I sat on the sofa after our lesson one day, watching him in his chair, his eyes riveted on the book he was reading. What I could see of his face was still and focused, those yellow eyes sliding back and forth as he read. One of his hands left its place supporting the book and turned the page. It was an odd thing, but I'd never realized just how beautiful a man's hands could be until I'd begun to study Erik's.
He sensed my scrutiny and looked up from the book. "What is it, Vivienne?" he asked.
"Nothing in particular," I replied. "I just like watching you. It's still strange to me, after knowing of you as the Phantom for so long, to actually know you as a human. Has anyone ever told you that you are a mesmerizing man?"
He laughed. "Never," he said. "And I never thought about it before, but now that you bring it up, I'm curious. Just how exactly am I mesmerizing?"
"The way you move, for one thing," I told him. "You have such grace in your movements that it's hard not to stare at you. I for one fail dismally at it. And your voice, Erik! Your voice was the very first thing that drew me to you, the very first time you ever spoke to me! And you just have this…aura around you, this elegance and mystery that's so magnetic. I couldn't imagine a more captivating man."
His smile was compelling and seductive, but his voice was kind and sweet. "Do you know what drew me to you?" he asked. "It was that fire in your soul. I noticed it that first morning you spent here. What binds you to me are the shadows around me; what binds me to you is your light."
"So in that sense, we complement each other," I said.
"You could say that," he replied. "Or you could say that's why we're always at odds with each other, you dear child."
"Child?" I repeated. "I'll have you know, monsieur, that I am a grown woman of the world and a former member of the ballet, and the Opera Garnier doesn't allow children in the chorus."
"A grown woman, you say?" he asked. "Just how old are you, mademoiselle?"
"Nineteen?" he said, laughing again. "My, my, you're quite ancient, aren't you? Why, you must have been there the day God created fire."
"No, it makes sense. You were there when He created fire, and you took some of it into your spirit to keep with you forever. That's what makes you so ageless, my dear."
"Well then, just how old are you? You must have been there when God created night, to be so dark and mysterious all the time. Come on, monsieur, how old are you?"
"I'm old enough that I don't have to answer that question," he replied smugly. "That's my secret, little girl."
I got to my feet and stood before him with my hands on my hips. "Little girl?" I said. "Whatever happened to how ageless I am? I may be smaller than most women, monsieur, but I'm still a woman!"
"I have no doubt of that," he replied. "As I said, that fire within you is ageless."
That voice…was it so necessary for it to be so hypnotic? He leaned back in the chair, the book lying open on his knee, and his gaze held something akin to cockiness as he looked at me. His half-smile intrigued me, probably more than it should have. I paused momentarily in thought. Was he actually flirting with me?
Ah, I love these two! Is it wrong for me to be so biased? I created Vivienne, after all...