So hey guys we are almost at the end of our story :( After this there is an epilogue but this is the last chapter :( I just want to thank everyone who has been reading and reviewing my story :) Your kind words mean so much to me and your constructive criticism will help me improve my writing :)

Erik: So no more writing about me then...I guess I will have to think of some way to make this last longer.

Me: You know it was going to finish eventually...it was inevitable that the story will finish and you can't use your Phantom-ness to change that fact either.

Erik: But if I threaten you then you will do something about it right?

Me: Well I guess I might be able to write a sequel if the reviewers want one...so guys would you like a sequel? I will do a poll on my page and you can vote on whether or not you would like a sequel :) If you do you can PM me with some ideas for a title :) Anyway on with the show :D


Heartache and Pain

Chapter Twenty-Four: And you always beside me, to hold me and to hide me...

Erik's POV

All I could feel was the pain of losing Charlene; I can't believe she went with him after I became engaged to her and then he had the audacity to shoot me. But maybe she didn't go with him willingly. Was she trying to protect me by going with him? Well whether she went with him willingly or not this man is about to face the Phantom's wrath fully and so without hesitation I ran out of the theatre back to my car. After bandaging the wound using the first aid kit in the car I drove back to the flat knowing Nadir would be home.

"Nadir! Where the hell are you?!"

"There's no need to curse Erik! I'm right here...now what's all the commotion about?"

"Charlene's been kidnapped! We need to rescue her immediately!"

"I'll call Raoul to come along too. Then we'll set out to his hideout and hope we get to Charlene in time." After picking up Raoul and a few items from my office we drove towards the deserted warehouse where she was taken to before. After parking the car a distance away I considered my options as to how to deal with the guards and get into the building.

"Ok there are four guards round the front; I am not sure how many are round the back but we want to take them out as quickly and quietly as possible. We don't want to attract too much attention in case he hurts Charlene."

"Erik shouldn't you get that wound tended to properly first before fighting anyone?" Nadir asked quickly.

"We don't have time to do that. That bastard could be hurting her right now as we sit and talk. Now let's take these guards out." And with that we proceeded to take out the guards and then I began to pick the lock of the front door which happened to be locked. Soon enough we got in and I motioned for Raoul and Nadir to follow me.

"Let's split off in different directions to cover more ground and find Charlene." I explained quietly and so I went deeper down the corridor in front of me to see if I could find her there.

Charlene's POV

All through the journey I couldn't stop the tears from falling as we drove away from the theatre. I kept fingering the ring that was on my finger and I was able to look at it properly for the first time since I was kidnapped; it was composed of a half mask made of diamonds and the tiniest red rose that was composed of rubies and emeralds. Looking at the beauty of the ring made me cry harder as I knew he must have spent a lot of time designing it himself.

"Will you stop with the incessant tears or I can think of several ways to silence you!" And so I tried as hard as I could to stop the tears but I couldn't bring myself to stop. Suddenly all of the air was knocked out of me when I felt a hand grip itself around my throat.

"I won't tell you again! You will stop that incessant crying or you can join your parents!" And that silenced me immediately and so I looked out of the window to watch the trees flying past. Soon enough I found myself at a familiar place and before I could prevent it happening I was dragged out of the car by my wrist; however I couldn't find the will within myself to struggle out of his grasp. Soon enough I found myself in a familiar room.

"There's an outfit out for you on the bed; if you're not out in fifteen minutes I'll change you into the outfit myself!" He then slammed the door and locked it firmly behind him. I looked at the outfit and blanched at the revealing nature of it. Why does he insist on dressing me in these revealing outfits anyway? Just as I finished zipping up the dress the door burst open and he strode in with purpose in his stride.

"Come there is much to do before our wedding tonight."

"Wedding?" I questioned confusedly.

"Yes you are to marry me tonight and you cannot refuse me or I can think of many ways to harm your fiancé." And I stepped back away from him in shock.

"You promised not to hurt him and you lied to me! Why should I be made to marry a monster like you?!"

"Because if you don't I will hurt the people you care about the most; especially your fiancé. After all you were promised to me by your father and that promise should be honoured. You don't want to mar the good name and memory of your father do you?"

"I would be marring his good name and memory by marrying the monster who sent his men to murder my parents that night!" I yelled angrily in reply. But before he could approach me any further there was a knock at the door and he walked towards it purposefully.

"Ah you're here. Here's the bride you'll be fitting today." He then led the gentleman towards me and I realised he must be fitting me for my wedding dress.

"Now you will co-operate or you will be severely punished." He seethed and with that he left the room and so I stood there as the man showed me different wedding dresses. I finally picked out a white one with a long train and detailed embroidery on the bodice. He left the room and the boss came back into the room.

"Come you must get ready for your wedding and one of my men will escort you to the chapel." He left and I just stood there and cried knowing I had no choice but to marry him; I couldn't let him hurt Erik and if marrying him stopped him hurting Erik then so be it. I picked up the dress and put it on after putting on the undergarments that were on the bed with it. I then waited for someone to come and escort me to the chapel; there was a knock on the door a moment later and I nervously opened the door. When I saw Joseph on the other side I had to resist the urge not to run.

"The boss told me to escort you to the chapel." He said evenly and so after taking his arm reluctantly he led me towards the chapel.

Erik's POV

As I walked around I realised there weren't a lot of people around; where was everyone? I hadn't encountered a guard in quite a while and so I wondered what was going on exactly. Suddenly I heard footsteps approaching me and so I hid behind a pillar in the shadows hoping I wouldn't be seen. When they walked past I looked around to see Charlene in a wedding dress being escorted by Joseph; why is she getting married though unless she felt she had no other option? I followed closely behind and saw them waiting outside a large set of double doors. They entered and I saw Nadir and Raoul poking their heads from around a pillar. I was about to barge in when I was stopped by Nadir.

"I scoped out the chapel and it is heavily guarded. Also the boss is in there and he could hurt Charlene if you just barge in before the ceremony has even begun." He explained matter of factly. I sighed a little and then listened intently waiting for the right moment to strike. I heard them saying the I dos and so I burst into the room which caused everyone to stop what they were doing.

"Release her and I will not be forced to hurt anyone!" I demanded angrily.

"Ah Erik so pleased you could come; although I don't recall putting you on my guest list."

"Release her you monster!" I seethed angrily as I fingered the lasso up my sleeve. But he grabbed her around the waist and held her tightly against his chest which caused her to sob in his arms.

"Now listen carefully; you wouldn't want to hurt her would you? So you will leave us to marry and I won't be forced to hurt her. She was promised to me so it is my right for her to be my bride!" And I stood there thinking of the options on how I could rescue her without hurting her.

Charlene's POV

When the door burst open I looked on in shock as I saw Erik standing regally in the doorway. I wanted to run to him but he could get hurt so I stayed exactly where I was. Everything that happened after sort of didn't register with me until I was grabbed tightly around the waist which caused me to sob heavily; however out of the corner of my eye I could tell Erik was fingering a lasso that was up his sleeve. Before I could register anything else I saw the lasso flying through the air and a familiar scenario played out before my eyes; I waited for the inevitable burning sensation that would follow. However it never came and instead I saw him with Joseph on the end of his lasso.

"I'll let him go if you release her!" He demanded; why would he let a man like Joseph live though? Although if he did murder a man in cold blood he would go to jail for sure. But the boss didn't budge and I struggled ruefully in his grasp.

"I told you what would happen if you behaved like this now you will suffer the consequences!" And before I could react I was thrown roughly to the floor and he loomed menacingly over me. He then ripped the dress off my body and grappled to get the undergarments off as I kicked and flailed in all directions.

"Stop struggling bitch!" And a moment later I felt a characteristic sting on my cheek. All I could do was cry as he ripped the undergarments from my body. He proceeded to grope my breasts hard causing me to scream out in pain.

"Give into the pleasure you know you want to." He said huskily as he inserted a finger into me causing me to scream out Erik's name. But before Erik could get any closer to me the boss thrusted into me and so I tried as hard as I could to get him off of me. As he continued thrusting into me he groped my breasts as well as kissed me hard on the lips; I started to gag as he thrust his tongue into my mouth. I became numb to everything around me as I heard something like water rushing in my ears. Suddenly I felt the weight leave my body and I opened my eyes a little to see Erik with his back to me breathing heavily. He suddenly turned around towards me with concern in his eyes.

"Charlene? Are you ok?" He asked gently but for the moment I couldn't bring myself to respond.

Erik's POV

As I held Joseph tightly in the grasp of my lasso I watched as that bastard raped Charlene before my very eyes; I wondered for a moment why she wasn't fighting him off though. I then realised she was quickly losing the will to fight and so after dropping Joseph to the floor I went towards the boss with single minded determination; when I reached him I grabbed him by the collar and threw him off of her with all of the strength I possessed. I heard a crack and without even checking his pulse I could tell he was already dead the moment he hit the wall. I looked towards Charlene and saw her with a kind of dazed look on her face.

"Charlene. Are you ok?" I asked as I approached her slowly and at first she didn't respond so I got closer to her and looked at her worryingly. She then held out her arms as a silent message for me to hold her and so I enveloped her within my embrace.

"It's ok, I'm here. That bastard can't touch you ever again." I said gently as I stroked her up and down her back; however my ministrations paused for a moment when I heard her mumble something under her breath.

"And you, always beside me, to hold me and to hide me." And so I sang in response.

"Then say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime

Let me lead you from your solitude

Say you need me with you here, beside you

Anywhere you go let, me go too

Charlene, that's all I ask of you." She didn't sing in response to my pledge but she said quietly.

"I love you." And I smiled as she relaxed within my embrace and after bundling her form in my jacket I took her back to the car with her safely within my protective embrace...