Continuing Tales


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 21 of 38

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"Erik, please!"

"No!" He cried, bringing a protective hand up to his face to cover the mask. "Luciana, no!"

She ran to him, her beautiful hair blowing softly behind her in the cool night air. Up upon the balcony, all of Rome lay before them, shining brilliantly, the light reflecting in the tears upon her silken cheeks. He froze as she raised a trembling hand to the unmarred side of his face, brushing away the tears that he hadn't even realized had fallen.

"Why do you hide from me?" Her voice was a soft and lilting Italian. Erik swallowed hard. He had never before known what it was like to feel this way, to care so much about someone, a girl no older than his own fifteen years. Fifteen years! For a decade and a half he had lived upon this miserable earth with no comfort, with only darkness. Then this arrogant, insidious, stuck up, miserable girl had somehow complained and annoyed her way into his life...

...and for the first time, he had felt the warmth of the sun.

Now she threatened that absolute bliss. Luciana... beautiful, stubborn, angry Luciana was apparently not one for maintaining illusions. She wanted to see what lay beneath the mask.

Erik would never know that what she had wanted to see was the boy she had fallen so desperately in love with.

No, he would never know...

He would never know...

"Erik, please! Stop this insanity!" Even crying out, Luciana's voice could wrap itself around his cold heart. She reached for the mask, but was no match for his quick grace. His arms instantly blocked her as he turned from the gaze of her warm amber eyes. He clenched his fist and locked his jaw, shaking in his rage. Why did she want to ruin this? Why! Why did she want to destroy the only peaceful existence he had ever known! Anger filled him like poison, uncontrollable and unstoppable. The young and desperate love that he felt for her was momentarily drowned out by his pain and his rage. Why did she have to be so curious! Why did everyone always have to be so damnably curious! Why could no one simply accept the mask? If he of all people could be reconciled to his fate, why could no one else?


With a roar of anguish he turned, grabbing Luciana by her small shoulders and hauling her against his body, his masked face no more than an inch from hers.

"You want to see?" He snarled. "You want to look your fill?" His voice was dark and painful, so horribly different from the beautiful sound that Luciana would stay awake late at night to listen to.

The absolute longing in her eyes only undid him further. He had trusted her. He had trusted this girl as he had trusted no other human being, and now she would force him to make her into a liar. With a violent sob, he brought her small hand to his face and to the corner of the mask, forcing her fingernails to cut into his flesh as the mask was torn away.

Her eyes...

Oh God, her eyes...

They had widened and emptied everything from her was as if he could see the blood and sinew of her very being dripping from those fathomless amber vacuums.

Luciana opened her mouth to scream, but only silence came forth as a testimony to her horror. In a frantic moment she stumbled backwards, her back hitting the balustrade with a sickening crack. Erik reached for her, and it seemed that time stood still as her arms flailed widely in the air, as her balance gave out, as her hand slipped from the protection of his, as her body fell backwards and over the low railing, as...



That stubbornly beautiful girl even managed to fall to her death with grace.

Erik ran down to the courtyard below, the beautiful garden that now served as Luciana's deathbed. Falling to her side, he took her broken body into his arms and started sobbing violently.

"Erik." Her final word came from blood-soaked lips.

And then she spoke no more.

He pressed her face to his chest, willing himself to die right there with her. Never had the dangerous allure of suicide threatened to seduce him as much as it did right now. This was all his fault! Because of him, this beautiful butterfly lay crushed in his brutal, bloody hands!

"Erik." He looked up in the direction of the smooth and sultry voice. A grown woman stood before him, her long black hair falling around her elegant shoulders, her pale skin covered in a light blue gown, and her eyes...her absolutely stunning amber eyes were burning into his naked face. The woman looked exactly as Luciana would have had she been allowed to live into her adulthood.

You're dreaming E"rik."

He felt himself begin to shake. His body...he realized that the body of the fifteen year old boy had melted away. His trembling limbs once more belonged to a forty year old man.

"And no, I'm not Luciana." She answered his silent question.

Who was she! She looked exactly as his Luciana should have! And yet, he knew she spoke truthfully...this woman was definitely not Luciana. What was it about the smooth curve of her jaw, the gentle sweet of her waist, the lush swell of her breasts...

It was as if his memory had instantly caught fire.


She nodded slowly. "How long?" She asked. "How long did you make love to me, not even realizing that you wished it be Luciana?"

He closed his eyes against her words.

She continued nonetheless. "How long were you kind to me, hoping to win the forgiveness of a dead woman?"

The pain. The horrible, sickening pain...

"Why!" He screamed. "Why are you here!"

"Perhaps you should ask her the same question," Amanda replied, nodding to the lifeless body that he still held.

Erik looked down.

In his arms he held a dead and bloody Christine Daaé

The force of his scream nearly caused him to fall from the bed. He had relived Luciana's death countless times in his nightmares...but never had they ended like that. With Christine dead in his arms, with her blood on his hands.

And Amanda. God, how had he never noticed? She was the spitting image of what Luciana would have been! Of what Luciana should have been, he thought bitterly. No wonder of all the women, he had always been pulled toward her the most powerfully.


He nearly fainted at the sound of Christine's voice invading his thoughts.

"Erik," she repeated.

He found he could not move his eyes from her. She sat up, her hair falling around her shoulders, brushing the tops of her breast lightly, breasts that only hours before she had allowed him to caress, that she had begged him to caress...

For the past three nights she had come into his arms as a lover would, for the past three nights she had chosen to stay in his bed as a wife would.

Her eyes...her eyes held compassion. They held concern. They held love...

...even as they stared upon the unmasked horror of his face.

He was on her in an instant, pressing her naked body back into the sheets and covering it with his own. That dream...that dream had come from the very bottom of his soul. He felt dead. All that he could see was Luciana's blood seeping into his flesh as it stained the skin red...and then the awful image of Christine bleeding in her place. Oh God his face....she had been so appalled by his face that she had died!

Christine gasped as he savagely took her lips with his, swallowing her moan of pleasure as his tongue swept against her own.

He had trusted Luciana! He had trusted her to simply forget about his mask! His trust had earned him nothing but blood on his hands! Nothing! How long would it be until Christine's blood was on his hands?

Erik ran a slow finger along the inside of Christine's thighs. She literally had to tear her face away from his to gasp in her ecstasy.

Luciana had left him. Left him wallowing in his misery and his pain. He stilled above Christine instantly as he remembered...

So had she.

"Erik," she whimpered softly. "Erik please...I need you...Erik."

He thrust into her violently.

"Why?" He hissed through clenched teeth.

Christine let her head fall back as he filled her completely. "Wha-why, what?"

He thrust his whole weight against her.

"Why did you leave with the Viscount!"

Christine's mind reeled at the sound of his voice, laced with anger and accusation. "Erik, why are you-"

He grabbed her hips and thrust again. "Answer me." When she simply stared up at him, confusion and pain in her beautiful blue eyes, he found himself rocking slowly against her, gently coaxing her body to life. He brushed his lips along the side of her neck, glorying in the softness of her skin. No, he did not want to hurt her; he loved her, but...

"Please," he whispered, gently this time. "Please, tell me why." Christine took a shallow breath as she tried to put her thoughts together against the gentle movements of him within her.

"Because," she gasped. "Because, I..."

He thrust once more.

Christine let out a desperate moan. "Because I loved you, Erik." He thrust again, his fingers digging into the soft flesh of her hips. "Oh God. Erik...I loved you and I was terrified of you. I was too weak and too afraid..."

She was caught, caught in the pain of his questioning and in the pleasure of his body locked within hers.

A shudder, a ragged breath, a low moan. She wanted to push him away from her. She wanted him to know how much his words had stung. Didn't he realize that she would live with that guilt until the day she died? Didn't he realize what that guilt had done to her?

A shudder, a ragged breath, a low moan.

He was crying.

"Erik," her voice cracked as her own tears started to fall.

"Please" he slowed the savage movements of his body. "Please, tell me this isn't a dream. Oh God, the dreams are my hell...Oh God, Christine please, please make them stop."

Gently, she wrapped her leg around his, allowing him to sink into her body with care. Christine pressed her lips to his neck as she rolled her hips against his. "No, no, Erik, you aren't dreaming. I love you. I always will. Please...please Erik...I will lie in this bed with you until the day I die." She arched her back as he ran his fingers through her long hair, his lips fastening to her shoulder. Erik's tears ran down her arms in small rivers, which he quickly traced with his mouth.

Christine's lips opened in a silent scream as he moved with in her.

"I love you," came his ragged prayer. "Never leave me."

"Never," she echoed, holding him tighter to her.

"You are mine!"


"Never leave me!"




And she shattered beneath him.

For what seemed like an eternity, neither moved, and only the sound of their ragged breathing filled the dark room. Christine took several deep, calming breaths. He had been trying to punish her at first. His lovemaking had been brutal...savage. Then...she had seen it in his eyes. The pain...the absolute and never ending pain. Pain that had only been more real as he had become gentle, begging her to love him.

She turned and pressed her lips to where his heart beat erratically in his chest. "I will never leave you, Erik. However hurt and angry you are mine. The thought of not being with you is like a vise around my lungs."

Erik pressed a tear-streaked kiss to her forehead. "Christine...I have dreams...dreams filled with such horror and such regret that I pray you will never have to know of them."

She gave him a tired smile in the dark. "Let me give you new dreams, Erik."

Trembling, he pressed a warm hand to the soft flesh of her lower belly. "I wonder everyday at such miracles, Christine. Such wonders. To think...even now my child may sleep within your womb."

She stiffened beneath his touch.


A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 21 of 38

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