This is a Rafe and Nicole fan fiction. I plan to update once a week. Please let me know what you think.
Nicole sighs as she sadly places another ornament on the small tree she set up in the living room. She really didn’t feel like celebrating right now. This was supposed to be the happiest Christmas ever for her and Eric. Newlyweds and finally the family she had always wanted but, instead, she was alone again, forcing herself to hang ornaments and pretend to be happy for her beautiful daughter, Allie, and Henry. Nicole had been so sure that this time, with Eric, she had found a love that would put her and Holly first. He was her first love, she was the love of his life.. 20 years it took to finally be together, and it had only lasted three short months before Eric had left her because something else was more important. Eric is the very best man she knows, but her heart is bleeding with pain and loneliness. No matter how much she has changed, how hard she loves him, or how much she suffers for him, it never seems to be enough to keep him with her.
Today marks three months since Eric has been gone since they got married. From here on out, Eric has been gone from their marriage longer than he was here with her. The pain knifes through her heart and catches her breath as tears slowly and silently slide down her cheeks. She logically knows three months isn’t really that long a time, and, if she had an end date, she could handle it. The problem was, there was no end date.
Eric’s phone calls started getting shorter and farther apart after the first month. The second month saw only a few phone calls and no end date in site. This last month has been one phone call at the beginning of the month and nothing in the last three weeks. Nicole tried earlier this week to get in touch with Eric and was told by the mission that he was helping a neighboring village and they didn’t have any way to contact him. She left a message for him to contact her today to celebrate their 6 month anniversary, and here it was, 6:00 pm and still nothing. With the time difference, that would be 1:00 am over there, which means he forgot about her again.
Unexpectedly, there is a knock at the door, making Nicole jump and, with her heart pounding and excitement pouring through her body, rush for the door. Hope explodes through her as she dares to believe it is Eric surprising her by finally coming home.
Ripping open the door, Nicole feels her heart sink as a stranger stands in a messenger outfit holding a thick envelope. Nicole feels the hope curl up and die as she believes the package is from Basic Black.
“Are you Nicole Brady?” The messenger asks.
“Yes, I am. Can I help you?” Nicole replies.
“I have a package for you from the Congo from an Eric Brady. Can you sign here?” The messenger tells her.
Nicole’s heart beats a little easier as she pictures Christmas presents to her, Holly, Allie, and Henry.
“Yes! Yes, I can. Thank you! Thank you so much” Nicole gushes as she scribbles her signature and grabs the thick envelope from the messenger and all but shuts the door in the poor messenger’s face in her excitement to see what wonderful gifts Eric sent. Picturing homemade bead jewelry or paintings made by kids at the village, Nicole impatiently rips open the envelope. Several separate smaller envelopes fall out as well as another larger envelope with important papers written on the outside. Nicole goes through the smaller envelopes first and finds one for Allie and Henry, one for his Mother, one for Sami, and one addressed to her.
Nicole again rips open the envelope addressed to her and finds a small bead necklace sitting in a long letter hand written by Eric. With a heart full of love, Nicole starts to read the letter. With each word that appears on the page, Nicole feels her heart rip apart and bleed as the tears pour so hard and fast over her face that she can barely make out the horrible sentences. She tries to breathe as the pain slicing her soul lashes trough her.
It seems that Eric has found his calling to God again and he is not coming back to her. He is rejoining the priesthood and he is so very sorry for the pain that this is causing her because he does and always will love her, but his heart and soul belong to God. He is staying in the Congo because he loves her too much to watch her move on with someone else but he has to do this. He never should have left the priesthood, but his feelings for her were so strong they blinded him to his true calling. He feels horrible about the way this has happened and he hopes she can forgive him someday for this sorrow he is once again bringing her. In the important papers envelope is the signed divorce papers that he had the Church put together to send to her. All she has to do is sign the papers and file them. He is giving her everything he has in Salem that is in his name like all his savings and stocks and bonds can ease this pain. He apologizes over and over in his letter as he shreds her to pieces and leaves a broken mess behind. All she has left of her marriage is a bead necklace for Holly. How is she going to tell her about Eric?
How will she get through Christmas in just five days? Thank God Henry and Holly are at Maggie’s house and Allie is spending the night with Claire. How is she still breathing? How is her heart beating through this pain? How is she going to make it through this night?
Just as she thinks this thought, another knock comes from her door. Nicole just sits there starring at the tree as the tears continue to pour down her face. The knocking comes again, louder this time as Nicole continues to sit weeping and a sob slips out....
Rafe sits in his new office as the police commissioner and looks down at the pile of cases covering his desk. He was horrified to hear about the attack on Allie but was happy to be able to help her stay out of jail.
Everywhere he looks, there are reminders of Hope. Her absence hurts like a sore tooth. The pain might have dulled for a while when his brain was helping Allie and when he talked to his good friend Nicole, who was also hurting regardless of how she tried to hide it.
Rafe has known Nicole for many years and knows when she is trying to pull the wool over his eyes. He HAD to get good a reading her because she hasn’t always been the most honest of people for many years. Even now, if Nicole thought she was protecting someone she loves, she could and would do things that most people would find extreme. Rafe, however, understood her because he could go to extremes for the people he loved as well.
Now that Allie’s problem of getting arrested has been solved, for the moment, these cases sitting on his desk are not keeping the ache of missing Hope away, so Rafe thinks back to Nicole’s visit and he goes over everything in his mind one more time. He can’t shake the feeling that Nicole is hiding something about how she is really dealing with Eric being gone so soon after their wedding.
It is already 7:00 pm .. two hours after his shift ended.. and he is not in any rush to go home to an empty house. Rafe figures it wouldn’t hurt just to drop by Nicole’s to see if she wants some company too since Allie, Henry, and Holly are out for the night. Maybe she is feeling as alone as he is.
A short ride over finds Rafe knocking on Nicole’s door. No answer. At first, he thinks no one is home, but he remembers seeing her car in the parking area, so he knocks again a little louder. Still, there is no response. Maybe she caught a ride with another friend and is out enjoying her Christmas shopping. Just as he is turning to go, Rafe hears a sob of pain come from inside the apartment.
All of Rafe’s cop instincts kick in at full force with that one little sob he hears. Someone inside is in pain, and Rafe reaches for his gun as he begins pounding on Nicole’s door calling her name..
“Nicole! Nicole! Can you hear me? It’s Rafe! I am here! Open this door right now or I am breaking it down! Nicole! Are you in danger? Nicole! Answer me right now!” Rafe shouts as he starts to back up to kick the door in.
Just as he is about to kick in the door, he hears footsteps walking towards the door..
Still in a fog of pain, the banging and panic in Rafe’s voice finally reaches her so she woodenly stands and walks toward the door. Without saying a word, Nicole opens the door, looks at Rafe, turns and walks back to the couch where she sits back down and continues to sob and stare blankly at the tree while holding onto the letter and little bead necklace.
As soon as the footsteps reach the door, Rafe hears the lock click and the knob turns as the door slowly opens. Rafe raises his gun as the door opens to reveal the sobbing blank stare of Nicole who doesn’t even flinch at finding Rafe pointing a gun at her.
Rafe quickly lowers the gun and watches as Nicole turns and walks back to the couch to sit and blankly look at the tree all without saying a single word. Rafe notices the letter and necklace clutched in Nicole’s hands as he cautiously looks around and eases into the living room while quietly closing the door behind him. Something was very very wrong.
“Nicole, what is it? Is it Holly? Henry? Allie? Nicole, talk to me. Whatever it is, I am hear to help but I need to know what is wrong first. Did someone hurt you?” Rafe asks in a quiet voice as he tries to find the source of the look on her face as the tears continue to fall. Fear starts turning in his gut at the thought of anyone hurting his dear friend or the kids.
“Please, Nicole, tell me what happened?” Rafe pleads.
Nicole just turns her head and another sob leaves her as she starts to shake and tremble. Unable to say anything yet, Nicole hands Rafe the letter and curls into a ball on the couch as Rafe starts to read what has torn his friend to pieces. As Rafe reads the letter, emotions turn his gut and cross his face. First is confusion as he realizes the letter is from Eric, then comes shock as he continues to read, then comes understanding and sorrow as he realizes what this letter means for his friend, then anger that his former brother-in-law has reduced Nicole to such a state of despair and pain. While the rational side of his brain realizes that Eric didn’t mean for any of this to happen, the emotional side that is hurting for his friend, wants to kick Eric’s ass. How could Eric do this to his family? How could he make promises to them and then take it all away? Rafe can not understand this but his feelings are not important at this moment. He needs to be here for his friend who just had her whole world blow up in her face.
Rafe doesn’t say anything, no words come to him that seem right, so he just reaches over and pulls Nicole into his lap and holds her as she finally breaks this horrible silence and sobs uncontrollably in his arms.
I agree, great start. The reason Eric decided to end his marriage to Nicole is completely in character for him. I could see him doing this, but ouch to doing it by mail. Coward that he is. I'm glad Rafe will be there for her. I hope he won't take advantage of the situation, and that she won't use him just for comfort.
Rafe held onto Nicole for dear life as the quiet tears turned into a raging storm of sobs and cries of pain. With the dam finally broken, Nicole trembled, cried out, and fell completely apart in the safety of Rafe’s arms. All of the pain came pouring out in one long wave that seemed to last for days instead of the two hours that it actually took. Through it all, Rafe held on tight and let Nicole get it all out while he gently rocked her in his arms. Finally, it seemed the worst of the storm had passed as she slowed down to soft sighs and slowing tears. He was afraid to let her go as he held her. He dried the tears off her wet cheeks and ran a comforting hand down her back. Slowly, afraid if he moved too fast it could set the storm to raging again, he pulled back. Rafe spoke first as he softly asked
“Do you need to talk about it? I am here for you for as long as you need me to be.”
Nicole answered him with a watery sad smile and said
“What is there to talk about? You read the letter so you know what is going on. It is sad and painful but there is really nothing more to say about the death of my marriage. The only thing I have to figure out now is how to find the strength to let him go. What about you? Do you need to talk about you and Hope? I want to be here for you too, like you have been for me.”
Rafe returned her sad smile and answered
“There really is no mystery to the end of Hope and my relationship either. Like you, I just have to find the strength to let her go as well. I want to keep wishing and waiting for her to come back to me but she made it very clear, just like Eric did, that she wasn’t coming back.”
Nicole responded bitterly
“What a pair we make, both of us so in love with people who just can’t be with us anymore. Who ever said that love can conquer all was a damn fool!”
Rafe smiled bittersweetly and replied
“At least we both know that they love us even if they can’t act on that love anymore.”
Nicole shuddered as she replied
“I know that should make me feel better, but, somehow, it just makes it worse. Why can’t I ever be enough? I’ve changed and grown and tried so hard to be worthy of his love but still, it wasn’t enough.” She ended on a watery sigh.
Rafe felt anger grow in his gut towards Eric again at Nicole’s painful words as he gripes her cheeks in both of his hands and fiercely responded
“You ARE worthy! You are more than enough! You are loyal, smart, funny, brave and a great friend! You are beautiful both on the inside and out! Eric chose God over you. I don’t know anyone who could compete with God! He is the one who wasn’t honest about what his true calling was. He never should have let himself marry you if there was even a chance he could leave you. He is the one who let you down not the other way around!”
Nicole gave Rafe a smile that wobbled as she dove back into his arms and said
“Thank you Rafe, for being here with me. You don’t know how much this means too me.”
Post by murphyslaw on Feb 10, 2021 13:33:00 GMT -5
Rafe felt his heart warm at Nicole’s words and made a decision. He wasn’t going to leave her alone tonight. He would sleep here so he could be close if she needed someone to help her through this night.
Rafe tells her
“Well then, you are in luck because I don’t have any other place I would rather be than right here with you tonight. I am not going to let you go through this alone. I will stay here all night and fight the dark with you.”
Rafe let Nicole’s face go and wrapped both arms around her and tucked her into his side as they held each other on the couch.
Wrapped in the warm comfort of Rafe’s arms and tucked tightly to his side, Nicole sighs and settled into him as she absorbed the feeling of being cared for. It has been three very lonely months since she had felt the warmth of male arms around her. She knew she shouldn’t let him stay but she just couldn’t bring herself to argue with him. One night, was that too much to ask? One night to feel comfort and not so alone. The big crying session really took it out of her and she felt her eyes slowly close. Just a few minutes.. then she would move. Just a few minutes more to feel safe. Sleep snuck up on her on silent feet.
Rafe felt Nicole’s body relax as sleep claimed her. It felt really nice to be needed. There was nothing he could do for Hope because she wouldn’t let him, but this he could do. He could help his friend through this night and through the pain he knew she would feel for a while. It helped to ease his suffering and loneliness as well.
His thoughts turned once again to the pain he had witnessed earlier. Damn Eric for doing this! He was a fool as far as Rafe was concerned. How could he just abandon his family like this? Well, Rafe wasn’t going to abandon them when they needed him. If Eric couldn’t be here for them, then Rafe would.
He would protect Allie, Henry, Nicole and Holly. He would help Nicole and Holly through this pain like he wished he could help Hope. Rafe felt a calm peace settle over him that he never would have believed he would feel without Hope.
He had a mission of his own now. Someone or rather several someones who needed him as desperately as he needed them. He wasn’t going to let them down like Eric had.
With that thought in his head, sleep snuck up on Rafe as well. His last thought as he drifted off to the land made up of dreams was that the feeling of Nicole in his arms was good.
Several hours later, Rafe was pulled from sleep by a sound. Slowly Rafe opened his eyes as he let his senses absorb his soundings as he tried to figure out what had woke him up. In his arms, Nicole twitched again and let out a sound of pain. That was the sound he had heard as he figured out Nicole was crying in her sleep. Rafe tightened his arms around her as he gently rocked her and whispered in her ear
“Your ok, I am here and I have got you. Your safe with me and I will not let anything happen to you. It’s alright, Nicole, you are not alone.”
Nicole was caught in the middle of a terrible dream where she was running around a maze of hallways trying to find an exit. She came to a door and opened it. Instead of an exit, it was EJ looking at her with disgust with Sami in his arms.
“Why would I want you when I can have the love of my life. You were always second best. Just a place holder till my love came back to me. You were nothing to me. Nothing at all.” EJ said as he kissed Sami. Sami kissed EJ with passion then looked at Nicole and laughed as she mocked Nicole
“You are just trash Nicole. No one will ever love you because you are worthless! “ Sami said as both EJ and Sami laughed at her and started kissing again.
Nicole shut the door and cried out
“No! You are wrong! I am worthy of love! Eric loves me! I have to find Eric.”
Nicole ran to another door and opened it. It wasn’t Eric but Daniel standing there covered in blood with a sad look as he said
“I loved you, Nicole and look what happened to me. God took me away from you because you took Eric away from Him!”
Nicole cried out again and slammed the door shut.
With tears streaming down her face, Nicole ran to the next door and flung it open. Eric stood there in his priest clothes looking at her with remorse on his face. He said
“You took me away from God, Nicole. Now you have to give me back. I belonged to Him and you stole me away. You will never be happy again, Nicole. You have to give me back to God. Let me go!”
Nicole cried out in pain, then she heard a voice break through the nightmare crushing her.
“Your ok.” The voice said
“I am here and I have got you. You are safe with me and I will not let anything happen to you. It’s alright, Nicole. You are not alone.”
Nicole woke from the nightmare to find Rafe held her tight to him as he rocked her gently. With a shuddering breath, she burrowed deeper into him as she said
“I heard you, Rafe, trapped in the halls of my mind. I heard you call to me and you pulled me out. Thank you, Rafe. Thank you for being here with me. I needed you and you were here.”
Nicole confessed as she shook from the effect of the dream. Rafe continued to rock her as he felt his heart swell with relief that he was able to help her. Hope might not want him around, but Nicole did. Rafe kissed the top of Nicole’s head in comfort as he promised
“I meant what I said, Nicole. You are not alone. You can lean on me. I have got your back.”
Nicole hugged Rafe back and told him
“I want to be here for you also, Rafe. You are a great friend and I want you to know that I have your back too. We will lean on each other.”
Nicole promised as she soaked up the support Rafe gave her. Nicole knew what she had to do. Tomorrow she was setting Eric free to go back to God. Her heart might ache from the loss, but Rafe’s support gave her the strength she needed to let him go.