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: 4/?
Disclaimer, Summary, Etc. can be found in the first chapter.
Can I Ever Say Thanks Enough: Kelsey and Sarah for going above and beyond… I think I love you guys!

Christine sat in Erik’s library, curled up on the sofa. Ayesha sat on her lap as she read. The domesticity of the situation made Erik’s heart swell.

He sat across from her in a chair, pretending to read, while he watched her. She had no idea.

Every few minutes, her nose would scrunch up, as though she did not comprehend a certain passage. She would also, at times, mouth the words she was reading. Erik found it all so endearing.

It was the third night in a row she’d come to him. She’d found his small kitchen the day before while exploring the underground house. She’d made him a grand dinner-- it was quite good. Madame Giry had forced the girls to learn other skills besides dancing and singing.

Christine swore, after having to bring a good deal of food from the opera houses kitchen, that she would cook for him every night. She’d given him the saddest pout when she could only find a few pieces of stale bread, some cheese, eggs and water.

He didn’t have the heart to tell her he usually stole his meals from the opera kitchen. He supposed if she was going to be staying with him so frequently he would have to have more food available. She would probably frown upon his stealing.

“Erik?” He waited a moment, flipping the page as though he’d just finished the last before looking up at her. She was smiling as though she had a tremendous secret to tell.

“Yes?”

“Do I have something on my face?”

“No. Why do you think that?”

“Well, it’s just… you were staring at me for so long, I felt that must be why.” Her eyes sparkled with barely contained laughter.

Erik blushed. He must be getting old! To be caught so red-handed. “Er… well…”

Christine giggled. “Where are your fine, flowery words now, Monsieur?”

Erik glared at her, not used to the playful way Christine was mocking him. He didn’t know how to act besides being angry.

She stopped giggling when she noticed he was upset. “Erik, forgive me. I was only playing…”

“No. I apologize. I’m not used to…” He shook his head. “I’ve spent so little time around others. I suppose it will take some time to get used to such things.”

She jumped off the sofa, poor Ayesha falling to the floor with a hiss. She went to his chair, and sat on the floor in front of him. She put her hands on his knee. “And we will have plenty of time, won’t we?”

“Yes.” He reached out, stroking her cheek gently. She gingerly laid her head on his legs as he continued caressing her cheek and hair. “It’s late and you have early rehearsals for ‘Il Muto’ tomorrow.”

He pulled her up as he stood, and slid her arm through his as he led her to her room. She leaned against him heavily. Looking down at her he could see her eyes drooping.

He let go of her arm to scoop her into his arms. She giggled lightly, wrapping her arms around his shoulders.

Erik buried his face in her hair as he opened the door to her room. He began to lay her down but she tightened her arms around him.

“Sing to me?” She pulled to look at him. His heart nearly stopped at the look at warmth in her eyes. He nodded, sitting on the bed, holding her to him gently, like the treasure she was.

“Night-time sharpens,
heightens each sensation ...
Darkness stirs and
wakes imagination ...
Silently the senses
abandon their defenses...”

Her fingers played with the ends of his hair; her face tucked into his neck. He could feel her warm breath on his skin and it made him shiver.

“Slowly, gently
night unfurls its splendor . . .
Grasp it, sense it -
tremulous and tender . . .
Turn your face away
from the garish light of day,
turn your thoughts away
from cold, unfeeling light -
and listen to
the music of the night . . .”

He pressed his lips to the top of her hair in a gentle kiss before resting his masked cheek there. He tightened his arms around her as she snuggled closer.

“Close your eyes
and surrender to your
darkest dreams!
Purge your thoughts
of the life
you knew before!
Close your eyes,
let your spirit
start to soar!
And you'll live
as you've never
lived before . . .”

She pulled back to look up at him. She smiled softly, bringing one hand down his shoulder, resting it over his heart. He clasped that hand in one of his larger, gloved ones.

“Softly, deftly,
music shall caress you . . .
Hear it, feel it,
secretly posses you . . .
Open up your mind,
let your fantasies unwind,
in this darkness which
you know you cannot fight -
the darkness of
the music of the night . . .”

He pressed his forehead to hers, gazing into her lovely, expressive eyes.

“Let your mind
start a journey through a
strange new world!
Leave all thoughts
of the life
you knew before!
Let your soul
take you where you
long to be!
Only then
can you belong
to me . . .”

She smiled at him again. Their faces were so close, he could feel the smile.

“Floating, falling,
sweet intoxication!”

She raised their joined hands to caress his unmasked cheek.

“Touch me, trust me
savor each sensation!”

He shut his eyes as her fingers danced across his skin.

“Let the dream begin,
let your darker side give in
to the power of the music that I write -
the power of the music of the night . . .”

Her hand still on his face, she nestled back down into his arms, her head on his shoulder.

“You alone can make my song take flight-”

He looked down at her. She was fast asleep. He gently laid her on the bed, pulling the covers over her. He ran his fingers across her cheek and down her jaw.

“Help me make the music of the night…”

Making sure she was adequately tucked in, he forced himself away from her and pulled the curtain down around the bed. He lit one candle, putting it on the nightstand by her bed, then left the room.


Review Responses and Bitty Note:

I just wanted to say thanks again. I love getting reviews… who doesn’t? You guys make me check my email constantly at work! Still haven’t gotten caught! Lol. Anyway, my note is this… if you read my review responses… I tend to drop not so subtle hints of what’s to come. ;)

Aisling
Constancy, thy name is kiss_me… wait… Aisling… wait… lol. Yes! At least Raoul hasn’t shown up… yet.

Rileywolf133
Awww…. You made me “awww” repeatedly.

I did get two wondiferous gals to beta this for me… but I have a couple of other Phan fic ideas floating around that might be put to paper soonish if you’d be willing to beta that.

It would be quite telling to say whether or not our favorite (ha!) fop is going to be in this or not, isn’t it?

angelgirl
Who could stay mad at Erik? Christine isn’t that dumb! But, she is innocent and Naked!Erik™ might have been a bit much for the first impression, no? lol.

Jula
Thanks… I think. Lol. I could flesh it out, but this is my style. I would only be dragging the story if I got more descriptive or whatnot just to make longer chapters. Too much of a good thing can be bad… right?

And he didn’t have Ayesha in the original novel (at least I don’t remember)… but did in Susan Kay’s “Phantom”. She’s “evil” to everyone but Erik… but not in my story. She’s sweet to Christine and only appears a couple more times, anyway.

Skimbleshanks
I *heart* your sn. Really. I love “Cats”! Hehehe.

Erik will have his moment(s) of darkness… but this is meant to be fluffy. I kinda like light and sweet Erik every one in a while. (btw, I would keep an eye out for when chapter 9 or 10 comes around, *hint, hint, nudge, nudge*)

Now that was just telling… wasn’t it?

Skimbleshanks
Wow! Four reviews in a row! Tehe. Can I just pretend you’re my first rabid fan? No one need know the truth!

You can stop pacing now… is the trench big enough to fill with water? You could build a castle! :)

angelgirl
Yeah! Darn that nasty Buquet! Some people shouldn’t drink… especially when there might be ghost around… *wink, wink*.

Christine Rosette
Thanks! Hope I don’t disappoint!

Angel Marie
Yay! I’m glad you like it. But… DUDE (sorry, I’m from So. Cal)… stop reading my mind... or sneaking into my notebook where all 10 chapters I have so far are stored! Lol. Erik is kind of crazy obsessive in that cute puppy way. I’m just taking out some of the crazy he had in the book and movie. Endearing as those traits were, they might scare Mll. Daaé away. And I’m only one person… I haven’t even started on a fic-a-thon assignment that’s due Valentines Day because of this! I can’t write more on this than I’m writing! ;)


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