A Second Chance

Summarry: This is my 'what would happen if Eric Brady and Greta Von Amburg were to ever come back story'.

It had been seven years.

Seven years since Greta Von Amburg had been back in Salem.

Seven years since she'd seen Eric Brady.

She'd come back to Salem for Jack and Jennifer's wedding. Her and Jack had remained good friends.

Being back in Salem was great, but it still held painful reminders for her. She still loved and missed

Eric with everything in her. Ever since he left, she'd tried to go on with her life. She'd tried to tell

herself she didn't love him anymore. That was always a lie though. Just an empty lie.

Greta let out a sigh, and continued walking around Salem Place. She decided to try and focus on

other things.

Eric Brady smiled as he walked around Salem Place. It felt good to be back. Salem was his home and

he had missed it terribly. He also missed Greta. He'd been away for a long time. He'd had plenty of

time to think about things.

Nicole Walker had been one of the biggest mistakes of his life. The other one was letting Greta go in

the first place.

He'd come back for Greta. He knew she'd be here for Jack and Jennifer's wedding. He hoped with

everything in him that they could start over.

He continued walking around, and that's when he saw her.

He saw Greta sitting at a table, drinking coffee.

He smiled, and made his way over to her.

"Greta."

Greta stiffened at the voice.

No, She thought. It couldn't be...

Greta turned around, she was stunned to see Eric Brady standing before her.

"Eric." Greta breathed.

"Hey." Eric smiled. He was so happy to see her again. It had been so long.

Greta smiled too. She was happy to see him also. She wasn't angry at him

anymore. Time had healed the hurt he'd caused her. The only thing time hadn't

taken care of, was her love for him.

Greta stood up, and hugged Eric.

Eric was surprised by her move, but hugged her back tightly. He thought she'd still

be mad at him for all the hurt he'd caused her. He was happy to see that she apparently

wasn't.

Greta pulled back and gave Eric another smile.

"Eric, how've you been?"

"I've been good." Eric said honestly. "Colorado was good for me." Eric gave her warm smile.

"How've you been, Greta?"

"I've," Greta stopped, thinking over her answer. Since she'd been in town, she'd talked to

Marlena about what she went through while in Paris. Marlena had always told her to take things

a step at a time. "I've been taking everything day to day. I've had my good days and my bad days,

ya know?" Greta answered honestly.

Eric looked down ashamed. He was ashamed at himself. He was ashamed at how he'd hurt her.

Greta realized he thought she was talking about him, and knew she had to reassure him.

"No, no" Greta said. "This has nothing to do with you, Eric. When I was in Paris...I went through

something pretty bad."

Eric looked up at her, concerned.

"Ever since I went through what I went through, I've had trouble dealing. I've talked to your mom

and she's helped some...it's still incredably hard though. I can't even begin to talk about it. So, please

don't ask me to." Greta continued.

Eric nodded. He wouldn't push the issue on whatever it was that she'd gone through. At least not yet.

"I am sorry that I hurt you, Greta." Eric apologized. "I know I said it before I left, but I really am

sorry. If I could undo everything I would."

Greta just simply nodded her understanding.

"I know you said you don't wanna talk about what happened in Paris, but..." Eric ran a hand through his hair.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you need someone to talk to about it, I'm here. You're not alone."

Greta nodded. "Thanks, Eric."

"You're welcome." Eric replied. "And I really mean that."

Greta suddenly turned as she heard two people fighting.

"You can't just do this!" A guy yelled at some blonde girl.

"I'm sorry, are you my gate keeper?" The girl responded sarcastically.

"I'm your boyfriend!" The guy yelled irately.

"No, you're not." The girl replied. "You asked me out, I said yes. We had one date. It's not gonna work

out. I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings, but it wouldn't be fair to keep seeing you, when I still want someone else."

"You bitch!" The guy spat out in anger. "You led me on!"

"I'm sorry." The girl offered.

The girl gave him one last glance and took off.

"Man," Eric commented. "who knew the dating world so complicated?"

Greta didn't say anything, she'd zoned out right after the guy had accused that girl of leading him on.

"Greta?" Eric asked concerned.

"You fucking lead me on!"

"No," Greta choked out. "that's not how it was and you know it!"

"Greta!" Eric grabbed her hand.

Greta snapped back to the present, and pulled her hand back on impulse.

"You alright?" Eric asked concerened. "Where'd ya go?"

"I'm sorry." Greta apologized. "I started thinking and...it's nothing." She forced a fake laugh. "It's actually really stupid."

"Try me." Eric said concerned.

"That argument that we heard that couple having, it just...it reminded me of something I'd rather forget is all." Greta answered honestly.

"You sure you don't wanna talk about it?"

"No." Great laughed. "And yes."

Eric smiled with understanding.

"You don't wanna talk about it, because that brings it all back and makes it more real than before. On the other hand, you do wanna talk about it, because then you'd be letting it out, and maybe you might find some sort of peace." Eric surmised.

Great looked at him, surprised that he understood how she felt so well.

"Am I right?" Eric asked.

"Exactly right." Greta admitted.

"Talk to me." Eric repeated. "Maybe I can help."

Greta shook her head. "No, I don't wanna involve anybody else. It's something I have to deal with on my own."

"You don't have to deal with anything on your own anymore, Greta." Eric told her gently. "That's why I came back. I want to be here for you. I am here for you. I won't leave again. Trust me."

"Yeah," Greta laughed sarcastically, a lone tear leaking down her face. "cause that worked so well for me the last time!"

Regret, sympathy, and hurt shone in Eric's eyes.

"I'm sorry." Eric replied. "I'm so sorry I let you down."

Greta sighed. "No, I'm sorry. You didn't deserve that. You're just trying to be my friend again."

"No, I deserved that." Eric shook his head. "I hurt you and I betrayed you. Two things I swore I'd never do." Eric takes Greta's hand in his. "I won't do it again. I'll never leave you again. I love you, and I wanna make us work. It's forever this time. I promise you."

Greta turned to look at him. Tears were entering her eyes again.

"Why should I believe you now?" Greta's voice cracked. "You didn't mean it then, so why do you mean it now?"

Eric's grip on Greta's hand didn't loosen, it only tightened.

"I did mean it then. My heart just wasn't in the right place to follow through on it. I was selfish, and I was only thinking of myself. I thought Nicole was the love of my life." If Eric could take any part of his life back, it would be those moments, where he hurt Greta.

Greta turned away. It still hurt to hear her name.

Eric gently turned her chin back toward him.

"I was wrong. She wasn't the love of my life. She was the biggest mistake of my life. You're the love of my life, Greta. You are. Seven years hasn't changed that. It's only strengthened it." Eric proclaimed.

Greta could feel her walls crumbling, but she had to ask one more thing.

"What if Nicole comes back and promises you her heart?"

"I'd tell her to go to hell." Eric replied.

Greta laughed through her tears.

"You would not! You're too nice for that."

"Yeah, well I'd tell her my heart belongs to Greta Von Amburg, and it always will."

"I love you too, Eric. I always have." Greta confessed.

Eric reached out and took Greta's face in his hands.

He leaned in to kiss her, but Greta stopped him.

"What is it?" Eric asked her concerned.

"If this," She motioned between the two of them. "is gonna work, then I'm gonna have to tell you something about Paris. I just can't tell you all of it, okay?"

"You don't have to tell me all of it, if it's still too hard." Eric assured her. "I just want to be able to be there for you, the way I should've been all along."

"When I went to Paris, alot of things happened. Things, that I can't get into now, or maybe even ever. The one thing that I need you to know is that I got into a pretty bad relationship there. Alot of times people lie, and they decieve you. They show you what they want you to see, to get you, and then they show their true colors." Greta laughed bitterly. "Much like the devil in disguise."

"I know what you mean." Eric said, thinking back on Nicole and all the lies she'd told him.

"That's what happened with this guy. My friends...they all tried to warn me. Everybody tried to tell me, what a horrible person this guy was, but I wouldn't listen." Greta cleared her throat. "By the time, I realized that they were all right, it was too late. Things already happened, that could never be taken back. I'd already made choices...choices that the girl you know never would've made."

"We all make mistakes, Greta." Eric told her gently. "It's apart of life. No one's perfect. I'm sure whatever mistakes you made, you thought you were doing them for the right reasons."

Greta shook her head. "That's the thing...I became a different person in Paris, Eric. I did things that I'm not proud of. One of them is, I got involved in drugs."

Eric looked shocked, but didn't release his hold on her hand.

"Drugs? Why would you-?"

"It's a long story, Eric. I never meant for it to happen. When it started, it wasn't even my choice. He...Jacob..." Greta trailed off, trying to take deep breaths. She never planned on telling him any of this, but if they were gonna work, he had to understand what happened to her.

"It's alright." Eric said soothingly. He gently kissed her hand. "You can tell me anything. I would never judge you."

"I know that." Greta said. "Jacob had a very toxic lifestyle. One that I was not privy too, when we first started out. If I'd known that he was into drugs, I would've left. The drugs started, because he started injecting them into my arm while I was sleeping."

"My God." Eric was furious. "He could've killed you!"

"And I didn't know. It went on for a long while. By the time I figured that out...my body was already hooked on them. So, I continued that destructive path by choice. If it wasn't for Jack...One of my friends called Jack, and he came to Paris. He, uh..." Greta laughed, remembering it. "He dragged me off to a rehab clinic. I was so mad at him at first, but looking back, it was the best thing he could've done for me."

"And the rehab helped you?"

"Yeah," Greta smiled. "it did. It helped me open my eyes to alot of things. One being, that Jacob and I weren't going to work. I mean, he was the whole reason I became an addict in the first place. In the beginning, I thought that he loved me. That he loved me for me, but that was just a lie. He wanted to change me. He wanted me to do the things that he did." Her face darkened. "Leaving him was not easy, and he hurt me in alot of ways."

"How did he hurt you?" Eric asked concerned.

"He uh, he..."

Greta felt herself being slammed into the wall.

"You think you can leave?!" Jacob roared. "I never said you could!"

"Greta?" Eric questioned softly.

"I," She felt her head spinning, she felt like all the walls were closing in on her.

"Get off!" She screamed. "Get off!"

"I can do whatever I want to you!"

"Hey," Eric's voice was soft, but urgent. "what's wrong?"

Greta wanted to speak, but couldn't. She felt like she was hyperventilating. Like she couldn't breathe.

It was like it was happening all over again.

Like she was being raped all over again.

"I ca---can--bre" She struggled to get words out, but they just wouldn't come together.

Eric realized what was happening, and he took hold of her arms.

"Hey, look at me. Look at me." Eric took her face in both of his hands. "I think you're having a panic attack, okay? I need you to calm down, alright? Try and breathe for me, okay?"

Eric stood up, and pulled Greta up with him.

"Just lean on me, alright?" Eric kept his voice gentle for her sake, but all he wanted to do was go find Jacob, and beat the life out of him for all the pain he'd clearly caused her. "Try and take slow breaths, okay?"

Eric lead her to his car, and had her get in the backseat, and he got in on the other side and closed the door.

He pulled her body back against him.

"Breathe, babe. Okay? Just breathe for me. You're alright." He gently stroked her hair, as he kept her firmly, but loosely against him. "You're not in Paris, you're here. You're in salem. You're with me."

Greta's body was shuttering and shaking.

"No," She cried. "I don't want...want...don't want...this."

"Don't want what, baby?" Eric's gentle voice whispered into her ear. "Don't want what?"

"Don't want...don't want to...hav...sex."

A tear rolled down Eric's face. It was like he thought, like he'd been thinking. She had been raped.

Eric turned her around, too look into her eyes.

"It's me. It's Eric. You're safe with me. You're so safe with me, baby."

Greta blinked, and suddenly realized where she was. And what she'd just admitted to.

"Eric," Tears were in Greta's eyes. "I can't talk about this. Can't go back there."

"You don't have to." Eric shook his head. "I understand, okay? I understand everything. I'll help you get through this. We'll get through it together, okay?"

Greta nodded, tears in her eyes. "Okay."

Eric pulled her into his arms, and held her tightly.

Greta gripped his shirt sleeve, as she sobbed hard against him.

"It's alright, baby. I got you." Eric breathed. "I got you."