"We have to go back," whispered Christine, as if he could hear them. "Oh, why did I think I could escape? It's hopeless, he will always find me." Raoul noticed that she had stopped making eye contact and was staring off into the distance. This plan was not faring well.

"We shouldn't act rashly. Let's read the note, and respond from there." Raoul steadied his hand and gently opened the seal. He brushed off the remains of the wax skull and pulled out the thin sheet of paper.

Scrawled in red ink was the sole sentence able to say everything.

I know.

He did admit, whoever this was: man, spirit, or ether, he had a flair for theatricality.

"Should I get some water? Maybe she would feel better if she had a compress," suggested Christine.

"Yes, that sounds good," Raoul replied absentmindedly. Slowly, he lifted the woman onto the chaise. It bothered him to see her so weak when she had been strong and supportive for the both of them – when Maman and the baby died in childbirth, when Papa started to drink, when his other siblings were too involved in their own problems to listen to him…

The sight of Christine distracted him from his melancholy. "Where is the kitchen? I thought I would ask you before I got lost."

Raoul stared at her blankly. "The kitchen? I'm not sure. Maybe we could ask one of the servants."

"I think most of them are asleep," Christine furrowed her brows. What kind of person does not even know where his own kitchen is? Granted, she was probably biased, she thought, back when she still lived in a house, her mother's death left her with an unusual view of what was proper– she and her father split the household work evenly, but he would usually cook since her father thought she was too young to go near the stove. She was mildly disturbed. Although she was caught up in her memory of their childhood romance, Christine could see that her life was unequal to Raoul's, She really did not belong in his world

Raoul smiled, "Then I guess we better look for it," he took a nearby candle off one of the side tables, "I haven't had much time to explore since I moved. It will be an adventure."

Taking his hand, she gave a small sigh of relief and grinned. Why was she being so foolish? They loved each other, and that would be enough.

Erik sighed. Looking out the drawing room window, he could see his threat went unheeded. It was a shame really, he had not meant to harm the old woman, just send a message. It didn't seem that the fool deChagny seemed to care. It seemed once again, he would have to take matters into his own hands. Quitely sliding open the latch, he pulled open the large glass pane and carefully descended into the room, wishing the young "lovers," (How disgusted he was too call them that – how degrading to think that his Christine would entwine her name with anyone besides her angel!) had left him a candle. He wiped the snow off his shoulders and walked over to the figure on the chaise. After checking her pulse, (which was regular) and making sure she did not have any physical injuries, (she did not) he placed one of the cushions over her head. They would probably return soon, he thought. He prepared his stance for confrontation, but nearly tripped over his own cloak from surprise as he heard a knock on the door.

Johanna checked her pocket-watch. Raoul was an hour late, and he had not sent any word about how his end of the plan was going. At this rate, her cabby was going to charge the earth tonight – or at least more than she could afford. When they failed to meet her at the appointed time, she had gone to the Opera, only to hear from a rather cross woman that Raoul had already departed with Miss Daae. The gendarmes were questioning people backstage, and she could overhear other members of the cast whispering something about a murder, triggering memories of dark soulless eyes, streams of blood, and a razor pressed to her throat. She clenched the watch. She had been idly fiddling with it as a means to distract herself as she raced to Raoul's house. It was Antony's. She had first seen it the night he rescued her from Fogg's Asylum, disguised as a wigmaker, but he never told her how he obtained it. The only clue she had were the initials B.B. lightly etched on the back. She thought of knocking again before the door opened on what seemed like its own volition.