Ok, this story is all ready complete because I wrote it several years ago. I actually wrote half of it in three days because we were taking a trip in the car and I had nothing better to do but write! The problem was typing up all 60 pages! One minor note, I never really liked the name Christine, so I named my character Christy. But she is still representing Christine in here. And I got the idea from watching Gary and Beth Maur. I wished I could have seen those two opposite each other in Phantom of the opera. There's nothing better than watching a husband and wife opposite each other in my opinon! I own nothing!

Chapter One

The Audition

Erik Wilson made sure his mask was secure one more time before entering the theater. He inhaled then exhaled, calming his somewhat jumpy nerves.

Today was the day he would find out if he was good enough to play the phantom; in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "phantom of the opera." today was the day he'd find out if all of his hard training had been worth it. If so, doors to the future would finally be opened.

He walked into the theater only to be immediately stopped by the security guard. "Hold it." He approached somewhat warily. "What's with the mask?" The guard demanded, his hand hovering near his pistol.

He groaned, he should have expected this. He tried to laugh it off, but his acting skills weren't in humor for this part. "It says auditions for phantom of the opera. Haven't you ever seen it?"

"No. but I'm sure as you know in times like this, you can't be too careful." He said impatiently. "Let me see your ID and remove the mask please."

"The phantom of the opera wears a mask." He explained feebly, trying to change the guard's mind.

"So what? I could get fired for not checking you." The guard was loosing his patience. "Remove the mask r I'll call in backup."

He stiffened as he handed the guard his ID upside down. "Are you sure you want me to do that?"

"Just do it." The guy barked. "I don't have forever."

Erik obeyed. The guy glanced at the ID. "What's with the mask anyway?" He mumbled. A look of shock and horror crossed the guy's face as he eyed Erik's terribly scared face on his id. He winced visibly. "Sorry sir. You may wear your mask."

Erik put his mask back in place. A feeling of hate swept over him as he snatched back his id. The mask he wore was more than just a mask to him, it was his life.

Being severely burned as a child his mother refused to pay for the surgery to make him whole again. Only once she died did he realize how deep in debt they really were. She couldn't have afforded the $20,000 surgery anyway. After selling the house, he couldn't believe how many more debts he had to pay off. He'd spent the last few years living in a trailer, living on peanut butter and milk. He'd almost paid off all the debts, and had saved part of his money to pay for the surgery.

Out of habit, he wore a half-mask around the house. If he was going out somewhere special, which was rare, he applied thick layers of makeup to blend the scars in. He had nowhere to go though and no one to take out anywhere. Women were afraid of him and he was wary of women.

He had grown used to it. Just as he had grown used to training as a singer for seventeen years. He now hoped he was good enough, his teacher was certain. His teacher saw beyond the scars on his face and saw the beauty underneath, deep in his soul. He took pity on him and taught him all that he could in his spare time. Erik did odd jobs around his teacher's house to help pay for his lessons. When he'd died in an accident,

If he got the part, the horridness of his face would be gone forever. He could live a normal life like any human. He couldn't even stand to look at himself in the mirror. He could show the world what it was like to sing with their soul. To play a part that was the life you lived. It would be a pleasure to walk down the street with his head held high and no malformed looks from anyone.

Christy Butler fidgeted in her seat and flicked a long, brown curl out of her face. Having gotten the part of Christine, she was anxiously awaiting for the producers to select the man who would be the phantom.

Her boyfriend, Gerald Roberts, had been selected to play the part of Raoul. She guessed the producers saw the chemistry there. Gerald had been the son of one of the biggest oil tycoons in Los Angeles. But he was instantly disinherited when he got involved in the theatre and her. She always felt guilty about estranging him from his family, but they were beginning to mend their broken relationship.

She told herself she had to feel something for the phantom. She wondered if it was even possible at first glance. Audrey Hepburn had been noted for saying; you have to be a little bit in love with your leading man. She wound up getting an Oscar for Roman holiday opposite Gregory peck so she must have been right. But then…what girl in her right mind wouldn't get all starry eyed over Gregory peck or Cary Grant for that mater? They were both handsome, and if they were alive today, Brad Pitt and Johnny Deep wouldn't have had a chance!

"Erik Wilson."

She turned to see a man in a simple white shirt and black slacks enter the room. He was tall with a muscular build that gave him an intimidating presence. The first thing she noticed about him was the mask. Props were not usually allowed for an audition. However, when no one else said anything she decided to remain silent.

Eric ignored her as he walked over to the producer. He handed the resume and quietly waited. She didn't really see his face, his mask was covering it.

The producer eyed his resume. "It says here you have had not experience on the stage before. Is that true?"

"Yes sir." He cleared his throat. "I've never acted before. This will be my first time."

The producer sighed. "Sorry. I'm not taking anyone as the phantom without references."

He appeared surprised, but he continued speaking. "I've been trained as a singer for seventeen years."

"I noticed, I'm very impressed with that. However, you cannot just come in here and audition for the lead for the first role you've played in your life." He leaned forward. "The phantom is a hard role to play. I need a man with a sensitive yet dark soul. He also has to have a powerful voice. In addition, he must also have an overwhelming stage presence; must be able to touch everyone in the audience. That takes years of experience."

"I've got all those qualities." He muttered. "In more ways than you know."

The producer sighed. "Look, I can hire you to be a background singer. But no dice as the phantom."

"No." He said firmly. "I know what I'm meant to play, beginner or not, I know I'm ready. Besides," he lowered his voice. "I couldn't play anyone else but the phantom."

Christine frowned as she took in Erik, his determined stance told her that he wasn't going to budge on this issue. Mr. Starr handed him back his resume. "Get out."

He bellowed. "You haven't even heard me sing yet!"

"Get out before I call security!"

"That won't be necessary." he said. "I'll throw myself out!"

Something about him told her he was the right one for the role. His quiet and mysterious manner, with the sudden burst of anger, was perfect for the phantom. There was something…dark and sinister about him. The mask, it held an unusual allure about him.

"Wait!" She got out of her seat. "Wait please."

He turned to look at her. Something electrical happened between them. Her face heated and the warmth traveled all throughout her body. He eyed her too, a look of confusion, admiration, yet a somewhat distant look in his cold brown eyes. He had black hair and a fine nose, she noted.

Ignoring the feeling, she stepped forward. "My name is Christy butler."

"You're playing Christine."

She laughed. "Is it that obvious?"

He nodded. "It's as plain as the nose on your face."

She crossed her arms and tried to put on a professional look though she felt like smiling. "You said you've trained for seventeen years. I find that most admirable. You must be extremely talented."

"So I've been told." He muttered.

She took a step closer and said. "I'd like to hear you."

"Christy." The producer objected. "I'm not hiring unknowns."

She turned towards him. "Who do you think I am? Sarah Brightman?"

"No. but you've worked before. You've got reference from many people. You've been on the stage before for several years. He doesn't even have one. I don't hire beginners!"

"Don't hold that against him. He might be the phantom you're looking for. It won't kill you just to listen. Please?" She put on her sweetest look. At the producer's silence, she turned back to him. "I presume you know, "point of no return?"

"I do." He nodded. "I know all the material desired for the role. I've learned every line and note years ago."

"I'm very impressed." She turned to the pianist. "Play please."

The pianist merely shrugged and began to play the piano. The violinist joined in. Erik began sing slowly and seductively in a powerful voice that made her shiver. A voice that reminded her of Ramin Karimloo. But, Ramin's voice never made her tremble like his did.

He began circling her slowly, walking in beat with the music. His dark eyes seemed to pin her to the stage. She felt her heart flutter within her chest. Past the point of no return, no backward glances. Our games of make believe are an end.

His dark eyes glared at her from behind the mask. She began to wonder if forcing him into this song was a good idea. Now everyone else was gathering around and watching them. Gerald was obviously disapproving his performance. She herself began to feel the tension in the room begin to build and smother them.

Suddenly, he lunged at her and pulled her so close that she was uneasy. He ran his hands through her hair and quickly kissed her neck while taking a breath between lyrics. She inhaled and willed herself to relax. It was just a show; he wasn't taking advantage of the situation. He stood behind her and sang in her ear. He was so close she could feel him taking a breath. One hand slid across her shoulder and down her waist. The other caressed her neck and throat.

Past the point of no return, the final threshold He spun her out and then yanked her so close they were almost nose-to-nose. His hands caressing her cheekbones. What warm unspoken secrets will we learn beyond the point of no return?

She stepped back, to be hindered by him. She was scared now, but she was determined to go on with the scene. She could barely remember the words. Her voice trembled, then grew steadier as the song progressed. You have brought me to that moment when words run dry. To that moment when speech disappears into silence, silence.

She noted Gerald again. Gerald was definitely angry and didn't like how Erik was putting too much into the role. But the rest of the people watching were definitely impressed. He let her go and move about the stage. All the while watching her like a hawk with a possessive look in his dark brown eyes. I have come here hardly knowing the reason why.

His gaze grew more intense. He began making slow and sharp motions to suggest hypnotism. She held his gaze and moved where his eyes directed. Past the point of no return. No going back now our passion play has now at last begun. past all thought of right or wrong. One final question, how long should we two wait before we're one?

He began to inch forward. The air began to crackle with electrical captured her in a tight embrace, tighter and closer than the last one. As the piano music crescendo so did his voice almost drowning her voice out. Past the point of no return. The final threshold the bridges is crossed so stand and watch it burn. We've past the point of no return.

The pianist played the final note and they stood there looking into each other's eyes, both breathing heavily. His grip on her loosened.

Suddenly, a few claps were heard then more, soon the whole theater was applauding. He stepped back away from her and turned the producer. He eyed the man silently, waiting to find out if he got the job.

She knew he did, he was a natural. But part of her wished he wouldn't get the role. The feelings she felt weren't like anything she felt for Gerald. Gerald was like a comfortable old bathrobe. These seemed deeper and a little bit too sexual for her.

The producer smiled. "I'll be hanged. Erik Wilson is our phantom of the opera. Rehearsals start at ten tomorrow."

"Thank you Sir." He turned back to her and dipped his head. "Pleasure to meet you."

With that, he just turned and left without a second glance.

Gerald came up behind her. "I presume that you're going to request a background check on him." he said to the producer.

She frowned. "Is that necessary?"

The producer shook his head. "Do one yourself. I've no time to do stuff like that. He's a great singer. That's all I need. He's definitely bringing something new to the stage about the phantom that the audience has never seen before." he frowned at Christy. "Did you know the guy? Is that why you insisted on me hearing him sing?"

She shook her head. "I never saw…or heard anything like him before in my life," she whispered. "as impossible as it seems."

"Well," the producer stretched. "either way, with your boyfriend you've got chemistry. With this guy, you have enough electricity to zap this theater into the big times."

EriK left the theater quickly and got into his car. He hastily slammed the door; he exhaled and leaned back in his seat. After a moment, he started the engine and carefully backed out of the parking lot. He concentrated on the road ahead and tried not to think of the beautiful young woman he held in his arms a moment ago.

He'd never held a woman in his arms before. Visions of her violet eyes and her rich brown hair came flooding into his memory. He shook his head. He refused to give into those sensations that that had enveloped him. He was unworthy of any woman, nor would he'd allow any woman to get close enough to see the man beneath the scars. No woman would be able to see him under all that anyway.