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Letís Give Them Something To Talk About
by SheridanLF74

"What do you think that was about?" Sheridan whispered as they remained by the fire. She had opened her eyes when she heard Hank begin to walk away.

"I think Hank was trying to get an argument out of us," he rubbed her stomach unconsciously. "Hank still thinks there is a chance for the two of you."

"There never was an us, Luis, you know that right? Hank and I were never a couple."

"But you did go out with himÖ"

"They were mistakes."

"You mean you had a bad time with him?" Luis asked, surprised.

"I didnít say that, Luis, but the first time Hank and I ended up going outÖwell I thought I was asking you to be my date on New Years. I was terrified of asking you out face to face and I thought you were in the closet at the Youth Center. When Hank agreed, I was shocked."

Luis chuckled. "Poor Sherry angel. I guess we were meant to be with each other that night though."

"But not in the greatest of situations," Sheridan sighed.

"Ok, well what about ice skating on Valentineís? Or the tree lighting?"

"I was rather hoping someone else would ask me to the tree lighting, but he was working instead." She turned slightly to face him. "And Valentineís was a mistake as well. The flowers were just sitting on the bench with no name on the card. I thought it was from youÖit was the day after our first date. Hank just shocked me when they were from him."

"So you agreed to the card thinking it was from me?"

"Mhmm, I wanted to be with you more than anything, Luis," she turned and laid her head on his chest. "I loved you since the first time I saw you, though I was scared to admit it."

"Ditto," he kissed her lips lightly. "Do you know what I am thankful for?"

"What?" Sheridan asked, looking up into his eyes.

"You," he smiled. "Iím thankful that I have you."

She leaned in and kissed him again. "Ditto," she replied teasingly.

"Not to break you two love birds up, but Grace and I have finished preparing the first course," Pilar appeared at the kitchen doorway.

Sheridan blushed and hid her face.

"Aww, Mama, youíre embarrassing her," Theresa laughed. "That isnít very nice."

Pilar smiled. It had been a long time since Luis had a girlfriend and Beth had not been one to tease. She took things far too literally and was quite boring at times as a teen. Sheridan, however, was a grown woman that took things in stride and was more than willing to give you a piece of her mind. She was far more fun to tease and certainly a better match for Luis, though Pilar admitted that grudgingly.

"All right, I will not pick on Sheridan, but Grace and I have finished cooking the first part of our meal and I think it is time we enjoy it or else it will be coldÖand in some cases warm."

"Chow time!" Miguel called as the others headed to the table.

Sheridan laughed. "Luis, this is wonderful. Completely wonderful!" Her eyes were lit up with joy as if she had just unwrapped the best gift in the world.

"Is my spoiled princess happy?"

"She is very happy," Sheridan pecked his lips. "So very happy."

"Come on, letís get something to eat before the mob takes it all," Luis stood and offered Sheridan his hand. She immediately took it and allowed him to help her from the floor.

"Whatís the one thing I want you to remember forever, Sherry angel?" he looked into her big blue eyes as they came face to face.

"That you love me as much as I love you," she smiled and squeezed his hand as they headed over to the table where Pilar and Grace had placed the first course. Sheridan looked at all the food as Luis wrapped his arms around her waist.

"Luis, does she really think weíll eat all this?" she looked shocked.

"Youíd be surprised what Miguel can put away, baby. Youíve also got three grown men here and six lovely ladies, one of which I know can pack away the food."

"Hey," she nudged him in the ribs. "Thatís only after you wear me out."

"Oh, sure, blame it on me," he chuckled and kissed her cheek. They made themselves a small plate and joined everyone at the makeshift dinning table set up in the center of the living room.

"Prayers first," Pilar instructed as everyone sat, her comment directed at Miguel who was ready to dig in.

"Yes, we must have a blessing," Grace agreed.

"Who wants to give the blessing?" Sam asked, hoping someone would offer.

"May I?" Sheridan asked.

"Go ahead, Sheridan," Pilar smiled.

Everyone made the sign of the cross, joined hands and lowered their heads.

"Lord, bless all of us here today who are forever thankful for what You have given us. At this time, we are reminded at how kind You are and how You show us Your love for us. May we always gather here, healthy, happy and thankful and may You bless us with all that you see fit to give us. Amen."

"Amen," the group resounded.



After the first course, which consisted mostly of crackers, cheeses, raw vegetables and a cold cut platter, the table was cleared and Pilar disappeared into the kitchen with Theresa, Jessica, Grace and Charity to do the dishes. Sheridan had offered her assistance, but the others told her to go and enjoy her time with Luis. Now, the couple was settled in front of the fire again, cups of coffee beside them.

"I wish she would have let me help. I feel like Iím getting special treatment."

"Mama just wants you to enjoy the day, Sheridan. She knows you didnít have Thanksgivings like this when you were growing up. Consider it a blessing in disguise. When itís just the family, we are all in there helping. I remember last year we had a soap suds war."

"Soap suds war?" she turned to face him completely.

"Yea," he chuckled just thinking about it. "I started it on accident. Mama had me washing the dishes while Theresa dried and Miguel put them away. She was busy dealing with whatever leftovers we had. I turned to hand Theresa a dish and some suds went flying off my hands and into her face. Miguel and I thought it was hystericalÖTheresa, on the other hand, didnít. She retaliated by sweeping some suds up into her hands and then plopping them down on my head. When Miguel started laughing, we decided it wasnít fair that he should be left out and both attacked him with soapsuds. From there it was just a massive attack of water and bubbles until Mama got hit and we were sent to our rooms to think about what we did."

Sheridan laughed. "I bet you looked adorable all wet with a pile of suds on your head."

"Adorable?" he seemed to ponder the word out loud. "Not sure if I want to be adorable at my age."

"Oh, and what would you like to be Mr. Lopez-Fitzgerald?" she asked, her eyes glowing with mischief.

Luis leaned in close and whispered in her ear, "Iíd like to be in bed with you, celebrating the way only lovers can. I want to be all yours."

Sheridan blushed and made to swat Luisí chest. Instead, she rested her hand over his heart and kissed him lightly. "You are all mine, Luis, always and forever. Just as I am all yours."

He took her hand and kissed it. "I canít see my life without you in it, Sheridan. I donít even want to try to imagine it without you in it," he stated softly, pulling her into his lap.

Sheridan hugged him, her lips seeking his in a gentle kiss. Their lips met softly and romantically, connecting their souls more than ever before. Just as the kiss started to deepen, they were interrupted with an "Aww, how sweet they look together. Mama, whereís the camera?"

Sheridan not only pulled back, she jumped out of Luisí lap and settled back on the floor beside him. Her cheeks were flaming, but the smile was permanently plastered on her face. "Thatís all right, Theresa, we donít need our moment captured on a roll of Kodak film."

"Oh, but Sheridan," Theresa replied, "we must have a blackmail photoÖ"

Luis shot his sister a look. "Shut it, small stuff, or Iíll have to start digging out all the embarrassing pictures of you for that new boyfriendÖ"

"What new boyfriend?" Theresa and Sheridan asked at the same time.

"The one she was with at the Book Café the other day," he replied.

Theresa looked panicked. The friends they had met at the Café were only a cover for whom she was going to meet at the park later. Whitney had mentioned that Luis had been bringing Sheridan to the Book Café when it was too boring at the cottage. With the fact that she needed to hide her relationship with Ethan from Luis, Theresa had told him they should meet at public places and then go somewhere more private. On the day they ran into Luis at the Book Café, Whitney and Theresa met some friends that they were following to Lighthouse Park so they could have a snowball war. However, when they got there, she left Whitney on her own and went with Ethan.

"Luis, none of the boys in that group were my boyfriend," Theresa blushed. "They are just friends from the college."

"I donít know some of them seemed to look like they could be your mystery man."

"No, Luis," she shook her head. Swallowing hard she knew the best way to get him off her case was to lie. "I donít even have a boyfriend."

Pilar closed her eyes and sighed. When had her family become this way? What had she done to raise her children to be the adults they were? Theresa had lied to her brother. In fact, she had helped Theresa lie about the job at the mansion. She often wondered how things would have turned out should her husband had been around. Would Luis have gone to college and become a lawyer? Would he have met and fell in love with Sheridan? Would Theresa still dream of being with a Crane? Would Luis still be so hard on her and the Crane family? Of course, she wasnít complaining about her children. She loved them so much and they had become wonderful people in their own ways. However, she couldnít help but ponder their situation and how it could be altered.

"Luis, please leave poor Theresa alone. You know she will tell you when she has a boyfriend for you to meet," Pilar tried to save Theresa from further embarrassment. "Why donít you get a game for us to play before we eat the main course, hm?"

"Sure, Mama," Luis stood. "Wait here, Sherry, Iíll go get some games."

"Ok," she smiled and watched as he headed to the closet in the foyer.

"Mind if I sit here?" a voice asked Sheridan.

ĎHankí, she internally sighed. ĎWhy canít he get it through his thick skull that I donít want to be with him at all?í

Without waiting for an answer, Hank sat beside her. "So I was thinking that you and I could go on a date to the Lobster Shack or something. I mean, I know youíre still under twenty-four hour watch and everything, but Iím sure I can get Beth to join us to keep him busy so we can enjoy ourselves."

"Hank, Iím not sure you understand that Luis and I are seriously in love. I donít want to see anyone else, I want to be with Luis and Luis only."
"But, Sheridan, we had some good times togetherÖwe should give it a shot."

Sheridan rolled her eyes. "Hank, I love Luis, I donít want to give another man a chance."

"You canít deny you have feelings for meÖ"
"Iím not denying any feelings, Hank, because I donít have any feelings!" she was getting flustered. "The only feelings I have are love for Luis and no one else."

"Can you deny this too?" he asked, pulling her close and kissing her.

Sheridan tried with all her might to push him away, but he held her too strongly. His kiss was disgusting her; she hated the feel of his lips on hers. She only wanted Luisí kiss and Luisí touch. From around her, she heard the gasping of their friends and family and then a game hitting the floor before the front door slammed loudly. Hank released her and she saw Monopoly and Scrabble pieces all over the living room floor.

"Luis!" she cried, running outside into the cold without her coat.

He was pacing, his body stiff with rage as he stomped back and forth in the front yard.

"Luis?" she neared him slowly.

"Donít." He put his hands up as if defeated.

"But IÖ"

"I said donít."

Sheridan backed away and wrapped her arms around herself. "Luis, I didnít kiss himÖI didnít even want to kiss him."

"I SAID DONíT!"

Sheridan nodded. "Iíll go get my jacket and take a cab back to the cottage. You can stay and eat with the familyÖIím sorry, Luis, so very sorry." She turned and headed for the front door.

He watched her go, her shoulders slumped sadly and tears running down her cheeks. "Sheridan?"

Her hand stopped on the doorknob. "Yes, Luis?"

"I didnít mean to yell at you."

"I know. Youíre angry and hurtÖthatís why I think itís best if I just go back to the cottage and give you some time to cool off."

"I donít want to spend the day without you, Sherry angel."

Her hand dropped from the knob and she turned to face him. She was getting cold and her breath was becoming smoke in the air. "I donít want to spend the day without you either, Luis."

He opened his arms to her. "Come here, baby."

She walked to him quickly, throwing her arms around his neck. Finally feeling safe in his arms, she allowed the tears to fall freely. "He just grabbed my arm and kissed me. I didnít want him to; I tried to push him away! I love you too much, Luis, far too much!"

He rubbed her back, feeling terrible for having snapped at her and started rocking gently. "Shh, itís ok, Sheridan, itís ok. I didnít mean to fight with you, I was just so damn angry at seeing what I did and the last thing my mind wanted was an explanation of what I saw. I love you too, Sheridan, and I never would hurt you on purpose, baby."

She sniffled and looked up into his eyes. "You know, the old Sheridan would have fought to get you to listen, but my heart wouldnít let me argue the point. I canít be without you, Luis. You are like the air I breathe. Arguing with you would have driven a wedge between us."

"But we would have worked it outÖ"

"But I couldnít wait that long to hold you again," she hugged him.

He chuckled lightly and looked around as if finally seeing where they were: outside in the cold mid day air. "We better get back inside, Sheridan. Weíre exposed to the elements out here, and Iím not just talking about the cold."

Sheridan stiffened. "Good idea, itís getting cold out here," she tried to say nonchalantly, but Luis recognized the glimmer of fear in her eyes.

Turning her around so her back was to his chest, he wrapped his arms around her waist. "Walk in front of me with your back to the street, baby."

She nodded and started walking, enjoying the feel of his arms around her. "I love you, Luis."

"I love you more, Sheridan."

"Doubt it," she teased.

"Oh, you want to play, Miss Crane," he feigned anger. "Iíll play too," he swept her into his arms and carried her inside.

"Luis!" she laughed. "Put me down! Luis!"

Everyone rushed toward the hall to see what the screaming was about. The ladies all sighed when they saw Sheridan in Luisí arms. She was kicking her feet and giggling.

"Did you two work it out?" Grace asked as Luis stopped in the entrance to the living room from the foyer.

"Yea, we did," he smiled, still holding Sheridan to him tightly.

"Thank goodness, I would hate to see Uncle Hank break up true love," Jessica smiled at the couple and then cast a glare at her older sibling. Kay just rolled her eyes.

"It will take a lot more than a misunderstanding to break us up," Sheridan smiled and kissed Luisí cheek. "Now, darling, would you mind putting me back on the ground please?"

"Sure," he smiled and carried her to the couch, dropping her onto it. "Youíre down, dear."

She scrunched up her face in mock anger and stuck out her tongue. "Funny, Luis, very funny."

Everyone around them laughed and Sheridan blushed remembering their audience. Getting up, she straightened her clothing. "Pilar, is there any coffee made? Itís freezing outside and I didnít have a coat on."

"Yes there is, Iíll get you a cup."

"No, Iíll go, Mama," Luis kissed Sheridanís cheek. "After all itís my fault that she was out there anyway."

Pilar nodded and picked up the two games. "Weíll letís start playing something, hm?"

The group all agreed and they settled into the games before dinner.

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