Over on Days of Our Lives, Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering) is in a bit of an a romantic pickle. He has embarked on a new romance with former mob moll Ava Vitali (Tamara Braun), but Nicole Walker Brady (Arianne Zucker) might be secretly nursing feelings for the cop. Gering dished all on his character's romantic entanglements to Soap Opera Digest.
Falling for Ava marks the latest instance in a romantic pattern for Rafe. Gering explained:
They share a sense of loss, so I think that they’re maybe trying to fill a void that may exist at this point in time. I don’t know if Rafe is as aware of it as Ava is; she’s recently lost her son and is coming to terms with what a bad parent she was and why, and that self-reflection is really drawing him in. If you look at them like a couple of pieces of a puzzle, they’re fitting together at this time. I don’t know if he’s looking at it like a serious thing but he’s really developing feelings for her. As different as they are, he’s been attracted to women that were the opposite. That was certainly the case with Sami [Alison Sweeney] and with Kate [Lauren Koslow]. I think that Hope [Kristian Alfonso] was probably the closest in terms of their personalities; obviously, that didn’t work out.
Is Rafe aware Nicole is envious? Gering said:
I think to a certain degree, and it’s amusing to him considering the fact that she’s the one who thrust Ava into his house. Rafe is like, ‘What, you’re jealous? What’s going on here?’ But I think that he’s looking at it like, ‘Are you jealous of our friendship? Do you not think we should be together? Is she not right for me?’
Could Gering ever see Rafe and Nicole being together romantically? The actor mused:
Yes, definitely. In fact, one could argue that there were times they did have these feelings, but they were with other people. Because they really never went down that road, it’s hard to say, but I definitely think he sees her as someone he really cares about, and those feelings can move forward in different ways, but again, he doesn’t even want to think about that right now. All he wants to do is try to help Nicole and now he’s got this thing with Ava, so that’s enough. But there are definitely some feelings that will jump in there and then Rafe has to pause for a minute and think, ‘Why are you feeling that? That’s different. Wait, stop.’ He doesn’t want to even let himself go there. You know how if the car goes veering into another lane, you’re like, ‘No, no, get back over there.’ I think that’s where he’s at. He doesn’t want to complicate things on that level.