Chapter 73 (more bunnies)

Lavender slept well that night, so well that she had forgotten about the bunnies. However, Erik prowled around the opera house.

"Hey! Get that bunny out of here at once!" a voice to his left shrieked.

Oh great, the ballet rats had caught themselves up with some bunnies again, Erik thought heavily. Suddenly, it struck something familiar in Erik's mind.

"Listen to me, and answer my questions. Where did you get the bunny from?" Erik growled loudly, loud enough for the ballerinas to hear.

All was silence, and then a brave ballet girl spoke up.

"W-we f-f-f-found i-i-it on t-t-t-the f-f-floor be-be-before th-the ma-masquerade," she stuttered.

Erik cringed. So that was why Lavender came home so late that night. She had deposited the bunnies all around the opera house! He dashed to the manager's office. There, kept in a cage was another bunny.

Erik cursed under his breath and stomped back to the lair.

"What did you do to those bunny rabbits?" he snarled as he turned on the lights in Lavender's room.

"Wha-?" Lavender yawned sleepily.

"Did you put them around the house again?" Erik growled.

Lavender was grinning now.

"So what if I did?" she asked, smirking.

"I told you to get rid of them, not abandoning them around the place and getting 4 bunny rabbits now!" Erik said angrily.

"I want to keep them, but you disallow! What can I do? Kill them? Turn them into bunny skin handbags and boots?" Lavender snapped.

"You can at least give them to some more trusting people," Erik pointed out.

"Like who? I thought the ballet girls adore them, so I gave one, the new one to them and the old one which I store from the manager's office back to where it came from," Lavender hissed.

Erik slumped down on her bed, fingering around with his cape.

"I am not going to have bunnies jumping around my lair, I cannot!" he muttered non-stop, and Lavender heard him.

"Never mind, as long as they keep playing with us, I will keep it up with them," she said comfortably.

"Like?" Erik asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Oh, you know, like chucking them across the table during breakfast in the canteen and dropping them on the audience's head when they are watching an opera," Lavender said, shrugging.

"No, I will not permit you to drop it on the audience's head during an opera. It is too serious a joke to play, but for during breakfast, yes," Erik said.

The managers kept their word. The next day when they went to box five, there sat four bunny rabbits, nibbling on a carrot each. Erik picked them up and Lavender chucked them across the hall during the breakfast through a secret tunnel behind a painting.

There were screaming as the bunny rabbits landed right smack on places where they should not be. But the next day, eight bunny rabbits had appeared at box five. Again, Lavender chucked them across the meal table during breakfast.

"IT'S RAINING RABBITS!" one of the ballet rats screamed.

Lavender giggled, and then turned around to find Erik's face inches away from her own.

"What do you want now?" she asked impatiently.

"Oh, nothing, just looking around to see if you are doing alright, hey, can you spare me one of your bunnies?" Erik asked.

"Why?" Lavender asked nervously.

"Going to do something," Erik said with a wink. Lavender doubtfully handed him one of the remaining three bunnies. Erik carefully took it in his hands and sprint off with it.

Erik dashed off and turned a corner with the rabbit chewing a hole in his cloak.

"Hey, stop that," Erik snapped, patting the bunny's head. The rabbit stared at him with its bright red eyes. Erik sighed, and continued.

He had wanted to bunny for a present. Too bad bunnies chew too much, if not it would have made a lovely present for a new would-be-diva, he thought. There was a new girl admitted yesterday, and Erik had heard her sing. She was good, but not without a few lessons with him.

He had brought along a blood red rose tied with a black ribbon, a note, and the bunny.

He tied the rose to the collar of the bunny so that it would not chew and destroy the rose. He did the same with the note. When all was clear, he carefully stepped through the one-way mirror in the girl's dressing room and left the bunny on the table.

The new girl's name was Hailey, he knew. She was pretty, almost like Christine, but was more matured. Could it be the start again? Erik thought sadly, his right hand gripping his left, where the ring still stayed on his finger. It seemed determined to stay, to not succumber to the betrayal of love.

With his job done, Erik raced back to where Lavender was still hurling rabbits after rabbits through a hole in the painting out to the crowd.

To his surprise, he found Lavender there, asleep, with a bunny under her head, which was also sleeping. He smiled, and shook Lavender awake.

"What happened?" she asked groggily, rubbing her eyes. Her eyes fell on the one remaining bunny, which was looking up at her with cute, adorable eyes.

"Oh, you are still here?" Lavender said, a bit surprised. She lifted the bunny up and chucked it through the hole. Erik looked. The hole was right close to ground and the bunnies had no danger during the fall. All of them had scattered, possibly collected by the managers.

"Where have you being?" Lavender asked, turning to Erik.

"Well, going off to drop the bunny off," Erik said, in a would-be-casual voice.

Lavender yawned.

"Can we go back? I want to write an opera," she said sleepily. Erik stared at her. She spoke about writing an opera as though saying 'let's go pick flowers'.

"Are you sure? Remember the last time you wrote the opera?" Erik asked, glancing at her.

"Yeah, but the fop is dead, isn't he?" Lavender groaned.

"Yeah, and another came," Erik said bitterly. Still, he led her down to their lair.