After a very pleasant breakfast, Luis and Sheridan went
to the Youth Center. Luis’ assumption was proven correct. The kids were in school and the Center was quiet. Sheridan
was somewhat disappointed because she wasn’t able to see the kids; however, she happily helped Luis review and
finalize the plans for the dance Saturday night.
They returned to the cottage after an incident-free trip. Before lunch, Sheridan asked Luis to arrange for escorts,
so she could take a walk on the estate grounds in the afternoon.
After lunch, Sheridan took a long walk. She was surprised to realize that even though it was still uncomfortable,
she was getting used to wearing the bulletproof vest.
During her walk, Sheridan found herself daydreaming about going to the Youth Center dance on Saturday night. She
kept telling herself to stop dreaming because Luis would never allow her to go to the dance, as it wouldn’t be
safe. But try as she might to stop thinking about the dance, her mind kept taking her back to times that she previously
danced with Luis at the Youth Center and those thoughts led to more daydreams of dancing with Luis.
Back at the cottage, Luis was having a difficult time getting thoughts of Sheridan out of his mind. He was beginning
to realize that when he devised his master plan, he forgot to consider all of the consequences for both of them.
Luis had begun his "kill her with kindness" plan with the sole intention of changing Sheridan’s attitude
and behavior toward him, so that he would be able to properly protect her. There could be no doubt that Luis’ plan
had succeeded. Sheridan had changed. Not only had Sheridan stopped yelling at him and fighting with him all the
time, she was actually working with him. They had found their way to behaving as a team. Luis liked the feeling
of working with Sheridan instead of against her. He discovered that he enjoyed treating Sheridan as an equal partner
and showing her respect and consideration much more than he had enjoyed insulting her.
Luis’ thought process when he began his plan had only gone as far as changing Sheridan. He had not considered what
would happen after Sheridan changed. Luis now found that he was completely unprepared to face the effects that
the desired change in Sheridan’s attitude and behavior were having on him.
Additionally, Luis was worried that after the conclusion of the FBI’s plan, his relationship with Sheridan would
return to being acrimonious and unpleasant. Luis didn’t want to go backwards. He didn’t want to give up the closeness
with Sheridan that they had just started to create together.
Sheridan was thinking about Luis as she continued her long walk around the Crane estate. She couldn’t quite believe
how fast things had changed between them. Ever since his arrival at her cottage Sunday night, Luis had been acting
differently toward her. Luis had been treating her in the manner that she had been constantly demanding. He didn’t
order her around or tell her what to do. He asked her to do things and listened when she had something to say.
They still had arguments and differences of opinion, but they managed to work them out without resorting to insults.
Alone on her walk, Sheridan admitted to herself that she liked having Luis close to her all her time. She found
herself hoping that Luis would be her round-the-clock bodyguard for a long time.
After dinner, Luis surprised Sheridan by offering to take
her to the Book Café for coffee and dessert. Sheridan was thrilled by his surprise offer and she readily
reiterated her promise that she would abide by all of the ground rules.
When they entered the Book Café, Sheridan spotted Ethan and Gwen. She asked Luis if she could join them
and he gave her his approval.
Sheridan was surprised when Luis didn’t join her as she sat down. He said that he wanted to give her some time
alone with Ethan and Gwen. He also told her that he wanted to be able to watch her, the other patrons and the doors.
Luis pointed to a spot across the room and told her that he’d be there.
Luis knew that the FBI’s sting was going to happen some time that night and he was antsy. From the small amount
of information that Sam had told him, Luis had figured out that he and Sheridan were the bait in a trap being set
by the FBI. He worried about intentionally putting Sheridan in the line of fire, but he had to follow orders. He
placated himself with the thought that at least he would be with her and he’d be able to protect her.
Sheridan was having a wonderful time going over wedding plans with Ethan and Gwen. It was the first normal conversation
that she’d had with any friends or relatives in almost a week. She was grateful to Luis for arranging the trip.
When Ethan told her that Luis had asked him to come to the Book Café to spend some time with her, Sheridan
was touched by his concern for her.
Sheridan looked at Luis with a smile of appreciation. She noticed that he seemed distracted and looked nervous.
Luis’ demeanor worried her, but Ethan and Gwen quickly distracted her from her thoughts of Luis.
They had been at the Book Café for a few hours and Sheridan was having a marvelous time. It was well after
midnight, but since it was Friday, the place was still crowded and the music was loud.
Suddenly, Sheridan heard Luis yell her name. Everyone in the Book Café heard Luis yell her name. She looked
up and he was walking rapidly toward her. When he got to the table, he loudly said to her, "we’re leaving!
Everyone in the Book Café was looking at Luis and Sheridan. Their fights were legendary. The crowd’s collective
breath was held as they waited for Sheridan to explode in response to Luis’ order. Ethan and Gwen were especially
concerned. Gwen started to say something about Luis being incredibly rude. Ethan was standing up ready to get between
When Sheridan saw the look of tension on Luis’ face as he approached her, she quickly stood, grabbed her coat from
the chair and said, "okay, Luis. Let’s go." She didn’t even try to say good night to Ethan and Gwen.
The crowd at the Book Café was stunned. Ethan and Gwen both sat with shocked expressions on their faces
as they watched Sheridan and Luis hurriedly leave the Book Café together. They couldn’t believe that Sheridan
would leave with Luis on demand and without an argument.
After they were in the car, Sheridan didn’t say anything but she looked at Luis with a questioning expression on
her face. He didn’t say anything to her. He took the earplug out of his left ear and held it where she could see
it and the cord attached to it. Then, Luis put the plug back in his ear. Sheridan hadn’t noticed that Luis was
wearing an earplug, but once he pointed it out, she realized he was taking orders from the FBI.
Sheridan wondered what exactly was going on and how it involved the FBI. While she was concerned, Sheridan realized
that as long as Luis was with her, she felt safe. She knew that Luis would do whatever was necessary to protect
Luis took a quick look at Sheridan and he smiled at her as he said quietly, "thanks for not making a scene
Sheridan smiled back at him, "I gave you my word, Luis. And I keep my promises."
Luis went back to listening to the voices on the FBI radio plugged in his ear. Sheridan looked out the car window
and she could see that they were on the road to the airport.
When they got to the airport, Luis stopped the car. Sheridan went to get out of the car, but Luis put his hand
on her arm to stop her before she could get out. Luis and Sheridan sat in silence in the car at the edge of the
Harmony airport. The tension mounted as each minute passed by.
Finally, the radio in Luis’ ear crackled and he was told to begin. Following the instructions that Sam had relayed
to him, Luis motioned to Sheridan to stay seated. Then, Luis got out of the car. He walked around the front of
the car and opened Sheridan’s door. He extended a hand to her in order to help her get out. She took his hand and
got out of the car.
Luis placed his arm around Sheridan’s shoulder and pulled her close to him. The main area of the airport was well
lit. Luis could see the fear on Sheridan’s face, so he gave her a reassuring smile.
Luis began walking with Sheridan at a normal pace toward the rows of hangers. Sheridan put her arm around Luis’
waist. She felt safer holding on to him. The voice in Luis’ ear told him he was doing fine and that they should
keep moving. The farther away from the car that they walked, the fewer lights were illuminating the area.
Luis and Sheridan turned down the last row of hangers. There were no lights at all at the end of the row. It was
almost pitch dark, but there was still a small amount of light available from one of the open hangers. Still following
the orders that he had been given, Luis, with his arm around Sheridan, kept walking all the way to the end of the
row of hangers. He stopped outside a small private hanger with a sign that read Hoover Aviation. Luis knew that
he had found the correct place.
Luis silently directed Sheridan to stand next to him with her back against the building wall. Their faces were
hidden by the darkness. Luis walked them slowly along the wall until they reached the hanger door.
Luis waited. Sheridan could feel how tense Luis was and it was scaring her. He could sense her fear and pulled
her close to him. He was holding her hand tightly and he gave her hand a quick squeeze. Luis leaned back against
the building wall. Sheridan did the same.
Finally the voice in Luis’ ear said, "it’s a go. Get the Princess out of the line of fire now! And keep her
close to you until you get the all clear."
Luis quickly reached for the door to the hanger. He had been told that the door would be unlocked. Luis hoped that
the FBI had remembered that little detail.
Luis was relieved to find that the hanger door was unlocked. Luis opened the door just enough for the two of them
to quickly enter the hanger. He immediately shut the hanger door and locked it from the inside.
Again, Luis heard his orders to keep Sheridan close to him. Then, the radio in Luis’ ear was quiet. The FBI trap
was being sprung and the agents were all maintaining radio silence.
There were no windows in the hanger. It was very dark inside except for a small amount of moonlight coming in from
two small skylights. The door was the only way to get into the hanger.
After his eyes adjusted to the darkness, Luis escorted Sheridan all the way across the empty hanger to the corner
that was the farthest point away from the door. Then, Luis stood facing Sheridan with his back to the door. If
anyone came in that door, Luis wanted to make certain that they’d have to literally go through him to get to Sheridan.
Luis looked at Sheridan. Even in the dim moonlight, he could see the sparkle in her beautiful blue eyes. Luis forced
himself to turn away from Sheridan. He looked around the hanger and up at the skylights. While he tried to look
anywhere but into her eyes, he couldn’t look away from her for very long. As soon as Luis looked back into Sheridan’s
eyes, he heard his own voice whisper, "kiss me, Sheridan."
It wasn’t a request. It wasn’t an order. It just was.
Sheridan briefly looked around the hanger and then looked into Luis’s big brown eyes and asked, "here?"
Luis started to take it back. He was starting to say something when Sheridan kissed him. It was a quick and gentle
kiss on the lips. And then she backed away from him.
Again, Luis started to say something, but Sheridan stopped him with another kiss. This second kiss lasted longer
as her lips lingered sweetly on his.
Sheridan looked into Luis’s eyes and he looked into hers. They moved toward each other at the same time, equal
and identical movements. Their lips met. Time stopped. Reality disappeared.
Months of pent up emotions were expressed through many kisses. Short quick kisses. Long passionate kisses. Open
mouths. Closed mouths. Kisses on the faces. Kisses on the necks. Luis and Sheridan continued to kiss over and over
During one series of long passionate kisses, Sheridan and Luis each began to move their hands. They instinctively
wanted to begin to explore each other’s bodies. But, their explorations were stymied when their hands came up again
the bulletproof vests that they were wearing. Their physical frustration caused them to each increase the passion
in their kisses.
They stopped kissing every now and then to try to catch their breath. But it was impossible for them to stay away
from each other. Once the kissing had started, they couldn’t stop. Every time one of them tried to stop, it was
only a matter of a few seconds before they were kissing again.
Sheridan and Luis couldn’t get enough kisses. They were lost in each other in a dark corner of an empty airplane
hanger oblivious to everything around them. Neither one knew or cared how much time was passing by. Time didn’t
matter. Nothing else mattered. They were both in the only place that mattered to them. They were in each other’s
arms and neither of them wanted to ever be anywhere else.
Luis literally jumped when the voice in his earplug advised that the FBI operation was over and he was ordered
to get Sheridan back to the cottage. Luis took Sheridan in his arms and held her close to him. She pressed her
head again his chest and listened to his heart beating.
They stood in each other’s arms until Luis said, "we have to go back to the cottage now. The FBI will meet
us there to tell us what is going on."
Sheridan didn’t say anything. She didn’t want to go back to her cottage. She wanted to stay right where she was,
in Luis’ arms. Luis didn’t want to let her go. He wanted to hold her in his arms and never be apart from her again.
Reluctantly, Luis and Sheridan left the hanger and slowly walked back to his car. They were each trying desperately
to hold onto what they had found in the hanger, but minute-by-minute, reality was reasserting control over their
little spot of heaven.
When Sheridan and Luis reached the cottage, it was swarming with agents. The lead agent explained to them that
the FBI had set a trap at the airport and the drug cartel had walked into it. He spoke in some detail about the
gunfire battle. Sheridan and Luis exchanged knowing glances. They realized that they had been so wrapped up in
kissing each other that they hadn’t heard the gunfire outside the hanger.
The FBI agent explained that Sheridan would no longer need protection. Luis asked about Sheridan having to testify
at a trial. The agent informed them that there would be no trial as the drug cartel members had all been killed
in the airport shoot out.
Sheridan and Luis were informed that as far as the FBI was concerned, Sheridan’s life was no longer in danger.
She was safe and could resume her normal life immediately.
Since Sheridan’s life was no longer in danger and a bodyguard was no longer necessary, the FBI forced Luis to leave
the cottage immediately. They said that he should leave so that Ms. Crane could have her home and privacy back
as soon as possible. Luis was angry that they wouldn’t let him talk with Sheridan before he left. Luis didn’t want
to make a scene, so he agreed to leave. But, before he left Sheridan’s cottage, Luis made sure that he made eye
contact with Sheridan. He smiled his best smile at her and she responded with her best smile.
After all the agents had finally left her home Sheridan was alone. She locked her front door and checked all the
windows as she had seen Luis do for the past several nights. She found that it helped her miss Luis a little less.
When Sheridan went to bed that night, she left her bedroom door wide open.