"Can we go see Mr. Y?" Gustave asked excitedly.
"Shhh, yes Gustave, we will see him today but be quiet please. We don't want to wake your father." Christine looked over at where Raoul had passed out on the couch the night before. At this moment her choice seemed so easy, but she could not make the decision rashly. There was much to consider.
"You go get dressed and we'll see if we can find him."
Christine marveled at the grand architecture of the concert hall as she led Gustave through its doors. It was so magnificent; like everything Erik touched with his genius.
"Do you like it?" the Phantom's breath tickled her neck and sent shivers down her spine as he whispered in her ear.
"It's beautiful," Christine breathed. Butterflies soared in her stomach as she looked at Erik. Her heart pounded. It had been so long since she had felt this way.
Erik stared at the blush in her cheeks. He longed to touch her, to feel her skin beneath his again but they were surrounded by workers and, he reminded himself, she would need time. She would come to him given enough time. He was sure of it.
"Mr. Y!" Gustave ran over to the pair breaking their silent connection.
Erik looked at the young boy; his boy. For the first time in a long time he was caught unprepared. Facing his child, he suddenly did not know what to do. He glanced at Christine who gave him an encouraging smile and nod.
"Will you join us, Christine?" the Phantom asked.
Christine smiled, "I'd be delighted."
Gustave grabbed Erik's hand and pulled him toward the backstage door. Erik was taken aback. No one had ever approached him so easily or happily. His heart somersaulted as he allowed Gustave to pull him away.
The three spent the morning exploring the life Erik had built for himself after he left Paris. Gustave was entranced by every invention and creation Erik had made over the decade. Christine's heart melted as she watched Erik lovingly show their son the inner workings of his world. She couldn't help but think that this was the way a father and son were supposed to interact, not the screaming that ensued nearly every time Gustave dared ask Raoul for his time.
Erik was not the man he was ten years ago. Time had changed him. It had softened his rough edges and Christine felt she was falling more and more in love with him every moment they spent together.
Erik relished in the joy of sharing his mind with his son who understood him so completely and saw the world as he did. He savored the closeness of his angel, every whisper of Christine's body against his own, every brush of her fingers against his, touching her lightly in return; remembering that he just had to be patient and she would stay with him forever.
"Well, Gustave I believe your mother has a rehearsal for her concert. It wouldn't do for us to keep her any longer."
Gustave's face fell, "Can we come back tomorrow? Please Mr. Y."
"Of course, my young friend. As for now why don't you run upstairs. Box 5 is the best seat in the house. You can watch the rehearsal from there."
Gustave scampered up the stairs and Erik turned to face Christine. Their eyes locked. She suppressed the urge to hold him tightly and kiss him as she had so long ago. By the lust in his eyes she wondered if their thoughts were the same. But she was married. She ran her thumb along the stone of her wedding ring that she had kept turned and pressed into her palm as a reminder of the commitment she had made to Raoul.
Even so, her heart sped as she considered the possibilities. She couldn't have Erik in this moment, but she could someday. She could make a different choice. She could choose Erik.
She cleared her throat and looked at the ground trying to clear her head. Erik stepped closer to her and pressed his palm against the small of her back sending shivers down her spine and clouding her mind once again as he gently guiding her to her dressing room.