When he looks at me …God…when he looks at me, I cannot think.

He is mesmerizing, terrible and powerful, yet infinitely gentle and adoring. It is as if I am a butterfly cupped between his lithe hands, and he will not move for fear of ripping my wings. Astounding, really, how hypnotizing that gaze can be…

It must be his eyes. I've never seen such eyes. They are at times a smoldering gold, shooting flames from their depths to pierce the soul. At other times they are the softest yellow: a sunrise, perhaps, reflected upon a lake and rippling in the morning breeze. What astounds me the most is the infinite sadness held within those molten orbs, the incredible amount of longing, of severe and absolute…despair. It is heart wrenching.

He is haunted. By what, I do not know. He would rather die, I think, than tell me. All I know is that the veil over those eyes is held in place by a past that is of the worst and most unimaginable kind. Sorrow is his puppeteer. That sorrow lives within the very core of his being and radiates from him like some sort of horrible plague. It manifests itself in the faintest hint of slumped shoulders, a perpetual grim frown, limp fingers dangling at his sides, a slow, mournful walk which he quickens to hide the underlying defeat…

It taints his voice! That incredible, glorious sound that will forever possess anyone who hears it is subtly weighed down by desolation unparalleled by even the most pathetic of men. What has the power to chain a man so? Who is Erik, really? What has life done to him?

What has draped and shadowed those glittering eyes?

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When she looks at me, I cannot think.

She is a goddess, Light and Innocence and Heaven personified. I am not one to hope, but when she looks at me…when she looks at me, I feel as if she somehow understands. It is as if she wants to know.

I do believe the power is in her eyes. They are pools of the deepest, warmest chocolate, wrapping themselves about me with mothering arms and lovingly tending my wounds. They peer from beneath dark, elegantly curled lashes and survey me with a quiet sort of intensity. She will never ask, but her eyes often betray her. She harbors a burning curiosity. A dangerous curiosity.

Christine wants to know. She wishes to crack the stone encasement that I have forever hidden within.

But I…I shall never tell her. She is perfection. No! More than perfection, oh, so much more! She was sculpted by the gods and put upon this earth so that mortals may see what true beauty really is. She is radiant, a blooming rose, a siren, a fleeting glimpse of blissful, ethereal peace.

And she shall never know the truth. She shall never discover what I truly am, because I will not allow those magnificent eyes to be raped by the blackness that shrouds my own.