Hey all! Just got finished with a really rough semester (hence why I haven't updated in over 4 months). Hopefully next semester will be better but I have part two of a class that is insane (Psychology Research Statistics and Methods Part 2, it's a requirements for all psych majors and my professor is the kind that literally crams 3 hours of material into 50 minutes and has like 2 hours free for office hours which equals almost the entire class failing and 15 lab assignments every week so that we can "catch-up" on our own). Horrid, Horrid class and all I want to be is an elementary school counselor. Do I REALLY need to learn all this research crap when I'm not a Bachelor of Science Psych Major nor do I have any desire to do any sort of research psychology EVER? I just want to help kids and not have my GPA plummet because of a crappy class and teacher that is not even relevant to what I want to do for a career. SO ANYWAY, the class I just described was my main reason for no updates and my reason for probably limited or no updates next semester. Enough of my rant (but man is it good to vent), I have a full month off from school so I will hopefully be able to update a good amount during that time. I really do hope people are still out there reading my stories. I see 27 people read my last chapter (which makes me happy!) and two people reviewed! Yes there is no more POTO action really anymore but Erik still has phantom tendencies and just you wait……there is a lot more drama and comedy ahead. I now complete my Author's note and I will now FINALLY begin the chapter…ENJOY!

Chapter 27

Newton's Third Law of Motion

I have always really thought that people saying "At that moment, time just stopped and slowly something happened" was really corny, especially with kissing scenes. This time, however, it really does seem as though everything has slowed down at least. Time hasn't stopped exactly but it certainly feels like time has slowed as I suddenly have everything else fade around me and I am fully focused on Mrs. Friedell reaching toward Erik's face. She's walking toward his right side while he has his eyes closed and he's really into the music, as Erik always is when he plays music or listens to music. Closing the eyes really does cease all distraction and allow only auditory stimuli to assault your senses, which allows full focus and dedication.

I am unfortunately frozen at the moment watching her inch closer to the piano and suddenly I jolt out of my frozen state and get an instant rush of adrenaline. I push through everyone then leap off the stage over the risers and land right as Mrs. Friedell yells and rips Erik's mask from his face. Erik quickly turns his head with his hand flying to cover his cheek yet in addition to ripping off Erik's mask, she has removed his wig too. I shove Mrs. Friedell really hard out of the way then quickly move to Erik hugging him and putting his right cheek into my shoulder, feeling him shaking with panic and he's just freaking out at the moment. Everyone has gasped at what happened but all I care about at the moment is Erik, so I just rest my chin on his head and hold him tightly, stroking his hair and trying to calm him.

I hear a growl from behind me then a yell of frustration. "Kerin Thomas! How dare you lay a hand on me! You are instantly removed from the show for assaulting the director, much less with no grounds to do so!" Mrs. Friedell yells and I just close my eyes, not caring at the moment.

Then I hear someone else jump from the stage and then hear Jack's voice. "Well, you're losing at least one more cast member. I quit. No one treats my best friend or her father that way." Jack says and I instantly hear more people get off the stage and say they quit too, agreeing with Jack.

I then feel a hand on my shoulder and I turn my head seeing Jack offering Erik's mask to me. I give him a sincere look with a grim smile and turn my head back and look down at Erik. "Erik?" I ask softly and I feel him tense.

"What?" He asks almost inaudibly and I frown at his broken very fragile tone.

"I have your mask." I say and I hear him sigh then he shakily holds out his hand.

I place the mask in it then kiss the top of his head, before he sits up and turns away from me. Jack hand me Erik's wig and I put it on the keys in front of Erik. Then I place a hand on Erik's shoulder, squeezing gently, before gritting my teeth and turning to Mrs. Friedell, thoroughly ticked off. "My father is a respectful man and has obeyed every one of the rules of the theater since day one. Did you not think that when he didn't remove his mask that there was possibly a reason? Obviously not." I say, scoffing then continue. "Erik was my friend before he adopted me and he still is. You don't deserve to hear this but it's important nonetheless. All of Erik's life he was made out to be a bad person, yet it was people like you who made him that way! He's a good man." I say emphatically and cross my arms over my chest. " Pretty tempermental, but I love him just the way he is. Oh and by the way, Erik's the musical genius here and I would've quit if you hadn't removed me." I say finishing telling her off then I turn back to check on Erik and see him standing.

I walk over to him and he instantly pulls me into a hug, kissing the top of my head. "I love you too." He says, and I hug him back, smiling, and I hear someone start clapping, then everyone else joins in.

"This is ridiculous! How was I supposed to know he had something to hide behind the mask?!" Mrs. Friedell exclaims.

"Did you ever ask?" I hear Jack ask angrily.

"How can anyone be exactly like the Phantom of the Opera? It was a fictional tale." She says in a disbelieving tone and I hear Erik chuckle.

"If they are him, however, that was my previous occupation." Erik says proudly and I pull back and smile at him, having him smile back.

"Kerin, is that true?" I hear Melinda ask from the crowd near the stage and I look at her and nod.

"The real one from 1870, yes." I say and she gives me an odd look.

"But, how is that possible?" She asks and I think for a second before replying.

"Let's just say it involved a DVD, time travel, and a bond that occurred between two people from different time periods." I say then one of the main actors John speaks up.

"Hey Mr. Daemon, why don't you be our director? You are, after all, a genius with music, and we'd listen to you." He says and Erik gets a hesitant look on his face and is about to speak when I cut in.

"Careful guys, he's really strict when it comes to music and singing, and he's a major perfectionist." I say embellishing these facts about Erik a little and I see Erik giving me a look where he's attempting to seem angry with me but I see that he is actually fighting a smile.

"Kerin..." He says reproachfully with his arms over his chest and I imitate his stance then speak.

"Erik…" I say in the exact same tone and the smile breaks through.

"I'm not that strict. And no, my dear, I am not a perfectionist." He says and I nod.

"Okay, whatever you say, Erik." I say in fake agreement and when he goes to say a comeback, I stop him. "You're possible cast is waiting, Monsieur." I say formally and he raises an eyebrow then turns to look at the cast.

"I accept the invitation." He says and everyone cheers and Mrs. Friedell immediately approaches Erik so I get up on stage with everyone else to help reset the stage so we can restart the scene and so the two of them can talk, since I know Erik is feeling way better now. I joke around with Jack for a bit and we chat excitedly about our new director and then I hear Erik call my name and I go out on stage and see Erik beckoning me over to him. I go over to Mrs. Friedell and Erik and Mrs. Friedell looks at me guiltily.

"Kerin, I apologize." She says somewhat reluctantly and with very little if any sincerity.

"Apologize to Erik, not me. However, I don't want you near him any longer so I'd prefer you just leave without another word." I say angrily and she looks at me offended.

"Excuse me, I will not be spoken to in that way by a child." She says in a condescending tone and I feel a hand on my shoulder, pulling me back to Erik's side.

"You're correct, she doesn't. I, however, do have that authority and I would like for you to cease interrupting my rehearsal and leave the auditiorium." He says neutrally and she glares at him.

"Your rehearsal?"She asks incredulously.

"I recall these young men and women asking me to replace you as the director. I also recall accepting. Now if you'd please…" Erik says gesturing to the door and she makes an aggravated sound then storms out of the auditorium. "Cho, Laura, make sure everyone and everything is in the correct location." He says to the stage managers. "Everyone we're starting at the top of the wedding scene." He says squeezing my shoulder then moving back to the piano and I go back on stage and get in position, and we continue with rehearsal with a new director and no more distractions.

Okay so that's where I'm ending it because it's the end of a major event. The next chapter will be up in a week or earlier, depending on the feedback I get from this. If I get instant reviews and a good amount of hits I'll post the next one sooner.