Christmas at the Opera.

It was Christmas Eve at the Opera Populaire. It was Diana's first Christmas in Paris and she was rather excited about seeing a different country's holiday customs. Traditionally her mother would make a cabbage

dish as was traditional in Romania but her mother was dead and she wasn't in Romania anymore. She sighed at the memories of the smell of the delicious cabbage dish that her mother made every year and the beautiful snow that drifted down from the sky and landed on the mountains, the ruins of the castle of Dracula, on the roofs of the houses in the village, and in her thick wavy black hair. She smiled at the happy memories that made her heart feel warm and fuzzy. "Diana?" Meg asked as she watched her friend drift off with a smile on her face. "Are you alright?" she asked slightly worried. Diana broke out of her thoughts. "Yes I'm fine." she answered. "You look kind of.. preoccupied.." she said. "I was remembering some things.." Diana replied. "Like what?" asked Meg. "Just memories from Romania.. of my family." "Oh.." Meg said slightly looking worried. "Are you alright?" she asked. "I am fine.. I've grown used to it.." Diana answered. Meg nodded. "What does the opera do to celebrate Christmas?" Diana asked. "We normally exchange presents and have a big meal." Meg answered. "Will that happen this year?" Diana asked. "Of course!" Meg answered with a smile. "May I join in the tradition?" Diana asked. "Of course! We would love to have you!" Meg said with a kind smile.

Later that evening Anette shyly made her way through the crowd of people with Meg. "They have already been hitting the wine." Meg said as she lead her friend through the throng of semi-drunk people. The crowd began to grow more drunk as more wine was passed around and as the food was being served. This was definitely different from Romania. There was a medley of foods being served. Turkey, ham, lamb, chicken, casseroles, pies, cakes, tarts, and other dishes and sweets were being passed around to the mass of people that called the Opera Populaire home. Diana was surprised by how many of the dishes she had never seen before. She had never heard of having lamb on Christmas!

With her stomach full Diana went to her dressing room. She closed and locked the door and changed into a nightgown and robe to sleep in. As she sat down at her vanity to brush her hair she noticed a single red rose with a bright green stem. She daintily picked it up and looked at the card that was attached.

Diana,

This rose is a token of my feelings for you.

I wish that I could have given you more but alas I cannot.

May this rose last into the new year and signify the beginning

of a new future for you and I.

Love,

Erik.

Diana smiled at the sweet note. Erik was so sweet when he wasn't trying to seduce her into leaving her world of light for his world of darkness.

P.S.

Look in your mirror.

Diana furrowed her eyebrows at the post script. She put the rose down and looked at the full length mirror across the room from her. She swore that she could see a silhouette of someone behind it. Diana rose and walked to the mirror. As she moved closer to the mirror the silhouette became more distinct. It turned into a shadow of a man and then... Erik. He held out his hand to her. "Merry Christmas Diana." he said. She smiled and took his hand. "Merry Christmas to you too Erik." she said with a happy smile. He smiled back and led her through the mirror down to his lair. When they arrived at his lair Erik helped Diana out of the boat and then sweeped her into his arms bridal style. He carried her to a table that had a small feast set upon it. She was set in a chair and he sat next to her. "Erik this is wonderful but.. I had dinner earlier.." Diana said feeling bad about how she couldn't eat with him. He seemed to look a little disappointed. "But.. I will try a little bit of it." she said to help him feel better. Erik gave her a little sample of each dish for her to taste. After she tasted everything she wished that she hadn't eaten earlier. "It's wonderful Erik. It truly is." she said smiling. "Thank you Diana." he replied after he finished eating.

"I have a gift for you." he said as he rose from his seat and took her hand. He helped her rise from her chair and he lead her to the table that he composed his operas at. He sifted through some papers and finally found what he was looking for. Erik picked up the small wrapped box and handed it to Diana. "Merry Christmas my angel." he said as she opened the box. Diana gasped in shock. Inside the box was a black lace choker with amethyst stones dripping from it. "Oh Erik!! It's beautiful!" she exclaimed. She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him. "It's the nicest gift anyone has ever given me!!" she said happily. She kissed his cheek and Erik felt himself blush. "You are welcome my dear." he replied as he hid his blush.

Shortly afterwards Diana went through the mirror back to her room. She set the box that held her new choker on her vanity next to the rose. Diana quickly put the rose into a vase of flowers that had been given to her earlier. She took the note and tucked it into the box for safe keeping. Diana climbed into bed and blew out the candle on her nightstand. She settled down into sleep dreaming of her first and surely not her last Christmas in Paris and with Erik.

The End.

Merry Christmas!!