TITLE: The Return... What If?

DATE: Sept. 9, 2000

BY: Heather Ferguson

Summary: Well I got a TON of requests for it, a sequel to my story The Exit.. What If? If you haven't read that one yet, or don't remember to much about it, read it FIRST!! Otherwise this won't make much sense. This is how I would bring Eric back had he left the way I would of had him leave (the Exit). I'm taking a few things that I know about what is happening, or will happen on days soon into account when I write, however, I also took the liberty to change some things too. Oh, this takes place 7 months after my pervious story.

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: All characters and everything belongs to NBC, Sony, and Corday productions. *sigh*

Feedback: Tell me what you think of how I brought him back. Thanks! hferguso@niu.edu

Comments: (OLD STORY, just posting it here)

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Greta sighed looking at the snowfall outside, she couldn't believe that it was already February. She heard the knock at the door, hurried to put her watch on, and then walked over to the door and opened it. "Hello," She said with a smile, "Let me just grab my coat and purse." She walked over to the couch, and put on her coat, covering up her long navy dress. She walked back to the door, and took the man's arm.

"Ready to go?" Austin asked her with a smile.

"Yep." And with that they were out the door and on their way to dinner. He helped her out of the car at Tuscany, and into the restaurant. The hostess took their coats and then lead them to their table.

"I just want to say you look beautiful," Austin said to her, reaching for her hand across the table.

She smiled, "Thank you," she said and blushed slightly.

The waiter came by and poured them their wine, and took their orders.

They talked about their day, and her latest project with the hospital. "So, Princess," He said with a wink, "How is that going?"

Greta laughed, ever since she got the title of Princess from her Legal Father's family she had been slightly teased by it. But, it didn't bother her to much, but the title did give her the wealth of the family. Which she was donating to many organizations. Right now she was working with the hospital on a fund raiser for the special burns unit of the hospital. The idea was that she would match the contributions that the raisers would take in, thus trying to get people to donate more.

"Well it's going well. I think we have the date set for a little over a month from now."

"That's good."

"Oh, did I tell you. Remember that little girl, the one that was scarred in their families house fire?"

"Yes I remember."

"Well, she got the plastic surgery for the scars yesterday, and the doctor said it looks good."

"That's great." Austin smiled at her, "I'm glad you found something that you really like."

"Me too." She said with a smile.

Austin then stood up, and brought his hand out for her, "Shall we dance?"

"I'd love too," she said and they walked out onto the dance floor.

They started to dance, and Greta leaned her head on his shoulder, time and memories washed through her mind. She couldn't believe that her and Austin had been dating for four months already. They had both been hurt. Greta tried not to think of Eric in that instant, the pain he caused by breaking up with her and telling her that he would never lover her, broke her heart into a million pieces. Then Austin and Sami broke up after he found out that she had went to Italy with Brandon. They were both heartbroken, and as friends they helped each other pick up the pieces. But things changed slowly, she hadn't realized how much until Austin asked her to go to the Halloween ball with him. At first she didn't know what to say, but then she accepted. He was her best friend, wouldn't that be the best person to be with? She asked herself. They were taking things very slow between them. She smiled slightly, heck it took him a week before he first kissed her. They went out to dinner, they danced, watched movies, had picnics, shopping, and they talked, a lot.

She looked up at him and smiled again, he looked down at her, and leaned in and kissed her softly, and then rested his cheek against the side of her head. The song ended, and they stayed on the dance floor as the next one came on. It was a little bit faster, but they could still dance slowly too it. She sighed softly as her mind listened to the music.

**Somewhere there's speaking
It's already coming in
Oh and it's rising at the back of your mind
You never could get it
Unless you were fed it
Now you're here and you don't know why

But under skinned knees and the skid marks
Past the places where you used to learn
You howl and listen
Listen and wait for the
Echoes of angels who won't return


She really had no idea how her life had wound up here, her life went from royalty upbringings, to living in a swamp, to moving to Salem, dancing in the arms of her best friend. She was happy, yet, something bothered her, something bugged her, and she couldn't put her finger on it.


He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why


She almost went rigid in his arms, but stopped herself. She didn't want to listen to the song anymore, she didn't like what it made her think, but her mind kept pulling her back to it.


You're waiting for someone
To put you together
You're waiting for someone to push you away
There's always another wound to discover
There's always something more you wish he'd say


She couldn't believe that a song was making her think these things. But it was true, she was waiting, waiting for it to come together, waiting for her feelings to be there for him. She wanted them to, she knew he wouldn't hurt her, he wouldn't push her away, he was nice, sweet, and kind, and everything that she would want and need. But... she couldn't put her finger on it.


He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why


*We have been together for four months, yet...* She sighed lightly unto his shoulder, *Yet, I still have the same feelings for him now that I did then. Why?*


But you'll just sit tight
And watch it unwind
It's only what you're asking for
And you'll be just fine
With all of your time
It's only what you're waiting for

Out of the island
Into the highway
Past the places where you might have turned
You never did notice
But you still hide away
The anger of angels who won't return


*Waiting,* She thought, *More waiting, it will just take some time, the feelings will come. They will... they have too.* But was she really giving him a chance, or was she still trying to hide her heart, keep it locked up at the fear of the pain? *Stop it,* she told herself, *This is just a stupid song, that's all!* She said and moved to look up at him and smile. He looked down into her eyes.


I am everything you want
I am everything you need
I am everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
I say all the right things
At exactly the right time
But I mean nothing to you and I don't know why
And I don't know why
Why
I don't know**


She shut her eyes, and shook her head slightly, *No, I am day dreaming, it did not seem like he just said that to me.*

"Greta?" Austin asked with a worried tone, "Are you okay?"

She smiled slightly, "Yeah, do you mind if we sit down?"

"Sure." He said and led her back to the table.

She took a couple drinks of her wine, and tired to mentally shake the thoughts from her head. She then made herself open up a dialog with him, and they began to talk, and slowly the thoughts started to drift out of her mind, as they enjoyed their dinner.

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Greta opened her door, and walked in, Austin followed her. "Thanks for dinner, it was wonderful." She said putting her coat on the chair.

Austin grabbed her hand and pulled her gently to him, "Thanks for making it wonderful." She smiled up at him, and he leaned down and kissed her, softly, gently, but longer than at the restaurant. They pulled away slightly, he moved a stray hair behind her ear and caressed her cheek. "I have to work tomorrow, and I know you have stuff with the hospital, but how about we meet for lunch? Java Cafe?"

She smiled, "Sound wonderful, about 12:30, meet you there?"

"Perfect." He said and leaned in and gave her another small kiss. "Okay then, tomorrow." He walked to the door, and she followed him, he said good night, and left, and she shut the door behind him. She went into the bedroom, and pulled off her dress with a sigh. She then grabbed a pair of sweats, putting them on. She heard a knock at the door, smiled, "Just a minute," she yelled, and grabbed a baby T-shirt and threw it on, and ran to the door.

"So what did you forget?" She asked while opening it, then her mouth fell open. "Eric....."

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She stood their in disbelief, "What... what are you doing here?" She asked, her eyes wide.

He smiled at her, "Mind if I come in?" He asked.

She shook her head, and slowly motioned him in, in a shocked state. She shut the door behind him, and watched him move slowly over to the couch. She tilted her head slightly watching him, was he walking a little differently than he normally did? She asked herself, but dismissed it, and walked over to the couch, where he was standing.

"Well? Why... are you here?" She asked him.

"I do have family in Salem."

"I meant here, as in my apartment. I mean, it's been..." She thought for a minute, "seven months since we last saw each other."

"I know."

"Why are you here?" she asked more demanding, now that the initial shock had worn off.

"To tell you some things."

"Like what?"

"That I'm sorry..."

"You're sorry?" She turned away from him and walked over to the door, ready to open it, "Well, good, then you're sorry, you can leave."

"Greta... please... listen to me."

"Why should I?"

He knew she was mad at him, "You have every right to be angry with me, I understand that. But I also know you, and I am asking you for a chance to talk and explain a few things. Please."

She looked at him, his eyes begging her to listen. "Okay." She said and walked back to the couch and sat down.

He sat down next to her, and sighed, not knowing where to begin. "Well first, I'm back in Salem to stay. The New York firm is opening some new locations and Salem is one of them." She nodded and waited for him to get to the point. "But that's not why I am here, I would be even if I didn't move back to Salem. I'd be here even if I wasn't visiting family, I'm here to see you."

"Why?"

"Because, I lied."

"What? Eric, you already told me that at the hospital." She stood up, "I don't need or want to hear that you don't love me again and that you never will. I got the point."

"But... that's where I lied."

She turned and looked at him, "What?"

He stood slowly, "I lied when I told you that at the hospital." She looked at him confused, "I lied when I said I didn't love you, I lied when I said that we should never be together. Everything I told you in that hospital room was a lie." He watched her reaction, confusion washing over her face. "The absolute truth is that I love you, I haven't stopped, and I never will."

She felt like she was going to faint, her head was swimming, "Then... why? Why did you tell me that? Why did you hurt me?"

"I did it for your own good."

"Huh? My own good? How was that for my own good."

"Greta, there's something you don't know."

"What?"

He took her hand and sat her back on the couch and he sat down next to her, facing her. He sighed, "Remember the car accident." She shook her head yes. "Well, I wasn't okay."

"If you are going to say that you had some head trauma or something..."

He shook his head no, and cut her off, "No, Greta... I didn't tell you, heck I didn't tell a lot of people. Only Craig, and my mom and dad know."

"Know what?"

He took a deep breath, "I was paralyzed from the waist down from the accident, the results came back in when you weren't there. I knew I couldn't feel my legs before, when you were there, but I didn't tell you. Craig told me that I would only have a five percent chance of walking again." There he had said it, he looked at her for a reaction.

Her eyes went wide, "Why didn't you tell me!" She said jumping up from him, then she looked at him, "But.. you aren't in a wheel chair."

"No I'm not. I left Salem in one, and went to New York," He said and stood back up again, a slight wince on his face, which she noticed. "New York had one of the treatment facilities for this problem, and while I worked I went through the program. I was very, very lucky. After the first three months I almost gave up, but I kept going, and soon there was some mild improvement. I slowly got the feeling back in my legs, the hard part was learning to walk again."

She stood there looking at him, tears running down her face. "Why, why didn't you tell me? I could have been there, I could have helped you."

"Greta, I'm very lucky to be standing here today, but the probability was that I would never walk again. I didn't want you to have to live with that for the rest of your life."

"What?!" She couldn't believe what he was saying.

"Greta, what kind of life would I be able to give you? I know you, you would have stayed with me, and you would have been miserable."

"I loved you, I wouldn't have cared!" She yelled at him.

"I did what I thought was best for you. Think about it! I wouldn't be able to be with you physically. I know you want kids, and get married. I wouldn't be able to provide that, except in some lab. I lied to you because I wanted you happy, I lied because I love you."

"So you made up my mind for me!" She yelled at him.

"I'm sorry, I didn't want to hurt you, but I would have been hurting you more in the long run if you would have known."

"Well you were wrong, because you are standing in front of me right now."

"But the chances were..."

"I don't care about what the chances were! Eric, you broke my heart! GOD! I loved you so much, and you tore me to shreds, all because you thought I couldn't handle it, I couldn't make up my own mind. How dare you make that kind of decision for me!" She said walking over to him, and poking him in the chest with her finger.

"I'm sorry, I am. Greta, I'm here to say that, to tell you I'm sorry, and to tell you I love you." He took her arms and pulled her to him, "I love you, and I want you back in my life." He leaned down and kissed her passionately.

She kissed him back until she realized what she was doing and then she pulled away. "Don't ever do that again." She said and moved away from him. "In case you didn't know, I'm in another relationship, I'm happy, and I have moved on."

He walked over to her, "Greta, I know you still love me, I could feel it, I can see it in your eyes."

"Eric, I'm happy now, and I don't want you back. You hurt me, and I won't let you do it again. I was ready to give up everything for you, and you ruined it." She sighed, and her eyes turned more tender, "I'm sorry about the accident, I'm sorry about what all you went through. But that gives you no right to do what you did."

"Who is it?" He asked softly

"Austin." She said simply.

He looked at her, "Austin?" he said in disbelief. "You have to be kidding."

"Why do you say that?"

"You two were just friends."

She looked at him, "So were we before we started dating."

She had a point, "Greta... You know we belong together."

"No we don't, you decided that. Now, if you will please leave, I have an early day tomorrow." She opened the door.

He turned towards her, "I'm not going to give up." He said simply, pulled her to him, and kissed her hard once again.

She pulled away again, "Leave." She said, and he nodded and walked out the door. She shut it behind him, and ran into her bed room, and flopped onto the bed crying. The sobs racked her body, "Oh my God," she said softly, "Why didn't he tell me." She said as the tears continued run down her face. She cried until she fell asleep.

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Eric walked back into his apartment, well Sami's old apartment, that was now vacant since she was living with Brandon now. All of her old furniture was there, which he was going to use until the movers showed up with his. He sat his coat on the back of the chair and moved to the couch. He slowly sat down, and leaned back. His legs were sore, he was still getting used to using them. The doctor had wanted him to slow down a little, after he started walking, but he wouldn't listen. The first thing he did was book a flight to Salem. His entire thoughts in New York were about Greta, and getting back to Salem to get her back. That is what got him through his physical therapy, the thought of having her back in his arms. He knew that it was going to be a big challenge, "Why can't she just see that I was trying to protect her?" He said out load. His thoughts of getting her back never involved fighting anyone else for her, and he knew that would be a problem. Greta, didn't want to hurt anyone, and so he knew it would be hard for her to break up with Austin for him. He sighed and closed his eyes, *I'm going to get you back, no matter how long it takes.*

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Greta had meetings at the hospital the next day, and through the whole thing she kept looking at Craig. Finally he stopped and looked at her, "Greta, is there something wrong?"

"Yeah," she said, "Why didn't you tell me about Eric?"

He straightened in his chair, and called for a break of the meeting. Once everyone was gone, he turned to her, "How did you find out?"

"Eric is back in town, and he told me last night. Craig, after all that we have been doing together with the hospital, how could you not tell me?" She asked him in disbelief.

He put a hand on her shoulder, "Greta, I wished I could have, so many times. But I couldn't, I didn't even tell Nancy. I have to keep what goes on confidential, unless he tells me I could tell. I'm sorry."

She nodded, she understood, he legally couldn't tell her.

"So he's back."

"Yeah, and he's fine."

"You mean, he's walking?" He said with a surprise and smile.

"Yes."

"Oh, that's great." Then he looked at her again, "He came back for you, but you're with Austin."

She nodded yes, "How could he do that to me?" She asked him.

Craig had gotten to know Greta over the last few months, and he reached out for her, and gave her a hug. "He thought he was doing it to protect you. He loves you a lot."

She pulled away, "Then why wouldn't he let me help him? It's been seven months. Seven! What did he think, that I would be pining away for him the whole time? I moved on, I can't go back, I won't."

"Greta I understand, I understand both sides. You just have to decide what will make you the most happy, and not worry about everything else."

"But I don't want to hurt anyone."

"Someone will be hurt, either way you go. You have to decide what won't hurt you, and be with the person you really want. Because if you don't, in the long run you are hurting the one you choose."

She sighed, she knew he was right, "I don't want to go back."

"Okay." He said simply. "How about we cancel the meeting for today, we can finish it tomorrow."

"That would be nice." She said, "Thanks."

"No problem." With that, she headed off to Salem place to do some shopping to clear her head, and then meet Austin for lunch.

She sat at the Java Cafe, with a cup of espresso, she smiled as Austin walked up, gave her a quick kiss and then sat down next to her. "Hello." He said happily.

"Hi," she said softly. He ordered his food from the waitress, and Greta passed.

"Okay, what's wrong?" He asked her, tilting her head to look at him.

"I got a visitor after you left."

"Oh really, who?" He asked curious.

"Eric." She said simply.

Austin looked at her, and took a deep breath, "So he's back in Salem, just visiting?"

"No, staying."

"What did he have to say?" Austin asked her.

She sighed, "Where to start?" She asked herself, and then told him, everything. Austin sat there starting at her, in disbelief. "And he told me that he still loves me, and that he won't stop till he gets me back."

He took a deep breath, and covered his mouth with his hand, wiping it slightly. "Wow. That is a lot to think about." He turned to her, and took her hand, "What do you feel about all that?"

She looked at him, she knew he was being her friend in asking her all this, but she also saw the emotion behind his eyes. She knew that he really cared for her, if not loved her himself. She put her hand over his, "I'm angry with him. I'm not sure if I can forgive him. I have moved on with my life, with you, and..." She paused, "That's where I am going to stay."

"Are you sure?" He asked her, and kissed her hand.

She paused again, "Yes." She said with a half smile.

He leaned in and kissed her again.

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Eric made his way through Salem place, remembering so many good times there, he rounded the corner and stopped in his tracks. His heart felt like it was ripped out as he watched Greta and Austin kiss. He watched as they pulled apart, and he felt like he had been kicked when he saw her smile, and lean against Austin.

*Oh God,* He thought to himself, *Maybe she really is happy with him.* He watched as the two of them continued talking, he turned and found a bench, and sat down, but he couldn't keep his eyes off them. They talked, and laughed for some time. Then Austin stood up, looking like he was going to leave. He gave her a quick kiss, and then left. Eric watched the whole thing, he then watched the look of her face change after he left. *She isn't happy.* He thought to himself. He got up and walked over to her. "Hello," He said and sat down across from her.

She looked up quickly, "Eric..." She stood up, "I'm not doing this."

He grabbed her hand so she couldn't get away, "Just talk to me."

"No," She said grabbing her arm away from him.

"Why? Because you are afraid?"

"Afraid of what? You?"

"No, of your feelings for me."

"How dare you." She said as she turned and walked away.

He got up and went after her. It took him a little while to catch up, when he did he grabbed her arm and turned her to face him, then stopped to catch his breath. "You know, it's really not fair that you can move faster these days."

Her eyes softened, realizing that he wasn't completely back to his old self, "How are you doing?" she asked.

He smiled, "Well having only been walking about two weeks, I'm doing well."

"Two weeks? That's it? Eric, you should be back doing your therapy."

"I couldn't wait any longer. I wanted to see you."

She didn't know what to say, she motioned to the park bench and they went and sat down. "Eric, I know that you love me, I can see that, I really can. But... you have to understand, I have moved on with my life, I've moved on with Austin, I can't and won't just go back now."

"Greta, are you happy?"

"What?"

"Are you happy? Are you truly happy with him?" He said emphasizing the truly.

"How dare you?"

"How dare I? How dare I ask if you are really happy? Greta, how is that wrong of me to ask?"

"Why wouldn't I be happy? Austin is a wonderful, kind, and gentle person. Someone who would never hurt me."

He felt the sting of the last comment, but she also didn't answer the question, he decided to let it go, for now. She stood up, and started to walk away, he got up and followed her, a little later he caught up, "Could you stop doing that, at least until I can catch up to you?"

She smiled, "Sorry, but I didn't want you to catch up."

"Well to bad."

She sighed, "Eric, why are you doing this?"

"You know why."

She shook her head and continued walking, he walked with her all the way back to her apartment. He followed her to her door. "Well I suppose you want in." She said as she opened her door.

"I want to continue our talk."

"We aren't saying anything new. You keep saying you want me back, I keep saying no. What else is there to say?" She asked as she shut the door behind them.

"Tell me about him."

"What?" She asked looking at him like he was crazy.

He sat down on the couch, "Tell me about him. Tell me about the two of you. If you say that you two are happy, and I if I can tell that by what you tell me, and if I honestly believe that you two are happy... Then I will stop bugging you."

She looked at him, and slowly sat down on the couch, "What... what do you want to know?"

"Anything and everything." He knew that what she might say could potentially kill him. He honestly had no idea how far their relationship had gone. He did know that they were only dating for a few months, and that if his relationship with her was a clue, they hadn't done too much in that time. But he wasn't for sure. If they had slept together.... well... he knew it would be a lot harder to win her back.

"Well it started when we were there for each other to pick up the pieces that you twins made of our hearts." She said matter of factly. He winced at how she had said it, it was true. Sami and him had hurt them both. "We were really good friends, we talked a lot. A lot about how we felt and what we wanted out of life." She paused thinking of what else to say, "Well as you know friendship can turn into more. Our first date was the Salem Halloween Ball." She said matter of factly. "Ever since then, we have been together. Dinner, dancing, moves, shopping, picnics, talking, everything."

He looked at her, she hadn't really told him anything, "That's all?" He asked her.

"What do you mean, that's all?"

"From just that, I have that the two of you are casual daters. There was no emotion, no passion, no anything."

She sighed, "That's really none of your business."

"Oh come on Greta, I have a right to know."

"No you don't, you gave up any right to know anything about me!"

He could hear the anger in her voice, the emotion that she said it with, it actually made him a little hopeful. She was still angry about it, which means she wasn't over it, over him yet. "Okay, it's up to you. But that doesn't give me any reason to stop pursuing you."

"Eric, I am asking you to stop. Isn't that enough?" She moved over to towards the kitchen in a huff.

He stood and followed her, "No it's not. Because I don't think you really want me to stop. I don't think you are happy with him, and I know you still love me. I can see it in your eyes." He said and grabbed her arm and turned her towards him. "I can see the emotions you have for me in your eyes, I can see love and yes anger. Which I understand. But I saw the two of you today, I saw you together, you don't have that emotion for him. I know you don't love him. Do you?"

"Eric, stop it!" She said and pulled away.

"Come on Greta, just tell me. Look me in the eyes and tell me, tell me you love him, and I'm out of here."

She walked up to him and looked him in the eyes, and he waited, holding his breath, thinking that he had made a big mistake by saying that, because he knew she was going to say it. He stood there, waiting for his fate.

She looked him in the eye, trying to form the words, but all she said was, "Get out!" He closed his eyes and breathed, *Thank God.* She marched towards the door, and opened it, "Leave, now."

He walked towards her, and stood in the door, "I'll leave, for now. But I will be back." And with that he walked out.

Greta put her face in her hands, she wanted to scream. "I can't take this," she said as she walked over to the couch and sat down.

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Austin came by later to take her out to dinner, she accepted and they went to dotCom. She sighed and stirred the ice in her water with the straw as they waited for their food.

"Penny for your thoughts." Austin said.

She looked up and smiled, "Guess."

His expression changed, and Greta mentally cringed, she hated doing this to him. "You saw Eric again today."

"He ran into me right after you left to get back to work."

"What did he say to you?" He asked her, curious.

"Same stuff as before, but he asked a lot of questions about us."

"He want's to know what he is up against."

She looked at him, "Yeah... how did you know?"

He smiled slightly, "Same thing I would do if I was him, same thing I am doing now."

"What?"

"I'm finding out as much about what he is telling you as I can too. I'm trying to figure out what I am up against too."

"But why?"

He reached out and took her hand in his, brought it to his lips for a kiss, "Cause I don't plan on losing you to him."

She sighed, "Am I like some kind of prize in a game or something to the both of you?" She asked as she pulled her hand away.

"Yes and No. Greta, the prize is your love, the love of a wonderful woman. But no, you are not a thing, or something like that if that is what you mean." She took a drink of her water, and nodded her understanding. "So what did he ask."

"He asked if I was happy, if I loved you."

"And what did you say?" Austin asked, she looked into his eyes, and then wished she wouldn't have said that. His brown eyes were to hopeful on what she would say.

She tried to take the easy way out, "I told him it wasn't any of his business, I told him he lost the right to know anything about me when he broke up with me." She hoped that would do.

He seemed slightly disappointed, but at least not heart broken. Austin then went and got their order when it came up, and she sat there, in a slight fog. Another song started playing, and she sighed.


**He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why


Austin put the food on the table and sat back down, "God, not this song." She said. She sighed, and tried not to listen to it.

"What's wrong with it?" He asked confused.

She looked up, not realizing she had spoken out load, "Oh, ummm, they just play it to much." She said trying to cover.

"Yeah, when they play a song over and over, it can get old really fast."

She nodded yes, and started to munch on the sandwich in front of her. She tried not to listen, but the words kept ringing in her mind. *Stop it!* She yelled at herself, *It is just a song!* But it kept nagging her at the back of her mind. The words kept swirling through her mind, "But I do know why." She said softly.

"What?" Austin asked her, "Know what?"

She looked up quickly, "Huh?"

"You said, but I do know why. You know what?" He asked again.

"Oh, I know why they play the songs so much, all the money." She said quickly, she looked to see if that was enough for him, and it appeared to be. She let out her breath, and tried to shake the thought from her head.

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Greta got home from the hospital the next day, after her meetings with the PR department and the board. It looked like the fund raiser was coming along nicely. She opened her door, and was caught in shock for a second. She then walked over to her table and looked at the huge vase of flowers. "How did they get in my apartment?" She looked at a note next to the flowers. Greta read it out loud, "Mrs. Von Amburg, these flowers arrived for you at the front desk, they were to big to keep for you here, so we hand them put in your apartment. Molly." Greta smiled, Molly knew that any large packages could be brought up to her apartment, that is was okay with her. She quickly looked for the card, but sighing because she knew he had sent them. "What else is he going to stoop too?" She asked herself as she opened the card, but was surprised once she read it. "Austin?" *Oh no,* she thought to herself. *He really is taking the fighting for me thing seriously.* She put the card back, and went into her room to change. She came back out in a pair of men's pajama bottoms and a small T-shirt. She liked being comfortable, especially when she had to think. She sat back on the couch, and hugged one of the pillows to her.

*What am I going to do?* She asked herself. Both sides had their good points and their bad points, she just didn't know which was better.

"I should stay with Austin." She said out loud, "He's wonderful, he will never hurt me, and I can't hurt him. I won't do that to him." Then Craig's words came back to her, "But would I hurt him more by staying with him?" She shook her head, and put her face into the pillow, she wanted to scream. She knew she didn't have the same type of feelings for Austin that she did for Eric, and that was what was bugging her. Austin was wonderful, he was everything that she needed and wanted, but there was something missing, something that was so hard to put her finger on. "He's .... just not..." she tried thinking of the word that was escaping her, "He's just not... Eric." She finally said. She lifted her head from the pillow, realizing what she just admitted. "No that is ridiculous. I can have the same feelings for Austin, I just have to give him a real chance."

She put her face in her hands, she was so confused, she jumped at the knock at the door. *Who now?* She didn't know if she could take anyone right now.

She got up and opened the door, and sighed, "Not now."

"Hello to you too," Eric said looking at her.

"I'm not in the mood to deal with this right now," she said starting to close the door.

He put his hand up to stop it, and walked in, "Too bad."

She stood there, and sighed, as he walked over towards the couch, but didn't sit down. She shut the door, and just gave in, knowing that another fight was going to start. "What now?"

He reached out, and brought her over to him, "Tell me."

"Tell you what?"

"Tell me you love him."

"Eric..."

"Greta, if you did you wouldn't have a problem telling me. So tell me, tell me you love him."

"I'm not going to do this," She said trying to turn away, but he wouldn't let her, and pulled her closer, her arms against his chest.

"I knew it, you don't love him." She tried to speak, but he continued, "Tell me you are happy with him."

"Eric, stop this and let go of me."

"Tell me you are happy with him, and I will let you go." He tilted her face to look at him, "Tell me." She couldn't, and he knew she couldn't. "Okay, one last thing, tell me you don't love me."

"What?"

"Tell me you don't love me anymore, and I will leave."

"Eric.."

"Look at me and tell me you don't love me anymore."

She looked up at him, and tried to form I words, "Eric I don't... I don't...." A tear ran down her cheek, and he wiped it away. He closed his eyes and took in a breath and let it out. His hand moved to her cheek, caressing it. She tried to pull away. "Greta, why? Why are you fighting this so much? Is it just the anger? Or because you don't want to hurt him?"

She pulled away, "That and more."

"Greta, you will hurt him more by being with him and not loving him and loving someone else more."

She closed her eyes, as more tears came, and she shook her head, she didn't want to hear it.

He moved over to her, "What is it? What is keeping you together?" He tilted her face to look at him, "Have you two..." He trailed off, it was the only thing, the only thing left he could think of that would make her stay with him.

He eyes widened, "I would never make love to someone I don't love." She said, and then she realized that she had admitted it, she admitted that she didn't love Austin. She could see that he figured it out too.

"Then what is it? The passion the two of you have?" He almost laughed, "Because there is none."

She pulled away, "What? How can you say that? How would you know?"

"I saw the two of you together, I know he doesn't kiss you the way I do."

"He's a very good kisser."

He moved closer to her, "But he doesn't do to you, what I do."

"You think mighty highly of yourself." She said accusingly.

He moved closer, grabbed her arms and pulled her close to him, tilting her chin up, his hand at the back of her head. "When he kisses you, does your heart race, blood pound, breathing get ragged?" She tried to pull away. But he just pulled her closer, and leaned down and kissed her, passionately. His mouth claiming hers, his arm pulling her close, his hand in her hair. He released her mouth slowly, and looked at her. Her eyes slightly dilated, lips swollen from his kiss, "Greta.... when we kiss, you can feel the passion, the love. Tell me it's the same with him." She didn't say anything, "You can't, can you?'

She turned away from him, "Greta... what then? What is it? Why are you so mad at me, why won't you let us be together?" He wrapped his arms around her from behind. "Tell me, tell me."

She turned around in anger, tears streaming down her face, "You promised me you would never leave!" She yelled at him. He took a step back from her, as she continued. "You told me you would never leave me. You promised. On that island, after the plane crash. I told you, that anyone I had ever cared for, that I loved, left me. You promised me that you would never leave. You left, Eric! You left me! I told you I loved you and you left me!"

It was all starting to come into place, he realized then, how far he had really hurt her. He slowly walked to her, his arms out stretched, and enveloped her in them. She sobbed against him. He fists softly pounding against his chest. "Anyone I have ever loved has left me. God, Austin has been so wonderful to me, and I wouldn't let him in, I wouldn't let him into my heart. I knew that if I did, he would leave, just like everyone. Like father John, my mother, you."

He held onto her, and closed his eyes, "I'm so sorry." He said again and again softly into her ear, as he gently stroked her hair.

"I could have handled you in a wheel chair. I could have handled never being able to make love to you. I could have handled not having kids. I couldn't handle losing you." She told him, more tears running down her face. He kissed her forehead softly, and pulled her to his chest, and then slowly walked her over to couch. He sat down, and she curled up next to him, her face buried in his chest. The pain still fresh.

He pulled her face up to look at him, "Greta, I'm so sorry." He lightly touched her cheek with his hand, wiping away the tears, "I tried to protect you, I didn't realize what that would do. I'm so sorry." He said again, and gave her a soft kiss. "I love you," he told her, again giving her another kiss. "I know you are very upset and angry with me, I understand that. But Greta, don't throw away what we can have together. I know I can make you happy again, if you just give me the chance."

More tears ran down her face, "I'm afraid." She said softly.

"I know that right now my promises don't mean that much, but I promise I will do everything in my power to never hurt you again. Because that is the last thing I want to do"

"But Austin..."

He cut her off, "Austin is better off knowing the truth."

"I don't want to hurt him."

"I know, that's one thing I love about you, but Greta... If you stayed with him..."

"I know, I would be hurting him, you and me."

He smiled at her, "Yeah."

She put her face back into his chest, and he held onto her. It felt good to be there in his arms. She knew this is what she was missing, this was where she belonged. She knew that it was going to be hard telling Austin the truth, she knew that it would take awhile to get back to where they were once before. She looked up at Eric, and gave him a small smile.

He smiled back at her, his heart feeling so full, now that he had won her back, the happiness that went through him was hard to describe. He leaned down and kissed her. And she kissed him back. The passion in that one kiss was more than she felt in all of Austin's and hers combined. He broke away slowly, looked her in the eyes, "I love you Greta," he told her.

A tear ran down her cheek, "I love you too, Eric," she said kissed him with all the passion she felt that moment and forever.
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The End

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**The Song is "Everything You Want" by Vertical Horizon, so THEY OWN it, please don't SUE ME!

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Well I hope you all liked it, I had fun writing it.