Chapter 24 - Blunders
Disclaimer: If I were Gaston Leroux and owned Phantom of the Opera, I wouldn't have made a secret deal with gravity01 about getting this chapter out sooner ;-P
Chapter Twenty-Four – Blunders
I woke in the dark. Something rough was running across my cheek. It was rough but when it touched me it became soft with tenderness to what it came in contact with. I smiled at my Erik. He was the only one to ever have that touch. It was different from any I had ever known. There was protection in that touch that made me feel safe, but it was so gentle with me that I fell in love with it easily.
My eyes looked slightly above my head to see Erik's golden eyes shining down at me. He was smiling at me. I suddenly loved it when he smiled at me because I could share the same feeling he felt. There's something that happens after the actual fulfillment of a marriage that brings two people to the same page and I could finally understand that. This wasn't about to make anything easier, but it was that dive of trust that brought us to a point where we could overcome the obstacles that came.
"I would say good morning if I ever knew what time it was down here." I sighed sleepily.
Another light brush to my face and no answer signified that he was not listening but instead lost in love.
"Hello?" I said somewhat annoyed.
I heard a soft laugh as he said, "hello" back to me in a deep seductive voice. I felt his presence closer to me as he laid a soft kiss on my forehead. Sighing, I couldn't help but smile again.
"You love me." He said more to himself than to me.
"Yes, yes I do." I said in agreement more to myself than to convince him.
Laughing softly he leaned in and took my lips. Almost instantly his arms were around my back pulling me to him. It was different now that I could feel his arms on my bare back as opposed to his arms on the cotton material that had separated us for so long. The sensation of change still excited me ever after our night together. I could feel his arms slowly slide their way down my back and rest on my hips as he brought me closer to him. His light contact suddenly made me laugh. By now he was on atop me.
Looking up at him I began to run my fingers through his hair. I loved doing that. He had baby soft hair that played as a temptation to reach out and touch. When he pulled away I was still giggling.
"My Rachel laughs when I touch her. She is happy, yes?"
Bringing his head down to mine briefly I kissed him.
"You know I'm happy with you Erik."
"She is happy with Erik…" he said resting his head in my neck to kiss it.
This was another sensation that was easy for me to fall in love with, but this time he did it, I could feel his fingers at work on my belly as his tickled me further. I gave in easily and broke out in laughter. He had pinned me down now and while he still had his head barried in my neck he still tickled until I found myself pushing him off me only to land on top of him somehow. He had pulled me into that position. I knew that much. Erik wasn't the type of person to ever let me take the lead in these things. Now I could smile down at him. Running my fingers through his hair to push it away from his forehead, I kissed it.
"I love you." I said simply as I rested my head on his chest right in the crook of his neck.
"My Christine," he said kissing my head, "my Christine."
I couldn't help but smile as I drifted off again.
Waking up wasn't exactly fun come the next morning. The lights were on, it seemed a bit drafty in the room and Erik was long gone… and so were all the sheets. It's somewhat funny how in the darkness, though I knew Erik could seem me, I couldn't see anything. I know that is one of those obvious things, but if I couldn't see myself nude, it almost made me feel better. Now that it was bright, I actually felt nude. Thankfully, there was one sheet left on the bed. That fact that it was transparent is beside the matter… at least that's how Erik would put it later. Feeling somewhat cold I curled up in the so-called blanket. It was then that Erik walked in. Strange, he did not knock.
"Good morning darling," he said walking briskly up to the bed to hug me as if he had missed me already.
This ruffled my tight sheet making me uncomfortable.
"Why Christine, why don't you return my affection?" he asked innocently with his hands still on my arms.
"Where are the sheets, Erik?" I asked somewhat reproachingly.
"Why, I had to wash them of course."
He did have a point.
"But couldn't you have waited till I was up?"
"The sheets were dirty. I couldn't have my wife sleeping in something dirty!"
"But could you have left me a little more than this sheet? I woke up cold."
Laughing softly he said, "then you should have call me. I would hate for you to ever feel the slightest bit cold."
While saying this he slithered his hands around my back. My arms were tucked within my sheet so I simply leaned my head on his shoulder and sighed.
"Why do you not respond to me, my love?"
How incredibly dumb I would sound if I were say, "well I'm naked that's why." It's not that I didn't want him to see, I just wasn't fully comfortable… besides he had done enough "seeing" with his hands the last night for the both of us.
"Erik, why didn't you knock before you entered?" I asked directly avoiding his question.
"Why should I have to anymore?"
He made a good point. Why should he have to anymore? I was a real wife now. I should not have anything to hide.
"Well… I… it just took me by surprise I mean… you always did before and I just thought…"
"But you have nothing to hide from me anymore now that we love each other."
"Not true." I stated, "I loved you before last night and you still knocked."
I really had picked a losing match this day.
"That's not what I mean and you know it."
He rested his forehead on mine as he said this. Staring back at the mask was like staring back at the darkness.
"Well, it just surprised me. That's all."
"Just surprised you, eh?"
"Yes, that's all."
I knew he was smirking behind that dark mask of his.
"Very well then. You had better get dressed for the day then. We still have things to do."
He stood up from the bed, but did not make any attempt to leave the room. Oh he sure could get on my bad side if he wanted to! He knew what I was thinking the whole time! I was also sure he knew that I could not stand up in that sheet unless I took it off first. It wasn't my fault it was tucked around me the way it was! It was his doing I was in my cocoon!
I looked around the room for a moment wishing he would just leave. He wasn't about to do so.
"Well, aren't you going to obey your husband and dress?"
He had to pull the husband card out!
"Well, yes, I just, um, well it's just, just… so cold. Yes, well it's cold and I'd have to walk all the way over to my closet to get my clothes and…"
That plan failed as well as I saw him walk over to my closet to pick out a dress. He even went so far as to get all my undergarments as well. Looking at one of the corsets he sighed.
"I never did understand how you got this on alone. Perhaps I shall help you dress as well."
He really wasn't about to leave me!
"Um, well actually, I've got it now. I can do it." I looked up at him trying to drop the obvious hint, "Alone." He still wasn't getting it, "By myself." Nope, "Without you."
He took a second to mockingly think.
"No, actually I think I'll help you now."
Erik sure was impossible when he wanted to be!
"Um, well shouldn't you get back to breakfast, though?"
"No, everything is already made. It's only getting cold now. You had best hurry."
Now I was grabbing at any thought I could think of.
"Well, I'm not really hungry now."
"That's no reason you should not get dressed, my dear."
"And I'm tried. Last night just wore me out and I'd rather just go back to bed… with my other sheets… that way I can sleep."
"No, that is not a good excuse. If sleeping with you makes you too tired for a music lesson, we'll just have to sacrifice something else so you may rest. Dinner would be fine to me."
Oh how I disliked him at that moment!
"Uh, well, no, well, that won't be necessary actually – "
"Then you'll get up now?"
"You know there's no reason you should be timid about undressing around me now that we're married."
"Oh well that's not – "
"Then get dressed!"
Now he was serious. I was making him wait too long. He came in here with a plan it was taking too long to fall through. Didn't I have a say in any of this?
"Can't you turn around?" I pleaded.
"Christine, Christine," he sat down beside me and took me into his arms again, "there is no reason to fear me my darling. You already know this."
"I just… I'm…"
All I could do was sigh.
"There, there, my precious child. I will keep you warm. There is no reason to fear me, my love."
He was suddenly nice, too nice. It made my eyes squint and my eyebrow rise. He said other sweet things in my ear, but that wasn't the only thing he was doing. I could feel his hands reach down my back, but it was my bare back he felt. Knowing I couldn't move backward from him for he was already loosening the sheet I got closer to preserve my chest from showing. His hands did not cease in their journey down my back as the sheet became looser on my body until my whole upper body could feel an open draft.
My arms reached up around his neck.
"There, there, little one, see that if you just stay close to me you will be warm."
"Erik, you know how uncomfortable I am right now!"
This made him laugh as he pulled me to the floor with him. Now the sheet was nowhere on my body at all, but on the floor around my feet.
"You have no reason to feel uncomfortable my dear." He said into my neck, "ah my beautiful wife…"
"Is cold thanks to you!"
Laughing again, he stretched his straight jacket so that it was now around both of us. This jacket was not meant for two people making me hug tight to his body.
"I guess you'll just have to dress then. I'll sit and wait for you over here."
He began to pull away to a chair and I held tight to his neck.
"Christine, think logically now. You lost your sheet and now there I no way I can get out of here without seeing you."
"You took my sheet!"
"Either way, I am right, am I not?"
"Close your eyes then!"
"How childish you are! Face your fears you child of angels!"
Sighing I looked up at him.
"You're really not going to make this easy are you?" I asked.
"Have I ever?"
"Then why would I now?"
"I'm your wife and you respect my privacy?"
It was worth a shot.
"You are my wife and while I respect your privacy, I now have rights of my own. I own you now."
"Didn't you always?"
"Fine then, help me dress!"
"I knew you would come to see things my way."
"Oh don't be so full of your self."
"Do I have reason not to be?"
He really had to make everything difficult! I had an idea, though.
"Well, I'm too cold to walk over to my clothes without you. Walk with me?"
"Of course," he said very amused.
It must have looked really funny the way we shuffled to get to our destination, but that's beside the point. Once to the end of the bed where my clothes were I looked up at him.
"I can't reach out myself. Get my dress slip for me?"
"Of course," he said picking up my first layer.
"Now slide it over my arms and it buttons up the back so I'll have to turn around. Don't move and keep your eyes on my head alright?"
I moved under his set vision on me. For a brief moment I felt the material on my outstretched fingers only to fall away completely.
"Oh I must have dropped it back accident, my love."
"I'll – "
But I was too late to offer for he was now bending to the floor to retrieve the fabric. Once getting it he added, "oh and how terrible for me to forget my promise!" It was then that his eyes took a terribly long time to run up my body to finally reach my eyes.
"What? It was what you asked. Pray forgive me for my blunder!"
"Give that to me!" I said bending down to my first layer to snatch it from him. Turning it around I quickly slipped it on. I let a sigh of relief escape my lips.
"Why Christine," I turned to face him, "it is inside out."
Funny how it was not inside out the day before.
"You know what? That's OK. I'll just make do."
"As you wish, but wait my dear. I made another terrible blunder."
"I gave you a black under dress, for a white dress. This certainly won't do."
With that, I was stomping off to the bathroom in search of another dress.