Love's Last Chance

Love's Last Chance

Can He Keep Nicole From Lucas?

Recently, Eric and Nicole's relationship has become hot enough to melt the polar ice caps. But there may be a cooling trend ahead for the young couple. Nicole's ability to favricate the truth soon may put the brakes on their newfound intimacy suggests Eric's portrayer, JENSEN ACKLES. "I think that things will begin to come out about Nicole that Eric hasn't seen before, because he's been so blinded by the thought of her."

Actually, these days, Eric isn't quite as blind to his girlfriend's faults as he once was. "She tainted his trust when he caught her in a lie before," ACKLES explains. "And I think that like most people, when you realize that someone has lied to you, it's hard [for her] to regain that so quickly."

Indeed, as the week begins, Eric shows his lack of faith in Nicole when he encounters Austin at Titan, and quickly hides him from the leggy blonde. Not a bad idea considering how close Nicole and Lucas have become. Even though Nicole is genuinely attracted to Eric, she is well aware that Lucas would like to have their relationship move from the professional to the personal level.

However, Eric doesn't regard Lucas as competition for Nicole's heart. "I don't think he's threatened," ACKLES says. "I think that he looks at Lucas as more of a pest, somebody who he wishes would just get out of her hair."

The Sami Factor

Still, Nicole has carefully cultivated her friendship with Lucas. As her boss, he appeals to her modeling ambitions. Plus, she already has fantasized about what it would be like to live in the lap of luxury as the country-clubbing wife of Lucas Roberts.

Of course, Eric has no idea how cozy Nicole actually has become with Lucas. So far, says ACKLES, Eric has looked at her behavior as simply a way of trying to kiss up to the boss. "It's hard on him because he doesn't understand why she would do that, because he wouldn't do that. But I think that he sees her as only trying to appease the boss."

Yet suspicions have cropped up in Eric's mind regarding just how far Nicole would go to "appease" Lucas. She already has prevented Lucas from confessing to Franco's murder, which quite naturally made the hackles on the back of Eric's dad Roman's neck stand up in distrust. And even Eric--who once was open with Nicole regarding family's plots to capture Lucas in his lies--has become more reserved about sharing his thoughts with her.

But ultimately, ACKLES ventures , it may be Eric's determination to clear Sami's name and save his twin from a life behind (or worse) that will do the most damage to his budding relationship with Nicole. "Eric can be so distracted by the whole situation, so caught up with that that he loses sight of Nicole, and Nicole goes off with Lucas."


Indeed, Nicole is already more involved with Lucas than she would care to admit. Not only has she convinced Eric to hide their new intimacy with each other for fear of turning off Lucas, but while Eric is helping Austin, Nicole actually accepts a date with Lucas--a fact that she "forgets" to mention to Eric.

Later, Nicole nearly is caught in her two-timing ways when Eric reminds her about their date for that night. Nervously, Nicole breaks the news to Lucas that she had a prior commitment with Eric. Lucas, however, isn't about to take no for an answer, and suggests that Nicole simply dump Eric. Luckily, before her loyalty is put to the test, Eric tells Nicole that he has to cancel.

After Eric leaves, Lucas questions Nicole about her relationship with his rival, asking point blank: Just how close are they? Fearing she will lose Lucas' interest if she answers honestly, Nicole insits that he already knows all there is to know about her and Eric. Lucas drops the subject, but before they can leave Titan, he learns that the company's truckers are preparing to strike. As a result, he is forced to cancel their date in order to handle the crisis.

All dressed up with no place to go, Nicole hangs around the office and is impressed when she overhears Lucas' concern for the well-being of the strikers. The situation casts him in a new light for the poser, who may begin to regard Lucas as someone other then the boss. If that happens, ACKLES predicts fireworks down the line. "Nicole could actually fall for Lucas, and that would definately throuw a curve ball into the situation." he says noting, "Eric and Lucas may end up having to battle it out for Nicole after all."

Everything You Need To Know About

Salem Debut: Born in Salem, but spent most of his childhood in Denver. He returned to his hometown as a teen in 1997.

Lineage:Roman and Marlean Brady are his folks.

Vendetta:Lucas Roberts has become a thorn in Eric's side.

Romantic Track Record:Eric's past years growing up in Denver remain shrouded in mystery, but upond returning to Salem, he has had only one serious relationship--with Nicole.

Did You Know:Eric and Sami are fraternal twins.

Soaps in Depth--February 9, 1999

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