Bittersweet- a Phantom of the Opera story

Chapter 1: In 666 ways I love you

Celia's PoV

I try to ignore the pain in my heart as I watch Stefano walk by, while holding Dominqiue's hand in his. Despite the fact that he knows I feel more for him than I should, we are close friends. That doesn't mean I like seeing him together with her, though.

I force myself to not let it spoil my evening. I'm currently standing in front of my favorite place in entire Paris: the Opera populaire. I've always had a passion for the fine arts, especially music. I play violin myself and I've always held interest in the wellbeing of this particular opera. I even wanted to be the new patron 2 years ago but compte Raoul Chagney beat me to it. Knowing him he became a patron just to have an excuse to stare at that soprano, Christine something, not because of his devoted love to the art. But of course, since he's a man he'd be the better patron. Excuse me if I sound a bit bitter.

My parents and I are being taken to our seats and I force myself not to stare jealously at Stefano and Dominique, who, unknowingly, had taken the seats a few rows in front of me.

Just as the opera is about to start my father looks at me.

"You know, the last patron has married off one of the singers and has left Paris after the theater burned down last year. They're still looking for a new one and knowing how much you would have wanted to be the patron last time, your mother and I do not mind it if you'd fill the open position De Chagney left. Besides, it's not like we're able to stop you now that you'll be 20 years of age next week. "

For one moment I forget my broken heart as hug my parents. The last time I was only 17 when the managers of the Opera announced they were looking for a new patron and I wasn't exactly happy when my parents forbid me to become one. After all, I wasn't only too young for the job back then, it's still highly unusual for a woman to become a patron and certainly not if you are part of the Parisian high society like I am.

On the other hand, my parents know how stubborn I can be about the things that I love and they've always been more tolerant than most. If they hadn't been, I wouldn't even have been allowed to play a musical instrument because of my sex, let alone get involved in leading an Opera building.

One week later I officially announced myself as the new patron to the entire staff.

Erik's PoV

I curiously watch the new patron as she makes her first official announcement. She's young, I'd guess about 20 or 21 years old, and she has reddish-blond hair and fiery blue eyes. Apparently her name is mademoiselle Celia Godain and judging by her clothes, she's a descendant from a wealthy family. I can't help but to be intrigued by her. As far as I know she's the first female patron this opera building ever had and I know some people will be skeptical about her talents because of her sex. After all, it's highly unusual for a woman to do this job.

I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, though, as long as she's willing to cooperate. She possibly couldn't be worse than that damn fop Raoul. I sigh, forcing myself to give my attention to young woman again instead of recalling the still painful memories of Christine.