Hey, it been a while. But I hope this chapter makes up for the long absence of this story. I also wanted to say I wont be updating regularly since I'm working now and I have hardly any time for anything. I sincerely apologise for the looonnng wait, cause I know it can be frustrating when someone doesn't update in ages. So this is here to tell you that I am continuing this story.
A Reprise of Chance
Grace sat across from Erik catching glimpses of what was outside through a gap in the curtain. She could make out the evening coloured tones of the setting sun and noted that rehearsals had gone on later than usual, but the fleeting thought still didn't distract Grace from the secret Erik was keeping from her, 'where they were going'.
Erik chuckled mischievously at Grace's growing agitation and she turned her attention to him.
"Okay, enough with the games! Where are we going" she demanded. Erik chuckled again
"All in good time" he replied in a silky voice. She raised an eyebrow, but said nothing, if he could remember he would know that his voice didn't affect her as much as it could to others.
Grace inspected Erik's outfit and noticed the small changes that had made a huge difference, still amazing to look at, but looked somewhat lighter. She could see that he wasn't wearing any gloves or the cloak that would flow perfectly around him, and he still wore the trademark hat and mask. She gazed at the hat and in a quick movement she snatched it off his head and placed it on her own. She grinned impishly at him as realization hit him and crossed her legs triumphantly.
"You know" she started "I could use this to my advantage". He raised an eyebrow.
"The hat?" he asked worriedly
"No" she snorted, then shot him an evil smirk "I am the master of social awkwardness. I could turn this whole situation into one of chaos and disaster…" he rolled his eyes at the dramatics as she continued "But I won't. Because I'm too nice"
"Nice?!" he asked, irritation turning into amusement "I wouldn't call threatening me with social awkwardness a 'nice' thing"
Grace grinned at him. He found that he liked this look, better than the scowl she was wearing earlier while she contemplated their destination.
He once again reflected on the age difference between the younger Grace and the one before him, seeing as she was a grown woman now, but the childlike playfulness remaining.
He couldn't picture her as the woman in front of him, let alone picture her as his wife and for a moment felt guilty. Grace spotted his sudden mood change and leaned forward.
"Are you alright?" she asked placing her hand over his. Her hand was warm over his cool, bare hands and he closed his eyes enjoying the touch. He sighed and felt an upward tugging at the sides of his mouth: A smile.
He opened his eyes finding that Grace's were staring straight into his with loving warmth. His body relaxed more. There was something about those green, forest filled eyes that made him want to stare for hours. He may have not remembered some of the time they had spent together, but his body and subconscious did.
"… Yes" he said remembering the question "Just…" he couldn't find the right words
"Lost in thought?" Grace suggested for his usually quick silver tongue. He nodded uncertain, but pushed on through.
"It feels so different, being here, having all these people, that despised me, being decent with me. You've made such a difference in my life and I don't even remember"
"… It's like a horrible dream"
In that moment when Erik looked up, he saw and heard how much this situation made her feel. How it made her heart twinge and crush in on itself. The way her eyes filled with an emotion that made it seem like the world was falling down around her and how her voice overflowed with a crestfallen ritardando.
And when these details exploded in Erik's head, he, himself felt the heartbreak she did.
Leaning over he took Grace's hand and tugged her towards him. She looked up surprised and he enveloped her in his long arms as he pulled her into his lap.
"I'm sorry" he whispered into her hair. He had shifted the hat off of her head placing it on the seat and stroked one of his hands through her hair.
"But it's not your fault" Grace's voice cracked under the strain of keeping her emotions in check, but failed when tears welled up in her eyes. She buried her head in his chest crying softly and clutched onto Erik's gleaming vest grateful for the gravity he kept.
He hummed quietly for her as her shoulders shook in silent sobs. After a small while she stopped, sat up and dried her eyes hastily. The only noise that was made was the undercarriage thudding gently over some rocks.
"I can't believe you actually listened to what the fop said" Grace said slowly, causing Erik to lean back further into the seat, unsuccessfully, to avoid her gaze.
"Yes, well" he coughed nervously, 'why had he?' he wondered "I-I-". Grace cut him off.
"Why would you do that? And listen to him of all people?" she wasn't really accusing him. They were just questions. Questions she wanted answered.
He sighed and rubbed his eyes.
"I believe it was the heat of the moment" he said "I was angry and I didn't know what was going on. I was ready to believe anything"
"That I blackmailed you?!" Grace exclaimed "Actually, never mind, time-travelling teenager with knowledge of the past. I can totally see why you believed that!"
"Do you always go off on a tangent?" Erik asked
"What? No!" Grace said indignantly "I just think a lot, and my thoughts tend to go off in different directions, and then cross paths two hours, or a day, later"
"That's called, going off on a tangent" Erik replied
"Well, I go off on the best tangents!" Grace exclaimed "They are renown for their road trips"
"… Whats a 'road trip'?"
Back in the office…
Raoul growled impatiently as he gazed over his office. He hadn't had a proper chance to see the damage, but now he did, and he did not like what he saw. It was trashed, to be polite, and it didn't help that things were missing.
Christine stood behind him with a hand to her face giggling softly.
"You're not helping" he sulked
"I-I can't h-help it!" she said in between giggles
"It going to take hours, no. Days to fix this!"
Raoul picked up one of the many opera bills that were scattered on the floor. "Let alone sort this all out! Where are the blasted seating arrangements for the upcoming Gala!?"
"Raoul!" Christine shot him an unpleasant look "Calm down. We'll figure this out! We'll fix it!"
Madame Giry, who had been silent the entire time, held her hand to her face in an old fashioned face palm. As amusing as this was, she was the one who had to keep the level of maturity. But, she was finding it hard. Grace had done pretty well to destroy any sense of organisation.
"Where have the drawers disappeared to?!"
"So…" Erik said slowly "A road trip is when a group of friends get together and drive across the country, just so they can go somewhere?"
"In a manner of speaking" Grace replied. Her eyes were closed as she leaned into Erik.
The carriage slowly pulled to a stop and Grace shot Erik a questioning look
"Yes we're here" he sighed, opening the door into the cool Autumn air. Helping Grace out of the carriage, Erik draped a large cloak over her shoulders, planning ahead.
She sent another questioning glance and he took her hand, leading her up the side of a small hill. Grace looked around and noted that they were in a small wooded area.
Grace followed Erik up the hill. He would help her frequently when branches and medium sized rocks got in the way, and she found that climbing the miniscule nillside was harder than it looked.
They finally made it to the top and she found that the hill they had just climbed had a flat top with a large tree jutting off to the side. There was a picnic blanket and Grace turned to Erik. An unknown feeling stirred in her chest and she launched herself at him.
She realized that the feeling was similar to the one she felt when she first found out that Erik had to leave for London, England. It was the pain in her chest she felt when he left, hugging her tightly and telling her that he loved her.
"Whats wrong?" he asked gently "Did I do something wrong?"
"NO!" she yelled so suddenly that it made herself jump "Its just that this is so wonderful. You- I- OH BLOODY HELL! I love you! So much! And I just want you to know that no matter what you've done or will do, regardless, I will always be there for you"
Erik was shocked. He gazed at Grace warmly and embraced her, whispering things to her in French.
Gently he pulled her down into a sitting position with him on the picnic blanket.
He never expected her to be so fragile emotionally when it came to him and he felt unreasonably guilty.
It had been raining on and off throughout the day and Erik was grateful that they had hit a gap in between some of the more heavier downpours. The clouds were still thick, but were spread out creating open spaces up in the sky. The stars and moon shone through only slightly covered by the clouds.
Erik knew they had to leave soon, the threat of a storm loomed closer, but he knew they could spare half an hour, or maybe more.
He heard a contented sigh from Grace as she leaned into him and felt her shiver from a small breeze. The clouds were closer now and he hesitantly wrapped an arm around her, pulling the cloak tighter to keep out the chill.
Lightning went off in the distance, followed closely by the thunder. Erik heard her hum happily.
"I love storms" she said in gentle tones. Erik chuckled, amused by the fact that a large majority of the women in the Opera house were afraid by the loud thunder that would strike the tops of the buildings.
"I like that" he replied genuinely.
Geez, what an emotional rollercoaster. Happy one minute, bawling her eyes out the next. Any I hope you enjoyed this chapter