After both Nadir and the doctor had given up on Erik, I was left without any glimpse of hope or anyone left to turn to… And there I was, alone yet again.
How Nadir could give up on my angel so easily was beyond me… Erik was his best friend, or at least the Persian claimed that he was. Although at that very moment, I highly doubted it. For where was he when his best friend most needed him?
I had not seen the Persian ever since that day at freak show on Coney Island and quite honestly, I didn't want to either. He could gladly stay where he was at that very moment. I didn't need him and neither did Erik.
When he was no longer welcome at the hospital, I decided to take him home where I would try my utmost to nurse him back to health. And that was just what I did… At least there, in the comfort of our own home, I could snuggle up beside him and hold him close during the night.
Each and every day, I spent at this bedside, carefully cleaning his wounds before bandaging his chest anew. I did what I could to help him, even though I knew it wasn't much. There were even times when I would curl up in bed beside him, softly singing to him while he slept. Back in Paris, he would sing for me in my sleep, but it goes without saying that it did do nothing to help him now. Even hours and hours of softly singing to him were useless… My angel didn't wake! I knew he was strong, but how long would his strength last?
Even after a couple of more days, I refused to give up and when one night, I was awoken by a soft voice calling my name…
"You are snoring…" The sleepy yet gentle voice added.
I was about to protest when it occurred to me…
"Erik!" I gasped as I pulled away from his shoulder and shot into a sitting position "You are alive!"
"Even though I don't feel like it…" he groaned.
Without a second thought, I threw myself into Erik's arms and embraced him tightly.
"Careful…" he warned as he ran his fingers through my curls "I am alive and I would prefer to keep it this way…"
Tears of relief welled up in my eyes as pulled away just enough to look at him and I allowed them to fall.
"Now don't cry, Christine…" he softly whispered as he reached up to wipe my tears away "You know I hate to see you like this."
"I thought I had lost you for good…"
"I promised I would never leave you, remember? And I am not intending to break my promise."
"Oh, Erik, I love you…" I whispered as I cupped his face with my hands and leaned closer to place a gentle kiss to his lips. It was only then that I realized how much I had missed his malformed yet soft lips against my own and oh, I would never tire of this wonderful sensation.
"I love you more…" he cooed against my lips.
"No you don't." I softly giggled.
That was when my hand upon his chest graced his bandages ever so slightly, causing him to gasp in pain.
"Forgive me…" I whispered, breaking our kiss as I pulled away.
A few moments of silence went by until he reached up, gently running his fingers through my curls.
"I am the luckiest man in the world to have you…" he breathed, his fingertips gently brushing my cheek.
Reaching up for his hand, I placed a gentle kiss to his palm and leaned in to his touch.
"You should get back to sleep" I reminded, noticing that he looked exhausted "You are still not back to your old self."
"I am fine."
"Angel, please…" Erik insisted "Stay here…"
Having missed the warmth of his welcoming arms for far too long, I gladly nodded and snuggled back down beside him. Shifting his weight, my love wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me into his embrace. His bandaged chest pressed up against my back, he leaned forward to place a soft kiss to my neck, his wandering hand moving up across my chest. His breath was hot against my skin as he slowly trailed his lips down along my neck, causing me to almost melt under his gentle touch.
"Erik,…" I protest, half-heartedly.
He didn't respond, but I felt him smirk against my neck as his malformed lips moved back up my neck and towards my ear, playfully nibbling my earlobe.
"You need to rest…" I moaned softly.
"I would rather do something else…" he whispered, his breath hot against my ear.
His hand slowly found its way down my waist and further down, making it obvious what he was up to.
Reaching beneath the skirts of my dress, his hand had soon found my womanhood and began to gently stroke me.
"Angel…" I groaned when he teased me.
No longer able to fight the urge to touch him, I reached back to run my fingers through his blonde strands of hair and closed my eyes as his sweet torture continued. I tilted my head to kiss him and next thing I knew, he pulled me atop of him, never breaking our passionate kiss.
We didn't waste much time with undressing each other before he joined our bodies and for the first time in weeks, we made sweet passionate love until we fell asleep in each other's embrace.
The unthinkable had happened… For some unknown reason, Hammerstein's good reputation got damaged and over the course of the next few weeks, it was completely ruined. Sadly for him, his investors lost their faith and confidence in him and even withdrew their money from his opera house. And in the end, he had run out of money and was forced to sell his oh-so beloved theater.
Mysteriously enough, there were no other bids and consequently, that despicable man had to sell it to me.
"You were the one behind this…" Hammerstein growled when the ink on the purchasing contract had finally dried and the Manhattan Opera House was finally officially mine "I should have known it all along."
"I am afraid I don't know what you are talking about." I lied, a sneer across my lips.
"You won't get away with this," he hissed, causing me to laugh.
His reputation was ruined and we both knew it. Unfortunately for the once so highly esteemed Mister Hammerstein, he had lost his good reputation and all his power with it. All over New York, there was no one left who had still kept their faith in him.
"You can hardly blame me for the fact that there were no other bids for your oh-so beloved opera house." I chuckled.
"You will rue this day." He vowed.
"Oh, I think I won't." I laughed, still sneering "With a ruined reputation such as yours, do you really think people will believe you?"
They wouldn't, and he knew it.
Deciding our conversation was over; I grabbed the contract from off the table and turned to leave his office. I heard him shout curses and threats after me, but instead of replying, I waved back at him, a smile across my lips as I shut the door behind me and left.
As I made my way home, people were staring at me, surely wondering why I wore a mask, but for the first time in my life, I found that I didn't care. And why should I? My beautiful angel was waiting for me at home and the Manhattan Opera House was finally mine. Let them stare if they wanted… For once, there was no reason in the world to care about them.
Once back home, I found Christine rummaging around in the kitchen while softly humming along.
"There is my leading lady." I smiled softly, embracing her from behind.
She quickly stopped what she was doing and turned in my arms, giving me a look of confusion.
"Leading lady?" she asked, arching an eyebrow.
"Yes," I nodded "Unless of course you don't wish to sing for me any longer."
"Sing for you…" she repeated, furrowing her brow. "Angel, what are you talking about?"
"As you know, dearest Mister Hammerstein lost his good name and consequently had to dispose of his opera house." I reminded, waving the contract in my hand at her "I've just been to Hammerstein's to finalize the details and sign the contract."
"Erik, are you suggesting that-"
"I am the new and rightful owner of the Manhattan Opera House." I nodded, causing the smile across her face to fade.
I had expected her to be happy about the news, but instead, she looked at me as if she had just caught me committing the utmost crime.
"Only a few weeks ago, he refused to sell it to you or Madame Giry…" she reminded "Why this sudden change of mind?"
"I don't know," I lied, shrugging my shoulders "I suppose he had no choice."
"Erik, what have you done?" she insisted, arching a brow.
"Nothing at all." I lied "There was a compulsory auction and mine was the highest bid."
Even though Christine didn't question any further I could tell from the look in her eyes that she was still considering whether or not I was lying. Luckily though, she finally decided to believe me, for she smiled at me.
"This is wonderful news, angel." She cooed as she rose to her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around my neck.
"The opera house is ours," I whispered, her lips only a breath away from mine "And soon everyone in America will be at your feet."
Ignoring the pain that was coming from the wounds across my chest, I lifted her up in my arms and spun her around, neither of us ever breaking our kiss.
Christine giggled happily against my lips and I knew that against all odds and after all that we had been through since we left Paris, life was perfect – if only for the time being.
Fluffy chapter! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw…. And look at that, Erik's back to his old self –yay!- Please review?