She felt the faint warmth on her cheeks, the smile that appeared subconsciously through the sudden pull of her features. She was smiling.

At him.

Of course, her attention quickly flittered around the lounge, avoiding the glimmering eyes that had seen her ambience.

He sat as a sentinel at the ebony piano a mere few paces away, his gaze releasing her for a time. Erik's – her maestro's – long digits were tinkering tunes on the ivories, playing pretty melodies as she took her place on his sofa. Christine sank into the leather, cautiously eyeing the black mask that stretched down just past his nose, leaving his strong jaw and thin lips in view. Complex amber eyes that belonged to her teacher were shut in bliss; sometimes something so simple could make him happy. Her heart thudded, knowing she could never be the cause for such joy – had he ever looked at her the way he looked at his beloved instruments? He was a gargoyle: flint-like smiles, shuttered feelings she could never make out, a stone face. Christine only knew that when their voices were joint in song was when he was ever really pleased with her. Her voice was the only thing her ever complimented, all he ever seemed to care about. It was just another instrument he possessed. Gazing at the last coffee kernels dissolving in the swirling liquid, she took a sip, releasing a sigh in appreciation. Erik's coffee was always delicious.

Little did she realise that Erik's music faltered for a moment at the sight of her smile.

Raising her eyes, they roved across the music room, to the metal stand beside the piano. How many fingerprints were on there, collecting dust? Could it only possibly have been four months since she had started lessons with him? Christine had never seen him wipe the music stand of her fingerprints and he cared for his music shrine more than she could possibly imagine. There was not a spec of dust on the instruments displayed: his hand-made (or so he boasted) violin, his concert grand piano, his flute, beautiful harp, or any on his music-filled shelves. Yet the music stand was the one thing he did not touch, as if it were sacred.

Christine was content. Here, this far-away place ensconced inside a hill, was a small haven for her. Finally, she could relax. No school, no Meg's boy issues, no catty Carla, no Raoul and his endearing charm…Only music. Music and it's true embodiment, Erik. Here, the air was easier to breathe, even inside a hill that overlooked the whole of Paris. Terribly, delightfully secluded.

The room itself was his natural darker tones, mahogany a running theme throughout his luxurious home. Burgundy was his accompaniment, hangings on the walls an embellishment that transported her a window to a woven world just beyond her reach. It did little to convince her not to start redecorating her own apartment, however she had a sneaking suspicion that Meg would not be entirely pleased to see her pastel colour scheme suddenly disappear.

It was hard to remember exactly how she ended up staying for coffee, his liquid voice was strange when it came to speaking to her. She always found herself agreeing to stay just a bit longer, his offer of a drink ever so tantalising. Christine could spend hours here if he did not remind her that the hour grew late. Sometimes they would talk, his wit was amusing as he was intelligent. A moment was never dull with him. He was an expert listener; however, he was a master storyteller. When she would needle for information of himself, he would divert her with a story and she would forget what she had even asked, so wrapped up in his words that were a melody themselves.

The ceramic mug in her hands released a pleasant warmth, causing her to smile. It shouldn't surprise her that he would always know what sort drink she would desire: that on Mondays she preferred orange juice, Wednesdays a small can of fruit cider and on the way to a weekend, it was a coffee with a surprising amount of sugar for someone so small; he allowed her one coffee a week because he had a strict rules when it came to looking after her voice. When asked he would simply comment that a good teacher would know their student. She didn't think it would mean which drinks they preferred, but she didn't comment.

Somehow, her favourite biscuits to dunk in coffee were there, placed nonchalantly on the coffee table (it as if it were a mere coincidence for them to appear). She was sure hadn't mentioned the fact, yet here they were, the only ones on offer to her. Erik had good taste, but she was sure that thin frame of his hid no evidence of any biscuit munching.

Taking another deep draught of coffee and snatching an 'oaty crumble' from the table, she closed her eyes in pleasure as once more Erik's melody surrounded her. The rippling notes descended an octave lower, lazily circling her. Warm, content, with the taste of the rich strong coffee entering her system, her head rested on the sofa, her soft curls fanning against the sinking leather.

With another octave she fought to stay awake, a faint vestige of alarm ringing when it took far too much effort to sit up. Gritting her teeth, she straightened and rebelliously took another gulp of her cooling beverage. A clock was ticking from the other side of the room; it's numbers blurred before her. The clock's echo mocked the last minutes of daylight, slip, slip, slipping away. Now finding herself with lack of appetite, she dropped her cookie down on the plate he had set out beside the packet, her world spinning slightly that was not helped by the melody spinning circles around her. Was it purposely trying to disorientate her? The nearly empty coffee cup then took its place on the coaster. Christine was finding it harder to keep it upright in her fingers. Raising a hand to wipe her eyes, she blinked hard. She should tell Erik it was time for her to go. She couldn't just drift off on his sofa, now could she? Her car waited just outside; Meg was probably getting home from the dance studio about now.

"Erik, I think I should go home." she said quietly, loathe to disturb him.

Until now, she hadn't looked directly at the shadow playing at the piano. What she saw now puzzled her. It was not uncommon that his eyes were open, and he did not stop glance at her. It was not uncommon for him to be caught up in his composing, his eyes alight with frantic energy. It was not uncommon for him not to hear her request. It was, however, uncommon that he did not stop playing at this sentence. On each occasion she had said such a statement, he always seemed to freeze, as if a record jarring at the end of the music. That his daydream was brought to a screeching halt. But he did not. He continued, fingers caressing the ivories like a lover.

"Listen to the music, Christine." Erik's melodic voice brushed by her ear, her heart fluttering in alarm. The sensual note in his voice forced her to shiver, his music falling around her as if demanding her attention. Her protests tried admirably to rear their heads, but Erik employed a tactic she rarely had the pleasure of falling victim to. His singing. As angelic as she remembered, his voice glided through the air, lyrics of Italian that didn't require any understanding to know the beauty they held. Uselessly, her mind raged that sleep was not far away, but her heart did not continue to care. Listen, just listen, the voice whispered, in a similar tone to Erik's. She wanted to just keep sitting, listening to that heavenly voice, dip into the darkness that crept towards her with each passing moment. Vaguely she heard a distant ringing, a continuous monotone ringing that she wished to go away. The ringing felt like a certain nagging, as if it were trying to warn her. Scrunching her eyes and nose, she listened as the noise grew raucous. To Christine it felt oddly familiar, as if she should be remembering something important she had to do. Suddenly, the odd ringing was sharply cut off and the piano playing resumed. Feeling a smile curl her lips at the heart-tugging music, Christine soon forgot about the petulant alarm and snuggled into the sofa, allowing the music of the night set her soul free.

Erik gazed at his subject as his music coaxed his little angel into a trance. Thin lips curled into a faint smile. How long had he waited for tonight? Far too long in his opinion. Fingers delicately managed to keep the music light, until she had grown comfortable in her place. Erik had grown adept in observing her undetected, here she was even eating what he lay out for her. Erik couldn't help but feel a sturdy trickle of pride as he watched at his little bird nibble at her cookie, it was almost as if it was he who was holding out the feed and she dipped her head to eat from his palm. He provided for her, Erik. His teeth clenched, no measly boy would dare take her from him. No! She had a different destiny. Tomorrow she would live in a new world, his.

An indescribable emotion clenched his heart she tried to stir herself from her trance and despite wanting to, he gave her credit for doing so. Not many, no one in fact, apart from the pesky Iranian, had ever stirred themselves awake from his music before. An iron bar squeezed his central organ once more, knowing from a sound that she was drinking her cooling coffee in an attempt to stay awake. Releasing a steady almost indiscernible breath, he resisted the urge to snatch away the cup from her weakening fingers. If she lost her hold on her mug his whole plan would be ruined, not to mention her having a large stain on her new pair of jeans that he had recently ensured she had enough funds to buy. Soon the mug joined the discarded cookie and an unwitting sigh of relief left him. Though he feared the sound may have snapped the girl from the encroaching music-inducing trance, his tender eyes saw her chocolate curls had fanned out against the leather once more. Her pale hand lay elegantly on the arm rest of the sofa, fingers half-curled in a pleasantly relaxed gesture. As if she were Snow White and the pristine red apple had fallen from her hand. Thankfully, the mug had not been unceremoniously dropped on the floor. It was her favourite. Erik would hate to see it broken, knowing she would be harmed in the process.

Quenching the urge of longing at the sight of her flawless skin against the darkness of his home, he found that she had never looked more perfect. Ruby lips slightly parted, chest and breasts rising and falling in even breaths, the glittering chain around her neck that most likely held a charm of sorts, need he mention her sinfully perfect curves? What secrets did she hold, what else was there to discover? Oh, he couldn't bare the idea of her not returning to him for another twenty-four hours. Though the dark-skinned conscience of his, that pesky old man, would most likely balk at the idea of keeping the Angel here in his protection, frankly he did not care. That meddling fool had no idea how that little idiotic prince was becoming a distraction, worse an…interest for his Christine. His and only his. His angel, his instrument, his soul to claim and cleave to his own. It was his right, after all he had suffered from the world, he was not about to let his light go. It was too late now, even if it had been decided the moment he laid eyes on her. He, Erik Destler, had found his soul-mate and he wasn't about to go and surrender it to – to – to that self-entitled little boy. He could have anyone but what was his. Erik may have not been able to claim her with a ring, but sure as heaven wasn't about to just release her. No, no, no.

And he wasn't going to let anyone else think otherwise.

Soon his voice added to the sensual song, luring the damsel ever closer to a peaceful slumber. Triumph made Erik's heart inflate, Christine's face had lost its frown lines, her mind's rebellion being eased by his serenading voice. The battle was lost before it was won. No soul could truly resist his voice, especially not his Christine's when his called out for her not to leave him. Darkness seeped into his music, chords dropping lower and lower as his charge grew lighter and lighter with the force of his music. Truly it was lifting her away from her world and into his waiting arms.

Then, just when he thought he had her fully a horrible screech pierced the air with a wail. Gritting his teeth, his music slowed as he scanned the room for the intruder. There! Narrowing his golden orbs, he zeroed on the bright buzzing phone resting on the other end of the sofa, while his hands did their best not to jar the music with fury. That fiend dared to call her! He could see the flashing name across the screen and with alarm he noted that the effects of his music were very quickly wearing off. Her pretty features were scrunched up in discomfort and that alone almost made him want to squeeze the neck of the caller on the other end. Thus, with great speed, the phantom declined the call and took the device, effectively silencing it as he switched it off. Eyeing the technology distrustfully, Erik decided it would be his best interest to keep it. As much as his angel was oblivious to his growing dependency on her presence, leaving her a method of communication to the outside world was unwise. He couldn't have her misunderstand and call the police on him.

Settling back down, the song immediately resumed and this time he was pleased to see that his angel succumbed much quicker to the lull of his music. Her mind had been trapped behind her heart's desire, perhaps he dared to hope that to her the prospect of leaving was an unhappy one. Not that it was merely the slight remedy in the coffee which was dissuading her to stay awake. Erik however, merely resigned himself to the hope that one day, his angel would content to stay in his nest for the rest of her life. That one day, with a feather light touch, he could caress a golden ring on her finger and he would have a wife to call his.

AWWW don't we love an Erik who want's a wife to call his? I know I do.

But, hello again, I'm back with a bit of fluff(?). I mean, this is a re-written piece of which's purpose and tone has been altered. It was certainly a lot lighter and fluffier before I rewrote it haha. Only about one sentence stayed the same. I'll torture you for not saying which. I wrote the first version in January and I believe that this has shown progress from the original (I hope!). I know the 'first' version isn't on here, but never mind that. I was going to upload the original from my archive, but when re-reading I felt it was missing something. Thus, I rewrote it and came out somewhat pleased.

I am, weird to say it, new to writing solely Leroux Erik. I have always written it either from Christine's view point, using only a Leroux aspect in other Eriks and not directly tapping into this Erik's psyche. I actually love the word psyche…it sounds super cool, right? Anyway, I would love some feedback on my Leroux Erik, I think the main difference between him and musical Erik is that they almost have different priorities/perspectives. In a way, this Erik focuses his thoughts on a more child-like way. The whole providing food/caring for Christine aspect reminds me of a child making something to please their mother. Musical Erik doesn't have that innocence, he's a bit more gritty. You know what I mean, or am I making up utter nonsense? (APART from the fact that I've technically done that for the entire time I've been writing fanfic) ahem.

I keep going on tangents, though when posting past daylight hours, I can't really be surprised! Also fun fact, I've never written a fic with Erik having a black mask before, ta da! You probably don't care about that though… It's rather a personal achievement, I have been writing fanfic for this phandom since last August so, a long time for me.

Those of you who recognised the ALW gargoyle reference are geniuses.

Side note, you may realise that from my spellings, I do not follow the American spellings (points at words like colour and realise). I am spelling correctly, just English from England. (Just to sort out any confusion).

I do try and add dialogue, just in this piece, it wasn't really needed. It was more of a thought catcher one and seeing it under a microscope haha.

I also had no intention of writing modern, but that Phantom genre really appeals to me and I adore writing for it!

Anyway, you all get a cookie if you read and review! (not a digital one, because I hate those) but *tosses one through the screen* if you review. My thanks for reading and getting this far with all my blathering.

Merci, Enigma out.