I do not own any of the characters from The Phantom of the Opera, although I do rather enjoy borrowing them from time to time.
A/N Welcome to my third attempt at POTO FanFiction. This will have a very dark Erik in the majority of the story as he is seeking revenge on Christine for her past betrayal. I will have Nadir, Marie and possibly a Meg in this story. Please let me know how you like it. Thanks!
Author – ToryD
Beta – Adora
Erik Dessler stood gazing unseeingly out of his corner office window as the afternoon sun beat down unmercifully in the clear August sky. He should be elated that his sole goal of the last fifteen years was about to finally be obtained. So why was he feeling this undeniable gut wrenching apprehension he silently asked himself. A humorless laugh escaped his lips as he faced the cold reality of his unease, for he was about to come face to face his most treacherous enemy. Closing his eyes against the overwhelming pain that clenched at his heart, he allowed himself to say the forbidden name, "Christine." The tortured whisper did nothing to ease the weight in his chest that threatening to cut off his air supply. He clenched his hands into tight fists in an attempt to bank down the unwanted emotion that her name brought to him, for in another lifetime she had been the very air he breathed. Christine he thought to himself as he pictured her as she once was, innocent, beautiful and oh so accepting of him in spite of himself. And he had loved her. Loved her with an unselfish, overpowering love that promised to transcend more than just one short lifetime. He had loved her as he would never love again. His one and only love, his Christine, the one who he trusted so faithfully with possession of his lonely heart. She had been his one and only reason for living this miserable life that God had so cruelly granted to him. Hell, he thought to himself, she was still his only reason for living; only instead of the all-encompassing love that once was; now there was only black cancerous hate. Hate and the undeniable thirst for vengeance. Vengeance that was at long last, finally at hand.
Christine sat beside her smug father as the limousine made its way through the busy Manhattan traffic. Sighing deeply she turned to her father and once again tried to garner the reason for her required presence at this meeting. "Father, who is it that we are meeting with?"
Charles looked up from his Wall Street Journal and gave his daughter a look of distain. "Nadir Kahn from VIM Industries, he is the man who is giving Smythe Holdings the necessary loan so that we can stay in business." He father said in a bored tone.
"I still don't understand why I must attend this meeting." Christine commented dryly.
"Nor do I, but that is beside the point. For some reason the deal is hinging on your presence today. It could be that the owner of the company has taken a fancy to you and wants to meet you, so I expect you to keep that in mind and smile at whoever is in attendance." He instructed in a firm tone that raked across Christine's nerves.
"VIM Enterprises, I don't ever recall hearing of that company before." Christine said as she racked her brain for some familiar connotation from the name.
"It is a privately held company. Reputed to be worth over 250 billion dollars and all owned by one man." Charles informed her as he went back to his paper.
"Is Mr. Kahn the gentleman who owns VIM Enterprise?" She asked as the limousine pulled up to the glass walled skyscraper that housed the offices of VIM Enterprises.
Charles sighed in irritation at the incessant questions his tiresome daughter was asking. Folded his paper and tossed it carelessly on the seat in front of him. "No one knows who the owner of VIM Enterprises is, that my dear is the best kept secret in all of New York. But I will tell you this Christine; whoever he is, he is a genius. To have a company go from nothing to the success it has obtained today in eight short years is a feat that has never been achieved. We are very fortunate that they have agreed to fund our shortfall."
Christine turned her face away to hide the injustice of her father's comment, for it was he with his excessive lifestyle and uncontrollable gambling habit that had run her grandfather's business into the ground. Smiling a polite smile, she accepted the chauffeur's hand as she exited the luxurious car with an elegant grace that denoted the years of formal ballet training that she had received at her mother's insistence. Shielding her eyes against the bright afternoon sun, Christine joined her father as they walked towards the building that housed the man who would save her family from ruin.
Nadir gave a profunctionary knock on Erik's office door before he entered. "They have just arrived." He informed his long time friend and employer.
Erik tensed at the news of Christine's presence within his building. His heart began to race at the thought of seeing her once again. He knew that the years had been kind to her, as he had viewed numerous pictures in the weekly reports on her comings and goings for the last five years. "Tell Sharon to have them wait." He said to his vice president.
"Alright Erik." Nadir said in a quiet tone in deference to the solomn nature of the moment at hand.
Erik sank down into his soft leather chair and raked a trembling hand through his thick brown hair. "Damn it!" He cursed himself for the all-encompassing fear that filled him at the prospect of seeing the only woman he had ever loved. Loved, he thought with a disgusted look upon his face. Love that had turned his heart into an empty shell with only one purpose to fulfill in his lonely life. That purpose was to have her pay. Pay in the same way he had for the simple misfortune of loving her. Closing his eyes against the intense pain of her ruthless betrayal, he tried to regain some semblance of strength in order to carry out his carefully orchestrated plan. Looking at his watch, he was surprised that he had been sitting here for over an hour. Picking up his phone, he dialed Nadir's private office line. "You can proceed." He said in a calm voice that belied the inner turmoil wreaking havoc on his normally controlled emotions.
"You got it boss." Nadir replied in a determined tone as he picked up the folder that was labeled Smythe Holdings.
Charles paced restlessly in the professionally decorated conference room that they had been waiting in for over an hour. "How long are they planning on keeping us waiting?" Charles asked more to himself than to his daughter.
"Father, I'm sure that they will be here momentarily. I do wish that they would hurry," She said as she looked at the slim gold watch that graced her fragile wrist. "I need to get home to mother before her treatment begins." She said as she began to worry about her mother who was due for her chemotherapy treatment in less than two hours. "Please sit down, you're making me nervous." She said as she brushed a wrinkle from her navy suit.
"You should be nervous!" He snarled at her in an unbecoming tone. "If this deal falls through we lose everything."
"You're being a little dramatic. I still have the money that grandfather left to me." Christine informed him as she thought of the generous trust fund that housed over five million dollars. "We will all be able to live comfortably on that if it should come to it." She said in a soft voice designed to alleviate his fears.
Charles paled sharply at the mention of his daughter's trust fund. "Uh, yes of course." He mumbled in response causing the hair on Christine's neck stand on end.
Christine eyed her father suspiciously, as he had the look of guilt about him. "Father…" she began only to be interrupted by the opening of the conference room door.
Nadir opened the conference room door and instantly felt the tension that was filling the room. "Mr. Daae," he said in a welcoming tone in direct contrast to the true intent of his feelings. Holding out his hand, he shook the older man's hand with a firm grip. Turning to the beautiful young woman, Nadir offered her a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. "It is a pleasure to meet you Ms. Daae, my name is Nadir Kahn." He said as he offered his hand to the woman who had so brutally wronged his closest friend.
Taking his hand, Christine smiled up into his dark handsome face. "Mr. Kahn." She greeted him in a professional tone.
Indicating the young professional woman at his side, Nadir introduced her as his executive assistant. "This is Rachel my assistant; she will be notarizing the contract for us this afternoon." He said as he poured himself a glass of chilled water from the carafe at the center of the table. "Has Sharon offered you a drink?" He asked in a friendly tone.
"Yes, she has been very attentive." Charles said in a practiced condescending tone that set Nadir's teeth on edge.
"Good, shall we begin?" He said as he took a seat across the table and opened the thick folder. "Here is the agreement that I had sent over to your attorney last week. We have made the change per your attorney's instructions." Nadir said as he pushed the revised contract towards Charles.
Charles took the thick contract within his hands and looked for the corrected terms on page thirty-two. Seeing that all was in order he felt an immense sense of relief as he took out his gold pen. "Everything looks to be in order." He said as he flipped to the last page that already housed the illegible signature of the owner of VIM Enterprises. Signing his name with a flourish, he silently congratulated himself at the brilliance of his achievement.
Nadir held his hand out to receive the signed contract. "Rachel, if you would please notarize Mr. Daae's signature." He asked the brunette seated to his left.
"Yes of course Mr. Kahn." She said as she took out her stamp and filled in the necessary information. Handing the contract back to her boss, she excused herself from the meeting. "I'll be at my desk if you need anything further."
"Thank you Rachel." He said absently as he took hold of the contract that Erik had worked so hard to obtain over the last fifteen years. Taking his cell phone from his pocket, he dialed the president of the bank who he had on stand-by. "Robert, Nadir here, please proceed with the wire transfer. Yes I will hold for conformation."
Charles' eyes took on a greedy gleam that Christine found utterly distasteful as they awaited the conclusion of Mr. Kahn's call.
"Thank you Robert." Nadir said as he ended the call. Turning his attention back to Charles, Nadir offered the use of his phone for his own verification. "If you would care to call your bank Mr. Daae?"
"Call me Charles and I don't believe that will be necessary." He said in a jovial tone.
Nadir knew that Erik would insist that his plan be carried out to the smallest detail. "Please Charles, I afraid that I must insist as we want to be assured that all is in order before you leave here today."
Christine was puzzled at the strange request from the dark man seated opposite her. She also felt as though he didn't particularly care for her for some unknown reason as his eyes held an unmistakable distain when he glanced at her.
Charles shrugged his shoulders at the uncommon request. "No problem." He said as he took out his cell phone and dialed the direct line to his long time banker. "Steve, how are you?" Charles asked in a tone that belied his interest. "Good, good. I wonder if you could do me a favor and check my account for an incoming wire." Charles smiled into the watchful eyes of the dark man seated across from him. "Yes 75,000,000, that is correct. Excellent. Thank you. Yes I'll call you next week." He ended the call and stood to hold out his hand. "The wire has arrived." He said in confirmation as he shook Nadir's hand.
"Good, if you have just a few more minutes, I have someone who wants to meet with you." Nadir said as he placed the signed contract safely within the folder.
Christine tried to hide her annoyance at the prospect of being detained. "Mr. Kahn, forgive me but I must be going, my mother is ill and I need to see to her." Christine informed him in a soft voice.
Nadir offered her an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry Ms. Daae, but you are the one that my employer expressed an interest in meeting."
Frowning in confusion Christine tried to imagine why she would be of interest to anyone let alone a reclusive billionaire. "I'm afraid I don't understand."
"Let me get him, after you meet him I'm sure that you will understand everything perfectly." Nadir said with a coldness evident in his tone that caused Christine to recoil in her seat as fear began to set in. "Excuse me; I will only be a moment." He said as he took his leave.
Charles turned his attentions on his daughter. "What's he talking about?" He demanded in an authoritative tone.
"I don't know." Christine whispered back shakily.
Knocking softly on Erik's office door Nadir took a deep breath before he pushed the double doors open. Closing the door behind him, he walked towards his long time friend and former cellmate. "It is done." He said quietly.
Erik closed his eyes at the news of his success. Surprisingly he did not feel the immense satisfaction that he thought this moment would bring. Unable to turn and face his friend, Erik continued to stare out at the New York Skyline. "How does she look?" he couldn't stop himself from asking.
"She is even more beautiful than her pictures." Nadir said in a flat tone.
Smiling slightly, Erik knew that Christine would always be a beautiful woman, albeit if only on the surface, for her inner soul held an indisputable ugliness that would have rivaled his once deformed face. "And her father. Is he beside himself with self-satisfaction?" He asked with irritation surrounding each syllable.
Nadir let a laugh escape his lips as he thought of the pompous man who was about to be destroyed. "Yes, I believe that to be a very apt description."
"Well then, I guess we had better change his current demeanor." Erik said in a firm voice. Squaring his shoulders, he turned to face his best friend and the only person he would ever trust. "Shall we close this deal?" He asked as he had numerous times in the past ten years.
Nadir looked into the hard cold depths of Erik's green eyes and nodded, hoping that the coming restitution would finally give Erik some peace from his painful past.
Christine felt an uneasiness settle around her as she waited to meet the mysterious owner of VIM Enterprises. Glancing at her father she was not surprised to see that he seemed to care little for her discomfort, for he was to busy celebrating his current victory. Reaching out a shaking hand for the glass of water before her, she took a sip and prayed that this would soon be over so that she could finally leave this place and attend to her dying mother. Closing her eyes, she cursed herself for her dark thoughts on her mother's fate. Miracles happened everyday. Scientist discovered new treatments all the time. She said silently to herself in an attempt to push away the dire conclusions she had yet to find the courage to face. Hearing the door open she placed her glass carefully upon the beautifully finished table. Looking up she saw Mr. Kahn enter the room with a taller well-dressed man at his heels. Pasting a smile of greeting on her face, she rose to her feet and turned her attention to the man who was hidden from her view. Her smile faltered as the blood rapidly drained from her stunned face. She felt as if someone had just walked across her grave as she looked up into the unblemished face that she thought she would never again see in this lifetime. "Erik" she cried in a tortured voice.
Erik looked into the frightened blue eyes of his former lover with a cold menacing stare. "Hello Christine." He said in a chilling voice that pierced her very soul.
A/N Christine is in big trouble here! Next chapter will give you some back-story on why Erik is seeking vengeance on her and her family. Let me know what you think in the reviews.