Past the point of no return

BY : spikesbint
Category: M through R > Phantom of the Opera
Dragon prints: 31287
Disclaimer: I do not own The Phantom of the Opera movie(s), nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

The House of Gingerbread

Chapter 2


Christine awoke in the darkened room, disorientated for a moment before remembering where she was. She turned to smile at her husband only to find the place he should have occupied was empty. She lay back against the pillows as she recalled her strange dream of the previous night. It had felt so vivid and real. Before she had time to examine it further, the drapes were flung back and bright sunlight flooded the room.

Madame Giry stood by the window, a strained smile on her lips. “Good morning Madame. Your husband told me to wake you if it got too late,”

“Please call me Christine. Nothing has changed,”

“As you wish child. There is some breakfast in the main dining room if you are hungry,” she replied, as she made to leave the room.

“And where is my husband?”

Madame Giry sighed. “I was to inform you that he has gone to town on some urgent business. He said to expect him back in the evening,”

“Er Madame…”

“Yes?”

“Which way is it to the dining room?”

Madam Giry smiled at her. “I have some things to take care of, but I will return within half an hour and take you there myself,”

Christine smiled her thanks and Madam Giry exited the room. Shortly after that, a young maid arrived to help her dress. Christine felt awkward, used to taking care of herself from an early age. She sat at her dressing table while the girl fixed her hair. She looked not much older than she did.

“What is your name?” Asked Christine,

“Charlotte, Madame,”

“It is very nice to make your acquaintance Charlotte,”

“You have such beautiful hair Madame. I hear you were a singer at the Opera Populaire,” she chattered on. “And that there was a phantom, which guided your voice… and that he, was wild, passionate and dangerous, and his music could…”

Christine whitened. “Thank you that will be all,”

The girl looked at her with frightened eyes. “Forgive me, my tongue runs away with its self…it’s just that there was talk…”

“Talk of what?” demanded Christine.

“I dare not say,”

“Speak; you have nothing to fear from me,”

The girl looked uncomfortable, as she played with the edges of her starched white apron. “They say that you and the phantom were lovers…until you met the master that is,”

Both their heads turned as the doors to Christine’s bedchamber were opened. “That is enough girl, be about your duties,” said Madame Giry sharply. Charlotte curtsied at them both and almost ran from the room. “Take no notice of her; there will always be gossip among the staff,”

“Is that really what they are saying of me? That the Phantom and I were lovers?” asked Christine.

Madame Giry looked at her sadly. “It was that final performance on the stage…they said no two people could sing together like that and not be…er intimate,”

“But it’s not true…” She slumped down in her seat, her eyes meeting Madame Giry’s in the mirror. “What happened to him…after the fire?” she asked softly.

“I do not know. He saw you leave, I saw him leave and nothing since,” The lies fell easily from Madame Giry’s lips. She loved Christine like a daughter, but she would continue protect the pitiful creature she had saved those long years past. She had heard whispers that he was not gone from Paris at all, but she had dismissed it as idle gossip.

Christine breathed a sigh of relief. Whatever she desired for him; death was not part of it. Maybe Raoul was right, they would never be free unless he was dead, but the world without him seemed a colder place to her.

“I will take you to breakfast now Christine,”

Christine shook her head. “No thank you, I have lost my appetite. I think I will go for a walk instead,”

“Would you like me to accompany you?” asked Madame Giry.

“No, but perhaps I could have some breadcrumbs?” Madame Giry frowned at her in confusion. “Just in case I get lost,” Teased Christine, her humour returning.

“Ah, but the birds would eat them,” replied Madame Giry.

“I will be fine, as long as I don’t come across a house made of gingerbread or an evil witch,” smiled Christine.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The new day was warm and bright, a total contrast to the previous day. Much of the gloom had lifted and with it her spirits. She missed her husband, but this was the first taste of freedom she had experienced in a long time. After the phantom had abducted her, Raoul had been afraid to let her from his sight. Now she was safely installed on his estate, he obviously no longer harboured those fears.

The landscape that stretched before her was beautiful and the air, so clean and fresh away from the city. Everything was elemental to her senses. Here she could roam free. She spun around like a child, her arms stretched out before her. Feeling a sense of pride that she was mistress of all she surveyed. She was alone and the house was a distant mark on the horizon. It felt wonderful.

A breeze picked up and leaves rattled across her path. She looked up, finding herself at the edge of a copse. It looked dark and unwelcoming. However, the sun that had shone so brightly, only moments earlier, had disappeared behind some gathering rain clouds. As she felt the first splash of rain hit her skin, she ran for the shelter, which the trees afforded her. Within seconds, the thin silk of her dress was plastered to her body as the rain began to fall in earnest.

She shivered, and looked around her, surprised as she noticed the outline a building of sorts deep inside the woods. Thinking to be the gamekeeper’s hut she made for it, hoping that it would be unoccupied. As she got closer, she could see the welcoming glow of candlelight shining from one of the cracked windows. From the exterior it looked as if it had once been a fine house, but the paint on the door was cracked and peeling. The window frames, though still intact were in a state of advanced decay.

She knocked on the door, but only silence greeted her. She took a breath and tried the handle. It opened easily beneath her touch. Maybe this was the gingerbread house that she had joked about to Madame Giry she mused.

She warily put her head around the door, gasping in surprise, for the interior was nothing like it had led her to believe. It was clean, but sparsely furnished. An armchair sat in a darkened corner. Alongside it was a small table. More noticeably was a baby grand piano, which dominated the smallish room. She walked over to it, and touched the keys, testing one. She continued to look around the room at the rich velvets and silks draped over the windows. The majority of which were covered with shutters, closing out most of the natural light.

She yearned to be out of her wet clothing as she shivered in the chill of the room. The fire had long since died. She glanced at the fading embers in the grate. Christine walked over to the far side of the room, opening another door, which led into a bedroom. Candlelight glowed softly, casting shadows on the huge bed it contained. She breathed in a heady scent of flowers. Whoever lived here had an artistic heart, for everything seemed designed to touch the senses.

She walked over to a wardrobe, feeling guilty for her intrusion, but necessity demanded that she find something warm and dry before she was chilled to the bone. She was surprised to see such beautiful garments as the ones that hung inside. Quickly she shed her wet dress, which landed, at her feet in a damp puddle.

Christine reached for a dress. Her hands stilling as she noticed a decanter of brandy by the bed. A crystal tumbler rested alongside it. Dare she take a sip? It would warm the coldness that was seeping through her bones her inner voice urged her.

She pulled out the stopper, poured a small amount into the glass and sipped at it cautiously. It warmed her as it slid down her throat and radiated through her body. She sat down sharply on the bed; her head swam as she lay back against the cool sheets. The room was spinning and the blood ran through her veins like silk. Her breathing felt constricted by her corset. She fumbled with the fastenings to release herself from its tight bindings. Her fingers stilled as she heard the creak of a floorboard and saw the door slowly open through the hazy mist of her semi consciousness.

Her eyes widened as a dark shadowy figure entered the room. She felt as if she should flee, but her legs refused to work, as she lay helpless on some stranger’s bed. The candles in the corner sputtered and died shrouding the room in semi-darkness. Panic started to rise within her as the stranger advanced on her. She sensed there was something familiar in the shape of his form. He turned to face her, and she caught the glimpse of an unforgettable white mask. She closed her eyes against it, and opened them again, but he was still there, standing over her. Christine felt the mattress give way as he sat on the edge of the bed.

“Christine,” he breathed in the seductive tones she knew so well.

“Erik,” she answered him; her body ached languidly at the sound of his voice.

His eyes never leaving her face as his hands wandered to her cheek to caress it with a red rose. He re-lit the candle by the bed, causing the soft light to cast shadows on the planes of her body. She gasped as the rose touched her breast, the petals stroking her nipple to hardness. He sucked in a breath at her body’s reaction to his touch. The rose fell onto the sheets, forgotten. He removed a black leather glove and let it drop to the floor. She looked at him as helplessly as if bound to the bed by chains.

“No...Raoul,” she cried in alarm.

“Where is he at this moment? You are home but a day and he abandons you,”

“This is not real; it is some kind of dream,”

Erik rested a hand against the curve of her breast “Tell yourself that if it comforts you,” A tip of his finger stroked the pebble hard nipple, smiling as she writhed on the bed.

She closed her eyes.

“No, look at me Christine. I want you to see who is touching your body,”

“And still you hide behind the mask,” she panted.

“For now, but you shall know me, all of me and welcome my touch,” he replied passionately.

“Never!”

“You lie. I can smell your arousal. That milk and water boy is not what you need…what you crave. Give into your darkness, I know you better than you know yourself. Give into me Christine, you want this,”

She shook her head and he smiled at her flushed face, and at her eyelids, half closed and heavy with desire.

He gently tugged at one of the straps of her chemise, pulling it down to expose a creamy skinned shoulder and the peaks of her pink tipped breasts. She watched impotently as he bent his head, glancing at her before his tongue darted out to touch her exposed flesh. Her fingers crept into his hair in an attempt to push him away, but somehow they ended up pulling him down against her. He lifted his head, his eyes sparkling with a passion, which was mirrored in her own. She looked beautiful to him. The flushed hue of her cheeks, and the way her uncovered breasts rose and fell with each breath. He ran a hand slowly down her stomach to rest at the apex to her thighs.

“What are you doing?”

“What you dreamed of Christine. I would have married you, honoured you for all eternity, but…”

He stopped his bitter tirade as he peeled back her undergarments. His breath was warm against the flesh of her thighs as he parted her legs. She cried out as he buried his head between them. Even Raoul had never tried to touch her in such a way, and as much as she loathed herself at that moment, she did not fight him. Her fingers bunched the sheets as she felt the first flicks of his tongue as it connected with a hidden part of her body. Her back arched off the bed as he thrust his tongue deep inside her. She let out a cry, as weak as a kitten, and feeling spots form in front of her eyes at the sensations hurtling through her.

“Madame…Christine?”

The sensual spell that he seemed to have her under was broken by the sound of another’s voice, a voice Erik knew all too well. He hurriedly covered her body and wrapped the sheets over her before quitting the room through a concealed exit behind the wardrobe. Only moments later, Madame Giry burst through the bedroom door.

“Christine?”

“Help-m-me,” she replied.

“You got caught in the rain storm; I came looking for you,” Madame Giry noted her heated face and put a hand to her forehead. “You are burning up, we must get you home before you catch your death,” Her sharp eyes fell on the glass next to the decanter; she lifted it to her nose and smelled it. It had a sweet smell to it that was unfamiliar to brandy. “Come let us get you back to the house, this will all seem a dream,” She said, before she assisted her young charge from the bed. Madame Giry stiffened momentarily, she saw the red rose with a black ribbon tied around the stem and she paled. So the rumours were true, he had returned.

TBC


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