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Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About
by SheridanLF74

Beth took no time dressing and returned to the living room to see what Luis was doing. She stopped walking when she saw him sitting on the couch, his head hanging backwards and his eyes closed. Wondering if he was asleep, she tentatively spoke, "Luis?"

His eyes opened and he glanced over at her. "I was remembering the night I brought Sheridan here."

"Luis, you’re talking as if she’s passed on…or if she’s gone for good. Last time I checked she was sitting at the cottage madly in love with you."

"If she was so in love with me, why did she say no?"

"Because she’s scared, Luis."

"We could have worked past that fear…"

"Like you are working through this?"

He just glared at her.

"Luis, I am one of your oldest and dearest friends. In fact, I was your first girlfriend and I have been there for you in some of the direst of times, but right now I think you are in the wrong. Sheridan loves you. She was devastated last night, Luis. She collapsed in tears. You cannot tell me that she has no feelings for you without being called a complete liar."

Luis sighed and rested his elbows on his knees, placing his head in his hands. "I love her too, Beth."

"I know, Luis. You love her more than anyone else over the last ten years and there’s no denying she feels the same way."

"Then what do I do? Do I just keep going on like we were before I proposed?"

"Would that kill you to do until she’s ready? Or do you not love her that much?"

"When did you get so smart?" he sighed, looking at his friend in a new light.

"When I saw my best friends in pain," Beth smiled weakly. "As much as I hated the fact that you two were getting closer, I have to admit that you are in love. I can’t wait the rest of my life for love that won’t ever happen. I’m going to be thirty soon, Luis, I have to move on and you can’t give up. Use that stubbornness for something good, Luis."

He chuckled. "I just don’t know if I can get past this."

"It’s called a wounded ego. It goes away in a few days."

"Oh, so now I have an bruised ego?"

"If the shoe fits," she smiled.

He laughed. "It’s going to be hard to see past the ring she turned down. I want to settle down."

"Think about it this way, Luis, you wouldn’t be marrying her until this case is over. With no leads, you have a few more months before you could even set plans. Look at her negative response as a blessing. It gives you both more time to decide if this is what you want and it keeps you from getting antsy about a wedding that can’t take place until she’s safe."

"I didn’t think of that."

"Because you are thinking of the future without realizing the present situation. It’s something you tend to do often."

"Thanks, Beth."

"No problem…now did you want those eggs scrambled or fried?"

"Fried…I only eat Sheridan’s scrambled eggs."

"Fried it is," Beth walked into the kitchen.


Sheridan wasn’t surprised to find the kitchen staff mulling around to get breakfast ready for the Crane family. After all, there was bound to be a swarm of people in the mansion this evening making their yearly Christmas call to the Crane family.

"Is there something we can help you with, Miss Crane?" one of the cooks asked.

"No, just looking for something to eat that isn’t on the usual Crane menu." Breakfast was always some over done meal in the mansion on Christmas morning. Sheridan never did enjoy all the food made: cinnamon buns, scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, French toast…an array of food made for a family of four. It was always enough to feed a small army. This morning she wanted something simple and light; she wasn’t feeling well.

"Help yourself," the young cook smiled and went back to mixing the items for a cake, probably something for the guests this evening.

"Wow, this is the kitchen?" Theresa gasped. It was immense, the size of her living room and the foyer combined. There were rows of counter space, two huge refrigerators and two stoves and ovens. Everything was either black, white or stainless steel.

"Yes," Sheridan opened the eight-foot tall stainless steel fridge. "Want some eggnog?"

"No thanks," Theresa looked around in awe.

Getting tired of the noise and fuss, Sheridan looked over at the two cooks. "Can you two give me and my friend some privacy?"

"Right away, Miss Crane," both grabbed their bowls and disappeared.

"Right now I hate that damn name," Sheridan slammed the fridge door.

"Oh, and what name would you prefer?" Theresa teased.

Sheridan replied with a glare.

"Shutting up," Theresa hopped onto a counter.

"I’m sorry, Theresa, I usually reserve this attitude for Luis or Julian, but I can’t seem to help it. I completely ruined Christmas."

"You didn’t ruin Christmas, Sheridan, you just made a choice that was best for you at the time. Luis is going to come back and he will propose again someday."

"I don’t think he will. I think he’s going to leave me."

Theresa laughed.

"What?" Sheridan hardly found the thought of Luis leaving her funny.

"Luis could *never* leave you, Sheridan. He chased you down in Paris; he stayed on your back to get you to tell him what happened on the wharf. He loves you, Sheridan, and nothing or no one will ever change that fact. He needs you in his life more than anything in this world and, despite the fact that you blew it, he still loves you."

Sheridan sighed and looked down at her hands. She was wearing the ruby ring again. "How could he still love me? I said no."

"Sheridan, how did you still love him when you heard the man on the wharf?"

"But that wasn’t him!" Sheridan looked at Theresa.

"No, but you thought it was and you still loved him, didn’t you?"

Sheridan nodded. "I loved him so much that I hated him for it."

"And he loves you. Come on, Ethan and I will take you back to the cottage and wait for Luis."
"You two don’t have to do that."

"Sheridan, it’s better than my being around your brother, as much as I know I should respect him for being Ethan’s father, he keeps giving me these looks…"

Sheridan laughed. "Come on, we’ll make our escape."


"Thanks for breakfast, Beth," Luis put the last dish away after drying it.

"No problem. Think about what I said, Luis. You love her. It might be hard today, but if you don’t start working it out, you’ll end up loosing her. Don’t forget, Hank is after her too."

"How can I forget?" he asked, grabbing his jacket and sliding into it. "He’s made it quite clear how he feels about her."

"If you think he loves her, you’re wrong."

"What?" Luis paused.

"He doesn’t love her, Luis. You should know how Hank gets when he is really in love. Hank is…Hank wants some of that money she has so much of, Luis. He’ll do anything to live the lifestyle he thinks he deserves. That just happens to be a lifestyle where he won’t have to do anything ever again. For a while, I didn’t think it mattered, especially since I wanted you back in my life. But I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what I want, Luis, it matters that you are happy and that you are getting what you want. I couldn’t bare to see you unhappy and Sheridan makes you happy."

"That means a lot, Beth, but why didn’t you tell me he didn’t love her?"

"I figured you knew."
"I didn’t have a clue," he finished putting his coat on. "He was going to use her."

"He certainly was," Beth agreed, walking him out.

"I won’t let him do that and I certainly won’t let her turn me down. I’ll get a yes out of her and I’ll be married to the woman I love."

"Well, put in a good word for me with the man I love, would you?"

Luis chuckled. "Not a good request at this time, Beth. Hank won’t even give me the time of day."

"Because he thinks he has a chance with someone that is obviously head over heels in love with you, Luis. Hank’s a little slow sometimes."

"I’ve noticed," he hugged her. "Thanks again."

"You’re welcome. Now get back to her before she thinks something happened."

"Merry Christmas, Beth."

"Merry Christmas, Luis," she watched as he walked to his car and left. Locking the door, Beth sighed. "Sometimes the right things to do are the hardest in the world."


Sheridan entered the cottage, Theresa and Ethan right behind her. She tossed her keys on the table by the door and sighed. He wasn’t back yet, not that she really expected him to be. After all, he sounded as if he wouldn’t be back until it was time to go to Pilar’s for Christmas dinner.

"This place looks wonderful, Sheridan. I love the tree," Ethan walked over to the evergreen and inspected its needles.

"Luis picked it out at a local tree lot. We decorated it ourselves about a week ago," she replied sadly and slumped onto the couch. "He proposed to me in front of that tree."

Theresa walked over to Sheridan and knelt in front of her. "Sheridan, don’t torture yourself like this. He does still love you…"

"Aunt Sheridan," Ethan decided to address her with respect, "If you want to be with him so badly, why did you dare to turn him down?"
"I thought I was doing us both a favor, Ethan," Sheridan looked down at her lap and fiddled with the edge of her shirt. "I thought that if I said no he wouldn’t be wasting his life taking care of a woman that couldn’t help him with anything…a woman that had no domestic abilities whatsoever."

"No offense, Sheridan, but Luis knew what he was getting into before he proposed. Why would he have asked if he didn’t want to take you as you were?" Ethan asked, joining her on the couch.

"I don’t know…I just don’t know. I thought he was proposing because I wanted him to…or maybe because he felt it was time to make a commitment or even because it was the next logical step."

"Sheridan, my brother dated Beth for three years and never even considered proposing. There is no ‘next logical step’ to Luis. He’s always said when he found the right woman he would propose no matter how long they’ve known each other as long as they could be together forever."

Sheridan sniffled. "I just didn’t want him to regret it and in the long run hate me."

"He could never do that, Sheridan, I know he couldn’t," Theresa patted her friend’s knee.

"When he gets back, Sheridan, you should tell him how much you love him and never let him go again," Ethan hugged his aunt. "Just like I did with Theresa when she tried to leave on the airplane."

"I wouldn’t have tried to leave had you not been such a sarcastic pain when talking to Chad…"

"Let’s not get into that again, Theresa, I apologized for that."

"Fine," she sighed. "In any case, Luis will come back and everything will fall back into place…" Theresa stood and walked to the window, looking out at the snow. ‘It has to,’ she thought to herself.

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