Phantom of the Concert Hall (6)
When the side door opened and Antoinette stepped out into the night, the lights were blinding.
There were fans and media at every turn. Christine held her hand up to shield her eyes from the ongoing glare as cameras flashed all around her.
Meg took up the rear, pushing gently on Christine's back to urge her forward.
Christine saw the Phantom quickly approaching his tour bus, a bodyguard on all sides. People around the musician thrust photographs and papers in his face, all hoping to attract his attentions. The Phantom simply smiled at his admirers and brushed past the sea of onlookers.
Antoinette helped guide the girls through the mob and to the foot of the stairs leading onto the bus. She stepped back to the side, allowing Christine to board first. Christine glanced back over her shoulder in mid climb to find that neither Antoinette or Meg were following her.
"We shall be following behind you on thr staff bus with the rest of the crew. We shall see each other in the morning. Take care Madamoiselle." Antoinette stated.
She motioned to the driver and he shut the doors on the fast approaching mob.
"Madamoiselle, I suggest you find a seat. I would hate to speed away and you topple down those stairs." He said with a chuckle.
Christine nodded to the driver and and continued up the stairs, settling into a couch behind the driver. The bus thundered away from the venue, leaving behind the swarm of people in its' wake.
Christine sighed in relief and leaned back into the cushions. She looked about her surroundings with interest. Everything in the elaborate vehicle was shrouded in silks and velvets, a palace on wheels. The makeshift home was fit for a king, and unbecoming of the rocker she had just watched perform.
'He obviously has impecable taste.' She thought. She glanced up at the driver's seat.
"Messieur, what other members of the crew are riding on this bus tonight?" She asked, wondering where everyone could be. The driver chuckled.
"Just you and the Phantom, madamoiselle." He replied.
Christine's eyes popped open. Alone. With the Phantom. She barely even knew this man, and now she was being left completely alone with him? This was madness.
Christine took a deep breath and let it out.
'I must keep my cool,' She thought to herself. 'If he knows i'm nervous it'll only make matters worse.' She tried to calm herself, but kept finding herself digging her fingers into the plush couch she was sitting on. She knew she was going to skin Meg for this.
How could they leave her alone with him already? They didn't even know his name!
She had been sitting there for quite sometime contemplating all the reasons why this was a bad situation when she heard a door open. Christine looked up to see the Phantom standing in the doorway.
He was clad in dark pants that melded to his still damp form. The mask was still upon his handsome face, making him look all the more unapproachable. He stood there looking at Christine, his hair wet and causing streams of water to run down his bare chest.
Christine tried to tear her eyes away from him with little success. She stared down at the floor, red seeping into her cheeks.
"Hello again Madamoiselle Davenport. I do apologise for my appearance, for I am not used to having anyone but Charles on my bus. Please excuse me for a moment while I go and collect a shirt." He said, his angelic voice floating through the air. He turned and exited down the dark hallway into a undisclosed section of the bus.
Christine tried to shrug off the blush that still ruled her face, but felt completely mortified for staring at his half naked form.
A moment later the Phantom returned with his hair slicked back from his face and a simple black t-shirt on. He quietly strode to where Christine was sitting and sat on the couch across from her with a soft sigh. He really was exhausted.
He leaned back against the pillows and breathed deeply, allowing his tired form to relax. He said nothing to the trembling girl in front of him.
After a moment, Christine cleared her throat. "Would you like for me to leave?" She asked, commenting on his continued silence. The Phantom lowered his gaze to her and smiled.
"On the contrary. I'd like to get to know my new intern. If you shall permit our conversation." He said softly. Christine slowly nodded.
"First off Madamoiselle, would you be terribly offended if I tuned my guitar while we speak?" He asked, his voice pure heaven. Christine shook her head.
"No Messieur, but would you mind calling me Christine? Madamoiselle seems far too formal." She said softly. The Phantom looked up from the guitar in his lap and smirked.
"Very well. Christine, then you do not have to address me as Messieur." He replied, running his fingers down the strings.
Christine swallowed and looked at her knees. The Phantom glanced up at the silent girl every so often and he tuned the instrument.
"Your show was magnificent." Christine managed to blurt out. He smiled at her.
"Thank you very much Christine. I assumed that my music would not be your cup of tea." He answered. Christine looked up at him. "Pardon me?" She asked.
"You are an aspiring opera star, are you not?" He asked gently. Christine shook her head.
"No, not the star. I wish to be in the chorus." Christine answered. His eyes darkened and he shook his head with a frown.
"That is unfortunate. One must aim high to recieve anything in this world." He said. Christine remained silent. He continued to look at her.
"Nevermind my dear. Forget that I said it. I am very honored to have met you, but now I must retire. I am sorry that I cannot partake in this wonderful conversation any longer." He said, standing up. He stood there for a moment looking down at her.
"Well, are you going to come dear? I doubt you can find a place to sleep on your own." He asked gingerly.
Christine rose and followed the dark stranger through the hallway. He stopped and opened the door to a small, but elaborate room. He turned to look at her.
"This shall be your room while you are traveling with me Christine. I trust that you shall find it suitable." He said. She nodded and he started to walk away towards the rear of the bus.
"Goodnight...Phantom." She called after him. He stopped in midstep and turned. He smiled darkly and nodded to her.
"Goodnight Christine." He said, continuing to walk away. Christine was stepping inside when he continued to speak as he retreated.
"And please, in the future, call me Erik."