Chapter Two: Imagine
Sheridan walked around the cottage, checking to make sure
all was ready for their first date since Luis’ homecoming. The candles in the living room glowed in the dim lights
and the table was set for two. Luis had gone to see Eve that morning and she had released him back to regular daily
activities. However, she recommended that he rest a little longer than he normally would and allow at least one
other person to help guard Sheridan. He had reluctantly agreed, but at least he was willing to try.
Sheridan went to the fireplace and added another log. The beginning of October had brought a cold front into Harmony
and the chill in the cottage brought goose bumps to her body. As October had progressed and Halloween neared, the
temperature had continued to decrease slowly. It would definitely be a white Christmas.
Turning to make sure the living room was perfect, Sheridan sighed. Luis was at home getting some more clothing
and checking on his family. He also wanted to prove that he was all right to Pilar, who had stopped in every day
over the last month to make sure Luis was doing well. Sheridan couldn’t wait for him to arrive and see his surprise.
She was determined to have a nice dinner with him and snuggle later in front of the fire. Then she would ask him
about Halloween. More than anything she wanted to go to the Halloween gala at the Seascape the next night. Sure
it meant they would have to dress up, but at least they could get out as a couple for the first time ever. She
sighed again and went into the kitchen to check the dinner that was keeping warm in the oven.
Twenty minutes later, Sheridan sat on the couch in her black silk skirt and gray fuzzy sweater. Her legs were crossed
and she was kicking her foot, watching the black platforms move back and forth. Luis was on his way, in fact, he
had just called from the car. She leaned her head back against the couch and listened for any sign that he had
pulled onto Crane property. Suddenly, she heard it. The car’s engine was loud and clear as the wheels crunched
some fallen leaves. He was home! Rushing to the door, she opened it and waited patiently to see him. She was finally
rewarded with a glimpse of the man she loved walking towards the cottage door.
Throwing open the door, she smiled. "Hey, sweetie."
Luis smiled back and walked to her, a duffel bag on his arm. "Hi, angel. What do you have planned in there?"
he motioned to the dark house.
"A little surprise for my Robocop," she teased.
He grinned. "Robocop loves surprises."
"Good," she kissed his lips lightly and took his hand in hers. Leading him inside, she was glowing. Stopping
on the platform by the door, she motioned to the room. "Welcome to your date."
"Sheridan, this is wonderful," Luis kissed her cheek. "Is this because Eve said normal activities
meant we could…"
"No," she blushed and cut him off, amazed he could read her mind. "This is for us to have a chance
to date even though we can’t go out all the time. I want us to get to know each other and have some romance, even
if we have to stay here all the time."
"Well, I am a little disappointed," he teased, "but it is a wonderful idea and I am very glad you
thought of it. I love you, Sherry angel."
Sheridan smiled and kissed him. "I love you too, Luis. Have a seat, dinner is in the kitchen."
"You cooked?" he asked worriedly.
"No," she chuckled at the look of panic on his face. "I ordered something from a local place. But
keep giving me responses like that and next time I will cook," she grinned and disappeared into the kitchen.
Returning in moments with a tray and two covered plates, Sheridan walked to the table.
"What have you got here?" he asked, watching her place a dish in front of him and one across from him.
She put the tray down and joined him at the table. "Something for memory sake."
He looked confused for a moment and removed the lid from his tray. He grinned at what he saw: lobster and salad.
"Sherry, this is amazing," he smiled. "This is the same thing we had on our first date."
She nodded and walked over to a nearby ice bucket, bringing a bottle of Pignot Grigio over. She poured them each
a glass and smiled. "A toast," she raised her glass and waited until Luis raised his to continue. "To
a relationship full of love and whatever else the future might hold."
"To our love," he clinked his glass to hers and both sipped it.
She put her glass down and smiled at him. "What did Pilar say when you told her the news about your wound?"
Luis chuckled. "She told me not to work so hard but to make sure I keep your life safe. I told her I would
try to follow both instructions."
"Good, because I don’t know what I would do without you," she touched his hand.
"Mama also insists that you and I come to Thanksgiving dinner at our home. I promised her we’d be there, though
it is a little early to worry about it."
Sheridan was practically glowing at the thought of getting out of the house and being with a real family on Thanksgiving.
"I’d love to go, Luis."
"Good," he grinned and took hold of her hand. They gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes. "Move
your chair around this way."
Sheridan looked confused but stood and moved her chair over beside Luis’. Sitting again, she turned to him.
"Much better," he smiled and put his arm around her, kissing her lips lightly. "Did I tell you that
you’re looking stunning tonight, Sherry?"
"No, but I’m glad you think so," she smiled. "Now eat, Robocop, I’m planning on dancing with you
He winked and removed his arm from her shoulder. The pair started eating, sporadically feeding each other some
lobster and placing pecks on each other’s lips. When the meal was over, Sheridan brought the dishes into the kitchen
and returned with a covered bowl.
"Dessert," she smiled, and set the bowl in front of him.
"Only one?" he asked confused.
"Sharing," she replied.
He uncovered the bowl and laughed. "Ice cream."
"Chocolate with chocolate sprinkles and cookie dough with colored ones," she smiled. "Maybe you’ll
try mine?" she batted her eyes flirtatiously and sat on his lap.
"If you’ll try mine," he replied, holding out a spoonful.
She opened her mouth and he slowly fed her the spoon of ice cream. Sheridan smiled and ate the bite. "Not
half bad for a boring combination." She took the spoon and fed him some of hers.
"Mmm, hey this isn’t half bad," Luis smiled and kissed her lips. "I think I like mine better though."
"Good," she smiled. "Cause I don’t share well."
He laughed and hugged her. "God, I love you, Sheridan. I’m glad you set this up for us, we needed it."
"Yes we did," she snuggled in his arms and fed him some more ice cream. "And I think we need to
get out more."
Luis swallowed the ice cream and looked into her eyes. "No way. You know we can’t go out, Sheridan. It would
be too dangerous for you and we’d have to spend the night hating each other. No, we have to stay here."
Sheridan pouted. "Please, Luis, it’s a costume party at the Seascape."
"Definitely not, Sheridan. If you want to go out for Halloween, the best we could do is my place to hand out
candy. Otherwise, we’d be too public and I’d have to worry about every masked maniac."
Sheridan sighed. "But, Luis, I wanted us to go as a couple. I wanted us to spend each holiday, the fun and
the happy, together…and tomorrow is Halloween."
"And we’ll be together, Sheridan, just not at the Seascape or the Country Club. Look, Sherry, I love you and
I would do anything in the world for you, but I cannot let you put yourself in harm’s way for a good time on Halloween.
Costume parties are great and all, but there’s too much of a risk."
"There will always be a risk!" she huffed and jumped up. "And you’ll always find an excuse! No offense,
but I’m getting really tired of being trapped in this cottage and you’ve been a real pain with those stitches over
the last month or so. I’m trying, Luis, I really am and I really do love you but if we don’t get out of here soon
and see some other people I’m going to scream!"
"We can get out all you want as long as it isn’t on Halloween. I can take you to safer, more public locations
like the Book Café or even private homes like our place, but anything involving people in costumes with
their faces hidden is off limits! Damn it, Sheridan, can’t you see I just don’t want to lose you?"
She froze. Looking up into his eyes, they were actually tearing. He was afraid of losing her and it killed him
just to think of putting her in a situation that would mean her life. Taking her hand into his, he pulled her back
into his lap and held her closely. "I can’t lose you, Sheridan, not now, not ever."
Sheridan hugged Luis closely. "Oh, Luis, I’m sorry. I just thought you were trying to run my life again and
it was driving me insane. I didn’t realize that the thought I’d be in danger would affect you in such a way. I
love you and I’d never want to hurt you. Why don’t we celebrate Halloween here with a scary movie fest?"
He smiled and kissed her cheek, rocking her slightly. "That sounds like a wonderful idea, Sherry angel, and
for being so willing to let go like that, I think we can convince Agent Freeman to let us go into town tomorrow
and go to the Book Café and then the video store. How does that sound?"
"It sounds absolutely wonderful," she smiled and pecked his lips. "I’m so glad I have you…"
"Ditto, doll face," he pecked her lips again. "I have a surprise for you too, by the way."
"Really?" Sheridan asked, her eyes lighting up in merriment.
"Yes, really," he stood her up and followed suit, then walked to his duffle bag. Removing a white paper
bag and then a small white box, he returned to Sheridan, who had stayed at the table.
"What are they?" she questioned excitedly, barely containing her excitement. She sat in Luis’ vacated
chair and waited for him to actually hand them over.
"This one is from Mama," he said, putting down the white paper bag. "She said that it was your other
favorite dessert besides ice cream."
Sheridan dug into the bag and pulled out a brownie. "Mmm…her brownies! I love these," she bit into the
brownie and grinned. "Now I need some milk."
Luis laughed. "Don’t you want the other present?" he gave her puppy eyes.
She smiled and nodded. "Hand it on over," she put her flattened hand out, palm side up.
Pulling up the chair beside her, he sat and fiddled with the box. He was worried she wouldn’t like what he had
purchased. "I know it’s after our one month anniversary but I didn’t get to buy you a gift and I wanted to
get you something special." Taking a deep breath, he handed Sheridan the box and watched as she pulled the
blue satin bow off. He literally held his breath as she opened the lid.
"Oh, Luis, it’s gorgeous!" Sheridan exclaimed as she pulled the ring from the box. It was a gold ring
with three ruby hearts on it. The center heart faced the tip of her finger and the points of the other two faced
her pinky and middle fingers. In between the hearts, a tiny diamond acted as a divider.
Luis removed the ring from her hand and slid it on her ring finger. "I didn’t know what to get but I saw this
and thought it was perfect," he looked into her eyes. "I love you and wanted you to know that, no matter
where we are or whether we’re together at the time or not…always remember how much I love you."
She sniffled and wiped away a lone tear. "That’s so sweet, Luis," she hugged him. "I love you too…so
very much. You’ll be in my heart always."
Luis pulled back a little and kissed her. "All I ask of you is to take care of my heart. I couldn’t bare to
be without you now that you have it."
"I’ll take the best care of it, Luis…always."
He smiled at her and leaned in slowly to kiss her again. He forced himself to pull back. "What do you say
we clean up the kitchen and snuggle by the fireplace tonight?"
"I like that idea," she nodded and stood, leading him into the kitchen where the work would begin.
About thirty minutes later, Sheridan and Luis sat snuggled in front of the fireplace, mugs of steaming hot chocolate
in their hands. Sheridan rested between Luis’ legs with his arms wrapped around her. She sighed.
"This is so perfect," she leaned further into his embrace and looked up to see him.
In response, Luis kissed her forehead. "It’s almost as if everyone accepted us…as if we could have heaven
She looked into the fire and sighed again. "For now we can…and we’ll worry about every tomorrow as they come.
Right now, I’m content to be wrapped in your arms."
"Ditto," he kissed her head again. He was about to say more when there was a knock at the door. "Just
in case, man your battle station," he grumbled, getting up and heading to the door. Opening it, he was stunned
to see his best friend Hank at the door.
"Hey, buddy, what’s up?" Luis asked, wishing for once Hank would just disappear.
"Not much, I came to see Sheridan," he stated, pushing his way past Luis.
Sheridan, who had climbed onto the nearby couch as Luis headed for the door, smiled. "Hello, Hank, what brings
you by?" she asked politely.
"Like I said, I came to see my favorite lady. You haven’t been around town at all since Luis’ shooting and
well, I wanted to see you. I would have come by, but Sam said Luis was laid up and you were helping to take care
of him and were too busy for company." He came to rest right beside her. Luis closed the door and watched
from the platform.
"Yes, I was very busy nursing superman over there…and he didn’t even thank me," Sheridan started the
act. She knew Hank needed to see them spar if this was to work.
"Yea, like the times you thanked me for saving your sorry butt…"
"I believe I already told you my behind is anything but sorry," Sheridan glared evilly at him, but her
eyes held no hate.
"Yea, yea, yea," Luis grumbled and moved to a chair as far away from her as he could. He did hate being
away from her, but it couldn’t be helped when other people were around.
"Anyway," Hank tried to return the attention for him, though slightly giddy at the thought the two were
arguing, "I was coming to see if you would like to go out for dinner with me…well not really out, dinner at
Grace and Sam’s place."
"I can’t, Hank," Sheridan replied, pretending to look disappointed. "We’re not allowed to leave
the Crane complex after dark until Luis is back in complete health…Agent Freeman’s orders."
"Besides, Hank, what good is dating the lady when her big bad bodyguard is going to be around?" Luis
"Well, that’s why I figured eating with my family was a good idea…Sam could keep you entertained."
"Thanks anyway," Sheridan replied. "But in all honesty, Hank, I’m not looking to date you…in fact,
I’m not really looking for a relationship."
"Oh," he replied disappointed and looked down. It was then he noticed the ruby ring on her finger. "Who
gave you that? I don’t remember ever seeing it before."
Sheridan looked down at her ring and froze. She had complete forgotten that she had it on and now she knew she
was cornered. There was no way she could admit it was from Luis and she absolutely hated the thought of saying
it was from someone else. She looked up and caught Luis’ eyes. "It was a gift from Luis," she whispered
when she saw the go ahead nod from him.
"Luis?" Hank was shocked. "Is there something you two aren’t telling me?"
"Yea, there is," Luis cleared his throat. "Sheridan and I have decided to give our relationship
a try again." He fidgeted slightly. They hadn’t planned on telling anyone other that the people that knew
already from the scene at the hospital. The couple wanted time to enjoy life together before everyone else added
their two cents to their lives. However, lying to Hank didn’t feel right and, in Luis’ mind, this would keep Hank
away from Sheridan.
"I see," Hank replied, looking back and forth between the pair. "So that’s why you didn’t want to
go out…not because of the rules."
"Hank…" Sheridan started.
"Don’t bother. I understand completely," he stood and headed for the door. "Don’t think I’m going
to let you have her that easy, buddy," he growled with sarcasm. "This isn’t over," he walked out,
slamming the door behind him.
Sheridan sighed. "Did you have to tell him?"
"Would you rather have lied to him, Sheridan? Would have rather said the ring was a gift from Ethan…or Julian
instead?" He looked sadly at her. "He’s my best friend, Sheridan. I know we agreed to wait on telling
more people than we already have, but Hank needed to know." He went over and sat beside her. "I can’t
stand the thought of him pursuing you…"
"Luis, nothing would have happened between him and me. I love you too much to ever hurt you in that way. Hank’s
just a friend…he’s always been just a friend." She placed her hand on his knee and leaned closer. "You
know that, don’t you?"
"Well…you did go out with him," he looked into her eyes. "But I know you love me."
She smiled and moved closer to him, laying her head against his shoulder. "I am rather glad that confrontation
is over though," she replied, hugging his waist.
"Me too," he kissed her head. "I know we didn’t tell him in the best way or anything, but just the
thought of him trying to get you to go out with him…"
Sheridan leaned in and kissed him hard to silence him. That’s all she had meant it to be, a kiss to keep him from
continuing that train of thought. Instead, she ended up deepening it and the two moved closer together. Luis gathered
Sheridan into his arms and moved from kissing her lips to her cheek and across to her ear. "I love you,"
he whispered seductively into her ear, nibbling lightly on the lobe.
"I love you too," she panted out, his actions stealing her breath away. She wanted to be with him more
than anything in the world and she knew it would only strengthen their love. Sheridan reached for the buttons of
his shirt, but he caught her hands.
"I think it’s time for bed," his voice was deep with want. One look and they both knew what was going
to happen tonight. They stood and walked into the bedroom hand in hand. Once they reached her bed, he pulled her
towards him. "I wanted our first time together to be special…romantic."
She kissed him deeply and then pulled away. "Everything tonight was perfect, Luis. The dinner I planned,"
she winked and smiled, "and the ring you gave me…even the cocoa in front of the fireplace."
They kissed again, this time the kiss held their love and promises. "I love you," he whispered when they
"I love you too," she replied sincerely. With their next kiss they both let go and allowed their love
to carry them further and further away from this world. They fell into bed together, both undressed and ready to
share their love. She saw where he had been shot and leaned down to kiss the area gently, her fingertip tracing
"I’m so glad to have you alive and with me, Luis." She kissed her way up to his lips. After a short sweet
kiss, she pulled away and whispered into his ear, "Make love to me…please."
He didn’t need her to ask again as he slowly showed her just how much he loved her all the way until dawn.
Sheridan awoke first the next morning and had never felt better in her entire life. Beside her Luis slept, his
right arm over her stomach and right leg in between hers. His head was beside hers and she could feel his shallow
breaths against her ear. She smiled; he was sprawled out, face side down, on the bed and she was pinned beneath
Closing her eyes, she remembered their night of lovemaking and how wonderful it had been. He was so gently and
loving in everything he did and her only wish was that they could always be together. While reliving the night
in her mind, she felt Luis shift and his hand began to caress her side.
"I know you’re awake," he whispered into her ear, his voice still heavy from sleep. "Sleep well?"
"Mmm…wonderfully. Last night was amazing, Luis," she rolled to face him, her arm sliding around his waist.
He rolled completely onto his side to face her as well and then pulled her into his arms.
"It was. I never knew it could be like that, Sherry angel. It was magical," he kissed her temple. Rolling
onto his back, he took her with him, making her on top. He rubbed her back as she lay comfortably on his body.
"I love you."
"I love you too," she was glowing. She kissed his chest. "What time do you think it is?"
"Don’t know, we knocked the alarm clock off the nightstand," he chuckled. "You would think in a
queen sized bed would be big enough."
She blushed and laughed. "So we lost control a little. Sue me."
His hands roamed her back and sides and he chuckled. "I’d rather do something else to you."
"Feeling up to it, super cop?" she started kissing his neck.
"Oh, yea, I’m more than ready, baby, more than ready," he rolled them over. He started kissing her, his
hands roaming her body getting ready for another round of their new favorite game.
"I can’t believe it’s so late," Sheridan laughed as the drove along towards the Book Café like
Luis had promised. Hal Freeman had been reluctant to have the pair leave the safety of the Crane compound, but
Luis had promised they would return before dark. He knew it was Halloween and that in the evening there would be
many people out and about with hidden faces.
Luis looked at his watch, it was already after two and sunset was at five. It didn’t leave them much time to enjoy
some coffee at the Book Café and then chose some movies. He didn’t care, to be honest, he knew they both
needed some time out of the cottage and he wanted nothing more than to make her happy. Parking in front of the
Book Café, he took hold of her arm and made her look at him.
"A few ground rules. If I feel there is any danger to your life, we leave. If someone is bothering you, let
me know and we’ll leave. Lastly," he kissed her, "I love you. Please remember that before you start the
war inside to make it seem like you don’t."
She patted the place where the ring he gave her lay over her heart. Sheridan had decided to wear it around her
neck on a gold chain so that no one else would ask about it. The chain was tucked beneath the collar of her blouse.
"I will remember it, Luis, but I want you to remember it too. I love you beyond words."
He smiled and got out, walking around to her side and opening the door. From there they walked inside, Sheridan
in front and Luis right behind, looking around for suspicious movements. He noticed Freeman and the other bodyguard
getting out of a car parked down the street and walking towards the Book Café. Thank goodness for backup.