Eric Grant

Birth: 7 Partri 3517; Dunsberg on Agoran
Death: 24 Tarvin 3553; Dunsberg on Agoran; age 36

Race: Agori

Appearance: brown hair and eyes

Occupation(s):

  • various unspecified
  • psychiatrist’s assistant

Parents:

  • unnamed

Siblings:

  • unnamed

Spouse(s) / Partner(s):

  • Bryan Landry (married 24 Tarvin 3541; ended with Eric’s death 24 Tarvin 3553)

Children: none

Special Abilities: none

Life:

Even from childhood, Eric’s life epitomized the phrase, Nice guys finish last. He felt often overlooked by his parents, and though he did well in school, his quiet demeanor meant he was often left out by other kids while his teachers tended to focus more of their time and attention on the more troublesome students.

Things only got worse when he was old enough to enter the job market. His seemingly passive personality and overly cautious behavior made it difficult to get hired, let alone to keep a job. Though he was a hard worker, he was often overlooked for promotion and advancement and always seemed to be the first to get let go whenever a company downsized.

His most devastating termination, though, came from Dr. Whitaker. Eric worked for the psychiatrist as an assistant, and thought he’d finally found a secure position, the doctor frequently praising his work ethic. However, when Whitaker discovered Eric was gay, he fired Eric on the spot.

At the same time, Eric was dumped by his boyfriend and consequently kicked out of their apartment, leaving him homeless, heartbroken, and without an income. To make matters worse, his car stopped running, and he didn’t have the funds to have it repaired, leaving him with limited means for attending new job interviews. The last straw was when Eric asked his parents if he could move back home temporarily, only for them to deny him when they also learned he was gay.

With what little money he had left, Eric rented a motel room, bought a gun from a pawn shop, then went out to Matchmakers, the only gay nightclub in Dunsberg, looking for one last trick to take home, wanting to feel something good before he ended his life.

It happened that the man he took home with him was Danyal “Danny” Berringer, owner of Matchmakers. As soon as they got back to Eric’s hotel room, Eric could see that Danny was changing his mind about the hookup, leaving Eric feeling let down and hopeless all over again. Danny must have sensed his distress because he immediately changed his mind and followed through on the hookup, giving Eric just the blissful distraction he needed from the downturn his life had taken.

When it was over, Danny started to leave, and Eric pulled out the gun, holding it to his temple. Just as he was about to pull the trigger, Danny walked back in, having forgotten his wallet, and startled Eric so much that the gun went off. The startle also caused Eric’s hand to move so that the bullet only grazed his skull rather than piercing it. Danny rushed him to the hospital, where he received stitches for the graze, then Danny brought him back to the motel and made Eric talk about what led him to attempt suicide.

After that, Eric and Danny became friends, and Danny made it his mission to help Eric turn his life around. Danny also admitted that their hookup had caused Danny to be unfaithful to his boyfriend, Bryan Landry, ultimately costing Danny his relationship, which explained why he almost didn’t follow through with their one-night stand. Though Danny was clearly heartbroken, he expressed relief that at least Eric’s life was saved because of it.

As a result, Danny quietly arranged for Eric to meet Bryan, and a whirlwind romance ensued. Neither Eric nor Danny told Bryan (until years later) that their hookup had ultimately led to the end of one relationship and the start of another, and Eric and Danny kept their continued friendship a secret from Bryan, not wanting to cause any more drama or heartache.

With Bryan, Eric’s life turned completely around, giving him the love and support that he’d always lacked. Eric and Bryan married 24 Tarvin 3553, just over four months after their first date. Eric moved into Bryan’s house, and ultimately managed to find steady work while Bryan continued getting promoted at Wysong Solutions, the tech company where he’d been employed since finishing school. The couple seemed destined for a life-long Happily Ever After, and Eric was grateful every day for Danny’s infidelity, giving him the kind of happiness he’d never known.

On the ninth anniversary of their first date, Eric and Bryan were walking home from another date when Bryan convinced Eric to take a shortcut through an alleyway, wanting to get home faster to continue the celebration. Eric had misgivings, but gave in to Bryan’s enthusiasm, only for them to come upon a pair of junkies who took their presence as a threat. The junkies attacked them, and though Bryan managed to fight off one and scare off the other, it wasn’t until after the second had stabbed Eric with a dirty syringe. Bryan rushed Eric to the hospital to get checked, where Eric’s blood work showed he was now positive for the last remaining strain of HIV. Though the virus had been eradicated centuries ago, the one remaining mutated strain was still in existence and had never been cured. The diagnosis was a death sentence. Most people who contracted the virus didn’t live another year.

Eric took extreme over-caution, not letting Bryan so much as kiss him without first consulting several doctors who assured him he couldn’t pass on the virus that way. He drew the line at sex, though, entirely ceasing all their intimacies. Bryan insisted he was safe, having natural immunities thanks to the Erosti half of his genetics, but Eric refused to risk it. He even banned Bryan from their bedroom, not wanting to take a chance that something might happen between them in their sleep, as was a frequent occurrence for them.

Eventually, Eric even encouraged Bryan to have sex outside their marriage, not wanting Bryan to have to be celibate for his sake. Bryan revolted against the idea at first, especially because Bryan himself had been cheated on and new the pain of that experience. Time and repeated arguments ultimately wore him down, and Eric watched Bryan leave their home each night to have anonymous hookups while Eric grew increasingly weak and was stuck in bed.

In the midst of his decline, Eric learns that Danny (Bryan’s ex and Eric’s one-time hookup) was living out of his workplace and invites Danny to come live with them. Between saving his life and then giving him Bryan, Eric felt he owed Danny more than he could ever repay, so giving him a roof over his head seemed the least he could do. However, he also hoped that throwing Bryan and Danny together again might reignite the spark between them so that, after Eric was gone, the former couple might find love again.

Bryan rejected the idea and even tried to force Danny out of the house after he’d moved in, but then made a deal: Danny could stay as long as Bryan could stop going out for hookups and move back into Eric’s bedroom.

Despite his better judgement, Eric agreed. As a result, Eric’s condition actually improved for a short while, making him able to not only get out of bed but also resume their sex life once it was confirmed Bryan was immune.

But Eric was living on borrowed time, having already far outlasted the predicted life expectancy of the virus. He became bedridden again, his condition steadily declining until he passed away in the early hours of his and Bryan’s 12th wedding anniversary. Eric died in Bryan’s arms as Bryan slept beside him.

Eric’s ghost rose from his body, and he had to watch as Bryan woke and discovered that Eric was dead. For the next few years, he was helpless as he saw Bryan spiral into his grief. Slowly but surely, through, Bryan recovered and even found love with Danny again, just as Eric had hoped. He watched Bryan and Danny grow old together, and when the couple eventually passed away, Eric was reunited with the love of his life. Because of the way time moves differently in the afterlife, Eric and Danny were able to share Bryan’s time and love with no jealousy between them.

Appears/Mentioned in:

  • Second Chances (Matchmakers, Book 1)
  • Second Drafts (Matchmakers, Book 2)
  • Second Place (Matchmakers, Book 3)
  • Second Act (Matchmakers, Book 3.5)