Tremulous and Tender

BY : NataliaV
Category: M through R > Phantom of the Opera
Dragon prints: 7330
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.

Part: 11/?
Thanks: To Sarah for her awesome beta-job!
Note: Go read and review “Phantom MSTings” by K-Chan. She is awesome and funny and most importantly, she MSTed T and T! *winks*

Christine's eyes fluttered open when she felt something wet trailing across her thighs. She had been in the most relaxed sleep of her entire life and was somewhat loathed to wake.

When she saw Erik crouched between her legs, all desire to sleep left. She rose up on her elbows to look down at him. He had a cloth in his hand, wiping at her thighs. She frowned. "Erik?"

He tossed the rag to the nightstand. "There," he said, looking down, ashamed, "was blood."

Christine nodded, blushing. She then moved from under him and shut her legs. They'd just shared the most magical, intimate thing any two people could share, but she'd never felt more ill at ease around him.

Though she wanted to reassure him, her discomfort would not allow her to do anything... and the reaction on his face when she'd moved away made her stomach twist into uncomfortable knots.

She reached down to pull the sheets over her body, but he grabbed them from her. He sat beside her, one hand moved to possessively clutch at her thigh. "Christine?" Every time he said her name, it sent tremors though her. He looked so worried. Christine reached out, putting her hand on his chest. He drew in a sharp breath. "You don't regret what happened earlier, do you?"

"No!" She shifted, sitting on her knees to face him, putting her other hand on his shoulder to brace herself. "Erik, please do not think that. This has been the most wonderful night of my life. I shall cherish the memory of today forever."

A sense of weakness seemed to flow through her limbs and her hands fell uselessly to her sides when Erik ran his fingertips across her face. Her eyes fluttered shut. He shifted closer, his lips touching all that his fingers did. Gentle fingers and even gentler mouth on her eyelids, the tip of her nose and fleetingly across her lower lip.

Daringly, she flicked her tongue out, tasting the salty skin just as it was to continue its torturous path. Opening her eyes, she smiled up at him, pressing an airy kiss to the digit. Briefly glancing down, she saw his manhood; that hard, hot, throbbing flesh that had been so snug and filling within her. It had been painful beyond her imagination, yet at the same time she'd never believed such pleasure could exist.

It had been Heaven! It made her understand why so many in the dorms would sneak off to meet with their lovers. Christine had thought it all so immoral, and she still felt as though it were. The girls scarcely ever loved the men they gave their bodies to.

Christine loved Erik more than more than she could bear. Giving him her body was the last bit of her she'd needed to give him. She was his completely; to do with what he wished. As he had earlier...

She blushed, the delicious memories making her uncomfortably wet. She moved, trying to will the ache building at the juncture between her legs, away.

"Why do you blush?" He asked as he continued his exploration. His kisses seemed to linger on birthmarks ad what few, small and faded scars she'd managed to retain from her childhood playing and dancing mishaps. "Surely you cannot still be shy."

"I am hardly accustomed, Monsieur, to sitting nude in from of anyone," she chided even as she moved closer when he tugged at her nipple. He chuckled against her skin.

"Neither am I, yet you do not see me blushing."

She wrapped her arms around him, shuddering as their bodies pressed against the others. His body was lean and hard; his hands holding onto her greedily were trapped between their bodies.

"You did mere hours ago," she nuzzled her face against his. She pressed her lips to both his cheeks. "What could I possibly do to make you blush again?"

"I imagine it would take quite a bit, my dear," his voice was hoarse and almost broken. She pressed herself tighter against him, rolling her hips against his, delighted at the cry he gave.

She made as if to kiss him, his lips expecting hers, but, with a giggle, she ducked her head, kissing along his chin, as he had done before. Turnabout was only fair play, wasn't it? He had the opportunity to taste her, to touch her, to learn and explore her, regardless of how short lived his exploration was. She was curious too.

She licked down his throat, loving the salty taste. His breathing became ragged and he grabbed at her hair. She looked at him, his eyes were shut tightly, his face flushed. She smiled, nipping at his neck. He was not blushing, but the effect was the same.

She thought of the girls, particularly the two Messieurs Firmin and Andre had taken a liking to. They often spoke of marks they needed to hide. Love bites, they were called. She sucked on Erik's skin, delighted when she pulled away to see it was fairly glowing red. Yes, that would leave a lovely mark.

"Oh, Christine, it is too much," He groaned, shaking so badly he released her, lying back against the bed. Christine's confidence left her as she stared down at him. He rubbed his hands over his face. His body was a lovely, pale gold in the dim candlelight. His manhood jutted from his body, just begging to be touched, to be once again within her.

"What is too much?" She asked, not recognizing the thickness in her own voice.

"This... you..." He sighed. "Too much pleasure. Too much need. I fear that once you return above, I will die from not being able to have you."

Her heart wrenched; she was becoming quite accustomed to the feeling. He broke her heart so, sometimes, with his words. How could he have lived without love? Trapped in the darkness of the opera house and his mind? "I will be suffering the same as you, but you will not die, for it would kill me when I return to you. And I will. I promise, I will always return to you. Our reunions will be all the more sweet, won't they, for all our suffering?"

He reached out, grabbing her hand and holding it over his heart. "I die more every moment you are not here."

"I am, Erik. I am always here." She tapped her fingers against his chest. "My love is yours to safeguard. When I am not physically here, it is."

She leaned down, her mouth meeting his. She tried to show him through her actions all that her words seemed to fail to say. He opened his mouth, his tongue sliding against her lips, begging for entrance. She sucked it into her mouth, flicking at it with her own.

She pulled back, gasping for air. Erik tried to draw her down once again, but she resisted. She sat back, running her hands over his chest. There were scars all over; marring what otherwise would have been dark, sculpted beauty. She ran her fingers over the scars and the coarse, dark hair that dusted his chest. She pressed her lips to the worst of the scars, wishing her touch could erase them and the memories that scarred his mind and soul.

Quite innocently and unaware if it would affect him the same way as it had her, she kissed his dark nipples. His eyes widened in shock. She played with it as he had with his lips and tongue, then did the same with the other. Erik was moaning, clutching her hair and the bedclothes tightly.

She nervously looked down, her hand rising to touch the flesh that looked deep purple in the darkness. The skin jumped when her little fingers curled around it. Erik let out a noise that sounded like a growl. She would have thought him in pain if not for the fact that he'd made sounds like that when he'd been sheathed inside her.

She was fascinated. The skin was hard, but so soft. Deep veins bulged from it, and she could hardly stop herself from tracing them with the tip of her nail. Erik shuddered, pushing his hips up. He had a desperate, pained look on his face, but said nothing. From the tip, which was large, the skin softer than anywhere else, beads of creamy, white liquid formed and dripped down.

She pressed her finger against the place where the liquid came from. "Christine, please," Erik groaned. He reached down, pulling her to lie beside him before swiftly moving atop her. He was shaking and sweating as he spoke, "you know not the madness your touch brings me to."

She laughed as he slid himself against her opening. "Oh, but I am familiar with it. You tortured me, or do you forget?"

He smiled, his lips not able to form a complete smile, giving him a devilish, rakish appearance. "How could I?"

He was gentle as he pushed into her. She wrapped her arms around him, burying her face in his neck so he would not see the discomfort on her face. She loved him and the excitement and feel of him inside her, but there was a soreness she feared would take some days to fully leave.

Once he was inside her and began moving, the irritation left. Wrapped in each other, they moved faster and faster. Christine felt the burning well inside and knew sweet relief was near. If at all possible, he seemed to become harder inside her. His mouth was everywhere he could reach, kissing, sucking... biting. It seemed he was intent on leaving his mark as she had.

His breath scorched her skin as he moved to her mouth, kissing her so hard her lips felt bruised. He grabbed her legs, forcing them up some and tight against his body. The action pushed him deeper into her.

Her grunted her name and sweet words of love and need into her mouth. Each downward stroke pressed against the tiny nub between her legs, the secret place she'd only dared touch once. Her mouth opened in a silent cry as she felt her very soul rocketed over the precipice. As tremors racked her, she felt Erik's hot, sticky release wash deep inside; filling her.

She felt dizzy, little specks of light dancing across her eyes. She swore she could see beyond the stars all the way to Heaven. Of course she would see it. Her beloved was an angel, after all.

As with the first time, he collapsed against her. He stroked her legs lazily, reverently. Christine kissed the top of the right side of his head; the poor, bumpy, hairless skin, red from years of being covered not only with the mask and wig, but with whatever glue Erik used to keep them on. She caressed the thin wisps as well as the thicker hair on the other half of his head.

Slowly, he pulled out of her, their sweat-slicked bodies sliding from the others easily. He rolled off her to lie on his back. He tugged her arms, drawing her to his side. Christine curled against him, feeling content.

He caressed and pet her, murmuring how he loved her over and over. Christine returned his caresses, sliding her legs against his. "I love you, too," she replied to his words. They felt inadequate, regardless of how true they were. There was such passion and fire backing his well crafted words. "Oh, how I love you, Erik."

He glanced at her. "Do you truly?"

He could have struck her and it would have hurt less. "You still doubt me?"

"No!" Instead of pulling her close, reassuring her that he knew she loved him without doubt, he left the bed, putting his trousers back on.

"Erik?" She felt her heart begin to break. How could she feel so blissful just moments before and now so wretched?

He paused, returning to kiss her forehead. "I will be but a moment." Then he was gone from the room.

Christine sat up, drawing the sheets up her body. She felt so tiny in the huge swan bed all by herself. Relief spread when he rushed back into the room and rejoined her on the bed, taking one of her hands in his. He held something tightly within the other.

"Forgive me, I meant not to worry you." He peppered her face with kisses. Less upset and more curious, she smiled slightly. Erik looked at her before looking down at their joined hands. "I..." He cleared his throat, "I love you, Christine. You have given me more than I have ever had... more than I deserve simply by being here and loving me." She cupped his cheek with her free hand, trying to make him look at her. He resisted, so she tilted her head down until she met his turbulent green eyes. "I am a selfish man, for I hardly deserve you but I will not let you go. I treated you horribly last night, yet you still gave yourself to me."

He lifted her hand and kissed it. "I've nothing to offer you but this hideous face and my world of darkness. I'm... I'm a villain, Christine. I have done many things I should like you to never know of. I have a terrible temper; anger and hate the only emotions I've ever received from anyone but you and a small number of others. Madame Giry, much as I loathe admitting it, was right in trying to warn you. I have lived so long alone I know not how to act."

"This all hardly matters to me, Erik. I love you."

"I know." He nodded, slowly opening his palm. There lay a small gold ring with a diamond glistening and making rainbows from the few, flickering lights. "Christine, my most beloved, would you accept this as you have me, and agree to become my wife?"

Christine started crying, overcome. She had not expected him to ask for her hand. She wanted to shout "yes" so those above in the opera house could hear her. But all she could do was sit there dumbly and cry, clasping her hand over her mouth.

After some time, Christine managed to compose herself and wipe her tears. She looked at Erik, who looked as she must have when he questioned her; completely heartbroken. He'd let go of her and was practically glaring at the sparkling ring in his hand.

"Please, forget I ever..." he shook his head, moving to leave the bed.

"Erik!" She found her voice as she grabbed at his arm. The sheet fell from her as she pulled him to the middle of the bed. "Erik," she said again, crawling onto his lap, holding him tight. "My answer is yes."

He was speechless, staring at her with wonder-filled eyes. "You will?" He choked out finally.

She nodded. "Yes! I will marry you!" A smile slowly spread; a pure, happy smile. It lit his face, making him just that much more beautiful in her eyes. He kissed her with fervor, moving so she lay happily trapped between him and the headboard. She smiled against his sweet, joyful kisses.

When he finally pulled away, he wiped at her tears, then his own. He plucked the ring from where it'd fallen onto the sheets before lovingly sliding it on her finger. He smiled softly, kissing the ring and the finger which it sat.

Review Responses and Authors (lengthy) Notes: First, I'm sorry for how long it's been. I really meant to have it done by V-Day. That said... I make no promises of when the next chapter will be up. This chapter was meant to have more plot to it than it did... my muse wanted smut and fluff and she got it, damnit. So things need to be worked out and tweaked, direction-wise. I will type it a.s.a.p. If there's no smut, I should have it up soon... writing smut takes me forever and throws me off my groove. Though I am rather proud of the past two chapters. *grins* But so you know, I posted a teaser of this chapter on my lj... and may do the same with whatever chapters left if they're going to take me more time to get out. The link's in my profile. ~Nate~

Yep! My muses were on a roll... in the hay! Hahah---... sorry, that was lame, wasn't it?

Yeah... 10 chapters is a long wait! Sorry? ;)

Wow... deliciously? Thanks!

You know what? I'm anxious to see too! lol. I have no idea what twists/turns it may take. I am but a slave to my muses.

Lol! I totally understand! I get lost all the time with so many wonderful fic's out there!

Tehe. I *heart* you to pieces! I'm glad you liked the story so much! I totally did not mind all the reviews! :D And don't worry! How could I call my fic. fluffy if anyone was gonna die??? Well... anyone important. Lol. And I wouldn't break your computer for anything.... if I did, you wouldn't be able to read this!

Thanks! I'm glad you like my Erik!

More is coming soon... just... not too soon. :) I'm glad you love it!

No, no, no! How could I abandon this? I will give it a proper... happy... ending. I promise!

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