Seventeen year old Christine stood primly next to the piano, hands clasped in front of her. Dark curls showered freely over her slender shoulders, lean ballerina muscles tense with nervousness, grey eyes studying her surroundings with a blend of curiosity and wonder.

"So," Her tutor's voice, flawless and mesmerizing as ever, drew her attention back to his gaunt form. "Shall we begin?" She nodded shyly. It was strange; after seven years of hearing his velvety voice in her ear, she was shy in front of this man. This man, who she had confided her deepest, most personal secrets in, who had been her guide and guardian, who was her Angel of Music. She felt timid in his presence. Yes, his company brought comfort as always, but since he had appeared to her as a man two months ago, there has been a sort of awkwardness between them.

"Yes, Maestro," She whispered. Even as a child of ten, when they had first been acquainted, she had not been as intimidated by him. But now, physically seeing him in front of her has made her uncharacteristically self-conscious.

She watched his fingers dance across the keys. She had never noticed how slender and graceful his hands were. They seemed to glide effortlessly over the ivory keys, stroking each one to create the melody.

She closed her eyes and let her crystalline soubrette voice bring Erik's lyrics to life.

"

I watched you sleeping

Quietly in my bed

You don't know this now but

There's some things that need to be said

Its all that I can hear

Its more than I can bear

.-.-.

I've been up all night, staring at you

Wondering what's on your mind

I've been this way with so many before

But it feels like the first time

You want the sunrise to go back to bed

I want to make you laugh

.-.-.

Mess up my bed with me

Kick off the covers, I'm waiting

Every word you say I think I should write down

I don't want to forget come daylight

.-.-.

Happy to lay here, just happy to be here

I'm happy to know you

Play me a song, your newest one

Please leave your taste on my tongue

.-.-.

But what if I fall and hurt myself?

Would you know how to fix me?

What if I went and lost myself?

Would you know where to find me?

If I forgot who I am

Would you please remind me?

Ohh, cause without you things go hazy

Mmhhmm, mmhhmm…

.-.-.

Every word you say I think I should write down

Don't want to forget come daylight

And I give up, I let you win

You win, cause you're on my mind

.-.-.

But what if I fall and hurt myself?

Would you know how to fix me?

What if I went and lost myself?

Would you know where to find me?

If I forgot who I am, would you please remind me?

Ohh, cause without you things go hazy

Mmhhmm, mmhhmm, mmhhmm, mmhhmm..."

Christine opened her eyes and looked at Erik with her light grey gaze. His eyes, too, were closed as he listened, mesmerized by the voice of his muse.

He opened his eyes. "Lovely," He praised her, his voice was melodious and velvety. "You sang with your soul, and that is worth all the skill or talent anyone can possess." His unearthly golden eyes met her, intent with passion.

"I sing from my soul." Christine answered earnestly. "I sing for you."

His gaze softened. "I know, my dear. Your soul is so beautiful... I do not know if I, or indeed any mortal, is worthy of it."

With unexpected boldness, she sat down next to him on the piano bench. She was so close, that her sleeve brushed his loosely. She met his gaze with clear certainty. "You are." She told him, her voice, thought quiet, was confident and sure. He answered with a little smile. It softened his features; he had never been more handsome and precious. Her cheeks flushed and she looked away bashfully. "Erik?" He tilted his head to the side in expectancy; it was an unconscious habit that was extremely endearing. She looked at him from under her lashes and asked demurely. "Do you think I'm beautiful?"

The question caught him off guard. He never expected her to ask him whether he found her attractive. The fact that she doubted her beauty was absurd, when she was the epitome of beauty itself. Her face was sweet and fresh, with the innocence that comes with youth. Unnoticed by he, she had blossomed from a small, wide-eyed child, into a young woman. She was blooming into a classic beauty, with her cascades of milk chocolate curls and doe-like eyes. Her skin was flawless and smooth, naturally pale and creamy. Since she blushed easily, her cheeks would often be flushed in a pretty shade of pink.

And her eyes; how should he begin to describe her eyes? Soulful pools of the rainy sky, framed with long dark lashes. They held every disposition in their sparkling depths. Every ecstasy, every grief, all the warmth and coldness of the emotions. They could be tender with affection but also hard with distaste. They flickered with life, spirited in a way that he could never be.

Her beauty was subtle, not extravagant. It was in her gentle curves; the smooth column of her neck; her shy sweetness; her modesty and her sincerity, evident in every word and action. There was a certain vulnerability about her, embedded in her innocent and gentle manners. Yet she was also spirited and passionate; coupled with her innocence this made her breathtakingly child-like at times. However, she would not hesitate to jump to the defense of those she cared about, with flame in her eyes.

Although there were some girls prettier and worldlier, Christine's aura shone with chastity. Yet in each gentle movement, each soft-spoken word, was an underlying current of strength, waiting for its moment to manifest itself, unfurl like the wings of a songbird ready to take flight. There was more to her than the simple girl she seemed to be. She was charming and radiant as an angel. His angel, to guide him out of his own wretchedness.

Christine took Erik's drawn-out silence as a bad sign. "I'm seventeen." She raised her gaze to meet his, distress evident in those eloquent eyes. "I'm old enough to consider what men think of me." Specifically, what you think of me. She dared not give voice to that thought.

He felt the tug of jealousy on his heart; jealousy at this unknown man who she wants to attract and charm. A good-looking young man who she has given her heart to. A suitor who would not be worthy of this angel. "And who is this boy you want to impress?" His voice was steady, indifferent. A mask. Christine felt a flash of disappointment; how could he not care who she liked? Did she really matter that little?

"He's not a… a boy." Her eyes darted to his, then flitted away again. A bird that flickered just out of reach. "He's older. A man." She guarded her expression once more; she really was like Erik, hiding her feelings from the world. But she had not been doing it for a lifetime, and there were traitorous cracks in her façade. "It's not important." She said quickly. "I guess that you don't find me beautiful." She looked down at her own hands, which twisted at the material of her dark green dress.

"How could you think that?" He asked incredulously. "You are beautiful, Christine." He spoke with sincerity, breathing her name like a sacred prayer.

A small smile tugged at he lips. She raised her eyes to meet his. "Truly?"

"Why would you question that? What is going on in that head of yours?" He whispered, reaching out his hand as though to touch her face, but dared not to. She tilted her head, resting her cheek into the hollow of his hand. He drew in his breath sharply as he touched her pristine cheek.

"Right now?" That child-like smile widened, maturing before his eyes into a coy smirk. Christine's eyes sparkled as she spoke. "I want you to kiss me."

His breath stopped. He became still. The tick-tock of the grandfather clock in the room became increasingly loud. After what seemed a lifetime, he finally breathed: "To kiss you?"

"Yes." Her voice was firm, her face was set in resolution. "You say that I am attractive; if that is the truth, then I am a woman you would want to kiss."

The only woman I would ever want to kiss. Erik corrected her statement mentally. He nodded, swallowing with nervousness. He cupped her face with both hands, feeling her skin, soft and warm, on his bony fingers. She tilted her face up towards him, virginal lips slightly parted, eyes closed to receive the kiss. The sound of their heavy breathing filled the silent room. A million thoughts flashed through his mind. Would she feel disgusted by the deformity of his lips? Would she push him away and curse herself for making such a request? Would she scream and call him a monster? Erik banished his worry. The temptation of kissing an angel was too great. He closed his own eyes and leaned in.

He pressed his lips to her forehead, presenting a drawn-out kiss to the porcelain skin. Savoring each moment she let him touch her.

He pulled away. The look in her eyes was so tender that he wished he could take her into his arms and kiss her like there was no tomorrow, like there were no consequences he would have to pay for, like there was no one in the world but him and her.

Instead he murmured. "This is all I dare to do, my dear." Brushing her cheek with his thumb, he added. "For now."

She nodded, disappointed but obedient. They continued to sit there, his hands cupping her face, looking at each other with longing and adoration, not wanting to break the spell.

The grandfather clock tolled, each chime resounding mutedly through the room. Reluctantly, Erik let his hands drop. He suddenly didn't know what to do with them; they felt strangely empty without her cheeks fitting perfectly into his palms. "I believe that you are expected back on the surface."

Christine nodded in agreement. "Madame Giry will have my head if I am late to rehearsals." She admitted grudgingly. As she rose from the piano bench, she smoothed out her dress.

"Until next time, then; I trust that you will be here for Friday's lesson?" Erik schooled his voice into a detached tone to hide his disappointment of losing her company.

"I still have that kiss to claim." She reminded him, before slipping out the door, once again a songbird that fluttered just beyond his reach.

The room suddenly seemed too big, too quiet without her in it. Like sunlight, she filled every nook and cranny with her presence. Every dust-filled corner. Every recess of his wretched heart. And her smell lingered behind, the faintest scent of roses that clung to his music, to the spot where she had been, to his hands where he touched her face. He would now await – with impatience – for her return, because without her things go hazy.


Author's note: Hope you liked it. I needed a little fluffiness. The verses of the song are separated by this .-.-. because won't let me put a line between each verse.

The song Christine sung is a medley I wrote of Hazy by Rosi Golan and Paperweight by Joshua Radin. You can listen to me singing it here youtu. be/ bkJqG3oiwiM (take the spaces out of the link)

The sequel is now up. It's titled "Christmas Wishes", please go and read it if you enjoyed this one ^_^ The prequel is "Socks and Roses".

If I feel like editing or going over this story, updated versions will be uploaded and replace the current version.

Please review! :]