Erik clamped his hands tightly over his ears, trying to block out the sound of Ella's screams. His poor angel had been suffering for half the night. What was taking so long? He closed his eyes and tried not to think about it. Oh God, what had he done to her? The doctor was in with her, along with Meg and Antoinette, there was nothing he could do.
The door slammed open. Meg's eyes were wide. Erik slowly stood with a question on his lips. "She's having a hard time breat-" Another scream rang out, drowning out the rest of her sentence. He shoved Meg out of the way and sprinted to his bedroom, throwing the door open.
"Monsieur, you shouldn't be here!" the doctor exclaimed when he burst into the room.
He knelt next to Ella and took her hand. "My wife needs me!" he snapped. "And I'll be damned if you tell me to get out." Antoinette, who was at Ella's other side, gave Erik a look that warned him to control his temper.
"Must you be so difficult Eri-AHHH!" Ella threw her head back into the pillows and her back arched as she screamed again. Her hand clenched so tightly Erik's knuckles began to turn white. She began struggling to catch her breath, to the point that she actually began to hyperventilate.
Ella needed to calm down or she would faint. Erik had never used his voice to hypnotize her, nor had he even considered it, but now he had to. He caressed her cheek and tilted her head towards him. "Ella," he murmured, his voice dropped to a warm, comforting tone. "Look at me mon Ange."
"It…it hurts Erik," she gasped.
"Shhhh, it's almost over," he cooed, slowly lulling her into a trance. "Just relax and it'll be over before you know it." He gently wiped away the sheen of sweat on her forehead. "Take a deep breath." She closed her eyes before obeying. "Just keep breathing."
She had nearly caught her breath when she suddenly screamed again, ripping her away from the haze he was trying to keep her in. "Oh God Erik!" she sobbed. "Erik, make it stop!"
He placed his lips on her temple, trying to offer her what little comfort he could. Erik felt completely and utterly helpless. And he was scared that something bad was going to happen to her. "Hang on Cheri," he begged. "Just a little bit longer."
"You need to push now Madame," the doctor ordered.
Ella squeezed Erik's hand tightly again as she did what she was told. This time he could feel her nails cutting into his skin. Her voice went up half an octave as she gave one final scream then collapsed against the pillows. Erik took her into his arms, rocking her as she panted.
The cry of a newborn filled the room. The doctor gently placed the baby in Ella's arms. "Congratulations. You have a fine healthy son."
Tears of relief and tears of joy began to slide down Ella's face. "He's so beautiful," she whispered.
Erik ran one of his fingers across his son's flawless face with a touch as light as a feather. "He's perfect. Just like his mother."
"What are we going to name him?" Ella asked.
Wrapping his arms around his wife and new son, Erik smiled. "I think I have a name for him. That is, if you agree."
"What are you thinking of?"
He bit his bottom lip, wondering if she'd really like his idea, before blurting out, "Tristan, after your brother. I thought…" Erik watched her face, waiting for some sort of reaction, but received none. "I thought it would be a good idea," he finished weakly.
Ella stared at him in silence for a moment. Then her eyes welled up with tears again. "Do you mean it?"
"If you'd like," he replied with a nod.
"Oh Erik, it's perfect!" She leaned in and kissed his cheek. "Thank you!"
Five Years Later
Archer glanced out of the carriage window. While he had never been a fan of this particular estate, he was just happy to be out of that hell of a sanatorium. It had been part of the agreement that guaranteed his release. He was to stay under the supervision of his parents, far from Paris.
He wondered whatever happened to the petite redhead he had once loved. From what he had heard, Ella had disappeared not long after he accidentally hurt her. Ella, oh Ella, where were you? Was she happy? Or was she taken by the Phantom the second he was out of the way?
They kept saying he was obsessed with Ella, to the point of hallucinations. But Archer knew he hadn't been obsessed or hallucinating. He had just been trying to protect her! How could they not see that? Catching his sickly reflection in the window, Archer tried to bring his thoughts to something else. He couldn't think about Ella or they'd send him back. He couldn't go back.
Something outside caught his eye. Looking closer, it was a little boy, maybe about four or five, running playfully from someone. A beautiful red-haired woman appeared, obviously chasing the boy, trying to get him to return to her. Eventually the boy leaped into her arms, making her laugh. She looked up and saw the carriage, and for a split second her eyes locked with Archer's.
In that split second, he thought he saw recognition and what looked like fear flash in her eyes. "Ella?" he whispered in shock. For a moment, he was going to shout to the driver to stop, but realized that if he was wrong, he would be put back in the asylum. He was torn on what to do. Eventually he sat back, and tried to force himself to forget about it. In that brief moment before she saw him, she looked happy, and even if it was Ella, he couldn't bring himself to take that away.
"Tristan!" Ella shouted as she ran after her son. "Tristan, get back here!"
"Catch me Mama!" he called back.
She slumped forwards with her hands on her knees, trying to catch her breath, pain running through the old scar on her stomach. "Tristan, come here! You know I can't run very far like you!" He scampered back and jumped into her embrace. "Oof!" Ella said, making them both laugh. "You're getting so big."
Just then, she realized a carriage was going down the road. Ella didn't think much of it until she glanced at the passenger. Her eyes grew wide. But it couldn't be…but he was….how could it be…it wasn't…was it? "Archer," she whispered in horror.
Based on his facial expression, he knew it was her too. She pulled her son tightly against her chest and watched the carriage, waiting for it to stop and for Archer to come try to take her away. Much to her surprise, it kept moving. Ella let out a sigh of relief. Maybe it wasn't really Archer. Maybe her mind was just playing tricks on her.
Erik came outside and put his arm around her waist. "Are you alright mon Ange? I saw you out here running."
"Yes I'm fine Erik," she replied with a nod. "Tristan was just being a five year old."
"Mama what's an archer?" Tristan asked.
"An archer is someone who uses a bow and arrow," Erik explained. "Where did you hear that word?"
Their son pointed down the road. "Mama said it when that carriage went by."
Her husband's eyes grew wide, then narrowed dangerously. "Ella?"
She put Tristan on the ground. "Go inside darling. Papa and I will be in shortly." Once he was gone, Ella turned to her husband. "I thought it was him, but obviously it wasn't. Don't worry Erik."
"Don't worry?" he repeated. "How can I not? Ella, Archer nearly killed you!"
"We're not in any danger. Archer is locked away remember? I'm just seeing old ghosts from the past. I promise."
Erik didn't look entirely convinced. "Well if you see any more ghosts, I need to know right away. I want to be able to keep you and Tristan safe."
"Well then you might want to know there's one holding me right now," Ella teased. "In fact, I think I'm married to him."
He laughed before leaning in to kiss her. "There's not much I can do to help you with that then."
N'awwww, fluffy ending! Thank you all for all the love in support you give me every day. *bows* I love each and every one of you for taking the time to read my writing, it means so much to me! This story will NOT be getting a sequel unfortunately. This has ending exactly how I wanted it too. Possible return of Archer, but maybe not and either way it's still sweet between Erik and Ella. However, on my profile I am having a poll on what my next story will be. It'll be up until about March 31st because I'll be out of the country until then. You guys should all vote and read them when they go up as well as my old stuff if you haven't. Hey, don't look at me like that, why shouldn't I promote my other work? Anyway, thank you all for everything you do for me! Have wonderful and happy lives!