Continuing Tales


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Soignante

Part 63 of 64

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Nadir walked into the shop and stood holding the door as Erik slouched in after him. It was a necessary trip, but that didn't make it any easier for the reclusive man. Everywhere he and Christine went, people recognized them. It was no longer three or four people on the bus; it was small crowds. They wanted autographs - some even had the gall to ask for photographs! Christine was usually able to charm their admirers into letting them go on their way, but he still avoided going out when he could talk her into staying home.

Nadir did not even attempt to disperse the crowds. He liked being surrounded by an admiring public. As far as he was concerned, Erik was only getting his dues. Of course, the men's clothiers store management would not let the throng in, for which Erik was extremely grateful.

Soon, Erik was tricked out nicely in a two button classic tuxedo with a tailor examining the fit. This shop boasted two-day custom tailoring, which was why Nadir thought it would be a good choice. Finally, the tailor sat back on his heels.

"Not much I'll have to do. We'll take in the jacket a bit, and the shirt, but we don't want too close a fit." The man's little more than a skeleton, he thought. He had no idea how much Erik had filled out since Christine entered his life. "It will be ready by tomorrow afternoon."

"That's just fine," Nadir smiled. He turned Erik towards the full length mirror, which Erik had been avoiding all night. "Look at yourself, my boy. Christine will be blown away. She'll be breathless."

"Can we get out of here now?" Erik growled. "Before this man touches me again..." Erik wanted no one touching him but Christine, and the tailor's measuring certainly counted as touching.

"Of course, son, of course. Let's go"

That night, Christine and Erik snuggled comfortably in bed, each absorbed in watching the other. Erik was contemplating her gentle fingers as they ran through his hair lovingly. Christine was contemplating her plans for their wedding.


"Yes, love?"

"Our ceremony is going to be beautiful."

He smiled softly. "It will."

"We've rehearsed everything to perfection. All the officiator - What's his name?"


"All Mr. Archer has to do is pronounce us and sign the certificate. He's heard what we've composed..." The little man had sniffled and reached for a tissue midway through the tape. "and he is fine with the mask."

"He saw the paper, he said." Erik stretched and pushed his arm under back and around her shoulders. "Makes sense he'd be happy to let me keep my mask. Not that I'd allow any quibbling over it..."

"City Hall would never have allowed it." Christine didn't mention that she had called around for several hours before she found an independent officiator who would allow a masked groom.

"No, which is why we aren't going to City Hall."

"We've got the prettiest little room at The Warwick. Mom and Meg will be doing all the decorations...Mom's a whiz with flowers." After a moment's thought, she added, "It's very private. No windows or any such thing."

"I'm sure staff will be in and out..."

"Nope. We've made sure of that. Perfectly private. And everything else is planned out as well. My mother and Meg will bring the dress by that morning and Nadir has promised to get you out of the way."

"Out of the way? I'll be in your way?" Erik threw her a hurt look.

"Don't be silly, Erik. You know you can't see me before the ceremony on our wedding day. Besides, all you have to do is put on a suit. I have to be corseted and laced and draped and made up and goodness knows what else."

"I won't know you..." Erik had tried to imagine Christine in her bridal gown, but he knew all his fantasies would fall short.

"You'll know me just fine." She rolled over onto his chest and kissed his collarbone teasingly. "I'll be the one in white." She nibbled at his neck and ear in her funny little way, knowing it drove him mad.

"All of this changes nothing, you know. We'll go on living just as we do now, only we'll have all the privileges of marriage under the law." Erik's voice would have sounded even to any other listener, but Christine could hear him trying to reassure himself.

"Yeah, it's exciting. We can file our taxes together and you can take me off life-support when our fans run me down in the park one of these days."

"Don't even joke about that." He shuddered at the thought, then wrapped his arms around her and looked down to her curly brown hair spread across his pale, thin chest. "I love you, Christine."

"I love you, too." She looked up to meet his eyes, resting her chin on his sternum. "You remember what you promised me..."


"You promised me that whatever I asked, you'd do. And I told you I already had two requests. I got one right away, but I reserved the other for a later time."

"Is now that time?"

"No. I just want to be sure you remember your promise." Her fingers strayed to his face, tracing its lines and scars. It always amazed him that she could bear to touch him; even more amazing was that she could always do it without causing the slightest twinge of pain, that she could allow him to feel pleasure even in that most damaged of places.

"It makes me wonder what that other request is..." Erik rolled her off his chest and pushed up onto his elbow to look down into her sparkling green eyes.

"Well, wonder on, because I won't tell. Not until it's time." She grinned impishly at him.

"Go on keeping your secrets, then." Erik kissed her firmly. "I may have a secret of my own." He turned from her curious expression with a smirk and settled into a comfortable position. Not long after, his slow, deep breathing announced that he had fallen asleep.

Christine could not asleep; she was too nervous to rest. In only five days, they would be husband and wife - assuming he did not take umbrage at her request and leave her standing alone in her huge wedding dress in front of their family and friends. He slept so easily beside her; she thought back on the early days of their friendship, when he divulged that he was a night owl and an insomniac. Now, he slept with her every night. He trusted her.

"Keep trusting me, Erik, please," she whispered, not wanting to wake him. "No matter what I ask."


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Soignante

Part 63 of 64

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