Sheridan emerged from the shower, her body cleansed, but her mind still filled with dark, murky thoughts. She toweled
off, looking at her reflection in the mirror. She looked like a normal person, she decided. Nobody would ever guess
the horrible things she held inside by looking at her.
She really didn't want to go to the trial, she especially didn't want Luis there, but she knew she had to go. She
had to know what Julian was saying and she didn't want to have to hear it second hand in the paper or on TV. She
dressed, applied her make-up and fixed her hair, then, taking a deep breath she went to Luis. "I want to go
to the trial." She told him nervously.
"Are you sure?" Luis folded up the newspaper he was reading and looked up at her. "Yes, I have to
Luis... I have to know what's going on." She looked down at him sadly, her usually sparkling blue eyes now
dull and lifeless. "Sheridan, whatever comes out, it can't be that bad Sweetheart."
Sheridan's lip trembled and a tear dripped from her cheek. "But we don't know that Luis... there are so many
secrets... what if..." she stopped. "What if what?" "What if you find out something and it
makes you hate me?"
Luis looked at her and whispered, "Come here..." He pulled her onto his lap, wrapping his arms around
her, so that she was cuddled up against his chest. "Listen to me Angel... there is nothing that will ever
make me hate you... nothing. I love you so much..." He kissed her forehead and held her even tighter. "You
don't know that Luis... you have no idea what Julian will say at the trial. You can't make a blind promise like
"Sheridan, it's not a blind promise. I have no illusions about your family. I know they've done a lot of underhanded
and even criminal things in the past. They are probably even responsible for my fathers disappearance, but none
of that has anything to do with my feelings toward you."
"But... but what if I've done something too Luis? What then?" "What did you do?" Luis asked
curiously. "I'm not sure... I... I have these terrible nightmares Luis. Like the ones I had when you were
guarding me. All my life I was told they were just nightmares, with no basis in reality. But... oh Luis, I'm afraid
that I'm going to find out they were true!" She began to sob uncontrollably and Luis just held her and whispered
that everything would be OK.
"Sweetheart," he said after she calmed down a little, "I'm sure you're imagining the trial will
be worse than it will turn out to be. And nightmares almost never mean what you think they do... I think you're
getting yourself all worked up for nothing."
Sheridan wiped her eyes and gave him a weak smile. "You really think so Luis?" "Yeah, I do."
He smiled at her and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. "If you really want to go to the trial then you'd
better do something about those raccoon eyes, because it'll be starting soon."
"Oh God," she realized her mascara would be everywhere. "I must be a wreck..." "Wreck
or not, you're the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on..." Luis kissed her again and released her
to go repair her makeup.
As Luis had predicted, the trial wasn't very enlightening that day. In fact, it was almost boring. There were no
witnesses called... the charges were stated for the record and the lawyers delivered their opening statements to
the jury. Sheridan sat nervously beside him, clutching his hand in a death grip the whole time. When the judge
ended the session for the day he felt her relax and she let out a deep sigh. "See, I told you there was nothing
to worry about Sweetheart." He said, as they walked hand in hand from the courtroom.
"Luis, I know you're trying to make me feel better, and I love you for it, but it's going to get worse and
we both know it. As soon as Julian hits the stand it's all going to fall apart."
The next few days were as uneventful as the first... strings of character witnesses and informants that really
had nothing to contribute one way or the other. Sheridan and Luis went to the trial every day and sat through all
the drivel, Sheridan tensely waiting for the bomb to hit... the one that would shatter her life.
Early Saturday morning Luis got a phone call from Ethan. "It's ready," the younger man told him. "It's
done and it looks great! You can bring her anytime." "That's great Ethan. I don't know how to thank you."
"Just take good care of my aunt... she's probably the only good thing to come from this family..." "You
can count on it Ethan." Luis hung up the phone and went in search of Sheridan.
He found her in Theresa's room. The two were folding laundry and laughing about something. The laughter didn't
quite reach Sheridan's eyes, but she looked happier than he's seen her in a while. "Hello there... how are
my two favorite girls?" He kissed Theresa's cheek and kissed Sheridan lightly on the mouth.
Theresa grumbled, good naturedly, "We'd be better if we didn't have to do all the work around here..."
she indicated the huge pile of laundry. Luis grinned and helped them fold. "Do you feel like going for a drive
after Sweetheart?" Sheridan nodded. "Yes, I guess so... where to?" "I thought we should go
back to the cottage... what do you think?" Sheridan wanted to scream 'NO'. She wanted to stay here in the
Lopez-Fitzgerald house where she felt safe and loved. She knew she couldn't... it wasn't her home and probably
Pilar wanted her to move back where she belonged. "Alright Luis... I think I'm ready to try it again."
She hoped she sounded more enthusiastic than she felt.
Luis stopped the Jeep outside the cottage and reached over for Sheridan's hand. "It's OK... I'll be right
with you and if it's too much we'll come back out. OK?" "Sheridan took a deep breath and nodded. When
they walked into the living room everything looked the same. Luis waited for Sheridan to move onto the other rooms
at her own pace.
Finally she stood outside the bedroom door, with her hand resting on the knob. She turned it and slowly opened
the door... and let out a little gasp of surprise. The room was nothing like she'd left it... in fact it didn't
even look like her room. The wallpaper, paint and carpeting was all new and so was the furniture. It was also rearranged
differently than she'd had it. She turned to Luis with tears in her eyes. "Did you do this?" She whispered.
"Well, Ethan got it done actually... I kinda suggested it. Do you like it?" Sheridan stepped into his
arms. "I love it... thank you." She murmured against his chest. "Is it different enough?" "I
think so... it's beautiful Luis. It doesn't even feel like the same room..." It really didn't, she realized
as she looked around. Nothing reminded her of Hank at all. This was a new room, ready for new memories... ones
she wanted to create with Luis. She looked up into his eyes and kissed him softly. He immediately returned the
kiss, deepening it and tightening his arms around her. Sheridan's hands roamed over his back, playing at the collar
of his shirt and his hands slid up and down her sides. His thumbs brushed lightly against the outer sides of her
breasts and she moaned softly. Luis broke the kiss, looking into her eyes, seeing the desire and love there that
he was feeling.
He backed her up to the bed and gently lowered her onto it, covering her body with his. He kissed her again and
she responded hungrily as her hands began unbuttoning his shirt. They slid inside, caressing his smooth, muscular
chest and pushing the garment off his shoulders.
They discarded the remainder of their clothes then, frantic for the touch of skin against skin. "I love you
Luis..." Sheridan whispered between kisses. "I love you too Sheridan..." He whispered back, just
as they became one with each other and began to move toward the ecstasy they had only shared with each other...
Later, Sheridan lay pillowed on Luis' chest, running her hand idly over his skin. Luis had one arm wrapped around
her, the other hand playing in her silky blonde hair. "Thank you Luis... for the new room and the new memories
we made here." She said softly. "You're welcome Angel. Are you sure it's OK now?" "Yes Luis...
everything is definitely OK... at least with the room..." She trailed off, thinking about the trial. It was
all she could think about lately and the worst was about to begin...
On Monday, just two short days away, Julian would take the stand and all Hell would break loose. Sheridan had a
feeling that she'd better enjoy this wonderful time with Luis while it lasted because soon he would want nothing
to do with her...