Chapter 4 – Old Acquaintances
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A/N: Thank you all SO much for your kind words and positive feedback. It means a lot!
BTW…don’t kill me all my beloved and fellow E/C shippers…he had to come in at some point. But I promise…it’ll still be to your liking. I will forever remain E/C!!!! I’m going try something different with this chapter too….I wanted to try using first person POV with this…so here we go. Tell me what you think!!
<3 to all. And on with the story! Please R&R!
OH! What’s wrong with me? Sheesh….MUCH LOVE to my freaking awesome beta Madeline. Thanks for reminding me to use my sticky notes! Haha! You rule.
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I rolled over in the bed, reaching out for Erik. I missed his warmth beside me and wanted it back again. My face buried itself in his pillow and my arms catch nothing but sheets as I realize that he is not there. I opened my eyes with a small sigh because he is no longer in bed with me. Where had he gone?
A smile crept to my lips as my eyes land upon my love. He is sitting on the loveseat, his long legs crossed with papers littering his lap. Head phones are plugged into his ears and his eyes are closed as he sways softly along with the instrumental he is listening to.
I loved to watch him while he wrote his music. I clutched the sheet tightly to my still nude form and slide from his bed, shaking my unruly curls from my line of vision. I walked over to where he sits and curled up in the vacant space next to him, laying my head against his muscular shoulder. The touch of my head to his arm brings him out of his quiet, focused reverie. A gentle smile curled onto his lips as he pulled the headphones from his ears and placed them on the table beside him.
“What are you doing awake my dear?” He whispered thoughtfully, touching his musicians hands to my chin, lifting it up.
I shivered as I looked up into his warm, loving eyes. How could one person love me so much? I did not deserve to see such emotion shining through his eyes at me. I smiled up at him and captured his left arm in my embrace, hugging it to me and smelling his cologne that was soaked into his cotton robe. I would never get enough of holding onto him, he was my inspiration.
“I missed you,” I said simply, burying my face into his arm. I felt him shift and then heard the rustle of papers as he laid the items in his lap onto table along with his headphones. He gently wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into his lap, placing my head against his right shoulder.
“I’m sorry to have left you. I woke with an idea for a song in my mind and couldn’t help but get up and start writing it. I finally found the right lyrics to the instrumental that your Mr. Clark gave to me at our first meeting,” He said, his voice rumbling in his broad chest as he hugged me tightly to him.
I felt so happy for him that he had finally found the lyrics that he wanted. He had been like a madman with that untitled work, tossing away pieces of paper and ruining his hair, he ran his hands through it so many times. He draped his arm over my lap as he tucked the sheet in tightly around me so that I did not fall out of it. Dear Erik, always a gentleman. Bless him.
She made it extremely hard concentrate with her sitting there beside me like that. My tormented mind kept wandering back to the fact that she was wearing nothing beneath that flimsy sheet.
Dammit Erik, concentrate.
I could help myself as I pulled the angel into my lap, holding her close to me and savoring her warmth. The pleased smile that she offered me made my heart pound in my chest. Her beautiful lips broadened as I informed her of the newly returned muse of mine offering the much awaited lyrics to her Mr. Clark’s instrumental.
That beautiful face looked so proud of me. I did not deserve her faith or her praise, yet she gave it to me. It is almost too much to comprehend. She is an angel. I felt that familiar longing as I noticed that flimsy barrier slipping from her small frame. Damn that stupid sheet. I bit back a groan as I tucked the cursed material back in so that it did not fall, revealing her to me once more. I would never get this song finished if it did.
I leaned forward, pressing a soft kiss to her temple, lingering for a moment as I smell her sweet hair.
“Would you like to hear what I have written so far?” I asked, trying to rid the thought of her naked form from my mind.
Her sweet, excited smile said it all. I could not help but smile back to her as I picked up the lyrics from the table and pressed the play button on the remote. The song began to spill from the speakers and she closed her eyes to listen. I smiled at her as I brought the lyrics to my vision, and waited for my entrance.
“Now darling don’t hold back. If there is something you do not like the sound of, feel free to say so. I thought I may take a more light hearted approach to this one,” I commanded as I cleared my throat.
Since the moment I spotted you,
Like walking round with little wings on my shoes,
My stomachs filled with the butterflies,
And it’s all right, bouncing round from cloud to cloud,
I got the feeling like I’m never gonna come down,
If I said I didn’t like it then you’d know I’d lied.
Every time I try to talk to you,
I get tongue-tied,
Turns out that everything I say to you,
Comes out wrong,
It never comes out right.
So I’ll say why don’t you and I get together?
Take on this world and be together forever,
Heads we will, tails we’ll try again,
So I’ll say why don’t you and I hold each other?
We’ll fly to the moon and straight on to heaven,
‘Cause without you they’re never gonna let me in.
I pressed the pause button, waiting nervously for her response. There was more than one reason why I was nervous. One being that this song really wasn’t the Phantom’s style. It was blatantly happy; something a far cry from my normal work, but that wasn’t the most important.
As I had lain beside her, watching her sleep like the angel she is, these words slipped into my head. They had poured from the pen and onto the paper, and even if they weren’t my style…they just seemed right.
So here I was, nervously awaiting judgment from a little thing that was half my size. I am pathetic. I took a deep breath as I waited for her reply.
‘Cause without you they’re never gonna let me in.
I smiled as that silken voice wrapped around me. I studied Erik’s face as one of the most sentimental and sweet songs he had ever written escaped his throat. I couldn’t help but pray that he had written it with me in mind. His beautiful honey eyes fluttered open and he looked at me, prepared for my every critique and with a look in those eyes I did not encounter often.
I looked into his eyes and placed my hands on either cheek. The porcelain and the perfect flesh.
“That was beautiful,” I whispered, pulling that horrible mask from his cheek. His eyes fluttered down as I set the mask aside. I replaced it with my lips, kissing the bumpy and rough skin softly,
“As beautiful as this. Please don’t wear that awful thing when it’s just me,” I pleaded softly pressing my cheek against the ruin of his face.
I sighed as I felt his arms encircle me and hold me tightly.
“You, you liked it?” He asked softly. I pulled away enough to look into his eyes.
“I loved it Erik.” I said honestly. I wished he would take more confidence in his happier pieces. I’m sure that his fans would accept them with open arms. I wrapped my arms about his neck and held him to me tightly. I loved the feel of his arms around me, holding me close and feeling his warm breath on my neck.
“Thank you darling,” He whispered, planting a soft kiss on my neck.
I shivered at the simple touch and pulled back just enough to look at him. His eyes searched mine hungrily before his mouth came crashing upon mine.
I could not hold back the moan that escaped my lips as his tongue fought his way between my lips and I wrapped my fingers in his dark hair. He ran his hands down my bare back, groaning as I kissed him back.
It amazed me just what this man could do to me. I lost all sense of self and body around him. It scared me and excited me, the things that just his presence could make me do. I wanted to do everything I could to make him happy, use every bit of myself to show him how much I loved him. I couldn’t get enough of him, I didn’t want to.
I pressed his mouth closer to mine as I moved in his lap, straddling him so that I could kiss him more fully. I could not deny the smile of triumph I made through our kiss as he growled deeply, pressing against my back to push me closer to him.
I nearly died when she planted her succulent little bottom on my lap, wrapping her legs around my waist. I could not help but grab at her, and growled my frustration into her mouth. She suddenly pulled her mouth from mine, looking heatedly into my eyes, her lips parted and swollen from my kisses throughout the night. I had never seen her look more beautiful.
“You little vixen,” I managed to croak out as she took the opportunity to wiggle her hips ever so slightly against me.
I was trying my hardest to keep from ravishing her on the spot, and she was not helping the situation. I would never get this song finished. She leaned forward heavily against me, capturing my mouth again in a heated kiss only to back away once more. The look of triumph on her face as she felt my desire grow beneath her was my undoing. My legs moved of their own accord as I found myself lifting the little angel-demon into my arms and planting her in the center of my bed. No, in our bed. As I leaned across her, her little fingers pulled the ties of my robe loose and she slid her arms around me, holding my bare body to her.
“Erik, my angel of music, I love you,” She sighed into my chest.
I could barely breathe, listening to such sweet words pour from her lips. I pulled the sheet that concealed her aside, blanketing her with my own body, propping myself up on my elbows as I looked at her. She looked so beautiful, her sweet brown eyes dancing as she traced my ruined face with her fingertips. I was so much in love with this woman that it scared me. I was scared to know what I would ever do if she somehow danced out of my life. I shut my eyes; I didn’t want to think of that happening. I opened them again to see her sure, trusting smile. I ran my fingertips down her perfect jaw and smiled back at her.
“Oh Christine, mon amore. Je tuis respire, comme si tu etais rose,” I whispered to her, as I brought my mouth back to hers. I nearly jumped out of my skin as a loud knock sounded at the bedroom door.
“Yes?!” I barked out, rolling away from my love and fastening my robe around my body. I threw the sheet back over Christine, pulling it up to her neck.
“Monsieur, we have reached the arena. Maman asked for me to come and wake you. A meeting is being held in thirty minutes time so that she can introduce the new additions to our security,” I fought to keep myself from outwardly cursing Meg Giry.
“Thank you Meg. I’ll be along shortly.” I called, trying to sound as pleasant as I possibly could through my gritted teeth.
“You’re welcome. Would you tell Christine that I fetched my corset from her bedroom? I assume she won’t need it as it was lying on the floor in a heap.” She said with a laugh as she scampered away.
I shook my head, glancing back to my smiling love.
“She thinks she has something on us, doesn’t she?” I said with a chuckle. She laughed in response, sitting up in bed.
“Oh she does. So does her mother,” I froze, I had only been joking.
“You told my manager that we are sleeping together?!” I exclaimed. I was not mad, just rather shocked that Christine would broadcast such a thing to my dear friend. She flew to the edge of the bed, pressing up close to me and clamping her little hand over my stunned mouth. Hers eyes searched mine devilishly, as a small chuckle emerged from those pink lips.
“Yes, and if you keep shouting everyone else will know too,” She said, sliding from the bed and taking the sheet with her again. I caught her wrist gently.
“Just where do you think you are going?” I asked. She smirked at me with an eyebrow cocked in my direction.
“To take a real shower and freshen up. We’ve got things to do today love. Like a performance,” She teased, pulling her wrist from my grasp.
Damn the schedule! Damn it to hell! I was not done with her yet, there were so many things flitting through my mind at the moment that involved her not putting clothing on. I opened my mouth to protest when she slipped one of her fingers over my lips.
“Later darling. I swear. Now promise me you won’t pout all day,” She said, kissing me and disappearing into the bathroom. This woman-child was going to be the end of me.
“I do not pout!” I shouted at the bathroom door.
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Erik and Christine emerged from their tour bus a short time later. Christine was walking through the sunshine with a smile on her face and her hand in Erik’s, dragging him along. He glared at her for a moment and then allowed the happy female to pull him across the parking lot. They entered the venue with a few members of security emerging in the background.
“So where is our meeting at love?” Christine asked, turning to Erik once the reached the lobby.
Erik’s sharp eyes darted around for a moment and then locked onto hers, a small frown on his lips.
“The stage is probably our best bet,” He answered, looking away. Christine shook her head as she began to walk to the floor area doors.
“I told you not pout. It’s adorable to see you do, but I’m sure that you don’t want anyone to see the big bad Phantom pouting at his girlfriend because he didn’t get his way,” She chuckled.
Erik glared at her back.
“I am not pouting!” He roared. He turned to the security guards that had watched the whole scene unfold.
“I do not pout,” He said through gritted teeth. The guards appeared to be having a difficult time with keeping from laughing. Erik growled and followed after Christine.
The members of the Masquerade band sat on the edge of the stage, conversing with one another and waiting for the meeting to get underway. The new female guitar duo sat with their beloved instruments in hand, one warming up without the use of their amps the other tuning her electric bass. The red streaked brunette looked up at the entering couple and smiled as the reached the stage. She laid her Gretsch across her knees and waved.
“Hello boss! Hi Christine!” She called. The Alabama native did not care if the rest of the band looked at her strangely for speaking to the Phantom like he was her friend, that was just how she was.
Erik could not help but smile at her. She was very nice. Christine waved back.
“Hi Abbie! How’s it going?” She asked as she seated herself between Meg and Erik in the front row.
“Pretty good thanks. I would not have to be tuning this thing if SOMEONE knew how to play a guitar,” She said glaring in her friend’s direction. The blonde in question cut her eyes back at the girl.
“Oh shut up Abbie. I did not mess up your guitar. You’re just bloody paranoid,” She spat.
“You shut up Aiken,” Abbie rounded, shaking her fist at her friend.
The dispute was ended by the loud rapping of Antoinette’s cane on the hard stage floor. She glared questioningly at the pair.
“Are you quite finished?” She asked, narrowing her eyes at them. The two immediately became silent.
Erik leaned over to Christine, never taking his eyes from Antoinette in fear of being called out by his own manager.
“Those two are supposed to be friends?” He asked. Christine nodded.
“Oh they’re like that all of the time. One minute they’re peachy, the next they’re threatening each others lives. They’re kidding 99 percent of the time,” Christine whispered.
“Weird.” Erik said simply, watching the two girls mutter under their breath and laugh silently.
“Now that I have your undivided attention, I would like to introduce you all to the new members of our security,” Antoinette said, moving aside so that she could introduce the men standing behind her. Three strong, but easy going looking men surveyed the Phantom and the rest of his entourage.
Erik chuckled as he noticed that Christine was not paying attention in the slightest. She was too absorbed in a whispered conversation to Meg.
“These two men are additions to Christine’s personal guard, Ryan and Townsend Emerson,” Erik rolled his eyes. A set of twins, how quaint.
Antoinette gestured to the last man with a small smile. The tall blonde smiled out at everyone, his kind nature shining through his blue eyes.
“And allow me to introduce our new head of security, Raoul Chandler.”
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