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The Dark Prince
I absolutely adore the Phantom of the Opera. This is the result of all my love and hard work. Enjoy :)
“MOVE.” Erik growled deeply, as every servant quickly scattered out of his determined path through the courtyard. They were all working diligently and quietly, tending to the abundant fields when their master stomped up towards the castle, looking more frightening than they had ever seen him…and that’s saying a lot. They all gaped as their master took long, threatening strides towards the front of the castle doors, his black cloak fluttering into the air behind him like a battle flag. His boots pounded loudly into the ground in rhythm with the pulsing of his racing heart. His face was set in an angry scowl and the servants could practically feel the demanding presence radiating from his form. He had a purpose in his step.
He had always been an intimidating man, with terrible moods, which could cause the very grounds to shake, but this was an all new type of enragement, even for him. Throughout the land, the masses all held a healthy sense of fear of the dark, mysterious man, and that was the way he preferred it. He was particularly recognized for his menacing, brooding character, and his ability to send any brave, grown man to his knees. Every servant understood his dangerous personality, yet they all have seen personal glimpses of his rare, gentle kindness and generosity, which gave him a new level of respect among his staff.
Each and every one of his workers have received his compassionate words and actions, which unknowingly bonded him and his staff, however infrequent they appeared. During times of chaos, the servants all tried to remember him in all his emotionally broken and wounded states over the years. He used to be such a soft-hearted, mis-understood man, but after the tramatic events 7 years ago, he fell into a state of icy indifference with the world, barely smiling or interacting with people…all people in general.
The servants still saw his tender and amiable nature though, he simply attempted to cover it up and guard himself from loss. But while they all recognized his tender and considerate side...they were also all too familiar with his overwhelming powerful persona he conveys.
While the staff in his estate all witnessed glimpses of his gentle demeanor, the rest of the kingdom quaked in fear when they heard his name. Rumor spreads like wildfire in Magelica, and every man, women, and child has heard of the terrible stories and myths surrounding the Dark Prince. He is…infamous throughout every kingdom over the world, causing him to make important allies, but even a greater supply of enemies.
As he advanced in his way towards the front doors, the servants trembled. They had not seen their master this angry in years. Some would disagree though, for the Dark Prince was known for his acrimonious way he carried himself. All stood a cautious five feet away… all besides one.
An older women trailed behind the man with an exhausted expression on her stern face. She was dressed all in black-as if in mourning- with her black-grey hair loosely tied into a braid. Antionette Giry struggled to keep up with the Prince's quick pace, shaking her head in denial the whole time. The servants noted that while was usually a very composed and practical lady, at this time she looked reasonably panicked. Of what, no one knew.
He finally made his way to the giant wooden doors, traced with designs of black steel and silver. The door had patterns of elegant swirls and roses that stood out against the aging wood. It was one of the mans favorite embellishments which were incorporated into the castle, by order from himself. The Dark Prince grasped the large handles vehemently and thrust them open in a single, fluid motion. The doors slammed open loudly onto the walls, alerting King James of his son’s presence. The king was sitting reposed at a long decorated table when he heard the doors thrust open, spilling light into the great hall. He immediately flinched and sat up, readying himself for the argument he knew was approaching. He had been internally preparing himself for this conversation for quite some time, and truth be told, he was nervous. He slowly turned his chair around, until he was facing his son head-on. He hadn’t seen his son in a week, purposely putting distance between them in expectancy of his son’s disappointment, as well as his rage, that he anticipated.
As he took in the image of his son, the prince, he was filled with a great sense of pride. The Dark Prince stood tall, reaching a 6’2 frame. His outer layers of clothing had been discarded in his heated outrage, and his thin white shirt fell open to reveal a chiseled broad chest, which was heaving up and down in his exasperation. His strong legs were covered in black riding pants, tucked into his laced up boots. His -normally slicked back- raven hair, was slightly disheveled and limply fell into his face in black strands. Father gazed into his son’s noble face. He had a strong chin, white teeth, and exquisite green eyes. On the right side of his face a white mask rested, successfully hiding what lay underneath. Despite his disapproval of the Prince’s desperate need to wear the mask, at all times ever since his youth, he admitted the mask added to his son’s mysterious appearance. No matter the trials his son had faced, the king had always been extremely appreciative of him, which made this situation all the more difficult.
“Son, I know you are upset,” the King began, softly. The masked man glared at him menacingly. His nostrils flared and his eyes burned like fire. Perhaps I could retract the agreement. No. I have to stay strong for the future of my son.
“Upset.” the Dark Prince echoed. “Yes, I guess you could say I am upset. I am incredibly upset with the discoveries I have made today. Care to enlighten me father? Do you have any idea why I might be upset?” His voice remained eerily calm, adding to the thick tension in the room.
Madame Giry sighed behind him and closed the large doors, resulting in closing off the light from outside, leaving the faint glow of candlelight casting shadows across the room.
“Please understand that-“
“MARRIAGE, FATHER?! AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE?! WITHOUT CONSULTING ME?!” the Dark Prince howled. He was fuming. His beloved father had done the only thing he was uncapable of forgiving. King James had arranged a marriage with some ravishing beauty, meant to ignite the Prince’s heart. Love was unattainable to him, why inflict such torment?!
“DID TOU THINK I WOULD NOT FIND OUT UNTIL THE WEDDING? DID YOU THINK YOU COULD KEEP THIS FROM ME?!” That morning, a messenger had come bearing a letter from a noble family. It contained explicit details of an upcoming wedding. HIS WEDDING! Oh what horror for the messenger to witness such rage. Apparently, the man had been given instructions not to let the letter fall in the hands of the Prince, but he was far too terror-stricken to fight the masked man on such subject.
“You need love in your life, son.” The king insisted. For so long, James had been looking for a wife for his son, one that was pretty, kind, and had the ability to contain the Princes anger and torment, and.... maybe turn it into love?
“What about you?! The wicked witch Jasmine is GONE. Why don’t you find YOURSELF a new wife?!" The Dark Prince shot back, sharply.
King Arthur took a deep breathe and willed himself to forget the name his son had brought back from the dead of memories. “ERIK. Do not test me on this. I have been patient with you. DO NOT bring up the past. I am looking out for your future.”
“Love is forbidden to me, and you know it. I respectfully decline your offer, your Majesty.” he sarcastically sneered.
“They are on their way here.”
The Dark Prince’s face turned white. He remained unreadable for a moment while the thought processed through his mind. Marriage? Marriage? MARRIAGE.. I am getting married.
“Her name is Meg.”
And there is nothing I can do about it.
King Arthur watched as his son literally broke down. In one second he was impassive, the next second he had already flipped over the grand table. He watched the Prince’s hands shake riotously as he pulled them through his hair. He watched him pace back and forth, and back again. The king simply watched, understanding that there was nothing he could do to ease the turmoil raging in his sons soul. Then he watched his sons frantic helplessness merge into an aggressive fury. Against the King.
“HOW COULD YOU?!” He hissed, taking agonizingly slow steps toward his father.
“SON. I want what is best for you! Don’t you understand?! I am doing this for you!” King James argued back.
“I trusted you, father. I have always appreciated your wise counsel and guidance, but this…” he breathed heavily. “This is unfathomable.”
“ENOUGH! You have no right to disrespect me this way! I am your FATHER and I have the RIGHT to choose who you shall marry! And it seemed as if you wouldn’t be choosing your own bride anytime soon, so I took it upon myself. I want to see you happy! I want you to find peace…if not love, peace. Please my son.”
The Prince narrowed his eyes. He suddenly felt very, very tired. He didn’t need a bride. He didn’t WANT a bride. But, as much as he openly objected the idea, his father looked incredibly weary and the Prince knew he didn’t have much time left in life. He didn’t want to disappoint his father, but he simply could not go through with an arranged marriage.
The Dark Prince exhaled the air he was unaware he was holding. His tone softened into voice of understanding.
“Father, I look up to you. I always have. But, I don’t want to condemn a women to any type of life with me. Please. I cannot.”
King James suddenly wished he had a wife to support him in his decisions. He was never sure if what he was doing was right for his son, anymore. Of course, he always ensured his son grew up with the best education and opportunities available. He even bought his son his very own piano at the age of four years young. Oh, his music! It was as if the very heavens were pouring their blessings through the tips of the Princes fingers. And during times of certain distress for his son, he was almost positive His son could completely drown himself in the ethereal melodies for the rest of his life. It was also times such as those, when he realized how much his quaint family meant to him.
“Please do this. Please do this for me."
“PLEASE?!” Christine pleaded with her father Charles.
“No,” he harshly retorted, irritation growing on his weary features.
“Father, I promise to be careful. I will take any and all precautions, just please let me go! I long to see the world." his daughter fought back, fiercely. She was resolved to some out of this argument victorious, even if it meant going against her beloved father.
“Hmph. You don't understand, Christine. You long to see misery, death, despair. For that is what the world is..."
Christine sighed as she noticed the faraway look in his eyes. “No danger will come to me, I swear it! I will remain in the safety of a small group. Please let me go!”
The time had come. Christine was now eighteen and wished to travel to Europe in an educational ten week trip her schooling offered. But Charles believed it was much too risky and dangerous for a young, innocent girl such as Christine.
Christine looked into her fathers worried eyes. She had been dreaming of this for so long; she knew she would be utterly devastated if she was not granted permission to go. For Christine, the past week had somehow seemed to linger on and on, practically dragging the laws of time along.
“Please, father. Everyone I know is participating."
“Everyone?” he asked.
“YES! Jammes, Layla, Jaclyn, Payton, Angelica, and me will all travel in a group. We have been preparing all week! We will be extra, extra careful! We will not speak to strangers, we will not take unknown items, we will not stray from our group.“ Christine bit her lip softly as she pleaded with immense distress. She looked at her father’s aging eyes and saw, with dismay, that he still held a great amount of uncertainty. She had never disobeyed her father before, but she inwardly deduced that by chance, if he forbid her to go, she would sneak out.
“Christine, despite your preparation and contingency, safety can not be guaranteed out there. There are so many unknown risks and hazards, that harm could befall you any way.”
“No! No, it won’t father! Please, my well-being will not be put into peril, not when I am with so many people. We will look after each other, I give you my word!” Christine implored her father. She craved this privilege so intensely and she didn’t know why, but she had a feeling it would be a very significant visit.
“Christine, do you promise to remain under the protection of your group?”
Christine shook her head energetically.
“Do you promise not to speak to anyone besides those in your group?”
Again Christine shook her head up and down.
“Do you promise to look out for any potential dangers or threats?”
Again Christine shook her head and clasped her hands together in hope as she stared into her fathers eyes.
“You win!” the reluctant father gave up. “You may go.”
His daughter’s eyes immediately widened and twinkled, and he watched in delight as her smile grew wide, revealing the beautiful youthful smile he knew he would miss. She bounced up and down, causing her long, chocolate curls to fly about.
“Thank you, Daddy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She quickly ran up to him and threw her arms around his neck.
Charles smiled and chuckled as he ran his fingers through Christine’s hair.
“Now, remember. You must get back at the end of the ten weeks, ” his voice took a tone of warning. “If you do not, I will be forced to come after you.” Christine took in this information and made a mental safety checklist in her head.
“Got it.” She smiled. “I am going to go inform my friends! Thank you, again!” Christine kissed her fathers cheek and ran off.
As much as Christine was prepared, Charles had an awful feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach. Christine was his joy, and he would die inside if something happened to her. At the tender age of 18, she was still so very innocent in the ways of world, yet fascinated by it all the same. He shook his head in unbelief of his weakness, and how his determination had all but melted when his daughter pouted, sticking her bottoms lip out adorably. This was going to be a long night.
“Nadir, I don’t believe I can do it.” the Prince sighed, dragging his hand through his already unkept hair. “Marriage. Me?! Married? Can you honestly tell me that you have ever imagined the Dark Prince with a family? A wife? BABIES?" he breathed out deeply and heavily at the idea of marriage and the effect it could have on his life. For his whole life, he believed he hadn't ever truly NEEDED anything or anyone. He was the fearsome Dark Prince, and he would not ever fall prey to the wicked snares of love.
For the slightest moment, the only sound that could be gathered was the faint trickle of the crackling fire and the masked mans despairing breathes, coming out in lengthy pants, as Nadir Khan cautiously answered the Prince.
“Why yes, I can actually. And to top it off, your bunny slippers would look quite nice in front of the fire, my friend.” Nadir replied softly, in attempt to lighten the damp mood, and he actually laughed as the Erik paled at the thought. The Dark Prince could not be tamed so easily, and both men knew it. That was what frightened the masked man the most though, if he were to marry, he was so convinced he would not be a dutiful husband as any women deserved.
Nadir sighed, as if carrying a burden as laden as the Prince's. “No Erik. I have never seen you as that type of man, but you could be. If you wanted to, that is.”
“But I don’t want to.” Erik argued hopelessly.
“Then decline the marriage."
“They are on their way here!” Erik exclaimed, moving his arms in violent gesticulations. “My father is waiting for my answer in the great hall and while it has never been my desire to disappoint him, I refuse to marry someone I have never met nor approved of!”
It was all silent as both men contemplated their unfortunate position.
"Then don’t." Nadir started. "Speak to the lady alone, and discover her thoughts of marriage. If you both hold severe feelings of enmity with the notion of marriage after meeting one another then... then, well... you will cross that bridge when you reach it. But at least you will know if she opposes this marriage with as much... fervor, as you so openly do."
The Dark Prince quietly considered Nadirs idea in his mind. Maybe he could in fact get out of this wedding, for he was positive after meeting him, the lady would be incredibly opposed to any sort of interaction whatsoever with the Prince. What women wouldn't?!
Although... if the women is simply greedy, as most are, she would most likely dismiss all thoughts of character judgement, as long as her new husband contained wealth and power. He sneered, any noblewomen would be content to marry a sack of coins. But, if he sent her away with a considerable sum of money...
“Fine. That’s a reasonable idea,” Erik sighed. “I would have to say it is your first reasonable idea ever, in fact.”
The dark skinned man faked a hurt expression, all the while quite pleased with himself that he was able to lighten his friends mood.
"You can bet I will recall that comment when you are sitting in a rocking chair, petting your future family cat!" Nadir laughed as the masked mans throat rumbled in a feral growl. The Dark Prince, rumored to have the abilities of gods, the hands of a killer and creator, sitting in a rocking chair? Petting a CAT?? The image that was created in Nadirs mind was completely comical.
"You should pray you are no other man, Nadir. For if you were, you would be dead right now." Erik warned, the jest never leaving his tone.
"Believe me, I thank my lucky stars for it." Nadir chuckled. He watched as the masked mans lips curled upwards ever so slightly and he prided himself on his incredible feat. He hadn't seen the Prince smile in such a long time, he forgot what the sight looked like.
"I just don't know what to do if I am in fact forced to comply with this marriage. After last time..."
"I know, I know," Nadir said sadly. "I am truly sorry for your situation. Perhaps a bit of cognac would cheer you up?"
Erik had been trying to keep himself from indulging in his supply of intoxicating drinks...but his resolve was wearing thin. At a time like this, he knew he couldn't resist its soothing effect.
"Yes...Yes I suppose it would," he agreed. "Although I have the slightest feeling you are only trying to console me, knowing you would get something out of it," he teased.
"You know it," Nadir jested back. "A little cognac never hurt anybody!"
"Actually it has," Erik pointed out. "Just last week you were knocked out on my couch , complaining about your 'oh so painful' hangover," he reminded him, laughing as he pulled out an expensive cognac bottle from a shelf.
"Good thing I've got you then," Nadir laughed. "I don't believe anyone else could handle me while I'm like that."
"God knows I could hardly," Erik joked back, as he poured the liquid into two small glasses. "I was about ready to drown you with all your incessant whining."
"But then how would you survive without me?" Nadir prided himself, taking a gulp of the soothing liquid. Before Erik could retort something back, Nadir looked at his watch and widened his eyes at the time.
"Well, I must be going. I was supposed to meet my lawyer to sign some paperwork...an hour ago!" he chastised himself for his forgetfulness. "Your father will be expecting an answer from you. Make the wise choice."
The Dark Prince covered his face with his hands in inner turmoil.
"Don't tell me what to do." he replied, trying to sound somewhat threatening, but to no avail. He was completely hopeless.
Nadir smiled sadly at the Prince as he stood up to leave, knowing that Erik needed to be alone at this time.
"I wish you luck."
Nadir then turned and left, after a final look of sympathy towards the distraught Prince, leaving him to his thoughts.
How did this happen? A wife? And with a wife no doubt came the prospect of children... a thought that sent shivers down Erik's spine. He couldn't possibly conceive a child with a woman who was practically a stranger! How could he?
At that moment, he looked up upon hearing faint footsteps approaching the open door to his study. With a groan, he realized his father wished to speak with him once more, no doubt about this unexpected marriage his father had planned. On cue, James came into sight, hesitating only once as he walked inside the room in silence. Erik said nothing, simply glared at him, hoping his actions spoke louder than words.
The king sighed deploringly and shut the door behind him, knowing this conversation was needed in order to move forward, no matter how much he dreaded it, U sure of the result.
"Erik..." he started, uneasy as Erik continued to stare at him, his expression unreadable. "You understand why I did this... You should simply make the best of it. I know what happened seven years ago still...pains you..." nerved by the way Erik stayed eerily calm, he took another breathe and continued,"But it is now time for a fresh start. I could not stand by, watching your life pass by you!"
Erik knew his father spoke the truth, but he still could not come to the conclusion that this was the best thing for him.
"This cannot possibly be the only way," he finally said, averting his eyes from his father to the floor beneath him. "You knew...you knew that I was opposed the idea of marriage. Especially after..." Erik decided not to bring the past up again, and quickly changing the subject. "I know you care for me. I know you feel pity for me because of my inability to be loved," he held up his hand as his father tried to interrupt, "Do not hold this fantasy that I am capable of love. We both know it is impossible with a face like this. I know you believe you are doing what's best for me but you don't understand just because I don't have love, it doesn't mean I want it. But then you went and arranged a marriage with someone I don't even know!" Erik's temper began to flare again, and he paused to take a few breathes and control himself before continuing. "Some woman will be here, expecting a handsome, dashing prince to take her as his wife, to cherish her and to care for her...but when she arrives there will only be me. And I will have no excuse for her disappointment besides the fact that it wasn't me who even agreed to it! I never wanted this! Maybe at some point I did... but after everything...it's the farthest thing from reality for me. And now I refuse to sit back, while you take my future in my hands, deciding you know what's best, while in truth you don't!"
By now Erik was out of breath by his speech. He had just revealed all of his inner thoughts and doubts, and now he felt drained of his energy. This day had indeed taken a tole on his emotional state, and now he wished nothing more but to be alone. So before his father could speak, he stood up abruptly, and storming past James and out his study, his fathers pleas to reason falling on deaf ears.
"Erik!" he yelled, his hopes of making peace leaving him just as his son was at the moment.