BY : Princess
Category: M through R > Phantom of the Opera
Dragon prints: 5610
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: Thanks for the reviews, it really means a lot to me.

Erik had wanted to deliver the letter himself; he wanted to see her reaction, wanted to see if he had been right. He settled, however, for mailing the letter. Once he had been assured it would be taken to the Viscomte’s wife, he went back to his apartment. He removed his new mask as soon as the door was closed. He looked a moment at the skin toned fabric before throwing it on his bureau.

Now that the Opera Populaire was no longer in use, he was devising a new way to get money. Being invisible for so long meant that he knew a lot of secrets people would pay to keep secret. And pay him they did, though they never suspected it was the “Opera Ghost” that blackmailed them.

Erik laid on the bed and was very soon asleep.

He dreamed, as he often did, of that night. The ecstasy of singing with Christine, the burning betrayal when she ripped off his mask, the blur of dragging her down to his lair, the sick pleasure of threatening Raoul’s life.

And everything slowed down for that moment. He relived the agony of her telling him he was not alone, that she was with him. The bliss of her lips on his, of her hands on his face. Everything in that moment was perfect. Every detail was reborn in this dream.

Until she pulled away, and looked up at him. In that moment, he knew he couldn’t keep her. His heart broke into a thousand pieces, knowing that he could have her…and yet knowing that he could not. Even in this dream, he couldn’t let her stay with him. She needed to be happy, and that wouldn’t happen if she was trapped with him forever.

He couldn’t stop the tears, and he couldn’t stop the words from escaping his lips. He told her to leave, told her to forget him. He didn’t want to, and yet he did it. He turned to see her relaxing in the Viscomte’s arms.

“Go now!” he screamed the words aloud, waking with a start. The tears were real, and he could still see her in her lover’s arms. He got up from the bed to wash his face. He thought back on the dream as his fingers brushed over the course skin of his right cheek. He never dreamed her saying the words, but he always remembered it once he woke. But he also remembered watching her float away; he could always hear her voice singing the words from the rooftop. The words he had dared repeat to her on that stage. The words she would never sing for him.

“Christine, I love you.”

He whispered the words in the darkness of his lonely room. Erik could not hear her words of love to him, and he began to believe he had imagined them. No one could love him.

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