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 I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please

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silver moon
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:39 pm

it can`t end so soon, please don`t let it end*begging* Razz
and what do you mean by cutting off like that?, update!
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:07 pm

Oh...WOW! Great update!! *grumbles to herself* Terrible ending though... Mad I can't wait for more!

Your devoted phan,

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:17 pm

Update! @_@;;;
----------------


Part Seventeen:



It felt like time had stopped as we fell through nothing but pure light, I couldn’t even see Max beside me, even though I could feel her iron hand grip on my own. I was only too glad this wasn’t any cornier since with the absence of glitter. I think I was screaming, but I couldn’t tell. Screaming may not be the right word for it, though. Think of it as noises of pure thrill and adrenaline because boy, were we getting it!

Suddenly the ends to where our eyes were straining started to darken and form more recognizable shapes. I would have gasped if it was possible, but our white, time warp prism made all outside noise impossible. There wasn’t even a wind in our ears! Just nothingness and endless, endless white beyond what our sight would allow. Fear wasn’t with me, though. The whole experience was rather detached. Slowly, I started to feel Max’s hand and the dark shapes took the appearance of the room. Now I could hear my heart thudding so loud and I blinked rapidly, as if that alone would make everything right again.

Suddenly my knees buckled—had I even left the ground?—and I collapsed on top of them, stone flooring smacking into them with painful reality. I opened my mouth to curse and would have moved up from the ground when something…something heavy fell on top of me! A muffled shout of surprise came from that something all big and black, but even then I didn’t have time to question it for something else fell on top of that! Like someone just wanted to play dog-pile on the Emma and I wasn’t even told! I couldn’t breathe as you could imagine and vainly I tried turning my head.

“Ow!” I heard Max call out from somewhere to the side of me and another thump told me that she was part of her own dog-pile. Vaguely I was jealous that her mound was smaller and most certainly lighter than mine. Before we could utter another cry of annoyance or pain a scuffle occurred where all the weight was shifted violently on top of me—as again I crossed my eyes in utter bewilderment—and the shouts we had heard before leaving filled the air again. Men’s voices. What was going on?

“I’m getting up right now!” I shouted angrily and with all my strength I pushed against the floor and my lump of weight flopped to the side, making even more noises of protest. Something, a shoe perhaps, trod heavily on my fingers and I squealed loudly, clinging to the injured phalanges but then the imposter disappeared out of the small room to which we had returned. I didn’t see what or who it was at all.

“Oh, no!” I heard Max say in a deathly voice of doom, “Oh no, oh no, oh no!”

More flapping and more incoherent yells ensued before I got to my feet and looked about. And I heard the voices I thought we would never hear again.

“Mademoiselle, it will do you no good if you keep repeating yourself!” Erik said curtly, and with the majesty and dignity of a lion rising to its feet, he stood from where he had once fallen on top of me with that superior air he always had, regardless of the situation.

I felt all air that I tried sucking into my lungs leave and I stared with eyes probably the size of saucers. I guess I was mouthing uselessly too, for he turned to me and he froze me in place with that single, burning glance.

“Do not mouth at me like a dying codfish, mademoiselle,” he said irritably, “it does not become you.”

I nodded faintly while shutting my jaws and I looked towards Max to see if she was seeing who I was seeing. However I received yet another shock! Daroga, our grumpy Persian friend, and she were staring at one another like the other was a ghost. There was no doubting in the horror both shared at seeing each other again. His olive complexion greened as he stared at my friend and at once his eyes found Erik and he exploded into curses and long strings of Persian to which Erik ignored. Max backed up against the wall, pressing a hand to her mouth, her own face tinged with green. I came to her in concern but she motioned me away; she wasn’t feeling or looking well at all and if she lost her breakfast, it wouldn’t be getting all over me at least.

I turned to the two men before us trance-like and stared at them with amazement. Erik and Daroga together with us, again! We weren’t separated! Joy tingled briefly through me and silently I thanked God for making me the lucky one this time. Then, a thought shocked me like lightning. What if we didn’t actually get back? What if the spell never worked and it was all just a hoax and we were actually still in their own time? I felt myself bending to grab my rather squashed bag and I took out Max’s phone and turned it on systematically. She had to put it in my bag since hers was overflowing with our clothes before we left Daroga’s flat. Her stuff was transferred to mine, so that is why I held her phone in my hand.

The cheerful opening noise barely fazed me and slowly I clicked my way to her address book, selected her French horn section leader, Ross, and pressed call. I put it to my ear and yelped when it rang. What a weird sound! I hadn’t heard it in so long, it felt so foreign! That sound alone should have convinced me were back but still I listened to the ringing. I was so dazed that I positively jumped two feet high in fright when the crackled voice of Ross made its way into my brain, translating it as a regular, English speaking, band attending American.

“Hello?” he asked, sounding like any ordinary human being picking up their phone.

I made a choking noise and my throat closed I was so amazed. He didn’t act as if we had been gone for weeks. No shouts of surprise, no tears of joy in the connection, no demands as to where we were. Just…a normal, everyday answer to a phone call made by anyone.

“Max?” he said, now sounding puzzled. “You there?”

“N-no,” I managed to stammer out. I cleared my throat loudly then regained my normal voice and spunk. “This is just Emma! Sorry, Ross. I’m borrowing this because my phone’s dead. Er, I was just wondering…what’s today?”

I crossed my fingers. If I was right, I’d be getting money and a relief beyond comparison. However, Ross wasn’t amused with my question.

“C’est quell jour aujourd’hui?” he said dryly in the French he had practiced for five months before the trip to Paris. “Are you seriously asking me that, Emma?”

“If… that was the question for the day, yeah,” I replied, laughing nervously.

He made a disgusted noise which immediately brought me back to my position of being a humble sophomore, asking the oddness out of a senior. And a pretty grumpy senior, at that.

“Aujourd’hui c’est mecredi, stupide!” he said rudely, and he hung up.

Mecredi was one of the seven days of the week I could remember from French class. That’s only because we repeated them every day before the main lesson, chiming it in unison to our eccentric teacher. Mecredi…Wednesday. It was still Wednesday, the second day of being in Paris from the plane! Nothing had changed! I was right! …Crap!

I turned my attention back to Max who had regained her regular posture and complexion and was looking at me when I put her phone back in my bag. Erik and Daroga now had stopped arguing and both looked curiously at me as well. I swallowed hard, beamed, and spreading out my arms wide to receive them I said with the voice of an American tour guide usually found on some cheesy tour video:

“Welcome to the 21st century!”

I had no idea how we were going to explain this one to our instructors.
-----------------

Danke for all your comments! Can't be on the computer at the moment and I think I hear the door.... @_@;; Later! Hope I surprised some of you! ^^
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:58 pm

Oho, I loved this part: "Do not mouth at me like a dying codfish, mademoiselle,” he said irritably, “it does not become you.” Laughing

My gosh, you'd think I would have seen that coming!! *facepalm* Um, yeah, I guess you can say that you surprised me. Shocked Very Happy

Brava! Wonderful work!

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:59 pm

Ooh!! Very Happy Now we've got Erik in the 21st Century.... What's the address?? I'm gonna book me a plane ticket ASAP Laughing


Very good, once again, please continue again soon, I can't wait to see what happens next.


D
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silver moon
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:17 am

awesome cheers this is going to be interesting , i just know it Razz
can`t wait for the next update XD
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:01 pm

Update your way. Thanks so much for the reviews and I'm sorry for the slowness of it all. I got grounded and getting on the computer is hard when your only excuse is homework. ^^;;;; BUT I think I'll just...update now.
---------------

Part Eighteen:

Max stared at me then grabbed at her phone which I all too gladly let go. She flicked it open and a confused look filled her face. I started to giggle (an annoying habit I picked up from a more girlish friend of mine) and grin so hard I think I bothered Daroga and Erik more than normal. You think they’d be used to me…but then I didn’t really let myself be myself fully, just in case they took it as a hint to drop me off to the nutty house.

Even when the Persian didn’t dare look about him, Erik’s immobile eyes searched all around him with mere curiosity instead of fear. I knew I liked Erik, he was daring. I clasped my hands together and looked about with him with all the giddiness of a hyperactive child. I guess time traveling didn’t make people tired: it hyped them up. The room was extremely different in contents than what we left. Instead of the piles of costumes barely anything was in here, just like last time.

The dust, however, seemed to have accumulated. A tingle ran down my spine as I watched Erik’s dangerously thin hands go over the wall we came out of, a puzzled air about him. The skeleton! His! Frantically I skipped over and stared at the wall. The glass box was gone as well as the dead man inside it.

“Oh dear,” I murmured, pressing a hand to the plain white wall to steady myself.

Thankfully our phantom friend put my small exclamation to his being there for he looked down at me.

“Erik did not think your travel portal would open so large,” he said in a way of explanation, “It caused quite a bit of turmoil.”

Daroga snapped something at him, obviously not pleased at what was happening. As he nearly shouted at Erik, his trembling hand made a sign to himself and he clutched his heart. Poor guy. If I remembered and if I was right, he was older than even Erik and not quite up to surprising things as his mysterious friend. He wasn’t very calm in settings he wasn’t in control of or comfortable with. Can’t say I blame him.

“Oh, yes,” Erik continued, his gold eyes flashing, “we did not choose to follow —though Erik was tempted, very tempted— either of you, but Erik believes we were shoved, to put it blandly.”

“Shoved you?” Max echoed, coming back to her senses and shoving her betraying phone in the side of pocket of her backpack, free to observe them with her normal calculating frown.

He nodded solemnly. I nodded to myself as well and tapped my elbow, something I did when thinking.

“Now that he mentions it,” I said slowly, “someone stepped on my fingers when we all fell over each other.” I motioned my hand to both old men, “But afterwards, both Erik and Daroga had to get up as well. They didn’t squash me.”

“Perhaps Yves…?” Max trailed off but Erik shook his head, sending a glare towards Daroga to shut him up to which the Persian amazingly complied.
“No. The magician stayed, Erik saw him run out of the room.” Erik replied. “He left his book, however.”

He drew it out of the folds of his cloak as proof. The plot thickened. Curiously Max and I drew near to him to stare at the ratty thing. Yves, if we could know anything about him, wouldn’t willingly give this up or at least not without a fight. It was strange that he would have abandoned this thing. And now he was most certainly back in the time we just left and…well, Erik and Daroga were obviously here with us. This was becoming a problem in my mind.

“We’re going to have to get out of these clothes,” I mused, pulling at my veil. “And, no offense, but you and Daroga got to change, too. Hope you got money.”

I laughed nervously while Max rolled her eyes and both men stared.
“We still have our stuff,” she noted as she picked up her backpack to rifle through it. “So we can change real quickly before anyone comes and finds us.”

“Smart move.” I complimented.

I threw a glance at Erik and the Persian who still stared at us, at a loss of what to do. I came over and started to push on Daroga’s arm, to move him towards the door.

“Well,” I said as he protested and tried to brush me away, “you two just wait outside the door and make sure no one comes in.”

Erik turned back to me with one of those looks that says he would do nothing of the sort so I scowled and added, “Don’t go anywhere, at least. We can’t help if you disappear on us.”

I shut the door and turned to pull out my jeans out of the backpack. Max was already half-changed and she even had a little brush to pull through her long hair.

“I don’t know how we’re going to hide them,” she told me while she helped untie my corset. “We don’t even have money to pay for their clothes!”
I sucked in a deep breath of dusty air, blessing my time period for the loss of corsets and squashed ribcages.

“I only got fifty dollars from my folks,” I said with dismay, reflecting on the content my pocket money. “I don’t think that’s enough for even some of the socks they sell!”

Max shook her head and turned away while I changed quickly. What were we to do with Erik and Daroga? None of us were magical in the real sense (though with Erik you could never ever tell), and all the words in the book were no better than scribbles! They had their own support when we ran into them, but now with it switched around it was all we could do to just decide on where to put them!

“Could we take them to the hotel…?” I led off as I pulled on my shirt. “We could take them through the stairs so no one sees them.”

“Too risky,” Max demoted quickly. “Do you know how bad it would be if Mr. Party or Mr. Perini caught us with them?”

I tried to picture it in my head, the possible looks, questions, stares…I couldn’t put it to the right scale of bad. I shook my head as my imagination drew me to the vision of Mr. Perini wrapping my clarinet around my neck and stuffing Max’s head in her French horn: too ordinary, our teacher was more original than that. Surely Mr. Party would be if Perini failed us, the looks he sometimes had to give us could stun a rhino. It would explain the twitching the trombones got, anyways.

“Maybe a hotel,” Max’s musing broke through my morbid images.

Fully dressed, we exited the room but not before I threw another glance over my shoulder to where the glass box should have been. A chill went up my spine as I stared a moment at the empty spot and I hurried out, blessing my jeans and t-shirt for quick, trip-free movements. Max was still muttering to herself about plans for our companions as she followed behind me.

Amazingly Erik and Daroga had stayed, though our masked friend gave us quite a scare when we didn’t see him at first. The phantom in him still was going strong apparently. Found the first shadow he could find to lurk in, the lunatic.

“Can you keep, y’know, in the open?” I asked him once he made himself visible, one of my hands clutching the general location of my heart.

I was going to then say ‘like a normal person’, but luckily I remembered that that was stupid. His eyes flickered behind the mask from the gloom but he didn’t answer, reminding me of the way an uncle of mine, Jack would act when he kept a secret from me, the way his eyes would sparkle with good humor as I fussed over him to make him tell me. Inwardly I smiled, I loved that uncle; missed him, too. The word hit me. I stopped. Uncle?

“Uncle…” I voiced, trying it on my lips.

“What?” Max snapped, irritated with her predicament and not as much as me.

Instead of answering her I leaned in and pointed to Erik and Daroga with excitement.

“Uncle Erik and Uncle Daroga!” I nearly shouted in their faces. “They could be uncles!”

Daroga flinched back at all the noise I was making and Erik looked positively bewildered as I clapped my hands together, pleased with my spark of genius. Max stared at me, incomprehension filling her face. I came to her to explain, unable to keep my giddiness out.

“Don’t you see, Max?” I asked though she clearly didn’t. “It’d be easy to just say they’re family! No one would be the wiser since our folks aren’t here! We can sneak them in!”

Understanding dawned in her face as Erik and the Persian looked back and forth between us, still at a loss though one more than the other due to language failure. My friend started to nod and I was about to smile until her face became logical and I stopped and sighed. Like most of my plans, they had to go through Max before they could ever take effect. It kept things in reality, you see.

“Alright, they can be our uncles,” she agreed slowly, “but what about the fact they look nothing like us?”

“No one looks like Erik.” I said wryly, looking at the phantom man whose eyes glowered in his shadow patch. “No offense, of course…please don’t hurt me.”

I think he rolled his eyes again but at least no violence came. I wondered how he would get through security of most places. I don’t think the public was used to checking for Punjab lassos. But then, this was modern day Paris, who could tell what people checked for anymore?

Max nodded again, putting my scattered logic into place.

“Plus,” I added, pointing at myself with a grin, “albino powers!”

To my amusement and dismay Erik was relating this conversation to the Persian and once hearing that particular line, he recoiled from me like a child from a plate of Brussels sprouts.

“Not literally!” I said impatiently as Erik seemed to smirk at his friend. “But, albinos can be related to almost anyone in anybody’s mind. So even Daroga would be okay.”

Max shook her head.

“No, it’s easier for him to be mine so people don’t get suspicious,” she replied, “I have plenty of relatives overseas.”

“You’re so smart when you talk like that,” I said admiringly.

“Thanks.”

I turned back to Erik, ignoring Daroga who seemed to have found a need to try to ward me off with something around his neck. I spread my hands out to him.

“What do you think, Erik?” I asked, “Be my uncle…?”

He stared for a moment, looked at Max, then at Daroga, then finally back to me. It was not even a minute before he hesitated, then nodded.

“Sweet,” I smiled.

I now was related to the Phantom of the Opera.

Jealous, jealous, jealous?

--------------


There we go. Hope it's good! Sorry again for the HECK OF A LONG time. ^^l|l
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:58 am

You really do very well with this. At the moment, I am only looking at content and how you develop the story and I have no complaints. The characters are very distinct and well developed and so is the plot.

I love Uncle Erik! Too cute!

Keep up the good work. Please continue and don't take too long.

Brava, brava, bravissimi! Laughing


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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:33 am

Lol, Uncle Erik? Now that's one thing I've never thought of Erik being.


I certainly love where you are going with this, please please continue again soon.
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:03 pm

Lol! Uncle Erik? how cool is that?! I LOVE this PhanPhic! plzzzz update!!!!!!!!


`XxLeFantomexX
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:33 pm

Hey all! Thanks for reading. Um....I don't have an update JUST yet for my chip saver thing that I keep the currently updated story on is rather lost. I know where it is, I just can't get there at the moment. I'd like to warn you all of that in case you think I'm not working on it! ^^;;; Cause I would be if I had it. Please be patient, but I think I'll be writing in January and that's when I can update! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) and a good new year. ^^
~Haleybob
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:44 am

sorry for being late *ashamed* just came back home
and i LOVE this Very Happy heck yes i`m jealous!
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:23 pm

I'm FINALLY back! It's a darn good thing you update slowly, or I'd be waaaay behind! Razz Phantabulous chapter!! *sighs happily* It's great to be back! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:28 pm

An update for you all! I'm so sorry for the lateness...it's been so busy. But that's not really a good excuse so... ^^;;; I got a new chip, and I've been writing more so no worries now, I hope.

------------------
Part Nineteen:

It was getting them out of the Opera House that proved to be the current trouble of the interesting predicament we were in. What with two men of the past here with us in the future, how would we know what we might’ve caused? All movies and books say that whenever you remove people or things or even air from their time, everything is thrown off balance and you’re better off dead.

Not comforting, let me tell you. My only comfort was that Erik and Daroga weren’t well known to begin with. Nothing extreme would happen (save for the whole Christine thing) after their prime in life! Heck, one even became a social hermit before we dropped in. So perhaps we would be alright so long as we got them home sometime…

I half expected Erik to resist leaving his Opera, to go about and try to discern what happened within before going out. However, Erik followed quite willingly (though I must say now, it was annoying listening to Daroga ramble angrily throughout the whole thing) and looked all around him in wonder, often pausing in front of a door or so in a quandary pose to where someone, mostly me would have to grab him and pull him on. The group we had joined what seemed centuries ago had not been that far off.

So, getting around them would be tricky. We followed close enough to hear them but not enough to be seen, listening to good old Stork-boy tour guide snob prattle away about the architecture. I wondered briefly if Erik thought it odd to hear about his own building designs that he did himself. If anything, it must’ve been an ego boost. Just what he needed, right? Right…

Max was solemn as ever but was most apt in getting around without trouble that we all naturally fell behind in following her. This was quite a feat concerning who we were: a pretty girl, a Persian man, a masked freak, and an albino kid. Daroga and Erik both stuck out pretty strangely with the old-fashioned clothes and of course, Erik’s mask. That would be a problem, that mask. I peered at it quizzically as we hid behind a corner a bit away from the group, thinking of an excuse we could use for it.

“What is it?” he asked me rather coldly, his face turning down to look at me.
I averted my eyes post-haste, the oddity of the subject and Erik’s you-die-now look keeping me from speaking.

“Just…wondering how we’ll dress you,” I whispered brightly, giving him a toothy grin. “We get to modern out your fashion sense after all!”

He continued to look at me steadily and I almost, almost blurted “and I was wondering about an excuse for your face” but Max grabbed my hand and pulled me along to the next room, Daroga and Erik in hot pursuit. All and all, I was still a little thrown by how normal everything was again. The electric lights with no cords, the cell phone buzzes of received text, guards hidden with walky-talkies and beating sticks…all so natural I felt that I didn’t belong, despite my obviously-American-albino-freak-pretending-to-be-a-Canadian-albino-freak-but-failing tourist aura.

But despite my feelings, I doubt that my confusion could ever match Daroga’s. As we hustled and scuttled along, he mumbled to himself, wrung his hands together nervously, and frequently stared around him with a face of horrified illness, his smooth olive complexion tinged nastily with green. I really hoped he wasn’t going to puke on the carpets, they were still very pretty.

Thankfully, Erik talked to him quietly, keeping the Persian from overly panicking, I’d like to think. The easy flow or whatever language he spoke must have soothed Daroga’s nerves and kept him from screaming, I’d also like to think. What a blessing Erik was! Max pinched me to bring me back to reality and I yelped, immediately on task though I looked at her with an injured face which she ignored.

The tour was over and ever so slowly we sunk ourselves into the crowd, dragging Erik and Daroga close by. I didn’t even want to think about what it’d be like if we lost them. The murmur of the crowds and the clattering of cashier registers and calling of tour guides to their groups surrounded us and instinctively I attached myself to Erik’s trailing cloak; a trick I used in similar crowded hallways at school to actually stay with the person I was walking with.

Patient Max led poor Daroga around groups of excited French and even more excited, camera-wielding tourists. She wasn’t ever a touchy person though, so Daroga had to keep close to her instead. It did seem like Daroga and Max were the kind of people that are perfect interacting with each other. Deep down, I wondered if I was the same but with Erik instead of the Persian. It felt like it was, though. What made me smile to myself was that Erik never noticed his new urchin…or he just didn’t care. He stayed near the walls but looked about a great deal, ignoring my tight, deathlike grip on a fold of his clothing. I was happy.

“Emma!” Max cried out, waving from behind a small group of old women. “C’mon, let’s go outside now; it’s too crowded in here!”

I waved back and nodded, looking up uncertainly at Erik. His hand was flexing nervously and his eyes were sharp and wary. He didn’t like it in here more than us.

“Ready?” I asked, making sure I sounded positive and confident.

I felt like a very confused kindergartener teacher talking that way to an adult.

Thankfully Erik didn’t care to read my mind and he glanced down at me then looked back up before giving the slightest of nods. Just like a child. I smiled wider and tugged slightly on my grip holder to get him moving.

“Great!” I enthused, making our way through the serf, taking care to avoid most of the larger masses of homo-sapiens. “Soon, we’ll be out and about and we’ll slap you two in something amazing and viola!”

He was silent but I think he preferred my constant talk. So I did. What a blessing he was! No one liked to her someone prattle on and on, generally. And especially not me. In no time at all we were outside and in the sun, so different from the time where we came we both stopped and blinked in shock. I recovered first and I relinquished my hold once again so I could throw out my arms and sigh loudly with content.

“Ah, twenty first century air!” I said with relish, “The words! The lack of them! The food! The pollution!”

A few passersby stared and a small group of older French boys by the stairs laughed. I only smiled wider and even went so far as to pretend to tip a high silk hat at them before looking back at Erik, beaming. But looking at him now made the smile on my face fade slightly.

Poor Erik looked extremely out of place and the sun was not kind to his already eccentric appearance. His mask gleamed dully and his clothes were painfully exposed to being so old fashioned it was more of a costume than regular garb. His eyes, or the spot were his eyes were, were pitch black and looked gone in the light. He acted cool but it was his tightly clenched fist that alerted me of his acute discomfort. I quickly came back to him with a sympathetic face.

“Got a wallet on you?” I teased his nervously, trying to ignore the people who were starting to stare at him as they walked in and out of the Opera.

Unfortunately my prodding didn’t make his fist loosen, but he shifted himself slightly and shook his head, still proud enough to cross his arms and turn his head down at me in that imperious way of his. Had I ever been made into an anime character, I would have drawn this scene of me with a large sweat drop over my head. Too bad I stink at drawing. Being human however, I only got to grin weakly and I looked around for a sign of Max.

Lucky for us they weren’t too far off from where we came out. They had drawn off more to the side to avoid the bustle, and they actually found some shade to lurk in. Erik had already started making his way over so it was left to me to trip after him. I was glad he walked so quickly…the people around us were starting to look a little more warily at Erik. Probably thought he was some sort of murderous, sneaky man. Which he was but we couldn’t let the public know that just yet.

“Clothing is a must,” Max said flatly once we were within earshot. “They’re standing out way too much.”

I sighed and nodded. What was popular and fashionable then was strange and suspicious now. A shame really. Sometimes I think Erik’s century got something down right.

“They don’t have any money, though,” I whined miserably, thinking of the prices of our glorious 21st century. “And I wanted to buy other stuff…”

Max’s expression was flat and unfriendly. I mentally retreated and shut my mouth, waiting for the blow.

“It’s not about you, Emma,” she scolded irritably, “you’ve already got something cool so stop whining.”

Daroga glanced uneasily between us as I bowed my head in submission. Erik didn’t do anything but try to blend into the shadows as well as he could. Money was our biggest problem and priority. We didn’t know how to get it, we didn’t know what to do if we ever did get them dressed. And Erik’s mask was sticking out so bad I wanted to shout at the people who looked at him funny. The mood of our whole little group was terrible and nothing was bringing it back up.

I found myself bitterly wishing we stayed in Daroga and Erik’s time, where we didn’t have to do anything. It was Max’s turn to sigh and she dropped her backpack to drudge her purse up from its depths.

“I don’t know how we’re going to pay for two sets of clothes for you two,” she muttered, mostly for herself.

Erik suddenly crossed over to her side, a frown in his voice.

“You?” he asked disapprovingly, “You shall not buy Erik anything. He won’t permit it.”

Max looked up, startled as my mouth dropped open.

“What?” she asked him uncertainly, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear.

Erik’s voice was resolute and firm.

“You shall not buy. That is not permissible, even if you are Erik’s hostess. Erik will buy what he needs himself.”

I jumped as Daroga suddenly coughed, glaring at Erik meaningfully. I blinked as I recalled that the Persian hadn’t the foggiest of what was going around him unless someone translated. Erik ignored him and went on.

“Even if I have no wallet, I have money stored.”

I squawked in alarm and hurriedly covered my mouth, pretending I wasn’t shocked at him using the term ‘I’ for himself. He barely turned his head towards me and for once I struggled for words. Max saved me and asked him the question I wanted to.

“Where?” she said, her eyes alight with curiosity.

“My banker,” Erik said rather smugly.

I nearly fainted from the first person talk.

-----------

Hope that's alright for you all. ^^;
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:18 pm

We've missed you. Glad you're back. What a wonderful and amusing update! I love the way you've written Erik and Daroga. I love when Erik said, “You shall not buy Erik anything. He won’t permit it.”

Good job! Please don't keep us waiting too long. Please continue.

Brava, brava, bravissimi!
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:12 pm

Ooo, this was excellent! Erik and Daroga's discomfort is very realistic. I love picturing this is my mind.

A typo I caught: "No one liked to her someone prattle on and on, generally."

I look forward to more from you! Wink

Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:30 pm

Update! Got to go to bed, but wanted this up first! @__@

-----------
Part Twenty:


“What do you mean you have money?” I choked out, my eyes surely bugging out of their sockets.

I think he almost smiled as he watched me but he never sounded any different from his normal I-am-above-you voice. Oh, how I would start to hate that voice. Hate it and love it all at the same time.

“You never asked if Erik had money,” he said to me mildly.

I mouthed at him angrily and turned away from him to mime a strangling of something.

“But…Erik,” I heard Max protesting behind me, “This is a completely different time! Whoever was your banker would probably not be alive anymore!”

This fact didn’t seem to bother him and he spoke no more about it. He merely pointed out with one incredibly long finger in the direction of the shops and stalls were. I was surprised he wasn’t thrown off and asking if the shops would still be there.

“Go and stay in one of those,” he commanded sternly, “Erik will go and speak to his banker.”

Right on cue, Max started to protest, but I leaned across her and cut in. I wanted to see where this banker fellow was. Poor Daroga watched with disgust, looking back and forth from speaker to speaker.

“No problem,” I assured Erik with a sly smile, “We’ll be waiting for you.”

I kept that smile there until Erik, with great hesitance, turned and walked away. Daroga exclaimed one thing or another and attempted to follow his gut instinct of following Erik before I caught his arm. I never got a dirtier, more hate filled look than the one Daroga gave me in that instant. I scowled right on back and carefully released him. Amazingly enough, he did not try to leave again. I had a feeling we wouldn’t be on so great terms for a long time.

“Don’t make me put a leash on you,” I threatened emptily, as if he could understand me.

He just glared. Max then grabbed my arm instead, her face contorted with rage.

“Why did you let him go?” she hissed, nodding her head at Erik’s retreating back. “We’ll never get him to come back!”

I shrugged her hand off gently and laughed, seemingly carefree.

“Don’t worry, Max!” I said with a grin. “I’m going to be the one who’ll follow him!”

She stared at me as I beamed at her.

“Look after Daroga, he’ll try to slip away I bet,” I warned her, giving over my backpack while simultaneously snatching her sunglasses out of hers.

Slipping them on, I got a warning about if I lost them, I wouldn’t have to worry about eye protection after she’d get done with me. Also I got warning that if I got lost, it would be my own dang fault and it’d be my fault if I never learned French properly. With a sigh, I nodded and promised and giving the Persian a methodical glare with charming smile I sulked after our phantom.

O-o-o-o-o-o-o

And it proved to be nearly dang impossible! Almost immediately e disappeared and I spent a lot of time running and ducking into doorways, allies, and the occasional flowerpot, thinking I had spotted him. He didn’t make a nice, easy trail to follow, as he both turned and twisted down countless roads and allies. Even worse, he kept close to the shadows and I almost always lost him in the shade.

I kept close, but not too close. I cursed him silently, now truly realizing the Persian’s pain. Why did these things happen to me anyways…? Oh yeah, because I brought them upon myself. Exhausted, I took a break after ten full minutes of stalking, waving a hand over my face. Stupid phantoms! I was lost now; completely and utterly lost. I felt like slapping myself as I recalled with some dismay that I had left my backpack with Max and I owned no cell phone at the moment. This wasn’t my day.

I bit my lip, not completely nervous yet but certainly getting there. Perhaps I was just in the wrong place to see Erik. Perhaps he was just beyond the next block. Feeling slightly revived I trotted along a little further, looking down any intersection I passed. No sign of Erik. Now I’ll admit I was getting worried. And I really hate being worried, that was Max’s job.

Feeling fully irritated, I kicked a nearby wall in frustration then clung to the offending foot as pain shot up my leg. I grit my teeth and muttered tightly contained profanities as I hopped on one foot. A low chuckle made me hop around, all the hairs on my neck standing on end. I didn’t realize anyone was with me. This was an empty road at the time.

“Hello?” I asked the air uncertainly, not relinquishing my throbbing foot.

I didn’t get an answer. Creepy, but not surprising. I really hated creepy.

“If you’re a creeper, I’m loaded with mace,” I warned the silent chuckle, hopping away from the source of the sound. “And if you like young girls, I’m a guy.”

The silence only made me hop faster. What I said were both lies, of course. The boy thing I could’ve gotten away with, sadly but still. What kind of guy carried mace? And some creepers liked little boys, too. These thoughts weren’t comforting and I will admit I was getting a little freaked out. I never used to have problems because I’m so weird looking. Maybe French creepers liked weird things. They ate snails here, for goodness sake!

Scared as I was inside, I wasn’t about to show it. I set my jaw grimly and letting go of my leg, I jogged away. No footsteps followed to my luck, and I didn’t hear anything but the faint noise of people and even farther away noise of heavy, Parisian traffic. But I still didn’t feel safe at all. I didn’t realize how far I was from other people until now. And I realized, with a sick stomach, that I was practically vulnerable. And that pissed me well off.

“I can tell you’re there!” I shouted, “And you really suck at being a creeper…eep!”

I felt what little blood flowing into my face drain suddenly, only to force its way back up to make a fiery glow in my cheeks as Erik removed himself from the shadows a ways in front of me. I slowly drew up my finger, pointed accusingly and choked out a relieved, and very angry “YOU!”

As customary, he didn’t say anything but stood there, looking ridiculous in his old fashioned suit. I swear he was smiling, though. I seriously want to harm him and hug him tight all at the same time.

“You suck!” I cried out finally, “I thought you were some sort of-..”

“’Creeper’?” he offered, the amusement thick in his tone. “Interesting terms you have, mademoiselle.”

I sort of felt like crying. What a bully! He tried to scare me on purpose, I bet! I stomped my foot at him irritably and turned on my heel to go back down the way I came. I didn’t want to be around him at all right now. I know it’s just because I felt embarrassed, but still, he didn’t have to scare me like that.

It took me a while to notice he was strolling along right beside me with ease. He was silent and I refused to talk to him. This is where I noticed a bundle in his hand. I glared at it for a moment, asking with my eyes what it was but Erik wouldn’t say a word.

“What’s that?” I asked moodily.

He shifted his grip and the bundle disappeared into the folds of his cloak. I felt a challenge from that.

“What was that, Erik?” I repeated, with more suspicion.

“My purse,” he said shortly, leaving no further room for discussion.

I, however, would work hard to make an opening for myself.

“Your banker was alive?” I asked, both in surprise and in pestering him.

I made sure he knew that not answering wasn’t an option. No way would I let him get away with anything, not for the stunt he pulled on me! You can probably tell I had a hard time getting over this. What was more obvious was the fact that Erik didn’t like questions and he hated answering them. But the fact he did answer nearly swept me off my feet in a dead faint.

“No, not anymore,” Erik kept his head forward, “his descendents were there, however, just as Erik suspected they would.”

I stared at him, trying to process what he told me on a deeper level.

“Are you sad?” I found my mouth asking before I could shut it tight. Before he could say another word, I felt compelled to apologize and would have gone off on a good long, apology rant until he cut me off.

“No,” he said naturally, “he was only a banker, just a being one would work with. Erik has no affection for anyone.”

I only managed to nod. Did that make Max and me just business workers? Just someone he had to deal with in order to get what he wanted? I felt insignificant in that moment and I wondered if Christine ever felt that way. Probably not, I thought wryly. Christine would all but be showered with Erik’s undying devotion and love. Then, only to reject it and him because of how he looked. And for being a creeper, living underground but we won’t go into that.

I peeked at him from the corner of my eye, to avoid his notice. He didn’t know whatsoever that even he, the phantom would never escape Love’s clutches. Even he, a walking dead man, wouldn’t be able to hide from the pain and joy of loving someone more than anything in the world. Poor, unhappy Erik. Another thought came to me.

“Hey Erik,” I stopped walking so that he had to pause as well. “Doesn’t that mean the bankers…descendents, wouldn’t even know you? How’d you get the money or whatever else is in there?”

I stood there awkwardly as he studied me with invisible eyes, pondering on my worthiness for such an answer. If he had a super power, it would be X-ray vision to the soul. It was really creepy to have him watch you.

“Erik leaves a lasting impression,” he finally said, ominously. “They were asked to hold a burden until the client came to fetch it. So Erik fetched it.”

He started walking again, silent and dark and thin. I repressed a shudder. Erik was strange…alien even, when he talked like that. I could understand why anyone, especially Christine, would be terrified of him. There just was something in his air that commanded immediate respect and fear. At that moment, I couldn’t see the human in him.

I bit my lip before hurrying back to his side.

---------

Hope that's good! ^^;;
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:26 am

Another really good chapter, however, a bit rushed. I loved the whole "creeper" thing. I was rolling in the isles laughing. Brava! And the banker thing was good as well. Good job!

I found an awkward spot, but can find it now and then the following:

“Are you sad?” I found my mouth asking before I could shut it tight. Before he could say another word, I felt compelled to apologize and would have gone off on a good long, apology rant until he cut me off.

This is a minor grammar thing. Try to avoid using the same word in a paragraph more than once. The first part could have read: "Are you sad?" I found my mouth asking without thinking. The last part of the sentence could have been left off.

Please don't be offended. Just trying to help make a smoother read.

Otherwise, wonderful job! Please continue.

Brava, brava, bravissimi!
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:55 pm

No, no! I love getting critics! (is that the word? Probably not... >> ) No, sometimes I get too much praise on FF.net so I don't feel like I get better very often. I'll work on that, thank you!
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:31 pm

HAHAHA! That creeper bit was hilarious! Laughing I love how your characters interact with Erik. Nicely done, Haley! Smile

A teeny typo I caught: "Almost immediately e disappeared and I spent..."


Laura
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:32 pm

Beloved readers, your story provider, Haleybob (me) is going on a most amazing trip to Ireland and isn't going to be able to update for a week. Please, don't hurt me, I'm writing in a notebook the whole way there.

...

IT'S GOING TO BE AMAZING AND REALLY IRONIC! AHAHAHA!

For those who don't understand, I'm going to Europe with MY BAND. It makes my story feel all the more realistic since it's happening to me. Only the fact that it's not in Paris, France and there's no magic except the magic of beautiful Ireland countryside keeps it from being the story I am currently writing. Now I'll know exactly how things go in airports with bands and hotels and...and...IT'S JUST SO COOL!

Thought you all should know and do forgive me. I would take you all with in a heartbeat if I could.

Bon voyage!
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:54 pm

Band? I didn't know you had a band. Whoo hoo! What's the name of the band? You sing? Going to Ireland. I love Ireland.

Be careful, bon voyage and hurry back. We all love you. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:31 pm

Ditto what Fay said, Haley. I'm envious. Very Happy Have fun! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:32 pm

Instrument band, I'm a clarinet. We're the Foothill Falcons! I don't sing...that'd be nice though... I will take care, promise. ^^
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PostSubject: Re: I Want a Refund on My Phantom, Please   Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:41 pm

I am back to you all! I'm sorry it took so long, but things got caught up, I got lazy (at least I'm honest), and my brain juices expired. Now they have been replenished as well as my story! A new chapter for you all....thanks for the support and reviews, they help, really! Hopefully I haven't decreased in talent since the last time I've posted.... >>;;
----------------


Part Twenty-one:

Thankfully, Erik was a true Parisian and he had a map in his head, seeing as we made it back to the stores in half the time it took me to track him down. Or for him to track me down, whichever came first. Now would be the fun task of hunting down the right store that contained Max and the Persian. Normally this would be easy, what with a handy cell phone and international phone line. Now, however, we were on our own.

I looked up at Erik expectantly, waiting for some amazing, phantom-y skills to reveal themselves. Imagine my surprise when I saw Erik looked back at me with that same expectancy. I guess being from the future, we’d have come up with a better way to locate our friends. I felt sort of sorry that I couldn’t comply and that the future way of finding someone was just as dependable on other terminal things a few centuries ago. I told him this with some shame.

“Okay, so we’re still lost,” I sighed as he smoldered. I pushed up my sunglasses to scratch my nose, pretending I didn’t know how irritated he was. “Any ideas?”

He glared at me in an unfriendly way.

“Shop to shop, then!” I declared with a cheerfulness I did not feel. “Onward!”

I looked eagerly to the shops, wanting to go in all of them, but not to look for my friend. No, I wanted to look through them myself! Earlier in our trip we got to visit a few, but certainly not enough in my opinion! Perhaps I could go in some more if I found Max… Max is easy to pinpoint if you know her. Using our predicament and a vast knowledge invested in myself, I cut off food, wine, and perfume shops. Daroga would have to submit to Max’s hard-core will if he ever wanted to get around safely. Poor fellow looked like a stop sign would do to keel him over.

But I was barely able to take a step before Erik seized my collar, holding me back. Erik never touched us as a rule, either personal or just normal politeness so indeed I was surprised! I let out an unlovely squawk and looked up…and up at him in confusion, keeping myself stiff as a board as to not bump back into him. In his own way of answering me, however, he held up his bundle. I turned my gaze to it instead, nothing clicking.

“Is the money appropriate for this time?” he asked finally, exasperated that I would force him to actually use vocalizations.

“So that’s what was in your bag!” I blurted out.

“Yes, yes, of course,” he nodded impatiently, “Erik can not assume anything would be so similar now, however. Francs are used or no?”

“Oh!” I understood and promptly slapping my forehead loudly I could answer. “Oh, no, nope. Not at all. It’s all about euros, now.”

With some sort of flourish, I whipped out a one euro coin from my shoe (secret stash for coins) and showed him. He peered down at it for only a minute before silently turning on his heel, his bony hand still clutching my collar.

“Now where are we going?” I yelped, hopping backwards with minimal success.

“Where do you think?” he said shortly.

He twirled me back forward with an easy flick of his wrist. My head spun and I stumbled to regain my footing. He was extremely strong! I noted his figure with a quick glance. A skinny, tall guy being so strong! It was kinda scary, you know?

“Bank?” I guessed instead, trying to quicken my stride length to catch up to his which border was lining impossible.

If we weren’t in a terrible hurry, Erik would have stopped and applauded. You could just see it in his sloping shoulders and skeletal hands. I almost thought he would either laugh or cry. Either would’ve been awkward to witness. Instead he didn’t even turn his head when he replied dryly:

“Your inquisitive skills are astounding, mademoiselle Emma.”

I was about to reply something witty and completely logical when I paused. Did he just call me by my actual name? E-M-M-A? My name? I felt a flush of pleasure spread across my hot cheeks and I started to grin. He called me by name in that wonderful, gorgeous voice! My name never sounded so great, so smooth, and so practically perfect. Would Christine feel this joy I had? What a thing, I thought, to be loved and to be called to by Erik.

He never noticed but right there and then I did a small soft shoe dance in place. I was ecstatic. Who cared where Max and Daroga were? So long as I got to walk around crowded streets with Erik, I had no other want. Even when he sighed and talked to himself in French under his breath, or threw me those exasperated looks I got from family and friends, I was happy right then and there. I darn well almost told him that I was happy, but thankfully I stopped myself.

We walked and walked and I started to feel ever so tired and I wished ever so much that Erik would just hurry up when Erik stopped in that I’m-stopping-now-regardless-of-you way of his. I yawned and took a good step away from him, giving his personal space bubble room.

“Are we here…?” I started to ask.

But Erik had already disappeared inside. I looked around me nervously, hoping that we weren’t as lost as I felt we were. I took a look at the bank we had arrived at. The Monte Paschi Banque on Rue Meyerbeer. Funny, I thought, I wonder how he would get money without an account. On that thought I scuttled inside.

And to no surprise, Erik was already talking away. At first I was worried about his mask and whether or not he’d be taken as some robber. Then I spotted him and got to sigh in some form of relief. He had his nose on and the man behind the counter didn’t look so pleased with his client. Of course, it may have not been Erik’s face that displeased him, though he looked ghastly in the lighting, but the fact that Erik’s voice was smooth and demanding as usual and there was little the man got to put in for himself. Frankly I felt a little sorry for him.

I shuffled over to Erik’s dark side like a shy child out with a parent, trying to look like we were absolutely normal. I couldn’t understand (of course) what the heck Erik was saying, but he seemed at ease. And that put me immediately at ease. He and the banker man didn’t take notice of my arrival, but continued to talk in rapid French, the man making irritated movements. Finally the man disappeared into a door behind the counter and Erik lent me his precious attention once more.

“Are you all done, Uncle?” I said with mock innocence.

He didn’t reply while I sniggered to myself. I managed to compose myself a little more than usually and leaned on the counter, staring up at him.

“No, really, are you okay or are they gonna kick you out of the country?” I asked semi-seriously. If we had any problems with the authorities or anything of Erik’s identity, we would find it extremely hard to help him or Daroga at all. Thankfully Erik was truly a genius and soothed me.

“Everything is under control,” he almost purred, looking quite pleased with himself. “Erik was clever enough to plan ahead for something equal to this. You may worry no more.”

I raised my translucent eyebrows at his lack of modesty but generously left it alone. Instead I smiled and rested my chin on the tall counter.

“You’re rich?” I asked casually, flicking up only my eyes to peer at him.

The dark holes where his eyes hid flickered and the lipless mouth formed a humorless smile. I repressed a shudder, but only just. Ghastly didn’t cover it. Just like his fake nose didn’t completely cover his nose hole. I loved the man just like family or with a typical fangirl admiration, but he was not kind to look at. And that’s just the nice way of saying it. The mean way is much more truthful and blunt. He was hideous.

“Enough to pass,” he said dismissively as I averted my eyes back behind the sunglasses so he couldn’t read my veiled, pitying disgust. “Do not worry.”

“You keep saying that,” I persisted as the banker man came back, looking sour, “but that just makes me worry more.”

With another gruesome smile Erik answered whatever the man had asked that my ears did not catch. I now looked at my new Uncle with free reign, wondering if it was just his face that wasn’t lovely. I did not fear him because of his looks, however. Do not get me wrong, mon amis.



No, the disgust I looked at him with was that which a person would cast on a beloved’s smashed face after a wreck or surgery. I looked at him with pity, but not the condescending gaze but a yearning one for him to be happy. I looked at him with the love of a mother holding a newborn, wrinkled, pruned baby who distorts its little features with its fierce screeches. Heck, I wasn’t a pretty picture myself! I had no room to think myself better.

Besides, it was not that his ugliness made him less enjoyable. Indeed I’ve met quite a few wonderful people with not the handsomest faces but even then I could find properties in their physique that I found charming. Hands, especially. I held one friend of mine back in the States with fondness. He had model hands, smooth and well proportioned with no defects or protruding veins. He didn’t like them, but everyone always admired his hands.

Casting this view upon Erik, I found that he had the figure of a teenage boy: lean, long, lanky but without the natural clumsiness thankfully. His skin was paper thin it seemed, and stretched over a frame a little too large for it, making any bone far from the inside stick out most painfully. Of course, he was covered from top to bottom in clothing so his thinness wasn’t that evident.

He was signing something and I was caught unawares that his gloves were removed. I now fixed my eyes on his hands eagerly and caught myself up with a thought. If someone stretched a rubber glove doctors use over a skeleton hand, that would be Erik’s hand. I could see almost all the bones, and his hand was so long, it was nearly improbable. Still, it scrawled just as smoothly as the rest of him. Jerkiness and blunt gestures did not match up with Erik.

A swoop of a black cloak snapped me out of my musings and not too late I turned and caught up with his retreating back. The bag he once had was now gone and I caught his now covered hands slipping a handy wallet into a hidden pocket.

“So now we go hunting?” I chirped cheerfully.

He gave a nod and I grinned.

“Got an idea of where to go?” I asked him.

He shook his head and I grinned again.

“Great.”

My afternoon with Erik would be just that more prolonged.

----------

*bows* So sorry for taking FOREVER. *just realized how long she's been gone* Unsure
Oh, I've never been to France, BUT I did a little research to look up shops and roads so that bank actually exists. ^^ What it looks like or how they run things is not in my knowledge so forgive me if I left things out.
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