After Days' Eric saves Nicole from Jay's rape attempt, he sees something that could change things with her forever
When Eric comes to Nicole's rescue as Jay is attacking her, the reward for his efforts is a glimpse at the truth of Nicoles and Jay's past as lovers. And while Eric and Nicole are at a crucial point in their relationship, Taylor quietly moves closer to the man she loves.
Early in the week, Jay confronts Nicole about her relationship with Eric, and it leads to a physical assault. Christian Malmin (Jay) explains, "Jay arrives in Salem after the guy in jail tells him to keep an eye on Nicole. So Jay follows Nicole and forces his way into her apartment."
Nicole tries to cover her involvement with Eric, but Jay doesn't believe her. He tries to kiss her, but she spurns his advances, forcefully pushing him to the floor. In a pique of jealousy and humiliation, Jay comes back at her. After threatening to end her modeling career, he hits her and begins to rape her.
"Jay mainly wants her back," explains Malmin. "The relationship the two shared was very passionate. They even got matching tattoos because they decided they would be together forever."
Moreover, in the last few weeks, Jay may have had some glimmer of hope that he'd be given a second chance by Nicole.
"By being nice to him, Nicole wanted to keep Jay in L.A.," Arianne Zuker (Nicole) explains. "She thought reverse-psychology and money might work. But Jay is obsessed and won't let her go."
Malmin agrres. "He doesn't understand how she could just take off and leave all of a sudden. He can't live with the rejection. It's tearing him apart that she could be with someone else and is moving on without him."
Before Jay can actually rape Nicole, Eric comes by and interrupts what's happening, and Jay takes off. Eric comforts a very distraught Nicole and wants to call the police and take her to the hopital, but Nicole refuses both suggestions. Then the beautiful blonde unwittingly shows her street-smart side to Eric when she vows revenge against her "cousin." Then, when Nicole goes to clean up, Eric ses her "N&J Forever" tattoo and realizes Jay is not cousin, he's an ex-lover. When Nicole admits she's lied to him, Eric walks out. He's depressed and feeling quite foolish.
Eric is feeling very confused," says JENSEN ACKLES (Eric). "He doesn't know what's going on. He had to knock Jay around a bit to get him away from Nicole, and then Jay took off. Eric was more concerned with taking care of her than catching Jay. Seeing the tattoo raises even more questions," ACKLES continues. "But he also wants to see and believe the honesty in people, so he believes what he's told. And he's really into her. When he sees things that contradict what she's told him, he's taken aback and wonders why, but he doesn't jump to conclusions with her as he might with someone else. He can be pretty quick to put his foot down with other people, but when a man loves a woman. It's different."
In the aftermath, Nicole blames Jay and her past for ruining her life. "Chances with Eric are looking pretty bad for Nicole," say Zuker. "She knows how important the truth is to Eric, and even if it was because either she didn't trust herself or didn't trust that he would still care for her if she told him about Jay, Nicole lied. Deep down, Nicole really feels she won't be able to get Eric back, but she's still going to try. Jay screwed things up for her, but Nicole is not going to let go."
Still reeling from the near-rape and Eric walking out on her, Nicole calls the man in jail and tells him what happened with Jay. But the prisoner is only interested in getting some money from Nicole so her can get a lawyer for his appeal and get out of jail. Nicole refuses to send him any money.
"This guy is in jail right now, so he isn't a threat," notes Zuker. "He's had control over Nicole in the past. But Nicole knows he has contact with Jay, and that keeps her on her toes."
Meanwhile, at Titan, Taylor walks into the room as Eric rips up a photo of Nicole. They have a conversation about honesty, and Eric is impressed with Taylor's maturity and good sense.
"When Eric tears up Nicole's photo," says ACKLES, "it's out of anger at himself. He's mad at himself. He's had a past with horrible relationships, including seeing his family torn apart by dishonesty. Dishonesty in a relationship is his greatest fear.
"As far as Taylor goes," offers ACKLES, "Eric just thinks she's a good kid whom he likes to talk to. She's up-and-coming, and he can relate to where she is right now. But he's not giving up on Nicole just yet. Once Eric sees what he wants, he does his best to get it. He won't try to juggle both. Taylor is just a friend, a young friend. He's not thinking of her as anything but cute. Eric is so into Nicole, he doesn't see anything in Taylor that way."
In real life, ACKLES might not be as forgiving as Eric. "It depends upon how much the girl means to me. If it's someone I started dating, and she starts to pull this kind of stuff, well, see you later. But if it's someone I really care about and have been with a while, I'd try to work through it."
Though Eric doesn't see Taylor as a potential girlfriend, she has other thoughts. According to Katherine Ellis (Taylor), "Taylor has a complete, total crush on hime, which keeps growing more and more. He's very caring, very generous with his emotions and thoughts. He's understanding and supportive, not condescending at all. He very much makes Taylor feel like a woman, not a girl. Eric tells Taylor that honesty is the number-one quality he seeks in a woman. For now, at least, Taylor hopes to win Eric by being her own sweet self. She isn't interested in becoming Nicole."
When Taylor runs inot Jay, he doesn't admit trying to rape Nicole, but it's clear something is wrong. Taylor figures Jay went to ask for money and Nicole refused him. Taylor is worried about what Nicole has gotten herself into now.
"Taylor doesn't understand Nicole and is growing angrier that her sister is decieving Eric, " says Ellis. "And Nicole doesn't support Taylor or understand her. Her own blood looks down on her and understands her less than an outsider does."
"If it came to an outright rivalry over Eric," Ellis continues, "I think any woman who believes in herself can do anything. Taylor hasn't had anyone support her before. She hasn't been rooted before either, so she hasn't been able to grow. Now she at least has Eric looking out for her and caring for her as a friend. For now, Taylor is still the little sister, and he gives in to her."
Meanwhile, Nicole goes to Eric and tells him that although she lied to him about Jay, she's never lied about her feelings for him. As for her sister, Zuker says, "Nicole loves Taylor. She is blood, but she just meddles and has always been in Nicole's shadow. And Nicole is now sick of her being there and screwing things up for her."
While Nicole is blaming everyone but herself for the recent turn of events, Taylor grows closer to Eric. Maybe all Taylor will have to do is be patient to win the man she loves.
by Lorraine Zenka, Soap Opera Magazine, October 6, 1998