Disclaimer: If I were Gaston Leroux and owned Phantom of the Opera, my Christmas tree wouldn't look this good :-) Merry Christmas everyone!

disclaimer part ii: this has some mature content. I WARN YOU NOW!!!

a/n: ok sooo this is my first story like this w/ this kind of content and i promise now that you won't see it in any of my other stories, well at least not to this extent.

plz read & review!

Merry Christmas, Darling.

He gazed at her through the crack in the door of her room. She slept soundly in her bed. It had been five months since he had married her. Five months since she came to live with him forever. Five months since he had slept in that bed beside her. He would come to her door every night to see her sleep and would always remember that one night when he was not alone, but with someone, with Christine. Each night he relived that one night in his life when he was, for the first time, warm.

But it wasn't meant to be.

"Erik what are you doing in my room?"

"Christine, we are married now. You know why I am in here."

"But, but Erik, it's too soon. I'm not ready."

"If you're ready to be married, you are ready for this."

"Erik, Erik what are you doing?"

"I'm turning off the lamp."

"Erik, please, please, don't turn off the lamp. Leave some light."

"There's nothing I can do, the lamp is now off."

"You can turn it back on!"

"I am no longer near it Christine. Can't you see my eyes? They are not on that side of the room."

"Your eyes are not enough. I want the lamp."

"Get back in the bed Christine."

"No, no I'm not tired. I don't want to go back. Let's go to the library, Erik. I want to read something."

"No, Christine. You will be a wife to me tonight. There is nothing to do but lay back down."

"Erik, Erik stay over there. Erik don't come over here!"

"It is time, Christine."

"Erik let go! Let go Erik you're hurting me! Erik!"

For what seemed like ages, the girl cried and screamed as she was brought back to the bed. Erik paid no attention to her pleas, but after a time, the screaming, the crying, all of it slowly turned into a whimper until nothing was heard but breathing.

The following morning Christine woke up alone and in pain. She was never the same again. And so Erik never came back to her at night. She had become his own little pet over the past five months. She came when she was called, she ate everything on her plate, she would sing whenever she was asked, she would read when she was told, she did everything a good little wife would do, but Erik was not satisfied.

Ever since that first night together, she had changed. Every night Erik would come to the crack in the door and try to remember her before she had her soul broken. She never laughed anymore. There was always the occasional smile that graced her old face when he made a joke or did a magic trick, but Christine was no longer Christine. It seemed as if that night Christine had said her last words of choice and those words would therefore be lost forever after that night. Erik had what he wanted: a wife like everyone else. He would tell himself that it would pass; that all wives did this at the beginning simply because they were new to it all. Christine was sure to come back once she got over her shyness. Everything would be fine in the end.

Only after thinking such optimistic thoughts could Erik leave the crack in the door each night.

The following day Christine was repairing for her daily music lesson just after breakfast. Everything had had a routine and she followed it strictly. Life had begun to become tolerable like this. She knew and understood what she was supposed to do. It was all that was asked of her and she was content with it. No other thoughts of the outside world came to her anymore. All that mattered to her was her daily routine.

Erik sat at the piano with his hands resting on the keyboard. He had not started to play for sometime and this worried Christine.

"Erik? Erik, why don't you start playing? You've been sitting there for sometime now."

Turning to look at Christine he took his hands from the ivory keys.

"Christine, we will not have a music lesson today."

"Why not Erik?"

Even before meeting Christine, Erik had age in him. It now took him effort to rotate on the piano bench to face her.

"Christine," he carefully took her hand making her shutter, "today is Christmas. Did you know this?"

She couldn't believe it. Holidays were of the upper world. Down in the house they shared, upper world celibacies were not even mentioned.

"No, no I didn't know."

"I, I have something for you Christine. I have a present for you, darling."

"A present?"

"Yes, would you like for me to get it?"

Memories flooded her head of a time when the sun was always shinning and snow could be found covering the cliffs of the French coastline. The picture was now blurry even to her mind. It had been so long since she had seen anything other than the apartment she shared with Erik. The whole idea of Christmas seemed like taboo.

Nodding at his request, Christine watched him stand. He was going to do some sort of trick for her. She could tell by the way he go excited. She humored him and gave him a small smile. Raising his hand to the ceiling he pulled a small box out of the air. Christine smiled again and clapped her hands.

"Merry Christmas, darling," he said giving her the small wrapped box.

Taking the small velvet, square, box, she took a moment to observe it more closely. It was only a simple box, was it not? Nothing was attached to it, but what lay inside its walls. Christine had learned a lot from Erik in her time that was souly spent beside him. What happened five months ago was seen as some sort of repayment for her training and keep. Accepting gifts from him held the possibility of payment and Christine had only one prize Erik wanted.

What was she to do? If she accepted the gift, it would require some sort of payment in the end. If she declined it, he would grow upset and may punish her for speaking up against him. The last time she had spoken up against him, he did not listen and thus teaching her not to even try to do such a thing again. Christine was once such a talkative girl, always having some sort of new feeling to share with one close to her, but now, she was silent and had no wishes other than Erik's demands.

"Christine?" the name seemed to unwillingly take her from her deep thoughts, "Christine why do you not open my gift?"

Startled, Christine looked up to meet his gaze.

"I – I don't know, Erik. May I sit down, please?"

"Yes, yes, of course, here," he said sliding the organ bench a little closer for her access.

"Thank you. I don't know what's come over me to make me feel so light-headed."

"Would you care for me to make some tea?"

"Oh please, that would be perfect."

Some time later, Erik returned to Christine with a single cup of her favorite Russian tea.

"Thank you, Erik," she said as he gave her the tea.

Giving her a few moments to sip the tea he then asked, "why won't you open my present, Christine?"

"I, well, what… what would I give you then?"

Kneeling to the floor beside the bench he began to remind her of the dog that he used to be around her: always begging and asking for more and more attention.

"Christine, ever since we first spoke I have only asked one thing of you."

"But, but you, you got what you wanted didn't you? Didn't you?"

"Christine, all I ever wanted from you was love. Can you honestly say now that you love me? Perhaps not as much as I love you, but some small hint of love? For me?"

Setting the teacup down on the bench, Christine stood up and attempted to walk to the other side of the room, only to be caught by the hem of her dress.

"Christine you must love me!"

It was happening all over again. He was on the floor before her, begging for any trace of love and attention. She couldn't take it again. It was too much. She lost her balance and fell beside him on the floor. He still had a tight grip on her hem, keeping her from crawling away.

"Erik stop, don't do this. Let me go."

"But Christine, you must know how I've been tortured by you for all these months! Christine everything I have done was for you! Haven't I" he began to crawl on his hands to get closer to her, "haven't I, taken good care of you, Christine? Erik has not hurt a precious hair on your head, has he not?" in saying this he reached out to touch her hair. She tried to move away from his hand, but he caught hold of her arm.

"Erik you're hurting me!"

"Silence!" he boomed, and then suddenly found his composure, "Erik, Erik has not hurt Christine. Erik has taken good care of her, hasn't he? Erik has fed her and taught her to sing, yes, yes he has taken good care of Christine."

He was now mere inches away from her face. She looked into the mask as she had so many times before. The glow in his eyes was now relevant behind the two largest holes in his mask. His gloved hand then fell on her cheek.

"Erik has not even touched his Christine for five months now. Erik has been as gentle as a lamb, just as he said he would be. Erik has kept his promise to his Christine, has he not? Erik has been a good man."

"Yes, yes Erik has been good."

"But he has not been a good husband. Good husbands do not leave their wives alone at night. Good husbands always stay with their wives."

"No, no, it is fine, everything is fine, you are a good husband."

"Christine says Erik is a good husband, but she does not know any better – "

"No, it's not like that – "

"But she never even smiles anymore. She does not love Erik."

Christine looked down. It was true, she did not love Erik.

"Christine says nothing. Christine does not love Erik."

"Oh Erik, Erik you have been good to me. I just, I…"

"You don't love me. You don't love me!"

He threw her to the floor completely and staggered to get up.

"Christine does not love Erik after so long he had been kind to her. If she does not love him by now, she never will!"

"Erik, that's not – "

"Silence! You will not speak unless spoken to! You are my wife! You will do what I say! Now stand up!"

He did not give her time to follow his command before reaching down to drag her up. Twisting her arm around her back, he spoke in her ear, "if you will not love me, you will act my wife whenever I want you to!"

"Erik you're hurting me!"

"And you're hurting me! But, but you are tired my dear. You are very tired and need to go to bed now. Let me help you to bed, Christine."

"Erik! Erik no, please no, don't take me to bed! Erik!"

"If you don't walk I will carry you."

"Erik please don't do this!"

"You leave me no choice."

He could no longer pick her up with the ease he once had, but his madness allowed him to pick her up and throw her over his shoulder all the same. She kicked and screamed, but he paid no heed. To Christine the hall that she found herself coming down could not have been any shorter. Erik didn't even turn the doorknob. Instead, he kicked the door in. Christine realized that she had been the one to turn the lamp out before she left as she was thrown from Erik's shoulders only to land to the one place she never wanted to get to.

As soon as she was off his shoulder she tried to roll from the bed. He caught her arm and twisted it behind her back as it once was. He sat behind her and pointed to the broken door.

"You see that my dear?" he growled in her right ear, "the door doesn't work anymore. Now that you're my wife, you no longer need a door. We will be that merry of a couple that we will not hold anything from each other! Don't you see my dear? That door was keeping us from really loving each other! Now that it is gone nothing will hold us back!"

He took her and crushed her into the bed as he all but stood on her. She saw by his eyes that he was looking around.

"How kind it was for you to turn out the lamp Christine. I am glad we are no longer have past problems in our mists."

His eyes were then right in front of her own. For a brief moment they were gone. Knowing that he was not gone, for she could feel his weight, she then heard something hit the wall. The mask was gone.

"Now Christine, to do this properly, we must be fully acceptable of each other shouldn't we? I have taken my mask off and because you are my wife, you will not mind will you?"

"Erik don't do this – "

"Do what? Be a husband to you? I have been neglecting my wife!"

"Erik please!"

"No need to plead anymore Christine! I will do what I should have never stopped! We will be a regular couple!"

"But the park…"

She sensed a change in his mood in the air.

"What about 'the park'?"

"The-the Sunday walks in the park that you promised me. That's what husbands do Erik. They take their wives to the park on Sunday's. You-you said that if I married you that you would take me on walks every Sunday afternoon, but you never-never mentioned…"

"My wife wants a walk in the park does she?"

"Yes! Yes Erik I do want a walk in the park!"

"But Christine would run away from me in the park. She would run back to the boy in the park."

"No! No I wouldn't run! I'd stay right with you! I promise I'll stay right with you!"

"Christine has lied to me before."

"I'm not lying now!"

"Christine is a liar."

"Please Erik – "


Erik took her arms and trapped her up against the wall of the bed behind her. She knew he was close to her face. She could smell the death in his breath and see the fire in his eyes.

"Erik gets what he wants above Christine's wishes! Erik wants… Erik wants a kiss from his bride. Erik has never kissed her. Even if she does not love him, she can kiss him, can't she? Erik's mother never even kissed him, but Erik's bride will."

"Erik please don't-don't make me – "

"Erik's bride will!"

Erik was no longer into talking. It was at that moment that Christine received the kiss of death. What her lips were on were hardly lips at all, but teeth, teeth that tasted like rotten food. She prayed that he would end it. She was losing her breath. He was crushing her nose into his face and she couldn't breath. Her arms began to frail until her body was jumping and trying to gain air in any possible way. But it was no use.

It was true. Erik had a kiss of death. Picking up his wife he walked slowly back to his room. The coffin had been growing steadily larger for months. She was placed into it, but before he followed, he went back to the music room. There, on the bench, just as it was left, was Christine's present. Taking it in his hand he walked back to where Christine lay.

Sitting down beside the coffin, Erik opened the little box. In it lay a simple bottle surrounded by fabric for safely. He took out the bottle and held it up to his eyes.

"You should have opened my gift Christine. It would have saved me the trouble of killing you the way I did."

Taking the top off, Erik led the bottle to his lips. He drank it quickly, got into the coffin beside his wife, and closed the top.

"I will be a good husband Christine. Let's take that walk in the park."

eheh, purty dark huh? tell me what you think!!