As I continued to interrogate Angélique I noticed her struggling more and more in my grasp. However after ten minutes or so she suddenly went limp as her eyes rolled back into her head; I let her wrist go and she fell limp to the floor. I caught her quickly and carried her to her room. Just as I laid her down under the covers I heard someone approach from behind me and I turned around to see Nadir behind me.
“What do you want?” I asked evenly.
“I get Angélique home safe and sound and you manhandle her. You better apologise to her although I don’t know if she will forgive you after this latest stunt that you’ve pulled.” I rolled my eyes a little and left the room to make her something hot to drink to calm her down a bit and also stop any unwanted pregnancies. Just as I finished making the tea I heard a scream and I ran to her room to see what was wrong.
“Angélique what’s wrong? Are you in danger or something?” I asked quickly.
“Why should I tell you anything? Why don’t you just go and pursue the woman who clearly doesn’t love you!!” She yelled angrily.
“How dare you judge Christine like that?!?” I yelled angrily in reply and with that I left the room to go and compose on my organ because most of my best works come from when I am really emotional or angry about something. I looked at my Don Juan which was almost finished as I wanted it ready in time for the New Year’s Day Masquerade that was to commence in six weeks time. When had I last seen Christine? To be honest I couldn’t really remember as I spent the past few hours worrying about Angélique’s wellbeing after she ran off during the night of Il Muto. Why was I worrying about seeing Christine? She betrayed her Angel by becoming engaged to that boy and so I intended to make her mine by kidnapping her on the night of the Masquerade Ball. I had six weeks to finish writing the opera, get my costume ready and plan my grand entrance to show everybody at the Opera House that I was still here and that I meant business. Hopefully Angélique won’t lose her job after she ran off like that. I then got down to the business of composing the final scene of my opera.
I wasn’t sure how many hours passed but with a flourish I wrote the last note on my opera and signed it with the letters O.G at the bottom. I was very pleased with the results and so I proceeded to start thinking about the costume I was to wear. But before I could think about what I was to wear I felt a hand on my shoulder and I turned around angrily to see Nadir looking at me with concern in his eyes.
“You are not to do anything else for tonight. It’s late and you really should get some sleep.” Before I could argue my eyes fell upon the clock on my organ and I realised it had indeed grown very late. That night my sleep was haunted by an unearthly voice that caused me to wake during the night and write about a dozen or so unearthly melodies. When I finished writing them I realised they all were made in honour of Angélique rather than Christine; but why am I writing songs for her? Normally I write hundreds of beautiful arias for Christine but now I have been writing them all for Angélique instead. Maybe I can’t write songs for Christine after she betrayed me so horribly. I then decided to check in on Angélique to see if my playing woke her up like it use to before Christine came into the picture; however when I got to her room I couldn’t see her anywhere in sight. I checked the kitchen, sitting room and even my room which she is forbidden to enter but she was nowhere to be seen. Where could she have disappeared off to? Did she try to drown herself in her grief or did she escape again? Or maybe she just went to work; she had a lot of costumes to sew within such a short space of time for the new opera. I left out of the lair in search of her and within a few minutes I found myself in a corridor near the costume department; after peeking through the hole I made specially to spy on the workers. I was pleased with the progress they were making on the costumes but I was only looking for one person and that was Angélique. My eyes fell upon her slender form in the corner of the room and I was worried about how thin she looked; she also looked so sad and forlorn and wondered whether that was my doing or not. I then went about my business of overlooking rehearsals to see whether or not they were doing the production to my satisfaction. I was disappointed to hear the chorus not hitting the notes correctly and Piangi was also not enunciating his words properly and so I decided to scare them a little without revealing my location or making it obvious I was still around. One trick I learnt during my time in Persia was making instruments play independently especially pianos; I laughed deeply to myself as I watched everyone looking around nervously. My eyes then fell upon two figures I didn’t recognise; they appeared to be related, I think they were probably father and son. I watched them closely as they appeared to be talking to a lot of the staff including the managers; what were they talking about though? They then left the stage area and I followed them as they walked into the backstage area. Why were they walking around the theatre like they owned it? I guess I will have to show them the wrath of the Phantom to put them off ever coming back. Soon enough they stopped at the costume department; but why are they here for? They are not part of the cast so they didn’t need to be in this part of the theatre. I listened as they talked to the costume staff and I realised they were looking for Angélique; but why would they be looking for her? What do they have to do with Angélique? All the while I couldn’t hear Angélique’s voice which worried me greatly; I wanted to be able to see what was going on but I didn’t have enough time to get to the corridor near the costume department. Instead I watched and waited as well as listened intently as the events folded out before me; hopefully they won’t find Angélique because I don’t know what they’d do to her.
That morning I got ready for the day and after taking an apple from the fruit bowl I went up to the surface without bidding him goodbye. As soon as I got into the costume department I was shown the pattern for Aminta’s costume and I set about getting the relevant fabrics together. After cutting out the pieces I proceeded to sew them together. Just as I finished sewing the costume together I heard voices approaching and my heart stopped in my chest when I recognised them. But what were Antoine and his father doing here of all places? I thought the masked man would stop them from visiting here; I then remembered I didn’t tell him about them so he wouldn’t have known to stop them from entering the theatre. I kept my head down as I embellished the dress and hoped they wouldn’t notice me in the corner of the room. But my heart sank when I heard a familiar voice say coolly.
“I don’t know this angel over here. What’s your name dear?” And I had to suppress the urge to gag at his endearment.
“That’s Ange, the newest member of the costume department. Now if you excuse me but we still have a lot of work to do before the opera so we don’t need to be disturbed any longer.” And I breathed a sigh of relief when they finally left the room.
“You may finish the day dear; you worked very hard on the costumes. Tomorrow will be a hard day as we will have the first fitting and you might have people asking you to start making their masquerade costumes.”
“Thank you ma’am.” And after tidying my workstation I left out of the costume department back to the masked man’s lair down below hoping he wouldn’t be mad at me for leaving without saying a word. I got to the lair and noticed all was quiet; where was he? I decided to make myself a small supper and eat it by the fire as I was a little hungry. As I stood in the kitchen and prepared some cheese and bread my thoughts drifted back to Antoine and his father. Why were they at the Opera House? Were they looking for me? Did Antoine really not recognise me or was he hiding the fact that he really did? Will he work out my true identity in time? I just hope he will never work out who I really am as I am scared he might hurt me in some way. I then sat myself in front of the fire and slowly ate my supper as I watched as the flames danced in the fireplace. All of a sudden though my thoughts kept drifting back to the mysterious masked man who has saved my life so many times; why won’t he reveal his identity to me? Even if it’s just a name why won’t he reveal anything about his identity to me? Does he think I will judge him or reject him when I find out his identity? When will he come to realise that I in fact harbour feelings for him but just don’t want to express them for fear of rejection? That night I went to bed with thoughts of Antoine and his father plaguing my mind......
Five weeks later......
It was the morning of the Masquerade and I was putting the finishing touches to my costume; I decided to go as a dark fallen angel as that seemed to fit my personality very well. I found an old black dress in the costume department that no-one was using and made a black pair of angel wings out of some wire, tulle fabric and some feathers. I managed to get a mask from the store that was black with feathers on the corners of each side. After adding some embroidery details to the bodice and a few feathers and beading dotted here and there the dress was finished. I then went to work to make sure everyone else’s costume orders were finished; I got there and went straight to my corner to start on Meg’s costume. She was going as an angel too but she was wearing a pure white costume with white feathered wings; I knew she will look so beautiful in this outfit and definitely look better in it than I ever would. The end of my shift came sooner than I expected so I made my way back to the lair to get myself ready for the masquerade ball. However, a voice I knew stopped me in my tracks.
“Ah we meet again my dear.”
“I’m sorry Monsieur I think there has been some mistake.” I explained slowly as I backed away from him.
“Oh no there has definitely been no mistake; we meet again Angélique Dante. Now why don’t you pleasure me a little and I will forget how you disappointed me by getting kicked out of your old job?” But instead of responding I backed away hoping he would leave it at that. But before Antoine could say anything more I sighed in relief when Madame Giry called out my name.
“Ah Mademoiselle Dante, just the person I wanted to find; I just need you to do something for me before the Masquerade in a few hours. And you.....I’d better leave her alone if I were you unless you don’t value your reputation.” And with that I followed her quickly down the corridor.
“Thank you for getting me out of that situation. I was afraid of what he might do to me. Could you really do something about his behaviour though?”
“I could probably arrange it somehow but you looked like you needed help. Now I’ll make sure you get back to his lair down below.” She explained and with that she led me down to the caverns below. All through the journey we went through in silence and my thoughts kept drifting back to Antoine and how he could have potentially hurt me; but why didn’t the masked man come to my rescue like he usually does? Where was he during the confrontation? We got back to the lair and after thanking Madame Giry I proceeded to get ready for the masquerade liking the fact I could be myself without anyone recognising me. I still decided to wear the wig to add to the costume I was wearing and to ensure no-one would recognise me. After doing my make-up which was very dark and mysterious in nature I did my hair up in an elegant up-do before proceeding to put on my dress. Luckily for me I had been dressing myself for so long now I have mastered the art of putting on a corset by myself. The corset was my mother’s and is black with floral embroidery on it and the embroidery is in silver. After putting on the mask and the wings my costume was complete and so I made my way to the surface as I heard music playing from above.
I could tell it was the beginning of the masquerade as I heard music playing from up above but I wasn’t there to enjoy the party but rather gatecrash it instead. I was putting the finishing touches to my costume which was to be Red Death; I even made a mask in the shape of a skull to make me look the part and also to make me look even more menacing. After putting on the costume I went in search of Angélique to accompany her to the masquerade. But where was she? Did she leave without me? I guess my question will be answered when I gatecrash the party. I picked up the opera that was in a leather folder and took the passageway that didn’t need the boat. I smirked a little as I heard them singing the lyrics of Masquerade like they do every year. As I approached the top of the large staircase I performed the trick where I dim the lights just to add to the atmosphere; I smirked inwardly as everyone looked up at me in shock. I then started to sing coldly.
Why so silent, good Messieurs?
Did you think that I had left you for good?
Have you missed me, good Messieurs?
I have written you an opera.
Here, I bring the finished score.
Don Juan Triumphant! I threw the opera to the floor and drew out my sword.
Fondest greetings to you all
A few instructions just before rehearsal starts
Carlotta must be taught to act
Not her normal trick of strutting round the stage And I ruffled the feathers of her headdress with the tip of my sword.
Our Don Juan must lose some weight
It's not healthy in a man of Piangi's age And I prodded him in the tummy with the tip of my sword; not enough to hurt him mind but enough to put my message across.
And my managers must learn that their place is in an office
Not the arts And I threatened each one in turn with the sword. I then turned towards Christine and put my sword away.
As for our star, Miss Christine Daaé...
No doubt she'll do her best
It's true, her voice is good
She knows, though
Should she wish to excel
She has much still to learn
If pride will let her return to me, her teacher, her teacher... I then went down the stairs slowly and I watched as she walked towards me with a glazed over look in her eyes. I then looked down to see the ring that was on a necklace around her neck and I said angrily. “Your chains are still mine, you belong to me!” And with that I ripped the necklace off of her neck and ran up the stairs. I pulled off my cloak before hitting the trapdoor with my foot which caused it to open. I landed gracefully at the bottom and made my way out of the mirror maze; just as I went through the door and it closed behind me I heard another thump. I looked through the mirror that was a looking glass and saw the fop in my mirror maze so I decided to play a few tricks on him by making me appear in different places as well as drop a lasso from the ceiling. I watched him swinging disorientated with his sword but never actually hitting his target. But before I could watch him any longer Madame Giry came to his rescue which spoiled things for me a bit. I then went down to my lair to see if Angélique was home. However she was nowhere in sight; was she still at the masquerade? I then took a corridor back up to the surface to see if I could find her and just hope she wasn’t in any danger.
After the Phantom made an appearance I saw the way he was looking at Christine and it almost brought tears to my eyes; in his eyes there was a mixture of anger but also a hint of love. How could he still love a woman who ran off with another man? I was about to go after him when a person stepped in front of me.
“I’m sorry Monsieur but I am going to turn in for the night; I am so tired after the events of tonight and have a lot of work to do tomorrow.” I explained calmly as I tried to walk around him. However instead of letting me pass he stepped in front of me again.
“Come with me to the roof; they will be letting off the fireworks soon and the view will be most spectacular from up there.” As he tried to take my hand gently; but instead of accepting it I pulled my hand out of his reach. Why did his voice sound so familiar though? I swear there was an air of familiarity with this man somehow.
“Monsieur stand aside or I will not be responsible for my actions.” I seethed and yet again I tried to walk around him. Strangely enough he let me pass but before I got too far down the corridor I felt someone grab me from behind and drag me in the direction of the roof.
“Let me go! You have no right to treat me like this!” We soon got to the roof as I heard the clock strike eleven.
“We’re not up here to see the fireworks are we?” I asked shakily as I tried to turn around to look at my kidnapper in the eye.
“No we’re not.” And before I could resist he had pulled off my mask and wig causing my brown hair to tumble around my shoulders.
“Ah Angélique we meet again; you know I was really quite disheartened when I heard from Carlotta that you were thrown out onto the streets because I have become quite happy with your company.” He cooed as he stroked my hair gently causing me to shiver a little.
“I bet you are really shivering in delight; you just don’t want to admit it do you?” He said with a seductive tone as he started to grip me tighter around the waist.
“Let me go!” I seethed angrily as I started to struggle in his grasp.
“Oh no I lost you once I’m not losing you again.” And I heard a slight wince when I kicked his shin but his grip didn’t waver.
“You don’t care for me at all! All you want me for is my body and your own sexual pleasure! I had no choice but to allow you to steal my virginity that night and I didn’t enjoy a single second with you!” And yet again I started struggling in his grasp.
“Oh I’m not letting you go that easily no matter how much you struggle.” And I felt the wind being knocked out of me when he pushed me against a statue.
“Get off me you bastard!” And I kicked out in random directions hoping to hit my target. But he pushed his knee into my legs and pushed them apart which allowed him to push a hand up my skirts.
“The less you struggle the less painful this will be for you.” He seethed threateningly as he bunched my skirts around my hips which exposed me to the elements; I shivered a little as the cold hit my exposed legs.
“Now why don’t we expose a little more of that delicious body of yours?” And before I could even retort to his statement he ripped the dress off of my body to expose my corset and underwear causing me to shiver even more.
“Please don’t do this.” I pleaded as the tears started to fall.
“You can’t tell me what to do!” And I felt the sting of a slap across my cheek. The next thing I knew he turned me around so my back was exposed and proceeded to try and undo the laces; I cried out as I felt the coldness of a blade cut into my skin a little. He also ripped my underwear off and without any warning harshly squeezed my breast whilst sticking a finger into me and pumping it in and out. I tried as hard as I could to not react but my body betrayed me as my hips started bucking at their own accord. He then kissed me hard on the lips and no matter how much I turned my head away he continued to kiss me; at one point he even thrusted his tongue into my mouth which caused me to gag a little. Yet again he thrusted a finger into me and started tugging at my clitoris; probably hoping to make me orgasm which I eventually did causing the tears to start falling heavily down my cheeks. Why did my body betray me so even though I didn’t care for this man at all? Then without any warning he thrusted into me which caused me to scream out in pain.
“Shut up you bitch!” And I felt a slap across my cheek. But before he could continue thrusting I heard a voice yell coldly.
“Ah you must be the mysterious Phantom Carlotta always talked about. But why should I release her? Must I believe that a monster such as you has developed feelings for this angel here? Although she isn’t such an angel considering how many men she has served; myself included and let’s just say she knows how to turn a man on.” All I could do was look up at the masked man pleadingly as he started thrusting into me again. The last words I uttered before I fell within myself were “Help me.” And with that I gave into the darkness and let it surround me with its welcoming embrace......