A/N: A thousand apologies for not updating sooner. Classes have resumed here and I haven't had much time to write. Or at least not as much as I would like. Also, to whoever left the note from "OG" in the reviews, I sincerely think that may be the best review I've ever gotten and it made me grin from ear to ear. Thank you for that. I hope you all enjoy the chapter!


Stepping out onto the empty stage, Adrienne found that Madame Giry's words rang true and the center lights had been lit, exactly the same as she would have done. Her eyes searched the darkness for any sign of him, the mysterious man, the Phantom of the Opera, but the light of the candles only stretched so far.

He had called for this meeting, so was it too much to expect him to have been there when she'd arrived? But no, as far as she knew, she stood alone in the theatre, looking much like a hopeful fool. Resigning herself to wait for a moment longer before abandoning the stage and removing herself to bed, she set about stretching her aching limbs, first her legs, then her shoulders, then moving to work out the kinks in her neck.

"Stand straight." A deep, baritone voice cut through the darkness like a knife, seeming to come from no one direction, but surrounding her on all sides. Adrienne jumped slightly and looked around, still failing in her search for the source of the command, which she duly obeyed.

"Mademoiselle Louvier...your dancing is admirable at best, but thus far you have done little but blend in with the other ballet rats with whom you surround yourself." Her mouth opened in protest. First he complimented her only to follow his words with an insult? Alongside that, he had not yet revealed himself, making it all but impossible to hold a real conversation. It was profoundly difficult to truly speak to a man when he remained where you could not see him. But her curiosity had left two of her previous three questions burning in her mind, and she set herself to gain an answer for at least one of them.

"You said to Madame Giry that you saw a potential in me. What, may I ask, lead you to such a belief?" She could only hope that he would answer her.

"Why do you come out here at night, when all others in your troupe lay sleeping?" He answered her question with one of his own, and after a split second of hesitation, she replied.

"Practicing at night removes the distraction of the other dancers."

Before she could elaborate, his low, velvet voice sounded throughout the room once more.

"You seek to better yourself at any given opportunity. It is your devotion to honing your skills that clears the path you would take towards success. It makes you pliant and open to learning."

In the back of her mind she wondered how long he has been watching her. The thought that his eyes had been on her every night since she began her secret training sent a shiver down her arms. Though, that he had also taken interest enough in her skills that he now wished to teach her was a complimentary thing, was it not? That he had, amongst the throng of girls in her dancing troupe, chosen her to play the part of his student?

Still, her eyes searched the seats of the seats of the theatre, but they found no reward.

"There is emotion in your movements when you come here at night, emotion that is, to the eye, absent during rehearsals. There you bound about as the other dancers do. There your movements are practiced, but not passionate, careful, but not poignant. Not as they could be." His assessment brought to light thoughts she had not before known to think. What's more, his words were true. When surrounded by the other girls of her troupe, she followed along to the steps they'd been taught, taking them as routine. Only now did she see how her movements could have been seen as cold and mechanical. After night fell and she escaped to the stage, there was no music, or the tapping of Madame Giry's cane to keep her in pace. There was only her imagination, and the endless darkness of the theatre. There she could move about freely as her mind and her body wished.

The quiet of the room fell like a blanket over them. Though it did not last long, in Adrienne's mind it seemed much like an eternity. An eternity of deafening silence that pounded against her ears and threatened to drive her mad.

"What would you have of me?" Her third and final question.

A moment more of silence passed before his voice surrounded her, wrapping around her mind like a vice and sinking into her skin.

"I would have you dance."


I didn't know where to end this chapter, so I'll leave it there. I know, it's short, almost snippet-like, but I will attempt to make up for that in the next chapter. Until then, read, review, and I'll try to get chapter four out as quickly as my fingers can type it.