A/N: I'm back! After...a year? More?
For those who have stuck with this story, I'm really quite sorry for the lack of update; I've been too busy reworking things that just haven't been right/rewriting because my writing has actually somewhat improved (I hope) over the last year. I swear by all the powers of Leroux/Kay that I shall update regularly from now on.
If you haven't read this before...give it a shot?
I hope you all enjoy (=
Chapter 1 – Abandoned
She hadn't heard the door of her dressing room open, and in her panic she turned so fast she almost fell, the flared skirt of her costume fanning out around her as she stumbled slightly.
"Oh…Raoul!" she exclaimed in relief, her knees wobbling. The Vicomte almost ran to her, his arms around her waist in a split second, holding her up. Christine stiffened for a moment, before she relaxed into them, and smiled softly up at her fiancé.
"Raoul, you shouldn't be here…the performance is about to start…"
He smiled back at her – that is, the corners of his mouth curved slightly – but the normally cheerful, carefree face was marked by lines of worry and anxiety. The golden-blonde hair was tied back tonight by a simple dark ribbon instead of being left to fall in front of his eyes, leaving the wariness and fear plain for her to see.
Her heart thumped unevenly at the sight, and she breathed in deeply, trying desperately to quiet the tension that she could feel rising within herself in response.
"Are you sure you want to do this, Christine? You don't have to – you can back out now, if you…"
She cut him short with a kiss, and when her lips left his, she smiled bravely.
"I promised," she said simply. Her voice didn't waver (thank God) and something in her tone seemed to calm him, as he looked at her gravely.
He was interrupted again, however – this time by Madame Giry, who beckoned to Christine urgently.
"It is almost time for you to go on stage," she whispered. Christine nodded and reluctantly disengaged herself from Raoul's arms.
"I'll be fine, sweetheart," she murmured as she walked out the door.
He watched her go, the fear that he had tried so hard to quash when she was before him returning to wrinkle his brow and darken his eyes, heart clenching at the thought that, if something went wrong, this would be the last time he would see her.
No, Raoul told himself firmly. Nothing will go wrong.
Say you'll share with me
One love, one lifetime . . .
Lead me, save me from my solitude . . .
He was still singing even as he gave Christine the ring, and she saw his smile when she slowly put it on her finger.
Say you want me with you,
Here beside you . . .
As she heard the joy in his voice, she looked up at him sadly, painful compassion and pity in her heart. His appeal saddened her beyond tears – and more so because she couldn't respond like he could.
Anywhere you go let me go too,
Christine, (she winced at the sound of her name, and the emotion that caused that normally-perfect voice to waver) that's all I ask of...
Steeling herself, she reached up and pulled the black mask from his face. Her eyes never left his as they widened in surprise and betrayal. She didn't turn to face the audience as it gasped in horror.
And when he cut the rope of the chandelier, and sent them plummeting through the trap door, she felt no surprise.
Only fear for what he would do.
Guilt over what she had done.
(And sorrow at the memory of Raoul, anxious in the wings, and her broken promise…)
"Christine!" shouted Raoul desperately, automatically making to jump straight out of the box and to follow her, when he was halted by a firm grasp on his shirt.
He turned angrily, barely stopping himself from lashing out when he realised whose hand it was that was on him.
"Madame Giry, you have to show me how to get down there!"
She looked at him sadly.
His muscles tensed in anger. "You know the way," he snarled through gritted teeth. "You know the way – so show me!"
"Monsieur," she whispered, as though completely oblivious to his fury, "there is nothing you can do now. She is lost to you forever…"
"No!" he yelled, "there has to be something that I can do…" she was already shaking her head.
"If it is any consolation, Monsieur, he will not harm her – but if you go, he will most certainly kill you. I am sorry."
Raoul stared at her – no, not her, she realised, he was staring past her at something beyond her, something she wouldn't be able to see even if she turned around – and he sank to his knees, whispering one word over and over again.
And Madame Giry looked on in helpless sorrow.
Erik, what have you done?
His hands slammed against the wall on either side of her, effectively pinning her down under his body. Heavy breathing shook both their bodies – anger on his part, fear on hers.
"Why, Christine?" he rasped, leaning into her. She tried to avert her face from the deformed monster – for he truly was a monster, with his deformed and mangled face, glowing eyes burning with the dreadful fire of rage and betrayal – but he grasped her chin, forcing her to look at him.
She screwed her eyes shut, refusing to open them even when he shouted and raged at her, shaking her slender frame as his hands gripped onto her shoulders and the cold of his icy fingers seeped through the sheer material of her costume.
The icy fingers moved to her wrists, circling them in a manacle-like grip, and he dragged her with him.
As Christine stumbled in front of him, she suddenly felt a sharp stabbing pain through her ankle. She gasped in agony, and half-collapsed onto the floor. Before she could, however, he pulled her up. She almost bit through her lip, her arm feeling as though it had been yanked from her shoulder.
"Keep moving," he hissed coldly, pushing her forward.
"I hate you – you monster!" she half-screamed, half-sobbed.
Despite his anger, those words stabbed at his heart. His grip loosened slightly, and for a moment, Christine thought he might let go long enough for her to escape.
She was wrong.
One second later, she was pressed against the wall, her hands held tightly above her head effortlessly in one of his own. His grip hurt, the coldness biting through her flesh and bones, and for a moment all she could think was that Raoul wouldn't be happy if she bruised.
He would have struck her, but some vestige of his love remained in his mad rage – so he did the only thing he could.
Christine's eyes shot wide open in shock as his lips crashed down on hers.
She had only kissed one other in her life – but this kiss was like nothing she had ever felt before, nothing like the innocence, the hope, the love that she had shared with Raoul on that rooftop so many months ago.
Fuelled by anger and hopeless passion, his mouth ravished hers, painful and chafing. She would have fallen, but for the fact that she was sandwiched between his hard body and the rough stone at her back. Mind blank, Christine screwed her eyes shut – the only movement she was able to make in her sudden paralysis.
He thrust his tongue savagely into her mouth, forcing it more open, and her eyes snapped open again in alarm. She started struggling again, trying to free at least one of her hands (in vain, because he was always going to be the stronger) – and as she felt his tongue explore the crevices of her mouth, she was horrified to feel a sudden wave of pleasure ripple through her body, pooling at the area between her legs.
When his lips finally parted from hers, she breathed a sigh of relief, trying to ignore the faintest feelings of disappointment – a sigh which was cut short when he wrapped her long, curly hair around his free hand, yanking back her head roughly to bare her creamy neck.
His teeth tore at the soft flesh, as he ran his mouth down her throat in a travesty of a lover's passion, ignoring her gasps of pain.
As her neck arched back in a fruitless attempt to avoid…him…she realised too late the presence of the wall behind her – of the cold, rough stone. She felt the blow against her head, and the relief as she began to slip out of consciousness was far outweighed by the dread of what would happen after.
He felt her grow limp against him, and as he stepped back in surprise, he barely managed to catch her before she hit the floor. For a moment, as he watched her, he felt the anger slipping away, and he lifted her easily, thoughts flitting through his head as he almost-unthinkingly navigated his way through the manifold traps he had set up for anyone who dared to come his way.
The last few months, he had yearned with a passion to find Christine's precious Vicomte caught in one of those traps, hoped that the boy would prove himself fool enough to attempt to find him. The thought that, perhaps, they were even now being pursued by that nobleman with his pretty face made him smile for a moment; and then he remembered, anger clouding his gaze, that that pretty face had ensnared Christine.
His Christine who had rejected his love, their music.
Christine, who was now in his arms, her breathing even and steady. Looking down at her slender body, his resolve hardened. He might have forever lost any chance of winning her love, but he would make her suffer - suffer for everything she had done to him, when he had done everything for her.
Time to repay your debt to your Angel, he thought. a cold smile touching his lips as he walked with the unconscious girl in his tight, merciless grasp.
A/N: Upon re-reading that...well. It's better, I think, but I'm not sure by how much xD
Anyway...err...how was it?
Next chapter should be up in a couple of days.