Chapter Seventeen

The final threshold

Christy stepped into his side and held him tight.

"Gerald my boy this a great scoup!" The older man said. "The public just adore love stories like this. The happily ever after stories! And that proposal, thank goodness we got permission to film this! This will be the talk of the town."

"That's just the icing on the cake!" Gerald said. "His face is horribly deformed like that phantoms."

All clicking cameras stopped nad Christy' heart with it. Her arms went around Erik's waist protectively and gripped him tight.

"It'd make another great human intrest story." Gerald crowed.

"Is that so?" Mr. Roberts asked. His eyes roved over her, studying her. "Hello Christy. Nice to see you again." He frowned slightly. "I guess you're not marrying my son after all?"

She nodded and shot Gerald a glare. "So I told him….days ago."

"She's just feeling pity for this monster!"

"How dare you!" Chirsty said.

"Shut up!"

Erik opened his mouth to speak when, Gus, the makeup man stepped forward. "excuse me." He said. "there's nothing wrong with his face. I do such a good job, that it fooled him."

Christy stared at Erik. He kept his face rigid.

"It's real." Gerald burst out. "Christy said so herself. Ask her!"

Before she could answer, Gus interrupted. "You don't believe me!" He turned to Erik. "Take off the mask, see for yourself."

To their surprise Mr. Starr stepped forward, "I can vouch for him and I won't stand for any of this!"

"It's all right!" Erik said.

Mr. Roberts stepped forward. "May I?" Erik nodded as he removed his mask. Mr. Roberts ran his hand down his face. As she held her breath, the makeup on Erik's face smuged. Mr. Roberts stared at Erik, then her for a moment. Erik pulled at his face and it tore. She muffled a gasp, she knew makeup well enough to know that's what it was. The other man turned and glared at Gerald.

"You're delusional!"

She exhaled and closed her eyes.

Gus burst in again. "I suspect that in his jealously he fantasized things."

Gerald opened his mouth but the elder man cut him off. "That's enough! I'll deal with you later." He waited until Gerald had left the room before turning. "My apologies. I never wanted you and Gerald to marry anyway. My congragualtions." he leaned closer and whispered. "I also don't enjoy exploiting just recently engaged couples. Especially those who get engaged in…such a grand manner."

"Thank you." Erik breathed.

"Don't mention it." He leaned forward conspiritally. "Like most phantom fans, I also think Christine should have chosen the phantom. In this case, she did. You look happier with this guy than your ever did with Gerald. Don't worry, I'll take care of …Raoul, myself."

She exhaled. "Thank you."

Mr. Roberts turned back to Erik. "If you don't mind putting your mask on, could we get a few more pictures? You'll be paid for the story of course."

Eric smiled. "No I don't mind."

He pulled out his check book and scrawled a number on it. He tore out the check, folded it, then handed it to them. "Pleasure doing business with you."

Christy took the check and examined it. She clapped her hand over her mouth as tears filled her eyes.

"What is it?" Erik asked.

She shakily handed the check to him and he gasped as well. "Oh my word." His hands shook as he turned to her. "Five thousand."

She cried as he caught her around her wiast and spun her around. The photographers captured the happy moment of course. In a few moments it was over, as they walked away, Christy hugged him.

"How'd that happen?"

"I suspected something like that would happen. Gus was perfectly willing to help. So he put on a little extra makeup. But what I didn't count on was Mr. Roberts reaction."

Gus shrugged. "Consider it my wedding gift."

"Wedding." She exhaled. "That word never sounded so wonderful before. She smiled and wrapped her arms about him tighter. "Oh, I can't wait."

"Tell me about it." He said. "I can't wait to make you my wife."

She purred and gripped him closer. "Mmmhh, neither can I."

Two months later,

Christy adjusted her veil and turned to Amanda. "How do I look?"

Amanda surveyed her briefly, "lovely. I'm going to film EriK's reaction so you'll be able to reflect on it. Gus is going to film you entering the theatre. I'll fix it so it moves like a real movie."

"Thank you." She exhaled as she heard 'Love never dies' play on the organ. "What's that about? That's supposed to be the bridal march!"

"Err, Erik has another on of his famous surprises. Believe me, you'll love it." She took her full skirts and hurried to the exit with her following. She waited until it was her turn to walk onto the stage.

She tightened her grip on her red roses, peered around the corner, and gaped. The lair stage was decorated with richly colored streamers of red and gold. All the guests wore outfits from 'Phantom of the Opera'. Erik was in his tuxedo and his mask on.

She stepped onto the red carpet leading to the altar, strewn with white petals. Eric turned and his mouth dropped. She walked slowly, in beat with the music.

She couldn't resist singing along with the organ. Erik stepped away from his position stood directly across from her. His rich voice filled the room as he held out his hand for hers. She took it and he pulled her up alongside him. They held each other's gaze until finishing the final note together.

"I hope you don't mind." He whispered. "But the music did help our romance."

She shook her head. "I don't mind. every time I hear these songs, memories play in my mind."

As they spoke their vows, music of the night played. As they shared their first dance as man and wife, Erik sang, 'All I ask of you' to her. During a brief lull, he pulled her close and whispered in her ear. "I love you Mrs. Wilson."

"I love you Mr. Wilson."

He asked. "We never discussed pet names."

She didn't have to think hard. "Chrissy: for everyday use. Dearest: for when you're happy. Lover: but only for special occasion, like tonight."

He kissed her chin. "What shall I call you when I'm upset? Christine daae?"

"No." She laughed. "Christine Daae for when you're kidding. Darling: for when you're upset."

"Darling?" He laughed. "Are you kidding? Why not Mrs. Wilson?"

"I love my name." She explained. "Use Mrs. Wilson, for when you're overflowing with happiness or with love for your other half."

"Like now," he said as he leaned forward. "Mrs. Wilson?"

He kissed her forehead, nose, cheek then mouth. One of her hands inched up and removed the mask. It fell to the floor with a clunk.

She smiled as he pulled back. "When I'm dancing with my husband. I want to see both sides of him. always."

He spun her around and everyone laughed and cheered. "You alone can make my song take flight." He rubbed his nose against hers. "My life, my love, my music of the night!"