Continuing Tales

Demons

A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 7 of 38

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Demons

"I see your face in my every fantasy," he whispered. "I hear your voice in my every nightmare." She couldn't hear him, and it was just as well, for that was the only reason he was speaking. Dipping the soft cloth in the bowl of water once again, Erik ran it gingerly over the burning flesh of her face. A soft moan escaped from her lips at the sensation of the cool water on her skin. His eyes fluttered half way closed and his pale skin glowed golden in the dim candle light of the room. "When I dream of heaven, I feel your lips upon my flesh. I feel your body wrapped within my own. I run my fingers through your hair and your voice cries out for me." Desire licked through him under the influence of his own confession. Erik's voice grew thin as he lightly trailed the cloth across Christine's neck and exposed collarbone. "When I dream of hell," he tried to ignore the obvious rise of her breasts beneath the thin, soaking wet nightgown, "I hear you scream at the sight of me. I see you turn from me in revulsion."

He shut his eyes at the thought. He had woken up on a countless number of nights, drenched in sweat, the victim of a terrible dream in which Christine had returned to him, only to leave in disgust upon seeing his face once more. Erik noticed that she started to shake, and he gingerly ran his fingers along her arms, willing her to relax, begging her to be all right.

"I hate you with every breath that I take. Hate you beyond reason, Hate you with every passion that I possess...I hate you so much that I am dying of love for you."

He ran a hand through his mussed hair, shocked by his own words. Did he really love her, even after all that had happened...all that hadn't happened?

Again he dragged the cloth across her body, this time allowing it to graze the top of her breasts. For as many nightmares as he had had, he had also been the victim of treacherous fantasies. Vivid dreams choked with carnal lust and his unending passion for her. She would always be in his arms, her body locked with his, crying his name out softly as he loved her. Her voice would always be thick with passion, and her moans those of utter completeness...

Those dreams were worse than the nightmares. They were the cruelest of all. He would awake with the remembrance of her lips upon his, only to be embraced by nothing but cold sheets and harsh reality.

"Oh, Christine."

It was the first time that he had actually allowed himself to address her by her given name. The pleasure of those two syllables on his lips tore through his body and he suddenly hated himself for how cold and cruel he had been to her...

No! The cruel aloofness was necessary.

She would never be Christine Daae' to him again. She would never even be Christine...It was easier to resent her when she was Madame. When she was that boy's wife.

That boy was dead.

Erik immediately crushed the thought. The last thing that he would ever be was Raoul's replacement. He would gladly die before allowing Christine to use him simply as comfort...a body on which to implant the face of her dear departed husband.

Resentment reared its ugly head, and his demons instantly swirled around like a maelstrom.

She had left him for the Viscount.

She had left him to die alone...with only the cruel memory of her kiss to keep him warm.

"No!" Christine's cry rang thought the room, and Erik's eyes instantly flew to her. He was more than a little disturbed to find that she was still sleeping, her body twisting in and out of various positions. He pitied her. The dreams generated by a fever induced sleep were not like regular dreams. They were much more vivid, and much harder to discern for what they really were. They always mixed horror so well with reality that even after the dreamer awoke, fear and desperation seeped through the blood.

"No, God I can't!"

Erik watched over her, knowing that there was nothing he could do. She would be impossible to wake until the nightmare had passed, so deeply was her body meshed with its own unconsciousness.

"I can't breathe, I can't breathe!" Christine started gasping at the air around her, and Erik's curiosity ran wild. What the hell could she be reliving? He remembered then with a cry of despair.

The Commune.

She had been quite hurt when she had first arrived. He remembered with a wave of guilt informing her that he had no interest in what had happened to her. At first, he had reasoned with himself that it was simply due to lack of concern, but now he knew himself for the liar that he was. Had she told him of what had actually happened to her, he probably would have wrapped her in his arms and kissed all of her cuts and bruises away. She would have undone his well groomed icy fašade in a moment. The thought of Christine hurt sent daggers through his heart.

"I can't breathe! You're too heavy!"

Erik stiffened.

"I can't do this, you can't do this!"

She started to writhe uncontrollably on the bed, her cries becoming more frantic and desperate. Instinctively, he fell out of the chair to his knees, running his hands up and down her arms, trying desperately to make her stop, anything to stop the sudden terror that had sprung to life within him.

"No, no please!" She choked out. "No God, it hurts!"

The scream that followed was blood curdling, and Erik leaped into the bed beside her, enveloping her body in his embrace, his lips softly pressing against her forehead as he rocked her. Tears of rage fell down his face. She was having a nightmare about a rape.

She had been raped.

His angel...

He held her tighter, begging God to let him absorb some of her pain. He knew now, he knew what had never had the courage to ask her. She had been raped by the rebels. They had killed Raoul, and raped his beautiful Christine...God knows what else.

"Oh Christine, "he whispered, "my beautiful, beautiful Christine."

Again she cried out in her sleep, her body still convulsing violently, despite Erik's strong arms around it.

"God help me. Please God help me." He voice was growing thinner from her screaming, but she continued nonetheless, caught in the viscous memory.

"Stop, you're hurting me! Stop! Please, I'm begging you..."

Erik held her tighter. He would kill the men who had done this to-

"Not like this Raoul!" She screamed. "Raoul stop you're hurting me! Please stop! Please! Raoul no!"

Erik shut his eyes against the nausea that rose up in him...

...She wasn't dreaming about the Commune...

Demons

A Phantom of the Opera Story
by Wandering Child

Part 7 of 38

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