Chapter 2: Declaration

Christine stood at the edge of ocean liner. She took a deep breath, taking in the salty air. Tomorrow she would be in Manhattan...she would be in America. She never had interest in seeing the country on the other side of the pond. She had always been content with the beauty of France. No doubt the skyline that would soon appear wouldn't compare to the beauty of Paris.

She felt a pair of hands hold her waist.

"Good evening, my darling." Raoul whispered lovingly.

"Raoul." Christine smiled.

The two lovingly embraced. Raoul planted countless kisses on his wife's face and she returned the favor.

"Gustave is finally sleeping." Raoul said, comforting his lovely little wife. "And his fever finally broke. Our little fighter is going to be fine."

"That's a relief." Christine said with a sigh.

The two continued to stare at the sunset, savoring the moment of marital bliss.

"I feel so bad about all of this." Raoul admitted.

"Darling it's not your fault." Christine assured him. "Everyone stumbles upon hard times."

"I still should be able to provide for my family." Raoul said, "I hate making you sing...I know you don't like to anymore…"

"It's alright, Raoul." Christine said though she knew perfectly well it wasn't. "I don't mind too much."

"Christine...Christine...Christine…"

It wasn't Raoul's voice.

Christine looked around for the man who the voice belonged to, her heartbeat going rapid.

"Christine?" Raoul asked. "What are you looking for? What's wrong?"

"Uh um nothing." Christine said, shaking her head and coming back to reality.

Why wouldn't his voice just fade. Why did his ghost haunt her wherever she went.

She took a deep breath.

'He's dead' she reminded herself, 'he's been dead for 6 years. He died only a few days after he left you… he's not coming back…'

Tomorrow, she would be in a new place. If there was one good thing that would come from this trip, it was a place He had never step foot on. She would be free from his memory there.

"So you've always known?" Christine stated, disgusted.

"That on that heavenly night when you returned to your master he gave you a son? Yes, I have always known. It is what has kept me alive all these years." He said sincerely.

"You want me to pity you?"

"I want your love, not pity."

"I know that is not what you want. What have you come here for? I know that it is a new moon tonight. Is that what you wish?" She glared daggers into him. "You can't trick me into a bed again."

"Oh, Christine. I think six years have affected your memory. You wished, no longed, no begged to be in my bed. In a way, you longed for my child."

He circled her like a vulture around the hotel room.

"You've done a very good job raising him these six years." He whispered affectionately. "I thank you from the bottom of my black heart."

"You are right about that: your heart is a cold, empty stone." Christine was either about to cry or about to scream. "You have no idea what I have been put through these last six years."

"You act as if Gustave was the worse thing that ever happened to you."

"You were the worse thing that happened to me, not Gustave."

The Phantom momentarily stopped. That cut him to the core.

"Well, don't worry, your suffering is about to be put to an end."

"...what...what do you mean? What are you saying...?"

"You must understand, I did father him."

"What...what do you mean..."

The phantom gave longingful glance at the bedroom where Gustave laid sleeping. Christine's face turned from anger to horror.

"No...no..." She said crying in angst. "You don't mean...you can't!"

"I can and I should and I will." He said coldly, "as his father, I have rights to him."

"You...you...he isn't yours. You don't own him. If you take him I'll...I'll..." She said furious yet frightened.

"You will what, my Christine? He belongs to me in more ways than one." The phantom said fiercely, "you are mine, Christine, you belong to me and so does your little progeny. You gave your body to me. You belong to me because you gave your heart, mind, soul and body to me. But I gave it back to you. Now all I ask in return is a few years with my child.."

"...so what do you want with my child?"

"He is my son, Christine. You have enjoyed his company for the past six years, it is now time for his true father to take care of him."

"You...you can't possibly want that. All you do his hurt people...for pleasure! You don't want Gustave, you want me...you want me to feel guilty that you never knew your son so that I will stay with you so you may know him but really you just want my body again...or maybe you want to punish me for choosing Raoul by taking the only human I truly love...you...you are a monster."

"Am I truly a monster? You are the one keeping me, a father, away from a boy he created but has never seen or spoken to? How would you feel if you had never known your father?"

"I...I..." He could tell he hit a nerve there, bringing up her dead father, but she tried her best to hide it "You can't guilt me. You left me...and him."

"To give you and my precious child a better life. I can now provide for my child and I intend to do so. He is staying with me." He demanded.

"You...you can't take him. If you still love me you wouldn't."

"If you love me, you would understand my feelings, pathetic creature," the Phantom said growing angry, "don't try to tell me what I should do to show my love towards you. I gave you my world, my soul, my heart, my music and within a few hours you tossed it away. You came back and I forgave you without second thought because I loved you. And I still do, but now there is another in my heart. My son is the second human to ever invade my heart. I am not going to let him slip through my fingers when I am so close to him."

"How will you get him? I am always by his side."

"Well, from what I've heard, Gustave is a free spirit. He tends to wander. It's quite possible that he could get lost...for a very long time."

"You...you... You wouldn't." She said, flabbergasted "I'll...I'll call the police on you."

"When have the police ever concerned me."

"I'll...I'll tell Raoul that it was you. He'll get Gustave back."

"Oh yes, your knight in shining armor. You believe he can outwit me? Even you are not that blind. The only area of expertise that he beats me in is looks. Gustave is staying here. And you are leaving without him. There is nothing that you could say or offer to change my mind."

Christine was silent and in shock for the first few moment. He could see that she was trying to think her way out of this, but couldn't. Soon the anger and fear on her face was replaced despair and desperation.

"No," she began quiet but began to grow louder, "No,no no no No! You can't take him. I beg you! Have mercy on me!" She fell to the floor, sobbing and heaving as if she were dying, "don't take him! I know he's yours but...I can't have him leave me...please I will give you anything! Please! Please!"

"What do you have to offer me. I have everything and you soon will have nothing." He said coldly, but his stone heart was trembling at her pleas.

"I...I will do anything...anything, just please," she heaved again, not being able to control her tears any longer. "Don't take him from me! He's my son! I love him more than you will ever know! Please don't take him away from me!"

"Your tears tire me, woman." He said coldly, but it was the biggest lie that had ever been said: her pleas were shaking the very foundation of his soul. "He is mine."

She grabbed his pant leg and looked up at him with her tear filled doe-like eyes.

"Take...take me..." She said, despairingly. "I won't be leaving for two weeks: you can have me until then. But let Gustave stay."

"I am surprised at you, Christine. I never thought of you as a mere prostitute. You were always so reserved and refine. Modest. With your singing talent and any other features that the angel's have blessed you with."

Christine could feel his eyes looking up and down her body, admiring how much they had changed and sent a shiver down her spine.

"As much as I would love to explore the changes in your body that have occurred over the last six years, I must decline your request. A night of pleasure is not worth a lifetime with my progeny."

"...how...how about a lifetime of pleasure." Christine choked the words out. "Take me in Gustave's place. Just let Gustave return with Raoul and you can have me. I...I will...I will do anything you ask: I'll even pretend to love you. I'll sing to you every waking moment and satisfy your every desire if that's what you wish: just let Gustave go."

"You would do that for him?"

She nodded, not being able to talk through tears.

"You must think myself a monster if you thought I would agree to that. I value you more than to just use you as a toy. That you are afraid of me so much that you would offer yourself to me in such a way. What do think I will do to him? Torture him? Drink his blood? Bring him to the brink of death and despair but never give him the final cut of a knife? I am not that monstrous. No deal."

"Please! Just take me!" She begged. "I can't have my child be with you!"

"You do realize that if you stay and do as you suggest that you would wind up having another child with me. Perhaps even more." The Phantom rather enjoyed that thought: the idea of him and Christine raising a family on his island, maybe even having a little daughter with her. "You would become pregnant fairly quickly, my Christine, by offering yourself to me in such a way. Even you must see that it is unpractical to save one child from my monstrous face but doom even more to the same fate by doing so. Are you still willing, my Christine?"

The Phantom picked Christine up off of the floor, thrust her back against his chest and began toying with her body.

"Are you ready to submit to me again?" The Phantom caressed her hips with one hand and abdomen with the other.

"Let go of me!" Christine struggled against his chest, longing to get out of his iron grip.

"You don't seem to eager about your plan now, my Christine." The phantom spun her body around, forcing her hips against his own. "It will be just like this every night if you stay in Gustave place. Doesn't that just make your heart flutter? Being so close to your lover?

He began to sing.

The effects were almost immediate. She curled into him, longing for his voice; longing for his touch. His voice called to her. It made her obey him: long for him.

"But of course," He said, stopping his siren song, "as much as I long for you, I'd rather have Gustave by my side than you in my lap."

The phantom abruptly let go of Christine and she fell to the floor. She clutched her stomach, a habit of hers when she is scared that she picked up when she was expecting Gustave. She glared up at him, furious at him.

"You're rather adorable when you are frightened Christine." The Phantom bent down and wrapped his arms around her.

Christine shuddered as the phantom began playing with her chocolate brown curls.

"My Christine."

She snapped.

She would not be his play thing.

She jabbed her elbow into his stomach and freed herself from his grip. Once she face him, she hit him hard across the face with the back of her hand, leaving a red mark on his cheek.

He stared at her in shock. He had never seen her act like this before.

"I do not belong to you." She said firmly, glaring daggers into him. "My son will never be by your side and neither will I. Hell would sooner freeze over."

He paused. Six years had truly changed her.

"You forget how cold I can be." He said, his voice cold as ice.

"Get out." She commanded. "Now."

"Mark my words, Christine." He practically sang, his voice eerie and menacing, like it belonged to a ghost, "By the end of the week, he will be mine."

And with a chilling laugh, he was gone.