The fifth volume in this collection is the pivotal volume. In it, Erik faces challenges both new and frightening when he encounters Christine, the woman fate has directed to his lonely heart. Just as a river changes the landscape of a country, Christine changes the course of Erik’s life.
The year is 1881. The lonely man, Erik, enters a period in his life when his full passion finds its home in the form of the young chorus girl, Christine. Once he meets her, his obsession for her is fueled by his past years of distressing solitude, and she becomes the woman he loves and the woman he must have as his own.
His deformity is the first obstacle standing in the way of winning her love, but her childhood sweetheart, Raoul, is the bigger obstacle and the biggest challenge. He meets these challenges, while he also keeps his managers doing his will, which is to make Christine’s career a success. Erik works patiently to gain the trust and love of Christine, while, at the same time, he meets the challenge presented by Raoul’s youth and handsome appearance. Violent encounters are inevitable in any love triangle, but, considering Erik’s past life and deformed emotions, the encounters become death-dealing.
At age forty-five ~~ A Passionate Lesson
Our voices faded into silence, but the performance continued on. Our clasped hands at our breasts were the only barriers preventing our bodies from closing the gap and embracing. I stood motionless, and for the first time, I was not thinking whether I should move away or continue with the emotions that had taken me over so completely. I was simply following a course designed millennia in the past by an irresistible force much more powerful than myself.
My fingers felt the soft skin on the back of her hand, while my other hand pressed on the small of her back and registered her increased breathing. My eyes traveled the contours of her beautiful face and sensual lips . . .
My breathing increased as I tilted my head and began to lower my lips toward hers. She responded perfectly, as if the artistic director on a rehearsal stage was coaching her every movement, also tilting her head, raising her chin, and blinking slowly. Then, as never before, I tried calling upon my learned self-control to prevent those urges as old as time from surfacing any further and taking over my actions completely.
At age forty-five ~~ Inevitable Conflict
The foolish boy continued to taunt me with his haughty words and his overbearing body language.
He held out one fist in front of him and waved it at me. “If they’re wrong, and what you say is true, then why is it that you live behind a mask and lurk in the shadows?”
With his remark a measure of my restraint slipped from me, causing my jaws to clench as I took one quick and long stride toward him. My movement caused a degree of his confidence to leave him and he retreated backward to stay out of my reach.
With a deep breath I growled at him. “I've been forced to wear this mask and to lurk in the darkness, as you call it, because of ignorant fools like you, young Vicomte! Now, I’m warning you, leave me alone. Leave my shadows so I can return to my lurking. I tire of this trivial conversation with your ignorant arrogance. Leave now while you still can. I won’t warn you again.”
There was an uncomfortable period of silence as we glared at each other. Then he nodded, turned his back on me, almost as if he was heading for the stairs, but he didn’t. When he turned back toward me, he had a smile on his face and a pistol in his hand.
I looked quickly at his weapon, enough to know it wasn’t cocked yet, and then at his face, still in a sickly and premature smile of conquest.
I shook my head at him and gave him a smile of my own. “Now, what do you expect to do with that, you fool?”
“Take you to the police and end your deception with Christine,” he responded with a smirk on his face that was pushing me closer to the edge of my patience. He started moving toward me with his voice raised in his half-grown victory. “Now, what was that you were warning me about? Warning me that you were going to kill . . . ”
Before he could finish his sentence, the last of my patience was spent and my lasso sliced through the air and was around his neck. Then with one fluid move, I was behind him, holding it tightly but not tight enough to cut off his air.
Finishing his sentence, I hissed, “Kill you?”
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED?
What was it about Erik that drew Christine back to his lair time and again? What really happened during those times when she would visit him in his home? Where did Erik find the strength to resist the temptation to kill his rival, Raoul? How did he make Carlotta croak? Why did the chandelier fall? What really happened between Christine, Raoul, and Erik on that last ill-fated night?
Unravel the answers to these questions and more in the fifth volume of this in-depth account of Erik’s discovery of Christine. Embrace his mind, heart, and soul, and then travel with him as he struggles to find balance between his genius mind, lonely heart, and tortured soul.