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.

A/N Big thanks to Salome for editing/beta’ing this chapter for me.

Remembering the Music
Chapter 7


Alone in his solitude once more, Erik lay against the sheets of his bed, sheets that smelt of Christine, floral, yet tinged with something much more deep-seated which intoxicated his senses. He breathed in the pillow that lay at his side. His body was already aching for her and her imminent return. He wanted nothing more than to steal her away to some far distant land where her husband would never find them.

Every time he was with her, it became that little bit harder to let her go. It had been within her arms that he had been made a man. Until now, he had only dreamt of the sensuality that lay behind his music. Now that he had tasted it in the flesh, Christine was like a drug to him. He knew he would never tire of hearing her cries of passion as he played her body like a musical composition that ended in a wild crescendo, leaving them both exhausted in its wake.

He arose from the bed and walked over to his pipe organ in frustrated desire; if he could not sate one need, he would feed another, his music. Apart from a layer of dust and greasy dirt from the fire of several months ago, it was relatively untouched. His fame had lived past the demise of the opera house, making it too dangerous a venture for anyone to come here in the fear he was still hiding somewhere in the shadows.

He tore a strip from one of the velvet hangings and wiped at the keys reverently. Erik flexed his fingers as they hovered above the keys, clearing his mind as he began to play. The music came to him like her whispered cries in his arms in the early hours of that same day. He found an inkwell and a pen and started to scrawl down the music as it invaded his mind.

Several hours later he picked up the sheets of paper filled with notes, meaningless to the untrained eye, but to him his soul bared in the written word. He sat back and played the piece he had just completed. It rang through the caverns of the catacombs with a ghostly resonance of denied love and passion. He stopped unable to go on; too tired and emotional from the previous night. He went back to his bed and tried to rest. He took her discarded nightgown and laid it out on the bed next to him. He would sleep away the daylight hours and if the fates were kind, he would dream of her.

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

Raoul slept, and she lay at his side, holding him, as if in some small way, giving reparation for her infidelities and the ensuing guilt, which she found to be lessening with each passing day. But it was always there, overshadowing any happiness she might have felt at her secret union with her one time teacher. How could something that felt so good, be wicked and sinful? Was it possible to be in love with two men at the same time? Christine sighed; she needed advice from someone who would comprehend these conflicted emotions.

She dearly wished she were back at the estate. Madame Giry would surely understand. She had been the closest thing to a mother that she had known. But they would not leave before tomorrow, the carriage had to be repaired and fresh horses attained. Raoul was in no fit state to travel, at least in that she had been a good wife and insisted he take it easy.

She had lain down with him in the bed, needing rest herself. Little sleep had been achieved the night before. Raoul stirred and turned in the bed and buried his head into her shoulder. “I love you,” he whispered as he drifted off to sleep.

“And I you,” she sighed. That was the problem.

If she had no feelings for her husband, she would have given into the wildness of her nature and begged Erik to take her away from her ivory tower, but she had sense enough to know that this was not some fairy tale, where the prince rescued her from the beast and they all lived happily ever after. He had done that, only for her to discover that the beast was the one who stirred her like no other and whom she truly craved.

She cursed her foolish dreams that she had spun around a childhood memory, which had led them all to this purgatory. Now all had to live with her faithlessness, maybe she was as dark and sinful as Erik had hinted at. Maybe she had been wearing a mask all her life…just like her lover, but on the inside for none to see, but him.

Christine closed her eyes determined to think on Erik no longer. It was the day, and this time belonged to her husband, the man that had almost died to save her from the very thing she had turned to.

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

When she awoke, long shadows cast over the interior of the room as the daylight slowly gave way to the night. Raoul stirred at her side. She bent her head to gently kiss him. He opened his eyes and smiled at her.

“Hello, you are not leaving me I hope?”

Christine blushed and looked away. “No, I was just going to talk to Meg. We have a lot of catching up to do. How is your head?”

Raoul winced. “It still pains me a little.”

Christine sat up in bed and with her back to him; she took the wine decanter from the table and poured him a glass. “Here maybe this will help restore your spirits,”

“Thank you,” he took it from her and drank thirstily.

Christine looked away, her guilt too much to bear as she replaced the bottle of laudanum next to the decanter. It had been only a few drops, she reasoned with herself. She wondered if some of the Phantom’s black soul had penetrated her own. In the days since her return she had become a deceiver of the lowest order, now resorting to drugging her husband to protect him from the truth or was it to hide her sin? Either way she knew it was morally wrong, but she has long since past the point of no return. The final threshold had been truly crossed the moment she had let the phantom once again into her life and now her bed.

She lay by his side until she knew he was fast asleep. The rest would only do him good and help him to heal for their journey home she reasoned, feeling much better for having done so. She stroked Raoul’s face and kissed him on the lips before leaving the bed and getting dressed. She quietly left the room in search of her friend.

Meg was sitting in the modest living room of her rented accommodation. Her friend Madeline eyed her speculatively while mending a shirt that she had spread across her lap.

Meg smiled at her friend in greeting. “I had thought you meant to sleep the whole day away.”

Christine yawned. “I almost did, it was an eventful day yesterday. Any word on the carriage being ready for tomorrow?”

Meg studied her friend’s face before answering her, but seeing nothing in her expression to cause concern, she answered her. “Yes, I went and made inquiries earlier. There is no reason why you cannot leave on the morn, although…I would be quite happy to keep you here longer for selfish reasons. I missed you Christine; you are the closest thing to a sister I have known.”

“I missed you too, Meg,” Christine smiled, as an idea came to her. “How about you return with us for a visit to the estate? Raoul will not object.”

“I don’t know,” said Meg “Although I would love to.”

“And I would love to have you there. You could see your mother again. It must have been some months since you last saw her?”

“Go Meg. There is nothing to do here. All rehearsals have been suspended for the time being.” encouraged Madeline.

“Very well, if your husband is agreeable to the idea then I accept,” grinned Meg, embracing, Christine. “Come let me find you some supper, you must be starved.”

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

The clock in the church tower across the square struck its twelfth strike. It was midnight. Madeline and Meg had retired for the night some time ago, but Christine had not dared to stir before now, wanting to make sure the whole household slept before she made her move. She got up from the chair in which she had been sitting for the last hour. Only the glow from the fire in the hearth gave any light to the darkened room.

Raoul had stirred and muttered several times in his sleep. She had been afraid he would wake and then she would have to stay. Erik would not understand or care; sure that he would be bold enough to demand her presence as strongly as the rights of a husband. She knew he had no fear of Raoul and that frightened her, for her husband was an expert swordsman and very able with a pistol.

She walked over to the window and looked out; he was there as he promised he would be. She felt her heart leap within her breast as the blood raced through her veins with pure excitement.

“Christine?”

She froze.

“Raoul?”

She turned back to her husband, the former exhilaration dampened, to be replaced with aching disappointment. On closer inspection, he still appeared to be sleeping, dreaming of her maybe. She let out the breath she had been holding and quickly left the room. Taking her cloak from the closet in the hall, she crept out, like a thief into the night, not a taker of goods, but of time.

Erik had seen her at the window, before she had disappeared from sight. He had waited for ten long minutes, starting to fear that she would not or could not come to him. Finally, he had seen her slip out of the front door and come running across the cobbled pavements towards him. He spurred his horse forward and extended an arm as he helped her onto the back of it. With her arms encircling him, he galloped off into the night.

Christine had remained silent while she waited for him to stable his horse. He came back to her and took her hand and led her, to her surprise, inside the opera house and not to his old quarters. He must have had this in mind before he had set out to collect her as there was a branch candlestick already lit. Apart from the one shining light, the only other available illumination was lent by the moonlight, which flooded through windows that were no longer paned, destroyed in the heat of the fire.

“Why are we here?” she asked.

“Don’t you ever miss it?” he asked, not answering her question.

“Miss what?”

“The thrill of being on the stage, of having a room full of people love and adore you as you sing your heart out, the applause?” He asked.

“N-no,” she lied.

He put a finger under her chin to study her face in the candlelight. “Christine, the music never leaves you. I know…that night when you left me, I vowed never to write another note, but I found I could not keep that vow,” he sighed, taking her hand and resting it on his chest. She felt the steady beat of his heart. “Denying what lies in here is to deny that you live and breathe,[.]”

He continued to lead her into the main hall of the theatre. She started as several nesting pigeons took flight,[;] glancing up [,]she saw the moon through a large hole in the roof. The main chandelier filled the orchestra pit and part of the stage. She had not seen this place since her last fated performance of the phantom[‘]s opera.

Erik put down the candelabrum and came to stand behind her, wrapping his arms around her[,] and she closed her eyes remembering their song, filled with the promise of passion and desire. Her breathing quickened in his embrace, it seemed he only had to touch her and she burned for him.

He trailed kisses down her throat, before resting at her ear, just holding her, as if the outside world had ended and they were the only two people in existence.

“Sing, for me,” he whispered against her skin.

Her eyes widened, [;]she had not been expecting his affective request. She felt tears spring to her eyes. All the time she had been married to Raoul, he had not once asked to hear her voice. It had at times seemed that he was a little ashamed of her previous stage career. It was all well and good to patronise the arts for someone in his position, as long as you weren’t seen to partake of them as she [is this supposed to be “he”?] had.

“I-I don’t know if I still can,” she sighed.

He pulled her up against him hard. “What has that joyless boy done to you?” he demanded. “No wonder you came to me so quickly,” he softened his tone as he turned her to face him.

“I will sing...”

He smiled down at her. “Thank you for indulging your master.”

She shivered at the use of his word. It was too close to the truth for her. She took a deep breath as she begun to sing one of the arias from his Don Juan Opera. It had meant to be the final song of his interrupted piece…her voice a little weak at first from lack of use soon grew in confidence as she saw the look of pleasure on his face at the sound of her singing. By the time the last note rang out, she was breathing heavily as she looked at Erik, seeing the passion for her glowing in his gaze.

Their need for one another, consumed them both. She watched impatiently as he removed his cloak and laid it on the floor. His meaning was not lost on her. To take the walk to his bed would be too long for both of them. He kissed her and lowered her to the floor, covering her body with his own as his hands roamed underneath her skirts. He removed her underwear with one swift movement, kissing her deeply as he freed himself from his clothing and she opened herself to him. She gasped into his mouth as he slid into her, stretching and filling her. Christine sighed against his hair as his lips travelled lower; he had still not moved and it was driving her insane. He lifted his head to look at her, seeing the torture in her eyes and smiling at it, before rewarding her with a thrust, which left them both craving more.

Their coupling grew in intensity, as she urged him on, gripping him tightly and wrapping a leg around him. The coldness of the floor was beginning to seep into her, but she paid it no heed, only able to register how she felt when joined to him. He lifted himself a little to take her hands and lace his fingers through hers as they rocked together, only their sighs and moans punctuating the silence of the cavernous theatre…

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

Meg had seen Christine leave the house and not alone. She had to know…quickly dressing in a boys outfit for her own safely, she hid her hair underneath a hat. To the casual onlooker she looked no more than a young street urchin. The horse and its riders had been long gone. By the time, she had entered the square it was deserted. Not sure what to do next she almost turned back, before her suspicions of earlier came back to her and she ran off in the direction of her old residence, the Opera Populaire.

She ran through the streets barely pausing, feeling safer with her hand curled around a small knife that she carried in her pocket. There was hardly a soul about, fear of invasion from the Prussian army; just a few miles away, had stopped a lot of the bawdy revelling that usually occurred.

Having reached her goal, she stopped by the darkened café on the corner. The shadows of its courtyard lent her some refuge. As she looked at the opera house, her heart leapt in her throat. It took on an eerie appearance with its blackened walls and missing windows. She took a breath to steady her nerves and ran up the steps. The door that used to be tightly secured at night, hung open. One of its panels was hanging at an angle on a broken hinge. She crawled in through the gap, not wanting to alert anyone to her presence.

The silence that greeted her began to make her feel foolish for her over active imagination. She sighed inwardly at her now seemingly silly instinct. Of course Christine would not be here, among the decay and dark. Angry at herself she turned on her heel, stopping as she heard it…a low moan. Her senses heightened as she listened again, this time the sound was distinctly feminine.

She crept up the stairs and paused at the main doors to the auditorium. There was a faint glow coming from within, she pulled back the door just a crack in the curiosity that spurred her on to discover the truth. She could not help the gasp that fell from her lips as she beheld the scene before her… Christine was on the floor. Her legs were wrapped around a faceless lover, which she could not quite comprehend in the dark. They were obviously en flagrante delecte

Suddenly, as if sensing they were no longer alone, the man raised his head to look at her. All the blood left her face as she saw the white glow of a mask, the moonlight illuminating his face. He smirked at her, before thrusting into her friend harder, causing her to moan.

“Christine,” he panted, leaving Meg in no doubt who lie beneath him. He lowered his head to reclaim Christine’s lips. With legs that finally decided to work, Meg fled the opera house and ran until she could run no more collapsing for want of breath at her door.

TBC


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