"Is it getting hot in here or is it just me?" Luis tugged at the collar of his shirt and moved to the
sink to splash a little cold water on his face. Sheridan was leaning against the bathtub and she nodded in agreement.
Her skin was damp with perspiration too and she swiped at her forehead with the sleeve of the robe she was wearing.
She longed for some clothes to put on instead of the robe. Draped over the shower door was the bikini she had rinsed
out that morning and hung there to dry. It would be infinitely cooler than the bathrobe, but she wasn't going to
resort to that unless absolutely necessary.
She glanced across the room and saw the towel hanging by the shower stall moving ever so slightly. Curious she
got up and moved to see why. "Luis... look at this..." Luis went to stand beside her and together they
stared for a moment at the heat vent that was, without a doubt, spewing hot air in the middle of July. "Luis,
why is the furnace running?"
Luis swore and shook his head. "Damn him! He's trying to sweat us out." Luis had a sudden thought and
moved to the bathtub. It was sparkling clean from the maid that morning, but he rinsed it out anyway to make sure
all the cleanser was gone. "What are you doing Luis?" She peered over his shoulder as he plugged the
drain and began to fill the tub.
"It's going to get hotter in here... much hotter. How long do you think we'll last with no water?" "But
why would we... oh... you think he would cut off our water supply?" "As soon as he thinks of it Sheridan...
he is trying to kill us, remember?"
Hank stood outside the bathroom door, wishing he could see them sweltering inside. He wondered what they were doing.
Then he heard the water running, for a long time. It suddenly dawned on him what they were doing... they were conserving
water! He flew to the basement, but being a very unhandy sort of guy he wasn't sure which water valve to shut off.
He needed the water to the rest of the house to stay running. Finally he found the valve and he heard the water
stop flowing through the pipes.
He sighed with relief, wishing that he'd thought of shutting off the water before they had begun filling up the
bathtub. Without drinking water they would've been forced out in a matter of a couple days. Now they had some water,
but at least no fresh cold water. They would still be living in a sauna.
Luis and Sheridan stood side by side, watching the water slow to a trickle. The tub was barely a third full. "Well,
at least we've got some drinking water." Sheridan said finally. "Good thinking Luis." Luis was surprised
by the complement and he smiled at her. "Thanks."
"Well, I guess we should do something about the hot air..." Sheridan removed a pile of towels from the
cupboard and placed them over the heat vent. "That will slow it, but it won't stop it... he's turned the heat
up so high that the floor around the vent is getting warm." She observed, straightening up to face Luis.
He was standing there, gazing into space, a very serious look on his face. "What is it?" Sheridan asked.
Luis snapped back to attention. "Oh, nothing. I was just thinking." He smiled, but it was tense and Sheridan
knew then what she had been trying to avoid admitting.
"Luis, we aren't going to make it are we?" She made an effort to keep her voice strong, and she thought
she managed, but it took everything in her to do it. Luis looked at her and replied seriously, "We ARE going
to make it. We haven't come this far, dodging bullets and swinging off buildings only to sweat to death in a damn
bathroom!" Anger and determination glinted in his eyes and Sheridan felt better. Luis was the strongest, most
determined, most stubborn man she'd ever laid eyes on. If he said they were going to live then they would.
Despite the fact that they had plugged the vent the room continued to heat up. Sheridan watched Luis remove his
shirt and she thought about the bikini as she sweltered in her robe. Finally she sighed and grabbed it off the
shower door. She went into the shower, closing the frosted glass door and removed the robe. She put on the barely
there bikini and stepped back out into the bathroom.
She saw Luis look at her, almost felt his gaze travel from her head to her feet. Luis couldn't help himself...
she was gorgeous. Her body was buff from running and she was a golden tan from sunbathing on her patio. He couldn't
seem to tear his eyes off her and he knew that she knew it too. She had an impish, almost naughty grin playing
on her lips.
Sheridan couldn't help the grin. He was looking at her like she was his favorite dessert. Maybe he didn't really
care for her, but he was certainly attracted to her. The grin slid off her face and she turned away from him. She
didn't want his lust... she wanted his love and that was never to be. She hung the robe up on the back of the door
where she kept it. Behind her she heard rustling and when she turned around she saw that Luis had removed his jeans.
He stood there, with only a pair of black boxers and it was her turn to ogle.
Luis had a cocky look on his face, knowing what he was doing to her. Turnabout was fair play and he was enjoying
it. Then there was a thud on the door and they crashed back to reality as Hank yelled at them. "Getting hot
in there guys?" He chuckled nastily. "Why don't you come on out Luis... I got a cold one here with your
name on it." Hank tipped back his head, taking a long swig of his beer. "Got a couple fans and some ice
cubes out here too." He paused, to give Luis time to imagine those things. "All you gotta do is open
the door and let me have her. You don't even have to watch if you don't want to. Look, I'll make it quick and painless...
one bullet right in the head..." Sheridan shivered despite the heat and wordlessly Luis slid an arm around
her. She leaned into his side and they listened to the maniac continue on the other side of the door. "Think
about how much hotter it's going to be Luis... she isn't worth all this suffering. Think about the money we can
get for her Luis. She's just a good for nothing Crane... come on buddy... let me whack her and we can live the
Hank apparently got bored getting no response because they heard him wander off. Luis turned to Sheridan. That
haunted, desolate expression was back on her face and Luis felt an even stronger burst of hate for Hank and everyone
else that had ever made this woman question her worth.
"Hey... forget it Sheridan... I'm not going to sacrifice you to him. I said I would protect you and that's
what I'm going to do." He drew her stiff body into his arms and held her until she relaxed. "You can
trust me Sheridan... I won't let anything happen to you."
"I know... thank you Luis." She whispered, as she held onto him like a lifeline. Actually, that was how
she had come to think of him... as a lifeline. One that she was becoming so rapidly dependent on that she doubted
she would survive without him. That is, if they survived this mess. Luis continued to hold her for a long time.
'I will protect her,' he thought, 'if she dies then we both die in here together... I will not sacrifice her...'