After Erik

Paris, 1880, nine years after the events of 'The Phantom of the Opera'. Nine years in which all thoughts of Erik, the angel who'd once haunted her day and night had been cast aside, discarded like a broken doll. Nine years in which poor, sixteen year old Christine had grown up, grown up into a women of high reputation, with a handsome young husband and prospects of a child.

So much can change in nine years.

Yet it only takes a little to be hurled back into the past.


2. Chapter Two

A couple of hours later, in which Raoul had left Christine to herself, the new mother lounged in a daze, her eyelids occasionally fluttering shut. Her thoughts waltzing around her head, to some strange, unknown music, she lifted one elegant arm, and propped up her spinning head.

Aria. A beautiful, wonderful name, one of the operatic music she knew and loved so well. And now of Aria, her Aria, her little baby girl. So blissful had been Raoul's expression as he left her, that she wondered why she, the mother of the tiny thing was not quite so content as the father.

Now of course she didn't dislike the fact that she was now a mother. She was thrilled and proud, for she felt as though she was now a real woman, a woman with a big responsibility and an important purpose, unlike the insignificant girl she was before. But she had that feeling one gets when you know you've done something terrible and you know you will surely pay the price. All of a sudden, she was glad Raoul had gone home for the night, for she didn't think she would be able so play the trouble free, contented mother in front of him as she had done for what seemed an age - when really, it had only been a mere day.

She'd tried in vain to eat, she'd tried to sleep off her qualms and put her mind at peace - yet every time she did so, she heard music, that beautiful, dark swirling music of nights long ago, oh so very long ago. And everytime she heard it, in the depths of her mind, she thought of him.

He who had taught her to sing, he who had mentored her, watched over her - but not only that, he had killed for her, killed for her and she could never forget it, not in this lifetime or any. Though sometimes, a few, wistful sometimes, she had thought back to her days with him with longing and without regret, thought of how different things might have been should she have 

walked a different path. 

But she should not think of that now. She could not, she must not. She was Raoul's, and Raoul was hers, and tiny Aria was theirs and theirs alone. No angel, however alluring. No Erik, with his pitiful face and his proclaims of undying love. Not his sweet, sad self, or even the raging mad one.

Her inner conflict was interrupted by the quiet, yet sharp cry of little Aria. Christine mentally shook herself as she stood up, reminding herself scoldingly that her little one needed her. Smoothing down her nightgown , she crossed the small hospital room to the wicker crib in which the cherubic innocent lay. As she leant over the side of the cradle, she stiffled a scream.

Her baby, her precious, sweet, innocent little Aria peered up at her.

Her eyes were a shining, glowing, unmistakable colour of gold.


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