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Letís Give Them Something To Talk About
by SheridanLF74

Sheridan started to fall asleep in her warm bed, the radio still playing love songs. She wasnít quite in dreamland yet, but close enough. Sighing, she snuggled deeper beneath the blankets as the radio played.

Outside, the cold wind blew and the new moon caused the night to be dark. Agent Freeman sipped at his coffee, making sure the front was secure before he planned on heading inside. He had already checked the other windows and doors, but he swore he had heard someone outside. With his back to front of the cottage, Hal Freeman did not notice the dark shadow that appeared by the front door until it was too late. The dark figure clubbed Freeman in the head with the butt of a gun and then headed inside the open door, leaving it open by mistake.

He was an American sent on mission. His French bosses had told him to do one job: kill the beautiful Miss Sheridan Crane. She was not to see sunlight, especially now that her fiancé, the cop that continuously saved her, was arrested for her kidnapping last year. Thank God for her stupid temper and irrational actions; they would be her downfall.

He tiptoed into the house; sure she was sleeping by now. He needed to be careful or else someone might catch him. He hadnít been warned about the number of guards she had. The dark shadow continued towards the bedroom to find Sheridan Crane.


Hank Bennett arrived on the grounds of the Crane mansion as a favor to Luis. When Sam had called his brother and told him of the situation hours ago, Hank felt bad. He had been treating his best friend like a disease after the pair announced their relationship. Luis was still his best friend and he should be happy that he was with Sheridan. After all, he had his own gal now and she was perfect for him. Shaking his head, he jogged towards the cottage. He was late getting there. He had promised to be there hours ago to help Freeman guard Sheridan until this mess was over.

Arriving at the cottage door, he thought it odd that Sheridan would have the lights off and the front door wide open. Something wasnít right. Besides the music playing from somewhere in the house, all was quite. Wondering if Freeman was doing some form of inspection, he searched around the cottage. The only thing he couldnít understand was the open door. He wouldnít have noticed the black boots if he hadnít tripped over them. "Hal?"

Hank rushed to Freemanís side to feel for a pulse. Sighing, he was glad to find it steady beneath his fingers. Looking for a reason why he could possibly be unconscious, Hank found the bump on the manís head. "Damn it!" Something was wrong, very wrong.

Sheridanís scream caused Hank to grab his own gun and rush inside. His only hope was that he wouldnít be too late.


"SAM!" Luis begged. "I need to go to herÖplease."

Sam didnít know what to do. Sheridan meant the world to his best friend and he wanted to save her more than anything. He knew that Luisí gut instincts were never wrong. After all, he had one just before he saved her at the Crane cabin and before he flew to Paris. If Sheridan was in trouble, she was going to need Luis. Letting Luis out could mean his job. Sighing, he grabbed the keys to the cell.

"Just this once, Luis, and only because I think you might be onto something. Without you around itís a perfect time to take a shot at Sheridan."

"Thank you, Sam," he rushed to the bars where he would be let out. He had to make it on time.

"Remember, all actions you takeÖyouíre not a cop. Donít try to arrest him," Sam opened the cell. "Take your gun."

Luis nodded. Once he was out, the two ran for Samís cruiser. Luis let out a silent prayer that his Sheridan would be all right.


"WhoÖwho are you?" Sheridan trembled, climbing out of bed. She had dressed in one of Luisí old sweat suits for the night. It brought her a sense of comfort and warmth to be wrapped in his clothing. Backing away from the man, she felt around her dresser for something she could use to defend herself.

"Your worst nightmare, Miss Crane," the man laughed. "Iím here to finish a job." He looked her up and down. "Itís a pity. They didnít tell me just how gorgeous you were."

Sheridan shivered; she could feel his eyes on her body like hands tracing her skin. The hard deep tone of his voice scared her. She stared at the barrel of his pistol and began to shake.

"GoodnightÖMiss Crane," he aimed the gun at her heart. "May you have a wonderful afterlife." He cocked the gun.

"Please donít," she whimpered.

He laughed. As he began to pull the trigger, Hank jumped at him from behind. A shot rang through the air. The bullet missed Sheridanís heart, but hit her in the side; she fell to the ground clutching the wound.

Hank clobbered the guy with his own gun. "You bastard!" he growled. Getting up he kicked the man in the side to make sure he was unconscious.

"Hank?" Samís voice called from the doorway.

"Sam, arrest this trash. He shot Sheridan!" Hank was panting and started to finally calm down as the adrenaline rush began to end. "Hurry, we need to get an ambulance."

Sam cuffed the man and read him his rights while Hank used his cell to call an ambulance.

Luis ran past the two and over to Sheridanís body. "Sherry?"

"Luis," she whispered painfully and reached out to him.

"Sherry, angel, you hold on ok?" He knelt beside her and took her body into his arms, cradling her close to his own body.

"It hurts," her eyes teared. "It hurts so badly."

"I know, baby," he wiped her tears away. "I know. You fight for me though. Donít let the blackness take you over." He began to apply pressure to the wound.

She flinched. "I wish you had been hereÖ"

The blood was pouring out of the wound and Luis prayed that it slowed down. He grabbed a nearby t-shirt and pressed it against the wound. His hands and clothing were covered in her blood and he knew just how she felt when he had been shot months ago. His heart tore into pieces. He hadnít been here; he had been too late. "Me too," he whispered painfully. "Iím sorry I wasnít here."

She looked into his eyes. Her breathing was becoming labored and he could tell she was in pain. "I love you, Luis."

"Donít say goodbye, Sheridan, because youíre not going anywhere. Youíre going to live a long, long time."

"I donít know how much longer I can hold on," she whined and coughed.

"Sam, get them to come faster," Luis begged. He returned his attention to his fiancée. "You still with me, baby?"

She nodded and closed her eyes. "Iím so tired. Canít I rest my eyes?"

"NO! Sheridan, I need you to stay with me."

"Ethan is going to drop the charges," her voice was barely above a whisper. "My father died and Ethan inherited the empire." She coughed again. "Iíll always be in your heart, Luis."

"No," he started crying. "Sheridan, please, you canít say goodbye to me. Not now. Weíre going to get married."

He didnít get an answer from Sheridan because the blackness had taken over.


The next few minutes were a blur to Luis as he collapsed and began to cry on the floor of the cottage. He watched the EMTs begin work on Sheridan and then they were gone, rushing Sheridanís pale, weak body out to the ambulance. They had taken her away, her body limp on the gurney. He followed them out, but Sam stopped him. Luis watched them drive off, wishing he could go with her. Sam had grabbed Luisí shoulder and asked him to come back to the station. He was going to go back to jail. Luis sighed and started to walk to the car with Sam.

"Chief Bennett," Ethan stopped him, "as head of the empire Iíd like you to release Luis. The Crane lawyers phoned me an hour ago, the body on the airplane has been identified as my grandfather and I have been named heir. The governor will fax you details later in the morning."

Sam nodded. As much as he disliked Ethan, the young man was saving Luis and Luis was a friend. It meant a lot to him to know that Ethan wasnít going to take this out on his pal. "Thanks, Ethan."

"Iím doing it for my aunt and the man she loves," Ethan looked around. It was then that he realized the extent of what was going on. Sheridan wasnít around. Had this been a successful attempt? "What happened?"

"Sheridanís been shot," Sam sighed.

Ethan saw the blank expression on Luisí face. "Is she all right?" Luis looked so lost. Had Sheridan died?

"We donít know. They just took her off to the hospital," Sam looked at Luis. "Sheís in our prayers."

"Iíll bring Luis to the hospital. My aunt will need him," Ethan was amazingly calm. "Weíll all need him."

Sam nodded and watched as Ethan helped his future Uncle to the car. Sam decided to call Pilar and get her to the hospital too. If Sheridan didnít make it than Luis would need his family and his friends. This was one thing Sam was afraid might destroy his friend.


An hour later, Luis, Ethan, Hank, Sam, Miguel, Theresa and Pilar, cluttered into the small waiting room at the hospital. Sheridan had been rushed into surgery the minute the ambulance arrived. Theresa was sitting by Ethan, holding him in her arms. Once the young man arrived, the severity of the situation struck him and he fell apart. Miguel and Pilar were watching Luis, who had refused any comfort from anyone and sat apart from the group. He felt guilty. He should have been there for Sheridan. No one spoke for a while; there was no need to speak.

"He looks so lost," Ethan whispered.

"He is," Theresa looked into her fiancéís eyes. "If something were to happen to you, Iíd feel the same. He loves Sheridan with all his heart. Sheís like the air he breathes."

"I think heís blaming himself for this," Sam explained. "Luis is taking it hard that he wasnít there. He feels that he could have prevented this from occurring."

"That was hardly his fault," Ethan replied. "Iím holding my father responsible for this! Itís his fault Luis was arrested anyway!"

"Now is not the time to cast stones," Pilar joined them. "Theresita, see if he will listen to you. Youíve always been his soft spot."

Theresa nodded and went to her brother. Tentatively, she reached out to place a hand on his shoulder. "Luis?"

He didnít acknowledge her, keeping his gaze fixed on the floor.

"Luis, Sheridan is going to be all right. Sheís going to wake up and you two will be married andÖ"

"Thanks," his shoulders slumped lower and closed his eyes. Theresa knew he wasnít listening. She returned to her mother and Ethan. "Hopeless."


Luis sunk back in the chair. He had never felt more helpless in his life. Sheridan was dying and he hadn't been there to save her. What kind of husband could he be to her? Of course, her family had locked him away, but that was no excuse. Sheridan was dying and he might as well have pulled the trigger.

Luis wanted to pace, to move around and allow some of the penned up emotion to release. He couldn't move! Something kept him glued to the blue plastic chairs that sat in the lobby of the hospital. Something begged him not to give into the rage and sorrow he was feeling. He was being controlled and he hated it.

His family and friends watched him as he sank further back against the chairs. His hands and clothing were still tainted by Sheridan's innocent blood and Luis felt as if it were the only connection he had to the beautiful blond that was lying helpless on an operating table.


Hours passed slowly and Luis could still hear her voice over the radio. Her tale of love had caused his heart to burst in happiness and he spend the duration of that time planning their future and dreaming of their past. Twins! He didn't know why but he could see them with two identical daughters. Their long brown hair was braided in pigtails and they were wearing overalls. Blue eyes sparkled beneath dark black lashes and they had the Lopez-Fitzgerald skin tone. They were playing in the yard with a black lab puppy and Sheridan was laughing. Laughing! Would she ever laugh again? Would they really have two little girls that were so identical only they could tell them apart? Was it too late?

The more the seconds ticked away on the wall clock, the harder it became for Luis to cope. When no news had reached them two hours later, Luis had realized the worst was going to happen. He stood, the first time in all those hours, and just walked into the frigid night air. No one followed him. They just watched him leave.

He stopped in the parking lot. Where was he going to go? Every building, every corner, every path reminded him of Sheridan. Everything in the small New England town reminded him of his lost love. Sighing he sank down onto the curb and felt fresh tears roll down his cheeks. What would he do without Sheridan?

Looking up, he was surprised at how clear the sky was on this cold February night. The stars twinkled, trying their hardest to make up for the lack of moonlight. Standing again, he began to talk to God.

"Lord, I know I ask for a lot sometimes and that I tend to turn to you when Iím desperate. Now is definitely not one of the better times to prove my faith and gratefulness towards all that you have done, but Sheridanís going to die if I donít do something. I love her. She means the world to me. I need her in my life, heck, she is my life," he felt the tears start to fall harder. "Sheridan needs your helpÖshe needs something only you can give. Please, God, bring my Sheridan back to me," he sobbed.

Luis collapsed back onto the curb and buried his face in his hands. Sheridan couldnít die, she just couldnít. He let it all out, everything he had been trying to hide from everyone inside. He hated himself, hated the man that shot Sheridan and hated Julian for making it so he wasnít around. He was angry and depressed and wanted nothing more than to erase the entire night.

"She wouldn't want you to torture yourself and you damn well know it," Beth spoke from behind him. "She didn't torture herself all those months ago and she'd hate it that you were."

He didn't answer because he had been telling himself the same thing. His brain was telling him that Sheridan wouldn't have expected him to berate himself this way, but what could he do? She was dying. She had been shot and he had been locked away in a jail cell unable to help her. He sighed and continued to gaze at the stars. He would much rather remember Sheridan the way she was outside in the snow: playing and laughing. He only prayed he wouldnít enter her hospital room later and see her covered with machines that were living for her.

"Come back inside, Luis. Eve is bound to have news soon," Beth touched his shoulder.

He jumped at the contact. "I can't," he replied. "It's too hot in there...to still. I can't be there." It was too close to death and the truth. Outside, he could pretend that he was waiting for her to finish visiting someone; inside, he had to admit that she was being operated on. Everyone and everything inside reminded him that Sheridan had been shot. At least outside he could pretend it wasnít true.

"Luis! Now! Don't make me drag you in there by your ear!" She stomped her foot, much like a child throwing a fit. He was being so pig headed and she hated when he acted this way.

He huffed. No one had spoken to him this way in a long time; no one except his Sheridan. His Sheridan. She was one hell of a woman. One minute she was fighting him with all she had and the next, making love bathed in candlelight. She always knew what to say and do just when he needed her the most. He couldnít go back inside. Not just yet.

"Damn it, Lopez-Fitzgerald, get your ass inside," she demanded. That was the last time she would ask. Next time she would drag him inside.

Angry, he glared at her, standing to face her, but he didn't reply. Instead, he went inside. Beth sighed; thank God he would be Sheridan's long-term problem.

Eve was just entering the waiting room when Luis entered. He rushed to her, excitement filling his eyes.

"Eve?" he was hopeful.

Eve smiled sympathetically. "She'll be just fine, Luis. We had to remove her spleen; it swelled while we were removing the bullet. She's in some pain and we gave her some medication. However, she's fully conscious and lost only a minimal amount of blood. She was very lucky."

Pilar made the sign of the cross and Ethan hugged Theresa. Sheridan was going to be all right.

"Can I see her?" Luis asked.

Eve nodded. "I'll have a nurse take you back right now."

"Thank you, Eve," he smiled for the first time in hours. Following the nurse back into the recovery rooms, he was shocked to find Sheridan attached to only an IV. She was lying there, paying attention to something on a TV monitor and looked just as beautiful as she did the day he met her.

"Sherry, angel?" he took a tentative step into the room. Seeing her made this all too real and he wasnít sure if she would forgive him for this.

She smiled at him. "Hey," she replied weakly. "He was a lousy shot. Iíve got to say even I aimed better that time on the wharf." She ignored the bloodstains on his clothing and fought her own tears at seeing his red-rimmed eyes.

He forced a grin. "Yea," he looked down at the floor. He wanted to go to her but his feet refused to move.

"Luis?" she asked, looking at him. "Arenít you coming over here?"

"I think Iíll stay here," he replied.

"Get over here and give me a kiss, Luis," she demanded of him.

He looked at her, meeting her eyes. Nothing but love could be read in them. Slowly, and apprehensively, Luis approached her bedside. The second he arrived beside her, he smiled at her and leaned in to give her a brief kiss.

When they parted, Sheridan smiled. "Perfect," she patted her beside. "Have a seat."

Luis sat beside her and took her left hand. "Iím so glad youíre all right, Sheridan." He toyed with her engagement ring. "Iíve never been so afraid in my entire life."

"I know the feeling," she smiled ruefully. "But Iím all right and everything is going to be just fine."

"Yea," he smiled tightly.

Sheridan reached up and made Luis look into her eyes. "Whatís wrong, baby?"

"Nothing," he shook his head. "Everything is going to be fine." He looked away.

"Donít lie to me, Luis," she begged. "I donít want secrets to come between us. They are the only things that could ruin our relationship."

He looked down at her hand. "Itís my fault."

"What is?"

"All of this. This is all my fault! Iím the reason you got shot. I wasnít there to protect you," he stood up and started pacing. "Had I just been happy to be in a relationship with you, they would have never had me arrested and you would be just fine! We wouldnít be here! Because of me, you were shot! Because I am stubborn and had to have you as my wife!" He started to sob. "I could have lost you and it would have been my fault."

Sheridan was shocked. He had been blaming himself. "Luis, I donít want you to blame yourself for this. I love you. I trust you with my life. Donít feel like this is your fault. Eve said with any luck I will be out of here in a few days. Heck, if I pull the right strings I can be out tomorrow. Iím fine."

He returned to her bedside. "But I should have been thereÖ"

Sheridan put a finger over his lips. "Please donít torture yourself. Promise me youíll just be here and love me now. Whatís happened cannot be changed."

"I promise," he whispered.

"Good," she leaned back and sighed. "Give me a kiss."

He laughed. "Youíre becoming awfully demanding all of a sudden, Sheridan."

"Because Iíve been begging them to get you for twenty minutes now. They said I needed to get settled first."

"Youíve been awake for a while then?" he asked shocked.

"Thirty minutes," she sighed.

Anger flashed in Luisí eyes, but he forced it down. They had kept her from him when she had been fine for half an hour. He would deal with that later, right now she was all that mattered.

"Well, Iím glad youíre going to be ok, angel, but there are other people that would like to see you and I think I should go get changed. These clothes have some bad memories right now."

She nodded. "Ok, baby," she kissed his lips lightly. "Hurry back to me?"

"You bet I will. Youíre my fiancée and I wonít leave you for anything in the world, doll. Iíll be back before you know it. Ok?"

"Yea," she smiled. "Love you."

"Love you more," he kissed her forehead. "See you in a little while," he left the room. He continued to bury the anger and regret down inside of him. When he entered the waiting room, he looked at the group. "Iím going to go get out of these clothes. I think they were upsetting Sheridan. Eve said she could have some more visitors. She really is just fine so anyone can go in."

"Thank you, Mijo," Pilar replied. "Go and get changed."

"I will, Mama. You guys take care of her for me."

"We will," Ethan promised.

Luis smiled and left the hospital. He headed to the Youth Center where he kept a change of clothes in case of emergency. He went into the locker room and remembered the time Sheridan had walked in on him. Laughing, he opened his locker and saw the picture of her he had tacked up like a high school boy. She was so incredible: understanding, beautiful, caring and the best lover a man could have. Kissing his fingertips, he touched the picture and then grabbed the clothes to change. He didnít want to be gone too long; he was missing her already.

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