Red Rose Thorn

The Final Lair

It felt like it had been days when I finally stopped crying. I wiped away my tears that still were sliding down my red face. I pulled myself together and stripped my Aminta costume off. I gently and slowly put the wedding dress on and looked at myself in the standing mirror that was in the Swan room.

My mouth dropped wide open in awe when I saw my reflection in the mirror. When I saw Christine in the movie wearing the wedding dress, I thought she looked beautiful. Ok, that is not me. That is not me in the mirror. I slowly walked forward to the mirror and touched the cool glass, just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. I took a step back when I realized that the reflection in the mirror was me.

I turned my head back to the door that led back to where the phantom was waiting for me. My heart started to beat really fast as I walked closer to the door. I slowly placed my hand on the doorknob and opened the door. I walked out of the room and turned to see Erik's back was turned towards me. I could see he was looking at something in his hand. My heart stopped when I realized that in his hand was Christine's Mom's ring.

"Have you gorged yourself at last in your lust for blood?" Erik turned around to see me slowly walking down the stairs. His eyes widen and he felt like he could not breathe when he saw my appearance in the beautiful wedding dress. His eyes slowly looked up and down to see how my body fit the dress perfectly. "Am I now to be prey for your lust for flesh?"

Erik walked up to me as he sang out, "That fate which condemns, to wallow in blood. Has also denied me, the joys of the flesh." His fingers reached over to caress my face, but I recoiled in fear thinking he might hurt me again. I turned my face away from his fingers that were about to touch my shaken face. I heard him sigh in sorrow and felt him caress one strand my long brown hair. "This face…the infection which poisons our love." I looked back at him in shock at his statement. "This face, which earned a mother fear and loathing." He walked behind me to go near the mannequin. "A mask my first unfeeling scrap of clothing." He angrily ripped the veil off the mannequin and turned back to me. My back was facing him. I refused to look at him at the moment. He forced the veil on my head and I hissed in pain when he pressed the veil so hard on my head that it dug into my skull. "Pity comes too late! Turn around and face your fate!" He turned me around harshly and pulled me closer to him as he pointed to his deformed face. "An eternity of this, before your eyes."

He gradually picked up my right hand and forced me to open my hand. My eyes enlarged when I saw that he softly placed the ring in my hand and he closed my hand around the ring. I backed away from him and turned away. I clutched the ring in my hand and held it close to my chest.

I closed my eyes and softly sang out, "This haunted face holds no horror for me now." I turned around and looked at Erik into his eyes. "It never has and it never will be." I slowly walked back to him and said, "Erik, you have to believe me. I never knew that Christine would rip your mask off. You're my friend and I would never do that to you."

I stared into his eyes, trying to somehow send him a message that he could trust me. I could tell he was considering whether or not that he could believe me.

Suddenly our thoughts were interrupted by a loud bang. I gasped as I turned to look to see Christine was standing in front of what looks like to be a hidden passage way door. She gasped in fright and tried to reopen the door. I guess when she entered the lair, the door slammed behind her, locking her with us.

I looked back at Erik to see him chuckling as he stared right to the shaken Christine.

"Well, this is a surprise. So glad you can join us Christine," said Erik.

"Let us go! Please, I beg you to release my sister," scream a frighten Christine.

I felt a shiver going down my spine when I heard Erik chuckle as he turned to me and grasped my chin into his hand.

"Tell me Christine, why should I release something that belongs to me," he asked while he stared into my eyes.

Ok, even though I am terrified right now, his comment made me really pissed off. I am not someone's property! I am a human being for goodness sake! What happens next is not what Erik expected. SLAP! He held his left cheek and looked at me in shock.

"I am not property! Don't you dare say you own me Erik, because you don't! I am a human being, not an item!"

Erik looked like he wanted to attack me, but he looked over to the side. He smirked, looked back at me, and grasped both of my arms.

"Wait! I think my dear, we have a guest," he said.

Christine and I looked over to the gate to see a soaking wet Raoul who was behind the gate. Christine gasped when she saw her future husband.

"Raoul," she cried out.

I pulled out of Erik's grasp and moved closer to Christine. As I grabbed her hand for support, I called out to Raoul and said, "Raoul, what are you doing here?"

Before Raoul could answer back, Erik started to sing again. "Sir, this is indeed an unparalleled delight. I had rather hoped that you would come. And now my wish comes true. You have truly made my night."

I gasped when I was pulled away from my sister. My hand landed into a strong chest and I felt an arm wrapped around my waist in a possessive way. It took me a second to realize that the arm around my waist was Erik's.

Christine ran up to us and tried to pull the arm off of me as she said, "Get away from her!"

I tried to pull out of Erik's grasp as I said, "Erik, please stop! Let go of me!"

Erik laughed at our attempt to release myself from his arm. Seeing our struggle, Raoul called out, "Free them!" I finally got out of Erik's arm and into Christine's arms as Raoul continued to called out, "Do what you like, only free them! Have you no pity?"

Erik looked right into my eyes and said sarcastically, "Your lover makes a passionate plea."

My eyes narrowed with confusion at his statement. Lover? Why would he… wait a flipping minute! HE THINKS RAOUL AND I ARE TOGETHER!? No, that doesn't make any sense! Why would he think that? I shook my head and turned back to Raoul.

"Please Raoul it's useless," I called out to him.

Raoul didn't listen to me as he looked back at Erik and called out, "I love them! Does that mean nothing? I love them! Show some compassion!"

Oh bad move Raoul! Bad move and bad words to say to the phantom! I looked back at Erik to see him glaring at Raoul as he spat out, "The world showed no compassion to me!"

"Christine….Brieanna. Let me see them," cried out Raoul and he reached his arm through the gate, trying to reach us.

I shook my head trying to send him a message to not enter the lair. If he enters, I know Erik would kill him.

Erik smirked as he sang out, "Be my guest sir." I looked over to Erik to see him pulled a lever and the gate started to rise up. I closed my eyes and swallowed, knowing that Raoul has entered to his doom. I felt Christine's arm wrapped around my shoulders to comfort me. I opened my eyes when I heard Erik started to sing, "Monsieur I bid you welcome. Did you think that I would harm them?" My eyes widen with fear when I saw the gates close behind Raoul. As Raoul looked behind him, he didn't realize that Erik was walking in the water towards him with a rope in his hand. "Why would I make Brieanna pay for the sins which are yours?!"

Erik tossed the rope around Raoul's neck, making him gag from the pressure of the rope. As Christine gasped in fright for Raoul, I scream out, "NO ERIK, STOP!"

My hands were placed over my mouth as I continued to watch in horror. Erik started to tie Raoul's wrists to the gate as Erik continued to sing out, "Order your fine horses now! Raise up your hands to the level of your eyes! Nothing can save you now except perhaps Brieanna!" My eyes widen with fear and I slowly backed away, bumping into Christine as Erik started to walk in the water towards to me. He was glaring at me and his face was on fire as he sang out with fury, "Starts a new life with me! Buy his freedom with your love! Refuse me, and you send your lover to his death! This is the choice; this is the point of no return!"

My whole world started to shatter right before my eyes. I couldn't believe that Erik was forcing me to choose; marry him and he will let Raoul live or don't marry him and Raoul will be killed. What is happening here? I can't choose to marry him; I'm still 16 years old! However, I can't let him kill Raoul, and then I will lose someone else who is my best friend. I started to believe that Erik was truly gone and was replaced by a demon. My eyes started to water up. I started shake not in fear, but in hatred!

I don't know what came over me, because what I sang out next I wish I could have taken it back. "The tears I might have shed for your dark fate. Grow cold and turn to tears of hate!"

Erik looked at me and I could tell that what I said to him really hurt him. I placed my hand over my mouth and shook my head. Why did I just say that? His breathing became punitive and he stormed pasted Christine and me to grab another lasso.

Raoul looked at Christine and me like he has failed us. "Christine, Brieanna, forgive me, please forgive me. I did it all for you and all for nothing."

Christine glaredat Erik as she sang out, "Farewell my fallen idol and false friend. We had such hopes, and now those hopers are shattered!"

Erik or the Phantom glared back as he continued to walk towards Raoul with the lasso. "Too late for turning back, too late for prayers and useless pity!"

"Say you love him and my life is over," cried out Raoul as he looked right at me.

Erik swiftly placed the lasso around Raoul's neck as he sang out, "All hope and cries for help, no point in fighting!"

Raoul stared right into my eyes, trying to convince me to listen to him. "For either way you choose he has to win!"

Erik glared even harder, before he started to adjust the rope. "For either way you choose you cannot win! So do you end your day with me, or do you send him to his grave?!"

To make his point, he tugged the rope, causing Raoul to choke. Christine fell to her knees and started to cry in sorrow.

Raoul scowled at Erik before he sang as best as he could, "Why make her lie to you to save me?"

"Angel of music," sang Christine and I together.

The Phantom sang back, "Past the point of no return…"

"Brieanna say no," cried out Raoul.

"Who deserves this," wept Christine as she continued to shake in fear.

"Don't throw your life away for my sake," cried out Raoul.

Erik glared at me and said, "His life is now the prize which you must earn."

Raoul continued to sing out loud, "I fought so hard to free you."

"You've passed the point of no return," Erik started to say before Christine interrupted him.

"Angel of music, you deceived us…" She scowled at Erik before she said, "Brie gave you her mind blindly."

Erik's eyes stayed still and stared into mine. He was waiting for my answer.

His eyes narrowed as he hissed out, "You try my patience Brieanna; make your choice."

To make his point again, he yanked on the rope, causing Raoul to choke again. My head was spinning out of control. Raoul was about to be choked to death, Christine was sobbing on the floor, and Erik is acting madder than usual. However, when I looked into his deep eyes I felt something, something very unusual. The same feeling I had when I performed with Erik in his opera. My heart started to pound, my legs started to buckle, and my stomach started to have butterflies. Even though he does scare me sometimes, I do know there is good in him. I needed to show Erik that I do care for him and that I would never betray him.

I turned to Christine, knelt down and whispered to her, "I'm so sorry this happened. I will fix it."

She looked confused for a moment. I slowly turned around to face Erik. He was still glaring at me, holding the rope that could kill Raoul. Both men were waiting for my answer. I placed the wedding ring onto my finger. I took a deep breath and slowly walked down to the edge of the water. I tried not to cringed when my feet touched the cold chilling water. I continued to walk into the water towards Erik and Raoul. Erik tensed and he held the rope as a warning. Raoul looked scared as I continued to walk closer to them.

I smiled softly at Erik as I sang softly, "Pitiful creature of darkness, what kind of life have you know? God gave me courage to show you that you are not alone."

I softly grasped his face into my hands and placed my lips onto his. My mind was slowly processing that I was kissing the Phantom of the Opera… HOLY SMOKES, I AM KISSING THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA! I slowly closed my eyes, trying to savor the moment. Erik was in shock at first when I was kissing him, but I felt him relaxed a few seconds later. He slowly released the rope that held Raoul's neck. He placed his hands onto my hands that were holding his face.

It felt like eternity when we kissed, because we completely forgot that there were two other people still in the lair with us. One person was still sitting on the ground with her mouth wide open with shock while the other person, who was still tied up and looked very crushed and somehow heartbroken.

Erik was the first one who pulled away. He looked into my hazel eyes and he slowly started to smile.

"Erik, you should have known that Raoul and I were never together. He's like my big brother. The one he loves is Christine and they are engaged. The ring you took from me from the Masquerade Ball was Christine's and my mother's wedding ring. I've chosen you Erik a long time ago. You have to believe me that I never wanted to hurt you… even though you did scare me a few time," I said.

Erik's eyes widen when he heard what I said and realized his mistake. He jumped to conclusions and assumed the wrong things. Before he could answer back, in the distance there was a small noise calling out, "Track down this murderer, he must be found."

I looked at Erik and gasped in fear. I totally forgot that the mob had escaped from Meg, who had tried to stop the mob from advancing to find Erik. They were on their way here. Erik pushed away my hands from his face and marched over to Raoul to pull the noose off around his neck. Christine and I ran or waded in the water toward Raoul to help him get untied.

As Erik slowly walked back to shore, he said "Take her! Take both of them! Take them away!"

After Christine and I finally were able to untied Raoul, he immediately grabbed both Christine and I and hugged us to death. I wrapped my arm around Raoul, laid my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes in relief. For a moment, since I was here, I truly thought Erik was going to kill him. I felt Raoul kissed the side of my head and rubbed my back for comfort.

I slowly released Raoul and looked back at Erik. He looked hurt, scared, and angry as he said out loud, "Forget me! Forget all of this! Leave me alone. Forget all you've seen. Go now! Don't let them find you. Take the boat. Swear to me never to tell, the secrets that you know of the Angel and Hell!"

I didn't know what to do as I continued to hear the mod call out, "The Phantom of the Opera is there deep down below!"

"Go now! Go now and leave me," cried out Erik, before he rushed into the Swam room.

I kept on staring at the Swan room, wondering what just happened. I felt someone grab my arm and I turned to see it was Christine. Raoul was already at the boat, waiting for us.

"Come Brie, we must leave," pleaded Christine.

I looked at my sister and Raoul. Their eyes were pleading me to go with them, escape from this "nightmare" and never return. However, I looked back to the Swan room where Erik was all alone. I thought about it and I made my decision.

"You guys go ahead. I'll catch up later."

The looks on Christine's and Raoul's face made me slightly cringed. They looked shocked, upset and hurt.

"What are you talking about Brieanna? We have to leave now," explained Raoul as he left the boat and walked over to Christine.

"I can't… I can't leave him," I said softly.

Christine gasped and placed her hand over her mouth in shock. Raoul on the other hand looked furious at me.

"HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND!? WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO STAY WITH THAT MONSTER!?"

I glared at Raoul, but I took a deep before saying, "He needs someone with him. He is hurting inside and I believe I need to be with him. I know he has done some terrible things, but I forgive him. You two are so important to me… but with Erik…" I stopped for a moment and realized something. Something that my heart was telling me since the beginning of this adventure. "I love him."

I looked back at their faces to see them even more shocked at my statement. Before either of them could say anything, the sound of the mob was getting closer.

"You have to go, both of you! I will find you later, I promise," I said to them.

Christine suddenly grabbed me and hugged me to death. I hugged her back, trying not to cry my eyes out. I hope that I will see them soon.

"I love you little sister," whispered Christine.

"I love you too," I whispered back.

After Christine released me, Raoul immediately hugged me. I felt like he did not want to let me go at all.

"We will come back for you. We will not leave you," he said.

I didn't say anything, but nodded me head. After we said out goodbyes, I helped Christine into the boat and waved goodbye to them as Raoul rowed the boat. I waited a few seconds before seeing the boat with Raoul and Christine in it disappeared. I turned and ran to the Swan room, trying not to trip on my dress. I stopped by the door to see Erik was sitting on the ground and was staring at the music box.

As the music started to play softly, Erik started to sing, "Masquerade…paper face on parade. Masquerade…hide your face so the world will never find you." Erik looked right at me and sang out softly, "Brieanna I love you."

I smiled and knelt down next to him. I grasped him hand and said to him, "I'm not going anywhere. I chose to be with you Erik." He gasped in shock and started to smile. I softly grabbed his face and kissed him again. He is the phantom, but he is my phantom. I softly ended the kiss and said to him, "I love you Erik."

Erik's smile grew bigger. He was about to say something, but we heard the mob coming closer.

"Erik, we have to go now," I said to him.

Erik nodded his head and grabbed my hand.

"Come, we must leave this place," he said as he led me to the mirrors.

"You alone can make my song take flight. It's over now, the music of the night," he sang before he started to smash the mirrors.

Before he could smash the last mirror, something terrible happened. My feet tripped on my wedding dress. I gasped as I fell forward… TOWARDS THE MIRROR!

I looked back at Erik to see his faced turned scared. I reached towards him and called out, "ERIK!"

The last thing I remember before I fell into the mirror and my world turned black was someone calling out…

"BRIEANNA!"


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