The Shirelles "Tonight You're Mine"
Tonight you're mine completely
You give your love so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow?
Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment's pleasure?
Can I believe the magic of your sighs?
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Tonight with words unspoken
You say that I'm the only one
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sun?
I'd like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of
So tell me now, and I won't ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow?
So tell me now, and I won't ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Erik had never known such sweetness that compared to the taste of Christine's lips. They were like the wings of a butterfly, flicking lightly against him, and Erik had watched as Christine's lips parted against his - his lips, his wretched lips that burned from the warmth of hers - and she pressed herself more forcefully into him. Erik closed his eyes. She tasted better than honey, than roses and sugar, she tasted of sunlight and summer air, and Erik was so afraid that Christine would melt away, like fog between his fingers. Her grips on his arms softened, he had dropped the two halves to his mask, but neither of them had reacted to the soft thud against the carpet as they stood in the lamplight in her living room. Erik's mind was a haze itself, but his hands knew what they doing as they touched Christine softly. Erik could feel her pulse, her neck thumping against his gloves as he held her, and he had opened his eyes to see Christine's flushed cheeks, her eyelashes flitting like a feather caught in the wind. Christine's lips parted against his, changing direction as they adjusted to his lips, and Erik moaned as she lifted her arms up, wrapping them around his neck, securing her to him. The feel of her bare skin rubbing against his neck, the back of his head, it sent shivers down his back. She was so soft, so delicate, and Erik wanted to feel all of her, to feel himself against her. He wanted to possess every inch of her skin, he wanted her to feel him as much as he desired to feel her, and reaching up into her hair, holding her face to his had almost snapped him out of the spell she had woven over him. It was her fingers, feeling some thick crinkle in his skin on the back of his head that had broken them apart, like two polar opposites.
Erik couldn't believe what they had done. Christine was staring into his eyes, under half closed eyes as the passion that had exploded between them began to die down. Now that their lips were apart, Erik could still feel the warmth of her lips on his, his lips felt warm, but only for a second, and Erik had never felt so at peace. Erik had lost his mind - he must have - It had taken over, their kisses had been intense and fevered, and Erik had wanted it to last forever, but they had both needed air. Erik had pulled his hand from her glorious hair, as he praised her name, her golden ringlets a haze of different shades, and he had lifted a single strand of hair to his lips. It was soft, softer than he had imagined, and Erik still couldn't believe that he had kissed her, that he was now kissing her hair, which tickled his lips. Erik had wanted to bury his entire face in her hair, he wanted to feel it all carress his skin, he wanted to bury his nose deep amongst her curls and breathe her in. Christine had looked dazed, and he wondered if it was due to fear, or relief, and he had dropped the ringlet, horrified. Christine had kissed him, she had kissed him. She had kept her promise, and now he was consumed with thoughts that would scare her. She was too kind, she was too merciful, to grant his only wish. He had been a beast to her, an animal that shouldn't have been breathing as the same air as the angel who was still touching him, her arms were still around his neck.
He had hurt her, shouted at her, he had done everything that would scare away other women, he was dangerous, and still, Christine had kissed him. Erik dropped to the floor, praising her, thanking the almighty God that had created Christine. She was an angel, she had been sent to cure him of his misery, to forgive him and his transgressions. God had sent her so he would not be lonely, to stop him from killing, it didn't matter the reasons, God had sent Christine. He had sent one of his most beautiful and compassionate angels, to comfort the depraved, monstrous freak, and Erik wished he could die. His life had been one tragedy after another, there had been no kind eyes turned towards him, not one face that had looked upon his and found reason to kiss it. Christine had though, she had looked at it, and through her mind-numbing fear, she had shown him compassion.
She knelt with him, the ends of her ringlets gracing the back of his head as he wept into her lap, her soft dress becoming soaked with his tears. Christine held a hand to one side of his face, and Erik had cried harder, the softness of her skin like a healing balm as he held it tighter to his face, and Christine began to stroke his hair, the pathetic locks of hair being curled around her fingers. Her breathing was soft, though she sniffed a few times as she begged him to look at her. Erik was disoriented, but he did as he was told. He took her hair, all of it, his arm reaching around her shoulders to sweep the thousands of ringlets over one shoulder, and he pawed at it pathetically. He told her he loved her, but Erik was unsure of Christine's emotions as she looked down on him. Her face was shiny, her lips still trembling as the corners of her mouth lifted into a smile, her eyes clear as she took his horrid face between her lily white hands and told him the words that he had been silently begging her to say. Those words were soft, she was whispering those words to him like he had always seen her do, but he had never let himself believe for a second that she had meant them. Those words were meant for lovers, they were meant for people who could do all that he had dreamed of. He had been afraid, horribly afraid that Christine had fallen in love with his mask, that he was only a doll to her, one that pampered her and loved her dearly. But she was holding his face between her hands, her fingers pressing into the dips and curves, her thumbs were wiping away the tears on his face, and she was looking at him so serenely, as though it was his mask she was looking at, instead of his face, and she brought her lips to his again.
She was feeling everything, Christine was willingly touching his face. No-one had ever touched his face with such gentle understanding. His face had known splattered blood, weapons, fists and terrified faces, but it had never known tenderness that way Christine was showing him. She wasn't cowering, she wasn't screaming, she was kissing him once more, feeling his face. She even invited him to rub his tongue with hers, and that had been an experience that he hoped never to forget. It was an unusual reality, it all seemed too good to be true as he trembled, his hands gently lowering her down to the carpet, and Erik found his hands had taken over, his excuse for lips kissing her smooth, unblemished cheeks. They were as soft as pillows, her skin like warm milk as his fingers explored her body. He had been feeling her ribcage, imagining her strong lungs, his other hand around her exposed neck, which housed her resplendent voice, and he had marvelled over the way her hands had been feeling him back, roughly squeezing his shoulders, over his chest, under his arms, up his back, as filled with lust as he was. Her angry little hands begged him on, and feeling inspired, he had torn his gloves off, looking into her eyes as he bit the leather gloves to pull them from his hands. Erik was hovering over her body, their chests parallel to each other as she whispered his name, and Erik had heard the innocence in her voice. Christine was still a woman, his beautiful Christine was just as eager as he was, just as inexperienced, but Erik could not force himself on her. She would think that she wanted this, and Erik wanted her to want the same things as him, but she would regret it in the morning, she would be miserable, and Erik could not think of his own pleasure if it meant Christine's sorrow. To take her, out of wedlock, it would shame her, and Christine did not deserve to be shamed. He could not even begin to imagine her plump, full body entwined with his skeletal features, the sounds she would make.
Erik looked down at her, covering his wicked lips as he stared at her fluttering chest, her painfully blissful face. She was staring at him, a look of sleepy adoration in her eyes, and Erik was afraid to speak, lest it would shatter any illusion, and the dream would end. Christine smiled at his stuttering, gazing up at him with no judgement on her face as he tried to explain why he could not continue, why it was wrong of him even to think about it. When he spoke the word marriage, Christine didn't flinch, she even encouraged him on, telling him that she too wished to be joined as one, she even spoke of marriage as though it was the next logical step. Christine dropped her hands, hurt by his silence as he stared at her in shock. Erik was speechless. The words fell from her lips, and Erik had heard them. She was disappointed with the idea of him not wishing to marry her, she was upset. Christine was genuinely looking at him, thinking about their future, and the idea of a future had not occurred to him till now. A future with Christine. Erik had only ever fantasized about Christine in a white dress, a veil over her pretty face, looking up at him demurely, her lips joining with his, a ring on her finger to show all men that she belonged to him, that he was hers, forever and ever. To think that he would get to wake up with her every morning, he would get to feed her and listen to her sing and she would tell him over and over how much she loved him, and only him. To think that Christine desired their marriage just as much as he did, it was too much to think about, to much to consider. But a wedding - how Erik had always dreamt of having a wedding! Of being betrothed to a woman who loved him, who kissed his face and did not mind to. He had to be sure, Erik had asked if she was serious, but from the way she laughed, her heavenly and spritely laugh, she was sure.
Erik had laughed out of disbelief. This night... this night had given him so many beautiful things, he didn't want it to end, he was afraid that at any moment, Christine would realize her actions and shun him, but she was laughing with him, her face scrunched up delight as she watched his lips, and Erik wanted to tickle her, to make her laugh louder than she had ever laughed before, to see if she was truly happy with him, but she had started to yawn, closing her eyes as she stretched, her back arching up to meet him, her arms bent so that her clenched fists were touching her cheeks, and she laughed once more, her body slack as it softened into the carpet. Erik had wanted to weep. Christine was so calm, so relaxed around him, she wasn't frightened, and Erik could not have thanked the heavens enough for this outcome. He had been so sure that Christine would hate him, that his face would disgust and revile her, turn her away from him like it had to so many others. Carlotta had been the only person to see his face in ten years, and her reaction had reminded him why people could not look at him without feeling sick to their stomachs, but Christine didn't even look interested anymore. She was too sleepy to think about his face, and he lifted her off of the floor, one arm beneath her knees, the other around her torso as he carried her to bed. She had wrapped her arms around his neck again, her cheek pressed to his chest, her breath hitting his neck as he laid her down on the bed, and stood over her, admiring her body as she stared at him. There was no lamplight to light his face, but in the darkness, she still found his eyes, entreating him into her bed. Erik could not have denied her anything, and he did not wish to sleep on the sofa, not when Christine would want to hold him. There was a chance that she would kiss him again, and Erik hoped she would.
Christine had been a saint. In the darkness, she had accepted him, letting him lay with his head on her chest, trembling in her arms. She had asked him to look at her clock, and they had watched as the clock turned to midnight. She pulled him back to her, her fingers digging into his jaw as she pinned him in place, kissing him as fireworks lit up her bedroom, and the noise of the new year sounded around her flat. She rubbed her hands up and down his back, cooing to him, planting more kisses along the top of his head, slowing down as her kisses lingered longer against him, until finally she fell asleep, her cheek atop his own, immoblizing him as his head was trapped between the pillow and her face. The weight of her head against it, the warmth and softness of it all, it made Erik cry, frightened to move as each breath he took pressed his smudged lips to her cheek. Christine didn't stir, she didn't move an inch as Erik clumsily took her hand and held it, closing his eyes as her hand naturally closed around his. Erik had stared at her all night, in profound skepticism that something as miraculous as Christine's love could still exist for him. Sometime after the fireworks had died down, and silence settled over London, Erik had removed himself from her bed, staring down at her with wide eyes as Christine continued to sleep, oblivious to his withdrawal. Nasty thoughts settled in his head. She didn't love him, she was only being kind. The lack of light hadn't shown her the truth of his face, she was just caught up in the moment, still adjusting to the rush of performing. She hadn't even agreed to marry him, she had said that if Erik was to ask her, then she would say yes, but she had said one day, one day she would consider marrying him.
Erik had wandered into the living room, staring at the spot where Christine had been lying. He had gone to kneel in the exact spot he had been leaning over her. He wanted to love her, but it was dangerous to touch her. He wanted to let his fingers graze her skin, but it would be like poison to her. Erik was on pins and needles, thinking about her words. She had meant them, she hadn't been playing with him, he hadn't heard differently. She had said marriage, she had said that he would be her groom, and in turn, that she would be his bride, and Erik touched his lips, trying not to cry as images of a happy Christine, covered in white lace smiled at him, beckoning him to kiss her. The last time he had dared to think about a wedding with Christine had been in New York, when he had bought her bracelet. Erik smiled to himself, closing his eyes. Her infinity bracelet, the first token of his love. Infinity. Did she see that with him? Back in New York, they had both been caught in the whirlwind of their romance, moving to London had made their relationship more steady, but what would happen to them now?
Erik had picked up the two halves of his mask, running his fingers over the mask's nose, it's lips, and looked up towards Christine's bedroom. If Christine did understand, if she could look upon his face without flinching, then what would she be expecting when she woke up? Would she expect him to be barecheeked? Did she want to look into his face the moment her eyes opened? How he wished he could kiss them. He could wave goodbye to all his cares. He couldn't though. If Christine was to wake and see, she would be startled, and the look on her face would kill him. It was better he wore the mask. He needed it's comfort, the knowledge he could be himself again. The whole night had been surreal. Did Christine know how special it had been to him? How on edge he had been all night, toppling off a cliff and being lifted by angel's wings? He hadn't meant to cry so much. It had been staggering, her tolerance, her humanity.
The stars had disappeared, new light bringing in the new year, and Erik stood, mask in place, as Paul appeared from behind the closed curtains. He jumped down onto the computer desk, approaching Erik until at last, the long haired tabby was sitting at his feet. Erik stared with curiosity when Paul lowered his head and headbutted him, wiping it's cheeks against his calf before walking off into the kitchen. Erik followed him, encouraged by the cat by it's unusually affectionate manner. Paul continued to show little signs of affection until it was morning, and there was a knock at the front door. Erik managed to run to the door before it got too loud, and opened it to find Nadir instantly forcing his way into the living room, looking about him.
"Where is she?" Nadir asked, looking towards Christine's bedroom. He had almost had his hand on the door before Erik could catch him by the scruff of his neck.
"If you dare enter that room, I shall kill you." Erik warned. "She is asleep. Resting peacefully."
Nadir looked at Erik as he released him, confused, but his eyes widened, blinking a few times. "What happened?"
Erik looked towards the bedroom door, and grabbing Nadir's wrist, he pulled him into the kitchen.
"She... She..." Erik hung his head, hands held over his heart as he leaned against the counter. "She kissed me. We kissed. We kissed. I have been kissed, Nadir. I love to say it. Christine kissed me. Erik kissed Christine. Isn't it beautiful? She was so lovely, and she let me kiss her in ways that I have only imagined. I have held her how she deserves to be held, and I have never been happier. I can barely stand, I've spent all my years waiting for this moment. "
Nadir smirked, hiding a real smile. "Did you two...?"
Erik shook his head. "I could not touch her, I could not force that obligation on her. She told me that long as two people are in love and it is consensual, then it is alright, but how could I?"
"I imagine you'll figure that out." Nadir joked, reaching into his jacket to pull out a cigar. "It is something that married couples do after all."
"What?" Erik asked, alarmed.
Nadir looked up from lighting his cigar, taking a few puffs before giving Erik a stern glance. "Erik, tell me you're planning on marrying her. You're not an idiot, wed that girl this instant."
"Maybe not this moment." Christine said, shuffling into the kitchen sleepily, dressed in bagged cotton trousers and an oversized jumper.
Christine looked up at Erik, smiling. "Thanks for getting the door, I just fell back to sleep. Did you sleep okay?"
"Yes, Christine." Erik answered, truthfully. The period that she had been asleep had been like a dream, but a good one.
He approached her slowly, bowing his head to look into her eyes. Christine stared at him, her eyes wide as she started to giggle. She pushed him away playfully, her wrists pressing against his chest before closing her eyes and kissed the mask's lips. Erik pulled away, backing into the kitchen as he stared at Christine. He had only been trying to look at her face, to see for himself whether she was happy, Erik had not expected her to do anything, but her kiss had come out of nowhere and surprised him. Nadir laughed, reaching out for Erik's arm to grab him in case he hurt himself. Christine also reached out for him, alarmed by his actions, laughing as Erik stood frozen, leaning against the counter.
"Christine..." Erik whispered.
Christine held her hands behind her back as she looked up at Erik. She didn't say anything and Erik panicked. She was staring at him, looking displeased with something, and looked at Nadir squarely.
"Nadir, would you leave us alone, please?"
Nadir left the room, shutting the door behind him, though Erik wasn't aware of anything else as he stared at Christine in horror. It was true. She was regretting everything, she was going to tell him that her words had been false, but instead, she looked up at him, a suggestive smile to her lips. Christine came and hugged him, pressing her tiny body against his and Erik laughed, sweet relief flowing through him. He was enthralled with her, crushing her with his own arms. Christine looked up at him.
"Would you remove your mask?"
Erik was conflicted. To remove his mask in the full light of day, it would show everything, finally, there were no shadows to hide anything, and Christine would see for herself how real he was.
"I have a good reason." Christine said, grinning. "Every morning, I will kiss you good morning, and every night, I shall kiss you goodnight. And I can't kiss you with your mask on, so..."
"Christine, last night..."
Christine's smile disappeared. "No, don't do this, don't you dare let yourself think that last night wasn't what it was. We kissed, Erik. I have waited to kiss you for months, you don't know how happy I am! I want you to be happy, and -" Christine pulled herself away, holding onto his hand as she opened the fridge door behind her and leaned in, grabbing a few things. "- I want to have breakfast with you. Finally, we can eat together. I'm sick and tired of us having to sit with a door between us to share a meal. And you know what else we can do? We can cuddle properly. Do you know how cold your mask gets? I hate how sticky it gets too. I feel like I have to peel myself off of it sometimes, oh! And now we can share the bathroom, we can brush our teeth together!-"
Erik watched her silently, as she continued to list off the reasons why for him not to wear his mask, and Erik felt tears trickle down his cheeks as Christine made them both breakfast, in her own world as she talked mostly to herself, getting giddy, practically dancing from the way she had to control her eager little body. She whirled around the kitchen, singing some song he had never heard her sing before, and Erik calmly removed his mask, placed the two halves on the kitchen table, and placed his hand on her shoulder. She twirled around, a whole strawberry in her mouth and she looked up at him. She froze, her pupils shrinking again as her jaw slammed shut, cutting the top of the strawberry top, which fell to the floor. Christine blinked, blushing as she laughed, embarrassed, chewing on her strawberry and swallowing it before she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.
Thank you so much for all of the reviews! I love reading them, and I love reading your opinions on the story!