AN: Well this is it. I hope you have enjoyed the story. I plan on writing more in this universe, but as of now this is all I have. Thanks for reading!


Dearest Raoul,

You probably thought I forgot all about you and my promise to send you letters informing you on how we are, but I haven't. It's been on my mind everyday. Everything has been so busy since that night, that I'm only now finding time to sit and update you on recent events. It has been a hectic few months and I'm sorry for having kept you waiting. I hope you haven't been worried.

Erik and I traveled for about a week and a half until we ended up in a charming little town called Domfront in Normandy. It's a reasonable distance from both the ocean and Paris should we ever need either. The place itself is in the hills surrounded by many trees and fields. There are many old buildings and the Château de Domfront ruins that add to the intrigue and beauty of the place. Erik loves the architecture and I love the countryside that surrounds us. We found a little cottage on the outskirts of town, and moved in fairly quickly. We still had provisions to last us the week, so we didn't leave the house much. We started a garden, Erik worked on getting all of his compositions in order and getting furnishings for our house, and we took walks together every evening. He was very reluctant to let me go very far out of his sight, but eventually he had to. One of us had to go into town to get food and other supplies. We didn't want to go together, well Erik didn't want us to go together. He was scared of how people would react to him and he didn't want to risk me being seen with him until we knew how people would treat him. I eventually coaxed him into letting me be the one to go into town first, and I met many wonderful people. The next week he went into town, he was very nervous when he left, but when he came back he seemed to have a weight lifted off his shoulders. He told me very few people stared at him and some even asked him about his mask, but more in curiosity than malice. He was told many inhabitants of the town had relatives that had severe injuries because of the last revolution, so nothing could surprise them, and he needn't worry about anyone judging him because of his injuries.

Not long after that we started going out together. People would smile and wave and we started to make friends. Someone got wind that Erik is a composer, and a publisher visiting the town approached us. He asked if Erik would be interested in publishing anything he wrote. He told the man no, but I insisted he think it over. The man left an address for us, he works in Paris, and told us to let him know if Erik changed his mind. I convinced Erik to at least publish something and see if it would be worth doing more, so that night he copied one of his earlier compositions, and I mailed it to the publisher the next morning. Within a week we had word that the publisher loved it and wanted to visit to talk about Erik doing more for them and to possibly work up a contract. By the middle of the month, Erik had a job composing. He is to be paid every time one of his pieces is sold and a small percentage of the profits of every performance of his pieces. He's thinking about working on an opera and getting it published within the next couple of years; he doesn't want to do it yet because he wants to be involved in the staging and rehearsals of his opera which would require us to go back to Paris and we won't be able to do that until it is safe. He won't admit it, but we are going to need you to let us know when things calm down if he ever wants to put on another opera; which I know he does, maybe just not at the Opéra Populaire, or at least not for awhile.

As a gift for Erik, and please don't be mad at me when I tell you this, I wrote Madame Giry and asked her to find a way to transport Erik's piano, if it was still intact. Thankfully it was, and she found a way to get it to us secretly. The day it arrived I'll never forget. Erik was composing in his study and I was outside in the garden. A cart pulled up and right away I knew it was his piano. I called to him from outside, but he was so busy that he didn't hear me. I had to tell the men to uncover it quietly because I wanted to surprise him. I went inside calling Erik's name. He finally looked up at me, slightly exasperated that he was being bothered, until I told him I needed him to come outside with me. He stood up and headed for the door, but I stopped him and made him close his eyes. I pulled him outside and had him open them. He was so shocked, and seeing him that happy was one of the best things I have ever seen. He hovered over the men as they carried it inside and put it in his study, luckily the study has a set of French doors that made it easier to get the piano into the house. That night Erik took me to the restaurant in town, and on our walk home, stopped me at my favorite little hidden nook off the path to our house, and proposed to me.

We were married a week later with many of our new friends in attendance. We have now been married for a month, and I couldn't be happier. Erik composes constantly and I help when I can. I can't do much other than sing; if he writes anything with words. He's trying to teach me piano, now that we have it, but I'm a very slow learner. I mostly keep all of his compositions and supplies organized. I have dabbled in copying his compositions, to try and help him get those done faster, so we can send them off. I'm getting better, and maybe one day will be good enough that, that can be my job. For now I am content to watch him or read while he works, enjoying his company even in silence. I do hope you come and visit some day, I think you would like it here. It reminds of me the places we used to play at as children.

I hope you are well. I'm sorry, again, that it took me so long to write. I really do hope you weren't too worried. I hope also we can start to write to each other consistently; I miss our conversations, and you. I know this didn't go the way you had planned, and I hope you can forgive me for that. I wish you all the happiness, which I know you will find. Please write back, a let me know how Paris is doing, and the Opera House, and most importantly, you. I hope to hear from you soon.

With Love,

Christine

P.S. Erik sends his thanks, as do I. He doesn't like to admit it much, but he really is grateful for all of your help. He knows we wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for you. Thank you again for everything, mostly for letting me go. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been. But know that I am in safe and capable hands, and I am very happy. I pray that you are too.