Chapter 16

Chapter 16

A/N: SURPRISE!! I got you all!! Chapter 15 wasn't the REAL ending! (points and laughs) I couldn't leave you guys hanging, now could I? Besides that, I wanted to thank you all so much for the lovely reviews I got. They meant the world for me and were a great source of inspiration!

Erik: (sighs) I guess this is goodbye, Sybl.

Me: Yeah (wipes away tear). It's been a pleasure working with you all summer. Who could have asked for a better muse? Well, I bet the millions of Phangirls can't wait for you to go visit them.

Erik: (sighs) Don't remind me. (finishes packing suitcase).

Me: Well, you know you always have a place in my hard drive, and my heart, my mind, and on my couch.

Erik: (waves goodbye and walks out the door only to be mobbed by Phangirls…bangs at the door) WAIT! LET ME BACK IN!

(The Phangirls carry Erik off and argue over who gets him next.)

Nine Months Later

Erik sighed and paced the floor. Once in a while, he would go check on Christina until the nurses chased him out. He wondered what secrets they were keeping in there.

"Yo, Mr. Beaumont! You look beat!"

Erik turned to see Brad and Keith.

"Christina went into labor at three this morning," he mumbled, rubbing his forehead, "and they won't let me stay."

"She's a tough young woman," Margie said, patting his shoulder, "she'll be all right. Shall I get you a cup of coffee?"

Erik nodded and she and her husband ambled off, arm in arm, to get it. They seemed to be together all the time now. Erik liked Stuart well enough, but he missed the days when it had just been he, Margie, Christina, and sometimes Samantha. He didn't mind it, though. It was the first time that so many people had been directly involved in his life.

A cry from Christina made him cringe visibly and he went back into the room despite the nurses' protests. Christina's small hand felt as though it was going to break all of his fingers if she squeezed any harder, but Erik ignored the pain. The other hand gently rubbed her belly, which was ridiculously huge on her compared to the rest of her body. It looked like she'd swallowed a beach ball sometimes, but he dared not say anything. For the last few months, he'd endured backaches, leg cramps, food cravings, sudden bouts of crying, and being thrown up on. Erik had worked very hard to try to keep Christina happy (mainly because it was his job, baby or not) and now, he would see the results.

Christina's hand tightened around his painfully. A doctor came tearing in and skidded to a halt at the foot of the bed. He could hear a few more voices outside, which could only mean more of his students had arrived. It was going to be a special year; this would be the last year he had them before they graduated. The other students were just as special, but they would never be his first group.

He felt Christina's effort, not just under his hand on her belly, but throughout her whole body. He could sense the effort of the labor in her soul.

"One more," the doctor said, "and you'll see the mystery baby whose gender you didn't want us to tell you yet."

She gave a tremendous push and a thin, wailing cry filled the room. For one moment, Erik was sure his heart stopped beating as the doctor lifted the pink, wriggling, wet thing that Christina had carried in her womb for these long months.

"Congratulations," the doctor said, holding the baby up, "you have a daughter."

He placed the baby in Christina's arms and clamped the cord shut. Erik's eyes filled with joyous tears. He felt as though the feeling inside of him was so big that his body was too small to contain it. The child that lay on Christina's heaving chest had no evidence of deformity at all. Even though she was red and wrinkly, Erik loved her more with each passing second.

"Would you like to cut the cord?" the doctor asked, holding out the shears. Very cautiously, Erik separated his child and his wife.

"What's her name?" a nurse asked.

Christina and Erik looked up at each other.

"Her name is Melody," Christina said, kissing the baby on her tiny little nose. Erik's heart swelled even more. Melody...what a perfect name! He could easily imagine her running through their house as she got older, pecking inquisitively at the organ keys, and learning how to sing. She would be the most beautiful child in the world. For a split second, the baby opened her eyes and Erik was surprised to see that she had golden-green eyes just like his.

"Go tell them," Christina whispered as the nurses took the baby to weigh her and clean her up. Erik was swarmed with hugs the instant he stepped into the hallway, a huge victory smile on his face.

After Christina and Erik brought Melody home and everyone was gone, Christina sank into her rocking chair with a sigh of relief.

"I love them, but it'll be nice to have some peace and quiet," Christina breathed. Right at that instant, Melody began to cry. She'd already eaten, burped, and her diaper had already been changed. She just wanted attention, Erik guessed. He held out his hands for Melody and Christina was all too happy to exchange her for a few moments of rest. She flopped over on the bed and closed her eyes. It wouldn't be five minutes before Christina would be fast asleep.

Erik carried Melody over to the windows where the moonlight was coming in by silver streams. The light made her skin turn a silvery color and she paused in her whimpering when Erik's finger stroked her cheek.

"Nighttime sharpens,

heightens each sensation,

darkness stirs

and wakes imagination

silently the senses

abandon their defenses

helpless to the notes that I write

for I compose the music of the night..."

Melody grasped his finger in hers. There was surprising strength in her tiny hand. Maybe he could teach her violin one day.

"Close your eyes and surrender

to your sweetest dreams

leave all thoughts

of your tears behind

close your eyes

and let music set you free

then sail away on your moonlight wings..."

Christina, he noticed, was out for sure. He smiled, looking at her chocolate curls spilling over the cream-colored pillowcase.

"Softly, gently, music shall caress you,

hear it, feel it

secretly possess you

open up your mind,

let your fantasies unwind

in this darkness that you know

you cannot fight

the darkness of the music of the night...

Let your mind start a journey

to a strange new world

leave all thoughts of the life you knew behind

let your soul take you where you long to be...

only then...can you...belong...to me..."

Melody stopped whimpering and yawned as Erik continued rearranging the lyrics of his song for her. He looked over at her crib, but he just didn't have the heart to put her in there. Across the room may as well have been miles away. Instead, he eased back onto the bed with Melody still nestled against his chest and shoulder.

"You alone can make my song take flight...

help me make the music of the...

night..."

Just as Erik's own eyelids started to drift closed, Melody started in again and Erik was forced to get up to keep her from waking Christina again. Christina was tired and needed her rest. Erik, on the other hand, was accustomed to late nights.

"No more talk of darkness,

forget these wide-eyed fears,

I'm here, nothing can harm you,

my words will warm and calm you,

let me be your freedom,

let moonlight dry your tears...

I'm here, with you beside you,

to hold you and to love you...

Say you'll share with me

one love, one lifetime,

say the word and I will follow you

Share each day with me, each night

each morning...

anywhere you go, let me go too...

that's all I ask of you..."

Melody was finally asleep, her warm little body completely relaxed against Erik's arms and chest. He kissed her forehead as gently as he could, easing back down to lay beside Christina.

"Anywhere you go, let me go too...

that's all I ask of you..."