Sheridan wanted to scream with pleasure as Luis grinned at her. The hole from the laundry chute was still there,
and judging by the size of the smile on Luis' face it might be a plausible way out. "Can we get out Luis?"
Luis nodded... "Yeah, I think so... at least I think you can fit." He looked over at her and she was
already putting her bikini back on. "Alright Luis... I'll go." She stopped talking when she saw him looking
at her intensely. "What?" she asked.
Luis didn't answer right away. Instead he stood and busied himself putting on his boxers. "Sheridan,"
he came to her and took her hands in his. "Do you realize how dangerous this is? If Hank hears you... if he
catches you... he'll kill you."
Sheridan stared back into his eyes. She saw the apprehension and anxiety in them, and she could also see the love
he felt for her. She knew this was their only chance to get out of this mess and she took a deep breath. "I
can do it Luis. I don't even have to go into the house... there's a door to the garden down there."
"Are you sure it's unlocked?" Luis wasn't taking any chances. "Yes Luis, it unlocks from the inside.
I've used it a lot... I keep my gardening supplies down there. This will work Luis, I know it will. It has to!"
Luis really hated the idea of lowering her down into the basement alone, but he knew he'd never fit. He wasn't
a hundred percent sure she would. "Alright." He said finally. He knew it was their only hope and as afraid
as he was for her safety he knew the alternative of staying in the bathroom was worse.
He took her face in his hands and gazed into her worried eyes. He couldn't even fathom the idea of losing her now...
he needed her so much. "Be careful Sheridan." He whispered. "I will." she replied, giving him
what was meant to be a confident grin, but failed miserably.
Luis pulled her into a kiss... a deep, soulful kiss. It spoke of promises of tomorrow and forever... and it spoke
of the love they were both too shy to verbalize. Finally they separated and rested foreheads together for a few
moments, drinking in the view of each other. "Ready?" He asked finally, and she nodded slowly.
Sheridan crawled inside the cabinet, a tight fit despite her size and flexibility. Luis shoved his upper half under
the cabinet, took her hands and lowered her through the hole. "Ok, let go..." She whispered. She couldn't
touch the basement floor, but she knew it wasn't far.
Luis hesitated, then realized she knew the basement better than he did and he released her. He heard a slight thud
and a muffled noise. "Sheridan?" He whispered. "I'm fine... " Luis could hear her breathing
down there and he held his breath so he would be able to continue hearing her.
Sheridan waited a minute for her eyes to adjust to the darkness in the basement. It was dark and the only light
coming in the tiny windows was moonlight. Finally she could see enough to make out the door and she headed carefully
toward it. Not carefully enough... her leg brushed against an old flower pot and it tipped over before she could
She held her breath and sure enough, she heard footsteps crossing the floor above her. Hank had heard the sound...
Luis felt his insides twist with fear as he too heard Hank react to the noise she'd made. If Hank found her he
would kill her in an instant. Then again, with Hank in the basement this was Luis' chance to get out too. He just
hoped he could get to Sheridan in time. He grabbed his pants, taking his gun from the pocket and quietly unlocked
the door into Sheridan's bedroom. He prayed to be able to pull this off without anyone getting hurt...
Hank crept down the stairs, snapping the basement light on as he passed. There was definitely something moving
around down there and he was going to find it. His gun was tightly gripped in his hand and his whole body was tense
with nervousness... who the hell was down there?
Sheridan was squeezed into the small space between the furnace and the wall. She was sheltered on a third side
by a pile of boxes. She hadn't had time to get to the door before she'd heard Hank on the stairs... and even if
she had, the lock on it was stubborn and time consuming. She was holding her breath, and holding back a huge sob
that was lodged in her throat.
This was it... she was going to die. For the first time in her life the thought of death terrified her. Before,
she'd almost thought the painless state would be a welcome relief, but since the last few hours with Luis everything
They'd made love... and although they hadn't actually spoken the words Sheridan had seen the love in Luis' eyes,
and she certainly felt it in her own heart. She didn't want to die... she wanted desperately to live. She wanted
a future with Luis, and if they could just survive this she knew there was a possibility that they could make a
She could hear Hank moving around on the other side of the basement and she prayed silently that he would give
up and go back upstairs. She heard something else... a rustling much closer to her. A shiver ran up her spine and
she tried to ignore the sound, but moments later her suspicion was confirmed as a small mouse popped out of the
top box in the pile beside her. She tried to stifle the scream, and she almost managed... it came out as a tiny
Hank swung toward the noise... it was a human noise, not like the mice and bugs he'd already encountered. He moved
slowly toward the furnace area... certain that was where the noise came from. He hand held the gun out in front
of him and as he caught sight of something moving in the shadows behind the furnace he took aim...