Soft footsteps padded against stone steps, the sound being met with the distant chatter from the opera house above, cheers and shouts of tonight’s performance. The small chapel was lit with a multitude of candles, showing the detailed painting of the angel in a beautiful light.
“Mistro? My mistro?” A voice whispered into the small area, the man walking over to the painting of the angel and kneeling before it, staring up the chipped paint and waiting for the reply.
“My angel…” A deep voice said, the man before the painting smiling ear to ear at the sound. “Are you nervous for your first opera?” The voice asked softly, almost in a monotone manner.
“Of course I am...It’s the first time I’ll be singing as a lead, my mistro.” The man spoke, his head falling to stare at the cracked stone floor. “Will you be there to watch me my mistro?” He asked hopefully, clutching at the edges of the lace gloves he wore.
“I will, my angel. You’ll do wonderfully.” Echoed throughout the small chapel. The man looked up the painting of the angel at those words, smiling softly to himself before opening his mouth to speak before a distant yell cut him off.
“Jay! Jay we go on in five minutes!” A thick accent shouted down the stairs to the chapel, Jay quickly standing up once he heard the announcement.
He looked up towards the painting, curtseying towards it and grinning. “Go on my angel...I’ll be there to watch you, I assure you.” Jay nodded, quickly running up the stairs and almost tripping in the process.
~ ~ ~
Jay entered the small dressing room, the distant sound of clapping still following him. He couldn’t wipe the smile off his face, every fiber of his soul was bursting with joy and excitement.
The small table in the room was covered in a multitude of bouquets, ranging from the palest of lillies to the darkest of tulips. Though one flower stood out to Jay, a single red rose sitting on top of a black lace pillow in front of the body length mirror. As he walked closer he noticed it was wrapped in a white ribbon, sitting on top of a piece of folded parchment.
Lifting the rose off the letter and he picked it up, slowly unfolding it and reading the cursive that painted the parchment. Your voice is beautiful my angel, I shall come see you soon to give you my congrats on your first show. -Your Mistro.
He reread the words over and over again, a smile slowly creeping itself across his face. Jay would get to see his mistro, the person who had sworn when they met that he could never be seen.
“My angel...you’re still in costume?” The mistro asked, his voice almost booming throughout the room. Jay jumped at the voice, looking around the room to find where the other was. “I...I haven’t had time to change into other clothing, mistro.”
There was silence for a moment, and Jay almost wondered if he imagined the voice but the thought was cut short by a deep chuckle. “It’s alright my angel, I think that blue dress looks beautiful on you.”
Jay continued to glance around the room, determined to find where his mistro was hiding. Apparently the mistro noticed his frantic searching and spoke, “The black skull in the mirror, press on it.”
Glancing towards the mirror, Jay walked over to it, finding the black skull hanging at the edge of the mirror on the right side. Pressing it softly he found that it pressed into the mirror, clicking softly. The mirror opening inwards slowly like a door.
A blow of cool air seemed to fill the room, a stone wall hallway hidden behind the mirror that seemed to be rotting away. Dim candles line the wall every few meters, leaving dark spots between them for small moments of time.
A man stood halfway down the hallway, wearing a black silk cape over what appeared to be a pure black suit. A crusader helmet resting atop his head to hide his face, the bottom of the helmet rusting away to a darker colour then the cool silver. He stood with a calmness around him, seeming to be staring at Jay with an outstretched hand.
Jay stared down the hallway, walking past the frame of the mirror and into the hallway and closing the mirror behind him. He slowly made his way towards the man, the distant sound of water dripping joining the small clicks of his heels against the stone.
“Mistro?” Jay asked softly as he stopped in front of the man. His response was met with his hand being slowly and softly grabbed from his side. Even through his gloves, Jay could feel the rough palms of the man.
“You look beautiful, my angel.”
~ ~ ~
It continued to happen after every show that Jay would perform in. He would follow his mistro, Eric as he learned, through the mirror and through the catacombs of the opera house. There they would sing together by candlelight to the notes of Eric’s organ, and Eric would end every song with soft touches to Jay’s cheeks or hips, and compliments of how beautiful he looks in his show outfits.
Sometimes Eric would let Jay sleep on a soft bed in the catacombs if he was too tired, and Jay would wake up in his dressing room’s bed that morning like nothing happened.
But sometimes there is always a bump in the road, and sometimes the bump has a name. This bump’s name was Viscount Matthew du Vin, he was a frequent watcher of the shows for years, and anyone who worked in the opera house knew who he was. Jay had never met the man himself. However he always received a letter after every show from the man, telling him how beautiful his voice is, like that of an angel.
Jay quickly retreated to his dressing room as soon as the final curtain fell, finding the usual bouquets and letters sitting in their usual places on his desk and dresser. Expect there was a man in his room, sitting at the edge of his bed with a bouquet of yellow lilies in his hands. Jay stopped in place by the desk, the man noticing him standing still and smiled. Quickly standing up he walked over to Jay, “Hello.”
“...Hello.” Jay mumbled, the man handed him the bouquet which he took, smelling the lillies and smiling slightly at the sweet smell. “Who are you?” He asked bluntly, the man letting out an airy chuckle at the question.
“Viscount Matthew du Vin, heir to the Belle Wine fortune and company. But you can call me Matt.” He spoke, delicately grabbing Jay’s left hand and kissing his knuckles. “I’ve never been able to catch you after your shows, so I decided to wait for you here.”
Jay just nodded slowly, glancing towards the mirror for a split second before Matt spoke up again. “I’ve been a fan since your first show, so I’m glad I was able to catch you tonight. Your voice is...it’s so beautiful. Have you had proper lessons to achieve that? Or is it natural talent?” He spoke smoothly, ounces of admiration sparking in every word.
Silence filled the room for a moment before Jay found the courage to reply. “I-I get lessons…” He muttered, feeling his face heat up slightly as Matt grinned ear to ear.
“Well, give your teacher my thanks, for without them I wouldn’t have been able to hear an angel.” Jay grinned, setting the lilies down on his desk with the other bouquets.
They stood in a comfortable silence after that, Jay grabbing Matt’s hands in his own and grinning, “Would you like a private song?”
~ ~ ~
Matt came to visit him more as time went on, they would always talk for only a few minutes as he would eventually have to go to run his company. But Jay always loved their little visits, where Matt would look at him like he hung the moon.
But Jay also noticed that Eric always...acted distant after Matt would visit. He wouldn’t join in as Jay sung to him, instead seeming to focus on slamming down the keys of the organ. Only speaking to him to ask him to sing, or if he knew the song.
It always felt so cold, as though Eric had completely disconnected from reality. Jay was scared to ask why, but he had his suspicions.
~ ~ ~
“Last Rose of Summer.” Eric spoke flatly, his fingers beginning to dance around the keys as Jay breathed in slowly.
The intro to the song slowly played out, Jay opening his mouth to begin singing but shutting it quickly. Slowly moving his hand to rest on top of Eric’s right hand, making him stop playing.
“...What are you doing, angel?” Eric asked lowly, turning to look over at Jay slowly.
“Why have you been upset lately Eric?” Jay asked quickly, squeezing the other’s hand as he spoke as to provide some type of comfort.
No words were spoken between them for a few moments, as though Eric was thinking of just the right words to say. Instead he stood up from his bench, guiding Jay towards an old oak dresser that stood next to the velvet bed Jay had grown accustomed to.
They stood in front of the dresser, Jay not knowing what to do except count the multitude of scratches that covered it. Apparently he was supposed to open it, as Eric seemed to grow tired of waiting and moved to open the dresser. Inside was a large white dress, covered in ruffles and intricate designs of flowers fitted to a model. A veil cascaded over the dress, and that was the last thing Jay noticed before he fell to the ground, unconscious.
~ ~ ~
Slow organ music echoed through the air, Jay slowly opening his eyes to find himself still in Eric’s velvet bed. He froze in place at the realisation. How long had he been out? Did anyone in the opera house notice that he was gone?
Sitting up he also noticed that he was wearing the wedding dress, his previous tuxedo from before nowhere to be seen as it was too dark.
A line of candles lead from the bed, Jay quickly getting off the bed and standing up. Slowly he began to follow the dim candles, lifting the dress up so that it wouldn’t get caught on fire. They lead to the organ, Eric sitting in front of it surrounded by candles that would usually fill Jay with comfort but instead unsettled him in that moment.
“Eric?” He muttered, the music stopping as the other slowly turned around. They stood in silence, staring at one another until Eric muttered, “You look beautiful.”
Jay shook his head, slowly walking towards the other while trying hard to stare at his eyes through the old helmet. “Eric...what is going on?” He asked softly, grabbing onto the sides of the helmet and shivering at the cold touch of metal.
He didn’t speak, just stared at him with almost soulless eyes.
Slowly Jay lifted the helmet off of him with shaking hands, eyes widening as he finally saw the face of the other in full detail. Eric looked fairly average, but there was a large jagged scar running down his left eyebrow and over his eye, all the way down to his jaw. A few smaller scars lined his neck and lips.
“I’m sorry,” Eric mumbled, eyes darting to the ground to avoid Jay’s gaze. “I’m sorry I just...I wanted…” His quiet explanation was cut off by Jay kissing him softly, dropping the helmet to the ground and ignoring the loud clang that followed after.