Continuing Tales


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 12 of 38

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Paris, France

"You're looking rather well, Amanda."

She gave an angry smirk at the compliment.

"I should. Von Alsing gave me a disgustingly generous settlement."

Her father looked at her, the humor draining from his face. He motioned for his daughter to sit in one of the study's fine leather chairs. "Settlement? Why would the Baron have reason to give you a settlement?"

Amanda shoved a cigarette into the end of her mother of pearl holder, lighting it quickly and allowing the distinctly unladylike habit to sooth her frazzled nerves. "Because I have been released from my services. He no longer has a"-she swallowed her wounded pride-"desire to keep me as his mistress."

For a moment, Edward Morrigan smiled. His daughter always had been a stuck up little bitch, and sometimes it was rather entertaining to see her admit defeat. "Losing your touch, are you girl?"

Her eyes bored holes into him. "Watch your tongue, you old pig. Without me the Commune wouldn't have nearly so large a treasury." He nodded. It was true; his daughter actually had been able to do something productive with her over indulgent lifestyle...her beauty had been able to make her the mistress of many a nobleman, men whom she later helped the Commune to ruin. The profit that one could achieve from a woman lying on her back was astounding.

"I'll admit Amanda, you're very talented at keeping your legs open, but the Commune wanted Von Alsing! We lost millions when that little de Chagny bitch got away..." He narrowed his eyes. "...Another job you botched."

She bristled. "It wasn't my fault that the Viscount was devoted to that little wife of his." She gave a small laugh. "Got away did she? Wasn't she being kept they were keeping her in a sanitarium in Italy somewhere? I though they took the Viscount alone. Didn't the chit lose her mind or whatnot?" She took another soothing drag on the cigarette. Most women found the practice appalling...Amanda found it liberating.

Her father waved his hand. "No one really knows that the family was surrounded in a lot of strange business. She was, however, back in Paris during the final months of her husband's life...she was taken with him."

Amanda laughed. "The Commune couldn't kill an insane Viscountess? That's so embarrassing that it's funny."

Edward's face turned to stone. "Watch your mouth, girl. Our position in the organization in tenuous enough! They would have ruined me if we hadn't been able to add so much to the cause. Now this latest debacle will only add to their frustration with us!"

Amanda surged to her feet. "That man was out of his mind! He wore a mask, father! A mask! Besides, he had more eyes for a little servant with a scarred face. He's twisted I tell you, absolutely twis-"

Her features froze as a memory stirred.

She had been walking toward his library, triumphant in her apparent win over that dreadful servant girl.. Her triumph had only grown as the Baron's commanding voice had echoed all around the marble foyer.

"Madame de Chagny. I will expect you to behave more appropriately in the future. You are a grown woman!"

"Father, did Raoul de Chagny have any bastard siblings? A younger sister perhaps?"

Edward shook his head. "I don't believe so. The Viscount's father died soon after his birth...why?"

Confusion sprinkled itself across Amanda's fine features. "No, it's just that Von Alsing, he had a servant...he addressed her as Madame de Chagny."

"Mademoiselle," Edward added.


"You mean, 'Mademoiselle'," he continued. "Raoul's sister wouldn't be 'Madame' de Chagny."

Amanda shook her head. "No, no I definitely heard 'Madame'...Christine! That was her first name. The Baron's gypsy filth housekeeper called the girl Christine."

Edward's eyes widened. He had been there the night that the de Chagny's had been taken captive. "Think! What did she look like?"

Amanda took a step back at her father's sudden outburst. "God, I don't know...small, yes she was small. Brown hair, lots of it...curly, I think? Oh and this dreadful scar on her face. Absolutely horrific."

A smile crossed Edward's round, pudgy face. They had beaten the Viscountess like hell that night. Of course she would have scars...

Cocking an eyebrow, Amanda's confusion only grew. "What?"

Edward's smile widened. "You might have just proved that you're still worth something, Amanda."

Erik sat in his library, bathed and dressed once again in fine clothes, an exquisite amount of sleep giving his face a color besides his usual pallor. He was reading a book to try and forget exactly why his sleep had been so exquisite.


He had spent the night with her wrapped in his arms, the thud of her heart in her chest a soothing lullaby against his body. It had almost been painful to leave her this morning, but it would have been a disaster had she woken up to find him in her bed. He chased away all thoughts of her actions last night...holding him, clinging to him...kissing him. God! Nothing in the world had ever been as sweet as the taste of Christine's lips.

It was the laudanum, nothing more.

But what if it wasn't?

A quiet knock at the door shook Erik from his thoughts.

"Enter," he called over his shoulder. A still slightly sleep deprived Roman entered the room. Erik's face warmed. "I meant to thank you, Roman, for going to Paris like that. You probably saved Christine's life." Erik caught his slip of her name too late, and could only hope that Roman did not notice.

Roman smiled, even as his mind was racing. You're the Phantom of the Opera!

"I would gladly do it again, Sir. She is a very dear girl."

Erik nodded slowly. "Yes, yes she is."

Roman's breath slowed as he saw the distant look come over the Baron's face. His thoughts were instantly drawn to Christine's black diary, which lay hidden in a drawer, away from even Magda's eyes. It contained too many answers, too many question...It had been a difficult decision, but Roman knew that he would have to confess his knowledge of its existence to Christine. He would allow her that dignity, and it would be she who decided if any other eyes ever saw what lay between it's pages ...including the Baron's.

"Actually Sir, I'm here on Madame de Chagny's behalf. She wishes to speak to you."

The color drained from Erik's face. "Why does she want to see me?"

Roman shrugged. "I'll take that as a 'no.'" He spun on his heels and began to leave. "Good day, Your Grace."

"No, wait!"

Roman suppressed the urge to smile. "Yes, Sir?"

Erik took a hesitant breath. "I'll see her."

The beauty of her new bedroom was overwhelming. Christine had always loved blue and gold, though Raoul had considered them masculine colors. Her bedroom at the Château de Chagny had been a rather revolting shade of mauve...the bastard child of pink and gray.

But this, this was elegant and regal. It was a warm room, inviting and decidedly livable. She had been surprised to wake up in the endless comfort of her large bed, surrounded by silk and velvet, as well as Magda's squeals of delight that her fever had finally broken. Christine had been terrified when she was told how long she had been in and out of delirium, and quickly humbled upon learning of Roman's ride to Paris for her.

There had been something else as well.


Christine looked up from her seat by the window to see Roman enter the room...with Erik behind him. The shock on her face was genuine. She hadn't expected him to come, especially after he had been avoiding her like a leper.

"How are you feeling, Christine?"

Her heart leapt at the sound of his voice.

"You slipped," she said, her own voice still weak.

Erik walked over toward her. "Pardon?"

She gave a dazzling smile, and he thought that his heart would burst from his chest. "You slipped," she repeated. "That's the first time since I've been here that you haven't called me Madame de Chagny."

Roman saw Erik's jaw clench, and decided that there had never been a better time to leave a room. The shutting door alerted Erik to Roman's departure, but all that he could think about was the arrogance of the young woman sitting before him.

"Forgive me, Madame de Chagny," he said the edge in his voice tangible. Christine said something under her breath. "Speak up!" he snapped, his unease growing by the moment as he noticed the lovely blue dress that she wore and the obvious lack of a corset.

"I said, I rather like 'Christine' on your tongue. Your voice makes it sound much more beautiful than its dull reality." When he did nothing but stare at her, Christine continued on, nervously twisting her skirt in her hands. "Did you stay with me, while I was sick? I can't remember if you did or not, I suppose it could have been a dream, Lord knows I had some vivid dreams, but if you did I wanted to thank you for caring for me, and if you didn't well then I suppose it doesn't matter..."

She was well aware of the fact that she was babbling like a fool.

Erik faltered. Did he dare?

"I stayed by your bedside at times to give Magda a chance to sleep. Nothing more. I assure you, no thanks are necessary." He breathed a sigh of relief. His composure had been flawless.

Christine's face fell. In all honesty, she had expected one of his aloof, irritating answer, but a part of her had hoped-she took in a deep breath-a smile suddenly lighting up her face once more.

"I notice that you are wearing cologne, Erik."

He looked at her oddly. What a strange question. "Yes," he replied, suddenly self conscious. "Most men do."

Christine nodded in agreement. "Yes, yes they do. Thank you for coming by Erik, but I would like to rest now. Good day."

He gave a slight nod and turned around to leave, doing his best to hide his disappointment at being dismissed so easily and quickly.

He was halfway across the room when she called out to him.

"Yes, most men do wear cologne, but yours...yours is unique. I've never smelled anything like it. It's wonderfully light and airy, whereas most are oppressive. Indeed, it is a delightful scent."

He turned to her, but she only nodded another goodbye, the smile on her face even larger. Again he turned, and this time he nearly made it to the door before Christine's voice reached him again.

"It was especially delightful upon my pillow last night."


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 12 of 38

<< Previous     Home     Next >>