

"Mad is always a very good place to start. You can never be a sane person and get very far in life…" The figure was about to reply to this but did not get the chance, "…nobody got anywhere by thinking small. You should know that by now…"

"I guess so…" The figure did not think that this was necessarily a true statement, "…and what are the chances of success?"

"I would say…" The important man began, "…quite damn high, it is like drawing poison from a wound if you know what I mean?"

"Yes I know what you mean, but that does not mean that we are going to succeed does it?" The important person seemed to be very optimistic about what it was they were going to attempt to do.

"Everyone is in position, so there is really no need to worry…" He informed the figure, who did not seem to share his optimism.

"I am not worrying, I just want to be sure that everything is going to run smoothly…" He replied to the important looking man.

"Hey, hey, hey, where is the decent attitude? You do know that if we manage to pull this off then we will be very rich men don't you?"

Of course I know this otherwise I would not be here doing this would I? He thought to himself, fighting the very strong urge to say this out loud and make the important man feel like an idiot.

"What time are we leaving?" He asked, even though he was relatively sure he knew when having gone over the plan about ten times in his mind.

"Five, that should give us enough time to get there and be ready…" The figure was proved right, yet still this did not make much sense.

"We have to be there two hours early?" He asked, thinking that this was a bit of overkill.

"Better to be early and waiting around for ages than late and rushing to get what you want done out of the way…" He replied, his optimism was obviously kicking in again. This annoyed the figure a great deal.

"Well, that means that we only have fifteen minutes then…" He said, gesturing over at the clock on the wall which showed that it was quarter to five.

"Good lord! I had better go and tell everyone…" The important man exclaimed. He then ran from the room to go and tell everyone who was going with them to be ready in fifteen minutes.

This left the figure alone to his own thoughts… You do not seem to know how dangerous this is going to be you fool. It may not be very dangerous on your part but for me it is life threatening.

The important man returned in what seemed like no time at all. "Well, are you ready then? Have you got everything?"

He hated it when he asked more that one question at a time. "Yes and yes, and could you please stop acting as though you are the king of France? It is very off putting…"

The important looking man had been bouncing around as though he had just been to his own coronation. He stopped as soon as he had been told this however. He must have realised that he looked like a bit of an idiot when he was in this sort of mood.

"How long should it take us to get there?" The figure asked, thinking that it would take at least fifteen minutes to do so.

"Not sure, that is one of the reasons why I wanted to leave early…" The important man replied, almost skipping as they left through the door of that massive building to head to their destination.

"Fat lot of good you are…" The figure muttered to himself.

"What was that?" The important man asked, taking the figure by surprise as he did not think that he would have been able to hear him.

"Nothing, nothing, I was just going over the plan out loud…" He did not want to risk his job. He had been doing it for too long to be fired now.

-

"Are you ready my love?" Erik called up to the bedroom. He was anxiously waiting to leave for the Populaire.

"Just a minute…" Christine called back from the top of the stairs, making it clear that she had left the bedroom. She reached the bottom of the stairs a matter of seconds after that, "…I don't suppose you could put this on for me could you?"

She turned round so as to let him put on the necklace which she seemed to have been struggling with. It took him a surprisingly long time to do it himself, though this was mainly because his hand was playing up again.

"What time does it start?" She asked him, obviously not wanting to be late for his opera.

"Eight I think, so don't worry we have plenty of time to go there and get our seats… I had them reserved for us after all…" He informed her. Christine wondered where they were going to be sitting but was pretty sure she knew before she asked.

"Box five as usual right?" Erik nodded his head, even though he knew it was not necessary to do so as she knew already.

Erik seemed to be quite excited about the performance, and Christine was left with absolutely no doubt as to why that was. The last time that one of his operas was put on, which happened to be 'Don Juan', he had been overseeing the rehearsals, meaning that there were no surprises in what was going to happen. This time however he had left it completely in the hands of the opera staff, meaning that he was obviously excited about what it was going to be like.

"One thing I don't understand is why they only had a month to rehearse…" Erik said, thinking that this was a very strange thing of the managers to do. Then again the managers were going mad, so it must have just been a decision so as to get it out of the way.

Erik was sure however that the performance was still going to be as good as they always were, if not better. One thing that had been on his mind however was what had happened at his last Opera, in other words he had the impression that the place was going to catch fire again. He then thought logically and realised that this was going to be a very unlikely thing to happen.

"The managers must just have been drunk when they made that decision and now they cannot change it…" Christine said. Erik thought that this was a very unlikely thing to have happened, then realised that Christine was laughing.

"Ha, ha, ha, very funny…" He said to her, giving her a playful swat over the back of the head.

They left and started their long walk to the Opera House. It was still surprisingly light out, even thought it was nearly seven at night. Neither of them said anything during their long walk. It was only when they were walking along the street that the Populaire was on that Christine decided to speak.

"I wonder if Jake is going to be here tonight…" Erik was glad that she did not sound unhappy when she said this, "…it would be nice to see him again after he took off without a single word."

Christine then noticed something. She had put her arm around Erik's waist and noticed that something was attached to his belt.

"Do you really think that it is appropriate to have that?" She asked, not wanting to argue in the middle of a crowded street but still wanting to get this out of her system.

"You can never be too careful…" Erik said to her.

They then both walked up the stairs and into the Populaire. The performance

was due to start in half an hour…

-

"Places everyone, places!" The managers, called. Everybody was shooting them very evil looks as they did so. They all moved into their positions for the beginning of act one. None of them were at all confident that this was going to go down very well but all they could do was try their best, and if their best was not good enough then that was tough.

"Curtain up in two minutes…" Called one of the stage managers to all of them. None of them seemed to want to know this. It seemed to make all of them much more nervous than they already were.

"Scared Andrea?" Carrie asked her. This was quite an inappropriate question, it was very clear that Andrea was ready to run for the hills if she was given the chance.

"Sort of…" She answered, starting to shake violently. It took her around ten seconds before she started to calm down, which was lucky as the stage manager then called.

"Curtain up in one minute!" People were getting more and more nervous by the second, and this really was not helping them at all.

"Good luck Carrie…" Andrea whispered to her.

"Good luck yourself Andrea…" The curtain then rose, and all of the performers who were on the stage were staring at yet another full house, only this time not with the confidence that they usually had during a performance…

-

Erik and Christine were sitting in box five watching the performance. Erik seemed to be very pleased with what he was seeing, and so it seemed did everyone else who was watching. The performance got off to a very shaky start, but since everyone was enjoying it so much it seemed to be boosting their confidence as they went on.

Christine thought that the Opera itself was much more romantic than 'Don Juan' was. It was clear that Erik wanted to try something new. Christine thought that this style of opera suited him much more than the style of 'Don Juan' did however. It all seemed to flow much more smoothly than his first Opera did.

Act one was around one hour long, and when it had finished the audience gave them a standing ovation since they liked it so much. There was a break between acts, which was good as 'Fires of Eden' comprised of four, meaning that the audience would lose interest without a break.

"We had better be getting back to our seats…" Christine said as she checked the time to see how much more of a break they had left, "…it is brilliant so far!"

They wandered back to their seats in box five. They had just sat down when Erik looked as though something was wrong.

"What is the matter?" She asked, wondering what had upset him all of a sudden.

"Well…" He began as the curtain rose for the second act, then he whacked the space just behind his head with an incredible force and grabbed something which he could not see since he was looking forward, "…I don't really appreciate having a gun pointed at my head."

Erik turned round to see that he was holding the wrist of a woman who was dressed in white. Christine had to use all of her self control not to scream, people seemed not to notice that Erik was about to be shot.

He got to his feet and dragged the woman to the corridor outside the box. "Who are you!?" He spat at her, quietly though so that the people in the auditorium could not hear him.

"Let go of me you freak!" She spat back at him.

Christine seemed to have a sudden look of understanding on her face, as though seeing this woman had just allowed her to remember something. "She is the one who tried to brainwash me the day I found the lair of Draconosis…"

This was new news to Erik. He knew what she meant however, this explained what had happened to her the day she could not remember anything. Erik noticed a dagger on her waist and seized it. From what he could tell there was a poison smeared onto it.

"You are the one who killed Meg…" Said out loud, he recognized the scent of the poison of that which had been used to kill Meg.

Christine eyes seemed to flare when she heard this. "You…evil…" The woman in white laughed a cold laugh, she seized the knife from Erik, "…how about a taste of your own medicine you cold blooded witch!"

She stabbed her through her right had which Erik was holding. To her surprise she did not scream or shout, which Christine thought must have been a very difficult thing to do.

"You are dead…" She said to them, "…you think I am stupid enough to come here alone? You are dead and so is your precious daughter!"

Glacier then fell to the floor, lifeless. Erik checked her pulse to make sure that she was not faking. She was definitely dead however. Christine looked as though she wanted to unmask her but Erik ran off before she could do so.

"Where are you going!?" She called after him in a panic.

"To make sure that Carrie is safe!" He called over his shoulder, and then he made his way to the dressing rooms which were just offstage.

When he got there he was surprised to see that it was empty. They must have been at a part in his Opera where all of them were required to be onstage. People were starting to walk off though. Erik could tell that it was going to be the start of his most favourite song of the whole thing.

It was between Carrie, Zurie and the leading male whose name Erik did not know. It was only the lead male that was singing, and there was no way for Erik to signal to Carrie that she was in danger.

No one would listen

No one but her

Heard as the Outcast hears…

Erik did not know what he was meant to do, all he could do was wait for the second act to finish, which was not for a very long time, meaning that Carrie could be dead before he had the chance to save her.

Shamed into Solitude

Shunned by the Multitude

I learned to listen

In my dark, my heart heard music…

Erik was looking around wildly for the woman's accomplice, yet was unsuccessful in spotting anyone. He looked up at the bridges above the stage, no one was there, across to the other side of the stage and still he could see no-one.

I longed to teach the world

Rise up and reach the world

No one would listen

I alone could feel the music…

Erik looked behind him to see if anyone was going to sneak up on him but no one was there. Maybe the woman was bluffing, maybe there was really no one coming to kill them and she was here on her own.

Then at last, a voice in the gloom

Seemed to cry "I hear you;

I hear your fears,

Your torment and your tears."

Erik was becoming very impressed by the dance choreography of the song itself. It must have meant a lot of work for Zurie and Carrie but not too much for the lead male. He could not let his mind wander from what he had to focus on now however…

She saw my loneliness

Shared in my emptiness

No one would listen

No one but her

Heard as the outcast hears…

Erik could see that several members of the audience had been reduced to tears by the song. This was the intention he had when composing it, but to see it working gave him a feeling of pride. Don't let your mind wander…

No one would listen

No one but her

Heard as the outcast hears…

There was another standing ovation from the crowd as the song finished. Erik clapped as well, though was still focusing on where the accomplice could be…

WHAM! Erik felt someone kick him very hard in his back, forcing him onto the stage. People started muttering to each other. Clearly they thought that this was part of the Opera.

Then someone came onto the stage which made it quite clear that this was not part of the act. Crimson Nightshade was walking very slowly towards Erik, his blade drawn and pointed straight at him.

There were screams from all over the auditorium, people were getting out of their seats and running for their lives, obviously knowing at once who this person was.

"You look surprised Mr Destler…" He said to him, this unnerved him, no one but his family and close friends knew what his real name was. Erik had been thankful for putting on his mask while running to the dressing rooms before this had been said.

Erik reached for his gun, but then noticed that he did not have it. Crimson held it up in front of him. Erik had a feeling that this had happened to him before, yet he could not remember when.

He was not sure if it was just his imagination but he thought that Crimson was giving him a very meaningful look. He walked over to him and put the blade right up to his throat, Erik could see no way out of this.

"I thought I told you to wait for my signal!" A voice shouted at Crimson. Erik looked to see who the voice belonged to.

There was a man in a black cape, in a mask like no other Erik had ever seen in his life. It covered his head completely and shone bright white. "Since when did I ever do things your way?"

"Since I told you to Crimson!" The terrible figure shouted back. "What has gotten into you!?"

People were still screaming and trying to get out of the Opera House. "I don't know, perhaps I am just not feeling myself lately…"

He spun the sword round so that the hilt was facing Erik. Erik took it very quickly and got to his feet, just in time to see Crimson rush towards the figure and cross swords with him.

"I can tell you the problem…" Another voice said from behind Erik, he then turned round and was staring at the impossible, "…that is not me…"

He was looking at Crimson Nightshade, but it couldn't be Crimson Nightshade, he had just given him a sword and started fighting. The one that had just spoken looked very annoyed at the situation. He drew his blade and ran up to Erik, who only just parried a very strong attack in time.

Erik was trying to work everything out at the same time as fighting. There are two of them…but that can not be right… if there were two of them there would have been more murders… He ducked a swipe of Crimson's and kicked him in the chest, sending him crashing to the floor.

Erik looked round to see what the other Crimson was doing. This was a big mistake. He had only just seen him dodge a particularly nasty attack when he felt someone trip him up from behind.

The Crimson he had been fighting was getting ready to strike, but then out of nowhere came a dagger which hit him in the shoulder, stunning him for a moment due to the pain. Erik just about had time to see that the other Crimson had thrown the dagger and in doing so had saved Erik's life.

Erik tried to finish his attacker off, yet this was proving to be a very difficult thing to accomplish even thought he was wounded. After another minute of fighting Erik and his attacker heard a terrible scream from stage right. Forgetting that they were fighting for a moment they looked to see what had happened, they were looking at the figure in the bright white mask falling to the floor, quite clearly dead.

The Crimson that Erik was fighting tripped him up again and got ready to strike. The other Crimson came over just in time to prevent his death again. The fight which followed this was a very confusing one to watch, Erik found it impossible to tell which one was the Crimson that was on his side, and which was the Crimson not on his side.

He then noticed that the gun that had been taken from him was lying inches from him. Erik picked it up and took aim, yet it was impossible to know which one he was meant to shoot. They continued to fight, yet it seemed like they were both very skilled swordsman.

One of them took off their red cape so as to be able to manoeuvre easier. This seemed to do the trick for him as he managed to disarm his opponent shortly after doing this. Erik did not know whether he should shoot the one that was winning or not. He then saw something that let him know exactly what to do.

He shot the one who had no cape on, and there was silence in the auditorium. Erik got to his feet, not sure if he did the right thing. Walking over to the dead Crimson he soon found out however that he had done the right thing.

The Crimson who was alive got to his feet and turned to Erik, then removed his mask. "Sorry I attacked you earlier father, but I had to be convincing to draw him…" He pointed at the dead figure in black, "…out of his hiding place…"

Erik was trying to work out what the hell was going on. "Jake? You are Crimson Nightshade!?"

Jake laughed. "God no! Why do you think I was trying to help you, they were going to kill you as I am sure you found out!"

Erik thought his legs were going to give way if he stood up for much longer. "Where is Christine?" He asked him, still not sure whether he believed him or not.

"She is safe, come with me and I will show you…" Jake led Erik to the dining room.

When entering the room he saw Christine sitting there, in perfect health. She ran up to him and flung her arms round him. "Ok…" Erik began once they had let go of each other, "…time for you to explain!"

They sat down in the dining room chairs. "Wait a minute…" Jake said, "…there are some other people on their way who need to know what is happening…"

Erik removed his mask and waited. It took about fifteen minutes for everyone to arrive. These people included Carrie, Zurie, Madame Giry, Andrea, André, Firmin, Byron, Michel and Gladys Lemont. When everyone was sitting down, Jake began to explain, helped out by who appeared to be his boss.

"I have been leading a double life. In order to work for this organisation I needed to have two jobs. Unfortunately I got fed up with the 'cover up' job and quit it…" Was how Jake started, this caught everyone's attention, "…for a long time I have been working on the Draconosis case now, and finally it has come to an end…"

The door opened and some people who Erik assumed worked for the same people as Jake walked in, in their arms were the dead bodies of the woman in white, Crimson Nightshade and the figure in black. Everyone was keen to see who they were.

Jake got up and walked over to the woman in white and took off her mask. Madame Giry let out a gasp. She recognised who it was at once. "Clarissa…"

Andrea looked over at her. There was no doubt about it, the woman in the white coat was indeed Clarissa, whom she knew many, many years ago…

"She killed Meg… but why?" Christine asked to everyone, Madame Giry was the one to answer.

"She despised her when she was at the Opera house… if she had the opportunity to kill Meg then she would have taken it just like that." She clicked her fingers on the word 'that', then began to sob uncontrollably, "…spiteful bitch! Just because she has no family left she has to take away other peoples…"

Jake moved over to the figure in black and removed is mask. Nobody except Jake seemed to know who he was. "This is the great-great grandson of Gregory Grecone, who was the original founder of Draconosis. His name is Damian Grecone…"

This seemed to make sense to everyone, yet all of them really wanted to know who Crimson was. Jake moved over to him and carefully removed the highly decorated mask.

Everyone in the room let out a gasp. There, lying on the floor, was none other than the Opera Populaire's own Jean-Michel LeRoi…

"But why!?" Carrie, Firmin and André all cried together.

It was Jake's boss who answered this one. "He was leading a double life the second he set foot in the Populaire. He was the fourth conductor since Reyer retired, meaning he has not been here all that long…"

Jake continued, "…he was well placed for any assassinations that needed doing in the centre of Paris quickly he was the one to do it. Tonight he was to wait until Damian created a distraction, then he would kill Erik…"

Jake then held up the mask that he had removed from Jean to look through the eye holes. There were thin red lenses in each, which explained how his eyes always looked naturally red.

Everything seemed to be slotting into place. I know he was the reason I got this job… "All of the other conductors did not stay long because of the Opera Ghost, and he was ordered to stay here by his boss, right?" Carrie chirped in, Jake nodded at her.

"So is he actually a proper conductor?" Michel asked, still a little confused about this.

"We can only guess that he is… you see he tried to get a job as a conductor in many places, yet he gave up when he applied for his fifth one. Then one day out of the blue he applied for this place. Naturally he was accepted right away as the managers…" Jake gestured at André and Firmin, "…were becoming somewhat desperate."

"This can not be right!" Firmin boomed, realising something rather obvious, "He was conducting the orchestra so how could he be in two places at once!?"

"He wasn't…" Erik said to him, remembering something, "…he was not conducting during 'No One Would Listen', I did not think anything of it at the time I was too busy trying to look after Carrie…"

The doors opened yet again, and another dead body was brought into the room. "Thank you…" Jake's boss said to the people who brought it in, "…where did you find it?"

"At the base…" The two men replied, "…they had some sort of morgue there…"

They left. The body on the floor was that of Wraith. Jake went over and removed the mask that was still on his face. It was now Gladys' turn to gasp, as she was now looking at he husband.

"But I saw him die! I saw him…" She pointed at LeRoi, "…kill him."

"What you saw was staged…" Jake said, which sounded rather obvious, "…if you dug up your dead husbands coffin I am willing to bet that you would find a completely different person occupying it."

Gladys broke down and started crying on Madame Giry's shoulder. She could not believe that her husband was a member of a group of assassins.

"Where is the base?" Erik asked Jake, he assumed that he knew.

"Beneath the Eiffel Tower…" He replied, "…it was at the base that I was able to retrieve this…" He threw down the mask that he had worn during the fight onto the table, "…you see LeRoi always liked to carry round two masks, just in case he lost one. I was able to take this one after Damian staged LeRoi's death…"

This piece of information was new to everyone. "I was able to hear the conversation that they had. Damian wanted Clarissa, aka Glacier, dead. He sent her to try and kill you on his own knowing that she would fail. To do this though he had to make her believe that LeRoi was dead, as the two of them hated each other."

Everything was making sense now. "I think that is enough to leave them thinking about Jake…" His boss said to him, "…perhaps we should all get some sleep."

"You can stay here for tonight…" Firmin told all of them, "…we have enough spare rooms for you to do so."

"I will show you the way…" André said, Firmin looked as though he was going to help him.

"There is just one thing that I do not understand though…" Firmin began, "…who was the bloody mysterious detective that the police sent here?"

"Ah…" Jake's boss began, "…well, we decided to put him here when we started thinking that the Opera Populaire might be in danger. Good thing we did too, about a week ago we found Christophe Jones' body in the sewers. We had a team investigating his disappearance as soon as he 'resigned'…"

The managers started to lead everyone to their rooms. Erik decided that he would have a chat with them in the morning so as to apologise for everything that he had done in the past.

This cleared up just about everything and so everyone decided that it would now be best for them to get some sleep. "How long have you known that I was the Phantom?"

Everybody was filing out of the room when Erik asked Jake this. "Since Daroga was killed. You have to consider that we have had spies in Draconosis for a while now…" This made sense to Erik, "…now can I ask you something?" Jake asked Erik, "…how did you know who to shoot?"

Erik did not answer. He went over to LeRoi's body and pointed at his right arm. There at the top of it near his shoulder shone a 'D' which had been branded into his skin…

-

Draconosis was finished. The base which had been found was flooded to make sure that nothing survived. All of the members that were present in the base had been arrested and so there was no chance of them beating the police force which was sent down into the base. Erik was no longer wanted by the police, all the charges that he had accumulated over the years had been dropped due to his help in capturing the members of Draconosis. He strongly suspected that Jake had a lot to do with this.

There were no longer any secrets between anyone. Everyone now knew that Christine and Erik were married, meaning that they also knew Carrie and Jake were their Children.

Erik could not believe everything that had happened. He was standing in front of Daroga's grave, thinking. Then he said out loud, "…I did it Daroga, I stopped them…not single handed, but I stopped them." He walked up to the gravestone and put his hand on it, reading the words on the stone over and over.

Christine walked over to him from Meg's grave. "Well, at least we can say that our lives have been very eventful…" She said to him. They both laughed quietly.

"You know what…" Erik said to her, "…I think what I compose is not meant for the stage. It seems to be destiny's curse that my Opera's are meant for me, you, Carrie and Jake. No one else…"

Christine nodded in agreement. "So, the house in London is bought then?"

It was Erik's turn to nod. "I doubt Jake will be coming with us, this job of his seems to have him tied down to France and nowhere else…"

"I am sure he will come and visit at some point, and who knows, maybe your opera's will do better on stage's in London…" Christine said to him. She then she thought of something very important, "…I forgot to say…"

"Say what?" Erik asked curiously.

"Happy Birthday Erik…"

THE END


Ok...this could take a while...

Characters I do not own

Erik Christine Andre Firmin Madame Giry Meg Daroga/Nadir Khan

Characters I do own (and some M owns as well)

Jake Carrie Michel Zurie Porsche, Minouche, Berlioz, Toulouse (The Cats) Byron Christophe Jones Gregory Grecone Damian Grecone Jean Michel-LeRoi Jennifer (Dance Teacher) Andrea Clarissa Anastasia Levian Jacques Lemont Gladys Lemont Samuel Frelques Members of Draconosis: Crimson Nightshade Fiora The Dark Messenger Glacier Wraith 'The Boss' Crystal

Title of the third book: 'The Celestial Forge'

Hope you enjoyed it everybody, and now you can look forward to the third book!

R