Chapter 5: Feelings Known and Unknown The day had been unusually swamped with cases, leaving Eric no wiggle room to catch up with Natalia. Calliegh seemed to take up his time at every oppertinuity and Natalia seemed to avoid him at every turn. Eric eventually found himself at peace in the evidence locker putting away that days evdence only to come back and look at it the next day. From a distance he heard the click of heels and sighed in anticipation of Calliegh, however his axiety flew out the window when Natalia walked into the locker with her iPod stuck in her ears oblivious to his presense. He stood in the shadows and watched her slightly dance around and softly sing the lyrics. Her voice soothed him body and soul. Every muscle relaxed and the stress of the day melted away like ice in the mid-day summer sun. Eric stepped further into the shadows as Calliegh approached and interrupted the beauty of the moment. "Hey Natalia have you seen Eric?" Calliegh asked Natalia jumped and put her hand on her chest hoping to calm her rapid heart rate. "Sorry I didn't mean to scare you" Calliegh said. "Have you seen Eric though?" she asked Natalia caught a shaking shadow out of the corner of her eye. She knew for a fact that shadows didn't shake unless the shadow was Eric Delko laughing at her being scared out of her witts. Natalia got the feeling that Eric didn't want to bed discovered and played along. "No Calliegh I haven't seen him, but if I do I'll let him know your looking for him." Natalia lied, feeling uilty the moment the fib passed through her lips. "Thanks" Calliegh said leaving and going home. Natalia waited until she saw the elevator doors close before turining her attention to the shadow. "Ok you can come out now you creeper." she said "Thanks Talia" he responded. "No problem, but why are you avoiding Calliegh?" she asked curious. Eric leaned on the table, sighed and hung his head. "Come on spill, you have my attention" she said putting a box of evidence on the shelf. "Talia last night was...." Eric started to say but was cut off by Natalia. "I know last night was a mistake. Your with Calliegh. You don't have to clear you concience with me Eric." she told him hoping that he didn't detect the sadness laced in her voice. "No Talia!" he exclaimed. "Natalia last night was amazing and so was this morning. I haven't felt the way I have felt with last night and this morning with any other woman." he said "What are you talking about Eric?" she asked shocked at his words. "I'm talking about us Natalia." Eric said grabbing her hand. Neither missed the eletricity that flowed through them at the simple contact. Natalia shook her head. This couldn't happen. "Eric what about Calliegh? Have you thought about her at all?" Natalia asked. "I have thought about her! Natalia I don't feel the same way I do with her as I do wth you." Eric confessed. " Eric do you realize what your saying?" she asked. "Yes I do Natalia." he told her. "And how are you supposedly feeling with me that you don't feel with Calliegh?" she asked him in disbelief of what her was saying. "I feel elated as if nothing in the world can bring down my spirits. Natalia I don't know if it's love but I want you around constantly." Eric told her holding her hand tighter. "Eric..I...I can't. Calliegh is my friend and I've already betrayed her in the worst way possible and so have you. Eric we have to forget about what happened last night." she sid pulling her hand from his and leaving. Eric hung hs head and banged his fist on the table. He opened his hand and suddenly missed the feel of Natalia's softer smaller hand in his. He looked at his watch and decided that he needed time to think and be alone. He called Calliegh and she picked up on the thrid ring. "Hey Eric! Where are you? I was expecting you long before now." she said sweetly. "Yeah about that, listen Cal I need to cancel for awhile." he said. "Why what's wrong?" she asked. "Some things have come up and I just need sometime to think." he said. "Well come over and we'll talk about what ever is bothering you." she insisted. "Calliegh I don't really want to talk about it. I just need some alone time to think." he told her. "Does this have to do with your brain injury?" she asked "If it does then I think you should talk about it." "No Calliegh it has nothing to do with that!" he exclaimed "Look I just need sometime for myself alright." he added exasperated and tired of arguing with her. "Ok Eric, but call me if you need anything." she said "I will" he said before hanging up. Calliegh sighed. She couldn't pin-point what was up with him and it bugged her. If something was bothering him so much to make him cancel plans her should be with her talking about it. She took deep breaths in and out and calmed herself. She sighed again and decided to call Natalia to see if she could help. Natalia picked up on the third ring and sighed. "Hey Calliegh" she said as cheerfully as possible given the current situation. "Hey Natala can I talk to you about something if you can spare the time?" she asked "Sure what's up?" Nat asked hoping it was about something other than Eric. "It's about Eric" Calliegh said crushing Natalia's hopes. Natalia breathed deeply and began her conversation with Calliegh as if nothing had happened with Eric that evening. The next morning Natlia woke from a restless sleep. It was hard to sleep in a bed that smelled like tha man who once layed there. She looked over at her clock. 6:00 a.m. in the morning. Natalia sighed, picked up her phone and called Ryan. Today was his day off and she knew he would be pissed with her inturrpting hin slumper but he would be there regardless.Ryan picked up the phone moments later. "You had better be buying" he groaned groggily with one foot hanging off the bed. Natalia giggled "Of course. I'll meet you at our spot" she said "I'll be there" he said as they hung up. Ryan sighed and got out of bed. "What did Delko do now? he asked to himself as he walked to the bathroom to shower running into the side of the door on the way. "This is the last time I pick up the phone this early on my day off" he groaned. An hour later Natalia was pouring out her confusion to Ryan who listened and offered advice where needed. After two hours of talking Natalia and Ryan left and Ryan walked Natalia to her car. "So I'll talk to you later and try to have a good day." Ryan said hugging her. Natalia hugged him back just as Eric's car drove by the tiny shop where they were at. Eric shook his head. He refused to believe that there was anything going on between the two of them. It was probably just a friendly hug. Erc breathed deeply, he ddn't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill and make an ass out of himself. He would simply talk to Natalia about it later. There couldn't be anything between them could there?