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I'm good with the hate thing, since I don't think he actually hates her. I think he hates himself for being unable to keep his promise to the church because of his craving for Nicole. He's done a whole lot of self-deception over the past couple of years, but he's fast reaching the point where he can't believe his own lies anymore. And the truth about himself is hard for him to deal with. It attacks his self-perception in shattering ways.

People seem to think Eric is a goody goody. He's not. He's selfish and at times controlling (his emotional manipulation of Nicole in the rectory in order to keep her from leaving him or having sex with other men is occasionally breathtaking). But he's also kind and patient. He did give Nicole soul-saving support at a time when nobody else did, he taught her to value herself, a lesson that she's held onto, even in the middle of this mess she's gotten herself into with her lies, and he still to this day defends her to others, even when he can't bear to be around her himself. He doesn't want to love her, thinks he shouldn't, but he does. And I think he's about to have to deal with it.

Eric's twisted in some very interesting ways. It's just not on the surface like a lot of characters. He's more like an iceberg—what you see of him is only a tiny part of the real man, and what you don't see can be unpredictable and even dangerous.

I think he's a much better match for Nicole than people give him credit for.

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