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Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About
by SheridanLF74

It took them thirty minutes, but they looked good as they headed towards town in the car, their dinner waiting patiently in the back seat. Sheridan watched the buildings to try and decide just where they were going. She noticed they were heading towards the Youth Center, but she didn’t have a clue why.

"Luis, are we going to the Youth Center?" Sheridan asked, as he turned the car down that street.

"No, baby," he replied as he pulled up in front of the Book Café.

"Luis, if we’re going to the Book Café, we didn’t need to bring dinner."

"Except we’re not going into the Café, baby, we’re going upstairs into the apartment above it. Beth is letting us use her apartment tonight."

"Luis, why would we do that? We have a very nice cottage at home."

"Because we cannot see the tree lighting from the cottage, angel."

"The tree lighting?" Sheridan asked excitedly.

"Yea, since we can’t be in the crowd outside with everyone else, I asked Beth if we could use her apartment since it has a clear view of the lighting. When it was really cold or one of us were sick, that’s where we would watch it from. So I figured I could take you up there to see it together. Beth is going to let us use the living room for most of the evening and she has some music we can listen to and everything."

"That’s very nice of her," Sheridan smiled slightly.

"She’s happy for us, Sheridan. In fact, I think she’s falling in love with Hank. When I brought him up today, she got that look in her eyes that you get every time I look at you."

"I’ll have to remember to talk to her, Luis, and see if I can get it out of her," she winked.

He laughed and got out of the car. Walking to her side, he opened the door and helped her out. Grabbing the basket, he took her inside where they met Beth, who was behind the counter giving change to some college kids.

"Hey you two," she smiled when they came in. "Let me take you on up. Chad, cover for me for about five, please."

"No problem, Beth," Chad smiled and took her place. "Hey, Miss Crane, Luis."

"Sheridan, Chad, it’s Sheridan," Sheridan insisted as they headed towards the doorway to the apartment. She could hear him laughing as they started up the stairs.

"So, I set up just like you asked, Luis. Mom would be so proud at how well I’m taking this," she laughed. "But she went to Florida to visit my aunt," she unlocked the door to the apartment and pushed it open. "Here you are."

Sheridan stepped in first and looked around. "It’s wonderful, Beth," she stated sincerely. It was a two bedroom flat and the door opened directly into a candle lit living room. Sheridan noticed the Victorian style furniture of the living and dinning rooms. She could see an offset kitchen through a swinging door and the hall leading back to the bedroom. The apartment was the same size as the Book Café alone and she found it very charming. Christmas decorations adorned the walls and hung from the ceiling. In the corner beside a large picture window was a giant fir tree covered in dancing rainbow lights and a collection of ornaments from over the years.

"Thanks," Beth smiled. "Mom and Dad lived here since they bought the Café downstairs. My father died when I was just a baby, a drunk driver hit him on St. Patty’s day. Mom and I stayed here and she taught me to run the place. In any case, make yourselves at home. If you are too tired to go home tonight, you are more than welcome to use my mom’s room. There are drinks in the kitchen and Luis knows where the glasses and all are," she watched him walk in. "Just pop my enchiladas in the fridge, Luis, I’ll warm them later."

He nodded. "Thanks again, Beth, this means a lot."

"No problem, anything for my friends." She winked. "Have fun you two," she said as she left and closed the door.

"Is the table for two with candles and wine your idea or Beth’s?" Sheridan asked as she neared the perfectly set table.

"Mine," Luis replied joining her in the living room where the table was set up. "I came by here this morning to set up."

She looked into his eyes. "But if we were going to eat at home…"
"I was planning to wine and dessert you here before the show. Guess I’ll wine and dine you instead," he teased.

She removed her coat and smiled slightly. "You didn’t have to do this."

"I wanted to," he removed his coat and started to unpack the food.

Sheridan walked to the window and looked out at the town below. Folding her arms across her chest, she leaned against the wall and watched the people setting up for the ceremony. She wondered how she could possible be so lucky to have Luis. He did so much for her and sometimes it overwhelmed her. Sheridan knew he just wanted to show her how much he loved her, but it made her feel inadequate. Sure, she had planned her share of romantic surprises over the last few months, but Luis was constantly making her feel special. She fought a sigh as she wondered if she could be the wife he wanted; she fought tears as she convinced herself she couldn’t.

"Dinner’s ready," Luis whispered into Sheridan’s ear as he placed his hands on her waist.

"Oh, thanks," she forced a smile and headed towards the table.

"Is…is this too much, Sheridan? I can take you home…" he picked up the basket ready to pack again.

"No! Luis, really it’s fine."

"You just seem distant…almost depressed."

Sheridan looked down at her lap. "I was just thinking; that’s all."

"About?"

Sighing, she whispered, "Us."

Luis froze. "Wha…what about us?"

Sheridan could see he was panicking and she knew she had to comfort him. "I was wondering if I could be a good wife to you. I mean, I couldn’t set something like this up unless I ordered the food…"

"Sheridan, are these doubts about your being able to be an adequate wife stemming from something else?" Luis asked, kneeling beside her. "Are you trying to tell me that you want to break off our relationship?"

"NO!" she said far too loudly. "I mean, no. Luis I don’t want to give up what we have."

"Then why are you worried about being my wife? First, I haven’t even proposed yet and when I do, I won’t care that you can’t cook, Sheridan. I love you."

Sheridan sighed. They had been through this many times over the last few weeks. As much as he loved her, he had yet to convince her that she would make him a good wife.

"Let’s just forget it, Luis. We came to have dinner and watch them light the tree."

He sighed and sat across from her. "Yea," he thought of the engagement ring at home. "Let’s forget it…"



At eight, Sheridan and Luis stood by the window, his arms wrapped around her waist, looking out at the tree that was down the street from them. Sheridan sighed and leaned back against his chest.

"Thank you for doing this, Luis. I forgot about the tree lighting."

"No problem, Sheridan," Luis replied, sounding distant.

Sheridan turned her head to look at him. Ever since dinner, she had noticed a change in his mood and the lack of any terms of endearment.

"Something wrong, Luis?"

"No," he looked past her and at the tree.

"Is it something I said?"

"No," he continued not to look at her.

Sheridan turned in his arms and kissed him hard. He slowly relaxed into the kiss and pulled her closer to him, their tongues dueling. When they pulled away, it was only due to the need for air.

"Wow," Luis whispered, his face just an inch from hers.

"Wow is right," she smiled. "Don’t you ever doubt my love again."

He chuckled. "I wasn’t doubting your love, Sheridan, I was just wondering if maybe this is all there would ever be. Just you and me in a world of dating forever…"

"Why?"

"Because you seem ready to turn down any proposals."

"Luis, I never said I would turn you down."

"Just hinted at it," he grumbled. Checking the clock, he added. "Turn around, the lighting is beginning."

"No, Luis, you’re doubting me."

"I’m not doubting you, Sheridan. I promise," he turned her gently. "Love you."

"Love you too," she replied softly. "Love you too," she mouthed again. The two stood there, their arms wrapped around each other as they watched the tree lighting from their place in Beth’s apartment.


Christmas Eve dawned cold and cloudy, the perfect conditions for snowfall on the day before Christmas. Sheridan awoke with her head on Luis’ chest and his strong arms wrapped around her body. No matter how many times she woke up in this man’s arms, Sheridan knew she would never ever grow tired of it. She felt his rough hand gently rub her arm and tilted her head to kiss his chest.

"Morning, sweetheart," Luis looked down at her and smiled.

"Morning, darling," she kissed his chest again.

"Do we have to get up?"

Sheridan just shook her head in reply.

He laughed. "It’s so comfortable here in bed…with you," Luis relaxed against the headboard. "But we should probably get up, have a nice breakfast, settle in the living room listening to Christmas carols and drinking hot cocoa until it’s time for the dinner we’ll cook together."

"Then relax a little before midnight mass with the family," Sheridan looked up at Luis. "Or, we can make love, get up eat, return to bed and make love again, take a shower, grab a small lunch, listen to that music you mentioned while drinking some tea, coffee or cocoa and then make dinner together before lounging around some more and then rushing off to mass."

"In the mood for some love making, Miss Crane?"

"Definitely, Officer Lopez-Fitzgerald," Sheridan purred from beside him. She leaned over him, her nude body rubbing up against his. "Unless last night wore you out."

"Nope, I think I have some energy…" he reached out and traced her body.

"Good," she smirked and leaned in to kiss him. He rolled them over and began yet another session of their very passionate lovemaking.


The pair stumbled into the shower together after one and then dug out something small to munch on as they planned dinner. Sheridan looked through the fridge and sighed. "We can make the fish you’re mother brought over last night."

"Ok, we’ll make that and some broccoli for dinner, how’s that?"

"Fine. I’ll call over to the main house and have someone bring down a bottle of wine."

"No need, I still have the one we opened at Beth’s."

"Ok," she smiled and took out something to make them each a sandwich. "We don’t need to make dinner until we’re just about ready to eat, right?"
"Right."

"And what time will we eat?" Sheridan asked, looking at the clock.

"Six?"
"So then, do you want to watch a movie or listen to some music?"
"Movie, definitely. Let’s have a movie fest until dinner."
"All right," Sheridan smiled. They made their lunch and headed into the living room. Sheridan pulled out the DVDs she had. "Which ones?"
"Miracle on 34th Street first, then A Christmas Carol, and last The Santa Clause."

"I’d rather watch It’s a Wonderful Life instead of The Santa Clause."

"Whatever," he chuckled. "Just put one in."

"All right," she blew him a kiss and popped a DVD into the player. "Room for me over there?" she motioned to where he sat.

He opened his arms to her. "Come on, baby, there’s room here."
She walked over and settled onto his lap. "Mm, perfect."

"Good," he chuckled and they settled into watching the movies.


Dinner was eaten at eight that night and by eleven-thirty, Luis decided it was time to pull his surprise. He popped Theresa’s BackStreet Boys CD into Sheridan’s stereo and called her into the living room. She was dressed in a red silk dress that went to the floor and had a matching velvet jacket. Pinned to it was a Christmas wreath pin from his mother.

"What is it, hun?" she asked, coming out of her room.

"Come here," he motioned to a chair in front of the tree. "Have a seat."

She looked him over, his black pants were fitted to his muscled legs. He wore a green sweater that was so tight she could see the muscles of his chest and stomach. She gulped; he was a knock out.

He smiled at her and then it faded. Nervously, he hit the play button and the music softly filled the air.

I open my eyes, I see your face
I cannot hide, I can’t erase
The way you make me feel inside
You complete me girl, that’s why
Something about you makes me feel
Baby, my heart wants to reveal
I’m down on my knees, I’m asking you
Say these three words I wanna hear from you

"Sheridan, I’ve been meaning to ask you something for a few weeks now, but I couldn’t see myself asking you any other day then today. I’ve been saving for this ring for a while now, in fact, since before I met you. I figured I would save what I could, when I could, in case the woman of my dreams ever came around."

(Yes I will) Take your hand and walk with you
(Yes I will) Say these three words that I promise to
(Yes I will) Give you everything you need and someday
Start a family with you
(Yes I will) Take your hand and walk with you
(Yes I will) Baby, I promise to
(Yes I will) Give you everything you need and someday
Start a family with you
Oh yeah, yes I will

"So, I decided that I would get you out here before mass and play this song for you while you listened to the words," he watched her, she had been listening and she knew what was coming. Her expression was unreadable and that worried him.

This is no ordinary love
And I can never have enough
Of all the things you’ve given to me
You’re in my heart, my soul, my everything
Every night, I thank you Lord
For giving me the strength to love her
More and more each day
I promise her as long as I hear those three words

(Yes I will) Take your hand and walk with you
(Yes I will) Say these three words that I promise to
(Yes I will) Give you everything you need and someday
Start a family with you
(Yes I will) Take your hand and walk with you
(Yes I will) Baby, I promise to
(Yes I will) Give you everything you need and someday
Start a family with you
Oh yeah, yes I will

"Sheridan, I can’t see my life without you in it. I love you so much and that love just grows every single day," dropping to one knee in front of her, Luis opened the box with the engagement ring in it. "For Christmas, I want only one thing: you. Sheridan Crane, I would be the happiest man in the world if you would do me the honor of being my bride."

She didn’t answer.

I stand beside you in everything you do
Wherever you go, whatever you do
Baby, I’ll be there
As God is my witness, I will carry this through
‘Til death do us part, I promise to you…

"Just say the word, Sheridan. I’ll be a good husband to you…a good father to our children," he was pouring his heart out. "I’ve loved you since I met you, Sheridan, and I don’t want to be just your boyfriend for another day. Marry me, please." He removed the ring from the box and started to slide it on her finger. "What do you say?"

(Yes I will) Take your hand and walk with you
(Yes I will) Say these three words that I promise to
(Yes I will) Give you everything you need and someday
Start a family with you
(Yes I will) Take your hand and walk with you
(Yes I will) Baby, I promise to
(Yes I will) Give you everything you need and someday
Start a family with you
Oh yeah, yes I will

~*~Backstreet Boys "Yes, I Will"~*~

"No," she whispered as the CD shut off.

"N…no?" he pulled back.

"I won’t marry you," she forced out.

Luis stood and put the ring back in the box. "You…you won’t…"

"I can’t, Luis."

Luis fought the tears that threatened to spill and nodded silently. "I see," he walked away and headed for the door. "I’ll be in the car, Sheridan. Hurry, we don’t want to be late for mass."

"Luis? Please let me explain…"

He put up his hand to silence her. "Don’t. Starting right now I seriously don’t care about explanations, Sheridan. In fact, I don’t care about anything anymore. Starting tonight, we’re over."

"LUIS!" Sheridan jumped up. "NO!"

"We’re over, Sheridan, over. I loved you…I put myself out on a limb to confess that love to you and I asked you to be my bride," tears started rolling down his cheeks. "You said no," the pain was completely evident in his voice. "You said no to me…and as much as I want to know why, I can’t handle it. So," he tried to become stronger, but Sheridan could see through the farce. "I really don’t want to know why you don’t want to marry me and I don’t want to ask again. Sheridan, as of right now, we are just together because of my job. Once this job is over, we are nothing to each other."

With that said, Luis walked out the door and towards his car. Sheridan sank back into her chair stunned. "What have I done?" she asked herself looking at the door. "What have I done?"

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